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Archive for January 2011

Wikipedia revolution turns 10

January 15, 2011 - UNITED STATES

The collaborative online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, turns 10 with almost unsurpassed search engine optimization (SEO) and Web penetration. An Internet search for almost anything usually will pull up the Wikipedia article at or near the top of the results, and there are 3.3 million articles in the English version of the full multilingual version. Wikipedia must count its new collaboration with the British Museum as gratifying, but the organization faces a potential tussle over copyrights.

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Lethal earthquake struck Haiti one year ago

January 12, 2011 - HAITI

The first anniversary of the earthquake that killed some 220,000 Haitians and left an estimated 1.5 million homeless is likely to spur calls for donors to deliver on their promises of recovery aid and questions about a cholera epidemic that has killed some 2700 Haitians. An presidential election stalemate adds political volatility to the Caribbean country’s woes. Memorials services will be held in many cities of the world, in Haiti and at the United Nations.

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Two Guantanamo anniversaries invite protests, questions

January 11, 2011 - CUBA

Two anniversaries for the American military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba fall in January. Jan 11 marks the 9th anniversary of the arrival of the first 20 prisoners, and Jan 22 marks the second anniversary of President Barak Obama’s promise to close the camp. The first date invites protests against the camp, outside its gates and in capitals around the world. The second invites questions from opponents of the camp about why it is still running.

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Residents near Fukushima to receive payouts from power company

January 10, 2011 - TOKYO

Tokyo Electric Power pays out the first tranche of the compensation it promised to people who were forced out of their homes by leaking radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The payout covers their accommodation and other costs since the plant was crippled by the earthquake and tsunami that hit on Mar 11. The company is considering reducing corporate pension payouts to its employees and retirees, as well as cutting thousands of jobs, in order to fund the compensation payouts. The slow response of the utility company and government has been criticized. The criticism contributed in August to Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s decision to step down

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Residents near Fukushima to receive payouts from power company

January 10, 2011 - TOKYO

Tokyo Electric Power pays out the first tranche of the compensation it promised to people who were forced out of their homes by leaking radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The payout covers their accommodation and other costs since the plant was crippled by the earthquake and tsunami that hit on Mar 11. The company is considering reducing corporate pension payouts to its employees and retirees, as well as cutting thousands of jobs, in order to fund the compensation payouts. The slow response of the utility company and government has been criticized. The criticism contributed in August to Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s decision to step down

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Residents near Fukushima to receive payouts from power company

January 10, 2011 - TOKYO

Tokyo Electric Power pays out the first tranche of the compensation it promised to people who were forced out of their homes by leaking radiation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The payout covers their accommodation and other costs since the plant was crippled by the earthquake and tsunami that hit on Mar 11. The company is considering reducing corporate pension payouts to its employees and retirees, as well as cutting thousands of jobs, in order to fund the compensation payouts. The slow response of the utility company and government has been criticized. The criticism contributed in August to Prime Minister Naoto Kan’s decision to step down

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Southern Sudan due to hold referendum on secession

January 9, 2011 - SUDAN

If the deal between the Arab Muslim north and the non-Arab, non-Muslim south holds, the autonomous and oil-rich south of Sudan will vote on independence in Jan 2011. The vote will require a simple majority as long as two-thirds of voters take part. Diplomats warn of a possible resumption of the civil war if the deal founders or if violence or fraud scuttle the referendum. The south worries about the two-thirds rule, and there is a dispute with the north about who will be allowed to vote.

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President Nicolas Sarkozy to lay out French priorities for G20, G8

January 5, 2011 - FRANCE

President Nicolas Sarkozy plans a press conference at the Elysee Palace to announce France’s checklist of policy goals for its 2011 presidency of the Group of 20 and Group of 8 blocs. The list is likely to reflect the French president’s oft-stated goal of reforming the international monetary system and his wish to create a G20 secretariat to oversee implementation of the bloc’s decisions. His main challenge could be altering a perception that the G20 and G8 summits are ineffectual chat fests.

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New United Nations Security Council members take their seats

January 1, 2011 - UNITED NATIONS

The United Nations General Assembly elected Colombia, Germany, India, Portugal and South Africa to serve as 2-year members of the 15-member Security Council on Oct 12. Their terms start on 1 Jan. Canada’s failure to nab a seat is causing ripples, with some experts blaming Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s foreign policy. Some 2-year members want additional permanent seats. They face stiff resistance if they insist that the new permanent seats carry veto powers.

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Iran takes over OPEC presidency

January 1, 2011 - VIENNA

Iran, an Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries founder and its second-biggest producer, takes over as 2011 president of the 12-country cartel. The unanimous vote for Iran by OPEC suggests the cartel could shrug off a request from Washington for help in its dispute with Tehran. The United States and European Union imposed sanctions on Iran in July with hopes of forcing it to halt its nuclear energy program. Tehran has signaled the intention of hosting a summit of OPEC heads of state and government.

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