The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty first set up in Kyoto, Japan in 1997. The treaty has a common goal of reducing man-made emissions globally, in an attempt to arrest the damage caused by the greenhouse effect . Each member state has agreed to different parameters, with aims reduce their current emissions based on evidence of past emissions. One has to question the motives of countries not committing to ratifying the treaty. Apart from shrinking profit margins, what is the big picture they have in mind? Though far from perfect, a bunch of scientists say the protocol is a "small but essential first step towards stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases."
The story of Ted Bundy is that of a depraved and psychotic serial killer. Between in 1974 and 1978, Ted Bundy was responsible for the murders of at least 30 people, though he had confessed to his lawyer before his execution that the number was over 100. He was considered charming and good-looking and would often present himself as an authority figure or pretend to be in need of help to lure his victims closer before kidnapping them. Details of his killing and interactions with the bodies afterward make for gruesome reading.
You can find out more here.
The city of Dresden, located in the north of Germany was a beautiful city, rich with culture and historical buildings. It had escaped any bombings during the war and became a safe-haven for refugees. There are a few theories about why the city would be bombed so completely with the end of the war in sight. Perhaps it was to strike a final killer blow to the Reich and as a veiled and callous warning to the Russians that they could not compete with the air fire-power of the Allies, in case they decided to renege on negotiations made at the war conferences. The final death toll is unknown because of the high number of refugees.
Read more here.
The U.S say that Hussein's forces were increasingly using designated civilian shelters for cover of their military operatives and communications. The Iraqis state that it was well know that the building was used as a civil-defence shelter during the Iran-Iraq war. Each side counters and dispute the claims the other makes. Meanwhile, 408 innocents are incinerated, shadows of their bodies and handprints burned onto the walls.
The Austrian Chancellor Kurt Schuschnigg began his meetings with Hitler in his mountain retreat. Nazi agitators had already been stirring up Anti-Semitic hatred throughout Austria. One month later the military machine that was the German army rolled freely into Austria. In fact, the Wermarcht soldiers were greeted like heroes, hundreds of thousands lined the streets to see them arrive. Hitler's homeland had been welcomed into the Third Reich.
Nelson Mandela was a south African anti-apartheid revolutionary and politician. Arrested in 1962, he was sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the state. He would spend there next twenty seven years behind bars. An international campaign to see him freed was successful when the last head of state F. W. De Klerk released him from Victor Verster prison in 1990. The two men would join forces to see the first multiracial and democratic elections in the country in 1994, resulting in Mandela leading the ANC to victory and his election as the first black South African president. He passed away in December 2013.
The 1996 Canary Wharf bombing, (also known as the Docklands bombing) by the Provisional I.R.A, brought an end 17 months of ceasefire. During this time Irish, British and American leaders were working toward a solution to The Troubles. They had used a small lorry containing half a tonne of ammonium nitrate fertiliser, semtex and other high-explosives and sugar for the bomb. Although a coded warning was telephoned in, and the area evacuated, two men died and a further 39 were severely injured.
At the end of WW2, Germany was split and controlled by the Allies over 4 zones, but tensions between the democratic West and communist Russia led to the building of the Berlin Wall. The former German Democratic Republic (East Germany) retained the Soviet influence and West Germany, influence from the west. The Ministry for State Security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit, MfS) or Stasi was formed, following the model of the KGB and acted as a secret police machine, gathering information on the sixteen million population. Although starting small, they grew to be one of the most feared and despised organisations in existence. Using tactics of collaboration, threat, surveillance, counter-intelligence and espionage to collect and document their own people, they went to extraordinary lengths to invade the lives of every East German. They were finally shut down in 1990 and their documents became available to all who were surveilled . Parallels can be seen in some information gathering techniques used by modern governments.
To properly describe how and why the USSR dissolved is pretty lengthy. A number of factors including growing nationalism from individual states, a stagnant economy, the easing of tensions between the USSR and the U.S, Perestroika and glasnost revelations and of course the Chernobyl accident all played significant parts in the demise of the USSR.
In 1958, the Manchester United team was under manager Matt Busby and the team was known as the ‘Busby Babes’ because of their collective young age. The team had a hectic schedule of domestic and European games this time of year. Eager not to miss any games and in an attempt to reduce some travel hardship on the players, the club chartered a plane. After playing their away match against Red Star Belgrade in the European Cup, the team waited to depart. Heavy slush on the runway and a bad mix of fuel caused loss of speed on take off and the plane skidded off the end of the runway into a house. Billy Whelan, a young Irish footballer, like many others on the plane, was a nervous flier. It’s reported that before take-off, he said “This may be death, but I'm ready.”
Considered one of Chaplin's finest alongside 'The Great Dictator', and 'Gold Rush', Modern Times is a satirical and slapstick look at the industrial machine we've all become caught up in and the socio-economic conditions people found themselves in after the Great Depression in 1930's. Ever the non-conformist, Chaplin used his multiple talents and position to relay how he felt about the world we find ourselves in. The messages in the film are still relevant today. He makes comment on how peoples humanity has been reduced in the name of production and profit, reducing us to cogs in a ever-spinning machine.
For a great analysis of the movie, click here.
You might have heard of this site. In 2004 Mark Zuckerbergh and a couple of friends launched [theFacebook] from their bedroom in Harvard university. Originally, they limited the membership to Harvard students. Now it's the biggest social network on the planet. Here's some numbers:
- 1.23bn monthly active users,
- Mr. Zuckerburg has a net worth of $19bn...about £12 billion.
- And the most popular page is Facebook for Every Phone with 380,870,942 'likes' (that's what I'm going for).
Thanks theguardian for the stats info. I won't bother with a link to Facebook today...
"The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national conciousness is a political fact."
The first wave of Western European colonisation of the African continent began in the 15th century. The end result of the 'Scramble for Africa' meant that by 1914, only Ethopia and Liberia remained independent of European rule. Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Russia and the Netherlands had all lay claim to African soils. Many African colonies helped support the allies in WW2. After the war, African nationalism and the desire for self-determination was on the rise. During 1950's and 60's the British Empire's days were numbered and so began the process of decolonisation. Howard Mac Milligan was Britain's Prime Minister when he made a tour of South Africa in 1960. His speech in Cape Town about the future direction of the continent and Great Britain's involvement were welcomed by some and considered duplicitous by others.
F. W. DeKlerk was the last head of state of south Africa in the apartheid era. Shortly after he became president he called for a non-racist south Africa to come into being . He also lifted bans on the ANC (African National Congress) and the Communist Party of South Africa and promised to release the anti-apartheid revolutionary Nelson Mandela. After his release, the men united to give rise to the first multi-racial elections in South Africa, in 1994. The two men are credited with helping to end apartheid.
Read about the negotiations here.
On the morning of Jan 31 1968, the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong rebels launched the Tet Offensive, a surprise and co-ordinated attack on 126 South Vietnamese cities. The carnage was beyond imagining. Eddie Adams was a photographer covering the Vietnam war for the Associate Press when he captured one of the most iconic and infamous images of the Vietnam war. Nguyen Van Lem was arrested for being a member of the NLF (National Liberation Front) and directly executed in the street. Adams received the Pulitzer prize for the photograph but later expressed regret about the destructive impact it had on the life of the South Vietnamese chief of police Nguyen Ngoc Loan who carried out the execution.
No human had been to space. Animals including dogs and monkeys had already been sent up to test the biological effects of weightlessness. From a group of about 40 chimps, preparations began. The chosen chimp would be given training with positive and negative reinforcement to complete simple tasks of pushing buttons and pulling levers. No.65 would be part of Project Mercury. He was called No.65 in case he did not survive the flight. If the mission failed, bad publicity for NASA would follow the death of a “named” chimpanzee . After his safe return to Earth, he was renamed HAM, after the Holloman Air Force base where he received his training. His successful flight paved the way for America's first human astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr.
Read about Ham's journey here.
The day will live long in the memories of the people of Northern Ireland and indeed, of those in the Republic. Divisions and discriminations between Catholics and Protestants, internment without trial and increasing levels of violence was the background to the day’s events. During a civil rights march organised by the NICRA (Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association), soldiers from the 1st Battalion, the Parachute Regiment (1 PARA), fired over 100 rounds into panicked crowds, killing 14 people. The events sent many into the arms of the P.I.R.A (Provisional Irish Republican Army) and extended “the Troubles” for decades. In 2010. The Saville Inquiry found that the killing of the unarmed protesters was "unjustified and unjustifiable."
Named after their creator, Count Ferdinand Von Zeppelin, he intended them for use in the worlds firs try airline. Zeppelins were usually used for reconnaissance missions, however the Nazis did manage to carry out a number of successful strategic bombings raids by during the Great War over Belgium, London and Paris. Highly affected by bad weather and vulnerability to ground fire spelled the demise of the ships use in the war.
Someone had to be the first. Walter Arnold received the first recorded speeding ticket fine when he hit 8 mph in a 2 mph and hour zone. The fine was 1 shilling. The Locomotive Act(UK) passed in 1865 stated that the speed limit on towns was 2mph and 4mph outside of town. In 2013, the WHO (World Health Organisation) published a report on the number of driving fatalities. It indicated that the total was 1.24 million.Of the 182 countries(99% of the world’s population) information received, only 28 countries have thorough road safety laws.
Read the WHO's report here.