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Archive for March 2017

Attendance thin again at Arab League summit?

March 29, 2017 - JORDAN

King Abdullah II hosts Arab leaders in Amman near the 30th anniversary of the League’s historic agreement to readmit Egypt to the fold. He will have 22 leaders if he has a full house, but the summits are notable for absenteeism – and also for rifts over regional conflicts and concerns.

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ISU World Figure Skating Championships a tryout for 2018 Olympics

March 29, 2017 - FINLAND

Helsinki hosts the ISU World Figure Skating Championships 2017, the qualifying event for the 2018 Winter Olympics. The contest sees French, Canadian, Spanish and Russian champions defending their 2016 titles, and an anti-trust skirmish between the ISU (International Skating Union) and the European Commission (EC).

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Mali’s state of emergency due to end

March 29, 2017 - MALI

The West African country’s state of emergency is due to end, but violence in the northeast might prompt another unanimous extension by the parliament. The emergency was declared in Nov 2015 after jihadists stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako killing 20 people, mostly foreigners, in an attack claimed by Al-Qaeda affiliates.

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Bulgarians vote in snap election

March 26, 2017 - BULGARIA

Two days after taking office on Jan 22, President Rumen Radev announced the March date for early elections. The vote for the 240-seat unicameral National Assembly is not expected to deliver a strong majority government that can undertake much-needed reforms.

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Hong Kong elects its top official

March 26, 2017 - CHINA

The Electoral Committee votes for the Hong Kong Chief Executive, the most important politician of the semi-autonomous territory. The leading candidates appear little inclined to challenge Beijing’s tight control over Hong Kong or to fight for the universal suffrage that pro-democracy activists seek.

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Obamacare birthday a taunt for Republicans?

March 23, 2017 - UNITED STATES

The 7th birthday of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nicknamed Obamacare, will rankle Republican President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Congress if they haven’t worked out how to repeal and replace it. Disputes about ways and means are exposing ideological rifts in the party.

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Fabled Pocahontas buried far from home 400 years ago

March 21, 2017 - UNITED KINGDOM

Pocahontas died 400 years ago in England, an ocean away from her home in North America. Gravesend, the town where the fabled Powhatan Native American woman was buried on Mar 21, 1617, plans a number of commemorative events. The anniversary promises to spawn a new generation of Pocahontas dolls and tales.

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Rouhani government seeking to change national currency unit

March 21, 2017 - IRAN

The Iranian fiscal year begins on the question of whether the administration of President Hassan Rouhani has been able to move forward on a controversial bid to change the national currency unit from the rial to the toman, which is equivalent to 10 rials.

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