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Sticks and axes

  • serene: Towering some 550 metres (1,800 ft) above the Pakistani town of Garhi Habibullah to the west, and the Kashmiri city of Muzaffarabad to the east, Dub Gali looks serene on a cool October morning.
  • maharaja: Muslims in the western districts of the state revolted against the ruling maharaja in June and there were anti-Muslim riots in southern Kashmir in September.
  • maharaja: The maharaja's army had scattered, and Hindus and Sikhs had fled the villages.
  • maharaja: Unbeknown to them, the maharaja had by then signed an instrument of accession with India.
  • gorge: By November's end, the tribesmen had mostly pulled back to U ri, where the Jhelum gorge becomes narrower and easy to defend.

China's Xi Jinping consolidates power with new ideology

  • unwieldy: At panel groups to discuss Xi Jinping's keynote speech, top leaders carefully echoed the unwieldy phrase" Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era ".
  • pantheon: Both are strong signals that Xi Jinping will achieve what predecessors have failed to do for 20 years- he will officially join the pantheon of China's transformative leaders by getting his name written into the party constitution at the close of congress next week.
  • usurp: He named top cadres Bo Xilai, Zhou Yongkang and Sun Zhengcai as among a group of " hugely corrup t" high-ranking officials who" plotted to usurp the party's leadership and seize state power ".

Moscow gets a much needed facelift. But is it worth the cost?

  • overpower: Moscow is a city that's notorious for its grand, overpowering architecture.
  • humanize: Modernizing and humanizing it by enabling public access and convenience is no small task.
  • thoroughfare: Some of Moscow's major downtown thoroughfares have been closed for months at a time and completely dug up, bringing howls of outrage from local residents and businesses whose lives were disrupted.
  • imaginable: Outdoor kiosks, small businesses selling everything imaginable that proliferated after the collapse of the USSR, have been almost completely cleared from city streets.
  • intolerable: Moscow traffic, always verging on paralytic, sometimes became an intolerable nightmare; road rage incidents multiplied.