Disasters, July 2007–June 2008 Month by Month

Listed here are major disasters between July 2007 and June 2008. The list includes natural and nonmilitary mechanical disasters that claimed 25 or more lives and/or resulted in significant damage to property.

July 2007

4 Jul Liaoning province, China. A karaoke bar full of university students is destroyed by an explosion; there are at least 25 fatalities.

5 Jul Culiacan, Mexico. A small cargo plane blows a tire during takeoff and crashes into a highway; three people aboard the plane, two soldiers guarding the airstrip, and four people in a car on the highway are killed.

8 Jul India. Government officials say the death toll from monsoon rains throughout the country has reached 660; hardest hit has been Maharashtra state.

16 Jul Near Lviv, Ukraine. A train carrying phosphorous from Kazakhstan to Poland derails and catches fire; the resultant cloud of toxic gas poisons at least 20 people and requires the evacuation of some 800 nearby residents.

17 Jul Sao Paulo. As a TAM Airlines Airbus 320 attempts to land at Congonhas Airport in the midst of a rainstorm, it skids off a runway, slides across a highway, and crashes into a building; at least 200 people, including some on the ground, are killed.

19 Jul Canary Islands. Off the coast of Tenerife, Spanish rescue crews spot a foundering wooden boat carrying African migrants; 48 migrants are saved, but some 50 more are feared drowned.

20 Jul Northwestern Pakistan. Landslides resulting from heavy rains leave more than 80 people dead in Dirbala district.

22 Jul France. Near the village of Vizille, a bus carrying Polish pilgrims from the shrine of Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette in the French Alps goes off the road, hitting a river bank and catching fire; 26 passengers are killed.

23 Jul Indonesia. Officials say flash floods and landslides that have inundated villages have left at least 30 people dead.

25 Jul Romania. Authorities report that an unremitting heat wave in southeastern Europe has killed 33 people in the country.

26 Jul Northern Syria. High temperatures cause a weapons depot near Aleppo to explode; at least 15 people are killed.

30 Jul China. The Xinhua news agency reports that unusually bad flooding from rain over the past few weeks has left some 650 people dead, including 17 in the past two days.

August 2007

I Aug Democratic Republic of the Congo. The brakes fail on a freight train near Benaleka, and eight cars derail; about 100 people are reported to have perished.

3 Aug Sierra Leone. A boat traveling from Freetown to Rokupr capsizes in heavy rain at the mouth of the Great Scarcies River; the vast majority of the estimated 120 people aboard are believed to have drowned.

8 Aug India. Flooding in Gujarat state forces army personnel and helicopters to rescue and relocate people; so far this season some 290 people have died in flooding in the state.

10 Aug French Polynesia. A twin-engine turboprop Twin Otter plane carrying passengers on a seven-minute flight from the island of Moorea to the main island of Tahiti goes down in the ocean; all 20 passengers aboard perish.

II Aug Indian-administered Kashmir. A fire breaks out at an ammunitions depot, causing explosions that continue for close to two days; at least 20 people, mostly firemen and soldiers, are killed.

13 Aug Off the shore of Mayotte. Officials in Mayotte, a French dependency in the Indian Ocean, report that a boat carrying migrants from Comoros capsized and at least 17 of the passengers drowned.

15 Aug Pisco, Peru. The city is destroyed by an offshore earthquake of magnitude 8.0 that leaves at least 540 people dead and some 200,000 in need of shelter.

16 Aug North Korea. After receiving permission from North Korea to examine flood-stricken regions after torrential rains, UN officials report 83 people dead and 60 missing as well as the destruction of 58,000 homes and 90,000 ha (222,400 ac) of farmland.

17 Aug Xintai, Shandong province, China. Excessive rainfall causes flash flooding from rivers into two coal mines, where 181 miners are trapped and drowned.

19 Aug Western Mexico. The waters of the Cuiztla River suddenly rise, sweeping away 15 members of the Universal Christian Church who were camping in Rancho Ixcamilpa.

20 Aug US. Authorities report that two violent storm systems, one in the upper Mississippi River states and one in Texas, have left at least 20 people dead.

22 Aug Northern Iraq. A US military Black Hawk helicopter crashes, killing all 14 soldiers aboard; mechanical failure is blamed for the crash.

23 Aug Mexico. The remnants of Hurricane Dean cause 8 deaths, bringing the death toll from the storm in the Caribbean and Mexico to 25.

24 Aug Greece. With high winds and high temperatures fueling them, dozens of wildfires have killed at least 15 people; by the time firefighters gain control over the flames on 29 August the death toll has risen to at least 64.

26 Aug Democratic Republic of the Congo. A cargo plane carrying tin ore crashes shortly after takeoff from Kongolo; 13 of the 15 people aboard are killed.

27 Aug Uganda. In the village of Kapchogo, a truck transporting army members and their families veers into a concrete barrier on the side of the road; 72 people perish.

28 Aug China. The minister of water resources reports that in spite of unusual extremes of weather in the country, the death toll (1,138) this year from floods is lower than last year’s by nearly half because of better handling of disasters.

29 Aug Azerbaijan. A 16-story building under construction in Baku collapses, killing at least 19 people; the head of the construction company is arrested.

September 2007

4 Sep Nicaragua. Hurricane Felix makes landfall near Puerto Cabezas as a category 5 storm; more than 100 people are killed and a further 150 missing, with heavy damage to buildings and farmland in both Nicaragua and Honduras.

6 Sep Southern California. A week of unusually high temperatures comes to an end; some 20 people are believed to have perished in the heat wave.

7 Sep Rajasthan state, India. Near the village of Desuri Ki Naal, a truck loaded with pilgrims falls from the road into a gorge; at least 72 of those aboard perish.

9 Sep Mexico. In Coahuila state a truck loaded with mining explosives collides with another vehicle and after the arrival of emergency personnel and reporters the truck explodes; at least 37 people are incinerated.

15 Sep Mexico. A bus carrying tourists from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara goes off a mountain road into a ravine, killing at least 18 of the 35 passengers; most of the passengers had arrived on a flight from Phoenix that had been deflected to Puerto Vallarta from Guadalajara.

16 Sep Thailand. A passenger airliner crashes while attempting to land in heavy rain on the resort island of Phuket; at least 89 of those aboard, most of them tourists, are killed.

21 Sep Karachi, Pakistan. Police report that at least 22 people have died and many more been made ill as a result of drinking illegally brewed alcoholic beverages.

24 Sep Afghanistan. In Ghazni province, two passenger buses collide head-on; at least 40 people are killed.

26 Sep Vietnam. A 90-m (295-ft) section of the Can Tho Bridge being built over the Hau River in the southern Mekong delta collapses; at least 50 construction workers are crushed when the concrete section, poured only the previous day, falls.

October 2007

3 Oct Vietnam. Typhoon Lekima makes landfall, causing flooding and damage and leaving at least 32 people dead.

4 Oct Democratic Republic of the Congo. An Antonov-26 cargo plane crashes into the Kingasani neighborhood of Kinshasa, killing at least 51 people.

6 Oct Cuba. A bus and a train collide in a small town in Granma province; at least 28 people are killed.

9 Oct Africa. Agence France-Presse reports that over the past two months, flooding in much of the continent from unusually heavy summer rains has left at least 300 people dead.

10 Oct Brazil. A truck attempting to pass another truck on a mountainous curve hits a bus head-on, killing six passengers and the truck driver; after rescue workers arrive, another truck going down the hill plows into the scene, killing at least 21 of those present.

13 Oct Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. A natural gas explosion all but levels a 10-story apartment building; at least 23 people perish.

18 Oct Off Sulawesi, Indonesia. As the passenger ferry Acita 003 nears shore, passengers climb to the upper deck in search of cell phone signals, causing the boat to capsize; at least 31 of the passengers drown.

19 Oct Near San Francisco del Mar, Mexico. The bodies of 24 people wash ashore; it is believed that they were attempting to migrate from Central America in a boat that capsized.

22 Oct Fujian province, China. In Putian a fire, reportedly caused by faulty wiring, kills at least 34 workers in a shoe factory.

23 Oct Gulf of Mexico. During a storm, large waves knock the Usumacinta drilling rig belonging to Pemex, the Mexican state oil company, into an adjacent platform, causing leaks of crude oil and natural gas; workers take to the sea in lifeboats to avoid suffocation, but at least 21 are killed.

26 Oct Senegal. A Spanish hospital ship returns a man to Dakar; the man was the only survivor of a group of African migrants that had set out by boat for the Canary Islands three weeks previously; some 50 others had perished.

29 Oct Ogun state, Nigeria. A fuel truck overturns and ignites; three commuter buses and four cars are engulfed in the flames, and at least 30 people are incinerated.

November 2007

1 Nov Caribbean. After devastating the Dominican Republic and Haiti, Tropical Storm Noel brings torrential rains and flooding to The Bahamas and Cuba; the overall death toll from the storm reaches 124.

3 Nov Mexico. After five days of record rainfall, much of the state of Tabasco suffers flooding, with some 80% of the city of Villahermosa under as much as 2.1 m (7 ft) of water; tens of thousands of residents have been displaced by the flooding.

4 Nov Argentina. A fire at a maximum security prison in the province of Santiago del Estero leaves at least 29 inmates dead.

6 Nov Atlantic Ocean. A Mauritanian patrol boat finds a boat that had left Senegal three weeks earlier loaded with African migrants attempting to reach the Canary Islands; some 100 survivors are on board, and they say that some 50 people perished on the journey and most were thrown overboard.

15 Nov Bangladesh. Cyclone Sidr lays waste to much of the southwestern coastal area of Bangladesh; some 3,500 people perish.

18 Nov Eastern Saudi Arabia. Workers are attempting to link a new pipeline to an existing oil pipeline when an explosion and subsequent fire occur; at least 28 people are killed.

21 Nov China. A landslide in the region of the Three Gorges Dam in China sweeps away a passenger bus, killing some 30 people; a few additional people are also killed by the landslide.

30 Nov Turkey. An Atlasjet MD-83 jetliner en route from Istanbul to Isparta crashes shortly before its destination; all 57 on board die.

December 2007

5 Dec Shanxi province, China. An explosion in the Xinyao coal mine in Linfen kills at least 105 miners.

11 Dec Dominican Republic. Tropical Storm Olga makes landfall, causing flooding and leaving at least 25 people dead, most killed by a release of water from a dam on the Yaque River that officials feared would otherwise collapse.

12 Dec Wenzhou, China. A fire in a 28-story apartment building leaves 21 people dead; it takes some 200 firefighters three hours to extinguish the blaze.

15 Dec Near Al-Irqah, Yemen. Doctors Without Borders finds the bodies of 56 Africans who drowned when their boat capsized; they had been trying to escape from Somalia and Ethiopia; later a Somali diplomat in Yemen says that the death toll is believed to be about 180.

18 Dec Pakistan. An express train traveling from Karachi to Lahore derails near Mehrabpur; at least 50 people lose their lives.

20 Dec Sierra Leone. An explosion, likely caused by a gas leak, kills at least 17 people in downtown Freetown.

24 Dec US. State officials report that a storm involving freezing rain, snow, and high winds has over the past two days left many holiday travelers stranded throughout the Midwest; at least 19 people died in weather-related traffic accidents in Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Texas, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

26 Dec Nigeria. As people attempt to siphon gas from a buried pipeline outside Lagos, the pipeline catches fire, incinerating at least 45 people.

31 Dec Beni Mzar, Egypt. When the driver of a pickup truck attempts to pass a passenger bus, the bus driver swerves to try to avoid an accident, and the vehicle falls into a canal that runs alongside the Nile River; 17 passengers and the drivers of both vehicles are killed.

January 2008

7 Jan Inch’on, South Korea. Fire breaks out at a newly built cold-storage facility; some 40 people are believed to have lost their lives.

9 Jan Iran. Authorities say that a disastrous blizzard in the Tehran area has resulted in the deaths of at least 28 people.

11 Jan Kazakhstan. An ArcelorMittal-owned coal mine suffers a gas explosion in which at least 30 miners are killed.

12 Jan Port Harcourt, Nigeria. A fuel tanker truck blows a tire and overturns; the fuel spills and ignites, incinerating at least 30 people.

16 Jan Morocco. An apartment building under construction in Kenitra collapses, killing 16 workers.

20 Jan India. Near the town of Nashik, an overloaded bus carrying pilgrims from a visit to Hindu shrines fails to negotiate a hairpin turn and plunges over a mountainside; at least 37 of the passengers are killed.

21 Jan Shanxi province, China. As miners attempt to reopen a shaft in a closed mine, an explosion takes place that kills at least 20 people.

23 Jan Poland. A transport plane carrying members of the Polish air force home from a conference on flight safety crashes near the town of Miroslawiec; all 20 aboard are killed.

26 Jan Near Jerash, Jordan. A passenger bus traveling from Irbid to Al-’Aqabah collides with a water truck, and both vehicles fall off the road into the valley below; at least 20 people are killed and more than 30 injured.

29 Jan China. In Guizhou province, which is among those areas suffering prolonged severe winter storms, a bus goes off an ice-coated road; at least 25 passengers perish.

31 Jan Istanbul. An explosion, likely caused by fireworks, destroys a building, killing at least 22.

February 2008

3 Feb Africa. A series of earthquakes take place in the Great Lakes region, killing 40 people (34 in Rwanda and 6 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and injuring more than 400 others.

5 Feb US. An outbreak of tornadoes leaves a path of destruction in several southern states, particularly in Tennessee, where at least 30 people are killed, and Arkansas, which suffers a death toll of at least 13; a further 7 people are reported killed in Kentucky and 4 in Alabama.

7 Feb Egypt. Some 100 km (60 mi) south of Cairo, a bus collides with a minibus in heavy fog and some six more vehicles crash into them; at least 29 people are killed in the pileup.

8 Feb Indian-administered Kashmir. Heavy snowfall triggers avalanches that result in the deaths of at least 20 people.

10 Feb China. Officials say that power and transportation are beginning to be restored in some areas where the worst winter storms in 50 years have led to at least 60 deaths.

12 Feb Northern Bolivia. Pres. Evo Morales declares a national disaster because of flooding following heavy rains that has left at least 60 people dead.

16 Feb Afghanistan. Authorities say the harshest winter in 30 years has left 926 people dead, 462 of them in Herat province, and hundreds of thousands of cattle have also succumbed.

17 Feb Madagascar. A ferocious storm, Cyclone Ivan, makes landfall on the east coast, destroying the village of Ambodihazinina, leaving more than 80 people dead, and devastating the ripening rice crops.

21 Feb Near Itacoatiara, Brazil. The Almirante Mon-teiro, a ferry, collides with a barge in the Amazon River and sinks; some 20 people are feared lost.

28 Feb Near Dhaka, Bangladesh. A ferry collides with another vessel in the Buriganga River; at least 39 passengers are killed.

29 Feb Southern Guatemala. A greatly overloaded bus crashes on a dangerous corner near Jutiapa; at least 45 passengers perish.

March 2008

3 Mar Bay of Bengal. A wooden trawler carrying would-be migrants to Thailand or Malaysia from Bangladesh and Myanmar (Burma) is found drifting by the Sri Lankan navy; 20 of the more than 90 passengers have died of starvation and dehydration.

6 Mar Albania. A boat that is used to carry customers to and from a restaurant on Lake Farka near Tirana sinks; 16 people, most of whom had attended a birthday party at the restaurant, are drowned.

15 Mar Near Tirana, Albania. A series of strong explosions at a munitions depot kills 26 people and injures more than 300.

22 Mar Off Lantao Island, Hong Kong. A Ukrainian tugboat collides with a Chinese freighter and sinks; 18 crew members are feared lost.

25 Mar Western Honduras. A passenger bus goes off a highway in the mountains, rolling down a hillside; at least 26 of those aboard are killed.

26 Mar Xinjiang province, China. As authorities attempt to destroy illegal fireworks outside the city of

Turpan, an unplanned explosion occurs; 22 people are reported killed. 29 Mar Luanda, Angola. More than two dozen people are crushed to death when a seven-story building housing the headquarters of the police criminal-investigation department collapses.

April 2008

1 Apr Nigeria. In Kano state, a dugout canoe carrying a wedding party capsizes; at least 40 people, including the bride, drown.

3 Apr Suriname. A Blue Wings Airlines Antonov An-28 airliner crashes on its approach to the airport in Benzdorp; all 19 aboard lose their lives.

7 Apr Uganda. A fire in a dormitory for a girls’ elementary school outside Kampala kills 19 schoolgirls and 2 adults; the cause is unclear, and reports indicate the doors may have been locked from the outside.

9 Apr Southern Thailand. In a truck carrying illegal Myanmarese (Burmese) migrant workers, 54 of the 121 crammed inside suffocate.

15 Apr Democratic Republic of the Congo. A plane taking off from the airport in Goma crashes into a neighborhood and bursts into flames; more than 40 people, most of them on the ground, are killed.

16 Apr Gujarat state, India. In Vadodara a state bus carrying schoolchildren goes off a bridge and falls some 18 m (60 ft) into a canal of the Nar-mada River; at least 44 children and 3 adults perish.

20 Apr Off the Bahamas. Rescue workers find the bodies of 20 drowned Haitians in the sea, as well as three survivors; the vessel that had been carrying them is not found.

23 Apr Rajasthan state, India. Northwest of Jodhpur, late at night, a truck and a crowded van collide; at least 24 of the van passengers lose their lives.

26 Apr Casablanca, Morocco. A four-story mattress factory goes up in flames; at least 55 people succumb to the smoke and fire.

28 Apr Black Sea. A Ukrainian Mi-8 helicopter falls into the water after its tail hits an offshore drilling platform; 19 of the 20 aboard die.

May 2008

2 May The Sudan. A Beechcraft 1900 airplane crashes near Rumbek, killing at least 23 people, including the southern Sudan’s minister of defense, Dominic Dim.

2-3 May Myanmar (Burma). Cyclone Nargis, an extraordinarily strong tropical cyclone that formed in the Bay of Bengal and quickly strengthened to a category 4 storm, makes landfall and throughout the night churns up the densely populated rice-growing region of the Irrawaddy River delta, cutting a wide path of destruction augmented by a 4-m (12-ft) storm surge that obliterates coastal villages; tens of thousands of people perish.

4 May Brazil. The wooden ferry Comandante Sales, carrying some 80 partygoers, capsizes and sinks in the Solimoes River; at least 41 people drown.

10 May United States. A violent storm system spawns tornadoes that lay waste to portions of Oklahoma, Missouri, and Georgia, leaving more than 23 people dead, at least 15 of them in Missouri.

12 May Bangladesh. A ferry on the Ghorautra River goes down quickly in bad weather; at least 44 people die.

12 May Sichuan province, China. A magnitude-7.9 earthquake devastates the area; at the epicenter, in Wenchuan, some 80% of the structures are flattened. At least 69,000 people lose their lives, and hundreds of thousands are made homeless.

14 May Uttar Pradesh state, India. A violent storm leaves at least 128 people dead and all but destroys the important mango crop.

15 May Nigeria. A fuel pipeline in a village near Lagos is ruptured by road construction equipment, engulfing much of the area in flames; some 100 people are killed.

19 May Democratic Republic of the Congo. An overloaded passenger boat sinks in a storm on Lake Tanganyika; dozens of people are lost.

20 May India. It is reported that at least 110 people have died after drinking illicit alcohol in the past few days in the Bengaluru (Bangalore) area; by 22 May the death toll has risen to 180.

27 May KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. A bus goes over a cliff and falls some 80 m (260 ft), landing upside-down in the river below; at least 30 people die.

29 May Southern India. A truck carrying at least 70 people to a wedding falls off a bridge after the driver swerves to avoid electrical wires on the road; at least 39 of the passengers perish.

29 May Panama. A helicopter carrying Chilean police officials visiting for a meeting of Latin American antiterrorism leaders crashes on top of a building; at least 15 people, including the head of Chile’s national police force and at least 4 people on the ground, are killed.

June 2008

7 Jun Libya. A boat carrying would-be migrants to Italy capsizes shortly after departing from Zuwarah; at least 40 people are drowned, with a further 100 missing.

10 Jun Khartoum, Sudan. A Sudanese airliner bursts into flames after landing; at least 30 of the 214 people aboard are incinerated.

17 Jun Southern China. The death toll from flooding caused by incessant heavy rains rises to 171; more than a million people have been evacuated.

20 Jun India. Authorities say that the death toll from flooding resulting from heavy rain in eastern and northeastern areas of the county has risen past 50; thousands of villages are reportedly submerged.

21 Jun Philippines. Typhoon Fengshen smashes into the Philippines, and at least 498 residents perish; in addition, the MV Princess of the Stars, a large ferry, capsizes and sinks in the storm off the island of Sibuyan, and some 800 people perish.

At the turn of the millennium in 2000, TIME selected 100 individuals as the most influential people of the 20th century. The resulting list provided such a revealing perspective on history that the magazine has now begun naming a TIME 100 each year, designating influential individuals in five categories. As with TIME’s annual Person of the Year designation, the list includes both heroes and villains; inclusion reflects the power of an individual’s impact on history, whether for good or for ill.

LEADERS & REVOLUTIONARIES Michelle Bachelet Chile’s president survived a brutal dictatorship to win worldwide respect. Bartholomew I The Eastern Orthodox patriarch insisted that ecology and spirituality are one. Ben Bernanke In a year of economic crisis, the Fed chief charted a bold and controversial course. George W. Bush History will judge, but many still believe he responded to challenges courageously. Hillary Clinton She proved her mettle and won the admiration of longtime enemies. Dalai Lama Tibet’s beacon of peace radiated calm compassion—even as Beijing cracked down on his long-suffering people.

Sonia Gandhi The Italian-born woman remains the power behind the throne of India’s Congress Party. Robert Gates Charged with heading an unpopular war, the US secretary of defense earned bipartisan respect for his intelligence and command. Hu Jintao The host of the Olympics, and China’s first leader who grew up in the aftermath of the 1949 communist revolution, has made his nation a looming presence on the world stage. Anwar Ibrahim A global voice for moderate Islam is back in the center of Malaysian politics. Ashfaq Kayani Pakistan’s new top general kept the army out of the country’s election. Ma Ying-jeou Taiwan’s rising political star hopes to resolve his nation’s problems with China. John McCain He defied the odds and stuck to his guns on Iraq to win the Republican nomination for president.

Baitullah Mehsud Pakistan’s government identified him as the mastermind of the successful plot to kill Benazir Bhutto, proving he had forced his way into the top tier of terrorists.

Evo Morales Bolivia’s low-key president moved quickly away from the neoliberal policies of the past to try to help his nation’s most impoverished citizens.

Barack Obama He transformed American politics, attracting new voters to his call for change. Vladimir Putin Russia’s iron-willed leader passed on his mantle of rule but continued to rebuild his country as a great power—and an irritant to the West. Kevin Rudd Australia’s bold new prime minister got it right early, apologizing to native Aborigines. Muqtada al-Sadr The firebrand Shi’ite cleric has become a major power broker in the new Iraq. Jacob Zuma He fought charges of rape and corruption to remain the hero of South Africa’s poor.


Andre Agassi With his charitable foundation, he proved that there is life beyond athletics. Lance Armstrong The remarkable athlete inspires millions with his victory over cancer. Daw Aung San Suu Kyi Burma’s imprisoned Nobel Peace Prize recipient is today’s Nelson Mandela. Tony Blair Britain’s successful former prime minister accepted a job as special envoy for the Quartet on the Middle East, where he is using the same diplomatic skills that brought peace to Northern Ireland. Mia Farrow The actor and activist became a highly effective advocate for the people of Darfur. Peter Gabriel The pop star cofounded the Elders to chart a new future for the global village. Kaka Brazil’s remarkable young soccer star is a tireless worker for the UN World Food Programme. Sheikh Mohammed ibn Rashid al-Maktum The ruler of Dubai has made the UAE an internationally recognized symbol of success, becoming an unlikely poster boy for globalization.

George Mitchell He brought peace to Northern Ireland; now he is ridding baseball of illegal drugs. Lorena Ochoa Mexico’s great pro golfer is also a dedicated humanitarian.

Madeeha Hasan Odhaib Her business, employing some 100 women, is a quiet revolution in Iraqi life. Randy Pausch The computer-science professor at Carnegie Mellon University, diagnosed with fatal pancreatic cancer, told a global audience to follow their dreams in a classroom lecture that became a YouTube sensation.

Oscar Pistorius South Africa’s courageous double am-putee—and world-class sprinter—has taught the world that seeming disabilities can be turned into abilities. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie The star duo are now America’s goodwill ambassadors to the world. Yoani Sanchez The courageous Cuban, denied the chance to work as a philologist because of her anti-Castro views, has built her blog into a strong voice for freedom of speech.

Alexis Sinduhije The Burundian journalist founded Radio Publique Africaine to unify hostile tribes. Oprah Winfrey The ebullient TV communicator continues to preach her gospel of responsibility. Bob and Suzanne Wright The former CEO of NBC and his wife are leading the fight against autism.


Paul Allen The Microsoft cofounder’s Allen Institute for Brain Science mapped the mouse brain, illuminating how genes work, and then gave the results away for free online.

Isaac Berzin His goal is to turn algae into a biofuel that can reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions. Michael Bloomberg New York City’s mayor succeeded in making his city more livable through sensible investments; now he hopes to make it a global model of sustainability.

Larry Brilliant The epidemiologist helped lead the World Health Organization’s successful war on smallpox; now he is the head of Google’s well-funded philanthropic efforts.

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