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Archive for May 2009

Two former United States presidents at joint speaking engagement

May 29, 2009 - TORONTO

Like other people, former presidents have to earn a living. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, United States presidents 42 and 43, will appear together on stage for the first time since Bush ended his presidency in Jan 2009. Bush made his first post-presidential appearance in Calgary in March. Although speakers’ fees are not divulged, there were reports Bush received as much as US $162,000 for his March appearance in Calgary, and Bill Clinton earned US $31 million in speaking fees between 2001 and 2005.

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Foreign ministers of Russia-NATO Council meet

May 19, 2009 - BRUSSELS

Despite mutual irritation, NATO and Russia have resumed formal contacts and will meet at the ministerial level on May 19. Relations between the two Cold War-era foes were suspended in Aug 2008 because of the war in Georgia, and the tension has been exacerbated by NATO’s plans for military exercises with Georgia in May. They meet within the framework of the NATO-Russia Council, a panel set up in 2002 to improve relations between the two sides. It could be a testy meeting.

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Gulf state holds early general election

May 16, 2009 - KUWAIT

The emir, Sheik Sabah al Ahmed al Jabar, angry at opposition members’ requests to summon Prime Minister Nasir al-Muhammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah for public qustioning over allegations of misuse of public funds and mismanagement, dissolved the 50-member National Assembly in March and called an early general election for May. The poll will be the second in a year and the third in three years in the oil-rich state, which is beset by political squabbling. The lineup of candidates will again include women.

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