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Archive for March 2010

Government introduces taxi service just for women

March 31, 2010 - ABU DHABI

Women in Abu Dhabi will soon have taxis available for their exclusive use and for their children under 10. The emirate’s taxi regulator, TransAd, promised in January that a fleet of so-called ladies’ taxis will be on the streets by the end of March. The 70 pink-and-lavender taxis will be driven by women. Women passengers had complained about taxi drivers trying to strike up unwanted conversations during a trip, according to reports about the new service in Zawya and The National.

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European Union holds first general post-Lisbon Treaty summit

March 25, 2010 - BRUSSELS

This first general European Union summit of the post-Lisbon Treaty epoch will be smaller than its predecessors. The first full-time EU president, Herman Van Rompuy, vows to shut ministers out of the meeting. He argues that leaders will accomplish more if they are eyeball-to-eyeball, a situation made possible by keeping summit numbers small. Economic growth and climate change will be summit priorities, with Haiti’s needs a likely addition to the agenda. Demonstrations are expected.

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Hollywood vintage glamor photography auctioned

March 25, 2010 - UNITED STATES

Profiles in History bills its March auction in Calabasas, California, as the world’s largest collection of original vintage glamour photography. It includes iconic photographs and art prints of yesterday’s and today’s Hollywood stars by Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, George Hurrell, Man Ray, Herb Ritz, Harry Langdon, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and others. The stars include Greta Garbo, Jean Harlow, Angelina Jolie (at 15), Halle Berry, Cher, George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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Cultural Olympiad rings in the Winter Olympics

March 22, 2010 - CANADA

Canada’s 2010 Cultural Olympiad ushers in the Winter Olympics. The arts attractions run throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games concluding on March 21. The extensive program will include more than 600 ticketed and free performances and exhibitions in 50 venues in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia’s Sea to Sky corridor. A highlight will be Canada’s first theatre of ice and snow, which has the task of attracting spectators and keeping them warm on the shores of Whistler’s Lost Lake for the production is NiX. It follows an arsonist through the fireworks at the end of the world, and features an explosive love story.

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“Big Bang” telescope astronomers meet

March 22, 2010 - ENGLAND

The scientists and engineers of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope project hold their annual meeting in Manchester, and will continue discussing where to site the array. The candidates are down to two — South Africa and Australia. The announcement about the winner is due in 2011. Fifty times more sensitive than any other telescope and one of the most ambitious international science projects ever, the SKA will give astronomers a way to look back to the Big Bang. Construction starts in 2014.

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Cultural Olympiad rings in the Winter Olympics

March 22, 2010 - CANADA

Canada’s 2010 Cultural Olympiad ushers in the Winter Olympics. The arts attractions run throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games concluding on March 21. The extensive program will include more than 600 ticketed and free performances and exhibitions in 50 venues in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia’s Sea to Sky corridor. A highlight will be Canada’s first theatre of ice and snow, which has the task of attracting spectators and keeping them warm on the shores of Whistler’s Lost Lake for the production is NiX. It follows an arsonist through the fireworks at the end of the world, and features an explosive love story.

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Reuters: Russia could start up Iran’s nuclear power station

March 21, 2010 - IRAN

Reuters reports that Russia plans to start up Iran’s first nuclear power station to coincide with the Iranian New Year on 21 Mar. The agency’s sources say testing is under way. Start-up dates for Bushehr have been set several times and have come to nothing. It remains to be seen whether the start-up, if it happens, escalates or cools Iran’s dispute with the West over uranium enrichment. The United States and several other Western powers suspect Tehran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon.

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Parades, greening of iconic buildings mark St Patrick’s Day

March 17, 2010 - WORLD

Much of the world is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and countless parades and parties mark the occasion. Dublin plans to outdo the rest with a festival that lasts several days. New York’s Empire State Building, the London Eye, the Sydney Opera House and the CN Tower in Toronto will turn green for the day, a colorful ad campaign for Ireland tourism. In Washington DC, leaders of Northern Ireland’s main political parties will celebrate the day with President Barak Obama. They can count on applause.

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OPEC holds Ordinary Meeting

March 16, 2010 - VIENNA

Oil ministers of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meet to set quotas and to continue devising stragegies to address a reduced demand for oil in the producers’ traditional markets. The Ministerial Monitoring Sub-Committee meets on Mar 16 to begin the process. The decisions are likely to reflect a new reality for oil producers — that China and other developing nations will lead both the global economic recovery and the demand for oil in 2010, not the world’s richest countries.

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Negotiations begin for Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership

March 15, 2010 - AUSTRALIA

Melbourne hosts a meeting of trade ministers of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership (TPP) at which the first formal round of negotiations for aspiring members of the bloc. A regional free-trade agreement, the TPP started small with New Zealand, Singapore, Chile and Brunei Darussalam and entered into force in May 2006. Now the United States, Australia, Peru and Vietnam want to join it.

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Regional elections a first test of ruling party

March 14, 2010 - FRANCE

France’s regional election will signal whether the French left is recovering. It overwhelmingly won the last regional elections, in 2004, but lost the presidency in 2007 because of chronic internal squabbling: Nicolas Sarkozy, the candidate of the center-right Union for Popular Movement Party (UMP), defeated Ségolène Royal of the Socialist Party. If the left loses again, it will mirror a trend. Germany recently re-elected its right-leaning government, and Britain seems poised to elect a conservative in 2010.

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Colombians vote for Senate and House lawmakers

March 14, 2010 - COLOMBIA

Colombia votes for Senate and House of Representative members on Mar 14. President Alvaro Uribe’s high approval rating in his country is likely to keep the three parties in the right-leaning governing coalition on top, but Uribe’s bid for a third term as president and a growing spying scandal could cut into the top parties’ numbers and help opposition parties increase their representation in the legislature.

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