Discover the World News Forecast . . . FIRST in Foresight Journalism

Archive for December 2009

Partial lunar eclipse a reminder of the value of Moon property

December 31, 2009 - SPACE

Lunar eclipses only redden the Moon as it aligns within Earth’s shadow. They don’t offer the drama of solar eclipses, which can turn night into day. The otherwise unexceptional partial eclipse on Dec 31 could make headlines, however, as it nearly coincides with other newsworthy lunar events of 2009. The first was the announcement in September that there is water on the Moon, a discovery that will make lunar real estate more valuable and place pressure on the 1979 United Nations Moon Agreement. The 30th anniversary of the pact falls just 12 days before the partial eclipse.

Read More

Five years ago, tsunami claimed some 240,000 lives

December 26, 2009 - INDIAN OCEAN

A tsunami claimed 230,000 lives in 14 Indian Ocean countries five years ago. Memorials and a minute of silence for the victims will be held throughout the region on the anniversary. Warning systems have been under development there since the disaster, but a lethal South Pacific tsunami on 29 Sep 2009 showed that alert systems are not fail safe. The anniversary focuses attention on their limitations and on whether Indonesia will be ready to take over its own system in 2010.

Read More

ESA, Arianespace mark 30th anniversary of Ariane launcher ;

December 24, 2009 - FRENCH GUIANA

The Ariane 1 launcher made its maiden space flight on Christmas Eve, 1979. In 30 years, Arianespace, the organization set up to manage it as a commercial venture, has established the Ariane family of launchers as the world’s largest provider of commercial launch services. The December launch of an Ariane 5 GS with a French military payoad, the seventh Ariane launch of 2009, salutes the anniversary, which invites a look at what’s next for the launcher.

Read More

European Parliament awards 2009 Sakharov Prize

December 16, 2009 - STRASBOURG

The European Parliament awards the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought to individuals or organizations fighting suppression, intolerance and injustice. Moscow-based NGO Memorial, after a bloody year for human rights activists in Russia, will receive the 2009 prize at a ceremony at the parliament on Dec 16.

Read More

“Gone with the Wind” premiered 70 years ago

December 15, 2009 - UNITED STATES

The classic movie Gone with the Wind premiered in Atlanta, Georgia, 70 years ago on Dec 15. The tale of a manipulative woman and a rogue who carry on a turbulent love affair in the American south during the Civil War. The 3.5-hour epic had everything – romance, rape, drunkenness, moral dissipation and adultery. It won 10 Oscars — a 20-year record. Stars Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable have long gone, but the movie lives on; remastered for and rescreened on key anniversaries.

Read More

G20 turns 10

December 15, 2009 - BERLIN

The inaugural meeting of the Group of 20 took place in Berlin on 15-16 Dec 1999, hosted by German and Canadian finance ministers. The year has seen two summits of G20 leaders in search of a global response to the economic meltdown. The year has also seen the G20, which groups leading industrialized countries with major emerging markets, overtaking the G7-G8 as the top financial forum. The issue of the moment — with no consensus on what must be done — is the expansion of global economic governance.

Read More

Jewish survivors mark 70th anniversary of SS St. Louis voyage

December 13, 2009 - UNITED STATES

Notables from around the world gather in Miami, Florida, to honor 32 suriviving passengers of the SS St. Louis on the 70th anniversary of its ill-fated voyage to Cuba. The ship, carrying some 900 passengers fleeing the Nazi, left Germany in May 1939. Arriving in Cuba in July, it was refused entry. The captain appealed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt to let them enter the United States. The request was denied. The ship returned to Europe, where many of the refugees found asylum.

Read More

Nobel prizes awarded

December 10, 2009 - STOCKHOLM

The Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded in a ceremony in Oslo, presided over by King Harald V of Norway, on Dec 10. On the same date in Stockholm King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the Nobel prizes in Physics, Chemistry, Physiology or Medicine, Literature and The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences. The laureates will be announced in October. The award ceremonies and banquets round out an intensive week of conferences, lectures and concerts for the laureates.

Read More

Sweden hosts final summit of its EU presidency

December 10, 2009 - BRUSSELS

The final summit of Sweden’s six-month presidency of the European Union could be a triumphal affair as the bloc has succeeded in securing its Lisbon Treaty and has elected a president and foreign minister to preside over the soon-to-be streamlined body. The EU gathering parallels part of the Copenhagen climate change conference. Recriminations are likely to flavor the EU summit if no agreement is found in Copenhagen.

Read More

New Zealand hosts meeting on ship-borne Antarctic tourism

December 9, 2009 - WELLINGTON

The country that serves as the main gateway to the frozen continent hosts the Antarctic Treaty Meeting of Experts (ATME) on the management of ship-borne tourism. The experts will be looking at ways to to limit threats to the frozen continent from too many visitors, oil spills, grounded ships and other accidents. Mandatory limits to the size of cruise ships and number of visitors are under consideration, but the tour industry can be expected to push back against non-voluntary measures.

Read More

Britain’s top art prize awarded in its 25th year

December 7, 2009 - LONDON

The judges of Britain’s prestigious but controversial Turner Prize select their choice from among four finalists and present the award on the same day, 7 Dec. The award worth UK 25,000 Pounds (US $40,000) was set up in 1984 to celebrate new developments in contemporary art. It is best known for exhibits, such as pickled sheep and soiled beds, that are often described as incomprehensible. Damien Hirst, the 1995 Turner prize winner, attracted controversy for his exhibit of a pickled cow.

Read More

Bolivians elect president, both houses of legislature

December 6, 2009 - BOLIVIA

When Bolivians go to the poll in December, President Evo Morales will be standing again for the presidency. Divided Bolivia will be electing more members of the Senate than before and fewer members of the Chamber of Deputies in a new first-past-the-post system. The changes follow a constitutional referendum in Jan 2009, which also gave South America’s first indigenous head of state the ability to run for reelection for another five-year term. Violence and an opposition election boycott are likely.

Read More