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Wednesday, 11 August 2010 06:54:49 PM CST

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Columbia sees unprecedented Presidential oath
11 August 2010 - Colombia inaugurated a new President on 7 August. That morning, before the ceremony that would inaugurate the new President in front of Congress, Colombian leaders, and foreign dignitaries, the new President decided to do something that had never been done in modern history -- he chose to do a symbolic swearing-in, which he called a spiritual oath of office. President-elect Juan Manuel Santos, his wife, Maria Clemencia Rodriguez, and three children began the day high in the Caribbean coastal mountains in Seijua, a sacred area north of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta, at a 'passing of the baton' ritual presided over by Mamos (indigenous leaders) from the Koguis, Wiwas, Arhuacos, and Kankuamos nations. Global Good News readers may be interested to know President Santos met with Maharishi in MERU in the late 1990's and is a practitioner of Maharishi's Transcendental Meditation. (more)

Philanthropy becoming new status symbol for wealthy Americans
11 August 2010 - As dozens of US billionaires pledge their fortunes to charity and the country struggles to shake off recession, philanthropy is a growing status symbol of the rich, experts say. Being wealthy may no longer be about how many properties or fast cars a millionaire owns -- it could be about how much money they are giving away -- bringing hope to charities that Warren Buffett and Bill Gates' philanthropic push inspires others. (more)

Revamp of city building a shining example for South Africa
11 August 2010 - The TAU building in Pretoria has undergone a R30-million makeover, which has turned it into a shining example of development in South Africa. Once derelict, it has now been converted into a combined village that boasts 81 self-contained family units. It also boasts a home for Lerato House, which caters for girls who are at risk; eight units for the elderly; two for people with disabilities, a creche, bakery, internet cafe, and laundromat. A third of the units at the village will be rented out to people earning less than R3,500 a month while the remaining units will be rented to those who earn between R3,501 and R7,500 a month. (more)

South Africa: Business confidence improves on back of recession
11 August 2010 - South Africa's Business Confidence Index (BCI) in July recorded the second highest reading this year at 84.3 points, the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) has said. The July 2010 figure of 84.3 points is 1.1 point above the July 2009 level following on June 2010's 84.8 points. BCI'S composite weighted index of 13 sub-indices include new vehicle sales and merchandise import and export volumes. SACCI said that relative to July 2009, eight of the BCI sub-indices improved. (more)

US: San Francisco Bay Area soon to be home to 5,050 more EV charging stations
11 August 2010 - The Air Quality Management District of the San Francisco Bay Area, is funnelling $5 million into an initiative to roll out 3,000 electric vehicle home chargers, 2,000 public chargers in commercial areas, and as many as 50 rapid charging stations along nearby highways (capable of juicing car batteries in 30 minutes or less). The goal is to spur wider adoption of plug-in vehicles. The key will be to make charging stations accessible wherever people need to go, allowing them to quickly and efficiently extend the range of their green cars without high prices or the hassle of long waits. (more)

Venezuela, Colombia restore diplomatic ties
11 August 2010 - The Presidents of Colombia and Venezuela agreed Tuesday to restore diplomatic relations severed nearly three weeks ago by Caracas, smoothing over a dispute over allegations Colombian rebels have camps in Venezuela. The rapprochement came during a four-hour meeting between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Colombia's new leader, Juan Manuel Santos, both of whom said they are starting to rebuild confidence shattered during years of quarrelling. (more)

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