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Daily Archives: 07/25/2010

Oprah Winfrey offers Duchess of York a prime-time show

Sarah Ferguson on the Oprah Winfrey show Photo: GEORGE BURNS/HARPO INC

 

July 25, 2010

(KATAKAMI / GUARDIAN.CO.UK)  Ms Winfrey is preparing to launch her own cable channel in 2011 and has offered the Duchess, who is struggling with debts of £2 million, a deal.

The offer comes after Sarah Ferguson appeared on the Oprah Show in May where she apologised after being caught asking for £500,000 to provide access to Prince Andrew – a deal the prince knew nothing about.

A source close to the Duchess told The Mail on Sunday: “Oprah made the call this week. They spoke in person and, for Sarah, the offer is a ray of light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

“Oprah has known Sarah for some time and the Duchess went on Oprah’s show to explain herself after her most recent scandal. Oprah has always been impressed by Sarah’s ability to pick herself up and reinvent herself.”

It is thought the Duchess’s experiences may help her connect with an American audience.

When the Duchess appeared on Ms Winfrey’s show she admitted she had been drunk when she was secretly taped accepting the money – which has since been paid back – and told the host: “I was not in the right place. I haven’t faced the devil in the face because I was in the gutter at that moment.”

After the show was broadcast some viewers posted comments on Ms Winfrey’s website criticising the Duchess.

The New York Times televsision reviewer mocked her for what she called the “ritual of repentance and renewal that these celebrity makeovers require.”

The Duchess has made no secret of her plans to relaunch her business career in the US where she says the people are more welcoming than in Britain.

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Three UN experts to investigate flotilla assault

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July 24, 2010

 

(KATAKAMI / FRANCE24/AFP) – The UN Human Rights Council named a panel of experts Friday to investigate whether Israel’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla breached international law and urged the Jewish state to cooperate.

Briton Desmond de Silva, Malaysian Mary Shanthi Dairiam and Karl Hudson-Phillips from Trinidad and Tobago would probe the events surrounding the May 31 raid in which nine Turkish activists were killed, the council announced.

“This is not about finger pointing, it’s about establishing the facts of what took place because the incident was humanitarian tragedy and it’s in the interests of everyone,” said council president Sihasak Phuangketkeow.

“So I’m hoping and I’m urging all the parties concerned to render their full cooperation, because it is in their interests and it’s in the interests of the international community as a whole.”

Israel has consistently rejected calls for an international independent investigation into the raid by its commandos and instead launched its own military probe and set up a separate panel to examine the legality of the raid.

Last week the military investigation admitted that mistakes were made at a “relatively senior” level.

However, it also found that the use of live fire by commandos was justified and that troops on board the Turkish-owned Mavi Marmara had behaved in a “very professional and courageous way.”

The Israeli panel, led by retired Supreme Court judge Yaacov Tirkel, will hear testimony from all of the top political and military decision makers involved in planning the raid, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Still seething over a report by the UN investigator Richard Goldstone last year into its conduct during the 2008-2009 war in Gaza, Israel has refused to countenance an international investigation into the flotilla raid.

The 47-member state Human Rights Council condemned the raid as an “outrageous attack” during an emergency session in June. The decision to set up a panel was made at the same session.

Phuangketkeow insisted that the panel would be completely unbiased.

“The expertise, independence and impartiality of the members of the mission will be devoted to clarifying the events which took place that day and their legality,” added Phuangketkeow.

Hudson-Phillips was a judge at the International Criminal Court, de Silva was chief prosecutor of the UN court for Sierra Leone while Dairiam serves on the gender equality taskforce of the UN Development Programme.

The panel is expected to draw up a plan of action as well as contact relevant parties before travelling to the region.

Although no exact timetable for the panel’s work was revealed, the report on their findings was scheduled to be made to the Human Rights Council during its 15th session in September.

The bloodshed on the aid flotilla sparked a deep crisis in already strained relations between Turkey and Israel, once close allies.

Ankara has urged the Jewish state to apologise, compensate the families of the victims and lift the blockade of Gaza to repair the relations.

Israel says its commandos used force only after they were attacked with sticks and stabbed as soon as they landed on the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara. (*)

19 killed at Love Parade festival in Duisburg

 Angela Merkel was saddened by the deaths at Love Parade (PA)

July 25, 2010

(KATAKAMI / METRO.CO.UK)   Tragedy struck at the dance music event on Saturday after a stampede broke out in a tunnel entrance.

It is thought police had been trying to prevent overcrowding at the site after more than one million people turned up for the festival.

As thousands more people tried to reach the site through the tunnel, a stampede developed and scores of them were crushed.

German authorities have confirmed there were 19 fatalities, but warned the figure could rise as many people suffered serious injuries.

Paramedics resuscitated ten people at the scene and around 100 were taken to hospital.

As investigations began into why the crush happened, Ms Merkel spoke of the nation’s horror.

“Young people came to party. Instead, there was death and injury. I am aghast and saddened by the sorrow and the pain,” she said.

Police and organisers ordered the festival to continue as paramedics attempted to treat the casualties and a fleet of helicopters arrived to ferry the injured to hospital.

They later explained they had feared cancelling the event could lead to further crowd surges.  (*)

Photostream : 18 killed in mass panic at German music festival

DUISBURG, GERMANY – JULY 24: Abandoned garments are seen in the tunnel where a stampede crushed at least 18 people to death and injured dozens at Germany’s famous Love Parade festival on July 24, 2010 in Duisburg, Germany. Thousands of other revelers keep partying at the event unaware of the deadly stampede that started when police tried to block thousands more people from entering the already-jammed parade grounds. (Getty Images)

DUISBURG, GERMANY – JULY 24: A policeman stands at the scene of the accident in the tunnel where a stampede crushed at least 18 people to death and injured dozens at Germany’s famous Love Parade festival on July 24, 2010 in Duisburg, Germany. Thousands of other revelers keep partying at the event unaware of the deadly stampede that started when police tried to block thousands more people from entering the already-jammed parade grounds. (Getty Images)

Rescue workers attend an injured person as firefighters and police officers stand beside casualties after a stampede in a tunnel during the Love Parade festival in Duisburg, western Germany, Saturday, July 24, 2010. A stampede inside a tunnel crowded with techno music fans left at least 18 people dead and dozens injured at the famed Love Parade festival. (Getty Images)

An ambulance leaves a tunnel after a stampede at this year’s techno-music festival “Loveparade 2010” in Duisburg, Germany, on Saturday, July 24, 2010. A stampede inside the tunnel crowded with techno music fans crushed more than a dozen to death at Germany’s famed Love Parade festival on Saturday. Thousands of other revelers keep partying at the event in Duisburg, near Duesseldorf, unawae of the deadly stampede that started when police tried to block thousands of people from entering the already-jammed parade grounds. (Getty Images)

DUISBURG, GERMANY – JULY 24: Abandoned garments and garbage are seen in the tunnel where a stampede crushed at least 18 people to death and injured dozens at Germany’s famous Love Parade festival on July 24, 2010 in Duisburg, Germany. Thousands of other revelers keep partying at the event unaware of the deadly stampede that started when police tried to block thousands more people from entering the already-jammed parade grounds. (Getty Images)

Pope Benedict XVI to return to Vatican City this August

 

Pope Benedict XVI reads the Osservatore Romano newspaper in his summer residence of Castelgandolfo, south of Rome, July 23, 2010. (Getty Images)

(KATAKAMI / CNA, July 24, 2010) The Holy Father, Benedict XVI will be returning to the Vatican during the first week of August. The Holy Father is having a long rest from his papal duties in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo.

Unlike last year the Holy Father has not been doing any weekly general audiences. He is rarely seen peeking out of his bedroom window, and seen during the Sunday Angelus prayer. The Holy Father is looking forward to returning to the City state of the Vatican (Citta Del Vaticano) this up-coming August.

From the Vatican he will be taking the “Shepherd I” plane to the United Kingdom, where he will meet Queen Elizabeth II. His papal trip to the United Kingdom will be one of the most exciting trips of his papal ministry. This is also the first time the Pope will visit England, as the Successor of Peter.  (*)

Photostream : Paul The Octopus becomes favourite friend of Spanish town Carballino

 

(VIDEO)  RIA NOVOSTI  : Psychic Paul the octopus is awarded his own statue http://en.rian.ru/video/20100723/159919266.html

 

Carlos Alberto Montes Marques, mayor of the Spanish town Carballino presents an award to “Paul”, the so-called “octopus oracle” at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 22, 2010. The award nominates Paul as the “favorite friend of the town”. The octopus has become a media star after correctly picking all six German World Cup results including their first-round defeat against Serbia and their semi-final defeat against Spain. “Paul” also predicted Spain’s World Cup victory over The Netherlands and Germany’s victory in their third place match against Uruguay. (Getty Images)

“Paul”, the so-called “octopus oracle”, is presented with a jersey at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 22, 2010. The octopus on Thursday was nominated as the “favourite friend” of the Spanish town Carballino. The octopus became a media star after correctly picking all six German World Cup results including their first-round defeat against Serbia and their semi-final defeat against Spain. “Paul” also predicted Spain’s World Cup victory over The Netherlands and Germany’s victory in their third place match against Uruguay. (Getty Images)

“Paul”, the so-called “octopus oracle”, is presented with a jersey and a bronze statuette at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 22, 2010. The octopus on Thursday was nominated as the “favourite friend” of the Spanish town Carballino. The octopus became a media star after correctly picking all six German World Cup results including their first-round defeat against Serbia and their semi-final defeat against Spain. “Paul” also predicted Spain’s World Cup victory over The Netherlands and Germany’s victory in their third place match against Uruguay. (Getty Images)

“Paul”, the so-called “octopus oracle”, is presented with a jersey and a bronze statuette at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 22, 2010. The octopus on Thursday was nominated as the “favourite friend” of the Spanish town Carballino. The octopus became a media star after correctly picking all six German World Cup results including their first-round defeat against Serbia and their semi-final defeat against Spain. “Paul” also predicted Spain’s World Cup victory over The Netherlands and Germany’s victory in their third place match against Uruguay. (Getty Images)

India to sign £500m deal to buy Hawk jets

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 President of the Republic of India Prathibha Devi Singh Patil meets Conservative party leader David Cameron after the ceremonial start of her State Visit on October 27, 2009 in Windsor, England. (Getty Images)

July 25, 2010

(KATAKAMI / GUARDIAN.CO.UK)   A £500m deal for BAE Systems to supply Hawk jets is expected to be one of a string of high-profile contracts signed during the prime minister’s trip to India this week. There is also likely to be a major cultural agreement involving museums.

David Cameron is taking seven cabinet ministers and a huge trade delegation with him, including representatives from BAE, Britain’s biggest defence contractor, as well as from Rolls-Royce, Standard Chartered bank, construction group Balfour Beatty and the British Museum.

The prime minister wants to secure a special relationship with the emerging superpower. In a letter to the delegation, he argues that the visit is about “laying the foundations of an enhanced relationship”.

He writes: “For our part, government ministers on this trip will be stressing the importance of trade and demonstrating to our Indian counterparts how Britain is open for business again. But you have a crucial role, too. In the meetings you have, the delegations you meet, places you visit, you can showcase the ingenuity and creativity our country has to offer.

“Of course, this task is not for business alone. That’s why I am so pleased that representatives from the worlds of sports, culture and academia will also be joining us.”

Barry Gardiner, the MP who chairs the all-party UK-India trade group, said India was embarking on a huge infrastructure programme. That could mean opportunities, “but we have to be careful that we don’t end up seeing what has happened in America, where companies have been bought out by Chinese sovereign wealth funds”. He also warned that India, in return, would want to win contracts from low-skilled manufacturing companies in the UK, potentially affecting jobs.

“They will come back [from the trade visit] waving contracts… But there is a danger. If they get it wrong this week we could have British companies owned in India and the loss of labour in lower-end manufacturing,” he said.

Russia’s Putin Meets Ukraine’s Yanukovych

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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych meet at a presidential residence in Foros, near Yalta, in Ukraine’s Crimea Peninsula, Saturday, July 24, 2010. (Getty Images)

July 24, 2010

(KATAKAMI/ VOA) ) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vyktor Yanukovych held talks on a wide-range of issues Saturday in Ukraine.

The meeting took place at Mr. Yanukovych’s vacation home in the town of Foros on Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.  Russian media reports say the talks focused on trade issues.

Prior to the meeting, Mr. Putin participated in a motorcycle rally near the port city of Sevastopol on the Black Sea coast of the Crimea peninsula.  Mr. Putin roared to the rally on a Harley Davidson mortorcyle where he addressed thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts.

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Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin rides Harley Davidson Lehman Trike decorated with Russian and Ukrainian national flags as he arrives for the meeting with motorbikers at their camp near Sevastopol in Ukraine’s Crimea on July 24, 2010. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin. (Getty Images)

Mr. Putin’s visit to the Crimea coincides with Russia’s Navy Day, which is observed Sunday.  Sevastopol is home to Ukrainian naval forces and to Russia’s Black Sea fleet.

Speaking on Saturday Mr. Putin said it was symbolic of the friendship between Russia and Ukraine that both Russian and Ukrainian seamen will celebrate the Russian holiday.

The Russian base at Sevastopol was a major issue of contention between Russia and Ukraine after the break up of the Soviet Union.

Ukraine’s previous government wanted the Russian fleet to leave after its lease expired in 2017. However after Mr. Yanukovych came to power in February, Moscow and Kyiv signed an agreement to extend the Russian lease by another 25 years to the year 2042.  (*)

Security Tight as African Leaders Arrive in Uganda

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, right, on his arrival at Entebbe  International Airport Uganda for the African summit, 24 Jul 2010

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, right, on his arrival at Entebbe International Airport Uganda for the African summit, 24 Jul 2010 AP)

 

July 24, 2010

 

(KATAKAMI / VOA)  Uganda is deploying heavy security across its capital Kampala as dozens of African heads of state begin arriving for the latest African Union Summit.

Uganda’s Foreign Minister Okello Oryem Saturday told the French news agency (AFP) that security measures exceed the normally tight security during state visits.

The meeting officially begins on Sunday, just two weeks after 76 people died in Kampala in twin bomb attacks targeting people watching the World Cup final match.

Somalia’s islamist militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying they were in retaliation for the deployment of Ugandan peacekeepers in Somalia.

The peacekeepers are part of an African Union mission, and after the attacks, the AU declared that Somalia would be at the top of the agenda at the AU summit.

Thursday, after preliminary meetings among ministers, the AU announced the number of peacekeepers would be boosted to around 8,000 with the addition of troops from Guinea.

Saturday, former British prime minister Gordon Brown addressed a preliminary meeting in Kampala.

He told participants the world needs Africa and said future economic growth depends on harnessing the production and consumer demand potential across the continent.

It was Mr. Brown’s first public appearance since leaving office.

Friday, the United States announced that Attorney General Eric Holder will also address the summit in Kampala.  He is expected to arrive Sunday.  (*)

Egypt’s Mubarak cancels Uganda trip amid health fears

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak (Getty Images)

 

July 24, 2010

 

(KATAKAMI / BBC) Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has cancelled plans to attend the African Union summit in Uganda, amid fresh speculation over his health.

No reason for the cancellation was given, with state media saying only that Mr Mubarak had delegated the prime minister to represent Egypt in Kampala.

Egyptian officials said earlier that Mr Mubarak’s planned trip would show that he was in good health.

President Mubarak, 82, had gall bladder surgery in Germany in March.

On Thursday, he addressed the nation on the eve of Egypt’s annual Revolution Day, commemorating the anniversary of the military coup that toppled the monarchy in 1952.

The BBC’s Jon Leyne in Cairo said Mr Mubarak appeared healthy but thinner than usual, and spoke standing up for more than 10 minutes.

Concerns about his health resurfaced when a series of meetings was postponed last week.

But Mr Mubarak has since followed a busy schedule, attending public events almost daily.

Correspondents say Mr Mubarak’s health is a taboo topic in Egypt and a cause of political and economic uncertainty, because he has no obvious successor.

Mr Mubarak has been in power for 29 years and his fifth six-year term ends in 2011. However, he has not made it clear whether he intends to stand in the elections.

Stampede at German Love Parade festival kills 15

Love Parade electronic music festival in the German city of Duisburg, 24 July
Organisers had said they expected more than one million people to attend

 

July 24, 2010

(KATAKAMI / BBC)    At least 15 people have been killed at the Love Parade electronic music festival in the German city of Duisburg, police have said.Police had been trying to stop people reaching the parade area because of overcrowding.

But the revellers panicked at a tunnel entrance. About 100 people were also injured, dozens seriously.

Organisers had said they expected more than one million people to attend the event.

Event continues

The stampede occurred at about 1700 local time (1500 GMT).

Love Parade

Duisburg police initially reported 10 deaths but later raised the toll to 15.

At least 10 people were resuscitated at the scene.

Reuters news agency quoted police commissioner Juergen Kieskemper as saying the situation had become “very chaotic”.

He said police closed the parade area due to overcrowding. Those trying to get in were told via loudhailer to turn around, but panic broke out.

A number of eyewitnesses say police were warned of a huge crowd build-up and some report seeing dozens of people piled up on one another, the BBC’s Tristana Moore in Germany says.

Emergency workers reportedly had difficulty reaching those crushed.

One festival-goer, named Marius, told the Bild newspaper: “There was no escape. People were pressed into the wall. I was afraid I’d die.”

Map

Another man told local television: “The pressure from behind become so high that… we couldn’t do anything any more. People were just pushed together until they fell over.”

Police closed off an elevated motorway bridge to allow helicopters to land and evacuate victims.

City officials were said to have chosen not to evacuate the grounds of the day-long festival immediately, fearing it might spark more panic.

City spokesman Frank Kopatschek said: “The crisis meeting determined not to stop the event because at the moment there are too many people on the grounds.”

Many of those attending appeared unaware of what had happened.

The event attracts music fans from all over the world, with floats from Brazil, Russia, the Netherlands, Spain and Australia among other nations.

The floats had been expected to parade through the city for 10 hours.

Many top international DJs also perform.

The event began in Berlin in 1989 as a peace demonstration and developed into a huge open-air music festival.