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Daily Archives: 07/29/2010

President Zuma to visit Russia

South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma, left, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev shake hands during the official family photo at the G20 Summit Sunday, June 27, 2010, in Toronto. (Getty Images)

July 29, 2010

(KATAKAMI / IOL.CO.ZA)  President Jacob Zuma will pay an official visit to Russia from August 4 to 6, the international relations and co-operation department said on Thursday.

The visit follows an invitation by Russian Federation President Dmitry Medvedev, the department said in a statement.

A bilateral meeting between the two presidents would be held in Sochi on August 5

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Photostream : PM Cameron continues India visit

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron inspects a guard of honour during his ceremonial reception at the presidential palace in New Delhi July 29, 2010. Cameron trumpeted a $1.1 billion defence deal with India on Wednesday, an early result of a big diplomatic push to court Indian business and tap new sources of economic growth.  (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron inspects an honour guard at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi on July 29, 2010. Cameron, accompanied by a bevy of top ministers and a small army of business leaders arrived in India late July 27, at the head of the largest British delegation to travel to the former jewel in its colonial crown in recent memory. It has been tagged as a mould-breaking mission to redefine what Cameron’s government sees as a long-neglected relationship with one of the world’s fastest growing economies. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh share a moment during a ceremonial reception at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 29, 2010. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, left, gestures as he stands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a ceremonial reception at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 29, 2010.  (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron, right, introduces a member of his delegation to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, center during a ceremonial reception at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 29, 2010. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (C) lays a wreath at Mahatama Gandhi memorial Rajghat in New Delhi on July 29, 2010. Cameron will push Indian leaders Thursday to strengthen trade ties on the second leg of a visit marked by his warning to Pakistan about promoting the ‘export of terror.’ Cameron was to hold talks in New Delhi with top officials including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and attend a summit on expanding economic relations between Britain and its former colony — now one of the world’s fastest growing economies. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron pays floral tributes at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 29, 2010. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron holds a bust of Mahatama Gandhi upon visiting the independence leader’s memorial site Rajghat in New Delhi on July 29, 2010. Cameron will push Indian leaders Thursday to strengthen trade ties on the second leg of a visit marked by his warning to Pakistan about promoting the ‘export of terror.’ Cameron was to hold talks in New Delhi with top officials including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and attend a summit on expanding economic relations between Britain and its former colony — now one of the world’s fastest growing economies. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minster David Cameron, left, holds a scroll with Mahatma Gandhi’s seven principles presented to him, after paying tribute at the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 29, 2010. (Getty Images)

DELHI, INDIA – JULY 29: British Prime Minister David Cameron shakes hands with Indian President Pratibha Patil prior to a meeting at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the official residence of the President of India, on July 29, 2010 in Delhi, India. The British Prime Minister is on a two day visit leading a delegation comprising six ministers and more than 30 senior executives from top firms, to show that Britain is committed to boosting economic exchanges with India. (Getty Images)

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and Indian President Pratibha Patil attend their meeting at the presidential palace in New Delhi July 29, 2010. Cameron trumpeted a $1.1 billion defence deal with India on Wednesday, an early result of a big diplomatic push to court Indian business and tap new sources of economic growth. (Getty Images)

Saudi king heads to Syria

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July 29, 2010

(KATAKAMI / ALJAZEERA)  Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah is scheduled to arrive in Damascus, the Syrian capital, on the second-leg of his four-nation “Arab unity tour”.

King Abdullah was in Egypt on Wednesday and held talks with its president Hosni Mubarak on the Arab-Israeli peace process.

He is scheduled to meet Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, on Thursday.

King Abdullah is to travel to Lebanon and Jordan after wrapping up his Syria visit. He is expected to travel with al-Assad to Beirut for joint talks with Saad al-Hariri, the Lebanese prime minister.

If al-Assad does visit Lebanon, it will be his visit since the 2005 assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri, Saad’s father and the former prime minister of Lebanon.

The killing, blamed by many on Syria, led to relations between Beirut and Damascus hitting rockbottom.

Ties have been on the mend since 2008 when diplomatic relations were established for the first time between Lebanon and Syria.

Conflict fears

The Lebanon visit is aimed, in part, at reducing tensions over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the UN-backed body investigating the murder of al-Hariri.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, last week alleged that the special tribunal was set to indict his group for al-Hariri’s murder, triggering fears of a Shia-Sunni conflict being reignited in Lebanon.

There is also concern a new conflict might be looming between Hezbollah and Israel, which in recent months has accused the Lebanese group of stockpiling weapons in preparation for a new war.

The two foes fought a devastating war in 2006 that left much of Lebanon’s infrastructure in ruins.

Shadi Hamid, the deputy director of the Brookings Doha Center, said: “I think the next two weeks will be crucial.

“There is a risk of escalation, of sectarian violence, and all players involved realise that risk and are taking pre-emptive action to defuse things before they get out of hand in the next weeks and  months,” Hamid told the AFP news agency.

Russia signs law to expand KGB-style power

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July 29, 2010

(KATAKAMI / THEAGE.COM.AU)  Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday signed into a law a bill expanding the powers of the successor to the Soviet-era KGB security service, the Kremlin said in a statement.

The bill, criticised by rights groups, would allow the Federal Security Service (FSB) to issue official warnings to individuals whose actions are deemed to be creating the conditions for crime.

Rights groups say the bill would essentially put the special service above the law and harks back to Soviet times when the much-feared FSB predecessor KGB used warnings to persecute dissidents.

The bill had already sailed trhough the lower and upper houses of parliament.

The opposition says the FSB security service is already extremely powerful and empowering it further would contravene Medvedev’s pledge to liberalise Russia.

In response to protests from human rights activists, lawmakers earlier removed an amendment allowing the FSB to summon people to their offices to hand out the warnings and also publish their warnings in the media.

Medvedev earlier this month launched a staunch defence of the law, saying its aim was to improve Russian legislation and had been drawn up on his personal orders.

“Every country has a right to fine-tune its legislation, including in respect to special services,” he said. “And what is happening today — I would like you to know that — has been done on my direct instructions.”

Under the 2000-2008 presidency of former KGB agent Vladimir Putin, the FSB dramatically increased its influence over Russian society.

Human rights activists had hoped his successor Medvedev, a lawyer by training without a KGB past, would put the special services in check.

But Medvedev’s critics say the Kremlin chief has promoted only cosmetic reforms and Russians have not become freer under his rule.

Photostream : Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak meets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

Egypt’s Prime Minister Ahmad Nazif (L) welcomes Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak upon arrival at Sharm el-Sheikh Airport July 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak (R) welcomes Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah upon arrival at Sharm el-Sheikh Airport in July 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia after his arrival in the red sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt Wednesday, July 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right meets with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia after his arrival in the red sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt Wednesday, July 28, 2010.

President Obama’s Remarks on Small Business Jobs Initiatives

US President Barack Obama speaks on the economy alongside small business owners following a meeting at the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, New Jersey, July 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

Tastee Sub Shop
Edison, New Jersey

July 28, 2010

(KATAKAMI / WHITE HOUSE.GOV)   Well, I just had a terrific meeting with these small business owners here at Tastee Sub Shop.  And I want to thank Dave and Carl for hosting us here today.  And I highly recommend everybody buy a sandwich while you’re here, although as I said before, I can’t eat a 12-inch these days, now that I’m 49 — well, I will be in a week.

We talked about some of the difficulties that people have had making payroll and turning a profit during this recession.  And we talked about what we can do to make it easier for small businesses to grow.

All of these folks here know why that’s important.  Small businesses create two out of every three jobs in this country.  So our recovery depends on them.  And if we want to keep America moving forward, we need to keep investing in our small businesses.

This is, by the way, more than — is more important than just our economy.  It’s also about who we are as a people.  Because America has always been a place where if you’ve had a good idea and you’re willing to really work hard for it, you can see it through and you can succeed.  That’s what gives the worker the courage to leave her job to become her own boss.  It’s what propels people to risk their savings on an idea that they believe might just change the world.  I was hearing from Tom here about how he was having trouble finding work 30, 40 years ago, and decided that he would take over a business that only had two employees.  And now he’s an employer for a whole bunch of folks and he’s going to be passing on his business to his family.  And that’s the American story.

This town, Edison, is named after somebody who was not only one of history’s greatest inventors but also a pretty savvy small business owner.  And the small business people who are here with me today exemplify that same entrepreneurial spirit.  And all of these companies have seen their share of challenges.  All of these small business owners have had to improvise and adapt over the years, especially in tough times, and that includes over the last couple years.

President Obama Orders Lunch at Tastee Sub Shop
Photo : President Barack Obama orders lunch at the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J. The President is visiting Edison to meet with small business owners to discuss the economy and urge Congress to pass support for small businesses. July 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

So Tom and Catherine Horsburgh were telling me that they got through the downturn.  In order to do so, they had to market their products to types of businesses that they hadn’t sold to before.  Brian Bovio’s company had to let some people go when the recession hit.  But in the two years since, he’s transformed his business, and now he’s making people’s homes more energy efficient to save money on their utility bills — and he’s been able to start hiring again.  He is very interested in making sure that the HOMESTAR proposal that we’ve put into Congress actually passes, because not only will that help to expand his business but it’s also going to help Americans save energy not only in this part of the country but all across the country.

Now, all of this hasn’t been easy.  The recession has meant that folks are spending less.  It means that small businesses have had a tougher time getting credit and getting loans.  And that’s why when I took office, we put in place an economic plan specifically to help small businesses.  And we were guided by a simple idea:  Government can’t guarantee success, but it can knock down barriers that keep entrepreneurs from opening or expanding.  For example, the lack of affordable credit — that’s something the government can do something about.  Government can’t replace the millions of jobs that we lost in the recession, but it can create the conditions for small businesses to hire more people through steps like tax breaks.

That’s why we’ve cut taxes for America’s small businesses eight times.  Eight times have we cut taxes for small businesses all across the country.  Because of a bill I signed into law a few months ago, businesses are now eligible for tax cuts when they hire unemployed workers — something that could benefit every business represented behind me.  Companies are also able to write off more of their investments in new equipment, which Tom and Catherine have taken advantage of.  As part of the health reform package, 4 million small business owners recently received a postcard in their mailbox telling them that this year they could be eligible for a health care tax credit that’s worth perhaps tens of thousands of dollars.

Photo : U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the economy after meeting with small business owners at the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, New Jersey July 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

And I was just talking to Dave, who does the right thing by his employees and is providing health insurance — they actually are not paying a significant share for that health insurance.  Dave and Carl are doing the right thing by those workers.  He’s now going to be eligible to potentially get up to 35 percent tax relief on those — premium that he’s paying, and that could make, obviously, an enormous difference in terms of his bottom line and may mean that he can hire some additional workers.

Our economic plan has also supported nearly 70,000 new loans to small businesses.  One of these loans made it possible for Tom and Catherine to purchase new equipment.  We’ve waived fees on new SBA loans to save folks money on payments.  And that reduced Theo’s costs when he opened his new restaurant.  His family had a business, a family restaurant.  He opened his own and it saved him more than $20,000 in waived fees — money that’s now gone into that new restaurant and its 60 new employees.

So all told, these and other steps are making a difference.  But when you listen to the struggles that small business owners are still facing, it’s clear that we need to do more.  And that’s why I’m urging the Senate to approve a jobs bill that will do two big things for small businesses:  cut taxes and make more loans available.  That’s what Dave and Carl and Theo and Brian and Tom and Catherine tell me they can use.  And that’s what I’ve heard from small businesses all across America.

If this bill becomes law, small businesses and start-ups will see the positive benefits right away.  It eliminates capital gains taxes for key investments in small firms.  It will increase the deductions that small businesses can take for new equipment and other expenses.  I know Tom and Catherine are looking at expanding to a larger facility; this could help them do that.

President Obama Speaks with Small Business Owners
Photo : President Barack Obama talks with small business owners, from left, Brian Bovio, Dave Thornton, and Catherine Horsburgh at the Tastee Sub Shop in Edison, N.J. The President is visiting Edison to discuss the economy and urge Congress to pass support for small businesses. July 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

This bill will also make more credit available.  Everywhere I go, I hear from small business owners who simply cannot get the credit they need to hire and expand.  And we’ve been hearing from smaller community banks that they want to lend to these folks but need more capital to do it.  So the initiatives in this bill will help them meet those challenges.  And it will increase — allow them to increase loan sizes, and make sure that we continue to waive fees for SBA loans that have helped a number of the people standing behind me.

Now, let me just make one last point.  I know it’s no secret that we’ve confronted a lot of partisan politics over the past year and a half.  We’ve seen a fair amount of obstruction that’s had more to do with gaining political advantage than helping the country.  But surely, Democrats and Republicans ought to be able to agree on this bill.  When I had a conversation with Mitch McConnell and John Boehner yesterday, I told them that the provisions of this bill are things that the Republican Party has said it’s supported for years:  helping small businesses, cutting taxes, making credit available.  This is as American as apple pie.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy.  They are central to our identity as a nation.  They are going to lead this recovery.  The folks standing beside me are going to lead this recovery.

So as I said yesterday in a meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, I expect us to get this done before they go on vacation, for the folks standing behind me and for small businesses and their employees all across the country.

All right?  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you, guys.  (*)

Photostream : Pakistan mourns victims of its worst-ever air crash

Family members of Airblue plane crash victims encircle coffins while trying to identify their relatives at a hospital in Islamabad July 29, 2010. The Pakistani passenger plane, an Airbus 321 belonging to a private airline, crashed in heavy rain near Islamabad on Wednesday, killing all 152 people on board, officials said, in the worst aviation accident in Pakistan.  (Getty Images)

A family member of an Airblue plane crash victim weeps after recovering the body at a hospital in Islamabad July 29, 2010. The Pakistani passenger plane, an Airbus 321 belonging to a private airline, crashed in heavy rain near Islamabad on Wednesday, killing all 152 people on board, officials said, in the worst aviation accident in Pakistan. (Getty Images)

People carry the casket of a victim of a plane crash, upon the arrival at Karachi airport, Pakistan on Thursday, July 29, 2010. A passenger jet that officials suspect veered off course in monsoon rains and thick clouds crashed into hills overlooking Pakistan’s capital, killing all 152 people on board and scattering body parts and twisted metal far and wide. (Getty Images)

People carry the body of a passenger at a local hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. A government official says all the people on board the Airblue Airbus A321 plane that crashed in the hills surrounding Pakistan’s capital were killed. Officials suspect the aircraft veered off course in monsoon rains and thick clouds then crashed into hills overlooking Pakistan’s capital Wednesday. (Getty Images)

Family members of an Airblue plane crash victim and workers carry a coffin to an ambulance at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi July 29, 2010. The Pakistani passenger plane, an Airbus 321 belonging to a private airline, crashed in heavy rain near Islamabad on Wednesday, killing all 152 people on board, officials said, in the worst aviation accident in Pakistan.  (Getty Images)

A family member (R) of an Airblue plane crash victim sits beside a coffin in an ambulance at Jinnah International Airport Karachi July 29, 2010. The Pakistani passenger plane, an Airbus 321 belonging to a private airline, crashed in heavy rain near Islamabad on Wednesday, killing all 152 people on board, officials said, in the worst aviation accident in Pakistan. (Getty Images)

Haris Iodhi of Karachi displays his mother’s rings, a victim of the Airblue plane crash, after retrieving her body at a hospital in Islamabad July 29, 2010. “This is how I was able to identify my 51 year-old mother Shireen Lodhi,” he said. A Pakistani passenger plane crashed in heavy rain near Islamabad on Wednesday, killing all 152 people on board, officials said, in the worst aviation accident in Pakistan. (Getty Images)

Family members mourn death of a passenger at a local hospital in Islamabad, Pakistan on Wednesday, July 28, 2010. A government official says all the people on board the Airblue Airbus A321 plane that crashed in the hills surrounding Pakistan’s capital were killed. Officials suspect the aircraft veered off course in monsoon rains and thick clouds then crashed into hills overlooking Pakistan’s capital Wednesday.  (Getty Images)

PM Cameron’s speech in India


A transcript of a speech given by the Prime Minister in Bangalore, India, on 28 July 2010 :

(KATAKAMI / NUMBER 10 GOV UK)  Thank you very much for that wonderful introduction. I think there was a politician who once said, ‘Having heard myself being introduced, I can’t wait to hear myself speak.’ I rather feel like that! You are right, I do have an iPad; I won’t reveal exclusively all the things I have on it – they are mostly things that my children like to use.

It is a great honour to be invited here today. If Bangalore is the city that symbolises India’s reawakening, then Infosys has a good claim to be the company that does the same thing. There is an energy and a passion about this place that I have to say I find completely awe-inspiring. This is my third visit to your country; I came once before I was a politician, I came once when I was leader of the opposition, and I now return as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

It is a great privilege to extend to you and through you to the people of India the hand of friendship from all of the British people. I am a new Prime Minister, I lead a new coalition government, and we are making a new start for Britain and its relationships around the world. There are partnerships we want to create, friendships we want to elevate and dialogues we want to extend.

So I come here with a very clear purpose: to show what this new start means for our two countries. I want to take the relationship between India and Britain to the next level. I want to make it stronger, wider, and deeper. To show how serious I am I have brought with me the biggest visiting delegation of any British Prime Minister in recent years. Members of my Cabinet, our most dynamic business leaders, leaders of industry, social entrepreneurs, civic leaders, figures from our most forward-looking arts institutions and museums, sports men and women, and pioneers of community activism.

Photo : British Prime Minister David Cameron is watched by employees as he delivers a speech at Infosys Campus in Bangalore on July 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

Today I want to make the case for this relationship, I want to explain why India is so important to Britain’s future and I want to tell Indians watching what Britain has to offer them. I want to set out the common challenges we must meet together in the years ahead. I do all this knowing that this country has the whole world beating a path to your door. I understand that Britain cannot rely on sentiment or on shared history for a place in India’s future, and I hope today and throughout this visit you will see the strength of my commitment and the scale of my ambition for this new relationship.

So why is your country important for Britain’s future? The most obvious reason is economic. There is still a development road to travel, but thanks to the reform process begun by Dr Manmohan Singh in the 1990s, the Indian tiger has been uncaged and its power can be felt around the world. You feel it in the fantastic new airports in Bangalore and Hyderabad, in Mumbai’s Bandra-Worli Sea Link, the Delhi metro, and in Delhi’s stunning new airport terminal.

We can feel that power back home in Britain too. The Tata Group is now the largest manufacturer employer in Britain, and more than 180 Indian companies have invested in our IT sector. At the same time India represents an enormous opportunity for British companies; already our trade relationship is worth £11.5 billion a year, but I want us to go further. India plans to invest $500 billion in infrastructure in the coming years. That is, of course, good for Indian business but it is also a chance for British companies to generate growth.

Your retail market is growing by 25% annually and there is no reason why British companies should not be part of that too. India is adding 15 million new mobile phone users every month. British companies can play an even greater role in providing services to the Indian consumer and creating jobs in India and back in the UK.

So I want this to be a relationship which drives economic growth upwards and drives our unemployment figures downwards. This is a trade mission, yes, but I prefer to see it as my jobs mission. Indian companies employ 90,000 people in the UK and many more jobs in Britain exist thanks to the activities of British companies in India. Now I want to see thousands more jobs created in Britain and, of course, in India through trade in the months and years ahead. That is the core purpose of my visit. At the height of the industrial revolution in the United States, they said, ‘Go west, young man, in order to find opportunity and fortune.’ For today’s investors and entrepreneurs they should go east.

Photo : British Prime Minister David Cameron surveys receives a gift from chairman of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited on July 28, 2010 in Bangalore, India.

But this country matters to Britain for many reasons beyond your economy too. With over 700 million voters and three million elected representatives at council level, your democracy is a beacon to our world. You have wonderful tradition of democratic secularism; home to dozens of faiths and hundreds of languages, people are free to be Muslim, Hindu or Sikh and to speak Marathi, Punjabi or Tamil. But, at the same time, and without any contradiction, they are all Indian too.

India matters to the world because it is not only a rising power but a responsible power as well. You provide significant support to Afghanistan which we welcome, and your programmes in Nepal and Bhutan are vital. You are a leading provider of peacekeeping troops to the United Nations, and as I saw for myself at the G20 in Canada, your Prime Minister has personally provided great intellectual leadership in economic matters. That is why the time has come for India to take the seat it deserves at the United Nations Security Council.

So these are the reasons why India matters to Britain, but why should Britain matter to India? I believe our two countries are natural partners; Britain is one of the oldest democracies and India is the world’s largest. We have a shared commitment to pluralism and to tolerance; we have deep and close connections amongst our people, with nearly two million people of Indian origin living in the UK. They make an enormous contribution to our country – way out of proportion to their size – in business, in the arts, in sport.

India and Britain also share so much culturally; whether it’s watching Shari Kahn, eating the same food, speaking the same language, and of course watching the same sport. Many of you in this room will have grown up revering and watching Kapil Dev; I did the same in Britain watching Ian Botham. And Sachin Tendulkar, the Little Master, is so talented that wherever you are from, you cannot help but admire as he hits another century. Indeed, culture is so important to our relationship that it is going to be a significant part of what I talk to Prime Minister Singh about tomorrow.

There are huge attractions to Britain as this century progresses; Britain, yes, still has the strengths of our history, not least our democracy, our rule of law, our strong institutions and our global language. But there is also the modern dynamism of the nation that helped pioneer the internet, that helped unravel DNA, and whose music, films and television are admired the world over.

We are also in the time zone that lets you talk to Asia in the morning and America in the evening. We are still the world’s sixth largest manufacturer and the best base for companies wanting to do business in Europe. We have some of the best universities in the world and we are a great hub for science and for innovation.

Photo : A Memorandum of Understanding is signed between BAE System, HAL and Rolls-Royce in the presence of (R-L) British Prime Minister David Cameron, HAL Chairman Ashok Nayak, BAE Systems Chairman Dick Olver, and Karnataka Home Minister V.S. Acharya on July 28, 2010 in Bangalore, India.  (Getty Images)

That is why so much of what we are announcing on this trip I believe is so exciting. UK and India research funders have committed up to £60 million worth of jointly funded research into climate change, water and food security, and disease prevention. British and Indian scientists will collaborate on £2 million worth of research that will help nuclear power stations in our countries to be safer, more efficient and produce less waste, and the Welcome Trust has announced £45 million of research with the Indian Department of Biotechnology on affordable healthcare.

It is for all of these reasons that I believe it makes sense for both of us to elevate our relationship to new heights. But this isn’t just about Britain and India; this is a relationship that can benefit the world. The way I see it, there are three major global challenges that we have a duty to meet together, challenges that should shape our relationship.

The first is economic. In the past couple of years, we have seen nothing less than global economic carnage: collapsed banks, massive government deficits, huge unemployment lines, tumbling currencies, trade dented, businesses lost, livelihoods destroyed. In Britain, we suffered our longest and deepest recession since the Second World War and are now trying to get to grips with our highest-ever peacetime deficit. In India, exports fell, capital left the country, and growth slowed.

So as we emerge from this crisis, we both have to ask ourselves: how can we continue to spread economic opportunity for all our people? We come at this from different angles. The Indian story is well-known. There is still a huge challenge but on any measure India is on its way, a rising economic power. On any measure, India is on an upward trajectory. We in Britain are determined to work even harder to earn our living: attracting more foreign investment to our shores, making more things for the world again, selling ourselves to the world with more vigour than ever. I’m not ashamed to say that’s one of the reasons why I’m here today.

So let me set out what I believe should be our common strategy for economic growth. Our strategy must begin with making our economies as open as possible. Within 50 days of coming into power, our new coalition government introduced an emergency budget. Its aim was explicit – to show Britain was open for business. And its methods were equally clear – cutting red tape, reducing corporation tax rates, and, crucially, improving our infrastructure. Both India and Britain are in the same boat here. We both need to update and modernise our infrastructure.

So I’m delighted that Vince Cable, our Business Secretary, has signalled that we will have much closer cooperation on infrastructure in the years ahead, sharing knowledge and expertise on transport and energy. These changes are about making our countries the best places in the world to business, and it’s in that context that we should encourage more investment by Indian companies in Britain and vice versa. Both of us already benefit. JCB, BAE, Cairn, Standard Chartered, Mott McDonald, Wipro, Religare, HCL, Infosys – these are just some of the companies who do business across our countries.

Photo : British Prime Minister David Cameron, second left, looks on along with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) Chairman Ashok Nayak, second right, Group Managing Director – EInternational for BAE Systems Guy Griffiths, right, Rolls-Royce Sales and Commercial Director for Defense Aerospace Chris Awde, center, during his tour of the Hawk facility at HAL, in Bangalore, India, Wednesday, July 28, 2010. (Getty Images)

But I want to see more Indians setting up in Britain and more Brits setting up here. There are some important things we can do straight away, and I’m going to be discussing them with Prime Minister Singh tomorrow. Science and Innovation Scholarships, sponsored by Rolls Royce. Extending the successful UK-India Education and Research Initiative. Encouraging the twinning of our top universities with the 14 new Innovation universities India plans to create.

Education is not just vital for national success; it is one of the best growth businesses of the 21st century. I want us in Britain and India to pool some of our advantages for our mutual benefit. And will that mean that more Indian students will want to trade with Britain, set up businesses in Britain, partner with Britain? I certainly hope so. But the real prize will come when we take some difficult decisions. There are no two ways about this: we’ve got to take on the vested interests and open up. We in Britain have welcomed your expertise in cars and in steel production. But we want you to reduce the barriers to foreign investment in banking, insurance, defence manufacturing and legal services so that we can both reap the benefits.

More investment in each others’ economies will be a vital boost to both our countries, but so too will trade. Again, on trade there are some relatively simple steps we can take, like streamlining customs red tape to save time and money, and we’re committed to it. Other things will take more time and effort, but are absolutely crucial. EU-India trade is worth £50 billion a year, but the possibility is there for dramatic expansion and I believe we should seize it. I’m determined that we conclude an EU and India Free Trade Agreement before the end of this year. And it’s time to hammer out a global deal on world trade. Agree on Doha, and do you know how much we would add to the world economy? $170 billion.

So what’s holding us back? I would like us to complete the Doha Development Round as it is. Let’s be clear: right now, negotiations are not moving. So those of us who want passionately to see progress must now make the case for trade at the tops of our voices.

One way that I believe we can do so is by establishing a high-level group of the best minds and strongest advocates for trade to point the way forward, including at the next G20 summit. I believe we will all need to show greater ambition. We need to make the deal bigger in order to make progress. In the meantime we must make changes where we can. Trade facilitation – improving our ports, processes and customs – simple things but they can clear the way to much greater economic growth and we do not have to wait for Doha to do that. If we do these things, we will take such a giant leap towards meeting the economic challenge of our age.

The second challenge we must meet together is ensuring global security. Five years ago, 52 people were killed on the tube and on a bus in London. And in November 2008, we watched in horror as terrorists went on the rampage in Mumbai, killing scores of Indians and three British nationals. As you know, we worked with your government in the investigation into these events. We remain determined that those responsible must be brought to justice. And I am here today to propose an even closer security relationship between India and Britain. The terrorists we face are adept at crossing borders, communicating globally, and concocting the most abhorrent plans to destroy our way of life. It’s only by increasing the ties between us that we can defeat them.

So I want us to broaden our counterterrorism partnership, including looking at new areas such as cyber security and the financing of terrorism. This year, Delhi hosts the Commonwealth Games. In two years, London hosts the Olympic Games. It makes sense that we work together to make sure both are as safe and successful as possible through close cooperation with the Delhi police and the London Metropolitan police.

And I want us to go further in expanding our security cooperation. When it comes to defence technology, India and Britain have a lot to offer each other in terms of sharing expertise. And we have a proven track record of being prepared to share it, as with the building of Jaguar and Hawk aircraft in this city in recent decades. I want to see more and I’m going to be visiting HAL next to talk about what more we can do in this crucial sector.

Photo : Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron inspects a guard of honour during his ceremonial reception at the presidential palace in New Delhi July 29, 2010. (Getty Images)

Of course, when it comes to protecting our people, we cannot overlook what is happening in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Let me state clearly: your relations with those two countries are a matter for you and you alone. But let me also say we, like you, want a Pakistan that is stable, democratic and free from terror. We, like you, want an Afghanistan that is secure, free from interference from its neighbours and not a threat to our security. We, like you, are determined that groups like the Taliban, the Haqqani network or Lakshar e Taiba should not be allowed to launch attacks on Indian and British citizens in India or in Britain. Neither should they be able to do so against our people, whether soldiers or civilians, from both our countries who are working for peace in Afghanistan. Our interests are your interests, so let us work together to realise them.

The third challenge we must meet, and we must meet it together, is tackling climate change. Fail to act now and we are looking down the barrel of catastrophic floods, intense heat waves and droughts. Physical geography will start to dictate human geography, climate change exacerbating waves of migration, of poverty, and of hunger. In fact, nowhere are the risks from climate change more apparent than here in India – with over half a billion people on the Ganges Plain and much more of your agriculture dependent on water from the Himalayas and a reliable monsoon. So the time for decisive action is long overdue.

The United Kingdom has already reduced carbon emissions by more than 20% from 1990 levels, and our new government has been taking radical steps to de-carbonise and build a greener economy. But unilateral action can only take us so far. Climate change does not respect borders: what is sown in one part of the world is reaped the world over. That’s why we need global action, with all the major economies playing their part. That has to start at government level.

Getting an international agreement on climate change is now a matter of urgency. I know this poses difficult questions, not least questions of what is fair. It’s only fair that those with the longest history of carbon emissions play the biggest part. But it does have to be a global effort. So as we look towards Cancun, let’s sit down and thrash out what a global agreement on climate change could look like.

As well as that, I want to see the UK and India working at a business and research level too. I am convinced that in no time at all, we will see new cars that are really fuel efficient, new sources of energy that are affordable, new products that will change the way we live. These will not only help protect our planet, but they will bring with them jobs, investment and money. The question is: who’s going to make them? Why not us? Already British and Indian companies are building solar panels right here in Bangalore. And Indian manufacturers are working on the next generation of electric cars in Britain. But we must go further.

Tomorrow I’m going to be talking to Prime Minister Singh about how we can work together to develop and deploy new and renewable energy sources, in particular to reach some of India’s poorest communities. If we get this right, it will be a triple win: clean energy, electricity brought to poorest people, new jobs and growth. And it’s precisely the sort of cooperation we need as we move forward in this relationship.

By forging business links together, by tackling threats to our security together and by taking on the challenge of climate change together we can raise our relationship to new heights. But if that relationship is made only by diplomats, politicians and entrepreneurs, it will not last. A relationship with genuine meaning will be one that brings together people from every line of work and every walk of life: teachers, doctors, nurses, people from rural areas and city dwellers, young and old, men and women, rich and poor. We’re living in an age when a deeper friendship between our countrymen and women is not only desirable but is actually possible. The internet tears down the barriers that keep people apart, and there is the common currency of culture we enjoy the world over.

To my mind globalisation should be about more than the trade of goods and services; it must be about the trading of experiences and stories between friends on opposite sides of the world and our countries can set the example. That’s why today we are launching a new network to bring together the next generation of British and Indian leaders. There will be politicians – they always seem to turn up everywhere, yes – but there will be entrepreneurs, scientists, people in the media and dynamic young people from both our countries, brought together to find solutions to the challenges we face. I hope that by the time of the next UK-India summit they will be coming back to us buzzing with ideas and inspiration which both government and the private sector can act on.

But above all, I hope this builds the human relationships that will sustain the relationship between our countries. Everything I have spoken about today – an enhanced relationship and a shared determination to take on these challenges that confront us – these are not borne from sentiment. I’m a practical politician. I believe when the problems are serious, we should tackle them. When the answer is obvious, we should do it. That is why I’m here.

The problems are serious: economic crisis, global insecurity, climate change. And the answer is obvious: India and Britain coming together. Indira Gandhi once said that her grandfather told her this. ‘There are two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. Be in the first group; there’s much less competition.’ The truth is this: we cannot leave our prosperity, our security and the future of our planet to chance. We must be the ones to act and we must act together. Together Britain and India can do the work that is needed. Together our partnership can benefit the world. So together, let us build this new relationship that can meet the scale of our great ambitions together. Thank you.

Thank you very much. We have got some time for questions.

Question

Good afternoon, sir. I am a student from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, and I also have my own company in the clean-energy site. I just wanted to ask you: it’s really fantastic to see that the UK is promoting so much, but what I have been seeing is that there is very little which is coming from the UK to India, or from India to the UK. In India there is a maximum potential for climate-change reduction, so it does not make sense to have technology somewhere else and the need somewhere else. So, how do you plan to address that?

Prime Minister

It’s a very good question, and it’s one of the reasons why I brought my Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker, to India with me, and he is looking at signing an agreement with the Indian government about how, as I was just saying, we can look at renewable energy technologies that we can develop together and work in our two countries to solve this problem. In Britain, we do have one big advantage that we hope to take and then share with others, which is the technology of carbon capture and storage. We still have coal reserves, we have coal-fired power stations, and we have the North Sea, where depleted oil and gas fields are the perfect place to store the sequestered carbon dioxide.

So, we believe we can have a technology leadership on this, developed through some of our best universities like Edinburgh and East Anglia, that are doing incredible work on carbon capture and storage. That’s the sort of technology we can then share, and export and invest with other countries. The specific thing Greg and his team are looking at now are renewable energies that can be off the electricity grid – small scale hydro, wind power, wave power, also solar power – that can enable communities to take more control of their own lives without necessarily being connected up to the grid. The modern energy technologies enable us to do this on a small scale rather than just thinking of the big scale energy projects of the past. So, if you’re disappointed now there isn’t more collaboration, one of the reasons for being here is to make sure that it happens in the future.

Question

Mr Prime Minister, can I ask you about your position on outsourcing of government technology work to India? We hear that some of the contracts that have been signed by the previous government have been re-looked at.

Prime Minister

In terms of the theory of outsourcing contracts, I think you will find Britain one of the most open, globalised economies that is prepared to look at outsourcing and ownership right across the world. If you look at other European economies, I think you would be hard pressed to find another economy that is happy to welcome so many overseas companies to come and invest in businesses or provide services in the UK. That I think applies in government outsourcing as it does elsewhere. Of course, an incoming government has to look at every contract in terms of cost and value for money, and we have a huge budget deficit. One of the biggest tasks of my government is to make sure that we can live within our means again.

So yes, we are reviewing contracts, and we are looking at what we pay for the services that we receive. Just like any business, if you take over at a time when costs are running high and revenues are running low, you’ve got to get the costs down and you’ve got to get the revenues up. That’s why we are cutting costs at home, and that’s why we are here in India promoting business and investment. In terms of being open to outsourcing, to working with companies like Infosys, you’ll find Britain one of the most open and progressive countries there is.

Question

You said Pakistan is going to be an important discussion that you are going to have with the Prime Minister of India, but the kind of leakage of funds that the US and the UK have been giving to Pakistan in the last couple of years has now exposed that we need to rethink the strategy with Pakistan. Is that going to be a discussion that you will be having with the Prime Minister as well?

Prime Minister

That is absolutely a discussion that I will have with Dr Manmohan Singh, and it is also a discussion I had last week with President Obama, and also had meetings in the Pentagon to discuss this point, which is that we should be very clear with Pakistan that we want to see a strong and a stable and a democratic Pakistan, but we cannot tolerate in any sense the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able in any way to promote the export of terror, whether to India or whether to Afghanistan, or anywhere else in the world. That’s why this relationship is important, but it should be a relationship based on a very clear message that it is not right, as I said in my speech, to have any relationship with groups that are promoting terror. Democratic states that want to be part of the developed world cannot do that, and the message to Pakistan from the US and from the UK is very clear on that point.

Can I thank you all very much for coming, and can I thank Infosys again for hosting me at this wonderful venue. The visit to this business just brings home to me in a very clear way the enormous opportunities there are for British-Indian business cooperation. I think also it is a great business to come to, because if anybody thinks that somehow the Indian economy is just about large call centres, or projects like that, to come here and see the extent and brilliance of your technology and your expertise shows what a thoroughly modern partnership I believe that our businesses and our countries can have. I see this as rather like at the end of Casablanca: I hope this is the start of a beautiful relationship. Thank you very much indeed.

Iran, U.S. send positive signals on nuclear talks

An Iranian operator monitors the nuclear power plant unit in Bushehr, about 1,215 km (755 miles) south of Tehran, November 30, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/ISNA/Mehdi Ghasemi

July 29, 2010

(KATAKAMI / Reuters) – Iran and the United States sent positive signals on Wednesday about the possibility of fresh talks on the Iranian nuclear program, which Washington suspects aims to develop atomic weapons.

Iran has given an assurance that it would stop enriching uranium to 20 percent purity if world powers agreed to a proposed nuclear fuel swap, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters in Istanbul.

The offer, conveyed to Davutoglu on Sunday, could bode well for an expected resumption of talks in September between Iran and major powers on the Islamic Republic’s atomic program, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes and not for bombs.

Asked about Davutoglu’s comments, the U.S. State Department said Iran had often sent mixed signals but that the United States was “fully prepared” to resume talks among the six major powers and Tehran about Iran’s nuclear program.

Iran last met the United States, Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia in Geneva in October, when they discussed Iran sending some low-enriched uranium abroad in exchange for fuel for a Tehran reactor that makes medical isotopes.

“We hope to have the same kind of meeting coming up in the coming weeks that we had last October,” State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley told reporters. “We are interested in a process — more than one meeting.”

Uranium enrichment is a process that can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or, if carried out to a much higher degree, can yield fissile material for atomic bombs.

IRANIAN LETTER

In February, Iran announced that it had started enriching uranium to 20 percent purity, from about 3.5 percent previously, raising concern that it might be planning to enrich uranium still further and to produce weapons grade material.

Since June, fresh sanctions have been imposed on Iran by the U.N. Security Council, the United States, and, on Monday, by the European Union, increasing the pressure on Tehran.

One of the demands made in repeated U.N. Security Council resolutions is that Iran suspend uranium enrichment entirely.

Turkey and Brazil brokered a deal in May for a nuclear fuel swap in Tehran, hoping that this would draw Iran and major powers back to the negotiating table, but the six powers were lukewarm about the plan. At the time, Iran said it would continue enriching uranium to 20 percent.

Davutoglu, who met his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki and Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Amorim on Sunday, said Iran was ready to lay to rest concern over its enrichment program if the proposed nuclear fuel swap went ahead.

“Another important message given by Mottaki during his visit to Turkey was that if the Tehran deal is signed and Iran is provided with the necessary fuel for its research activities, then they will not continue enriching uranium to 20 percent,” Davutoglu told a joint news conference with visiting German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle.

Iran sent a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday, saying it was ready to negotiate the details of exchanging 2,646 pounds (1,200 kg) of its 3 percent enriched uranium for 265 pounds (120 kg) of 20 percent enriched uranium.

HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO

Davutoglu urged that talks on this subject with the so-called Vienna Group, comprising Russia, France, the United States and the IAEA, begin as soon as possible.

“The disagreements should be left aside and negotiations between the Vienna Group and Iran should be started right away,” he said. “As progress is made in those technical negotiations, the two sides will trust each other more.”

Davutoglu said Iran had also confirmed that EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton and Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, could meet in early September, after the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

NATO-member Turkey has offered to store any swapped uranium and has gone into diplomatic overdrive in an attempt to ease tensions between Western allies and its neighbor.

A U.S. official said Iran may be trying to “have their cake and eat it too,” by swapping some low enriched uranium for nuclear fuel while continuing to enrich at some level.

“A lot depends on the details,” of what Iran is willing to do, he added, saying the West had responded coolly to Iranian initiatives earlier this year because they seemed designed to stymie U.N. Security Council sanctions that passed in June.

“Now that that process is completed, if Iran wants to engage on these subjects we are more than happy to have that conversation,” the official said.

Iranian President Denounces Paul the Octopus, That Symbol of Western Decadence

July 29, 2010

Photostream : Paul The Octopus Predicts Spain Win In Final

(KATAKAMI / SOCCERFANHOUSE.COM)  Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president and point man for one of the most intolerant theocracies on the planet, has accused Paul the Octopus — the German-based cephalopod who became the surprising star of the World Cup by “picking” eight out of eight games correctly — of “spreading Western propaganda and superstition.”

Paul, who lives at an aquarium in Oberhausen, was presented with boxes adorned with the flags of the competing teams before each of Germany’s seven games in South Africa and the final between Spain and the Netherlands. Each time, Paul ate the food from the box featuring the flag of the team that went on to win. He’s now a global celebrity.

Whether Paul is lucky, a genius or just plain magical, his behavior clearly resembled voting a bit too much for Ahmadinejad’s liking. The exercising of free will, even by an animal with the brain the size of a peanut, isn’t very palatable to a dictatorship. Last weekend in Tehran, Ahmadinejad, who routinely denies the occurrence of the Holocaust and threatens various infidels with nuclear annihilation, laid the smack down on his most threatening adversary yet.

The president said that Paul is a symbol of “decadence and decay,” and added that “Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values.”

We all got a first hand look at the Iranian government’s “love of all sacred values” in the crackdowns following Ahmadinejad’s re-election last year, during which dozens of citizens were killed.

Paul should be safe at his home in Germany. The aquarium where he lives has turned down offers for his purchase from Spain — where he’s now regarded as a talisman for picking La Roja to win the final — and Russia, where a bookmaker reportedly offered more than $100,000. Perhaps the facility will install extra security in case someone offended by an octopus tries something rash.

There won’t be any more predictions, however. The Sea Life Centre said Paul will retire a winner and is finished picking games. “He won’t give any more oracle predictions, either in football, or in politics, lifestyle or economy. Paul will get back to his former job, namely making children laugh,” his handlers said.

We assume Ahmadinejad will have a problem with that as well. (*)

Ahmadinejad Slams Paul the Octopus

REUTERS/AP

July 29, 2010

(KATAKAMI / FOX NEWS)  Despite achieving renown across the globe for correctly predicting the outcome of World Cup soccer matches, Paul the psychic octopus has made a powerful enemy — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Ahmadinejad called the clever cephalopod an agent of “western propaganda and superstition,” and described him as a symbol of all that is wrong with the western world, reported London’s Daily Telegraph.

A small cottage industry has sprung up around the now-retired octopus in the wake of his predictions, including a China-produced feature film, a hit YouTube song and a menagerie of rival psychic animals.
Ahmadinejad made multiple references to Paul in a speech in Tehran over the weekend.

“Those who believe in this type of thing cannot be the leaders of the global nations that aspire, like Iran, to human perfection, basing themselves in the love of all sacred values,” he said.

Ahmadinejad did not comment on the suitability for global leadership of those who believe an octopus is capable of spreading “western propaganda.”

Paul correctly predicted the outcome of all seven German World Cup matches, and correctly tipped the winner of the tournament, Spain, in the final game. The eight-legged oracle was rewarded for his psychic prowess recently with a new gig: raising money to support sea turtles.

The associated Press reported last week that Paul was declared an “honorary friend” of a Spanish town in a ceremony at his German aquarium Thursday and presented with gifts including a bronze statuette modeled on his own likeness.

Ahmadinejad did not comment on Paul’s environmental activism.

David Cameron tells Pakistan ‘not to promote terror’

July 28, 2010

(KATAKAMI / METRO.CO.UK)  Pakistan should not be allowed ‘to promote the export of terror’ in the world David Cameron said.

‘We should be very, very clear that we want to see a strong, stable and democratic Pakistan,’ he said during a question-and-answer session in Bangalore.

‘But we cannot tolerate the idea that this country is allowed to look both ways and is able, in any way, to promote the export of terror whether to India, Afghanistan or anywhere else.’

Mr Cameron’s comments followed a speech at IT firm Infosys in Bangalore, as he was appealing for a ‘new relationship’ with India.

Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said ‘there is no question of Pakistan looking the other way’.

Mr Cameron’s comments come soon after the leak of confidential ‘war logs’ which included detailed claims that Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency was secretly helping the Taliban.

Mr Basit dismissed the claims as ‘crude, self-serving and unverifiable’ and said Mr Cameron should not use them as a basis for his analysis of the situation.

‘As the international community knows very well, Pakistan is committed against terrorism, against militancy, and we are committed not to allow our territory to be used for terrorism or terrorist actions anywhere in the world,’ he told BBC Radio 4’s The World At One.

Pakistani senator Khurshid Ahmad, vice-president of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami Party, warned Mr Cameron’s remarks risked fuelling ‘anti-American, anti-West’ feeling on the streets.

‘The basis on which this statement has been made is very fragile,’ Prof Ahmad told the BBC.

Oldest tweeter dies at 104 in UK

Ivy Bean

July 28, 2010

(KATAKAMI / RIANOVOSTI)  The oldest person on Twitter died in her sleep at the age of 104 early on Wednesday, staff at her care home in the UK said.

“Ivy passed away peacefully at 12.08 this morning,” a tweet in her micro-blog said.

Ivy Bean amassed over 59,890 followers after joining the popular micro-blogging service in 2008, a year after she registered on Facebook.

She posted more than 1,000 tweets about food, family and friendships from her home in Bradford.  (*)

Photostream : Paul The Octopus Predicts Spain Win In Final

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Media representatives gather in front of Awindow of the aquarium of octopus “Paul” better known as the so-called “octopus oracle” at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 9, 2010. The octopus has 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. On Friday “Paul” predicted Spain’s World Cup victory over The Netherlands and Germany’s victory in their third place match against Uruguay. (Getty)

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An octopus named Paul opens a box with decorated with a Spanish flag and a shell inside on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul’s task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of the Netherlands (L)and Spain to act thus as oracle for the upcoming final match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus, who had predicted well the result of six German matches earlier in the tournament, predicted Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history.  (Getty)

https://i2.wp.com/cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0a9W8dV4zEfLv/610x.jpg

An octopus named Paul opens a box with decorated with a Spanish flag and a shell inside on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul’s task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of the Netherlands (L)and Spain to act thus as oracle for the upcoming final match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus, who had predicted well the result of six German matches earlier in the tournament, predicted Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history. (Getty)

https://i0.wp.com/cache.daylife.com/imageserve/09BCdFP2AL7MZ/610x.jpg

An octopus named Paulopens a box with decorated with a Spanish flag and a shell inside on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul’s task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of the Netherlands and Spain to act thus as oracle for the upcoming final match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus, who had predicted well the result of six German matches earlier in the tournament, predicted Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history. (Getty)

https://i2.wp.com/cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0e4rftF0jFeWp/x610.jpg

An octopus named Paul sits in a box with decorated with a Spanish flag and a shell inside on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul’s task is to decide in favour of one of the shells hidden in boxes with the flags of the Netherlands and Spain to act thus as oracle for the upcoming final match of the FIFA Football World Cup between the two countries on July 11, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus, who had predicted well the result of six German matches earlier in the tournament, predicted Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history.  (Getty)

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Octopus “Paul”, better known as the so-called “octopus oracle” sites on a soccer ball in his aquarium at the Sea Life Aquarium in the western German city of Oberhausen July 9, 2010. The octopus has 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. On Friday “Paul” predicted Spain’s World Cup victory over The Netherlands and Germany’s victory in their third place match against Uruguay. (Getty)

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An octopus named Paul sits on a football in his on July 9, 2010 at the Sea Life aquarium in Oberhausen, western Germany. Paul, the ‘psychic’ octopus with a perfect prediction record, decided Spain will win the football World Cup for the first time in their history. The eight-legged oracle, who has become a World Cup sensation by correctly predicting all six Germany games, very quickly plumped for Spain carried live on national German television. (Getty)

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A tv in a bar screens the live broadcast of the Octopus oracle Paul, in Madrid, Friday, July 9, 2010. Octopus oracle Paul predicts Spain will beat Holland and win the World Cup.Paul’s pick was carried live Friday on TV stations around Europe. The world-famous octopus could be seen sitting on a tank marked with a Spanish flag for only a few minutes before grabbing out a mussel and devouring it, while completely ignoring the Dutch tank, indicating a Spanish victory in Sunday’s final match in the World Cup. (Getty)