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Archive for May 2011

Verdict expected in case of alleged Nazi death camp guard ;

May 12, 2011 - GERMANY

A verdict in the case John Demjanjuk, alleged to have had a role in the killings of some 28,000 Jews at the Sobibor death camp, could come as soon as May 12. Prosecutors have asked the Munich court to sentence Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, now 90, to six years in prison, though he could receive a 12-year sentence. Several trial dates have been postponed due to the ill health of the defendant in the now 16-month case. Prosecutors asked for a lesser sentence due to the six years he spent in an Israeli prison. A court there convicted him of charges that he was Treblinka gas chamber guard Ivan the Terrible and he was sentenced to death in 1988. The Israeli Supreme Court in 1993 overturned that conviction, deciding that Ivan was not Demjanjuk.

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Iraq plans Arab League summit

May 11, 2011 - BAGHDAD

The summit of the 22-member Arab League is set for May 11 in Iraq, the rotating League president, but it could be canceled. Few Arab leaders are likely to attend: the Iraqi security situation is daunting, and they could be overthrown in their absence. If they gather, the leaders will elect a new chief who will have to steer the organization through difficult times. The leaders of several member countries are under siege, and the League is sending out a mixed message about where it stands on the rebellions.Amr Moussa is standing down on May 15, at the end of his second five-year term, in order to contest the Egyptian presidential election.

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Americans in spotlight at 64th Festival de Cannes

May 11, 2011 - FRANCE

The 64th Cannes Film Festival sees the spotlight on at least two Americans: Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris opens the festival, and Robert de Niro will head the nine-person jury that decides the Palme d’Or. The cast of Allen’s 41st film, a romantic comedy, includes Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, the Italo-French heiress, songwriter, singer and former model who is married to French President Nicolas Sarkozy. There is speculation Madonna, a third American, might screen her new movie at the festival. Madonna is directing a controversial new film, called W.E, and it has been reported in the French media that she hopes to premiere it at the festival. The movie about England’s King Edward VIII turns what historians say about the British sovereign on its head.

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winner hosts 2011 competition

May 10, 2011 - GERMANY

In 2010, for the first time since 1982, Germany won the Eurovision Song Contest. Düsseldorf now has the honor of hosting the competition, which is second only to World Cup soccer in the size and passion of its television audience in Europe. The 2010 winner, Lena Meyer-Landrut, 19, will represent Germany again. Only Lys Assia, the winner of the first ESC in 1956, returned the following year to defend her title. Eurovisionary reports that Assia, 84, wants to represent Switzerland in the 2011 ESC.

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Canadian government counts population

May 10, 2011 - CANADA

Canada’s 15th decennial census will be held in May 2011. Starting 2 May, households in Canada will receive a yellow census package. May 10 is census reference day, and counting activities cease on 29 Jul. The results will be released in 2012. Controversially, the government has replaced the mandatory long form questionnaire and with a voluntary version. And for this count, the form can be filled out an submitted online or on paper.

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International Swimming Hall of Fame honors Prince Albert II, others

May 6, 2011 - UNITED STATES

The 2011 International Swimming Hall of Fame honors will be awarded in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, during three days of events that include an international diving Grand Prix. The honorees include Australian Olympian Ian Thorpe, United States Olympian Lenny Krayzelburg, and the British open water swimmer Michael Read, who held the Britain’s title of King of the Channel for 26 years. Monaco’s Prince Albert II will receive the ISHOF Gold Medallion in a year already distinguished by his nuptials.

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Britain votes on electoral system reform

May 5, 2011 - UNITED KINGDOM

A national referendum will decide whether Britain is to keep its first-past-the post (FPTP) voting system or switch to the alternative vote (AV) system, in which candidates are ranked in order of preference. The Conservative Party defeated the Labour Party in the 2010 election, but too narrowly to govern without a coalition partner. The referendum was part of the deal the Conservatives offered the Liberal Democrats, who campaigned for AV, to bring them into the Tory-led coalition.

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Four Latin American leaders meet to plan new bloc

May 2, 2011 - LIMA

The leaders of Chile, Peru, Colombia and Mexico meet on May 2 to plan further economic integration, according Peruvian President Alan Garcia in an interview with the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo. He suggested the new bloc would facilitate the free movement of capital, services, products and people and replace the Andean Community of Nations (CAN). The bloc’s relationship to the new Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) wasn’t explained. Colombia and Peru currently have economic ties through the 1969 Andean Community, which has its headquarters in Lima. Garcia stated in so many words that he believes the Andean Community is inward-looking and needs to begin looking for outward for integration. He sees rapid technological transfer and the globalization of finance and investment as the game changer.

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Canada holds early general election

May 2, 2011 - CANADA

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s minority government fell on Mar 25, triggering a parliamentary election 17 month before its due date. Though global recovery and Canada’s fortunes appear fragile, the Tories are projected to win. Their challenge will be winning majority government. Minority governments fall easily, and the next will be Canada’s fifth election since 2000. The campaigns are focusing on issues such as taxation, spending and quality of life.Elections Canada has set Apr 22, Apr 23 and Apr 25 as the dates for advance voting.Under the political system of the world’s second-biggest country, the defeat of a minority government after a no-confidence motion triggers a quick election. The Conservatives will need 40 percent of the vote for a majority in the House of Commons under Canada’s first-past-the-post electoral system.

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Ubiquitous King James version of the Bible 400 years old

May 2, 2011 - WORLD

The year 2011 celebrates the 400th anniversary of what is described as the most important and influential printed book in the English language – the King James Bible (KJV), also known as the Authorized Version. Protestant churches and historians plan special events throughout the year. The KJV version still reigns supreme over other translations, and the Internet age has increased its reach. Some evangelists spread the Word on Twitter. There are 7,110,000 results on Google for a search on King James Version. The business of tracking down a biblical reference is now just a matter of typing key words or phrases into one or another of these web sites. The search can be filtered by selecting a specific book of the Bible, or the entire Bible can be searched. The website,, boasts: Now you can read the entire King James Version of the Bible from the convenience of your computer! You can even email any chapter to your friends or family.

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Pope Benedict XVI sets predecessor on path to sainthood

May 1, 2011 - VATICAN

The Vatican heeded the calls for sainthood now for Pope John Paul II from pilgrims at his funeral on 2 Apr 2005. The Polish, globe-trotting pontiff will be beatified by his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, years earlier than normal. The St. Peter’s Square ceremony could bring millions of Catholics to Rome, presenting a daunting logistical challenge for the city, a morale boost for the beleaguered Church. And it might take scandal-mired Italian premier, Silvio Berlusconi, out of the headlines for a day.

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