Dispatches > Looking Ahead
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Looking Ahead

Issue: "The battle," March 24, 2012

Coathanger birthday

What the Golden Gate Bridge is to Americans, Australia's Sydney Harbour Bridge (pictured) is to Aussies. Nicknamed "The Coathanger" for its appearance, the 161-foot wide landmark bridge turns 80 on March 19. Officials in Sydney spent three weekends in January overhauling the bridge in anticipation of its birthday.

Spanish constitution bicentenary

Spaniards on March 19 will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the proclamation of the Constitución de Cádiz, the nation's current constitution. But what Spanish politicians are really hoping for is that changes made to the Spanish Constitution in August specifying limits on budget deficits will help the beleaguered nation weather its debt crisis.

Canadian opposition choice

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After becoming Canada's official opposition by winning the second-most seats in Canada's House of Commons in 2011, the New Democratic Party will choose its official leader on March 24. But the new NDP leader will not likely become Canada's prime minister any time soon. Conservatives hold a 165-seat majority.

Obamacare arguments

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear three days of oral arguments beginning March 26 challenging the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. One contention of the 26 states opposing the law is that its requirement that all Americans purchase health insurance is unconstitutional. Critics say the mandate exceeds Congress' authority to regulate interstate commerce.

Arab League meetings

More than 20 nations will be on hand in Iraq when it hosts an Arab League summit on March 28. Most expect the bloodshed and turmoil in Syria to be the meeting's prime topic.

Migron no more

According to an order of Israel's Supreme Court, the Israeli settlement known as Migron near the West Bank city of Ramallah must be evacuated or razed by March 31. About 300 Israeli citizens have been living in Migron, but in August the nation's high court ruled the settlement to be on land owned by Palestinians.

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