Azerbaijan Raises the World's Biggest Flagpole
Armenia may be holding on to the world’s oldest leather shoe, but its regional rival Azerbaijan upped the ante last week by planting the world’s highest flag. Flaunting the 70-by-30-meter national flag before dazzled onlookers, including Russian President Dmitri Medvedev, Azerbaijani leader Ilham Aliyev pledged that before long the blue, red and green banner will also fly over Nagorno Karabakh, the separatist territory over which Baku lost control in the 1990s. In the meantime, the first attempt to raise the 350-kilo flag did not seem to go down -- or, rather, up -- too well; high winds ripped the flag in two. The 162-meter-tall flagpole has sparked another online debate about the perceived excesses of the Aliyev administration, with some Azerbaijani bloggers slamming the $32 million project as wasteful.