segunda-feira, 16 de agosto de 2010
Mauricio Funes, the president of El Salvador, will pay an official visit to Cuba for the first time since diplomatic ties between the two states were restored about a year ago.
El Salvador severed diplomatic ties with Havana in 1961, but ties resumed when Funes took office in summer 2009.
"El Salvador's foreign minister, Hugo Martinez, was instructed to prepare the visit in early September. Taking into consideration my hectic schedule, we plan to visit Cuba on September 3-9," the leader of El Salvador said.
He said he would discuss ways to boost bilateral relations, mainly in trade and economics, with Cuban leader Raul Castro.
During the meeting, the two leaders are expected to sign a deal on the resumption of direct flights from San Salvador to Havana. RIA Novosti
During his visit to Moscow on Tuesday, Poland's Chief Military Prosecutor Col. Krzysztof Parulski may receive documents on Russia's investigation into the April crash of a Polish presidential plane.
Russian and Polish experts are jointly probing the causes of the deadly crash, while Polish military prosecutors are conducting their own investigation.
Parulski is expected to receive documents on the case, including eyewitnesses' statements, photographs and autopsy reports, during his scheduled meeting with Russian Prosecutor General Yury Chaika.
"The chief military prosecutor will receive 11 volumes with documents on the case. Negotiations on transferring more documents to the Polish side will also be held," Polish prosecutors' spokesman Jerzy Artymiak told journalists in Warsaw.
Russian Prosecutor General Yuri Chaika told his Polish counterpart Andrzej Seremet in early May that Russia is prepared to transfer to Poland about 500 documents on the crash of the presidential Tu-154 plane.
Chaika also expressed hope that Russia would receive from Poland all documents it needed to investigate the crash. RIA Novosti
By Sonali Paul and Tiisetso Motsoeneng
MELBOURNE/JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa's Aspen Pharmacare will buy the drugs unit of Australia's Sigma Pharmaceuticals for $804 million in cash, having sweetened its offer to gain about a quarter of Australia's generic market.
The bid from Aspen likely ends a three-month tussle between the two companies over the price of debt-laden Sigma.
Aspen, 19 percent owned by Britain's GlaxoSmithKline, said it would pay A$900 million for the unit, well above the A$648 million it previously offered for the entire company.
Sigma, whose shares have been trading at about half what they were a year ago, had pressed Aspen to up that offer.
Instead of a full takeover, Aspen opted for the drugs manufacturing arm, the asset it coveted most, leaving Sigma with its drug distribution and pharmacy business.
Sigma's shares jumped as much as 7 percent on the bid, before trimming some gains, as the deal moved it closer to resolving long-standing debt problems. Reuters Africa
Leading international academics and authors have written an open letter to France's President Nicolas Sarkozy, urging him to repay a €17 billion "independence debt" imposed on Haiti two centuries ago.
In an open letter to President Nicolas Sarkozy on Monday, a group of international academics called on France to pay back the €17 billion of “independence debt” it extorted from the former colony some 200 years ago.
A total of 130 signatories have endorsed the letter (which appeared in French daily "Libération"), including American linguist Noam Chomsky, Canadian activist Naomi Klein, and several renowned French philosophers.
The appeal comes weeks after a hoax group called CRIME (Committee for the Reimbursement of the Indemnity Money Extorted from Haiti) falsely announced on July 14, the French national day, that France would pay back this “debt” to Haiti. The announcement, which was published on the government's website after it was hacked, was supposed to draw attention on France’s refusal to pay back the money. The French government said it was considering legal action against the group.
Concerning the potential legal action against the hoax group, the signatories of the open letter wrote: “We believe the ideals of equality, fraternity and liberty would be far better served if, instead of pouring public resources into the prosecution of these pranksters, France were to start paying Haiti back for the 90 million gold francs that were extorted following Haitian independence”.
Haiti, the world’s first black republic, declared independence from France in 1804, thirteen years after a successful slave revolt. But French slave owners soon demanded compensation for the loss of revenue from what had been France’s most profitable colony.
In 1825, French King Charles X demanded Haiti pay 150 million gold francs, a sum which was later reduced to 90 million gold francs, the equivalent of €17 billion. Faced with the prospect of a French blockade, Haiti was powerless to refuse. It took the fledgling nation almost 125 years to pay the full sum. France24
Speculations that Johnny Depp is on an incognito visit to Bulgaria's southern coastal city ofBurgas received a much awaited boost on Monday after they were confirmed by a member of the movie team working here with French top model Laetitia Casta.
“Laetitia Casta knew about Johnny Depp's arrival in Burgas and where he would stay,” Adriana Mihaylova from the team of the Bulgarian director Kamen Kalev told journalists inBurgas.
Even though reports about a meeting between the two stars on Bulgarian ground were not officially confirmed, it is very likely that it has taken place on Sunday, according to Mihaylova.
The two actors are said to have arranged the meeting in Bulgaria prior to their arrival here.
Rumors that celebrity actor Johnny Depp has been spotted in Bulgaria's southern coastal city of Burgas were fanned after a purported footage of his stay at a local hotel and a couple of photos surfaced in the media.
A man, shockingly resembling Johnny Depp, first appeared in a video footage on the video sharing site Vbox7.com.
Meanwhile a viewer of Bulgaria's biggest private TV channel bTV, who adopted the role of a paparazzi photographer, managed to take pictures of the man, believed to be Johnny Depp.
There is no official information about the Bulgarian visit of the actor, who is undoubtedly the numero uno amongst the fairer sex, but speculations abound. Novinite
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- Michael Douglas' publicist says the Hollywood actor is to undergo eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy to treat a tumor in his throat.
The 65-year-old actor's representative told People.com exclusively Douglas is expected to make a full recovery.
"I am very optimistic," Douglas added in a statement.
The star of "Wonder Boys," "The Game," "Basic Instinct," "Wall Street," "Romancing the Stone" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," has two young children with his current wife, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones. He also has an adult son, Cameron, from a previous marriage. UPI
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia launched a nationwide fundraising campaign on Monday for Pakistan's flood victims, on the instructions of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif said.
"We have instructed all regional governors to set up subsidiary committees to collect donations and encourage businessmen and other citizens to participate actively in the campaign, which is named after King Abdullah," Prince Naif told the Saudi Press Agency.
He said potential donors could deposit their money in account No. SA8710000020162400000107 at National Commercial Bank or transfer their money using NCB's telebanking service or ATMs or Al-Ahli online service.
In response to the king's call, Tabuk Gov. Prince Fahd bin Sultan identified locations in the region to collect donations. They include the headquarters of the King Abdul Aziz Charitable Society and Prince Fahd bin Sultan Social Program. The governor also set up a committee to organize the fundraising.
Saudi Arabia has already sent 16 planeloads of relief supplies to Pakistan after the country was hit by the worst floods in its history. On Sunday, the 15th and 16th cargo flights arrived in Pakistani airports with Saudi supplies.
Saudi Finance Ministry officials Abdullah Al-Muhaisen, Abdul Aziz Al-Fayad and Abdullah Al-Dossary handed over the relief supplies to Pakistani authorities. The Saudi Embassy in Islamabad is supervising the distribution of Saudi aid among the victims.
The Kingdom has pledged $100 million relief for Pakistan. "We are coordinating with UN agencies to distribute the humanitarian and emergency relief supplies," an official statement said.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who surveyed the devastation caused by the torrential floods on Sunday, said he had never seen anything like it in his life. He urged foreign donors to speed up assistance to the 20 million people affected. Arab News
A US Senator investigating the 2009 release of the Lockerbie bomber has asked whistleblowers to step forward.
Sen Robert Menendez issued a public plea for people with inside knowledge of talks between BP and Libyan and British authorities to speak up.
Some US lawmakers suspect that BP had lobbied for the bomber's release, suggesting that it aided the energy giant's oil exploration in Libya.
The inquiry comes amid US anger over the BP oil spill in Louisiana.
Assuring confidentiality for sources, Mr Menendez asked also for behind-the-scenes information regarding Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi's medical condition.
Scottish authorities released Megrahi in August 2009 on compassionate grounds, citing terminal cancer which had left him just three months to live. Megrahi is still alive almost a year later. BBC News
NASA astronauts installed a spare cooling pump module on the International Space Station (ISS)during their third contingency spacewalk which lasted more than seven hours, NASA said on its website.
The spacewalk, conducted by Flight Engineers Doug Wheelock and Tracy Caldwell Dyson lasted about an hour longer than expected. It took astronauts 7 hours, 20 minutes to install the 780-pound spare pump module.
"The module was successfully installed on the S1 Truss after Wheelock attached four bolts and Caldwell Dyson mated five electrical connectors," NASA said.
"Ground controllers confirmed the module was in healthy condition when it began receiving power. After a pressure check and more fluid cable connections, the module was filled with ammonia," the statement reads.
One of two cooling systems serving the ISS broke down late on July 31, and the crew had shut down several pieces of equipment, including two of the station's four gyroscopes, to cut the heat generated on board. RIA Novosti
Egypt, the world's biggest grain importer, plans to take measures to cut back on bread consumption and increase domestic grain production following Russia's embargo on grain exports, the country's agriculture minister said on Monday.
"Egypt will follow a strategy of reducing bread consumption and increasing [grain] production," Amin Abaza said, adding that the country plans to produce 70-75 percent of its domestic grain consumption needs.
To achieve this, the country plans to increase productivity in old cultivated areas and irrigate new fields.
The government will also attempt to cut back on grain losses during transportation and storage and encourage the use of corn flour in bread production. The use of bread as cattle feed may also face a ban.
Some 90 percent of Egyptians consume bread made from flour that is subsidized by the government, and 60 percent, mainly poor families with numerous mouths to feed, rely on it as a main food source.
Russia imposed a ban on the export of grain, including wheat, barley, rye and maize, from August 15 until at least the end of the year, following a drought and wildfires that have destroyed 10.8 million hectares of crops. Forecasts for this year's harvest have fallen as low as 60 million tons, 38% less than last year. RIA Novosti