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Archive for November 2010

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi to be released

November 13, 2010 - MYANMAR

Opposition leader and Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi is due to be released from her latest stretch of house arrest on Nov 13, just six days after the country’s first election in 20 years, but the country’s ruling generals could seek an excuse to extend her confinement. She was found guilty on 11 Aug 2009 of breaking the terms of her house arrest and sentenced to an additional 18 months. That term finishes on 11 Feb 2011.

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Leaders of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum meet

November 13, 2010 - JAPAN

The recent deal between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) looms as an issue for leaders at the 2010 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Yokohama as it could close Asian markets to outsiders while increasing China’s clout. It creates the world’s largest free trade area, China Daily notes. Seoul coordinated the G20 summit, Mar 11-12, with APEC’s for the benefit of leaders attending both, inviting a coordinated global and regional statement against trade barriers.

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Guangzhou hosts 16th Asian Games

November 12, 2010 - CHINA

Athletes and officials from 45 countries are expected at the 16th Asian Games in the southern city of Guangzhou, an event that one officials says will have the largest number of dope tests in the event’s history. The city is reported to have spent lavishly on showpieces for the event. The inauguration of the 2001-foot Canton Tower, the second-tallest building in the world after Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, happened just in time.

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Australia lures Tiger Woods with secret appearance fee ;

November 11, 2010 - MELBOURNE

Tiger Woods defends his Australian Masters title at The Victoria Golf Club in November after a messy year. The appearance fee paid to lure to the star, partly funded by the taxpayers of Victoria, is both a secret and an indication that the revelations of Wood’s extra-marital affairs haven’t dimmed his luster for Australian golf fans. Despite months away from the game settling his affairs, and his apparent loss of form since his return, Tiger remains a top draw: the state can expect an influx of visitors.

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Ibero-American leaders meet for 20th forum

November 11, 2010 - ARGENTINA

The leaders of Portugal and Spain and of the former Portuguese and Spanish colonies in Latin America meet in Mar del Plata for the XX Ibero-American summit, a forum at which spats — the latest is between Venezuela and Spain — trim participation and shape the agenda. The overlapping date of the G20 summit in Seoul could further trim the numbers: several leaders would be expected at both events. Argentina will look for support for its case against Britain regarding the Falklands Islands.

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Laos hosts first meeting of state parties to cluster munitions pact

November 8, 2010 - VIENTIANE

Laos, heavily contaminated by the weapons, hosts the First Meeting of States Parties to the Convention on Cluster Munitions. The treaty came into effect 1 Aug 2010. Opening in mid-air and scattering bomblets over a wide area, cluster bombs cause indiscriminate death and destruction. According to the Cluster Munitions Coalition, 104 countries have signed the treaty and 30 have ratified it. The signatories don’t include the United States, Russia, China and Israel.

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Date of first election in 20 years confirmed

November 7, 2010 - MYANMAR

Some 27 of Myanmar’s military figures have resigned from their posts in the army in order to change their status to civilians and enable them to take part in the November election for the upper and lower houses of the parliament. The two houses will choose the president from three nominees. Critics have dismissed the poll as a political stunt, pointing out that the military will continue to hold the power, albeit in civilian clothes. Formerly Burma, Myanmar has been ruled by the military since 1962.Some 42 parties have registered to contest the elections, and almost 2000 of the candidates will be from two junta-backed parties, the Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP), which will run in the poll, and the National Unity Party. The USDP will run the poll.

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Former Soviet republic holds legislative election

November 7, 2010 - AZERBAIJAN

Azerbaijan holds an election for its 125-seat Milli Majlis. Expections are not high that the 2010 election will unseat the ruling New Azerbaijan Party led by President Ilham Aliyev as the government keeps tight control over its elections. An official scold from the Central Election Commission (CEC) in July about candidates campaigning early on Facebook and Twitter suggests the party sees one aspect of the election outside its grasp.Aliyev won more than 88 percent of the vote in 2008. The opposition boycotted the poll, charging the government had twisted the rules so much that fair competition was impossible. A rule change is anticipated again. Parlamentarian Siyavush Novruzov of the ruling party told journalists in Baku on August 10 that when it reconvenes for the fall session, the parliament plans to adopt a new law regulating the activities of, and funding for, political parties.

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Polish town due to complete world’s largest statue of Christ ;

November 6, 2010 - POLAND

Swiebodzin in western Poland inaugurates the world’s largest statue of Jesus. At 108.2 feet in height, it will eclipse Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer sculpture in Rio de Janeiro. The iconic Rio statue stands 98.4 feet tall, minus its plinth. Poland’s statue will sit atop a mound of 55.7 feet. Poland’s statue will top Bolivia’s Cristo de la Concodia statue by 29.5 feet. Officials hope the statue will bring tourists to Swiebodzin, described as a backwoods town of 21,000 near the German border. Designed by Sylwester Zawadzki, a local priest, it was built from private donations.

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Pope visits for St. James Holy Year, consecrates Gaudi cathedral

November 6, 2010 - SPAIN

Pope Benedict XVI prays at Santiago de Compostela Cathedral as part of the St James Holy Year on the first day of his visit, and consecrates the Sagrada Familia Cathedral on the second day. The cathedral is the unfinished masterpiece of the famous Catholic architect Antoni Gaudi, who died in 1926. It is one of Barcelona’s leading tourist attractions. Tensions between the Vatican and Spain’s socialist government are high, and the pope might not meet Prime Minister José Zapatero.

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APEC ministers meet ahead of summit

November 6, 2010 - JAPAN

The mood at the meeting in Kyoto on Nov 6 of finance ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum and at the APEC ministerial meeting Nov 10-11 in Yokohama will be upbeat if the IMF’s predictions of recovery in 2010 are on target. Nonetheless, members are likely to be urged again to continue robust efforts to stabilize their economies. They were asked in 2009 to implement strong fiscal measures, rapidly ease monetary policy, encourage the flow of credit and dramatically bolster their financial sectors.

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