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Archive for January 2009

German scientist takes helm of Antarctic Treaty Secretariat

January 8, 2009 - BUENOS AIRES

German scientist Manfred Reinke was elected executive secretary of the Antarctic Treaty Secretariat at the conclusion of the Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting in the United States in April, and he starts on Aug 1. He faces a difficult 4-year term, as 2009 marks the 50th anniversary of the Treaty, and 11 countries have claimed sovereignty over parts of Antarctica to secure the contiguous offshore oil, gas and mineral rights. And taxing environmental issues threaten the health of the South Pole.

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Anders Fogh Rasmussen takes up post as NATO secretary general

January 8, 2009 - BRUSSELS

At their 60th anniversary summit, NATO leaders agreed to appoint Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen as the Alliance’s next Secretary General. He takes up his post on Aug 1, when the term of Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer expires. Turkey had threatened to veto Rasmussen’s appointment because of his handling of a 2006 crisis triggered by cartoons of Prophet Mohammad in a Danish newspaper.

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Egyptian doctor, Nicaraguan NGO receive 2009 UN Population Award

January 6, 2009 - NEW YORK

An Egyptian doctor, Mahmoud Fathalla, and a Nicaraguan non-governmental organization, Movimiento Comunal Nicarag├╝ense (MCN), have won this year’s United Nations Population Award. They will be presented with a diploma and gold medal at the United Nations. Deeply-rooted cultural attitudes posed monumental challenges to the missions of both laureates.

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Pope Benedict XVI visits earthquake area

January 5, 2009 - ITALY

Pope Benedict XVI plans to tour the Abruzzo area, the site of a devastating earthquake on Apr 6 that so far has claimed some 300 lives. It isn’t known if he will hold a memorial mass for the victims during his visit. Meanwhile, families living in the tent cities set up around L’Aquila have sought to return to a semblance of normality. Classes for children have been set up in temporary canvas schools in the tent city for the victims who have lost their homes.

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May Day marches likely to be bigger than ever in world’s cities

January 5, 2009 - WORLD

The global economic crisis can be counted on to swell the traditional May Day marches and protests. May 1, also known as International Workers’ Day and Labor Day, commemorates the contributions and achievements of working people. Workers blame governments and employers for closures and job losses. The protests against the way governments are handling the crisis started early in some cities. In France, May Day could set off more bossnapping – French workers holding their bosses hostage.

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