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Archive for May 2016

First United Nations World Humanitarian Summit to grapple with migration crisis

May 23, 2016 - TURKEY

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has summoned world leaders to the first World Humanitarian Summit, in Istanbul, to reshape the global humanitarian system for the years to come. The immediate task is addressing the refugee crisis in the Middle East, Africa and Europe, a matter of finding funds for purse-pinched UN humanitarian agencies.

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Zika elbows earlier issues from top of World Health Assembly agenda

May 23, 2016 - SWITZERLAND

The Zika virus crisis has forced an agenda revision for the 69th Assembly in Geneva of the World Health Organization. WHO declared the cluster of microcephaly cases and other neurological disorders associated with the virus a health emergency in February, and the Assembly will want to hear about the organization’s plans for addressing the crisis.

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Novak Djokovic aiming to make tennis history at French Open

May 22, 2016 - FRANCE

The French Open tennis championship in Paris opens with Novak Djokovic aiming to make history and with a significant rival of reigning women’s champion Serena Williams out of contention. The 2012 and 2014 French Open champion Maria Sharapova has been sidelined from competition tennis after a positive drug test.

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World’s largest ship makes maiden voyage

May 22, 2016 - UNITED KINGDOM

Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas, which the cruise company describes as the largest passenger ship sailing the globe, makes its maiden voyage, a cruise from Southampton in England to Rotterdam in The Netherlands. The company has filled Harmony with amenities as startling as its size.

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Slow TV reaches peak

May 20, 2016 - NORWAY

Norway broadcasts its latest slow TV instalment, a 12-hour showing of the ebb and flow of the sea. The programme features the world’s strongest tidal current, Saltstraumen, 80 km north of the Arctic Circle.

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Gun rights monolith fires up its base at election year convention

May 20, 2016 - UNITED STATES

The National Rifle Association (NRA) holds its 145th annual convention, an opportunity for Republican 2016 election hopefuls to lay out their pro-gun credentials before like-minded audiences at the event in Louisville, Kentucky. A key order of business will be lambasting potential new legislative moves toward gun control, a result of growing public awareness about the number of fatal shootings in the country.

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Taiwan inaugurates its first woman president

May 20, 2016 - TAIWAN

The island inaugurates its first female president, Tsai Ing-wen of the pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), following elections on Jan 16 that routed Hung Hsiu-chu of the governing Nationalist Party, which accepts closer ties with the mainland. Tsai has to walk a fine line between maintaining the pro-independence sentiments of her party and avoiding moves that Beijing interprets as separatist stirrings.

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Rare pink diamond expected to raise millions

May 17, 2016 - SWITZERLAND

A rare, pear-shaped, vivid pink diamond is expected by Sotherby’s to fetch up to US $38 million at auction in Geneva. The stone, which has the highest possible grading, weighs 15.38 carats.

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New Haitian president might be sworn in

May 14, 2016 - HAITI

If Haiti can set aside political turmoil long enough to conduct an election on Apr 24, the country should have a new president by mid-May. The election, the third attempt to hold a presidential and partial legislative runoff, is unlikely to calm the country if the winner is Jovenel Moise, former-president Michel Martelly’s handpicked candidate. His disputed first-round win in October underlies much of the unrest.

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British Prime Minister plans timely anti-corruption summit

May 12, 2016 - UNITED KINGDOM

Prime Minister David Cameron’s international anti-corruption summit in London arrives just weeks after the leak of the so-called Panama Papers. The leak of more than 11 million documents from a Panama law firm reveals that British MPs are among scores of politicians worldwide holding offshore assets, with Cameron himself ensnared by the scandal.

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Cannes Film Festival to honour late singer-songwriter Prince

May 11, 2016 - FRANCE

Woody Allen’s Cafe Society opens the 69th Cannes Film Festival in a record year, and the glitzy event on the French Riviera will stage a tribute to music legend Prince. The singer-songwriter died on Apr 21 at the age of 57. The number of features submitted for consideration – 1,869 – set the record. Forty-nine titles from 28 countries were selected.

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Copyright of Stairway to Heaven goes to court

May 10, 2016 - UNITED STATES

The copyright of Led Zeppelin song Stairway to Heaven, regarded as one of the greatest rock compositions of all time, is questioned in court. A jury decides whether the song is too similar to an instrumental by the band Spirit.

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