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The National Telecommunications Commission (CONATEL) issued a censorship order on 9 November for websites reporting parallel exchange rates. Administrative proceedings have also been initiated against Internet Service Providers allowing access to these websites.

A strike by oil workers snowballed a year ago in Zhanaozen, in western Kazakhstan, and ended up being crushed brutally by the security forces on 16 December 2011. The authorities skilfully imposed a news blackout on the event at the local, regional and national levels.

In December 2010, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected after a fraud-ridden ballot. Lukashenko, head of state since 1994, topped the poll with almost 80 percent of the votes.

It is a fanciful story that testifies to the irony of history. On 1 February 1979, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini set foot in Iran for the first time after spending 14 years in exile.