Coral and fish

Tristan da Cunha establishes a massive marine protected area

The government of Tristan da Cunha, a four-island archipelago of about 250 people, has announced that it will be protecting approximately 700,000 square kilometers of its waters, creating the world’s fourth-largest Marine Protected Area.

Temple at Bagan, Myanmar

Myanmar eradicates trachoma

The World Health Organization has validated that the disease has been eliminated from the country: This is extra impressive, because in 2005, trachoma was responsible for 4% of all cases of blindness there. The nation joins Nepal in the WHO South-East Asia Region and 12 countries globally to achieve this feat.

Olusegun Obasanjo

Democracy emerges in Nigeria after 16 years of military rule

On 29 May 1999, Abubakar transferred power to the winner of the 1999 presidential election, former military ruler General Olusegun Obasanjo as the second democratically elected civilian President of Nigeria heralding the beginning of the Fourth Nigerian Republic.

Kazakhstan's flag

Kazakhstan declares independence from the Soviet Union

Following the August 1991 aborted coup attempt in Moscow, Kazakhstan declared independence on 16 December 1991, thus becoming the last Soviet republic to declare independence. Ten days later, the Soviet Union itself ceased to exist.