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The international Convention on Cluster Munitions, first signed in Oslo in 2008, took effect Aug. 1. Thirty-eight of more than 100 signatories have ratified the treaty, which prohibits the use, manufacture and sale of cluster bombs. Released bomblets can cover a wide area, and because not all of them immediately explode, they can harm civilians who come upon them. The convention's supporters hope its influence will extend beyond just its signatories, which do not include the U.S., China or Russia.
[This article consists of # illustrations. Please see hardcopy of magazine.]
Anatomy of a Cluster Bomb
1. Canister is dropped from aircraft
2. Bomblets are released
3. Bomblets float down to target
6 | Russia
Record-breaking heat and the worst drought in decades have caused more than 500 wildfires to break out across central Russia, killing at least 48 people since July 29, displacing thousands more and leading the government to declare a state of emergency in seven regions. Dry winds sent clouds of smoke over Moscow, while 250 miles (400 km) to the east, crews fought back flames that surrounded the Russian Federal Nuclear Center, the country's top nuclear-research facility, in Sarov. At least one-fifth of the nation's wheat crop has been destroyed, sending bread prices soaring.
7 | Israel
Lebanese Border Clash Kills Four
Israeli and Lebanese troops exchanged gunfire Aug. 3, killing a senior Israeli officer, two Lebanese soldiers and a Lebanese journalist. UNIFIL, the U.N. peacekeeping force, supported Israel's assertions that its soldiers were clearing brush on the Israeli side of the line when Lebanese troops opened fire. The clash was the first along the border since the 2006 Israel-Hizballah war, in which nearly 1,200 Lebanese and 160 Israelis died.
8 | Karachi
A Metropolis Under Siege
Rival gangs in the Pakistani city of Karachi began a rampage Aug. 2 that closed schools and businesses, saw countless buildings torched and left more than 60 people dead in just two days. The violence was sparked by the killing of Raza Haider, leader of a political party composed of émigrés originally from India that controls Karachi and has long been at odds with other factions in the city. The government, blaming the Taliban, has arrested some 20 suspected Islamic hard-liners, but land disputes and ethnic tensions also underlie the violence.
9 | Jakarta
Parliament Watches Porn
On Aug. 2, internal TV screens in Indonesia's House of Representatives displayed a feed from a smutty website for 15 minutes before being shut down. Authorities have yet to identify those behind the prank, which happened ahead of an online-pornography ban that is due to take effect Aug. 11. The world's most populous Muslim nation is grappling with new challenges posed by the Web, which is used by some 40 million of its citizens.
10 | Kenya
Voting on a Constitution