Wikipedia:Main Page history/2012 October 11

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Avenue of the Baobabs, western Madagascar, near Morondava

Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean, off the southeastern coast of Africa. The nation comprises the island of Madagascar as well as numerous smaller peripheral islands. Madagascar split from India around 88 million years ago, allowing plants and animals on the island to evolve to a biodiversity hotspot; over 90 percent of its wildlife is found nowhere else on Earth. The island is among the last major land masses to be reached by humans; its first settlers arrived on outrigger canoes from Borneo around 2350 years ago, followed over 1000 years later by migrants from East Africa. The Malagasy people are often divided into eighteen or more sub-groups of which the largest are the Merina of the central highlands. At the turn of the 19th century, most of the island's numerous kingdoms were united under Merina rulers as the Kingdom of Madagascar. The monarchy collapsed in 1897 when the island was absorbed into the French colonial empire, from which the island regained independence in 1960. Since 1992 the nation has officially been governed as a constitutional democracy from its capital at Antananarivo. However, in a popular uprising in 2009 the last elected president Marc Ravalomanana was made to resign and presidential power was transferred to Andry Rajoelina in a move widely viewed by the international community as a coup d'état. (more...)

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Container ship

The Nicholas Delmas, a 196 m (643 ft) long container ship operated by Delmas, unloading at the Zanzibar port in Tanzania. Container ships carry all of their load in large intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.

Photo: Muhammad Mahdi Karim

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