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Archive for November 2010

Libya hosts Africa-EU meeting with a proposal

November 29, 2010 - LIBYA

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi proposed to the 27-nation European Union in August that the bloc pay Libya 5 billion euros a year to stop African migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe. The proposal, an expansion of a controversial related deal with Italy, is expected to be the main topics at the Africa-European Union meeting, probably at the ministerial level, in Libya in November. European trade and investment are also on the agenda, and could be stipulated in any final deal. Africa-EU summits take place every three years. The first was in Cairo in 2000. This third EU-Africa summit will take place in Tripoli or Sirte.

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Egyptians vote for legislators for lower house of parliament ;

November 28, 2010 - EGYPT

Five parties vie against the ruling National Democratic Party of President Hosni Mubarak in an election for the lower house of parliament, the Majilis Al-Sha’ab. He vowed a fair contest, but renewed the Emergency Law, which curbs opposition, at almost the same time. With the renewal, there is little chance NDP rivals, including members of the banned Moslem Brotherhood standing as independents, can mount an effective challenge.

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Euthanasia law passed 10 years ago. Could be expanded

November 28, 2010 - THE NETHERLANDS

Ten years ago on 28 Nov, the Dutch parliament passed a bill permitting enthanasia under specified conditions. Parliament is expected to consider soon a bill giving over-70s the right to die if they consider their lives complete. The expansion of the enthanasia law would be a world first. Switzerland allows assisted suicide in cases where someone is not terminally ill. This bill in the Netherlands, the country that first legalized euthanasia, would push the boundaries farther.

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Seventeen African countries won independence in same year 50 years ago

November 27, 2010 - AFRICA

Cameroon was the first of 17 African countries that mark 50 years of independence from a colonial power in 2010, but tiny Togo’s Apr 27 events will be the first main celebrations. Cameroon traditionally downplays its Jan 1 independence date, and plans its main 50th celebration for National Day, 20 May. The year invites a comparison of the 17, ranking them in terms of stability and prosperity since independence, and a review of the forces that led to the rapid decolonization of Africa.

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India hosts first ever Asia-Pacific Song Contest

November 26, 2010 - MUMBAI

Our Sound: The Asia-Pacific Song Contest 2010 arrives after a delay of one year. Fourteen or more countries will compete in the inaugural Performance Show on 26 Nov. The final on Nov 28 will be broadcast live in 44 countries in prime time and also online. This Asian version of the Eurovision Song Contest phenomenon has the potential to pull more than 500 million TV viewers, according to the organizers. The show host(s) will speak in English and Mandarin.

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Church of England inaugurates new General Synod

November 22, 2010 - LONDON

Every five years the entire General Synod of the Church of England is re-elected, giving 378 people the chance to help govern the worldwide Anglican Communion. The 8th General Synod was dissolved shortly after its gathering in York in July. The new Assembly, the 9th Synod, made up of the House of Clergy and House of Laity, could be grappling with defections to the Catholic Church over reforms traditionalists regard as too liberal.Queen Elizabeth II opened the 8th General Synod in Nov 2005, and, as titular head of the Church of England, is expected to open the 9th Synod.

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Pope holds consistory, installs new cardinals

November 20, 2010 - VATICAN

Pope Benedict XVI called a consistory for Nov 20-21 to install 24 new members for the depleted College of Cardinals. The number eligible to vote in a papal election has slipped to 105. It will drop to 100 by the end of November as cardinals reach their 80th birthdays and become ineligible to elect a new pontiff should 83-year-old Benedict succumb to stresses that include a busy travel schedule and the worldwide clergy pedophile scandal.

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US President Barak Obama meets EU leaders. Mending bridges?

November 20, 2010 - LISBON

United States President Barak Obama, European Union president Herman Van Rompuy and EU leaders meet for their first summit of the post-Lisbon Treaty period. The leaders are of like mind about China, but might not see eye-to-eye during the austerity-vs-spending discussion. Obama could walk into lingering resentment for trying to spend the US way out of recession — the global recession is often blamed on the United States — and will be arguing with a weaker hand after the Nov 2 US election.

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Leo Tolstoy died 100 years ago

November 20, 2010 - RUSSIA

Leo Tolstoy — Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy — died a vagabond at a railway station on 7 Nov 1910. A centenary conference is planned at his home in Yasnaya Polyana, and some 100 direct descendents of the author plan a family party. Around the world it’s a day for rescreening any of the 19 Anna Kareninas and many other films based his fiction. At least two new films will be released, a Russian documentary and “The Last Station,” a Hollywood biopic. Both are about Tolstoy’s last days.

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NATO summit to hear about grand plan

November 19, 2010 - LISBON

NATO plans to unveil the details at this summit of a Strategic Concept designed to answer new threats and challenges around the world. The first since 1999, it covers NATO expansion and is expected to answer questions about the kind of missions NATO will take on, and also reveal NATO’s intentions regarding territorial missile defense. Missiles and NATO’s involvement in Afghanistan can be counted on to bring out demonstrators, including anti-capitalists in the season of social program cutbacks in Europe.

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Mexico commemorates two milestones

November 15, 2010 - MEXICO

In 2010 Mexico celebrates the bicentenary of the start of its independence movement from Spain in September and the centenary of the start of the Mexican Revolution in November. The entire country celebrates on 16 Sep, and a re-enactment of the call for an uprising is likely to takes place in city halls throughout the country. The country’s turnaround from a 6.5 per cent contraction of the economy in 2009 to expected growth in 2010 of 4-5 per cent gives Mexicans something else to celebrate.

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Hajj ritual begins

November 14, 2010 - SAUDI ARABIA

Some 2 million pilgrims from 70 countries begin the 5-day ritual that able-bodied Muslims are expected to complete in their lifetime at Islam’s holiest shrine, Mecca. The sighting of the new moon between Nov 14 and 18 will determine the start date. Fatalities mar each Hajj because the ancient facilities were not designed for the present crush of pilgrims. The 1431 Hijrah Hajj sees safety upgrades. One is the new Mashair Railway, which links the holy sites of Mina, Arafat and Muzdalifa with Mecca.

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