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Daily Archives: 07/18/2010

Medvedev proposes harsher punishment for terrorism

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July 18, 2010

 

MOSCOW (KATAKAMI / RIA Novosti) – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has proposed imposing harsher punishments for terrorism and has submitted a bill outlining amendments to the criminal code, the Kremlin’s press service said on Saturday.

The bill proposes increasing the length of sentences for those found guilty of terrorism, or the promotion or public incitement of terrorist activities.

Following two suicide bombings in Moscow’s subway in March, which killed 40 and injured over 100, many Russian politicians have said it is necessary to increase criminal liability and preventive measures against terrorism.

In April a new bill that allows “preventive measures” against individuals committing extremist actions was submitted to the Russian parliament, fueling fears among opposition parties of a revival of Soviet-era practices.

Russia’s mainly Muslim North Caucasus republics, especially Chechnya, Dagestan and Ingushetia, have seen an upsurge of militant violence lately. Experts see the poor social and economic situation in the region as the main reason for the numerous terrorist attacks in the country.

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German chancellor to pay brief visit to Kazakhstan

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July 18, 2010

 

(KATAKAMI / RIA NOVOSTI)  German Chancellor Angela Merkel will pay a visit to Kazakhstan’s capital Astana on Sunday for talks with the country’s leadership.

The German leader is expected to arrive to Astana on Sunday afternoon. Shortly after her arrival, she will hold talks with Kazakh premier Karim Massimov and attend a business forum involving top businessmen of the two states.

A total of 40 bilateral deals are expected to be signed during the forum.

Later Merkel will meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. The two leaders are expected to sign several agreements and give a joint news conference.

The German chancellor will fly to Berlin on Sunday evening.

World celebrates Nelson Mandela’s birthday

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In this photo supplied by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, former South African president Nelson Mandela is surrounded by children, with his grandson Mandla Mandela, back 3rd from right, at his home in Johannesburg Saturday July 17, 2010. Mandela celebrates his 92nd birthday tomorrow. (Getty)

July 18, 2010

(KATAKAMI / SMH.COM.AU)  Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president, turns 92 years old, as the world celebrates the first international day in his honour.

Global leaders and ordinary people in South Africa and abroad have committed to devoting 67 minutes of their time to community service, to mark the number of years Mandela spent in politics.

His birthday was in 2009 recognised by the United Nations as “Nelson Mandela International Day” and will be celebrated across the world.

The increasingly frail leader is spending the day with family at his Johannesburg home.

Local politicians united in wishing the anti-apartheid icon well on his birthday, with international leaders hailing his contribution to global politics and the fight for human rights.

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Zindzi Mandela, daughter of former President Nelson Mandela, shows her father birthday cards in Johannesburg in this handout picture released by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on July 17, 2010. Mandela turn 92 on July 18.  (Getty)

“President Mandela has given 67 years of his life, now what we all could do is try to use 67 minutes of our lives, and change the world for the better,” said Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland.

Ahtisaari is a member of The Elders, an independent group of eminent global leaders formed by Mandela in 2008.

Mandela was jailed for 27 years by the country’s white minority government for resisting apartheid rule.

On his release in 1990, he led negotiations with apartheid rulers, a process that culminated in his election as the country’s first black president in 1994.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton described Mandela as a hero to people of all backgrounds.

“His story is filled with an amazing strength and integrity of spirit. There is no one more deserving of this unprecedented international recognition,” said Clinton.

“I am delighted to offer him my warmest wishes on this special day,” she added.

Mandela has made few public appearances since he retired from public life in 2004.

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A delegation from the ruling African National Congress poses with former President Nelson Mandela ahead of his birthday in Johannesburg in this handout picture released by the Nelson Mandela Foundation on July 17, 2010. Mandela turn 92 on July 18. Delegation members are (back L-R) Ismail Mnisi, Baleka Mbete, Natso Khumalo, Gwede Mantashe, Jackson Mthembu and (front L-R) Mathews Phosa, Mandela and Julius Malema. (Getty)

Last week he arrived at the World Cup closing ceremony to wave at adoring football fans before the final match kick-off. He did not stay for the game.

He had campaigned for the country to host the event, but the death of his great-grandchild on the eve of the tournament’s opening forced him to cancel his planned appearance.

His family said a group of nearly 100 children from villages around his childhood home in the rural Eastern Cape province would spend the day with him.

President Jacob Zuma will address thousands of villagers at Mandela’s birthplace Mvezo, one of the poorest areas in the country.

Even in poor Mvezo villagers have been urged to spent 67 minutes of their time helping each other.

“Madiba’s 67 years of uninterrupted and selfless service to the people of South Africa and the world culminated in the birth of a new South Africa, united in diversity,” said Zuma in a statement.

Mandela used to celebrate his birthday by throwing a feast for the village, with several cows being slaughtered.

He stepped down as president in 1999, after serving one term in office. He is still revered around the world for promoting peace and fighting against racism and HIV/AIDS, through his 46664 campaign.

On February 11, South Africa celebrated the 20th anniversary of Mandela’s release from prison — a day credited with shaping the history of the country.

“Nelson Mandela has given us a wonderful opportunity and duty to do something positive and active on Mandela Day,” said Jimmy Carter, former US president.

Pope to donate $250,000 to rebuild Haitian school

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July 18, 2010

Vatican City (CNA/EWTN News).- An annual meeting of the Populorum Progressio Foundation dedicated to allotting funds to projects for vulnerable people across Latin America and the Caribbean will take place later this month. During the meeting, a substantial donation will be made in the Pope’s name for the rebuilding of a Haitian school damaged in January’s earthquake.

The administrative council of the Populorum Progressio Foundation, formed of Catholic prelates from across Latin America and representatives of the Pontifical Council “Cor Unum,” will meet this year in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic from July 20-23.

During what is their first annual meeting in a Caribbean nation, they will be discussing the allocation of funds destined to finance projects that aid indigenous, mestizo and African-American laborers in the Caribbean and throughout Latin America.

According to the communique released by “Cor Unum” regarding the event, this year’s encounter carries on the tradition of meeting in areas that permit “direct contact with the concrete reality of the various areas of the continent and, at the same time, make the activities of the Foundation in particular churches known.”

At the meeting, 230 projects from 20 different countries from Mexico to Bolivia, Brazil and the Antilles will be presented. Besides paperwork, the group will visit Church-run aid camps in Haiti and will celebrate Mass with the local Church community.

Also on that day, they will meet with representatives from humanitarian aid organizations and visit Caritas’ national headquarters, where the president of “Cor Unum,” Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, will make a $250,000 donation on behalf of Pope Benedict XVI towards rebuilding St. Francis de Sales school in Port-au-Prince. The school was destroyed in the devastating earthquake last January.

The statement also announced that a second donation of an unspecified amount will be delivered in the Holy Father’s name to the local chapter of Caritas that same evening.

Since its creation in 1992, the Populorum Progressio Foundation has worked to aid “integral development” in the poorest of areas through projects in the areas of production, communal infrastructure, education, health and construction.

Paris Hilton Reportedly Detained for Marijuana

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July 17, 2010

 

(KATAKAMI / CBS / AP) Paris Hilton was briefly detained in Corsica after sniffer dogs detected a “quite small” quantity of marijuana in her bag, a French newspaper reported Saturday.

Corse Matin newspaper said officers at the airport in Figari found about one gram’s worth of marijuana. Hilton, who was transiting the French Mediterranean island in a private jet on Friday, was hauled in for questioning and released about 30 minutes later, the report said.

In a story posted on its website, the newspaper said Hilton was traveling along with “personalities close to power in Malaysia” from the French capital to Porto-Cerno, in Sardinia.

In a posting on the TwitLonger site Saturday, Hilton wrote, “Just to put an end to these rumors. The stories saying I have been arrested are completely false!”

“I am having the best vacation of my life,” the posting said.

Earlier this month, Hilton was arrested after the Brazil-Netherlands World Cup match in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on suspicion of possession of marijuana. The case was then dropped at a midnight court hearing.

Hilton pleaded no contest in 2007 to alcohol-related reckless driving and was sentenced to 45 days in jail. After spending about 23 days in jail, Hilton told U.S. television host Larry King that the experience caused her to re-evaluate the role partying played in her life. She said she wanted “to help raise money for kids and for breast cancer and multiple sclerosis.”  (*)

Photostream : Behind the scenes of former U.S. President George Bush Sr

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ATLANTIC OCEAN – JULY 14: In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, former President George H.W. Bush speaks to officers and crew assigned to the aircraft carrier that bears his name, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) July 14, 2010 in the Atlantic Ocean. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush spent their time onboard watching flight operations, touring the ship and visiting with the crew. The George H.W. Bush is conducting training in the Atlantic Ocean. (Getty)

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ATLANTIC OCEAN – JULY 14: In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, former President George H.W. Bush speaks to sailors via the ship’s announcing system onboard the aircraft carrier that bears his name, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) July 14, 2010 in the Atlantic Ocean. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush spent their time onboard watching flight operations, touring the ship and visiting with the crew. The George H.W. Bush is conducting training in the Atlantic Ocean. (Getty)

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ATLANTIC OCEAN – JULY 14: In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, Command Chaplain Cmdr. Cameron Fish and former first lady Barbara Bush tour the library of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), named for her husband, former President George H.W. Bush July 14, 2010 in the Atlantic Ocean. The Bushes spent their time onboard watching flight operations, touring the ship and visiting with the crew. The George H.W. Bush is conducting training in the Atlantic Ocean. (Getty)

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ATLANTIC OCEAN – JULY 14: In this handout image provided by the U.S. Navy, former President George H.W. Bush walks past a portrait of himself and wife Barbara aboard the aircraft carrier that bears his name, USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) July 14, 2010 in the Atlantic Ocean. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush spent their time onboard watching flight operations, touring the ship and visiting with the crew. The George H.W. Bush is conducting training in the Atlantic Ocean. (Getty)

George Bush

Former presidents George H. W. Bush and his son George W. Bush at the Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, honoring the troops. Over 10,000 Houstonians attended the event (July 10, 2010) – Photo by Joseph Ernest

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Former presidents, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush leave the wedding ceremony for the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, John Ellis Bush Jr. , and Sandra Mary Algudady being held at Saint Jude Catholic church in Miami, Saturday May 29, 2010. Former first lady Laura Bush follows behind. (Getty)

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Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, right, kisses his wife, Barbara, after both were shown on the stadium kiss cam video board during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wednesday, May 5, 2010, in Houston. (Getty)

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Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, right, and his wife, Barbara, cheer for the Houston Astros during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wednesday, May 5, 2010, in Houston. (Getty)

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Former President George H. W. Bush tells a fishing story as his grandson John Ellis “Jebby” Bush, Jr. stands by during a special event by the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, “George Bush: The Sports & Outdoors President”, Tuesday, April 20, 2010, in College Station, Texas. (Getty)

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HOUSTON – APRIL 11: Pitcher Jamie Moyer of the Philadelphia Phillies shakes hands with former President George H.W. Bush before the game on April 11, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Getty)

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Barbara Bush, left, takes a photograph of former U.S. president George H.W. Bush, right and a fan, center, during an MLB baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros, Friday, April 9, 2010 in Houston. (Getty)

Photostream: Lionel Messi visits Haiti

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Argentinian soccer player and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lionel Messi (C) walks on a street during his visit to Port-au-Prince July 15, 2010. Thousands of Haitians thronged the streets of Port-au-Prince to catch a glimpse of Messi during his one-day trip to Haiti, which was affected by a major earthquake in January. (Getty)

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Argentine soccer star and UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador Lionel Messi, center, walks escorted by bodyguards during a visit to an earthquake refugee camp in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, July 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa. (Getty)

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Argentine soccer star and UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador Lionel Messi, second right, walks escorted by bodyguards during a visit to an earthquake refugee camp in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, July 15, 2010. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa. (Getty)

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Residents run as they try to catch a glimpse of Argentinian soccer player and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lionel Messi during his visit to Port-au-Prince July 15, 2010. Thousands of Haitians thronged the streets of Port-au-Prince to see Messi during his one-day trip to Haiti, which was affected by a major earthquake in January. (Getty)

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A man holds up a photograph of Argentine soccer star and UNICEF’s Goodwill Ambassador Lionel Messi during his visit to a refugee camp in Port-au-Prince, Thursday, July 15, 2010. (Getty)

 

Medvedev’s visit to Armenia to become new stage in Armenian-Russian relations – Armenian president

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan

 

 

July 17 (KATAKAMI – RIA NOVOSTI)  Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan expressed his confidence that a forthcoming visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Armenia will become a new stage in bilateral relations, Armenian presidential press-service said.

Medvedev is due to pay a visit to Armenia in August.

 

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev

 

Sargsyan met with President of the Russian Olympic Committee Alexander Zhukov on Saturday, where the sides stressed that Armenian-Russian relations develop according to a spirit of strategic partnership.

Zhukov said that an effective dialogue between the countries at all levels is a firm basis for new programs and further expansion of cooperation.

On Saturday Russia and Armenia signed in Yerevan an agreement on cooperation between their national Olympic committees and iscussed a project to build a sports base near Lake Sevan in Armenia.