August, 31 2012 09:06:22

August 31 in History



Diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Malaysia are re-established, following Indonesia's opposition to the formation of the Malaya federation.


Government and opposition officials in South Korea agree on revising the constitution to clear the way for direct presidential elections and other reforms.


After Armenian Republic's Parliament declares a state of emergency, 250 militant nationalists give up their weapons.


Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan become the ninth and tenth Soviet republics to declare independence.


Irish Republican Army declares an open-ended cease-fire in its 24-year campaign against British rule of Northern Ireland.


North Korea launches a new, more powerful long-range ballistic missile that crosses over Japan's main island and crashes into the Pacific Ocean. The test draws strong protests from Japan and the United States.


The United States decides to boycott several meetings in Japan dealing with science and the environment in a protest of the expansion of Japanese whaling.


Negotiators at a meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Geneva reach an agreement that would allow poor countries with severe epidemics of infectious diseases such as AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria to import generic drugs designed to fight them.


The European Union makes a solemn appeal for the release of two French journalists held hostage in Iraq by gunmen demanding France overturn a ban on Islamic head scarves in public schools.— AFP/REUTERS

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Mountains of coal sludge still threat to lives in Quang Ninh Mountains of coal sludge still threat to lives in Quang Ninh

Wiping sweat from his forehead, 36-year-old Trinh Duc Sang took big strides along a road covered with muddy coal sludge and dirt to the place that was his home until just three weeks ago. He climbed a rickety ladder that buckled under his weight to reach his neigh-bour's house overlooking a creek. From there, he crossed into his old home.

Doctors treat patients for free at clinic in Ha Noi Doctors treat patients for free at clinic in Ha Noi

For more than 20 years, Dang Thi Nhan, 67, has been waking up about 30 minutes earlier each day to bake cakes or prepare tea for two retired doctors in a clinic near her house in Ha Noi's Giap Bat Ward.

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Pham Ba Lu swore thousands of times that he "would not live under the same sky as the United States".

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Water management has become a major topic of discussion in recent years among Viet Nam's lawmakers, experts and society. The country has been struggling to deal with water-related issues such as a rising sea level, land subsidence and saline intrusion in the Mekong Delta. Lawmakers and experts shared their views on water management with Viet Nam News reporters Thu Van and Hoang Anh.