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On this day September 29, 1954

Eleven countries signed a convention establishing the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), currently the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.

Blue founding members

Blue founding members

The acronym CERN originally stood, in French, for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (European Council for Nuclear Research), which was a provisional council for setting up the laboratory.

The organization was established by the following 11 European governments; Belgium, Denmark, West Germany, France, Greece, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Netherlands and United Kingdom.

Today the organization has twenty European member states, and is currently the workplace of approximately 2,600 full-time employees, as well as some 7,931 scientists and engineers (representing 580 universities and research facilities and 80 nationalities). Read More…

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Thousand protesters arrested at climate change rally

Almost a thousand protesters at The Copenhagen Climate Change Summit were arrested yesterday for unruly conduct. Although most of the protests were peaceful, one group began destroying windows of nearby buildings.

Tens of thousands of protesters held multiple rallies throughout the Danish capital. Marches have also formed in Australia, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Indonesia and the Philippines. One of the demonstrators, Nnimmo Bassey, of Friends of the Earth, summed the rallies with “Let’s dance, sing and be happy, because power is in your hands,”.

Protesters included actress Helen Baxendale, model Helena Christensen and former Irish president Mary Robinson. Baxendale was quoted “I think it’s also important that people come and make their voices heard as well. I think, in the end, that’s what will make real, positive change.”

The Copenhagen Summit opened last Monday, and has representatives from nearly 190 nations to discuss caps on greenhouse gas emissions. A draft proposal calls for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by 50–90% by 2050 and 25–40% by 2020 for developed nations.

Climate protesters march in London

Tens of thousands of demonstrators marched through London earlier today, calling for a deal to be made at this week’s Copenhagen Climate Conference in Denmark. Similar such marches were held in Belfast, Dublin, and Glasgow.

According to the London Metropolitan Police, twenty thousand people attended the march. Organisers, however, claimed that about forty thousand people were present at the demonstrations. The march began at Grosvenor Square and continued all the way to the Parliament building on the Thames river. Read More…

Greenland assumes self-rule

Greenland assumes self-rule—taking control of its judicial affairs, policing and natural resources—as approved via a 2008 referendum, this became effective in 21 June 2009, with the Danish royal government remaining in charge only of foreign affairs, security and financial policy, and providing a subsidy of Dkr3.4 billion ($633m), or over $11,300 per Greenlander, each year.

Greenland Flag

Greenland Flag

Greenland is, by area, the world’s largest island that is not a continent in its own right, as well as the least densely populated country in the world. However, since the 1950s, scientists have postulated that the ice cap covering the country may actually conceal three separate island land masses that have been bridged by glacier.

A non-binding referendum on Greenland’s autonomy was held on 25 November 2008. It was passed with 75% approval (63% in Nuuk) and a 72% turnout. Read More…

Danish PM pushes for joining the euro

Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Prime Minister of Denmark, said on Tuesday that he will seek broad parliamentary support for a national referendum on joining the euro, the common currency of the Eurozone.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Anders Fogh Rasmussen

“I’m convinced that we need broad support in parliament to hold a referendum, because it’s about the Danish currency and about stability and safety,” he said, speaking at his weekly press conference.

“Recent events have shown the necessity to give the population the opportunity to vote on Denmark joining the euro.”

Berlingske Tidende is reporting that Rasmussen is meeting with political leaders to negotiate support for the referendum.

In 1992, Danish voters rejected the Maastrict Treaty in a referendum. It was only able to pass the following year after the Edinburgh Agreement granted Denmark an opt-out of the third stage of the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU). Read More…

Denmark withdraws troops from Iraq

On Tuesday, Denmark formally withdrew its forces from Iraq. Responsibilities were turned over to British in a ceremony. Defense minister Søren Gade was there, having secretly flown into Iraq for the event. During the ceremony, there was a rocket attack, causing everyone to hit the deck.

“The formal transfer takes place today (Tuesday) in Iraq,” spokesperson for Army Operational Command, Kim Grynberger, told AFP. “A small ceremony will be held with a parade in Basra.” Read More…