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1980s: The developing nanotechnology and AI leads to an improved economy in the developed nations, but also to further rising unemployment. (During the decade, it'll break the 25% barrier in Germany, and many people will spend their days with drugs, television or computers.)
1982: Germany sends the first astronauts to Mars.
1983: A strange new disease, which is dubbed "Erworbenes ImmunSchwäche-Syndrom", short EISS, pronounced like "Ice" (OTL Aids!) starts to take its toll in Germany. Gays and drug addicts face persecution. This even includes influential persons.
1985: After more than five decades, Germany gets the first nation-wide free elections. The military still holds a lot of power, as do the corporates and the police.
1987: The first book of the series "Sebastian der Zauberer" (Sebastian the sorcerer - TTL's Harry Potter equivalent, as it seems) is published.
1988: Germany finishes the "Schwarm" (swarm) - clouds of artificial insects guarding its borders, especially to the Socialist Block. Now, no one without comparable nanotechnology can cross their borders.
1981: Computer chips have reached the physical limit: They can't be improved anymore by making the transistors yet smaller. Chinese hardware producers react by introducing 3D-chips, which soon leads to the replacement of CD- and DVD-like media by "data cubes" - as the name says, cubes in the size of about one cu in, with a polished surface gleaming in all colors of the rainbow.
1983: China's team reaches Mars, two months later than the Germans.
1984: Olympic Games in Edo (occupied Nippon). Although the Chinese government had intended to demonstrate that Nippon was successfully pacified, the contrary happens: The visitors from the world have the impression that the Nipponese are oppressed, or were displaced. Radical Nipponese-in-exile organisations gain support.
1987: China starts to build up an army (incl. navy and air force) in SE Asia. Canada isn't too happy about this.
1989: Surprisingly, the Chinese emperor suggests Germany to start to scrap their nuclear weapons. The point is, however: Meanwhile both states have strong nanotech arsenals which have a higher potential than nukes.
1981: Technical laboratories of Milan develop the "Zanzara" - artificial insects, which are used to spy in Germany. It takes some time until they're discovered, which gives the Socialists lots of useful knowledge.
1984: French Socialists accuse the Italians of using the Zanzara system to spy out not just Germany, but also others parts of the Block. This leads to some infighting behind the stage.
Italians mourn the 40th anniversary of the Verona bomb.
1986: For the first time, the states of the Socialist Block are allowed to participate in a football (for Americans: what you call soccer) world championship. The "Reds" do unexpectedly well, despite the fact that German athletes are helped with the wonders of modern medicine. In the half finals, England defeats Texas 2:0, while Bavaria beats Argentinien 1:0 (the old German lands and western European states have survived in the sport championships, if nowhere else); and when England defeats Bavaria 7:6 after penalties (3:3, 2:2, 0:1), the surprise (or shock) is perfect. The German Technocrat for Inner affairs and sports has to resign.
1989: In the north of Scotland, there's a big fire. Germany suspects that a nanotechnological experiment done by the Socialists went awry, and they had to burn the whole area because they knew no other solution. This leads to many discussion about and fear of a "Braunschleim" (German for "brown slime", with the same meaning as OTL Grey Goo) scenario.
Canada and Pacific
1980s: The Indies become another hotbed of piracy, after the Pacific region had been spared mostly by the Red Pirates. These new pirates are mostly Nipponese in exile in the Indies or Antipodia (OTL Australia), and target Chinese ships. The big difference: While the Red pirates try to get ransom for caught people (if they're rich) or try to win them for their cause (if they're poor), the Nipponese usually kill every Chinese they can put their hands on.
1982: Canada starts a program to further develop low populated areas of the Indies (like Papua, Kalimantan, Sumatra, and Sulawesi).
1986: As planned, the referendum on OTL Philippines takes place, to decide whether to stay in the Canadian Commonwealth or reunite with China. The pro-Chinese groups expect an overwhelming victory. On referendum day, however, they get just 64%, thus fail to get the needed two-thirds majority. Since only a part of the upper and middle class prefers Canada over China, it is generally assumed that the Canadian technocrats rigged the (electronic) vote.
1988: Irish-Catholic pope Patricius XII elected.
1989: Canada stations more men, ships and nanotech in the Indies, reacting on the Chinese threat in SE Asia.
1985: OTL Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupts, killing more than 20,000 people.
1986: Germany uses nanotechnology to destroy the cocaine plantations in OTL Colombia.
Braseal now has had German occupation troops for 30 years, but it seems they're going to stay even longer. (The civilian German government made the suggestion to retreat, but the diplomats and the military are against it.)
1989: Germany gives independence to OTL Cuba (since World War I, they've controlled all the Caribbean islands).
Russian / Eastern European Chaos
1980s: Russian drug lords start to produce amphetamines and other drugs which are smuggled to Germany.
1985: An uprising in Itil (OTL Astrachan) against Choresm, which is China's ally. Ironically, the Germans have to help them, since they don't want China's influence to spill over to Europe. So Italy is now free again, but the Russian governments is split between westerners and Chunkvophiles (we'd call them Sinophiles).
1988: Centennial Olympic Games return to Athens.
1981: Several South Indian states decide to cooperate more. This doesn't sound like much, but in fact the cooperation goes very far - they just don't fully unite to deceive the Germans.
1983: The Indian subcontinent now has more than a billion people.
1988: Followers of Chandramoorthy decide to enter the nanotech business.
1989: A stock crash in India throws the economy in turmoil.
1982: Germany is caught in a costly guerrilla war in the Niger delta, having to protect the oil sources there.
1984: Germany leaves the area of Kenya/Uganda/Tansania, just leaves a small presence in the harbors.
1987: A German ship is captured near the coast of OTL Liberia by an all-black pirate crew - apparently the Africans learned something from the Red pirates.
1989: Clashes between Tutsi soldiers and German citizens in Katanga.
Middle Eastern Chaos
1981: In Greater Judea, the first brain-computer-interface becomes available.
1983-85: "Gulf War" (however, it's more of a civil war, with more than two sides) at the Arabian peninsula.
1986: Surprisingly, the various splinter states on Persian territory find together and unite.
1988: Some Irish-Catholic missionaries are killed in Yemen.
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