Daily Archives: November 1, 2011

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The African population disaster

ACCORDING to the United Nations, the world’s population passed the seven billion mark at the end of October, and there was much tutting and shaking of heads over its prediction that we will be ten billion by the end of the century. But almost nobody will have the temerity to point out that this is almost entirely an African problem.

The United Nations Population Fund’s own numbers tell the story. Africa currently has one-seventh of the world’s people: just over one billion. But during the rest of the century, the UN agency predicts, this single continent will add an extra 2.6 billion people, more than tripling in population, while all the rest of the world adds just half a billion.

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A room with a viewpoint

The Nicosia Municipal Arts Centre, also known as the Old Power House, is a one of a kind venue, integral to shaping the local cultural landscape. 

Since it opened in 1994, in cooperation with the Pierides Museum of Contemporary Art, it has promoted contemporary artistic creations and established links with museums and foundations throughout the world. Other than organising thematic and retrospective exhibitions, it has showcased significant exhibitions from Picasso engravings to Scottish masters of art. If you happened to pass by last week, you will have noticed yet another exhibition, this one however taking a far more contemporary approach that bridges the divide between art and theatre. 

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Staring into Nietzche’s immortal soul

Theatro Transcendental’s new production, Jhiva – In Body premieres on Thursday at the Artos Foundation, in Nicosia. 

Founded in 2010 by Korina Kontaxaki, Heleniq Argyrou and Eleni Cosma, the company offers a fresh yet concurrently ancient technique in which theatre as an art form is used to educate and alter human consciousness.

Theatro Transcendental is concerned exclusively with subjects and theories that contribute positively to human consciousness, using the power of the image, the authority of the sound and symbolic connotations to represent these theories live on stage. Most of their themes arise from eastern and ancient Greek philosophy, spiritual truths and traditions and modern psychology.

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Iran parliament renews move to summon Ahmadinejad

IRAN’S parliament has revived its threat to call in President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for questioning, with more lawmakers signing a summons that could ultimately lead to the president’s impeachment, media reported yesterday.

Less than a week after the legislature dropped a four-month-old motion to summon Ahmadinejad, enough members of parliament have signed the paper to force him to appear.

“Plan to question Ahmadinejad back on track with increased signatures,” ran the front page headline on Siasat-e Rouz daily which, like most newspapers, led with the story that shows a serious internal political rift is far from healed.

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UNESCO gives Palestinians full membership

THE United Nations’ cultural agency decided yesterday to give the Palestinians full membership of the body, a vote that will boost their bid for recognition as a state at the United Nations.

UNESCO is the first UN agency the Palestinians have joined as a full member since President Mahmoud Abbas applied for full membership of the United Nations on September 23.

The United States, Canada, Germany and Holland voted against Palestinian membership. Brazil, Russia, China, India, South Africa and France voted in favour. Britain and Italy abstained.

Washington is likely to cut funding to UNESCO over the vote.

“The action today will complicate our ability to support UNESCO,” David T. Killion, U.S. ambassador to UNESCO, told journalists after the vote.

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Tunisia issues warrant for Arafat's widow

TUNISIAN authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Suha Arafat, widow of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, as part of a corruption probe into Tunisia’s former first family, the justice ministry said yesterday.

Suha Arafat used to spend much of her time in Tunisia and was for many years close to the wife of former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who was forced to flee by the north African country’s revolution in January.

“Tunisia issued an arrest warrant against Mrs Arafat on suspicion of involvement in cases of financial corruption with the family of Ben Ali’s wife,” said Shokri Nafti, a spokesman for the justice ministry.

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French socialist: party's economic plan not viable

FRANCE’S Socialist Party cannot stick to its economic plan in its current form due to rising pressure on public finances and downward revisions to economic forecasts, the head of the National Assembly’s finance committee said yesterday.

The remark by Socialist Jerome Cahuzac, a possible finance minister if presidential candidate Francois Hollande wins power, suggests an electoral manifesto produced in April 2010 and based on a GDP growth forecast of 2.5 per cent in 2012 will have to be tweaked and some pledges rolled back.

Opinion polls suggest Hollande would beat President Nicolas Sarkozy if the two-round presidential contest next April and May were held today.

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Birth mix-up families win £62,000

TWO Russian families have won £62,000 compensation each from a maternity home that accidentally switched their 12-year old daughters at birth.

They may use the money to house the girls next to each other.

The story has captivated Russia ever since the families learned recently about the switch after the former husband of Yuliya Belyayeva refused to support their daughter, Irina, because she did not look like him.

A DNA test revealed that neither of them were Irina’s parent. An official investigation tracked down Irina’s biological father, Naimat Iskanderov, who had been raising Mrs Belyayeva’s own child, Anna.

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