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This week the political climate in Nepal changed dramatically as King Gyanendra placed the prime minister and members of the cabinet under house arrest, and then proceeded to declare a state of emergency. Shortly after this action was taken, flights to the capital city of Kathmandu were cancelled, phone lines were cut, and Nepal's press was censored. The king faces a rather difficult battle, as the country is now involved in a power struggle that involves the monarchy, Nepal's parliamentary parties, and the Maoist rebel movement. Many persons in Nepal have always been skeptical of the king's commitment to democracy and his ability to bring the Maoist rebels back to the political bargaining table for extended talks. This task may prove too difficult for any group or individual to accomplish, as the basic aim of the rebel faction is to abolish the monarchy and establish a communist republic. International leaders have been quite vocal about condemning the king's recent actions, and U.N. Secretary Kofi Annan called these developments "a serious setback for the country".The first link leads to a piece from BBC News that offers an overview of the recent events in Nepal. The second link will take visitors to a story from the Times of India that talks about the new cabinet named by the king this week. The third link leads to a very helpful piece (again from the BBC) that provides answers to questions about the crisis in Nepal. The fourth link whisks visitors away to the World Bank's website dedicated to providing information about its work in Nepal. The fifth link takes visitors to the Kantipur Online website, where individuals can read current news stories and also peruse other English-language news sources in Nepal. The final link leads to the NepalOnline website, which also serves as a clearinghouse of information on the country.
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