Romania was the first country of post-communist Europe to have official relations with the European Community. In 1974, a treaty included Romania in the Community's Generalized System of Preferences. After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, membership of the EC, and its successor the European Union (EU), had been the main goal of every Romanian Government and practically every political party in Romania. Romania signed its Europe Agreement in 1993, and submitted its official application for membership in the EU on 22 June 1995 and Bulgaria submitted its official application for membership in the EU on 14 December 1995, the third and the fourth of the post–communist European countries to do so after Hungary and Poland. Along with its official EU application, Romania submitted the Snagov Declaration, signed by all fourteen major political parties declaring their full support for EU membership.
During the 2000s, Bulgaria and Romania implemented a number of reforms to prepare for EU accession, including the consolidation of its democratic systems, the institution of the rule of law, the acknowledgement of respect for human rights, the commitment to personal freedom of expression, and the implementation of a functioning free-market economy. The objective of joining the EU also influenced Romania's regional relations. As a result, Bulgaria and Romania imposed visa regimes on a number of states, including Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey and Moldova.
Within the framework of integration meetings held between the EU member states and the EU candidate states Bulgaria and Romania, an 'Association Committee' was held on 22 June 2004. It confirmed overall good progress for the preparation of accession; however, it highlighted the need for further reform of judicial structures in both Bulgaria and Romania, particularly in its pre-trial phases, as well as the need for further efforts to fight against political corruption and organized crime, including human trafficking. The findings were reflected in the 2004 Regular Report for Bulgaria and Romania.
The Brussels European Council of December 17, 2004 confirmed the conclusion of accession negotiations with Bulgaria and Romania. The 26 September 2006 of the European Commission confirmed the date once more, also announcing that Bulgaria and Romania would meet no direct restrictions, but progress in certain areas — reforms of the judicial system, elimination of corruption and the struggle against organized crime — would be strictly monitored.[clarification needed]
The 26 September 2006 monitoring report of the European Commission confirmed the entry date as 1 January 2007. The last instrument of ratification of the Treaty of Accession was deposited with the Italian government on 20 December 2006 thereby ensuring it came into force on 1 January 2007.
Some member states of the EU required Bulgarians and Romanians to acquire a permit to work, whilst members of all other old member states did not require one. In the Treaty of Accession 2005, there was a clause about a transition period so each old EU member state could impose such 2+3+2 transitional periods. Restrictions were planned to remain in place until 1 January 2014 – 7 years after their accession.
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Remaining areas of inclusion
Bulgaria and Romania became members on 1 January 2007, but some areas of cooperation in the European Union will apply to Bulgaria and Romania at a later date. These are:
While both countries were admitted, concerns about corruption and organised crime were still high. As a result, although they joined, they were subject to monitoring from the European Commission through a Mechanism for Cooperation and Verification (CVM) . It was initially set up for three years after the accession but has continued indefinitely and although it has highlighted the corruption and applied some pressure to continue reforms, it has not succeeded in forcing the two countries to complete reforms and corruption persists.
Upon accession Bulgaria's 18 and Romania's 35 observer MEPs became full voting representatives until each state held an election for the posts, which were mandated to happen before the end of the year. Bulgaria held its election on 20 May 2007 and Romania on 25 November 2007.
In July 1950, the newly independent republic of India signed a friendship treaty in which both nations agreed to respect the other's sovereignty. In November of the same year, India played an important role in supporting King Tribhuhvan, whom the Rana leader Mohan Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana had attempted to depose and replace with his infant grandson King Gyanendra. With Indian support for a new government consisting largely of the Nepali Congress, King Tribhuvan ended the rule of the Rana dynasty in 1951.
Unsuccessful attempts were made to implement reforms and a constitution during the 1960s and 1970s. An economic crisis at the end of the 1980s led to a popular movement which brought about parliamentary elections and the adoption of a constitutional monarchy in 1990. The 1990s saw the beginning of the Nepalese Civil War (1996–2006), a conflict between government forces and the insurgent forces of the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist). The situation for the Nepalese monarchy was further destabilised by the 2001 Nepalese royal massacre, in which Crown Prince Dipendra reportedly shot and killed ten people, including his father King Birendra, and was himself mortally wounded by what was allegedly a self-inflicted gunshot.
The country was expanded from the one of the Chaubise principality called the Gorkha Kingdom. The Parbate Brahmins and the ruling Shah dynasty as well as the Chhetri aristocratic clans such as "Pande dynasty", "Basnyat dynasty", "Thapa dynasty" and "Kunwar family" (later "Rana dynasty") among the Gorkhali people trace their ancestry to the HinduRajputs and Brahmins of Northern India who entered modern Nepal from the West following Muslim advances. The actual historical process however by which this migration took place and the history of the Gorkhalis' ultimate conquest of Nepal span a couple of centuries and are drastically different from what Chauhan proposes. More importantly, Chauhan's overall thesis claiming the existence of a Gurkha identity way before the Shahs came to the Nepali hills is not supported by historical evidence available in Nepal. In Nepal the warrior people are not referred to as 'Gurkhas', they are called 'Gorkhalis', meaning the 'inhabitants of Gorkha.' Their famed battle cry is 'Ayo Gorkhali', meaning 'the Gorkhali has come.'
The etymology of the geographical name 'Gorkha' is indeed related to the Hindu mendicant-saint Gorakhnath. In the village of Gorkha is situated a temple dedicated to Gorakhnath as well as another dedicated to Gorakhkali, a corresponding female deity. The Nepali geographical encyclopedia 'Mechi-dekhi Mahakali' ('From Mechi to Mahakali') published in 2013 Bikram Era (1974-75 AD) by the authoritarian Panchayat government to mark the coronation of King Birendra Shah agrees with the association of the name of the place with the saint but does not add any further detail. The facts regarding when the temples were built and the place named after the saint are lost in the sweeping winds of time. We may guess that these developments took place in the early part of the second millennium of the Common Era following the rise of the Nath sect. In fact, the pilgrimage circuit of the sect across the northern Indian sub-continent also spans a major part of present-day Nepal including Kathmandu Valley. The Newars of Medieval Nepal have a couple of important temples and festivals dedicated to the major Nath teachers. Immediately before the rule of Gorkha by the Shahs, Gorkha was inhabited by both Aryan and Mongoloid ethnic groups and ruled by the Khadkas, who were probably of Khas origin. Dravya Shah defeated the Khadkas in 1559 AD and commenced Shah rule over the principality. Prithvi Narayan Shah belonged to the ninth generation of the Shahs in Gorkha. He took the reins of power in 1742 AD.
The first battle by Gorkhali forces united under King Prithvi Narayan was Battle of Nuwakot. The first army commander was Kaji Kalu Pande of the Pande dynasty of Gorkha. Pande put up tactics to attack Nuwakot, a strategic fort of Malla King of Kathmandu, by multiple sides with surprise. On 26 September 1744, Pande with a contingent of soldiers climbed from the northern side of Nuwakot city at Mahamandal. He led the surprise attack with a Gorkhali war cry of Jai Kali, Jai Gorakhnath, Jai Manakamana. The panicked soldiers under commander of Nuwakot Shankha Mani tried to defend but lost after their commander was killed by a 13 year old prince Dal Mardan Shah, brother of King Prithvi Narayan. The second contingent of Gorkhali forces led by Chautariya Mahoddam Kirti Shah (a brother of King Prithvi Narayan) passed Dharampani and faced strong tussle but ultimately won over the defenders. The third part of the forces was led by the King Prithvi Narayan himself advanced to the fort of Nuwakotgadhi after the capture of Mahamandal. The soldiers panicked by death of their commander fled to Belkot from the Nuwakot fort and Nuwakot was annexed by Gorkha.
Gorkhali soldiers preparing war against Kathmandu Valley
Despite his initial resentment of Kaji Kalu Pande that the valley kings were well prepared and the Gorkhalis were not, Pande agreed for battle against the Kingdom of Kirtipur in the Kathmandu valley on being insisted from the monarch Prithvi Narayan Shah. The Gorkhalis had set up a base on Naikap to mount their assaults on Kirtipur. They were armed with swords, bows and arrows and muskets.
The two forces fought on the plain of Tyangla Phant in the northwest of Kirtipur. Surapratap Shah, the King's brother lost his right eye to an arrow while scaling the city wall. The Gorkhali commander Kaji Kalu Pande was surrounded and killed, and the Gorkhali king himself narrowly escaped with his life into the surrounding hills disguised as a saint. In 1767, the King of Gorkha Prithvi Narayan sent his army to attack Kirtipur a third time under the command of Surpratap. In response, the three kings of valley joined forces and sent their troops to the relief of Kirtipur, but they could not dislodge the Gorkhalis from their positions. A noble of Lalitpur named Danuvanta crossed over to Shah's side and treacherously let the Gorkhalis into the town.
Annexation of Makwanpur & Hariharpur
King Digbardhan Sen and his minister Kanak Singh Baniya had already sent their families to safer grounds before the encirclement of their fortress. The Gorkhalis launched an attack on 21 August 1762. The battle lasted for eight hours. King Digbardhan and his minister Kanak Singh escaped to Hariharpur Gadhi. Makawanpur was thus annexed to Nepal.
After occupying the Makawanpur Gadhi fort, the Gorkhali forces started planning for an attack on Hariharpur Gadhi, a strategic fort on a mountain ridge of the Mahabharat range, also south of Kathmandu. It controlled the route to the Kathmandu valley. At the dusk of 4 October 1762, the Gorkhalis launched the attack. The soldiers at Hariharpur Gadhi fought valiantly against the Gorkha forces, but were ultimately forced to vacate the Gadhi after mid-night. About 500 soldiers of Hariharpur died in the battle. Mir Qasim, the Nawab of Bengal extended his help to kings of Kathmandu valley with his forces to attack the Gorkhali forces. On 20 January 1763, Gorkhali commander Vamsharaj Pande won the battle against Mir Qasim. Similarly, Captain Kinloch of British East India Company also extended his support by sending contingents against Gorkhalis. King Prithvi Narayan sent Kaji Vamsharaj Pande, Naahar Singh Basnyat, Jeeva Shah, Ram Krishna Kunwar and others to defeat the forces of Gurgin Khan at Makwanpur.
Conquest of Kathmandu valley and Declaration of Kingdom of Nepal
The victory in the Battle of Kirtipur climaxed Shah's two-decade-long effort to take possession of the wealthy Kathmandu Valley. After the fall of Kirtipur, Shah took the other cities Kathmandu and Lalitpur in 1768 and Bhaktapur in 1769, completing his conquest of the valley. In a letter to Ram Krishna Kunwar, King Prithvi Narayan Shah was unhappy at the death of Kaji Kalu Pande in Kirtipur and thought it was impossible to conquer Kathmandu valley after the death of Kalu Pande. After the annexation of Kathmandu valley, King Prithvi Narayan Shah praised in his letter about valour and wisdom shown by Ramkrishna in annexation of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur (i.e. Nepal valley at the time) on 1768-69 A.D. Similarly, Vamsharaj Pande, Kalu Pande's eldest son, was the army commander who led attack of Gorkhali side on the Battle of Bhaktapur on 14 April 1769 A.D.
Prince Bahadur Shah confined his sister-in-law Queen Rajendra Laxmi on the charge of having illicit relation with Sarbajit on 31 August 1778. Subsequently, Sarbajit was executed inside the palace by Prince Bahadur Shah with the help of male servants of the royal palace. Historian Bhadra Ratna Bajracharya asserts that it was actually Chautariya Daljit Shah who led the opposing group against Sarbajit Rana and Rajendra Laxmi. The letter dated B.S. 1835 Bhadra Sudi 11 Roj 4 (1778 A.D.) to Narayan Malla and Vrajabasi Pande asserts the death of Sarbajit under misconduct and the appointment of Bahadur Shah as regent. The death of Sarbajit Rana Magar is considered to have marked the initiation of court conspiracies and massacres in the newly unified Kingdom of Nepal. Historian Baburam Acharya points that the sanctions against Queen Rajendra Laxmi under moral misconduct was a mistake of Bahadur Shah. Similarly, the murder of Sarbajit was condemned by many historians as an act of injustice.
Vamsharaj Pande, once Dewan of Nepal and son of the popular commander Kalu Pande, was beheaded on the conspiracy of Queen Rajendra Laxmi with his support. In the special tribunal meeting at Bhandarkhal garden, east of Kathmandu Durbar, Swaroop Singh held Vamsharaj liable for letting the King of Parbat, Kirtibam Malla to run away in the battle a year ago. He had a fiery conversation with Vamsharaj before Vamsharaj was declared guilty and was subsequently executed by beheading on the tribunal. Historian Rishikesh Shah and Ganga Karmacharya claim that he was executed on March 1785. Bhadra Ratna Bajracharya and Tulsi Ram Vaidya claim that he was executed on 21 April 1785. On 2 July 1785, his stiff opponent Prince Regent Bahadur Shah of Nepal was arrested and on the eleventh day of imprisonment on 13 July, his only supporter Queen Rajendra Laxmi died. Then onwards, Bahadur Shah took over the regency of his nephew King Rana Bahadur Shah and on the first moments of his regency ordered Swaroop Singh who was in Pokhara to be beheaded there  on the charges of treason. He had gone to Kaski to join Daljit Shah's military campaign of Kaski fearing retaliation of the old courtiers due to his conspiracy against Vamsharaj. He was executed on 24th Shrawan 1842 B.S.
Battle of Jhunga in 1788 A.D., Nepali forces (in black) achieved victory against Tibetan forces (in red & yellow)
After the death of Prithvi Narayan Shah, the Shah dynasty began to expand their kingdom into what is present day North India. Between 1788 and 1791, Nepal invaded Tibet and robbed Tashi Lhunpo Monastery of Shigatse. Tibet sought Chinese help and the Qianlong Emperor of the Chinese Qing Dynasty appointed Fuk'anggan commander-in-chief of the Tibetan campaign. Heavy damages were inflicted on both sides. The Nepali forces retreated step by step back to Nuwakot to stretch Sino-Tibetan forces uncomfortably. Chinese launched uphill attack during the daylight and failed to succeed due to strong counterattack with Khukuri at Nuwakot. The Chinese army suffered a major setback when they tried to cross a monsoon-flooded Betrawati, close to the Gorkhali palace in Nuwakot. A stalemate ensued when Fuk'anggan was keen to protect his troops and wanted to negotiate at Nuwakot. The treaty was favouring more to Chinese side where Nepal had to send tributes to the Chinese emperor.
Rivalry between Nepal and the East India Company—over the princely states bordering Nepal and India—eventually led to the Anglo-Nepalese War (1814–16), in which Nepal was defeated. The Treaty of Sugauli was signed in 1816, ceding large parts of the Nepali territories of Terrai and Sikkim, (nearly one third of the country), to the British, in exchange for Nepalese autonomy. As the territories were not restored to Nepal by the British when freedom was granted to the people of British India, most of these lands later became a part of the Republic of India. Sikkim became independent, until political turmoil led to its merger with India, become a state of the Republic of India. However, the British restored some of Nepal's land in the Terai back to Nepal as thanks for supporting Britain during various Indian uprisings, such as the Sepoy mutiny.
Factionalism among the royal family led to a period of instability after the war. In 1846, Queen Rajendralakshmi plotted to overthrow Jang Bahadur, a fast-rising military leader of Indian Rajput ancestry who was presenting a threat to her power. The plot was uncovered and the queen had several hundred princes and chieftains executed after an armed clash between military personnel and administrators loyal to the queen. This came to be known as the Kot Massacre. However, Bahadur emerged victorious eventually and founded the Rana dynasty; the monarch was made a titular figure, and the post of Prime Minister was made powerful and hereditary, held by a Ranas.
Jung Bahadur Rana sent forces under his brothers Bam Bahadur Kunwar Rana and Dhir Shamsher Rana to attack Tibet again to achieve complete victory. His forces succeeded on defeating Tibetan forces on two sides. The Tibetan team arrived on January 1856 to sign treaty. After a month, Treaty of Thapathali was signed which was more favourable to Nepal.
Rani (Queen) of Nepal surrounded by her Ladies-in-Waiting, 1920
Nepal and the British
The Rana regime, a tightly centralized autocracy, pursued a policy of isolating Nepal from external influences. This policy helped Nepal maintain its national independence during the British colonial era, but it also impeded the country's economic development and modernisation. The Ranas were staunchly pro-British and assisted the British during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and later in both World Wars. At the same time, although Chinese claims, the British supported Nepalese independence at the beginning of the twentieth century.
In December 1923, Britain and Nepal formally signed a "treaty of perpetual peace and friendship" superseding the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 and upgrading the British resident in Kathmandu to an envoy. Slavery was abolished in Nepal in 1924.
Popular dissatisfaction against the family rule of the Ranas had started emerging from among the few educated people, who had studied in various Indian schools and colleges, and also from within the Ranas, many of whom were marginalised within the ruling Rana hierarchy. Many of these Nepalese in exile had actively taken part in the Indian Independence struggle and wanted to liberate Nepal as well from the internal autocratic Rana occupation. The political parties such as The Prajaparishad and Nepali Congress were already formed in exile by leaders such as B.P. Koirala, Ganesh Man Singh, Subarna Sumsher Rana, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Girija Prasad Koirala and many other patriotic-minded Nepalis who urged the military and popular political movement in Nepal to overthrow the autocratic Rana Regime. Among the prominent martyrs to die for the cause, executed at the hands of the Ranas, were Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Shukraraj Shastri, Gangalal Shrestha and Dasharath Chand. This turmoil culminated in King Tribhuvan, a direct descendant of Prithvi Narayan Shah, fleeing from his "palace prison" in 1950, to newly independent India, touching off an armed revolt against the Rana administration. This eventually ended in the return of the Shah family to power and the appointment of a non-Rana as prime minister. A period of quasi-constitutional rule followed, during which the monarch, assisted by the leaders of fledgling political parties, governed the country. During the 1950s, efforts were made to frame a constitution for Nepal that would establish a representative form of government, based on a British model.
In early 1959, Tribhuvan's son King Mahendra issued a new constitution, and the first democratic elections for a national assembly were held. The Nepali Congress Party, a moderate socialist group, gained a substantial victory in the election. Its leader, Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala, formed a government and served as prime minister. After years of power wrangling between the kings (Tribhuvan and Mahendra) and the government, Mahendra dissolved the democratic experiment in 1960.
Declaring the contemporary parliament a failure, King Mahendra in 1960 dismissed the Koirala government, declared that a "partyless" panchayat system would govern Nepal, and promulgated another new constitution on 16 December 1962.
Subsequently, the Prime Minister, Members of Parliament and hundreds of democratic activists were arrested. In fact, this trend of arrest of political activists and democratic supporters continued for the entire 30-year period of partyless Panchayati System under King Mahendra and then his son, King Birendra.
The new constitution established a "partyless" system of panchayats (councils) which King Mahendra considered to be a democratic form of government, closer to Nepalese traditions. As a pyramidal structure, progressing from village assemblies to a Rastriya Panchayat (National Parliament), the panchayat system constitutionalised the absolute power of the monarchy and kept the King as head of state with sole authority over all governmental institutions, including the Cabinet (Council of Ministers) and the Parliament. One-state-one-language became the national policy, and all other languages suffered at the cost of the official language, "Nepali", which was the king's language.
King Mahendra was succeeded by his 27-year-old son, King Birendra, in 1972. Amid student demonstrations and anti-regime activities in 1979, King Birendra called for a national referendum to decide on the nature of Nepal's government: either the continuation of the panchayat system with democratic reforms or the establishment of a multiparty system. The referendum was held in May 1980, and the panchayat system won a narrow victory. The king carried out the promised reforms, including selection of the prime minister by the Rastriya Panchayat.
End of Panchayat system
There was resentment against the authoritarian regime and the curbs on the freedom of the political parties. There was widespread feeling of the Palace being non-representative of the masses, especially when the Marich Man Singh government faced political scandals on charges of misappropriation of funds allotted for the victims of the earthquake in August 1991 or when it reshuffled the Cabinet instead of investigating the deaths of the people in a stampede in the national sports complex in a hailstorm. Also the souring of the India-Nepal trade relations affected the popularity of the Singh government.
In April 1987, Nepal had introduced the work permit for Indian workers in three of its districts, and in early 1989, Nepal provided 40% duty concession to Chinese goods and later withdrew duty concessions from Indian goods in such a manner that the Chinese goods became cheaper than the Indian goods. This led to the souring of relations which were already strained over the purchase of Chinese arms by Nepal in 1988. India refused to renew two separate Treaties of Trade and Transit and insisted on a single treaty dealing with the two issues, which was not acceptable to Nepal. A deadlock ensued and the Treaties of Trade and Transit expired on 23 March 1989. The brunt of the closure of the trade and transit points was mainly faced by the lower classes in Nepal due to the restricted supply of consumer goods and petroleum products such as petrol, aviation fuel and kerosene. The industries suffered because of their dependence on India for resources, trade and transit. The Government of Nepal tried to deal with the situation by depending on foreign aid from the US, UK, Australia and China. However, the government's strategy to manage the crisis could not satisfy those people who desired negotiations with India rather than dependence on foreign aid as a solution.
Taking advantage of the uneasiness amongst some people against the government and the strained India-Nepal relations, the Nepali Congress (NC) and the left-wing parties blamed the government for perpetuating the crisis and not taking any serious measures to solve it. In December 1989, the NC tried to utilize B.P. Koirala's anniversary by launching a people's awareness program. The left-wing alliance known as the United Left Front (ULF) extended its support to the NC in its campaign for a party system. On 18–19 January 1990, the NC held a conference in which leaders from various countries and members of the foreign Press were invited. Leaders from India attended the conference; Germany, Japan, Spain, Finland supported the movement; and the Embassies of the US and West Germany were present on the occasion. Inspired by the international support and the democratic movements occurring throughout the world after the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1989, the NC and the ULF launched a mass movement on 18 February to end the Panchayat regime, and the installation of an interim government represented by various parties and people.
On 6 April the Marich Man Singh government was dismissed and Lokendra Bahadur Chand became the Prime Minister on the same day. However, the agitating mob was not satisfied with the change of government as they were not against the Singh government per se but against the party-less system. On 16 April the Chand government was also dismissed and a Royal Proclamation was issued the next day which dissolved the National Panchayat, the Panchayat policy and the evaluation committee and the class organizations. Instead, the proclamation declared "functioning of the political parties" and maintained that "all political parties will always keep the national interest uppermost in organizing themselves according to their political ideology."
During this protest many civilians were killed: after the end of the Panchayat rule they were seen as 'undeclared martyrs'. One of those martyrs is Ram Chandra Hamal, member of the Nepali Congress and killed during his imprisonment.
People in rural areas had expected that their interests would be better represented after the adoption of parliamentary democracy in 1990. The Nepali Congress with support of "Alliance of leftist parties" decided to launch a decisive agitational movement, Jana Andolan, which forced the monarchy to accept constitutional reforms and to establish a multiparty parliament. In May 1991, Nepal held its first parliamentary elections in nearly 50 years. The Nepali Congress won 110 of the 205 seats and formed the first elected government in 32 years.
In 1992, in a situation of economic crisis and chaos, with spiralling prices as a result of implementation of changes in policy of the new Congress government, the radical left stepped up their political agitation. A Joint People's Agitation Committee was set up by the various groups. A general strike was called for 6 April.
Violent incidents began to occur on the evening before of the strike. The Joint People's Agitation Committee had called for a 30-minute 'lights out' in the capital, and violence erupted outside Bir Hospital when activists tried to enforce the 'lights out'. At dawn on 6 April, clashes between strike activists and police, outside a police station in Pulchok (Patan), left two activists dead.
Later in the day, a mass rally of the Agitation Committee at Tundikhel in the capital Kathmandu was attacked by police forces. As a result, riots broke out and the Nepal Telecommunications building was set on fire; police opened fire at the crowd, killing several persons. The estimated that 14 persons, including several onlookers, had been killed in police firing.
When promised land reforms failed to appear, people in some districts started to organize to enact their own land reform and to gain some power over their lives in the face of usurious landlords. However, this movement was repressed by the Nepali government, in Operation Romeo and , which took the lives of many of the leading activists of the struggle. As a result, many witnesses to this repression became radicalised.
The Narayanhiti Palace where the royal massacre occurred.
On 1 June 2001, Crown Prince Dipendra allegedly went on a shooting-spree, assassinating 9 members of the royal family, including King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya, before shooting himself. Due to his survival he temporarily became king before dying of his wounds, after which Prince Gyanendra (Birendra's brother) inherited the throne, according to tradition. The massacre shattered the aura of mythology that still surrounded the Royal Family, exposing their far too human intrigues.
Meanwhile, the Maoist rebellion escalated, and in October 2002 the king temporarily deposed the government and took complete control of it. A week later he reappointed another government, but the country was still very unstable because of the civil war with the Maoists, the various clamouring political factions, the king's attempts to take more control of the government, and worries about the competence of Gyanendra's son and heir, Prince Paras.
Suspension of responsible government
In the face of unstable governments and a Maoist siege on the Kathmandu Valley in August 2004, popular support for the monarchy began to wane. On 1 February 2005, Gyanendra dismissed the entire government and took to exercising his executive powers without ministerial advice, declaring a "state of emergency" to quash the Maoist movement. Politicians were placed under house arrest, phone and internet lines were cut, and freedom of the press was severely curtailed.
The king's new regime made little progress in his stated aim of suppressing the insurgents. The European Union described the municipal elections of February 2006 as "a backward step for democracy", as the major parties boycotted the election and the army forced some candidates to run for office. In April 2006 strikes and street protests in Kathmandu forced the king to reinstate the parliament. A seven-party coalition resumed control of the government and stripped the king of most of his powers. As of 15 January 2007 a unicameral legislature under an interim constitution governed Nepal.
The Kingdom of Nepal was of roughly trapezoidal shape, 800 kilometres (500 mi) long and 200 kilometres (125 mi) wide, with an area of 147,181 square kilometres (56,827 sq mi). Nepal was commonly divided into three physiographic areas: the Mountain, Hill, and Terai Regions. These ecological belts run east-west and are bisected by Nepal's major river systems. Nepal is roughly the same size as the US state of Arkansas or the country of England.
The Madhesi Plains bordering India are part of the northern rim of the Indo-Gangetic plains. They were formed and are fed by three major rivers: the Kosi, the Narayani (India's Gandak River), and the Karnali. This region has a hot, humid climate.
The Hill Region (Pahad) abuts the mountains and varies from 1,000 to 4,000 metres (3,300–13,125 ft) in altitude. Two low mountain ranges, the Mahabharat Lekh and Shiwalik Range (also called the Churia Range) dominate the region. The hilly belt includes the Kathmandu Valley, the country's most fertile and urbanised area. Unlike the valleys Called Inner Tarai (Bhitri Tarai Uptyaka) elevations above 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) are sparsely populated.
Nepal has five climatic zones, broadly corresponding to altitude. The tropical and subtropical zones lie below 1,200 metres (3,940 ft), the temperate zone 1,200 to 2,400 metres (3,900–7,875 ft), the cold zone 2,400 to 3,600 metres (7,875–11,800 ft), the subarctic zone 3,600 to 4,400 metres (11,800–14,400 ft), and the Arctic zone above 4,400 metres (14,400 ft). Nepal experiences five seasons: summer, monsoon, autumn, winter and spring. The Himalaya blocks cold winds from Central Asia in winter, and forms the northern limit of the monsoon wind patterns.
Although Nepal shares no boundary with Bangladesh, the two countries are separated by a narrow strip of land about 21 kilometre (13 mi) wide, called the Chicken's Neck. Efforts are underway to make this area a free-trade zone.
Situated in the Great Himalayan Range in Northern part of Nepal, Mount Everest has the highest altitude of any mountain in the world. Technically, the south-east ridge on the Nepali side of the mountain is easier to climb, so most climbers travel to Everest through Nepal. The Annapurna mountain range also lies in Nepal.
Nepal was divided into 14 zones and 75 districts, grouped into 5 development regions. Each district was headed by a fixed chief district officer responsible for maintaining law and order and coordinating the work of field agencies of the various government ministries. The 14 zones are:
Terraced farming on the foothills of the Himalayas
Agriculture sustains 76% of the population and accounts for about 39% of the GDP; services comprise 41%, and industry 22%. Nepal remains isolated from the world's major land, air and sea transport routes though air traffic is frequent. Hilly and mountainous terrain in the northern two-thirds of the country has made the building of roads and other infrastructure difficult and expensive. There were just over 8,500 km of paved roads, and one 59 km railway line in the south in 2003. There is only one reliable road route from India to the Kathmandu Valley. The only practical seaport of entry for goods bound for Kathmandu is Kolkata in India. Internally, the poor state of development of the road system (22 of 75 administrative districts lack road links) makes volume distribution unrealistic.
Aviation is in a better state, with 48 airports, ten of them with paved runways. There is less than one telephone per 19 people; landline telephone services are not adequate nationwide but concentrated in cities and district headquarters; mobile telephony is in a reasonable state in most parts of the country with increased accessibility and affordability. There were around 175,000 Internet connections in 2005, but after the imposition of the "state of emergency", intermittent losses of service were reported. Uninterrupted Internet connections have resumed after the brief period of confusion as Nepal's second major people's revolution took place to overthrow the King's absolute power.
Its landlocked location and technological backwardness and the long-running civil war have also prevented Nepal from fully developing its economy. The country receives foreign aid from India, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union, China, Switzerland, and Scandinavian countries. The government's budget is about US$1.153 billion, with expenditures of $1.789bn (FY05/06). The inflation rate has dropped to 2.9% after a period of higher inflation during the 1990s. The Nepali Rupee has been tied to the Indian Rupee at an exchange rate of 1.6 for many years. Since the loosening of exchange rate controls in the early 1990s, the black market for foreign exchange has all but disappeared. A long-standing economic agreement underpins a close relationship with India.
The distribution of wealth among the Nepali is consistent with that in many developed and developing countries: the highest 10% of households control 39.1% of the national wealth and the lowest 10% control only 2.6%.
Nepal's workforce of about 10 million suffers from a severe shortage of skilled labour. Agriculture employs 81% of the workforce, services 16% and manufacturing/craft-based industry 3%. Agricultural produce—mostly grown in the Terai region bordering India—includes rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops, milk, and water buffalo meat. Industry mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce, including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. The spectacular landscape and deep, exotic culture of Nepal represents considerable potential for tourism, but growth in this export industry has been stifled by recent political events. The rate of unemployment and underemployment approaches half of the working-age population. Thus many Nepali citizens move to India in search of work, the Gulf countries and Malaysia being new sources of work. Poverty is acute. Nepal receives US$50 million a year through the Gurkha soldiers who serve in the Indian and British armies and are highly esteemed for their skill and bravery. The total remittance value is worth around US$1 billion, including money sent from Persian Gulf and Malaysia, who combined employ around 700,000 Nepali citizens.
Nepal's GDP for the year 2005 is estimated at just over US$39 billion (adjusted to Purchasing Power Parity), making it the 83rd-largest economy in the world. Per-capita income is less than US$300. Nepal's exports of mainly carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods and grain total $822 million. Import commodities of mainly gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products and fertilizer total US$2 bn. India (53.7%), the US (17.4%), and Germany (7.1%) are its main export partners. Nepal's import partners include India (47.5%), the United Arab Emirates (11.2%), China (10.7%), Saudi Arabia (4.9%), and Singapore (4%).
Nepal's legislature was bicameral consisting of a House of Representatives and a National Council. The House of Representatives consists of 205 members directly elected by the people. The National Council had sixty members, ten nominated by the king, thirty-five elected by the House of Representatives and the remaining fifteen elected by an electoral college made up of chairs of villages and towns. The legislature had a five-year term, but was dissolvable by the king before its term could end. All Nepali citizens 18 years and older became eligible to vote.
The executive comprised the King and the Council of Ministers (the Cabinet). The leader of the coalition or party securing the maximum seats in an election was appointed as the Prime Minister. The Cabinet was appointed by the king on the recommendation of the Prime Minister. Governments in Nepal have tended to be highly unstable; no government has survived for more than two years since 1991, either through internal collapse or parliamentary dissolution by the monarch on the recommendation of prime minister according to the constitution.
The movement in April 2006 brought about a change in the nation. The autocratic King was forced to give up power. The dissolved House of Representatives was restored. The House of Representatives formed a government which had successful peace talks with the Maoist Rebels. An interim constitution was promulgated and an interim House of Representatives was formed with Maoist members. The number of seats were also increased to 330. The peace process in Nepal made a giant leap in April 2007, when the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) joined the interim government of Nepal. The peace process seems to be in jeopardy after Maoists decided to leave coalition government on 18 September 2007, demanding the declaration of a republic before the scheduled constituent assembly.
Nepal has close ties with both of its neighbours, India and China. In accordance with a long-standing treaty, Indian and Nepalese citizens may travel to each other's countries without a passport or visa. Nepalese citizens may work in India without legal restriction. Although Nepal and India typically have close ties, from time to time Nepal becomes caught up in the problematic Sino-Indian relationship. India considers Nepal as part of its realm of influence, and views Chinese aid with concern. Some Indians consider Nepal to be part of a greater pan-Indian state, an attitude that has caused Nepalese antagonism towards India. In 2005, after King Gyanendra took over, Nepalese relations with India, the US, and the UK worsened. These three foreign countries were vociferous opponents to the crackdown on civil liberties in Nepal.
Nepal has a total population of 27,676,547 as of July 2005, with a growth rate of 2.2%. 39% of the population is up to 14 years old, 57.3% are aged between 15 and 64, and 3.7% above 65. The median age is 20.07 (19.91 for males and 20.24 for females). There are 1,060 males for every 1,000 females. Life expectancy is 59.8 years (60.9 for males and 59.5 for females). Total literacy rate is 53.74% (68.51% for males and 42.49% for females).
Groups are the Brahman-Hill 12.5%, Magar 7%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.5%, Newar 5.4%, Kami 3.9%, Yadav 3.9%, other 32.7%, Nepali White 2.8%. Nepali is the national language with 47.8% of the population speaking it as their first language. Other languages include Maithili 12.1%, Bhojpuri 7.4%, Tharu (Dagaura/Rana) 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Nepal Bhasa 3.6%, Magar 3.3%, Awadhi 2.4%, other 10%, unspecified 2.5%. Differences between Hindus and Buddhists have been in general very subtle and academic in nature due to the intermingling of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. Both share common temples and worship common deities and many of Nepal's Hindus could also be regarded as Buddhists and vice versa.Gurkhas are from Nepal. Buddhism was relatively more common among the Newar. Among the other natives of Nepal, those most influenced by Hinduism were the Magar, Sunwar, Limbu and Rai. Hindu influence is less prominent among the Gurung, Bhutia, and Thakali groups, who employ Buddhist monks for their religious ceremonies.
The northern mountains are sparsely populated. A majority of the population live in the central highland despite the migration of a significant section of the population to the fertile Terai belt in recent years. Kathmandu, with a population of around 800,000 (Metropolitan area: 1,5 million) is the largest city in the country.
Nepalese culture is diverse and it reflects people of different ethnic origins. A typical Nepalese meal is dal-bhat, a kind of a lentil soup served with rice and vegetables. However, the Newar community has its own unique cuisine. It consists of non-vegetarian and vegetarian items as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Mustard oil and a host of spices, such as cumin, sesame seeds, turmeric, garlic, ginger, methi (fenugreek), bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, chili, mustard seeds, vinegar, etc. are used in cooking. The cuisine served in the festivals is considered as the best diet cuisine.
Folklore is an integral part of Nepalese society. Traditional stories are rooted in the reality of day-to-day life—tales of love, affection, battles, and demons and ghosts; they reflect and explain local lifestyles, cultures and belief systems. Many Nepalese folktales are enacted in dance and music. The Newar community is very rich in cultural diversity. Most of the festivals observed in the Kthmandu valley are in the Newar community. The Newars are also well known for their music and dance. The Newar Music consists mainly of percussion instruments. Wind instruments such as flutes and similar instruments are also used. String instruments are very rare. There are songs pertaining to particular seasons and festivals. Paahan chare music is most probably the fastest played music whereas the Dapa the slowest. The dhimay music are the loudest ones. There are certain musical instruments such as Dhimay and Bhusya which are played as instrumental only and are not accompanied with songs. The Newar Dance can be broadly classified as masked dance and dance without the use of masks. The most representative of Newari dance is Lakhey dance. Almost all the settlements of Newar have Lakhey dance at least once a year. Almost all of these Lakhey dances are held in the Goonlaa month. So, they are called Goonlaa Lakhey. However, the most famous Lakhey dance is the Majipa Lakhey dance. It is performed by the Ranjitkars of Kathmandu. The dance takes place for a week during the week containing the full moon of Yenlaa month. The Lakhey are considered as the saviors of children. Likewise, in hills people enjoy their own kind of music, playing saarangi (string instrument), madal and flute. They also have many popular folk songs like lok geet and lok dohari.
The Nepali year begins in mid-April and is divided into 12 months. Saturday is the official weekly holiday. Main holidays include the National Day (birthday of the king) 28 December, Prithvi Jayanti, (11 January), and Martyr's Day (18 February) and a mix of Hindu and Buddhist festivals such as dashai in autumn, and tihar late autumn. During tihar, the Newar community celebrates its New Year as per local calendar (Nepal Sambat).
Most houses in rural Nepal are made up of a tight bamboo framework with mud and cow-dung walls. These dwellings remain cool in summers and retain warmth in winters. Dwellings in higher latitudes are mostly timber based.
^Tucci, Giuseppe. (1952). Journey to Mustang, 1952. Trans. by Diana Fussell. 1st Italian edition, 1953; 1st English edition, 1977. 2nd edition revised, 2003, p. 22. Bibliotheca Himalayica. ISBN 99933-0-378-X (South Asia); 974-524-024-9 (Outside of South Asia).
T.U. History Association (1977), Voice of History, 3, Tribhuwan University History Association
^King Prithvi Narayan Shah self proclaimed the newly unified Kingdom of Nepal as Asal Hindustan ("Real Land of Hindus") due to North India being ruled by the IslamicMughal rulers. The self proclamation was done to enforce Hindu social code Dharmashastra over his reign and refer to his country as being inhabitable for Hindus. He also referred Northern India as Mughlan (Country of Mughals) and called the region infiltrated by Muslim foreigners.
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Garzilli, Enrica, "Le elezioni dell'Assemblea Costituente e i primi mesi di governo della Repubblica Democratica Federale del Nepal", in Asia Maior 2010, pp. 115–126.
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Garzilli, Enrica, "The Interplay between Gender, Religion and Politics, and the New Violence against Women in Nepal", in J. Dragsbæk Schmidt and T. Roedel Berg (eds.), Gender, Social Change and the Media: Perspective from Nepal, University of Aalborg and Rawat Publications, Aalborg-Jaipur: 2012, pp. 27–91.
Garzilli, Enrica, "Nepal, stallo politico e lentezze nella realizzazione del processo di pace e di riconciliazione", in Asia Maior 2012, pp. 213–222.
Garzilli, Enrica, "A Sanskrit Letter Written by Sylvain Lévy in 1925 to Hemarāja Śarmā along with Some Hitherto Unknown Biographical Notes (Cultural Nationalism and Internationalism in the First Half of the 20th Century – Famous Indologists write to the Raj Guru of Nepal – No. 2)", in History of Indological Studies. Papers of the 12th World Sanskrit Conference Vol. 11.2, ed. by K. Karttunen, P. Koskikallio and A. Parpola, Motilal Banarsidass and University of Helsinki, Delhi 2015, pp. 17–53.
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Wright, Daniel, History of Nepal. New Delhi-Madras, Asian Educational Services, 1990
The streets of Karachi ground to a halt to welcome the return of Benazir Bhutto, after an eight-year self-imposed exile during which she lived in Dubai and London. Two explosions occurred in front of the rallying truck from which she greeted her supporters and party members at approximately 00:52 PST, on the route about halfway from the airport to the tomb of Muhammad Ali Jinnah for a scheduled rally, just after Bhutto's truck had crossed a bridge. Police vehicles bore the brunt of the blasts, which completely destroyed three police vans and killed at least 20 policemen in the vehicles. Conflicting reports indicate that Bhutto, who was not injured in the attack, was either sitting on top of the truck or had just climbed into the compartment of the truck at the time of the explosion.
On 20 October, authorities released a photograph of the suspect responsible for the suicide attack. On 23 October, Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz rejected Pakistan Peoples Party's demand for a probe into the suicide blast by foreign experts, expressing confidence that Pakistani law-enforcement agencies can probe in a very objective manner.
In the immediate aftermath of the attempt on her life, Bhutto wrote a letter to General Pervez Musharraf naming four persons whom she suspected of engineering the attacks. Careful not to name Musharraf himself, she chose to name senior military officials and politicians in Musharraf's regime instead, including Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, a rival PML-Q politician and the then chief minister of the province of Punjab, Hamid Gul, former director of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, and Ijaz Shah, director general of the Intelligence Bureau, another premier military intelligence agency on Pakistan. Musharraf's regime blamed terrorist organisations such as Al-Qaeda and elements of the Taliban in Pakistan instead.
Asif Ali Zardari, Benazir Bhutto's husband: "I blame the government for these blasts. It is the work of the intelligence agencies."
Fatima Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto's niece: "She insisted on this grand show, she bears a responsibility for these deaths and for these injuries."
Australia: Prime MinisterJohn Howard said "It's too early to be certain but it looks very much like the work of al-Qaeda. Benazir Bhutto, to her credit, as well as General Musharraf, have both said they will continue to support the Americans in the War on Terrorism," he said. "It is a reminder of the evil of al-Qaeda. It is a reminder of how important it is not to concede a victory to them in Iraq or in Afghanistan.
Canada: Maxime Bernier, minister of foreign affairs, said the bombings were "an appalling act of violence", and urged "all parties in Pakistan to adhere to the rule of law and to continue to build the conditions for free and fair parliamentary elections"
France: PresidentNicolas Sarkozy "condemned the attack which targeted Benazir Bhutto and which left numerous victims. He sent France's condolences and his sympathy to the president and to the political authorities in Pakistan as well as to the families of the victims."
India: Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India strongly condemned the assassination attempt on Bhutto and conveyed his condolences on the involved loss of life. While Singh's separate letters to Bhutto and Pervez Musharraf condemned "terrorism and extremism in all its forms", the leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha, Lal Kishan Advani, rang up Bhutto to personally express his solidarity with her. India's foreign ministry spokesman expressed outrage and anger felt in the country.
Prime MinisterGordon Brown, said "I was deeply shocked to learn of the bomb blasts in Karachi that have killed over a hundred people and injured so many others. I am appalled by this horrific use of violence against entirely innocent people...On behalf of the British Government please accept my sincerest condolences for those Pakistanis who have lost their lives. You can be assured of the United Kingdom's continuing support to work with all those committed to building a peaceful and democratic Pakistan"
U.S. Department of State spokesperson Tom Casey: "There is no political cause that can justify the murder of innocent people. Those responsible seek only to foster fear and limit freedom. The United States stands with the people of Pakistan to eliminate terrorist threats, and to build a more open, democratic, and peaceful society."
U.S. National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe stated that "The United States condemns the violent attack in Pakistan and mourns the loss of innocent life there. Extremists will not be allowed to stop Pakistanis from selecting their representatives through an open and democratic process."
United Nations: A statement issued by a spokesperson for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon read, "(Ban Ki-moon) strongly condemns this terrorist attack and expresses condolences to the families of the victims. He trusts that all political forces will act together to strengthen national unity."
Seung-Hui Cho guns down 32 people and injures 17 before committing suicide at Virginia Tech.
On 16 April 2007, 32 people died after being gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech by Seung Hui Cho, a student at the college who later committed suicide.
The Virginia Tech shooting began around 7:15 a.m., when Cho, a 23-year-old senior and English major at Blacksburg-based Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, shot a female freshman and a male resident assistant in a campus dormitory before fleeing the building.
Police were soon on the scene; unaware of the gunman’s identity, they initially pursued the female victim’s boyfriend as a suspect in what they believed to be an isolated domestic-violence incident.
However, at around 9:40 a.m., Cho, armed with a 9-millimeter handgun, a 22-caliber handgun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, entered a classroom building, chained and locked several main doors and went from room to room shooting people. Approximately 10 minutes after the rampage began, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The attack left 32 people dead and more than a dozen wounded. In all, 27 students and five faculty members died in the massacre.
Two days later, on April 18, NBC News received a package of materials from Cho with a timestamp indicating he had mailed it from a Virginia post office between the first and second shooting attacks. Contained in the package were photos of a gun-wielding Cho, along with a rambling video diatribe in which he ranted about wealthy “brats,” among other topics.
In the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shooting, authorities found no evidence that Cho, who was born in South Korea and moved to America with his family in 1992, had specifically targeted any of his victims. The public soon learned that Cho, described by students as a loner who rarely spoke to anyone, had a history of mental-health problems.
It was also revealed that angry, violent writings Cho made for certain class assignments had raised concern among some of his professors and fellow students well before the events of April 16.
In 2011, Virginia Tech was fined by the U.S. Department of Education for failing to issue a prompt campus-wide warning after Cho shot his first two victims.
School officials sent an email notification about the dorm shooting to students and faculty at 9:26 that morning. According to the Department of Education, the message was vague and did not indicate there had been a murder or that the gunman was still at large.
A bombing in a Baghdad market kills at least 135 people.
The 3 February 2007 Baghdad market bombing was the detonation of a large truck bomb in a busy market in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on 3 February 2007. The suicide attack killed at least 135 people and injured 339 others. The bomb, estimated to be about one ton in weight, brought down at least 10 buildings and coffee shops and obliterated market stalls in a largely Shi‘ite enclave less than a half mile from the Tigris River.
The attacks killed at least 135 and injured 339 others, making it the deadliest attack since the Sadr City bombings of 23 November 2006. The blast was the worst of four massive bomb attacks in the preceding three weeks, all targeting dense Shi’ite areas in Baghdad and Al Hillah, including an attack on 22 January 2007 in another central Baghdad market that killed at least 88 and injured more than 160. The same market was hit by a series of car bombs on 2 December 2006, which killed more than 50 people. After the explosion, the closest hospital was quickly overwhelmed with patients affected by the blast. A Health Ministry official said the death toll was likely to rise significantly. The Iraqi Interior Ministry estimated that about 1,000 people had been killed throughout Iraq in the preceding week due to gunbattles, drive-by shootings and bomb attacks.
According to police, the attacker was driving a truck carrying food when the explosives detonated, destroying stores and stalls that had been set up in the busy outdoor Sadriyah market. Many people were looking to purchase food before a curfew scheduled for that evening; it is likely the suicide bombers planned this in order to cause maximum casualties.
Apple announces original iPhone at Macworld in San Francisco.
MACWORLD SAN FRANCISCO—January 9, 2007—Apple® today introduced iPhone, combining three products—a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod® with touch controls, and a breakthrough Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps—into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting users control iPhone with just their fingers. iPhone also ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.
“iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.”
iPhone is a revolutionary new mobile phone that allows users to make calls by simply pointing at a name or number. iPhone syncs all of your contacts from your PC, Mac® or Internet service such as Yahoo!, so that you always have your full list of up-to-date contacts with you. In addition, you can easily construct a favorites list for your most frequently made calls, and easily merge calls together to create conference calls.
iPhone’s pioneering Visual Voicemail, an industry first, lets users look at a listing of their voicemails, decide which messages to listen to, then go directly to those messages without listening to the prior messages. Just like email, iPhone’s Visual Voicemail enables users to immediately randomly access those messages that interest them most.
iPhone includes an SMS application with a full QWERTY soft keyboard to easily send and receive SMS messages in multiple sessions. When users need to type, iPhone presents them with an elegant touch keyboard which is predictive to prevent and correct mistakes, making it much easier and more efficient to use than the small plastic keyboards on many smartphones. iPhone also includes a calendar application that allows calendars to be automatically synced with your PC or Mac.
iPhone features a 2 megapixel camera and a photo management application that is far beyond anything on a phone today. Users can browse their photo library, which can be easily synced from their PC or Mac, with just a flick of a finger and easily choose a photo for their wallpaper or to include in an email.
iPhone is a quad-band GSM phone which also features EDGE and Wi-Fi wireless technologies for data networking. Apple has chosen Cingular, the best and most popular carrier in the US with over 58 million subscribers, to be Apple’s exclusive carrier partner for iPhone in the US.
iPhone is a widescreen iPod with touch controls that lets music lovers “touch” their music by easily scrolling through entire lists of songs, artists, albums and playlists with just a flick of a finger. Album artwork is stunningly presented on iPhone’s large and vibrant display.
iPhone also features Cover Flow, Apple’s amazing way to browse your music library by album cover artwork, for the first time on an iPod. When navigating your music library on iPhone, you are automatically switched into Cover Flow by simply rotating iPhone into its landscape position.
iPhone’s stunning 3.5-inch widescreen display offers the ultimate way to watch TV shows and movies on a pocketable device, with touch controls for play-pause, chapter forward-backward and volume. iPhone plays the same videos purchased from the online iTunes® Store that users enjoy watching on their computers and iPods, and will soon enjoy watching on their widescreen televisions using the new Apple TV™. The iTunes Store now offers over 350 television shows, over 250 feature films and over 5,000 music videos.
iPhone lets users enjoy all their iPod content, including music, audiobooks, audio podcasts, video podcasts, music videos, television shows and movies. iPhone syncs content from a user’s iTunes library on their PC or Mac, and can play any music or video content they have purchased from the online iTunes store.
iPhone is a Breakthrough Internet Communications Device
iPhone features a rich HTML email client which fetches your email in the background from most POP3 or IMAP mail services and displays photos and graphics right along with the text. iPhone is fully multi-tasking, so you can be reading a web page while downloading your email in the background.
Yahoo! Mail, the world’s largest email service with over 250 million users, is offering a new free “push” IMAP email service to all iPhone users that automatically pushes new email to a user’s iPhone, and can be set up by simply entering your Yahoo! name and password. iPhone will also work with most industry standard IMAP and POP based email services, such as Microsoft Exchange, Apple .Mac Mail, AOL Mail, Google Gmail and most ISP mail services.
iPhone also features the most advanced and fun-to-use web browser on a portable device with a version of its award-winning Safari™ web browser for iPhone. Users can see any web page the way it was designed to be seen, and then easily zoom in to expand any section by simply tapping on iPhone’s multi-touch display with their finger. Users can surf the web from just about anywhere over Wi-Fi or EDGE, and can automatically sync their bookmarks from their PC or Mac. iPhone’s Safari web browser also includes built-in Google Search and Yahoo! Search so users can instantly search for information on their iPhone just like they do on their computer.
iPhone also includes Google Maps, featuring Google’s groundbreaking maps service and iPhone’s amazing maps application, offering the best maps experience by far on any pocket device. Users can view maps, satellite images, traffic information and get directions, all from iPhone’s remarkable and easy-to-use touch interface.
iPhone’s Advanced Sensors
iPhone employs advanced built-in sensors—an accelerometer, a proximity sensor and an ambient light sensor—that automatically enhance the user experience and extend battery life. iPhone’s built-in accelerometer detects when the user has rotated the device from portrait to landscape, then automatically changes the contents of the display accordingly, with users immediately seeing the entire width of a web page, or a photo in its proper landscape aspect ratio.
iPhone’s built-in proximity sensor detects when you lift iPhone to your ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until iPhone is moved away. iPhone’s built-in ambient light sensor automatically adjusts the display’s brightness to the appropriate level for the current ambient light, thereby enhancing the user experience and saving power at the same time.
Pricing & Availability
iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for $499 and an 8GB model for $599, and will work with either a PC or Mac. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores, and through Cingular’s retail and online stores. Several iPhone accessories will also be available in June, including Apple’s new remarkably compact Bluetooth headset.
iPhone includes support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless technologies.
iPhone requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 port, Mac OS® X v10.4.8 or later and iTunes 7; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows 2000, Windows XP Home or Professional. Internet access is required and a broadband connection is recommended. Apple and Cingular will announce service plans for iPhone before it begins shipping in June.
Learn More About iPhone
To learn more about iPhone, please visit Apple.com or watch the video of the iPhone introduction at www.apple.com/iphone/keynote.
Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online store.
The 2007 Yazidi communities bombings occurred at around 7:20 pm local time on August 14, 2007, when four coordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Yazidi towns of Kahtaniya and Jazeera near Mosul.
The Iraqi Red Crescent estimated that the bombs killed at least 500 and wounded 1,500 people, making this the Iraq War’s most deadly car bomb attack. It was also the second deadliest act of terrorism in history, following only behind the September 11 attacks in the United States.
For several months leading up the attack, tensions had been building up in the area, particularly between Yazidis and Sunni Muslims. Some Yazidis living in the area received threatening letters calling them “infidels”.Leaflets were also distributed denouncing Yazidis as “anti-Islamic” and warning them that an attack was imminent.
The attack might be connected to an incident wherein Du’a Khalil Aswad, a 17-year-old Yazidi girl, was stoned to death by the Yazidis. Aswad was believed to have wanted to convert in order to marry a Sunni. Two weeks later, after a video of the stoning appeared on the Internet, Sunni gunmen stopped minibuses filled with Yazidis; 23 Yazidi men were forced from a bus and shot dead.
The Sinjar area which has a mixed population of Yazidis, Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs was scheduled to vote in a plebiscite on accession to the Kurdish region in December 2007. This caused hostility among the neighbouring Arab communities. A force of 600 Kurdish Peshmerga was subsequently deployed in the area, and ditches were dug around Yazidi villages to prevent further attacks.
Pratibha Patil becomes India’s first female president.
Pratibha Patil has won the 12th Presidential Elections of the Republic of India, becoming the first woman president of the second most populous country in the world.
Patil, 72, previously governor of the state of Rajasthan, had support from the governing coalition. She won approximately two thirds of the vote, almost double the number of votes of her nearest rival Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, who resigned as Vice-President after losing the poll.
Patil was a last-minute candidate who appeared when the coalition that leads the congress and the communist allies could not choose a common candidate. The supporters of Patil hope that her election could bring to the spotlight, problems that affect women in India, such as the high murder rate or domestic violence and abuse.
More than 4,500 members of the Parliament of India and state Legislative Assemblies were eligible to vote for the largely ceremonial office.
Patil was recently the centre of controversy after allegations that a bank gave out cheap loans to her relatives, and for her controversial statements about the Muslim veil.
The President-elect will succeed the 11th President of India, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, an engineer and scientist. She is expected to be sworn in on July 25 in the Central Hall of Parliament.
The President of India, also called Rashtrapati, is the head of state and first citizen of India and the Supreme Commander of the Indian armed forces. The President’s role is largely ceremonial. The powers of the President of India are comparable to those of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The real executive authority in India is vested in the Council of Ministers, headed by the Prime Minister. In 1966, Indira Gandhi became the first and to date the only female prime minister of India.
The iPhone is the first smartphone model designed and marketed by Apple Inc. It is the first generation of iPhone that was announced on January 9, 2007 after years of rumors and speculation.It was introduced in the United States on June 29, 2007, and it featured quad-band GSM cellular connectivity with GPRS and EDGE support for data transfer.
On June 9, 2008, Apple announced its successor, the iPhone 3G. The original iPhone has not received software updates from Apple since iPhone OS (now iOS) 3.1.3. Since June 11, 2013, the original iPhone has been considered “obsolete” in Apple retail stores, “vintage” by other service providers in the US, and “obsolete” in all other regions.Apple does not service vintage or obsolete products, and replacement parts for obsolete products are not available to service providers.
The iPhone was released on June 29, 2007 in the United States where thousands of people were reported to have waited outside Apple and AT&T retail stores days before the device’s launch; with many stores reporting stock shortages within an hour. To avoid repeating the problems of the PlayStation 3 launch, which caused burglaries and even a shooting, off-duty police officers were hired to guard stores overnight. It was later made available in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Portugal, the Republic of Ireland and Austria in November 2007.Six out of ten Americans surveyed said they knew the iPhone was coming before its release.