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Dilma Rousseff hears Senate decision on her presidency

August 30, 2016 - BRAZIL
The Senate of South America's largest economy will determine whether Brazil's president is Dilma Rousseff or Michel Temer. She has been suspended from the presidency since May during impeachment proceedings, with Temer holding the reins as acting president. The final phase of the Senate trial in Brasilia, presided over by Brazil's Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski,…

U.S. airlines begin service to Cuba

August 31, 2016 - UNITED STATES
Six United States airlines expect to begin service to Cuba, with Jet Blue earning the distinction of being the first to land there in more than 50 years. American Airlines follows with a flight Sep 7. The resumption of service marks the continuing détente between Washington and Havana after decades of estrangement. Jet Blue flies…

Justin Trudeau gets comic book treatment

August 31, 2016 - CANADA
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will appear in cartoon form on the cover of an alternative issue of the Marvel comic, Civil War II: Choosing Sides. Trudeau, a one-time boxer and nightclub bouncer before becoming a world leader, will be depicted in Maple leaf-adorned boxing gear advising a Canadian superhero team. He is featured smiling,…

Myanmar leader convenes peace talks to end civil war

August 31, 2016 - MYANMAR
A peace conference in Naypyidaw, convened by Myanmar leader Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, brings together ethnic armed groups seeking more autonomy that have been fighting the army and each other for years. She can thank Chinese intervention for the presence of three Beijing-backed rebel groups at the talks, which are aimed at ending the…

Security Council selects next UN chief with pressure for a female Secretary-General

September 1, 2016 - UNITED NATIONS
The United Nations Security Council selects a Secretary-General to replace Ban Ki-moon, then sends the name to the General Assembly for confirmation. Pressure is building for the next UN chief, a job that is high on prestige but low on power, to be a woman. Pressure is also building for reform of the present secretive…

Ring of Fire solar eclipse pairs sky watching and safaris

September 1, 2016 - AFRICA
Most of Africa will see the annular solar eclipse of 2016, the second solar eclipse of the year, with the most dramatic viewing in areas that are home to the continent's most notable game parks. Some companies are packaging eclipse-watching tours with safaris, and one company dangles the vast wildebeest migration of Tanzania and Kenya…

Russia planning major military exercises near Ukraine border

September 1, 2016 - RUSSIA
Russia is preparing to hold major annual military exercises, called Caucasus 2016, near the Ukrainian border in September, the first such exercises aimed at integrating the defense of Crimea into Moscow's plans. Russia is also bolstering its military presence along its Western frontier in a bid to counter deployments by NATO forces in Eastern Europe.…

London commemorates 350th anniversary of its Great Fire

September 2, 2016 - UNITED KINGDOM
The Great Fire of London broke out on Sep 2, 1666, and the city is commissioning what it describes as a dazzling programme of events to mark the 350th anniversary. If commemorations dig deeper than the official account, they may mention that blame fell on Catholics in the immediate aftermath. The theory that the fire…

Barack Obama visits Asia to plug Trans-Pacific Partnership

September 2, 2016 - CHINA, LAOS
President Barack Obama visits China and Laos. It is his last chance before he leaves office in January to promote the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and to grapple with the South China Sea dispute. The Laos visit is a first for a U.S. president. The TPP, between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim…

G20 leaders work on reform of global economic governance

September 4, 2016 - CHINA
China wants the leaders of the world's emerging and established economic powers to focus on straightening out the global economy when they meet in Hangzhou, but they will also be expected to take note of the host city's attractions and prosperity. The capital of Zhejiang Province, in the Yangtze River Delta area, Hangzhou is one…

Mother Teresa to be canonised for her work with the poor in India

September 4, 2016 - VATICAN
Pope Francis will canonise the late Mother Teresa, the Catholic nun who won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the poor in the slums of the Indian city of Calcutta, now known as Kolkata. The second required miracle attributed to the intercession of the nun, who founded the Missionaries of Charity in 1950,…

Hong Kong elects legislative council with implications for 2017 vote

September 4, 2016 - CHINA
The election for the 70-seat 6th Legislative Council of Hong Kong (LegCo) will test the administrative region's tolerance for Beijing's control over the proceedings. The vote looms as a contest between pro-Beijing candidates and those unhappy with "one China, two systems," the principle attached to the return of Hong Kong to mainland control in 1997.…

Anti-immigrant AfD gaining popular support in Germany

September 4, 2016 - GERMANY
The next electoral test for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives comes in state elections in Berlin and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern that are expected to see a strong showing from the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD). With just over a year before the next federal election, Merkel's approval ratings fell sharply after two Islamist attacks and a shooting…

ASEAN leaders fine-tune common market, grapple with South China Sea dispute

September 6, 2016 - LAOS
Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meet in Vientiane to celebrate the region-wide common market's first year. Their challenge will be preventing the South China Sea dispute from overflowing into trade issues. The Economic Community created a single market for goods, services, capital, and labour that has the potential to become one…

Advances in prosthetics loom as headache for 2016 Paralympic Games organizers

September 7, 2016 - BRAZIL
The first Paralympic Games in South America open in Rio de Janeiro just two weeks after the 2016 Summer Olympics close in the same city, and the organizers can thank Oscar Pistorius for raising the international profile of the sporting fixture for disabled athletes. Before he became notorious, the South African double-amputee captivated the world…


Looking beyond the headlines




President Barack Obama’s visit to Laos in September permanently closes a final chapter of the US-led Secret War in Laos during the 1960s and 1970s, according to Kou Yang, Professor-Emeritus of California State University, Stanislaus. He shares his views on the importance of the visit in  OPINION.