" It is wise to turn circumstances to good account. "

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Hama Massacre

In the 1980s, political insurgency by Islamic groups, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, culminated in an uprising in Hama, a city in western Syria, in February, 1982. Government forces led by the president's brother, Rifaat al-Assad, quelled the revolt, but destroyed much of the old part of Hama in the process. The town was shelled by the Syrian military, and some estimates place the death toll as high as 30,000 or 40,000. How did the international community react to the incident at Hama?



Gates of Tashkent

The Gates of Tashkent were built around the town of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, in the 10th century. The last of the gates was destroyed in 1890, but several of the city's districts still bear their names. The gates, which varied in number over time, served as fortifications for the original settlement located at the intersection of the Bozsuv canal and caravan routes from the Tien Shan Mountains. Who was in charge of protecting the wooden gates?

Born on a day like today


Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

Valéry d'Estaing served as president of France from 1974 to 1981, creating the Union for French Democracy. His tenure as president was marked by modernization attempts, such as the development of the high-speed TGV train and greater reliance on nuclear power for energy, as well as attention to social issues such as divorce, contraception, and abortion. Why is he sometimes referred to as "l'Ex", the Ex?

Last updated on Friday, 2nd February 2007

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