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Archive for July 2011

START Treaty signed 20 years ago

July 31, 2011 - MOSCOW

The United States and the Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on 31 Jul 1991. The pact called for the two countries to reduce their strategic nuclear forces over seven years to 1600 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles and 6000 warheads, with no more than 4900 on ballistic missiles. The pact expired on 5 Dec 2009. Its successor, New START, has been signed and ratified ahead of the 20th anniversary. US Democratic President Barak Obama had made approval of New START treaty his top foreign policy priority for the waning days of the present Democrat-led Congress. Opposition to the principle of arms reduction, which underpins New START at a time when China is ramping up its military muscle held up ratification by the US Senate until Dec 22 in 2010. The Russian Federation Council, or the upper house of parliament, ratified it on 26 Jan.

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START Treaty signed 20 years ago

July 31, 2011 - MOSCOW

The United States and the Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) on 31 Jul 1991. The pact called for the two countries to reduce their strategic nuclear forces over seven years to 1600 strategic nuclear delivery vehicles and 6000 warheads, with no more than 4900 on ballistic missiles. The pact expired on 5 Dec 2009. Its successor, New START, has been signed and ratified ahead of the 20th anniversary. US Democratic President Barak Obama had made approval of New START treaty his top foreign policy priority for the waning days of the present Democrat-led Congress. Opposition to the principle of arms reduction, which underpins New START at a time when China is ramping up its military muscle held up ratification by the US Senate until Dec 22 in 2010. The Russian Federation Council, or the upper house of parliament, ratified it on 26 Jan.

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Alan Garcia presidency ends, new leader and congress take over

July 28, 2011 - PERU

President Alan Garcia hands over on Jul 28 to Ollanta Humala, a leftist former army officer who has promised to govern as a moderate, and the new Peruvian Congress and Andean Parliament will be sworn in. Garcia’s exit invites a look at why his popularity and the popularity of his Apristas were so low when he has overseen growth averaging 7 per cent since his 2006 election. The handover also invites speculation about Peru’s direction for the next five years. The congressional results suggests the trend could be nationalistic and left-leaning.

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UN food agency holds annual meeting

July 25, 2011 - ROME

The 37th annual United Nations Food and Agriculture Administration meeting will debate what to do about rising global food prices and also elect a new director general to replace Jacques Diouf, a Senegalese diplomat who has held the post since 1994. Six countries are fielding candidates. The agency notes that several countries have been buying huge stocks of cereals and other foods to head of social unrest.The six candidates are: Franz Fischler (Austria), José Graziano da Silva (Brazil), Indroyono Soesilo (Indonesia), Mohammad Saeid Noori Naeini (Iran), Abdul Latif Rashid (Iraq) and Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé (Spain).

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Love Parade fatalities commemorated on first anniversary

July 24, 2011 - GERMANY

Twenty-one people died and more than 500 were injured one year ago on 24 Jul in a stampede in a Duisberg tunnel outside the techno music rave called the Love Parade. The anniversary will see memorials to the victims and calls for speedy settlement of claims against the organizers. The permanent cancellation of the 21-year-old event, which attracted some 1.5 million ravers each year — is seen as another tragedy. Festival-goers from China, Australia, Italy and Holland were among the dead. Moments before the stampede, a huge crowd of some 500,000 festival-goers was making its way from Duisberg’s main railway station through a 300-yard-long tunnel towards the festival site, which was already packed with more than one million festival-goers.

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Machu Picchu rediscovered 100 years ago

July 24, 2011 - PERU

The official centenary celebration of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu on 24 Jul 1911 will swell the number of visitors to the spectacular ancient citadel in the Peruvian Andes. The date swings the spotlight again to the thousands of artifacts taken by the man who made the Lost City of the Incas known to the world 100 years ago, Yale University Professor Hiram Bingham. Yale returned the artifacts to Peru in June.

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Shuttle re-entry the almost-end of iconic NASA program ;

July 21, 2011 - UNITED STATES

NASA shuttle Atlantis lands at the Kennedy Space Center, the second-to-last-stage in the three-decades-long United States shuttle program. The real finale is 30 days later, when the program officially ends. Hundreds of NASA engineers, astronauts and others staff will be standing by greet the shuttle and crew. It’s likely to resemble a funeral rather than a party as the United States won’t be a frontrunner in the space race for several years, and will be dependent on Russia for access to Space.

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Rio de Janeiro hosts CISM 5th Military World Games

July 16, 2011 - BRAZIL

Some 7000 participants from 100-plus countries descend on Rio de Janeiro in Jul 2011 for the CISM 5th Military World Games. The event represents another opportunity for Brazil to test its readiness for hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. The 2007 Pan-American Games was the first test, and the experience helped secure the military competition, billed the third most important sporting event after the World Cup and Olympics, for Brazil against Turkey’s bid.

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NASA opens ultra-green Sustainability Base

July 15, 2011 - UNITED STATES

NASA’s Sustainability Base, a US $20 million unique building that incorporates technology used by astronauts, is expected to open in mid July in the Silicon Valley of California. NASA set out to build the federal government’s most sustainable building. It will generate more electricity than it consumes, and each part of the building performs an environmental function. Local building materials were used to help reduce emissions from transportation, and construction waste was recycled.

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Famed Passion Play town becomes impatient

July 15, 2011 - GERMANY

Every year, starting in 2011, the Passion Play town of Oberammergau will perform a shorter version of its famed re-enactment of the last days of Christ’s life. The full 7-hour Passion Play, in which thousands of villagers perform for some half million visitors from around the world, will be reserved for every 10th year. The villagers, honoring a vow, have staged the drama every decade since 1634. They decided in 2010 that they were tired of having to wait 10 years for their chance to act.

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French celebrate Bastille Day

July 14, 2011 - FRANCE

The 2011 Bastille Day military parade down the Champs Elysees in Paris promises the same spectacle as previous years. President Nicolas Sarkozy again takes the salute, possibly in the company of a circumspect selection of guests. The day commemorates the 1789 storming of the notorious Bastille Prison, the start of the French Revolution. France’s protracted and violent journey to democracy offers a lesson for today’s Middle East revolutionaries — an ouster is no quick fix for tyranny.

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Socialist candidates face deadline

July 13, 2011 - FRANCE

Opposition Socialist Party (PS) contenders have until Jul 13 to decide if they will vie for their party’s nomination to challenge President Nicolas Sarkozy of the center-right Union for a Popular Majority (UMP) in the 2012 election. The July date kicks of a three-month campaigning period that ends in October with the country’s first-ever presidential primary contest. Much hangs on whether Dominique Strauss-Kahn is back in contention.

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