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Archive for November 2009

Registration deadline for election candidates

November 30, 2009 - PHILIPPINES

The Philippines holds presidential elections in May 2010, and Nov 30 is the deadline for individuals to register their candidacy for national office. The likely candidates are Senator Benigno Aquino, the son of democracy icon Corazon Aquino, who leads in the polls with 60 per cent, and property tycoon Senator Manuel Villar, who trails him. Former president Joseph Estrada is also expected. Though he was ousted 2001, he remains popular.

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Referendum to decide on minaret ban

November 29, 2009 - SWITZERLAND

A proposal to ban the construction of minarets, the slender towers attached to mosques, goes before Swiss voters in a referendum on Nov 29. The Swiss People’s Party, the largest party in the Swiss parliament, proposed the ban. Supporters see minarets as divisive political symbols and signs of an increasing Islamic presence in Switzerland.

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Honduras votes for president, legislature

November 29, 2009 - HONDURAS

Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya pulled out of a last-hour agreement with interim leader Roberto Micheletti that was aimed at solving the country’s political crisis, and he has asked his supporters to boycott the presidential and legislative election on Nov 29. Zelaya’s attempt to change the constitution so he could run for a second term triggered a military coup on Jun 28 and the subsequent crisis.

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Presidential elections held in volatile political climate

November 22, 2009 - ROMANIA

The government fell Oct 13 after losing a vote of no confidence, the first such measure since the end of Communist rule three decades ago. The first task of the winner in the Nov 22 presidential election will be putting together a new government, a tall task because of turmoil over demands for reforms made by the International Monetary Fund. President Traian Basescu has the edge in the polls over the Social Democrats’ Mircea Geoana and the National Liberal Party’s Crin Antonescu.

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Pope Benedict XVI hosts artists in Sistine Chapel

November 21, 2009 - VATICAN

Five hundred artists from around the world have been invited by Pope Benedict XVI to tour the Vatican’s vast art collection on Nov 20, then join him on Nov 21 in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. The Sistine, popes’ own chapel, was erected from 1473-81 and is famous for its frescoes by Michelangelo and other Renaissance masters. It is used by the College of Cardinals for papal elections.

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BRUSSELS European Union plans extraordinary summit to pick leader

November 19, 2009 - BRUSSELS

Providing there are no last hour setbacks for the new Lisbon Treaty, which is aimed at streamling the operations of the 27-nation bloc and boosting its clout on the world stage, European Union leaders will hold an extra summit in 2009. Its purpose is to select an EU president and foreign minister, who will head a new EU diplomatic corps. Former British prime minister Tony Blair was favored to win the presidency, but his lead is slipping away as the number of contenders grows.

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Russia convenes First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety

November 19, 2009 - MOSCOW

Russian President Dimitri Medvedev opens the First Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety, a meeting co-chaired by the World Health Organization. Road safety is a headline issue in most countries, and Russia’s road accident mortality rate is the highest in Europe. A 2007 British Medical Journal article describes road traffic injuries are a leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for 1.2 million deaths annually. It adds that for every road traffic death, some 20 people are injured.

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Global leaders meet for World Summit on Food Security

November 16, 2009 - ROME

Heads of state and government will be asked by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations to reach a broad consensus on the total and rapid elimination of hunger when they gather for the World Summit on Food Security in November. FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf also wants them to agree to increase agriculture’s share of official development assistance to 17 per cent, the level it was in 1980, from the current 5 per cent.

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Presidential election planned for volatile West Africa country

November 14, 2009 - NIGER

If President Mamadou Tandja succeeds in his bid to cling to power, he will be running for a third presidential term in the November election. His success rests on a Yes vote in a controversial constitutional referendum that would allow him the third term. Tandja dissolved parliament and announced on May 26 that he would rule by decree, a means of circumventing a court ruling against the referendum. Opposition parties and some former allies oppose the vote. They plan demonstrations.

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APEC ministers hold pre-summit meeting

November 11, 2009 - SINGAPORE

The main task of the ministers of member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Singapore is finalizing the agenda for the APEC summit three days later. The principles of the so-called Lima Declaration made by the APEC leaders at the 2008 summit are likely to be restated in the agenda and measured against members’ actions to address the financial woes caused by the global and regional economic meltdown. Protectionism is likely to be a strongly-worded theme.

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Playboy Magazine begins serialization of lost Nabokov novella ;

November 10, 2009 - UNITED STATES

Playboy Magazine, of the scantily clad women and celebrity interviews, won the rights to serialize the lost Vladimir Nabokov novella, The Original of Laura. The story by the Russian-born American novelist, about an overweight academic in an unhappy marriage to a promiscuous woman, has stayed hidden for more than 30 years. Though the author’s dying wish was for the uncompleted work to be destroyed by his heirs, Nabokov’s son Dmitri put the book on the market in the Spring.

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APEC marks 20th anniversary

November 6, 2009 - CANBERRA

Ministers from 12 Pacific Rim countries met in Australia’s capital in Nov 1989 to discuss how to advance regional economic cooperation. They launched the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation group. APEC leaders will observe the 20th anniversary at their November summit, and a global 20th anniversary essay contest is under way. The anniversary invites an assessment of APEC’s progress towards its 1994 Bogor Goals.

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