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Archive for July 2010

Air Force sends key communications satellite into orbit

July 30, 2010 - UNTED STATES

The United States Air Force sends its first Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF 1) spacecraft into orbit aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from the Complex 41 launch pad at Cape Canaveral. A national security communications satellite, the AEHF 1 is the first of a new generation of geosynchronous spacecraft that relay secure communications between the Pentagon and battlefield commanders. The manufacturer describes the AEHF 1 as dependable, jam-resistant and immune from interception.

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WTO General Council pushes to conclude Doha Round

July 29, 2010 - GENEVA

The World Trade Organization (WTO)deals with the rules of trade between nations. It wants to conclude the stalled Doha Round of negotiations before December. This third 2010 meeting of the General Council will see if the new ingredients in the process can break the impasse. Agricultural subsidies and trade barriers related to industrial goods and services remain key sticking points, and carbon tariffs on imports loom as a new arena for disputes.

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Controversial Arizona immigration law due to go into effect

July 29, 2010 - UNITED STATES

Civil liberties groups have taken aim at a controversial immigration law that is due to go into effect in the state of Arizona on 29 July. Facing challenges, the law makes it a state crime for illegal migrants to be in Arizona without proof of legal status. Signed in April by Gov. Jan Brewer, it requires police to check for evidence of legal status and bars people from hiring day workers off the streets or soliciting them

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French court tries former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega

July 28, 2010 - PARIS

The French court plans to try former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega on Jun 28 on charges of laundering drug money. He was convicted in absentia in France in 1999 on the charges and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Under French law, defendants convicted in absentia are entitled to a new trial. The former military ruler of Panama from 1981 to 1989, when he was captured by a United States invading force, was imprisoned in a US jail until his extradition to France on 27 Apr.

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Queen Elizabeth II, Duke of Edinburgh visit

July 28, 2010 - CANADA

Queen Elizabeth II visits Canada with Prince Philip for an early celebration of her 2012 diamond jubilee, which marks her 60 years on Britain’s throne. She did the same thing for her golden jubilee in 2002, and she has made one visit in between — in 2005. Protests against the monarchy are likely, but, because of the age and frailty of the couple — she will be 84 and he 89 — they should be spared the kind of reception anti-monarchists recently gave Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

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Nobel laureates, young researchers convene for 60th Lindau meetings

July 27, 2010 - GERMANY

The annual Nobel Laureate Meetings at Lindau offer a forum for the transfer of knowledge between generations of scientists. At the 60th anniversary gathering, laureates in chemistry, physics and medicine/physiology will convene panel discussions and seminars for young researchers from around the world. The event is likely to include a tribute to 1968 Nobel laureate Marshall Nirenberg, a New York biologist who broke the genetic code. He died in January at 82.

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Iconic Rubik’s Cube launched 30 years ago

July 26, 2010 - HUNGARY

The 30th anniversary of the launch of the Rubik’s Cube arrives during a new surge of interest in the extreme puzzle. In quest of a working model to help explain three-dimensional geometry, Hungarian architect and inventor Erno Rubik ended up creating the world’s best selling toy. Some 300 million cubes have been sold, and Speedcubing championships have proliferated around the world. At the 2009 World World Rubik’s Cube Championship, a Scottish teen solved the puzzle in 10.74 seconds.

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International bioethicists meet

July 26, 2010 - SINGAPORE

The 8th Global Summit of National Bioethics Advisory Bodies and 10th World Congress of Bioethics bring together bioethicists from around the globe to debate ethical, social, legal, philosophical and other issues arising in both health care and the biological sciences. Informed consent and organ donations are seen as pressing issues of the moment. The United States healthcare system, portrayed as a bioethical issue by some experts, could also find its way into the debate at the biennial gathering.

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African former hot spot elects legislators

July 23, 2010 - BURUNDI

Burundian voters choose legislators for the country’s 100-seat National Assembly on Jul 23 and for the 54-seat Senate on Jul 29. Opposition parties will be hard pressed to upset the significant lead of the ruling CNDD-FDD (the National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy) in both houses. Violence prevention programs are in place to try to prevent the country’s return to civil war. The election period has been described as explosive. The CNDD-FDD’s nearest rival in both houses is FRODEBU (Burundi Democratic Front).

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Winnipeg hosts 31st First Nations National Assembly

July 20, 2010 - CANADA

The National Assembly of First Nations convenes under a new national chief, Shawn A-in-chut Atleo. He won a tight contest to replace National Chief Phil Fontaine in 2009. The top issues for the body representing Canada’s 633 First Nations include the results of an historic tribunal examining alleged discrimination against First Nations children in Canada’s welfare system and the need for unity among Canada’s aboriginal people to address social problems in the reserve system.

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Campaigning for presidential election begins

July 20, 2010 - RWANDA

Campaigning for Rwanda’s presidential election begins on Jul 20 and ends on Aug 8, a day before the vote. Voter cards will bear a photo of the voter for the first time could help prevent fraud but is unlikely to avert turmoil during the campaign. The question is whether presidential rivals of President Paul Kagame, who are expected to include opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, will be allowed to campaign freely. They face resrictions that could reignite ethnic tension between Tutsis and Hutus.A press release from her UDF-Inkingi party on Mar 16 says that Ingabire is under investigation from the police and while the investigation is under way, she and her party are barred from convening anywhere in Rwanda.

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Expanded Farnborough International Airshow a bellwether?

July 19, 2010 - ENGLAND

The 2010 Farnborough International Airshow might seem like an anticlimax after the last show, when spectacles celebrating Farnborough’s 60th anniversary and 100 years of powered flight in Britain entertained visitors. In 2010 organizers are relying on a “sensational” air show and expanded exhibition facilities to impress patrons. A comparison of sales figures from Farnborough 2008, when 312 planes were sold, and Farnborough 2010 could be read as a gauge of the state of the global economy.

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