Tourism and Terrorism in Timbuktu – how is one affecting the other in Mali’s famous city?

Timbuktu, in Mali, has UNESCO world heritage status due to it’s ancient heritage and iconic status – http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/119. However, it is listed as being at risk due to advancing desert sands.

Recently, islamic terrorism has affected tourism to the region and this has had a knock on effect on the economy:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8362765.stm

More about Timbuktu here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbuktu

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How has the EU grown and how might it grow in the future?

This article discusses how the European Union has grown and how it might grow further. There are serious differences of opinion over who should or shouldn’t be allowed to join and there will need to be a lot of diplomacy before deals are sealed:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7529707.stm

What is life like in Tehran?

Iran is an enigmatic nation. The target of ridicule and oprobrium from some quarters, it is also a well developed and intellectual nation.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/7612319.stm

What’s happening in Burma?

Burma has been subject to military rule for decades. There have been many attempts to bring democracy to the country, which are outlined here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/asia_pacific/2007/burma/default.stm

A year after the protests, life is still grim for most of the people of Burma:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7630812.stm

What’s happening in the Democratic Republic of Congo?

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been suffering a long, bloody and poorly reported war.

You can learn more about the DRC here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/guides/456900/456977/html/default.stm

and here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_Republic_of_the_Congo

Amnesty International have more information about the conflict and some of the ongoing problems here (do not click if you are easily upset):

http://www.amnesty.org.uk/content.asp?CategoryID=581

More recently, some seeds of hope have been apparent, showing that even in the most desperate of circumstances, humanity can prevail:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/7637282.stm

In late October 2008, a detereoration in the situation lead to more suffering and pushed some of the world’s dominant governments to intervene in the hope of finding a diplomatic solution:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7701269.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7696139.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7704237.stm

As the tensions continue, government troops have been accused of targeting civilians and looting:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/7722069.stm

Investigate the conflict and make your own mind up.

Whilst many have endured great suffering and hardship, it is clear that some Congolese are benfitting from the opportunities that exist in DR Congo, as shown in this report from May 2009:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own_correspondent/8027367.stm

What’s going on in North Korea?

This secretive state likes to keep itself to itself. It’s people are ruled by an oppressive one party state, however, recently there have been signs of some cracks in the seemingly impregnable North Korean regime. The leader, Kim Jong Il, is reported to have been taken ill and missed an important military parade. Is this the start of a period of change for North Korea?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/asia_pacific/2006/north_korea/default.stm

How is Cuba changing?

Fidel Castro has handed control of Cuba over to his brother Raul. Cuba is a country which rouses strong and often polarised passions in many commentators. Certainly it proposes an equal society, where all people are cared for equally, but it also lacks democracy and some of the basic freedoms that are taken for granted in the western world.

Whatever your opinion, Cuba is now changing. More private ownership of goods is possible and the keystone policy that meant all people were paid the same wage regardless of their job is under threat. You can find out more about Cuba after Fidel Castro here:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/americas/2007/castro/default.stm

The 50th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution has been marked across the country. The changes that Cuba has undergone and is about to undergo will shape the country as it enters a new era:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7806928.stm