ANKARA 30 Sep 2012 Prime minister stands again for leadership post
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds its annual congress, an event seen as the kickoff for an election season culminating in the country’s first direct presidential election – in 2014. At the congress, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan can count on being picked to take the party into the next legislative election, but he is reported to have set his sights higher – on the presidency. If there is any substance in rumors swirling since his recent stomach surgery, 58-year-old Erdogan’s health could be the spoiler.
UNITED STATES 30 Sep 2012 Al Capone, Bonnie and Clyde memorabilia auctioned
Criminals and lawman are among America’s most relentlessly immortalized figures, so bidding in a live auction of their memorabilia in New Hampshire on Sep 30 will be brisk. The guns in the RR Auction sale, “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawman,” will be the top earners. They include a Colt .25 Pocket Auto pistol owned by Al “Scarface” Capone and guns taken from the bodies of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow after they died in a police ambush in 1934. Other notables represented by their memorabilia include John Dillinger, Wyatt
VATICAN 29 Sep 2012 Trial of “Vatileaks” suspects begins
Paolo Gabriele, the former valet to Pope Benedict XVI and Glaudio Sciarpelletti, a Vatican computer technician, will go on trial in the audience hall of the Vatican city-state tribunal on Sep 29 on charges of leaking secret papers that unveiled fraud and intrigue in the Vatican. The Vatican hopes the trial of the two men will close the book on the scandal, dubbed “Vatileaks” by the Italian media, but the hunt for other whistleblowers continues. Italian newspaper reports claim up to 20 suspects may still be on the loose, and
NORTHERN IRELAND 29 Sep 2012 Protestants mark centenary of Ulster Covenant
Members of Northern Ireland’s Protestant fraternal orders plan to celebrate the centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant on 28 Sep 1912 with a parade through Belfast and an assembly at Stormont castle. Tens of thousands are expected, and Northern Ireland’s Catholics are certain to see the event as provocative. Almost 500,000 Protestants signed the Covenant as a protest against then-pending Home Rule for Ireland: most Irish Catholics desired complete independence from Britain, but Irish Protestants feared living in a country ruled by a Catholic majority.
WASHINGTON DC 29 Sep 2012 ICANN government contract facing potential expiryRead More
FRENCH GUYANA 28 Sep 2012 ESA launches next pair of Galileo satellites
The European Space Agency launches two more validation satellites for its Galileo system on Sep 28, which is almost a year after the launch of its first pair. The launches bring Europe closer to having an independent, civilian-controlled navigation system to balance the military-controlled Global Position System of the United States. If scheduling stays on track, more satellites will be launched in 2013 and Galileo will be able to offer navigation services with a reduced 18-satellite constellation by 2014. The full constellation of 30 satellites
BELARUS 23 Sep 2012 Belarus votes for parliamentarians
Belarus is going through the motions of a parliamentary election in September. President Alexander Lukashenko, who has ruled the ex-Soviet republic of 10 million people since 20 Jul 1994, is reported to be preparing for the vote by clamping down harder on opposition and criticizing the West for interference. The head of Belarus’ Central Election Commission (CEC), Lidia Yermoshina, who is under a European Union visa ban, complains that she was invited to a recent meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in Vienna just to be
SAUDI ARABIA 23 Sep 2012 Saudis celebrate 80th birthday againRead More
UNITED KINGDOM 22-26 Sep 2012 Liberal Democrats hold Autumn conference
The Liberal Democrats’ conference in Brighton marks the half-way point of their governing coalition with the Conservative Party. The partnership has produced a few compromises from the majority Conservatives, but not enough to quell talk within the Liberal Democrats of pulling out of the coalition and edging toward the opposition Labour Party. In an August article, the Guardian newspaper posed the question: “[Prime Minister] Cameron needs [Deputy Prime Minister] Clegg more than Clegg needs Cameron – so why won’t the Lib Dem leader show some muscle?” Party members at the
UNITED STATES 21 Sep – 12 Oct 2012 Military court tries accused whistleblower Bradley Manning
Bradley Manning, an army intelligence analyst who is charged with 22 counts connected to the largest leak of state secrets in United States history, goes on trial at Fort Meade, Maryland. Manning, who was working outside Baghdad when arrested in 2010, faces a life sentence if army investigators can prove he passed hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents, diplomatic cables and video clips to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. The case has raised questions of freedom of speech and the practices of US army intelligence.
WASHINGTON DC & NEW YORK 19 & 21 Sep 2012 Aung San Suu Kyi receives two awards
Myanmar’s democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi visits in September to receives the Congressional Gold Medal, the country’s top civilian honor, in Washington on Sep 19, and a Golden Citizen award on Sep 21 in New York from the Atlantic Council. The first ceremony is overdue: Congress voted to give the medal to Suu Kyi in May 2008 when the prospect of her leaving Myanmar looked remote. A Nobel Peace laureate and former political prisoner, Suu Kyi has been unable to leave her home country
VIENNA 17-21 Sep 2012 Nuclear watchdog holds annual conference
The drama at the 2012 General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency is likely to revolve around a new spate of tests of nuclear-capable missiles: North Korea, the United States and arch-rivals India and Pakistan are in testing mode, a possible prompt for tests by other nations with nuclear-capable missiles. The arguments could drown out potential good news for the conference: diplomatic efforts appear to be averting the threat of war over Iran’s nuclear program; and a recent nuclear security summit yielded a strong statement of intent