World Event Diary – 21st August 2012, Tuesday

Myanmar abolished the direct censorship of media

The direct censorship of media was abolished by Myanmar on Monday which is one of the most dramatic and audacious attempt for allowing freedom of expression in the long-repressed nation.

For almost half a century, the journalists were required to submit any work to the state censors before publishing it, but now they no longer need to do so.

For decades, Myanmar has been a nation with the most restricted media. This Southeast Asian nation has records of routine state surveillance, phone taps and intense censorship which many times prevented independent papers to publish on a daily basis.

There have been laws prohibiting journalists and media from writing articles that could threaten peace and stability, oppose the Constitution or insult ethnic groups since a military coup in 1962. Now, although President Thein Sein’s government has relaxes many norms but there still exists many sensitive issues. Also, the related laws and practices that may lead to self-censorship have raised certain doubts.

NASA’s Curiosity burnt a small hole in Martian rock

NASA’s six-wheel rover Curiosity, which landed in Gale Crater two weeks ago, has been testing its instruments including the laser. In a latest attempt, it has aimed the laser at its first Martian rock. The Curiosity fired 30 laser pulses at a nearby rock within 10 seconds, thus burning a small hole in the rock.

During its two-year Mars mission, the Curiosity is supposed to point the laser at various rocks as it drives toward Mount Sharp. This mountain is 3-mile-high and rises from the crater floor.

Somali parliament to meet after 20 years

In a bid to end two decades of intability the Somalia’s new Parliament was due to be convened for the first time on Monday. But it has been delayed because of the President election, and the Parliament will meet in a heavily fortified airport zone, which houses nearly 17,000 strong African Union force, so as to protect against any possible Al Qaeda attack.

It will mark a new beginning for the war-torn Somalia.





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