International tourist arrivals grew by 4% in 2012 to reach 1.035 billion, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Emerging economies (+4.1%) regained the lead over advanced economies (+3.6%), with Asia and the Pacific showing the strongest results. Growth is expected to continue in 2013 only slightly below the 2012 level (+3% to +4%) and in line with UNWTO long term forecast.
Massachusetts Democrat John Kerry won overwhelming confirmation from his fellow US senators as secretary of state, succeeding Hillary Clinton as the top US diplomat. The vote was 94-3. Dissenters were Republicans Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma and Texans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. Kerry.
Cuba formally assumed Monday the presidency of the Community of Latinamerican and Caribbean States during the group’s summit in Chile calling for regional integration and independence from the United States.
Argentina claimed at the CELAC summit in Chile that the UK has converted the Falkland Islands into one of the “most militarized territories in the world” with the sole purpose of exploiting the natural resources of the Islands and control access to Antarctica.
Vice-president Nicolas Maduro, read an eleven page letter he said was written by ailing President Hugo Chavez in which the Venezuelan leader calls for Latinamerican unit, praises Cuba’s chairmanship of CELAC group and takes time to support Argentina’s claims over the Falkland/Malvinas Islands.
Hydrocarbons exploration company Borders and Southern Petroleum announced on Monday that the development of its gas condensate discovery in the Falkland Islands is commercially viable. B&S made its Darwin (East-West) discovery in April and has been carrying out tests to determine the nature of its find.
The Community of Latinamerican and Caribbean States, CELAC, is “no threat” but rather a useful component for the Organization of American States, OAS, said Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza during his attendance to the Celac summit meetings.
By John Fowler - Frequently controversial newspaper columnist, Matthew Parris, who was a member of the British Parliament during 1982, has not been noted in the past as a supporter of the Falkland Islands in their struggle to avoid annexation by Argentina. It was something of a surprise therefore to read an article by him in The Times of January 26 entitled Argentina’s hypocrites is steeped in blood.
By James Stafford - The Mediterranean has joined the shale game, but as most of Europe's Mediterranean countries drag their feet, all eyes are on Israel, Turkey, and Algeria. For Israel, it will be a slow road without the majors.
Dutch Queen Beatrix, who turns 75, announced she was abdicating in favour of her son, Prince Willem-Alexander, who will become king on April 30. Willem-Alexander, 45, is married to Argentine born Princess Maxima Zorreguieta and has three young children.