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Archive for February 2010

Costa Ricans vote in general election

February 7, 2010 - COSTA RICA

Costa Rica votes for a president and legislature in an election that could give the region its first female president. The National Liberation Party, the governing party of President Oscar Arias Sanchez, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, chose Laura Chinchilla as its candidate. A Costa Rica vice president until she quit to devote her time to campaigning, Chinchilla holds a healthy lead in the polls. Newcomer Otto Guevara from the fringe Libertarian Movement is in second place.

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Questions over Anambra state gubernatorial election

February 6, 2010 - NIGERIA

The gubernatorial poll in Anambra state is viewed as a test case for President Umaru Yar’Adua electoral reform plans, but his prolonged absence threatens the election, the reforms and democracy in Africa’s most populous country. He promised the reforms following his win in 2007 in elections marred by allegations of fraud. Though allegedly flawed, the election was hailed as milestone, marking the first civilian-to-civilian transfer of power in Nigeria’s history.

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Special coin begins observance of 2011 Ronald Reagan centenary

February 6, 2010 - UNITED STATES

Ronald Reagan, the 40th United States president (1981-1989), who is venerated by conservatives for his fervent republicanism and appealing style, was born 100 years ago on 6 Feb 1911. He died in 2004. The birthday party starts early, with fanfare and the release of a commemorative US $1 coin on 6 Feb 2010. The coin is meant to build excitement for the big day one year later. The 11-member Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission is planning the federal observation of the centenary.

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G7 finance ministers meet in remote Arctic city

February 5, 2010 - CANADA

Group of Seven finance ministers meet in remote Iqaluit, an Inuit city in Nunavut, at the start of the possible final year for the select group of rich countries. Consensus on global financial sector reform, strengthening international financial institutions and ensuring sustainable global recovery remains elusive. Britain wants G7-G20 nations to tax financial transactions, penalize big risk taking and limit the burden on taxpayers of bank failures. The United States continues to oppose the measures.

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Government figures, business leaders gather at 2010 Russia Forum

February 3, 2010 - MOSCOW

The Russia Forum gives up to 1000 guests — Russian and international business figures from some 30 countries — an inside line on investment opportunities, credit issues, ruble movements, oil prices and Russian stocks. The organizers, the Troika Dialog Group, promise guests opportunities to rub shoulders with influential Russian government figures and notable participants. Speakers of previous years have included Aleksey Kudrin, Alan Greenspan, Richard Branson and Yoshka Fisher.

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US president plans bipartisan powwow on health care

February 1, 2010 - WASHINGTON DC

Congressional wrangling and the recent loss of the filibuster-proof majority previously held by the Democratic Party in Congress threaten Democratic President Barak Obama’s plan to fix the country’s healthcare system, regarded as the top domestic priority of his presidency. His invitation to opposition Republicans to a televised healthcare debate in February is seen as recognition that reform won’t go anywhere without some bipartisan support.

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One-sided interim bank transfer deal in effect

February 1, 2010 - UNITED STATES

Brussels has agreed to a bank data transfer deal with Washington that allows anti-terrorist investigators in the United States to access European financial transaction data for nine months while a longer-term deal is negotiated. The deal formalizes a secret program introduced after the Sep 11 terror attacks in 2001, and it could be annulled before the nine months are up. The longer-term deal would allow European investigators access to US transfer information.

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Dramatic new credit card rules come into effect

February 1, 2010 - UNITED STATES

The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act goes into effect on or about 1 Feb 2010, after which United States credit card issuers will find it harder to change the terms of consumers’ credit card accounts. For one thing, issuers will no longer be able to raise interest rates on an existing balance if an account is paid on time. Ahead of the change, credit-card issuers are hiking interest rates, penalties and fees in full force, a practice Market Watch describes as gouging.

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