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Archive for December 2014

United States cuts troop numbers in Afghanistan

December 31, 2014 - AFGHANISTAN

The United States cuts its troop numbers in Afghanistan to 9,800 on the date Nato’s combat mission had been due to end. Their task expands beyond training to allow the targeting of Taliban fighters.

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Nicaragua Canal

December 22, 2014 - NICARAGUA

Work starting on a US $40 billion canal connecting Nicaragua’s Atlantic and Pacific oceans, being built by Chinese billionaire, Wang Jing, heavily backed by Nicaragua’s Sandinista government,

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Free-trade zone for Africa

December 19, 2014 - AFRICA

A deal creating a 27-nation free-trade zone in Africa is due to be signed in Egypt, uniting 58% of the continent’s economic activity. The initiative will allow foreign investors to reach 260 million consumers more easily.

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EU Summit to review banking reform

December 18, 2014 - EUROPEAN UNION

European Union leaders, meeting in Brussels, will be looking to see if sufficient banking and structural reforms have been achieved during the year to whittle down the debt load across the bloc and nail down economic recovery.

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Robert Mubabo

December 17, 2014 - ZIMBABWE

Zimbabwe’s 90-year-old president Robert Mugabe is expected to retain his post as party leader at Zanu-PF’s congress, despite moves by his deputy Joice Mujuru to replace him. Mugabe has ruled since independence from Britain in 1980.

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The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

December 17, 2014 - NEW ZEALAND

The final instalment in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy “The Hobbit” Battle of the Five Armies”, starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Ian McKellen, is due to be released.

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Ebola workers in Liberia

December 15, 2014 - LIBERIA

US military troops sent to build Ebola treatment centres in Liberia are due to peak at 3,000. They are expected to have completed 17 units as well as mobile testing labs by the end of the year.

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Election in Japan

December 14, 2014 - JAPAN

Japan goes to the polls after prime minister Shinzo Abe called a snap election last month following figures showing the country had slipped back into recession. He made the decision alongside delaying the introduction of an unpopular tax rise.

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China’s Jade Rabbit rover landed one year ago

December 14, 2014 - MOON

China’s Jade Rabbit rover arrived at the Moon and made the first soft landing on the lunar surface since 1976. The first anniversary offers an opportunity to review China’s plan for a human lunar landing in 10 years and for the establishment of a crewed lunar base.

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Increased recongition of Palestine

December 11, 2014 - PALESTINIAN STATE

The French Senate holds a symbolic parliamentary vote on recognising Palestine as a state, a move likely to anger the Jewish state. Sweden and Britain recently agreed to recognition and similar moves are proposed in Spain and Ireland.

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Auction of Joan Fontaine’s Oscar statuette

December 11, 2014 - UNITED STATES

Joan Fontaine’s 1941 best actress Oscar statuette is expected to fetch up to $300,000 at auction in a rare sale of Hollywood’s top prize. Fontaine won the honour for her role opposite Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Suspicion”.

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