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Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 at a Glance: A year of 'TREMORS' worldwide

The killing of Osama bin Laden, the world's most sought after terrorist was one of the highlights of the year 2011.

World economy struggled to overcome the debt crisis, regimes fell in Egypt, Libya - described as 'Arab Spring'. Not to be left out, US and other developed world was swamped by 'Occupy' protests against social and economic inequality.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was also killed in the year that saw the demise of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

Tunisia holds its first democratic elections while south Sudan gained independance ending Africa's longest civil war. Baburam Bhattarai took over as premiership of Nepal. The US , Britan and European Union slapped tougher sanctions on Iran while Japan was hit by nuclear crisis that followed a tsunami.

Following is the diary of events during 2011:

Jan 1: Cairo: At least 21 worshippers are killed and about 80 others wounded when a suicide bomber blows himself up outside a church soon after New Year's Mass in Alexandria, sparking religious clashes between Christians and Muslims.

Jan 2: Islamabad: Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani says dialogue is the only way to resolve outstanding issues with India as the two countries "cannot afford wars."

Jan 4: Washington: Indian Ambassador to UN Hardeep Singh Puri is elected Chairman of Security Council Committee on counter-terrorism and two other key committees.

Jan 6: Lahore: Pakistan authorities stop 300 trucks of onions bound for India at the Wagah land border, saying exports had to be curbed to control rising prices.

Jan 7: Karachi: Pakistan's PPP-led government gets a lifeline when its biggest ally MQM announces return to coalition after its demands like rollback of petrol prices were met.

Jan 7: Colombo: India and Sri Lanka ink a pact to launch much-awaited ferry service between Colombo and Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu and also reintroduce Thalaimannar-Rameswaram route.

Jan 8: Toronto: Inderjit Singh Reyat, the only man convicted in 1985 Air India bombing, is sentenced to nine years in jail by a Canadian court for perjury at the trial of his two co-accused conspirators.

Jan 8: Islamabad: Dragging its feet over the Mumbai terror strike case, Pakistan fires a salvo at India demanding that New Delhi should not "squander" in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the bombing of the Samjhauta Express train in light of a RSS leader's confession about the involvement of Sangh activists in the attack.

Jan 11: Beijing: A top Chinese official heading the Tibet administration has said fight against Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama is meant to be "lasting, intense and complicated" and government faced "arduous task" of keeping secessionists away.

Jan 12: Islamabad: US Vice President Joe Biden dismisses criticism that his country favours India and wants to "weaken or dismantle" Pakistan, saying the strategic partnership between Washington and Islamabad, including in the fight against al-Qaeda and Taliban, is vital for both sides.

Jan 13: Kathmandu: Maoists, who are set to stake claim to form a new government in Nepal, have dismissed reports that India is their "principal enemy", but highlights the need to regulate the open border with the neighbouring country and favours visas for Indian visitors.

Jan 14: Geneva: Ahead of President Asif Ali Zardari's key talks with his American counterpart Barack Obama at the White House, Pakistan says the US should facilitate a solution to its Kashmir issue with India.

Jan 14: Kathmandu: The government and the main Opposition Maoist party ink a crucial eleventh-hour deal to monitor Nepal's fragile peace process after the UN mission tasked to supervise the arms and the army of the former rebels and the military ends.

Jan 16: Sydney: Australia's flood crisis shifts to the country's far south, with more than 1,400 homes swamped by a record deluge as the toll mounts.

Jan 17: Beijing: China says its policy that Arunachal Pradesh is a "disputed area" remains "unchanged", days after it issued stapled visas to two Indian sportsmen from the state which it claims as "Southern Tibet".

Jan 18: Karachi: Pakistani paramilitary troops detain over 500 people for questioning in the wake of a surge in ethnic and political violence in the city that claimed nearly 30 lives as it carried out house-to-house search in densely populated areas of the city.

Jan 19: Melbourne: Refusing to budge from its policy, Australia rejects India's request for the sale of uranium.

Jan 19: Islamabad: A powerful 7.2 Richter scale quake hits a remote area in southwest Pakistan shaking the ground from Delhi to Dubai, damaging about 200 structures though there were no reports of direct casualties.

Jan 21: Washington: Chinese President Hu Jintao warns US to keep away from Tibet or else bilateral ties would greatly be affected, a day after his US counterpart Barack Obama asked him to talk to representatives of Dalai Lama to resolve issue.

Jan 22: Istanbul: World powers fail to persuade Iran to take steps to ease suspicions over its nuclear programme as the defiant Islamic republic insists on uranium enrichment.

Jan 24: Moscow: A suspected suicide bomber triggers explosives at Moscow's busiest international airport killing at least 35 people and leaving 130 injured.

Jan 25: Washington: US removes 9 Indian space and defence related companies including those from ISRO and DRDO from its export control 'Entity List' in an attempt to expand high technology trade and strategic cooperation with India.

Jan 29: Washington: After being duped by a California- based "sham" university, scores of Indian students in the US are now enduring the ignominy of being forced to wear radio collars around their ankles so that authorities can keep track of their movements.

Jan 30: Washington: US President Barack Obama has vowed to build a "true global, strategic partnership" with India and stressed on advancing bilateral economic ties and making progress on nuclear security efforts, as he dropped in during key talks between National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and his counterpart Tom Donilon.

Feb 2: Boston: An Indian-US doctor has been sentenced to 15 years in prison by a US court for committing health care fraud with his wife and has been ordered to forfeit over USD 43 million in cash and property gained through the fraud.

Feb 4: Islamabad: Ruling Pakistan People's Party authorises PM Yousuf Raza Gilani to dissolve his jumbo cabinet and form a smaller council of ministers amid demands for political reforms from opposition and world donors.

Feb 5: Thimphu: India rejects Pakistan's attempt to link Mumbai attacks to the Samjhauta Express blast,saying there is "no comparison" between the two incidents and rubbished the contention that the pace of probe into the cross-border train attack had been slow.

Feb 6: Thimphu: India and Pakistan appear to have made a headway in bringing on track the stalled dialogue process as they agree to carry it forward to resolve all outstanding issues in a constructive and forward-looking manner.

Feb 6: Kathmandu: Nepal's veteran communist leader Jhalanath Khanal sworn in as the new prime minister, even as his party failed to ink a power sharing deal with its key ally Maoists, delaying the cabinet formation.

Feb 7: Islamabad: Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf has been named as an accused in an interim chargesheet filed by prosecutors in an anti-terrorism court conducting the trail of suspects charged with involvement in assassination of ex-premier Benazir Bhutto.

Feb 7: London: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange expresses fear in a British court that he could be taken against his will to US and executed if he is extradited to Sweden.

Feb 9: Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani dissolves the federal cabinet as part of an exercise to refurbish the image of his government that has been rocked by charges of inefficiency and corruption.

Feb 11: Cairo: Hosni Mubarak, steps down as President and hands over power to the army capitulating under mass protests sweeping the country's streets for the last 18 days.

Feb 11: Lahore/Islamabad: The tense stand off between the US and Pakistan intensifies as the Lahore police charged American official Raymond Davis of "cold-blooded" murder, ignoring pressure from Washington for his immediate release.

Feb 12: Islamabad: The 16-day stand-off between the US and Pakistan over an American official arrested for gunning down two men in Lahore has resulted in the cancellation of a crucial trilateral meeting that was to be held later this month in Washington to discuss situation in Afghanistan.

Feb 14: Islamabad: Pakistan asks India to immediately end the "protective custody" of noted singer Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, detained in New Delhi for allegedly carrying a large amount of undeclared foreign currency.

Feb 14: Tehran: Riot police fires tear gas and paintballs at protesters staging anti-government demonstrations in Tehran under the pretext of rallies supporting Arab uprisings.

Feb 16: Melbourne: Australian Federal Resource Minister Martin Ferguson asks his Labor government to modernise its policy and lift the ban on sale of uranium to India as it deserves special consideration.

Feb 17: Colombo: Sri Lankan Police has detained another 24 Indian fishermen, taking the total number of Tamil Nadu fishermen in their custody in the past two days to 136.

Feb 18: Boston: At least six Indian-origin persons are among over 100 doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals arrested on charges of alleged involvement in a massive Medicare fraud estimated at USD 225 million, in one of the biggest crackdowns on healthcare fraud-related crimes in US.

Feb 19: UN: US vetoes a UNSC resolution that would have condemned "illegal" Israeli settlements, despite all other states in the 15-member body, including India, voting for it.

Feb 20: Islamabad: Pakistan rejects National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon's concerns about the safety of its nuclear weapons and material, saying it had "impeccable" custodial controls for its strategic arsenal.

Feb 20: London: Indians may get upto 20,000 UK visas a year under a deal it is negotiating with EU and in return India has put forward an annual 4 billion pounds trade with the EU, media reports.

Feb 21: Islamabad: Pakistan's defence spending exceeds budgetary limits for the first six months of current fiscal by about Rs 60 billion due to the enhanced expenditure on the war on terror and the military's prolonged engagements in the tribal belt.

Feb 25: Cairo: Libyan forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi attack anti-regime protesters with machine guns and rocket- propelled grenades at a mosque in Zawiyah leaving nearly 100 people dead, as outraged western nations prepare to slap sanctions against Tripoli.

Feb 28: As opposition forces storm close to capital Tripoli, embattled Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi unleashes air attacks even as the world community steps up pressure on him to quit the country where at least 1,000 lives have been lost in the fighting.

Mar 1: Beijing: China formally begins the construction of two state-of-the-art fast attack missile crafts for the Pakistan Navy in addition to several naval frigates it is building for its close strategic partner.

Mar 2: Islamabad: Pakistan's Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti, a Christian and vocal critic of the controversial blasphemy law, is shot dead by Taliban militants as he drove out of his mother's house here, nearly 2 months after Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer is killed for opposing the harsh statute.

Mar 4: Beijing: As concerns mount globally over its military build-up, China announces that it will hike its defence spending by 12.7 per cent, raising it to a staggering USD 91.5 billion, signalling the country's return to double- digit military growth after a short lull.

Mar 10: New York: Sri Lanka-born billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, the main accused in the biggest hedge fund insider trading case in US history, goes on trial and he could face more than 20 years in prison if convicted in the case which also involves several Indian-origin suspects.

Mar 12: Tokyo: An explosion at a nuclear power plant in Japan destroys the building housing the reactor triggering radiation leaks under the impact of the massive quake and the tsunami it spawned which has left at least 1,700 people dead or unaccounted for.

Mar 14: Tokyo: Radiation risks mount in Japan after a second hydrogen explosion rocks the quake-hit Fukushima nuclear plant leaving 11 workers injured and the cooling systems failed at another reactor.

Mar 18: Cairo/Washington: Caving in to international pressure, Libya announces an immediate ceasefire in the battle against rebels fighting to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi, even as US President Barack Obama warns of "military action" to implement a UN resolution to curb him.

Mar 20: Cairo: Fresh from upturning the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, Egyptians have voted overwhelmingly to endorse a package of constitutional amendments, paving the way for fresh parliamentary elections.

Mar 27: Tokyo/Fukushima: Workers are evacuated from the tsunami-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant after radiation levels surged 10 million times higher than usual, dealing a major blow to efforts to avoid a meltdown of the reactors.

Apr 1: New Delhi/Islamabad: India and Pakistan are back to bickering with an Indian High Commission official posted in Islamabad reported 'missing' and Pakistan protesting the brief "arrest" of a driver in its mission in New Delhi.

Apr 2: Tokyo/Fukushima: Premier Naoto Kan inspects Japan's tsunami-hit northeast for the first time, as authorities say highly radioactive water was seeping into sea from a 12-inch crack in a containment pit at the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant, where IAEA termed the situation as "very serious."

Apr 7: Tokyo: Japan's quake-devastated northeast faces a fresh tsunami alert after a massive 7.4 magnitude temblor shakes the region, as engineers pumped in nitrogen into a reactor at the Fukushima nuclear facility in their desperate bid to prevent another hydrogen blast.

Apr 9: Washington: The H-1B visa, most sought after by Indian IT professionals opens to a lackluster response, with less than 6,000 applications received after opening April 1.

Apr 13: Sanya (China): India is set to restore full defence cooperation with China, with a high-level Indian military delegation expected to visit this country in June.

Apr 16: Astana: Embarking on an ambitious roadmap to consolidate their strategic partnership, India and Kazakhstan sign seven pacts, including a framework agreement in civil nuclear field and a stake-sharing accord in oil sector, with PM Manmohan Singh.

Apr 17: New York: Tornadoes kicked by powerful storms sweep across six south-eastern US states, killing 44 people as rescue workers search for survivors amid fears that death toll could rise.

Apr 21: Islamabad: Hours after a top US military official said that ISI's continued links with the militant Haqqani network are at the core of the strained US-Pak ties,Pakistan's powerful army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani strongly rejects the notion calling it "negative propaganda".

Apr 24: Dhaka: India and Bangladesh agree that "serious efforts" are required to restore the railway links between the two countries that had been snapped during the 1965 Indo-Pak war, six years before the liberation of Bangladesh.

Apr 27: Washington: Barack Obama releases his birth certificate, which showed that he was born in the American state of Hawaii, making him constitutionally eligible to hold the office of US President.

Apr 29: London: Prince William and Kate Middleton are pronounced man and wife at the majestic Westminster Abbey where the couple exchanged vows in the presence of some 1,900 guests, while millions of people around the world watched the ceremony live on TV.

Apr 29: Cape Canaveral (Florida): NASA abruptly calls off space shuttle Endeavour's final launch because of a puzzling heater failure in a critical power unit.

Apr 30-Tokyo: The Dalai Lama says that he would serve as a "pure spiritual leader" after handing over his "legitimate political authority" to Lobsang Sangay, the newly elected Prime Minister of Tibet's government-in-exile.

May 1: Tripoli: Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi survives a NATO air strike that kills his youngest son and three grandchildren under the age of 12 in his bastion of Tripoli, hours after the alliance rejects the embattled leader's offer for "a ceasefire and negotiations."

May 2: Washington: World's most wanted terrorist Osama bin Laden, known as the mastermind behind the worst-ever terror attack on US soil, is killed and his body is recovered by American authorities in Pakistan.

May 9: Melbourne: An Australian swimwear label company, which triggered a controversy by depicting an image of Goddess Lakshmi on a bikini bottom and front of a model, has apologised to the Hindu community for hurting sentiments.

May 10: Washington: The adult sons of Osama bin Laden denounces the "arbitrary killing" of their father by the American forces and condemned his burial at the sea, as they asked why the al-Qaeda chief was "not arrested" and tried in a court to reveal the truth.

May 14: Dubai: Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf announces he will return to his homeland no later than March 23 next year to participate in the 2013 general elections, despite facing possible arrest in the country.

May 15: New York: IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a likely candidate for French President in 2012, is arrested and charged with attempted rape and sexual assault on a hotel maid here, after being pulled out from a Paris-bound airplane, minutes before it was to take off.

May 19: Washington: Dominique Strauss-Kahn who is locked up in a New York prison on allegations of sexual assault resigns as the managing director of the IMF, triggering a succession battle between the developing world and the Europe to lead the global lender.

May 20: Peshawar: Pakistani Taliban targets a US consulate convoy in Peshawar with a car bomb killing one person and injuring over a dozen others, the first attack on Americans in the country since Osama bin Laden's death.

May 23: Chicago: Pakistan's Intelligence agency ISI had links with Mumbai attack co-accused Tahawwur Hussain Rana and David Headley, the prosecution submitted during the trial of Rana that opened in the US.

May 30: Singapore/Chennai: Superstar Rajinikanth is admitted to the intensive care unit at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital, where his condition is said to be stable.

May 31: Islamabad: Prominent journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad, who went missing in the Pakistani capital over the weekend, is found dead in Punjab province with his body bearing marks of torture.

June 6: New York: Disgraced former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn pleads not guilty to charges that he sexually assaulted a hotel maid here last month.

June7: Chicago: Pointing at ISI's direct involvement in providing arms to militants in Kashmir, Tahawwur Rana, one of the key accused in the Mumbai terror attacks, has told FBI that Pakistan's spy agency gives weapons to terrorists when they are about to enter the Indian territory.

June 9: London: Maqbool Fida Husain, who rose from a Bollywood billboard artist to become India's most celebrated painter worldwide, dies away from home on self-imposed exile.

June 10: Chicago: A US court acquits Tahawwur Rana on charges of plotting 2008 Mumbai attacks but hold him guilty of supporting Pak-based terror group LeT and planning a strike in Denmark that will get him a maximum of 30 years jail.

June 13: Washington: LeT operative David Headley highlights deep involvement of ISI in Mumbai attacks conspiracy by revealing how he received meticulous training in espionage from officers and agents during sessions.

June 14: Colombo: Passenger ferry services recommences between Sri Lanka and India after a gap of 28 years, snapped due to ethnic conflict on the island.

June 16: Cairo: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Egyptian surgeon- turned-jihadist ideologue, has been appointed new chief of al -Qaeda to succeed the group's slain leader Osama bin Laden, according to a statement posted on militant websites.

June 20: Islamabad: Pakistan alleges that an Indian warship in a dangerous manoeuvre 'brushed' with its frigate escorting an Egyptian-owned vessel recently freed by Somali pirates, a claim rejected as 'incorrect' by Indian Navy.

June 22: Washington: Internet search engine giant Google includes five more Indian languages -- Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu -- in its translation services, thus increasing its reach to another 500 million population.

June 24: New York: A cellphone of Osama bin Laden's trusted courier, recovered in the US raid that killed al-Qaeda leader, contains contacts to terror group Harakat-ul- Mujahedeen (HUM), a longtime asset of Pakistan's ISI.

June 26: New York: Indian Consul General in New York Prabhu Dayal, who is accused of treating a former domestic help as a slave and making sexual advances, says the Indian government will now have to decide how to proceed with the forced labour lawsuit filed against him by his former maid.

July 2: Dhaka: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's comments on sections of Bangladeshi people being under the influence of ISI,have sparked negative reactions here with a former foreign minister terming them "frustrating" and Jamaat-e-Islami contending that the remarks do not go with his status.

July 5: New York: US prosecutors will drop all sexual assault charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn as the case is not sustainable due to doubts over the accuser's credibility, according to an investigator.

July 8: Washington: North Korea paid several million dollars to top Pakistani military officials, including the then army chief Gen Jehangir Karamat, to gain access to secret nuclear technology and sensitive equipments to make a nuclear bomb, disgraced atomic scientist A Q Khan claims.

July 9: Juba: Joyous people poured onto the streets, danced and kissed the earth to mark the oil-rich South Sudan becoming the world's newest country, with international leaders, including Vice President Hamid Ansari, witnessing history unfolding in the country's capital here.

July 11: London: The scandal surrounding News of the World spreads to other newspaper titles in Rupert Mordoch's media empire in Britain with revelations that the illegal procurement of information was not confined to the closed News of the World alone.

July 17: London: Rebekah Brooks, former editor of The now defunct News of the World, is arrested in connection with the phone-hacking scandal that has hit Rupert Murdoch's media empire hard over the last two weeks.

July 19: Washington: The FBI arrests Kashmiri separatist leader Ghulab Nabi Fai for allegedly collaborating with Pakistan's ISI by "clandestinely" funnelling hundreds and thousands of dollars to change the view of American lawmakers on Kashmir.

July 21: Houston: Space shuttle Atlantis touches down safely in its final landing at the Kennedy Space Centre here, bringing the curtain down on the NASA's 30-year space shuttle programme considered one of the most eventful eras in the US history of manned spaceflight.

July 23: Oslo: The Norwegian suspect in the double attacks that left at least 92 dead described himself as a fundamentalist Christian, said police, as evidence emerged that he had flirted with the political far-right.

July 27: Washington: Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi Fai has admitted to receiving funds from Pakistan's ISI to influence law makers on Kashmir in a Virginia court which released him on a bond but put him under house arrest with a radio tag around his ankle for electronic surveillance.

Aug 3: Cairo: Egypt's once all-powerful President Hosni Mubarak appeared a frail figure as he was wheeled into a courtroom on a stretcher to face trial on charges of corruption and killing protesters, pleading not guilty.

Aug 5: Bangkok: Yingluck Shinawatra, who rode to election victory on her promise of achieving national reconciliation in Thailand after five years of political turmoil, is formally chosen by the parliament as country's first woman Prime Minister.

Aug 6: Washington: Raising concerns over creditworthiness of the world's largest economy, Standard and Poor's has downgraded sovereign rating of the US from the top-most 'AAA' level for the first time in history -- a move that could make the debt-ridden nation's borrowings costlier.

Aug 7: London: In one of the worst riots in the UK, a mob torches several vehicles and buildings and clash with security forces in an economically poor area of London overnight, injuring 26 officers, after police shot dead a 29-year-old local man.

Aug 12: Beijing: China launches a communications satellite for Pakistan, as the two all weather allies opened a "new platform" in space collaboration to further cement their strategic relationship.

Aug 13: London: More than 700 people have been charged with violence and looting for four days of unprecedented street violence that shook Britain last week as authorities announced that they would maintain emergency policing levels through the week end and beyond if necessary.

Aug 17: Kathmandu: Nepal vows not to allow its soil for any anti-China activities, as a high-level visiting Chinese delegation announced a USD 50 million aid for security cooperation and development projects in the country.

Aug 20: Dhaka: Bangladesh and India ink strip maps to demarcate over 4,000-kilometre international border between the two neighbours in a bid to settle the long-standing frontier-related discord.

Aug 23: New York: A US judge drops all sex crime charges against former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn.

Aug 25: New York: Apple says Steve Jobs resigned as its CEO and named Tim Cook as his successor.

Aug 27: Lahore: A Pakistani court conducting the trial of seven suspects in the Mumbai attack case is told by a prosecution witness that "handlers from Karachi" had made calls giving directions to the terrorists who had launched the 26/11 strike.

Aug 28: Kathmandu: Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai is elected Nepal's new Prime Minister defeating his Nepali Congress rival RC Poudyal, with the Terai-based Madhesi alliance extending crucial support to the former rebel leader.

Aug 29: New York/Washington: The death toll in the US from Hurricane Irene rises to 21
Sep 1: Singapore: Former Deputy Prime Minister Tony Tan, who won the first contested election for the post of President in 18 years, is sworn in as Singapore's head of state.

Sept 5: China: China dismisses as "groundless" a media report that its navy had confronted an Indian naval ship in South China Sea while returning from goodwill visit to Vietnam.

Sept 6: Washington: A leaked US diplomatic cable says the Ruias-led Essar Group, which has mining interests in Chhattisgarh, pays protection money to Maoists to safeguard its operations in state, a claim company dismisses as baseless.

On Board Air India One: India and Bangladesh will not sign a deal on sharing of waters of Teesta river during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Dhaka in the wake of strong reservations to move voiced by West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee.

Sept 10: Washington: Describing the Indo-US strategic partnership as a "defining and indispensable" collaboration for the 21st century, President Barack Obama has said the two countries share a dynamic and broad relationship that serves to advance peace and prosperity in Asia and the world.

Sept 12: Dubai: Seventeen Indians who were sentenced to death for murdering a Pakistani man in a bootlegging case in Sharjah last year will walk free after an appeal court drops their punishment today, after over Rs 4 crore was paid as blood money to the victim's family.

Sept 13: Islamabad: India and Pakistan agree to enhance cooperation through "effective and sustained steps" to control illicit drug trade and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to boost efforts to prevent the trafficking of narcotics and precursor chemicals.

Sept 14: Washington: Identifying Gujarat as perhaps the best example of effective governance and impressive development in India, a Congressional report has showered praise on Chief Minister Narendra Modi, saying the state under him has become a key driver of national economic growth.

Sept 15: Beijing: China says it is working with India to set up a new joint consultation and coordination mechanism on boundary affairs and asserted that it was strictly abiding by the agreements reached between the two countries in the past to maintain peace along the border.

Sept 16: Washington: The US slaps sanctions on India- based terrorist group Indian Mujahideen (IM) by designating it as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation and says it has significant links with Pakistan-based groups like the LeT.

Sept 17: Singapore: Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj discusses with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong bilateral ties and potential for this country's firms to participate in urban development, planning and management projects in India.

Sept 19: Colombo/New Delhi: India and Sri Lanka kick- start their largest ever joint naval exercise off coast off Trincomalee to enhance interoperability between two navies.

Sept 20: Washington: Despite being invited, India has decided against joining an international effort, led by the US and Brazil, for an open government partnership to root out corruption, to make governance more accountable to citizens and more transparent.

Sept 24: UN: As Palestinians make a vigorous push for statehood, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expresses India's "steadfast" support for their struggle for a sovereign, independent and united state of Palestine.

Dhaka: Hoping to chart out modalities for a joint border management system, India and Bangladesh discuss ways to tackle cross-frontier crimes like drug smuggling and trafficking of women and children.

Sept 27: UN: India asks members of the UN Security Council to adopt an "ambitious" outcome document that emphasizes "zero tolerance" to terrorism, saying terrorists have continued to take innocent lives from Moscow to Mumbai in the decade following the 9/11 attacks.

Washington: An Indian American neurosurgeon, having an account in the HSBC India branch, is indicted for conspiracy to defrauding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by the US Justice Department.

Oct 1: Geneva: President Pratibha Patil visits France- based European Organisation for Nuclear Research, commonly known as CERN, where she patted Indian scientists for their contributions to cutting edge research work.

Oct 6: New York: Visionary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who revolutionised everyday technology from personal computer to the iPod and iPhone, dies at the age of 56 after a seven- year battle with pancreatic cancer.

Oct 10: Colombo: Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai meets Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and raises the issue of frequent attacks on fishermen from TN during his talks with authorities here underlining there is no room for violence.

Oct 11: United Nations: In provocative comments, Pakistan claims that Jammu and Kashmir has never been an "integral part" of India and seeks a UN-led plebiscite to determine the will of the Kashmiri people, evoking an angry rebuttal by India which terms the remarks as "unwarranted".

Oct 12: Islamabad: Pakistan decides in principle to grant Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India.

Oct 13: Punakha: King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck of Bhutan marries his childhood sweetheart and commoner Jetsun Pema in a traditional Buddhist ceremony.

Oct 16: New York/London: Buoyed by worldwide support for 'Occupy Wall Street' movement, a wave of protests sweep across Europe, America and parts of Asia, with thousands of people taking to streets in 950 cities across 80 countries against corporate greed, leading to clashes with police.

Oct 20: Tripoli: Muammar Gaddafi, a maverick who held sway over Libya with an iron fist rule for 42 years, is shot and killed by rebels in his hometown of Sirte after the revolutionary forces overruns his last bastion.

Nov 1: Kathmandu: Nepal's major political parties agree on a historical deal to conclude a five-year peace process through consensus.

Nov 2: Istanbul: Turkey expresses apologies for raking up the Kashmir issue in the UN General Assembly after India conveys its "unhappiness" over the matter.

Nov 4: Cannes: Warning that tax evasion and illicit flows have become a "serious" problem, PM Manmohan Singh asks the G -20 to send a strong message to curb such activities.

Nov 6: London: Miss Venezuela, Ivian Lunasol Sarcos Colimenares, is crowned the 2011 winner of the Miss World beauty pageant at a glittering final ceremony in London.

Nov 8: Los Angeles: Michael Jackson's doctor Conrad Murray found guilty of involuntary manslaughter over the King of Pop's 2009 death, in a climax to a six-week trial.

Nov 9: Beijing: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi holds candid talks with Chinese leaders, specially on contentious issues like presence of PLA troops in POK, terrorist training camps in Pakistan and prolonged detention of 22 diamond merchants from Gujarat on charges of smuggling.

Addu (Maldives): In the backdrop of "shrinking" trust deficit, India and Pakistan discus the key issue of terrorism, which has dogged the bilateral ties for years, with New Delhi asking Islamabad not to allow terrorism from its soil and seeking speedy trial of 26/11 case.

Nov 12: Male: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announces a USD 100 million Standby Credit Facility to Maldives and a number of other key initiatives, including building the capacity of Maldivian security forces, boosting India's ties with this strategic island nation.

Nov 13: Rome: Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi quits Power to cheers from a crowd of thousands in Rome after a wave of market panic that shook the eurozone and brought his long rule to an end.

Nov 14: Washington: The US says there is no change in its policy of denying visa to Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.


Melbourne/Bangalore: Eyeing India's growing uranium needs and its potential to provide jobs in Australia, PM Julia Gillard pitches for lifting a long-standing ban on export of the yellow cake to the rising Asian giant.

Bali: Against the backdrop of the South China Sea issue row, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tells his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao that India's oil exploration in the disputed maritime area is "purely commercial activity" even as the two sides agree that there is enough space and areas for them to work together.

Nov 23: United Nations: India is elected to the United Nations' Joint Inspection Unit defeating China in a direct fight for the lone seat from the Asia-Pacific region and returning to this powerful external oversight body after a gap of 35 years.

Dec 6: Cairo: Millions of enthusiastic Egyptians vote to elect their first post-Mubarak parliament, shrugging off the recent confrontation with the ruling military and logistic problems, in what was described as a surprisingly massive turnout by election authorities.

Dec 8: United Nations: Offering its support in achieving peace in the Middle East, India asks Israel to stop settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories and release the tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority.

Dec 10: Sanaa: Yemen's national unity government, led by the opposition, was sworn today to lead a three-month transition period until early elections are held and President Ali Abdullah Saleh formally steps down.

Dec 11: Durban: The crucial Kyoto Protocol gets a new lease of life as climate negotiators agree to a second commitment period under it after India, refusing to be "intimidated" by the West, pushed hard for the principle of equity to be a part of the new roadmap to cut emissions.

Dec 12: Beijing: In a move that may cause unease in India, China announces that it will set up its first military base abroad in the Indian Ocean island of Seychelles to "seek supplies and recuperate" facilities for its Navy.

Dec 16: Moscow: Clearing the uncertainty, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh announces that the first unit of the Kudankulam nuclear power project will be operationalised in a "couple of weeks" but India and Russia did not sign any agreement on construction of the third and fourth units.

Dec 18: Over 200 people were feared dead after a heavily overloaded boat packed mostly with Afghan and Iranian asylum- seekers sank off Indonesia en route to Australia.

Dec 18: Karachi: President Asif Ali Zardari, who was treated for a heart condition in Dubai, returns to Pakistan.

Dec 19: Kim Jong Il, North Korea's mercurial and leader whose iron rule and nuclear ambitions dominated world security fears for more than a decade dies at 69.

Dec 19: Moscow: In the wake of an uproar over a move to ban Bhagwad Gita in Siberia, Russia tonight expressed sadness over the development, saying it is "inadmissible" that a holy scripture is taken to court.

Dec 20: Washington: Against backdrop of increased Chinese military manoeuvres in the Asia-Pacific region, India, Japan and US held their first-ever trilateral dialogue and discussed a wide range of regional and global issues of mutual interest.

Dec 21: New York: An Indian managing director of a US investment firm was among five people killed when a small plane lost control and crashed on a New Jersey highway.

Dec 21: Somali pirates have freed an Italian oil tanker hijacked in February with five Italians and 17 Indians on board after nearly 11 months in captivity.

Dec 22: Melbourne: An Australian teenage boy is jailed for 13 years by a court here for murdering Indian student Nitin Garg, a heinous crime that followed a slew of racist attacks on community members and sparked a diplomatic row with New Delhi.

Dec 22: Paris: French lawmakers vote to threaten those who deny the Armenian genocide with jail, drawing a furious response from Turkey, which immediately imposed diplomatic and military sanctions.

Dec 23: Myanmar's democracy champion Aung San Suu Kyi registers her opposition party and visits the national parliament for the first time as she prepares to enter the mainstream political arena.

Dec 23: Damascus Twin suicide car bomb blasts rip through an upscale Damascus district today, targeting heavily guarded intelligence buildings and killing at least 44 people.

Dec 24: Cairo: Egyptian Islamist parties, dominate the runoff for the second round of the three-stage Parliamentary elections to put in place a civilian leadership following the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Dec 25: Karachi: Tens of thousands of people, Including women and children, rallied in support of Pakistani-cricketer -turned politician Imran Khan here today, showcasing his party as a rising force in the country's politics.

Dec 26: London: A 23-year-old Indian student enrolls at Lancaster University in the UK was killed after he was shot in an "unprovoked attack" by two white men.

Dec 26: islamabad: India and Pakistan review conventional confidence-building measures during the first phase of two-day talks being held here as part of the bilateral peace process.

Dec 27: London: A 17-year-old teenager is arrested by the UK police in connection with Unprovoked killing of Indian student Anuj Bidve, who was shot dead in what could be a hate -crime.

Dec 27: Rome:Pirates hijack an Italian cargo ship with 18 people, including seven Indians, on board at dawn today off the coast of Oman in an area known for Somali pirate attacks.

Dec 27: Islamabad: India and Pakistan decide to move forward on proposals to extend two key agreements on pre-notification of ballistic missile tests and reducing the risk from accidents related to nuclear weapons.

Dec 28: Moscow: Bringing an end to a six-month long legal battle, Russian court rejects a ban on a translated version of Bhagvad Gita, a verdict welcomed by India as a "sensible resolution of a sensitive issue".

Through the Lenses !

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