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Archive for January 2010

President Barak Obama faces Guant&aacutenamo closure deadline

January 22, 2010 - CUBA

Jan 22, 2010, is the deadline President Barak Obama set for closing the Guantánamo Bay prison for terror suspects. The reluctance of Europe and his own country to accept detainees could delay emptying the camp. Even states controlled by his own party have said No to accepting the prisoners for imprisonment or trial, and he is having trouble reassuring the nation that shutting down Guantánamo will not put US citizens at risk. Some prisoners have been held for seven years without charges.

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Gulf state stages first international air show in inauspicious year

January 21, 2010 - BAHRAIN

The inaugural Bahrain International Airshow at the Sakhir Airbase will offer a totally new concept to the global aerospace community, according to its hosts. They describe the planned business-to-business setup at the show as unique. The brand new facilities do not include exhibition halls. The question is whether the new concept will offset two potential handicaps for the show — its proximity to November’s Dubai Airshow and the downturn in the global economy.

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Sundance Film Festival opens

January 21, 2010 - UNITED STATES

The upcoming biography and recent marriage of Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford could perk up interest in the 26th running of the premiere event for independent film makers, which might otherwise suffer from being on the wrong side of the festive 25th anniversary event. The book, said to be frank about Hollywood, and the headlines about his July wedding to long-time girlfriend Sibylle Szaggars, a well-known German abstract painter, provide timely publicity for the 2010 festival.

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Business, political leaders meet at 40th World Economic Forum

January 21, 2010 - SWITZERLAND

Some 2500 leaders from economic, scientific and government circles in 88 countries, including heads of state or government, meet at the resort town, Davos, for the 40th annual World Economic Forum. The WEF’s Global Redesign Initiative, “an unprecedented global multistakeholder dialogue to help establish processes and structures of global cooperation in the 21st century, is the formal focus of the gathering. The real drama of the event often comes with the deals, diplomatic moves and rows on the fringes.

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Economy and Financial Affairs Council meets

January 19, 2010 - BRUSSELS

An early ministerial meeting of the post-Lisbon Treaty European Union, the Economy and Financial Affairs Council meeting has the task of preparing the agenda for the EU leaders, who will meet for a special economic summit on Feb 11. Reflecting a Treaty change, new EU president Herman Van Rompuy will attend this and all ministerial meetings with the aim of improving the continuity in the workings of the bloc.

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European Agriculture and Fisheries Council meets

January 18, 2010 - BRUSSELS

The European Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting could make history — the schedule is unsettled, so there’s a chance another council meeting will be first — as the first ministerial-level event of the European Union in its post-Lisbon Treaty form. Whichever meeting is first will be scrutinized for signs that the hardwon Treaty is fulfilling a key aim — streamlining the workings of the 27-nation bloc. New European president Herman Van Rompuy plans to attend all ministerial-level events.

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World Future Energy Summit dissects renewable energy issues

January 18, 2010 - ABU DHABI

This third World Future Energy summit will dissect the implications of decisions taken at the Copenhagen climate change summit, and discuss alternatives to the product that has made the region wealthy. The thrust of the forum of world leaders, policy makers, industry experts, thinkers, investors and researchers from over 100 countries is that renewable energy is not a threat to oil producing economies, instead representing an insurance policy and business opportunities.

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Pope Benedict XVI visits Rome’s synagogue

January 17, 2010 - ROME

Pope Benedict XVI will visit Rome’s synagogue in January — only the second pope in history to visit it. The visit comes a year after he outraged Jews by rehabilitating a British bishop who has made statements denying the full extent of the Nazi Holocaust of European Jews. In comments to Swedish television in Jan 2009, Bishop Richard Williamson said he believes there were no gas chambers, and that up to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi camps, rather than the 6 million widely accepted.

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Longtime rivals gear up for presidential election

January 17, 2010 - UKRAINE

Ukraine’s political rivals finally have agreed on January for the country’s presidential election. The main players — President Viktor Yushchenko, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych — have fought it out at the polls before. The president’s and prime minister’s rivalry is so extreme it has paralyzed the workings of government and worsened the country’s severe economic woes, giving the opposition leader the edge.

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First solar eclipse of 2010 path spans two continents

January 15, 2010 - SPACE

The first solar eclipse of 2010 is annular, meaning the outside of the Sun will still be visible to eclipse watchers. It will make up for being the second-best kind of eclipse — total solar eclipses, which turn day into night, are the favorites — by offering exceptional duration. At its peak, over the Indian Ocean, it will last 11 minutes 8 seconds. This duration won’t be exceeded for 1000 years. It will last 10 minutes 45 seconds in Male, a boon for eclipse tourists. And the capital of the Maldives has an airport.

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Comprehensive Peace Agreement five years old

January 9, 2010 - SUDAN

Jan 9 marks five years since the Arab Muslim north and non-Arab, non-Muslim south of Sudan signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended a civil war that killed some 1.5 million people. The pact established an autonomous south, and stipulated a unity government, national elections and a referendum to determine the future of the south. Census and voter-registration violence and a dispute over who can vote threaten the fragile unity government.

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