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Archive for June 2009

New International Renewable Energy Agency holds preparatory meeting

June 29, 2009 - EGYPT

Egypt hosts the second preparatory meeting of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The main task at the meeting in the coastal resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is selecting an interim director-general and a location for an interim headquarters. Abu Dhabi has offered to host it. The work program of the agency, which is set up like the International Atomic Energy Agency, was put together at a founding conference in January. It is aimed at driving the world’s transition to renewable energy.

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G8 foreign ministers meet in Trieste

June 25, 2009 - ITALY

When the foreign ministers of the G8 group of major industrialized countries meet in Trieste they will be putting together the agenda for the G8 summit in La Maddalena in July. The United States is said to be pressing for the inclusion of Iran when the ministers discuss problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The fringe will be watched for bilateral meetings between Russia and Japan and the United States and Iran.

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NATO EAPC Security Forum in Central Asia for first time

June 24, 2009 - KAZAKHSTAN

In April NATO leaders accepted an offer from Kazakhstan, which is also keeping its options open with Russia, to host the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council Security Forum. The Alliance describes its Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council and Partnership for Peace programs as the essential framework for substantive political dialogue and practical cooperation. Held for the first time in Central Asia, the meeting will work on NATO’s list of requirements for its EAPC and PfP partners, with an autumn 2010 deadline.

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Australia hosts 35th meeting of Internet watchdog

June 21, 2009 - SYDNEY

A European call for the United States government to relinquish its role in the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers could dominate this 35th public meeting of the not-for-profit body that governs the Internet. The Europeans want ICANN to be fully privatized and turned over to international oversight. President Barak Obama hasn’t indicated where he stands on the issue, but the George W. Bush administration was vehemently opposed to handing it over. Generic top-level domains (gTLDs) will also have a big place on the agenda.

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NASA launches reconnaissance mission to the Moon

June 18, 2009 - UNITED STATES

NASA hopes to launch its Lunar Orbiter (LRO) and Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) in June aboard an Atlas 5 rocket from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The mission opens the way for Man’s return to the Moon. The spacecraft will be used to map safe landing sites, locate potential resources like water ice at the poles and to identify potential hazards that the lunar environment may pose for human explorers. LCROSS’s particular task is to determine if there is water ice at the Moon’s poles.

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London hosts its first international polo championship

June 17, 2009 - LONDON

Polo teams from England, South Africa, Dubai and the Commonwealth will battle it out for the Westminster Polo Trophy at London’s Horse Guards Parade, the historic arena where jousting tournaments were staged for Henry VIII and countless ceremonies have been held. The official entrance to Buckingham Palace, Horse Guards is the site of Trooping the Colour, the ceremony marking the Queen’s birthday. The organizers say the June tournament will be like a gladiatorial spectacle.

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Dalai Lama visits, receives honor

June 6, 2009 - PARIS

When the Dalai Lama visits France in June, it is expected he will be awarded the title of Citizen of the City of Paris by Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe. The Tibetan spiritual leader’s trip to France is part of a European tour that also takes in Denmark, Iceland and the Netherlands. Countries, and particularly governments, that receive the Dalai Lama can expect a protest from Beijing or even retaliation. Beijing accuses him of being intent on achieving independence for Tibet after 58 years of Chinese rule.

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Palestinian National Football Team plays first ever game in Europe

June 5, 2009 - BRUSSELS

FC Brussels from Molenbeek hosts the Palestinian National Football Team, playing its first ever game in Europe. The away game follows a home game for the team against Jordan in Oct 2008 in al-Ram, a town near Jerusalem. Hostilities between rival parties Hamas and Fatah were set aside for the game described by late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish as more noble than war!

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President Barak Obama visits Egypt for key speech

June 4, 2009 - FRANCE

United States President Barak Obama has chosen Egypt for his long-promised address from a Muslim country aimed at mending ties with the Islamic world. It will be the first stop in a trip that also takes him to Buchenwald, the former Nazi concentration camp in Germany, and then to Normandy, in France, to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landing.

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St. Petersburg Economic Forum opens with budget cut

June 4, 2009 - RUSSIA

The St. Petersburg Economic Forum bills itself as Russia’s most important economic event. Harder times and a 25 per cent budget cut mean the organizers are accepting foreign sponsors for the first time and the entertainment and parties for Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and other forum-goers might be a cut below last year’s. Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters starred in 2008. President Dmitry Medvedev will open Day Two, and is expected to assess the global economic situation.

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