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Archive for November 2011

Copts celebrate 40th anniversary of ordination of Shenouda III as pope

November 14, 2011 - CAIRO

Pope Shenouda III celebrates the 40th anniversary of his ordination as head of Egypt’s Coptic Christian church. Health questions and his advanced age — 88 — bring the papal succession issue to the fore. His resignation or passing could create a power vacuum in the church at a vulnerable time: a rogue bishop lurks, the times are unsettled in post-revolution Egypt, and strife has surged again between the Copts and majority Muslims — just the latest episode in their 14 centuries of cohabitation

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Hawaii hosts annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit

November 12, 2011 - UNITED STATES

It is the United States’ first turn in 18 years to host the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, and President Barak Obama could arrive in Honolulu with his hands tied. The APEC leaders pledged in 2010 to avoid raising more trade barriers and to roll back any erected because of the global financial crisis. Lingering acrimony in the US Congress over the debt ceiling leaves Obama little hope of honoring any pledge. Looming elections in several member countries also stand in the way of action.

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Saudi Arabia hosts 32nd summit of Gulf Cooperation Council

November 12, 2011 - RIYADH

When the leaders of the 6-nation Gulf Cooperation Council meet in 2011, the 30th GCC anniversary, the uprisings in the Arab world will be the new topic for discussion. They are expected to vote on financial support and GCC membership for Jordan and Morocco, two countries mainly weathering the unrest in the region. Yemen’s accession is expected by 2016. Undeterred by the crisis with the euro, the GCC is still pursuing monetary union – among other collaborative goals.

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Saudi Arabia hosts 32nd summit of Gulf Cooperation Council

November 12, 2011 - RIYADH

When the leaders of the 6-nation Gulf Cooperation Council meet in 2011, the 30th GCC anniversary, the uprisings in the Arab world will be the new topic for discussion. They are expected to vote on financial support and GCC membership for Jordan and Morocco, two countries mainly weathering the unrest in the region. Yemen’s accession is expected by 2016. Undeterred by the crisis with the euro, the GCC is still pursuing monetary union – among other collaborative goals.

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Billionaire opens museum of American art in heartland

November 11, 2011 - UNITED STATES

Alice L. Walton, daughter of Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, opens the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in remote Bentonville, Arkansas, on Nov 11. She aims to turn the remote town into an international destination for art lovers. Walton, with some US $21 billion, is one of the country’s richest people. One artworks in the 600-exhibit collection cost her US $35 million. The opening could be notable for who isn’t there. The way the family acquired its billions is controversial.The Waltons’ retail empire is accused of selling cheap goods to Americans by outsourcing jobs to labor markets overseas and of forcing the closure of small stores in downtowns across the country

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Singular date, 11/11/11, a portal to another universe?

November 11, 2011 - WORLD

The date 11/11/11 could stir up psychics because of the mathematical singularity of the repeating numerals. Illusionist Uri Geller, for one, sees paired 11s as a portal to parallel universes. He can be counted on to expand the theory to accommodate the third 11. The horror-thriller movie, “11/11/11/ – Mark the date. You can’t stop what’s coming”- is scaring up interest in the date, and the United Arab Emirates has chosen Nov 11 to change its weights and measures system to metric. Israeli-born Geller, widely known for his trick of bending spoons and keys with his mind, explains on his website the role String Theory plays in his double-11 ideas. PBS program Nova explains String Theory, often described as the theory of everything, in terms of eleven dimensions, parallel universes and a world made out of string.

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Great Blue Norther descended a century ago

November 11, 2011 - UNITED STATES

One hundred years ago in Nov 2011 the storm recalled as the Great Blue Norther hit America, rapidly lowering the temperature 66 degrees F from a record high and spawning killer dust storms, thunderstorms, tornados and blizzards over vast areas. A century later, the country is being battered by storms that rival the Great Blue Norther in fury. The centenary could drag the 1911 storm into the global warming debate.

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New Seven Natural Wonders of the World announced

November 11, 2011 - WORLD

The announcement of the new Seven Natural Wonders of the World was still more than a year away when the campaigns of 22 countries vying for a place on the final list were at full tilt. A top-seven place means big income from tourism, so countries are investing heavily in attracting online votes for their wonder site. The country that appears to be topping the list of investors in its natural wonder, though, doesn’t plan to open its to visitors. Millions of votes are expected at sevennaturalwonders.org. Some of the natural locations competing for a spot in the final 7 are The Amazon Rainforest in South America, the Igauzu Waterfalls Argentina and Brazil and the Vesuvius Volcano in Italy, which destroyed Pompey.

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Maldives hosts 17th SAARC summit on Addu Atoll

November 10, 2011 - MALE

The Republic of Maldives hosts the 17th summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), a potential boost for Maldives President Mohammed Nasheed at a time of ebbing popularity. He is expected to use the summit to highlight the threat climate change poses to the archipelago. SAARC member India is expected to use the summit for India-Pakistan diplomacy and to court South Asian neighbors and steer them from Beijing’s influence.

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Henry Stanley found Dr. David Livingstone 140 years ago

November 10, 2011 - AFRICA

Henry Stanley left on 21 Mar 1871 to find Dr. David Livingstone, missing after setting out in 1864 to find the source of the Nile River. He found Livingstone on 10 Nov 1871 in a village by Lake Tanganyika, greeting him with the famous quote, Dr. Livingstone, I presume. The 140th anniversary invites biopics of the explorers who created a mass media phenomenon at the time, and a then-and-now look at the dark continent that captivated their readers.The Livingstone Museum in Zambia, which displays some personal belongings of the 19th century Scottish explorer, could see an increase in visitors on the anniversary. The date could also serve as a hurry-up call for Edinburgh to finish the cleanup of its David Livingstone statue. The monument has been under attack from birds.

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APEC finance ministers meet

November 9, 2011 - UNITED STATES

The finance minister of member countries of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) bloc, meeting in Honolulu, will fine-tune an agenda for the summit of leaders two days later. The bloc resolved in 2010 to work toward rebalancing global growth, fiscal discipline and the infrastructure investment needed to contribute to economic growth. There was also a pledge to ease trade barriers. Several distractions mean the ministers’ report at the summit could reflect scant progress. US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will host the meeting.

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Catholic Church hosts conference on adult stem-cell research

November 9, 2011 - VATICAN

The Pontifical Council for Culture has invited Church leaders, policymakers, ethicists, representatives from the stem cell business community and ministers of health from around the world to a conference on adult stem cell research. The invitation reflects the new strategy of the Catholic Church to end research on embryonic stem cells. The Vatican is spending millions of dollars to support research into adult stem cell therapies. The Vatican agreed in 2010 to donate US $2.7 million to research into the potential use of adult stem cells in the treatment of intestinal and possibly other diseases in a project led by the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine. And Rome Reports announced in June that the Vatican Department of Science and Faith has made an economic commitment of US $1 million to NeoStem, a pharmaceutical company, through their charitable foundation. The company notes that it is the first time the Vatican has entered into such an agreement with a publicly-traded company to advance scientific research and describes the arrangement as an historical collaboration.

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