segunda-feira, 19 de julho de 2010
The former military ruler of Suriname, Desi Bouterse, has been elected president by the South American nation's parliament.
Mr Bouterse won the necessary 36 votes out of 50 after weeks of negotiations with political factions following a narrow election victory in May.
Mr Bouterse, 64, first led Suriname after taking power in a coup in 1980.
He has been accused of killing political opponents and convicted of drug trafficking in the Netherlands.
His supporters waved flags and cheered outside parliament in the capital Paramaribo, after he secured enough votes for the presidency.
But opponents voiced dismay that the former coup leader had been elected.
"We have gone totally mad in this country," government employee Michael Charles told the Associated Press news agency.
DAMASCUS: Syria has banned the face-covering veil from the country’s universities to prevent what it sees as a threat to its secular identity, as similar moves in Europe spark cries of discrimination against Muslims.
The ban shows a rare point of agreement between Syria's secular, authoritarian government and the democracies of Europe: Both view the niqab as a potentially destabilizing threat.
"We have given directives to all universities to ban niqab-wearing women from registering," a government official in Damascus told The Associated Press on Monday.
The order affects both public and private universities and aims to protect Syria's secular identity, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
Hundreds of primary school teachers who were wearing the niqab at government-run schools were transferred last month to administrative jobs, he added.
The ban, issued Sunday by the Education Ministry, does not affect the hijab, or headscarf, which is far more common in Syria than the niqab's billowing black robes.
BEIJING - Casino operators just love Queenie Liu, the queen of the tables.
The 30-year-old Shanghainese is no stranger to high stakes and spends $15,000 on average when she rolls the dice - at the expense of her high net worth husband who doesn't share her passion for gambling.
"It's the excitement that I crave for. It's exhilarating. For me, it's not the money," she told China Daily in a telephone interview from her holiday home in Vancouver.
Queenie is one of the VIP gamblers at the casinos in Macao, Malaysia and Las Vegas. She now plans to visit the two new casinos in Singapore - Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World (RWS). "Fortunately or unfortunately, most of the big gamblers are of ethnic Chinese origin," she said.
Casino operators from Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia are getting ready to make hay from the surge in outbound tourists from China.
So much so, that most of the operators are now wooing tourists through indirect sales and promotional activities routed through operators of group tours or junkets.
The companies have to use the indirect method to increase footfalls as marketing of casinos and gambling are illegal in China, said Ben Lee, Chief Operating Officer - Gaming at Intercity Group. Intercity Group is planning to set up a $400 million integrated resort and gaming property in Siem Reap, Cambodia. "The biggest players in the region tend to be from China," he said.
"Junkets get higher commissions in Singapore as gaming taxes are much lower at 12 to 22 percent versus Macao at 39 percent," said Aaron Fischer, Head of Consumer and Gaming Research at CLSA Asia Pacific Markets. Junkets are also a big incentive in luring gamblers to Singapore.
A vaginal gel has significantly cut the rate of women contracting HIV from infected partners in an experiment in South Africa, researchers said.
They said the gel, containing Aids drug tenofovir, cut infection rates among 889 women by 50% after one year of use, and by 39% after two and a half years.
If the results are confirmed it would be the first time that a microbicidal gel has been shown to be effective.
Such a gel could be a defence for women whose partners refuse to wear condoms.
New ways of curbing the spread of HIV are badly needed, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, where nearly 60% of those infected with the virus are women.
Many women are often forced to take part in unsafe sex, and are biologically more vulnerable to HIV infection than men, making a gel they apply an attractive option.
Welcoming the results, UN agencies said they would convene an expert consultation in South Africa next month to discuss the next steps with the product.
Yesterday David Cameron laid out his flagship policy. Andy McSmith reads between the lines
I've been in Downing Street for a couple of months now and it seems to me that the business of government falls into two categories. There are the things you do because it's your duty. Sometimes unpopular – but you do them because it is in the national interest.
But there are the things you do because it's your passion.(Almost all the economic news we have heard since the coalition came to power has been bad news about cutting public services to pay off a deficit. David Cameron's Big Society speech yesterday was his attempt to convince us that there is a positive case for cutting government down to size) The things that fire you up in the morning, that drive you, that you truly believe will make a real difference. And my great passion is building the Big Society.
It's an idea I spoke about when I ran for the leadership of the Conservative Party, during the years in opposition, during the election campaign and when I stood on the steps of Downing Street. (The first reported occasion when Mr Cameron used the phrase 'Big Society' was in a lecture he delivered in November 2009, but he is right that it has been his consistent theme. He complained about 'big government' and talked of involving voluntary organisations in the speech which won him the Tory leadership election in November 2005) Today, I want to take this opportunity to explain some of the real, practical steps that we are taking to make the Big Society a reality.
Let me briefly explain what the Big Society is and why it is such a powerful idea. You can call it liberalism. You can call it empowerment. You can call it freedom. You can call it responsibility. I call it the Big Society.
International experts will discuss on Tuesday the ways to overcome the consequences of deadly blasts at the Raspadskaya coal mine in Russia's Western Siberia in May, a local government spokesman has said.
The accident at the Raspadskaya mine that killed at least 67 miners is believed to have been caused by poor observation of safety regulations. Twenty-three miners are still missing following the blasts.
Mining consultants from the international IMC Montan company, Ukrainian and Russian experts and officials will take part in the meeting that will take place near the town of Mezhdurechensk, where the mine in located, the spokesman said.
Earlier, he said repair works that are under way at the mine following the May 9 explosions have been hampered by frequent fires and underflooding.
The deployment of Iskander missiles in Russia's northwestern military district is incomprehensible in view of Russia's current relations with NATO, Estonian Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo has said.
On Saturday, the chief of Russia's Ground Forces, Col. Gen. Alexander Postnikov, said the Iskander missiles had been deployed in the Leningrad Military District.
"During the past two decades, NATO has been seeking benevolent mutual understanding in relations with Russia. But benevolence does not mean naivety, that is why Moscow's decision to deploy Iskander missiles in the Kaliningrad region did not surprise us," Aaviksoo said.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has rejected the opposition's demand that a new parliament be elected to vote on a new constitution intended to give more powers to the parliament and prime minister.
The draft constitution that would cut presidential powers is now being considered by a special state commission.
Ten Georgian opposition parties has said that the current parliament, dominated by the center-right United National Movement, must be replaced by a more "legitimate" one ahead of the crucial vote.
Russian actor Vasily Livanov, whose Sherlock Holmes was acknowledged even by British critics as the best screen image of the famous detective, marked his 75th birthday on Monday.
Livanov was born on July 19, 1935, in Moscow into the family of prominent actor Boris Livanov. He is gifted in many fields - as an actor, a scriptwriter, a film director, a writer and an artist. Livanov says he is interested in everything.
The actor appeared in more than 70 movies but his most famous role is Sherlock Holmes. Six screen versions of Arthur Conan Doyle's novels about the world-famous fictional sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson have been made in Russia since 1979. In 2006, Livanov received the Order of the British Empire for his portrayal of the detective.