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Obama moves to block development in 9.8 million acres of Arctic Ocean

The US President also plans to block development in Arctic refuge; Alaska leaders irate ◄◄click here 

Fairbanks, Jan.27.─ Citing biodiversity and Alaska Native subsistence whaling, the Obama administration moved to block development in 9.8 million acres within the Beaufort and Chukchi seas as part of a new five-year outer continental shelf oil and gas leasing program, the draft of which was released Tuesday morning by the Department of the Interior.

The announcement came two days after President Barack Obama said he planned to ask Congress to declare much of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Northeast Alaska as wilderness, including the possibly oil-and-gas-rich coastal plain -- and a month after the president closed waters in and around Bristol Bay to oil and gas development.


The Nobel Peace Prize for 2014

Awarded to Kailash Satyarthi & Malala Yousafzai  

Oslo, Dec.11.─ The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 is to be awarded to Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education. Children must go to school and not be financially exploited. In the poor countries of the world, 60% of the present population is under 25 years of age. It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected. In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation.


National Dialogue Conference in Tunisia

  • Ennahdha and Major Opposition Parties Sign Roadmap Agreement
  • PDCI calls upon all countries, parties, and movements that value democracy to support the democratic transition in Tunisia with whatever political, diplomatic, and economic resources they can provide 

National Dialogue Conference in Tunisia  Tunis, Oct. 5.─ All major opposition parties and two of the three parties in Tunisia's governing coalition today signed a roadmap agreement intended to lead the country out of its nearly ten-week political crisis.

The roadmap plan drafted by a group of civil society organizations calls for government and political leaders to meet for direct negotiations, and mandates that the current government resign three weeks from the first session of talks in favor of group of technocratic leaders to be chosen during the dialogue.

Leaders of Ennahdha, the largest party in the ruling coalition, and Ettakatol, one of its governing partners, both signed the agreement at a ceremony today in Tunis. Most opposition parties, including Nidaa Tounes and members of the Popular Front coalition, also signed on.



Civic groups set up own reform body in Thailand

  • Formation seen as snub to Yingluck assembly
  • Participatory democracy: About 45 civic groups Sunday launched their own political reform body which will work in parallel with the government's reform forum   

Demonstrations in favor of reform in Thailand Bangkok, Sept.16.─ Officially called the People Assembly Reforming Thailand (Part), the body has been formed to push for a "just, secure and happy society".

Its formation is seen by observers as a snub to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's political reform initiative that kicked off in the absence of the opposition Democrat Party.

At the launch, a temporary 16-member committee was unveiled and the panel is expected to start its work next week.


Guatemala Imposes State of Siege in Eastern Towns

President Otto Pérez Molina Guatemala City, May 5.─ President Otto Perez Molina (photo) imposed a state of siege on four municipalities in the eastern part of the country following the abduction of 23 police officers and the killing of another cop, the Guatemalan government said Thursday.

The measure allows authorities to restrict mobility and public gatherings for the next 30 days in San Rafael Las Flores and Castillas, Santa Rosa province; and Xelajpan and Maraquescuintla, Jalapa.