Current Affairs : International : August 2009

August 2, 2009: Corazon Aquino heroine of the 1986 Phillipines “people power” died
August 2, 2009: Kyrgyzstan allows the second army base of Russia
August 6, 2009: Ahmadinejad sworn in as Iran president
August 8, 2009: Typhoon Morakot
August 12, 2009: Islamic militant Noordin Top Died

August 2, 2009: Corazon Aquino heroine of the 1986 Philippines “people power” died
Corazon Aquino was Philippines’ former president and heroine of the 1986 “people power” revolt that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Some facts:

  1. She was was born on January 25, 1933.
  2. She was educated in New York & Manila.
  3. She married Benigno Servillano Aquino Jr, a politician, and had five children, including Benigno Simeon Aquino who was elected senator in 2007 after serving nine years in the House of Representatives.
  4. Her husband was murdered in 1983 at Manila’s airport.
  5. In 1986 she was swept into power by an army-backed popular revolt when election results were manipulated to keep dictator Marcos in power.
  6. She featured in 1986 as Time magazine Woman of the Year.
  7. In 2001, she helped topple the government of President Joseph Estrada, who was accused of corruption and mismanagement.
  8. In 2005, she called on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to step down and apologised to Estrada last year for leading the uprising against his administration.

August 2, 2009: Kyrgyzstan allows the second army base of Russia
Kyrgyzstan has allowed Russia to open a second military base on its territory. This will expand Moscow’s military reach to balance against the U.S. presence in the Kyrgyzstan.
Some Facts:

  1. Capital of Kyrgyzstan : Bishkek
  2. Moscow put pressure on Kyrgyzstan after it allowed US to keep its air base at Manas.
  3. Earlier in February 2009, Kyrgyzstan states that it was closing down the U.S. air base after receiving a promise of $2 billion in crisis aid from Russia, however United states promised Kyrgyzstan a payment of $180 million to keep the base open, this was a crucial victory for Washington.
  4. The new base will be valid for 49 years with a possible 25-year extension.
  5. The US base is located in Manas which is in north of Kyrgyzstan.
  6. The deal was signed during an informal summit of the Russian-dominated Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO, Russian acronym ODKB), whose members also include Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Armenia.

August 6, 2009: Ahmadinejad sworn in as Iran president
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for a second term as Iran’s president on August 5, 2009. He was declared winner in a disputed election that unleashed the worst unrest since the 1979 Islamic revolution of Iran. He has begun his second term. He is a Former Revolutionary Guardsman. His anti-Israel rhetoric and defence of Iran’s nuclear programme cause alarm in the West.

Some Other Influential Figures in the Islamic Republic of Iran:
Ayatollah Ali Khamnei:
He is Iran’s supreme leader since 1989. He is an open supporters of Ahmadinejad.

Mirhossein Mousavi
He was Prime minister of Iran during Iran’s 1980-88 war with Iraq. He was was active in the 1979 Islamic revolution that toppled the Shah. He was declared to have lost with 34 percent of the vote to almost 63 percent for Ahmadinejad. This prompted the crowds to flood the streets of Tehran and other cities in protest. However, the authorities rejected his demands for the result to be annulled.

Mehdi Karoubi:
He was parliament speaker from 2000 to 2004. He is an open critic to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani:
Rafsanjani is called a pillar of the 1979 revolution. he was president of Iran for much of the 1990s and lost his 2005 attempt at a comeback to Ahmadinejad

Mohammad Khatami:
President of Iran from 1997 to 2005 and has offered forthright support to Mousavi.

August 8, 2009: Typhoon Morakot
Morakot is a typhoon that swept through northern Taiwan. It killed one person.

Note: Typhoons regularly hit China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Japan in the second half of the year, gathering strength from the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean or South China Sea before weakening over land.

August 12, 2009: Islamic militant Noordin Top Died
Leading Islamic militant Noordin Mohammad Top was died in a raid on a farmhouse in Central Java, Indonesia.

Some facts:

  1. He was a key recruiter, strategist and financier for militant Muslim group Jemaah Islamiah (JI).
  2. He is said to have planned the bomb attacks on the JW Marriott in Jakarta in 2003, on the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004 and in Bali in 2005.
  3. He is among the most-wanted of Jemaah Islamiah’s members, with a bounty of 1 billion rupiah ($100,900) on his head.

Sources : various Newspapers

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