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Willa Cather

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Post-War Japanese Constitution Goes into Effect

The constitution of Japan was drawn up under the Allied occupation that followed World War II. It was intended to replace Japan's previous imperial system with a form of liberal democracy, which provides for a parliamentary system of government and guarantees certain fundamental rights. Under its terms, the right to wage war is renounced, and the Emperor of Japan exercises a purely ceremonial role. What, if any, amendments have been made to this constitution since its adoption?

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Mount Everest

The peak of Mount Everest is 29,035 ft (8,850 m) above sea level, making it the highest point on earth. It is called Chomo-Lungma, or "Mother of the Universe," by the Tibetans, and Devgri in Sanskrit, meaning "Holy Mountain." The first confirmed ascent of the mountain took place in 1953, by Hillary of New Zealand and Norgay of Nepal; however, whether George Mallory had successfully ascended the mountain in 1924 before dying is a matter of controversy. What is the Death zone?

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Niccolo Machiavelli

Machiavelli was a Florentine author and statesman, and one of the outstanding figures of the Renaissance. He became acquainted with politics through his important diplomatic missions. His best-known work, The Prince (1532), describes the means by which a prince may gain and maintain power. The adjective "Machiavellian" has come to be a synonym for amoral cunning and for justification by power, but Machiavelli placed a number of restrictions on evil actions; what were they?

Last updated on Thursday, 3rd May 2007

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