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Daily Archives: 10/14/2010

British Prime Minister to meet with U.S. Afghan commander

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron gestures during a press conference in Downing Street on October 11, 2010 in London, England. During the press conference the prime minister stated that British aid worker, Linda Norgrove may have been accidentally killed by a grenade detonated by a member of the U.S. rescue team rather than her Taliban captors. David Cameron said the rescue was being reviewed by the commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan, General David Petraeus. (Photo : Kirsty Wigglesworth / WPA - Pool / Getty Images)


London, England (KATAKAMI / CNN) — British Prime Minister David Cameron is scheduled to meet Thursday with America’s top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. David Petraeus.

The meeting comes less than a week after a British aid worker was killed during an operation to rescue her from kidnappers in Afghanistan.

Linda Norgrove may have been killed by a grenade thrown by American forces trying to free her, Cameron said Monday.

“It’s a long-standing meeting and has been in the diary for a number of weeks,” the Downing Street press office said this week, adding that the discussion will center on the strategy in Afghanistan. Petraeus also will meet with British Defense Secretary Liam Fox to talk about Afghanistan, it said.

An investigation into Norgrove’s death was to be launched this week and led by a senior officer from U.S. Central Command, an International Security Assistance Force official told CNN.

NATO and British officials had said earlier she was killed by her captors, who detonated an explosive.

But Cameron said Monday that statements made about Norgrove’s death over the weekend were “highly likely to have been incorrect,” although they were made “in good faith.”

Petraeus contacted him Monday morning, he said, with new information.

Cameron said he could not make a firm statement about the cause of her death until the investigation is complete. It will be a joint investigation between the United States and United Kingdom, he said.

One of the key components in determining what went wrong will be the autopsy, which will be carried out by British officials, the ISAF officer said.

The initial report on the rescue mission by the troops who carried it out did not mention throwing a grenade, but a follow-up report “raised a lot of questions about what killed” Norgrove, U.S. Navy Capt. Gary Kirchner told CNN after Cameron spoke.

The mission commander called Petraeus as soon as he learned a grenade had been thrown, Kirchner said, without naming the commander.

The investigation will be done “with all due haste,” Kirchner said. It will review the mission plan, communications and video from the operation, he said.

A “review of surveillance footage and discussions with members of the rescue team do not conclusively determine the cause of her death,” the U.S. military said in a statement Monday.

The British government aims to share as much of the final report as possible with lawmakers, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday.

Cameron said he believed “profoundly” that it had been the right decision to try to rescue her, although he looked shaken at times during his statement to reporters.

The rescue operation was planned and carried out by U.S. Special Forces, Hague told the House of Commons Monday after Cameron spoke.

He personally authorized efforts to rescue her by military action “within a few hours” of her being captured, Hague said. He said intelligence and weather conditions played a role in determining the timing of the operation.

Norgrove, who had been held hostage since late last month, worked for DAI, an agency that provides various services to developing nations.

She spent much of her career managing projects for farmers and rural workers.

Photostream : British Prime Minister David Cameron meets FIFA President Sepp Blatter

Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and President of FIFA Sepp Blatter pose outside number 10 Downing Street on October 13, 2010 in London, England. Cameron and Baltter discussed England's bid for the 2018 World Cup after meeting with Government ministers and bid ambassadors.

Prime Minister David Cameron (L) and President of FIFA Sepp Blatter pose outside number 10 Downing Street on October 13, 2010 in London, England. Cameron and Baltter discussed England's bid for the 2018 World Cup after meeting with Government ministers and bid ambassadors. (Getty Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (centre, R) and FIFA President Sepp Blatter (centre, L) pose with members of the England 2018 World Cup Bid Team during the FIFA president's visit to number 10 Downing Street in London October 13, 2010. The result of England's bid to host the 2018 soccer World Cup will be known in December. (REUTERS/Alex Morton/Pool via Action Images)

British Prime Minister David Cameron (R), and FIFA President Sepp Blatter hold a joint press conference at 10 Downing Street in central London, on October 13, 2010. Blatter, and a team of ambassadors for England's 2018 World Cup bid, met Wednesday with Cameron at Downing Street. (Photo : STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

World congratulates Chile on miners’ ‘glorious’ rescue

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera sings the national anthem with the last miner to be rescued, Luis Urzua, credited with organizing the miners to ration food and save themselves, at the end of the operation at the San Jose mine in Copiapo October 13, 2010. All of Chile's 33 trapped miners were rescued from deep underground in a special capsule on Wednesday as an extraordinary two-month survival story many call a miracle triggered wild celebrations. (Getty Images)


October 14, 2010 (KATAKAMI) — “Glorious”, “historic”, “heroic”: were among the words used by those watching in awe Wednesday as 33 miners trapped 700 metres underground in northern Chile were one by one lifted to the surface after more than two months.

More than two-thirds of the 33 miners have been removed from the San Jose copper mine that collapsed and trapped them more than 700 metres below the surface Aug 5. They have been elevated in a capsule through a narrowly bored hole.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said the rescue might be completed later Wednesday.

“The schedule has gotten tighter, because at the start the operation to rescue each miner took one hour,” Pinera said. “Now we are progressing at a rate of 40 minutes per rescue.”

The health of the workers who have so far been rescued from the mine is “quite good”, Chilean Health Minister Jaime Manalich said. They have generally suffered increased heart rate and blood pressure, but doctors are not worried.

The rescue operation took place in an atmosphere of euphoria, patriotism, religious fervour and optimism for the fate of the miners who are still trapped underground. Tension virtually vanished after the first couple of miners were rescued.

Pinera, who arrived at the mine Tuesday afternoon, stressed that he would stay at the site until the last of the miners is out.

He defined the early hours of Wednesday when the first miners were lifted to the surface as “a magical night” and “a night in which life defeated death.”

“It is a night that we are going to remember all our lives,” he said.

Bolivian President Evo Morales was on site to meet with compatriot Carlos Mamani, 23, who was the only non-Chilean among the trapped miners.

“This is a historic event. We Bolivian authorities are grateful for the effort that Chileans made,” Morales said.

Morales offered Mamani a job and a home in Bolivia in case he wants to return to his native country, and said he was willing to take the miner home immediately if he wished to go.

Mamani made it clear, however, that he wants to stay in Chile, at least for a few days. He plans to meet up with the other miners on the surface, once the ordeal is over for all of them.

Television channels around the world were broadcasting the rescue live, and prominent world leaders were among those following closely.

US President Barack Obama recounted the emergence of the first miner, Florencio Avalos, 31, and the subsequent reunification with his family early Wednesday.

“The tears they shed after so much time apart expressed not only their own relief, not only their own joy, but the joy of people everywhere,” Obama told reporters at the White House.

Obama congratulated the Chilean people, who he said have “inspired the world.”

Many others agreed.

“The whole world is proud of what Chile is doing,” Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva told Pinera, according to his spokesman in Brasilia.

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega described events in Chile as a “real heroic deed.” The rescue operation constituted “more evidence of how technology is in the service of humanity,” she said at a conference bringing together engineering and renewable energies experts.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was also among those who congratulated Chile.

“I’m sure everyone would like me to, on their behalf, send best wishes to the president and people of Chile as they celebrate the trapped miners coming to the surface and the glorious pictures we can see on our television screens,” Cameron said in Parliament.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also expressed “great admiration” for the rescue.

“The comradeship and the resilience of the miners, the thoughtfulness and efficiency of the operation and the solidarity of all concerned have already given to the world a message of hope and confidence,” Barroso said.

NASA flight surgeon James Polk, however, was more cautious: medical and engineering problems could still arise.

“It’s not unlike a football game, we are at half time right now and you don’t want to let your guard down,” he said in an interview with CNN.

Still, Polk, who consulted with Chilean officials as part of the NASA team that provided advice about spending months in confined spaces, also poured praise on Chilean authorities.

“They implemented the advice and sought out the experts,” he said. “And they did just a fantastic job, although there’s a long way to go yet, things are looking very good.”


Hugo Chavez to talk in Moscow on bilateral coop plans up to 2014

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez

MOSCOW, October 14 (KATAKAMI / Itar-Tass) – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is arriving in Moscow on Thursday in order to discuss with the Russian leadership plans of bilateral interaction up to 2014 that embrace such spheres as military-technical cooperation, creation of joint industrial facilities, financial institutions and housing construction. Over his two-day stay in Moscow he is to hold talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, meet the Moscow leadership, as well as speak at the conference “Two Centuries of Independence of Latin America” that is opening at the Foreign Literature Library on Thursday.

The main result of the visit is expected to be the signing of the Action Plan that, according to the idea of the two countries’ Foreign Ministries, will lay foundations for the development of cooperation for a period up to 2014. The document specifies interaction in such spheres as he foreign policy, financial sector, oil and gas industry, military-technical cooperation, nuclear power industry, telecommunications, agriculture, fisheries, transport, education, health, tourism, sports, culture, liquidation of natural calamities’ aftermath.

Observers say that the fulfilment of the Action Plan tasks will ensure the bilateral trade growth the lion’s share of which is military-technical cooperation.

Venezuela is already the region’s unquestionable leader in the volumes of contracts concluded with Rosoboronexport Russia’s arms exporting company. The sum of contractual obligations exceeds 4 billion US dollars. So, this Latin American country is completing the construction of three military plants – for manufacturing of the AK (Kalashnikov) assault rifles, for the production of cartridges and an aircraft repair plant for servicing Russian helicopter equipment. The supplies of the Tor-M1 air defence missile systems have begun.

Besides, Venezuela intends to buy 10 Ilyushin Il-76MD-90 planes and two Il-78MK refuelling aircraft. Caracas has also confirmed plans for the purchase of up to 10 attack helicopters Mi-28NE in addition to the earlier bought 10 Mi-35M helicopters. In the view of the Rosoboronexport leadership, the country may also become the first export customer for the Sukhoi Su-35 fighters.

Russia also intends to supply to Venezuela a batch of the T-90S tanks. Caracas assesses its need for this class of military equipment at 600 units.

As a result, according to RF Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the volume of Russian military equipment exports to Venezuela may reach in the near future 5 billion US dollars.

Aside from military-technical cooperation, the two countries have also been developing active civilian cooperation. During a visit of the Russian prime minister to Caracas this April, the Sovcomflot company and the Venezuelan PDV Marina specialising in sea transportation, signed an agreement on intent. Ilyushin Finance and Aeroflot concluded memorandums of understanding with the Venezuelan side. They signed several documents within the framework of the implementation of a project for the joint prospecting and oil production in the basin of the Orinoco River – the Junin-6 field. Besides, Moscow transferred to Caracas 4 transport helicopters Mi-26 thus fulfilling a long-term contract on the supply of 28 such helicopters.

Russia also holds negotiations on the sale of another 50 civilian planes to Venezuela – An-148 and Be-200.

The two sides’ agenda also includes cooperation in the atomic power sphere, Hugo Chavez, in particular, drew attention to the fact that Caracas can build a nuclear power plant in the country with Moscow’s support.

Within the current visit’s framework the Venezuelan leader will also sign the final document on the establishment of a Russian-Venezuelan bank the work on which has been in progress since June 2009. The sides will also create a joint structure with the authorised capital of up to 4 billion US dollars on the basis of Evrofinance-Mosnarbank. It is planned that the Russian side – VTB Bank and Gazprombank will get a 51-percent stake in it. The shareholders from Venezuela will be the State Treasury Bank and the Venezuelan Petroleum Corporation. Experts particularly noted that the bank will make it possible to give financing to joint programmes in a mutually beneficial basis.

Another important issue Chavez plans to touch upon in Moscow is Russia’ s assistance to the construction of social housing for the poorest groups of the population of his country. A delegation of the Moscow government led by former mayor Yuri Luzhkov this May already held talks in Caracas on RF assistance in the working out of the general plan for the development of the Venezuelan capital. They discussed not only construction of dwelling houses, but also the programme of building schools, kindergartens, hospitals, cinema houses, roads, bridges and utilities. In connection with the personnel changes in the Moscow government it remains unknown so far if this project will be viable.

Chavez said earlier that his upcoming official visit to would aim to enhance strategic relations with Russia. “Today Russia is a world power and one of the global poles of power,” the president said in an address to the nation before flying to Moscow. Chavez said he planned to sign “official documents on the creation of a Russian-Venezuelan bank” during the visit. The joint bank will be headquartered in Moscow and have offices in China and Venezuela. Another important item on the agenda will be the use of atomic energy for peaceful purposes. “The first projects are bring drafted to build a nuclear power plant in Venezuela,” he said. “During the visit, the sides will review all agreements on military-technical cooperation with Russia,” Chavez said. “New military hardware will begin to be supplied to Venezuela shortly, at the end of this year and the beginning of next year: several battalions of modern tanks and air defence systems.”

The visit of the Venezuelan president to Russia – the ninth since 2001 – will last until October 15. Then Hugo Chavez will continue his 12-day foreign tour during which he will visit Belarus, Ukraine, Iran, Syria and Portugal.

Last of Chilean miners is raised safely to surface

Miner Ariel Ticona Yanez, center, emerges from the capsule that lifted him to the surface after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he had been trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday Oct. 13, 2010.



SAN JOSE MINE, Chile  (KATAKAMI)  — The last of the Chilean miners, the foreman who held them together when they were feared lost, was raised from the depths of the earth Wednesday night — a joyous ending to a 69-day ordeal that riveted the world. No one has ever been trapped so long and survived.

Luis Urzua ascended smoothly through 2,000 feet of rock, completing a 22 1/2-hour rescue operation that unfolded with remarkable speed and flawless execution. Before a jubilant crowd of about 2,000 people, he became the 33rd miner to be rescued.

“We have done what the entire world was waiting for,” he told Chilean President Sebastian Pinera immediately after his rescue. “The 70 days that we fought so hard were not in vain. We had strength, we had spirit, we wanted to fight, we wanted to fight for our families, and that was the greatest thing.”

The president told him: “You are not the same, and the country is not the same after this. You were an inspiration. Go hug your wife and your daughter.” With Urzua by his side, he led the crowd in singing the national anthem.

The rescue exceeded expectations every step of the way. Officials first said it might be four months before they could get the men out; it turned out to be 69 days and about 8 hours.

Once the escape tunnel was finished, they estimated it would take 36 to 48 hours to get all the miners to the surface. That got faster as the operation went along, and all the men were safely above ground in 22 hours, 37 minutes.

The rescue workers who talked the men through the final hours still had to be hoisted to the surface.

In nearby Copiapo, about 3,000 people gathered in the town square, where a huge screen broadcast live footage of the rescue. The exuberant crowd waved Chilean flags of all sizes and blew on red vuvuzelas as cars drove around the plaza honking their horns, their drivers yelling, “Long live Chile!”

“The miners are our heroes,” said teary-eyed Copiapo resident Maria Guzman, 45.

One by one throughout the day, the men had emerged to the cheers of exuberant Chileans and before the eyes of a transfixed globe. While the operation picked up speed as the day went on, each miner was greeted with the same boisterous applause from rescuers.

“Welcome to life,” Pinera told Victor Segovia, the 15th miner out. On a day of superlatives, it seemed no overstatement.

They rejoined a world intensely curious about their ordeal, and certain to offer fame and jobs. Previously unimaginable riches awaited men who had risked their lives going into the unstable gold and copper mine for about $1,600 a month.

The miners made the smooth ascent inside a capsule called Phoenix — 13 feet tall, barely wider than their shoulders and painted in the white, blue and red of the Chilean flag. It had a door that stuck occasionally, and some wheels had to be replaced, but it worked exactly as planned.

Beginning at midnight Tuesday, and sometimes as quickly as every 25 minutes, the pod was lowered the nearly half-mile to where 700,000 tons of rock collapsed Aug. 5 and entombed the men.

Then, after a quick pep talk from rescue workers who had descended into the mine, a miner would climb in, make the journey upward and emerge from a manhole into the blinding sun.

The rescue was planned with extreme care. The miners were monitored by video on the way up for any sign of panic. They had oxygen masks, dark glasses to protect their eyes from the unfamiliar sunlight and sweaters for the jarring transition from subterranean swelter to chilly desert air.

As they neared the surface, a camera attached to the top of the capsule showed a brilliant white piercing the darkness not unlike what accident survivors describe when they have near-death experiences.

The miners emerged looking healthier than many had expected and even clean-shaven. Several thrust their fists upwards like prizefighters, and Mario Sepulveda, the second to taste freedom, bounded out and led his rescuers in a rousing cheer. Franklin Lobos, who played for the Chilean national soccer team in the 1980s, briefly bounced a soccer ball on his foot and knee.

“We have prayed to San Lorenzo, the patron saint of miners, and to many other saints so that my brothers Florencio and Renan would come out of the mine all right. It is as if they had been born again,” said Priscila Avalos. One of her brothers was the first miner rescued, and the other was due out later in the evening.

Health Minister Jaime Manalich said some of the miners probably will be able to leave the hospital Thursday — earlier than projected — but many had been unable to sleep, wanted to talk with families and were anxious. One was treated for pneumonia, and two needed dental work.

“They are not ready to have a moment’s rest until the last of their colleagues is out,” he said.

As it traveled down and up, down and up, the rescue capsule was not rotating as much inside the 2,041-foot escape shaft as officials expected, allowing for faster trips.

The first man out was Florencio Avalos, who emerged from the missile-like chamber and hugged his sobbing 7-year-old son, his wife and the Chilean president.

No one in recorded history has survived as long trapped underground. For the first 17 days, no one even knew whether they were alive. In the weeks that followed, the world was captivated by their endurance and unity.

News channels from North America to Europe and the Middle East carried live coverage of the rescue. Pope Benedict XVI said in Spanish that he “continues with hope to entrust to God’s goodness” the fate of the men. Iran’s state English-language Press TV followed events live for a time. Crews from Russia and Japan and North Korean state TV were at the mine.

The images beamed to the world were extraordinary: Grainy footage from beneath the earth showed each miner climbing into capsule, then disappearing upward through an opening. Then a camera showed the pod steadily rising through the dark, smooth-walled tunnel.

Among the first rescued was the youngest miner, Jimmy Sanchez, at 19 the father of a months-old baby. Two hours later came the oldest, Mario Gomez, 63, who suffers from a lung disease common to miners and had been on antibiotics inside the mine. He dropped to his knees after he emerged, bowed his head in prayer and clutched the Chilean flag.

Gomez’s wife, Lilianett Ramirez, pulled him up from the ground and embraced him. The couple had talked over video chat once a week, and she said that he had repeated the promise he made to her in his initial letter from inside the mine: He would marry her properly in a church wedding, followed by the honeymoon they never had.

The lone foreigner among them, Carlos Mamani of Bolivia, was visited at a nearby clinic by Pinera and Bolivian President Evo Morales. The miner could be heard telling the Chilean president how nice it was to breathe fresh air and see the stars.

Most of the men emerged clean-shaven. More than 300 people at the mine alone had worked on the rescue or to sustain them during their long wait by lowering rocket-shaped tubes dubbed “palomas,” Spanish for carrier pigeons. Along with the food and medicine came razors and shaving cream.

Estimates for the rescue operation alone have soared beyond $22 million, though the government has repeatedly insisted that money is not a concern.

The men emerged in good health. But at the hospital in Copiapo, where miner after miner walked from the ambulance to a waiting wheelchair, it became clear that psychological issues would be as important to treat as physical ones.

Dr. Guillermo Swett said Sepulveda told him about an internal “fight with the devil” that he had inside the mine. He said Sanchez appeared to be having a hard time adjusting, and seemed depressed.

“He spoke very little and didn’t seem to connect,” the doctor said.

The entire rescue operation was meticulously choreographed. No expense was spared in bringing in topflight drillers and equipment — and boring three separate holes into the copper and gold mine. Only one has been finished — the one through which the miners exited.

Mining is Chile’s lifeblood, providing 40 percent of state earnings, and Pinera put his mining minister and the operations chief of state-owned Codelco, the country’s biggest company, in charge of the rescue.

It went so well that its managers abandoned a plan to restrict images of the rescue. A huge Chilean flag that was to obscure the hole from view was moved aside so the hundreds of cameras perched on a hill above could record images that state TV also fed live.

That included the surreal moment when the capsule dropped for the first time into the chamber, where the bare-chested miners, most stripped down to shorts because of the underground heat, mobbed the rescuer who emerged to serve as their guide to freedom.

“This rescue operation has been so marvelous, so clean, so emotional that there was no reason not to allow the eyes of the world — which have been watching this operation so closely — to see it,” a a beaming Pinera told a news conference after the first miner safely surfaced.

The miners’ vital signs were closely monitored throughout the ride. They were given a high-calorie liquid diet donated by NASA, designed to prevent nausea from any rotation of the capsule as it travels through curves in the 28-inch-diameter escape hole.

Engineers inserted steel piping at the top of the shaft, which is angled 11 degrees off vertical before plunging like a waterfall. Drillers had to curve the shaft to pass through “virgin” rock, narrowly avoiding collapsed areas and underground open spaces in the overexploited mine, which had operated since 1885.

U.S. President Barack Obama said the rescue had “inspired the world.” The crews included many Americans, including a driller operator from Denver and a team from Center Rock Inc. of Berlin, Pa., that built and managed the piston-driven hammers that pounded the hole through rock laced with quartzite, some of the hardest and most abrasive rock.

Chile has promised that its care of the miners won’t end for six months at least — not until they can be sure that each man has readjusted.

Psychiatrists and other experts in surviving extreme situations predict their lives will be anything but normal. Since Aug. 22, when a narrow bore hole broke through to their refuge and the miners stunned the world with a note, scrawled in red ink, disclosing their survival, their families have been exposed in ways they never imagined.

Miners had to describe their physical and mental health in detail with teams of doctors and psychologists. In some cases, when both wives and lovers claimed the same man, everyone involved had to face the consequences.

As trying as their time underground was, the miners now face challenges so bewildering that no amount of coaching can fully prepare them. Rejoining a world intensely curious about their ordeal, they have been invited to presidential palaces, to take all-expenses-paid vacations and to appear on countless TV shows. Book and movie deals are pending, along with job offers.

Sepulveda’s performance exiting from the shaft appeared to confirm what many Chileans thought when they saw his engaging performances in videos sent up from below — that he could have a future as a TV personality.

But he tried to quash the idea as he spoke to viewers of Chile’s state television channel while sitting with his wife and children shortly after his rescue.

“The only thing I’ll ask of you is that you don’t treat me as an artist or a journalist, but as a miner,” he said. “I was born a miner and I’ll die a miner.”



Did Netanyahu predict Chile mine collapse 23 years before it happened?

PM Benjamin Netanyahu


October 13, 2010 (KATAKAMI) — In the midst of a successful rescue mission to save 33 Chilean miners, PMO distributes quotes from a book Netanyahu wrote in 1987.

Several months ago, at the 100th birthday celebrations for his father Benzion, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that the centenarian had predicted the events of September 11, 2001 in the early 1990s. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s Office announced that Netanyahu himself had predicted the collapse of the Chilean copper and gold mine, where 33 miners had been trapped for 69 days until their ultimate rescue.

On topics such as the Middle East peace process, the settlement freeze, or recent inflammatory remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the Prime Minister’s Office has kept consistently mum. However, when the rescue of the Chilean miners became the headline of the day, the Prime Minister’s Office chose to bring quotes from Netanyahu’s book, published 23 years ago, to the public’s attention.

It is not clear whether it was Netanyahu himself who asked his office to publicize the quotes, but it is very likely that he approved their release.

“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said following the rescue of the Chilean miners today that it was one of those rare moments of elation,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement Wednesday, adding that “the entire world has been moved by this human act of saving miners trapped in the belly of the earth. We extend our blessings and the blessing of the people of Israel to the Chilean nation and to everyone who assisted in the rescue.”

The statement goes on to mention that “Netanyahu predicted such an event – a mine disaster – in his book Terrorism: How the West can win from 1987.” Quotes from the book were sent to reporters in addition to a scanned page from the actual volume.

In his book, Netanyahu described a possible mine disaster, saying that even though only a handful of miners may be trapped, the entire world’s attention would be riveted to their welfare “for a long time.” He explained his argument, saying that it would not only be the intense media coverage of such an event that would turn people’s attention to the event, but every individual’s private feeling that it could be him or her trapped in a similar situation.


Obama Salutes Chile and Rescue


U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Rose Garden event about the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) October 13, 2010 at the White House in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)



October 13, 2010 (KATAKAMI) — Following are comments of President Obama this afternoon in the Rose Garden, as he started a previously scheduled event about a tax credit for college education.

“This is obviously something that’s captivated the world’s attention and this rescue is a tribute not only to the determination of the rescue workers and the Chilean government, but also the unity and resolve of the Chilean people who have inspired the world. And I want to express the hopes of the American people that the miners who are still trapped underground will be returned home safely as soon as possible.

“Let me also commend so many people of goodwill, not only in Chile, but also from the United States and around the world, who are lending a hand in this rescue effort — from the NASA team that helped design the escape vehicle, to American companies that manufactured and delivered parts of the rescue drill, to the American engineer who flew in from Afghanistan to operate the drill.

“Last night, the whole world watched the scene at Camp Esperanza as the first miner was lifted out from under more than 2,000 feet of rock and then embraced by his young son and family.

And the tears they shed — after so much time apart — expressed not only their own relief, not only their own joy, but the joy of people everywhere. So it was a thrilling moment and we’re hopeful that those celebrations duplicate themselves throughout the rest of today.”


Photostream : Chile Mine Rescue Efforts



In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Esteban Rojas, 44, gets on his knees to pray after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine, near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Rojas was the eighteenth of the 33 miners rescued from the mine after more than two months trapped underground

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government)

In this photo released by the Government of Chile, miner Omar Reygadas Rojas, holds a Bible after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine, near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Reygadas was the seventeenth of 33 miners rescued from the mine after more than 2 months trapped underground.

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Government of Chile)

Trapped miner Omar Reygadas (in green) embraces his son after reaching the surface to become the 17th to be rescued from the San Jose mine in Copiapo October 13, 2010. Seventeen of 33 trapped miners have been rescued from the gold and copper mine in Chiles northern Atacama desert in a painstaking operation still under way. REUTERS/Hugo Infante/Government of Chile/Handout
In this photo released by the Government of Chile, miner Daniel Herrera Campos embraces his mother after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine, near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Herrera was the sixteenth of 33 miners rescued from the mine after more than 2 months trapped underground.

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Government of Chile)

Trapped miner Victor Segovia (C) reaches the surface to become the 15th to be rescued from the San Jose mine in Copiapo October 13, 2010. Sixteen of Chiles 33 trapped miners were hoisted to safety in a cramped rescue capsule on Wednesday, punching the air and hugging their families in a triumphant end to their two-month ordeal. REUTERS/Hugo Infante/Government of Chile/Handout
In this photo released by the Chilean presidential press office, Chiles President Sebastian Pinera, back, greets miner Victor Zamora Bugueno after his rescue from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine, near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010.

(AP Photo/Jose Manuel de la Maza, Chilean Presidential Press Office)

In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Carlos Barrios waves to the crowd while emerging from the capsule that brought him to the surface from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Barrios is the thirteenth of 33 miners who was rescued after more than 2 months trapped underground.

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government)

In this photo released by the Chilean government, Edison Pena, gestures as he is carried on a stretcher after being rescued at the San Jose mine, near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Pena was the twelfth of 33 miners rescued from the San Jose mine after more than 2 months trapped underground.

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government)

In this photo released by the Chilean government, Jorge Galleguillos, the eleventh miner rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine waves to the crowd after been trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government)

In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Alex Vega gestures after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he had been trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday Oct. 13, 2010.

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government)

Roxana Gomez, left, daughter of miner Mario Gomez, is comforted by Maria Segovia, sister of trapped miner Dario Segovia, as they watch on TV Gomezs rescue from the collapsed San Jose mine at the camp outside the mine near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday Oct. 13, 2010. Thirty-three miners became trapped when the gold and copper mine collapsed on Aug. 5.

(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Florencio Avalos is carried away on a stretcher after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he was trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, early Wed Oct. 13, 2010

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government)

In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Claudio Yanez applauds as he is carried away in a stretcher after being rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he had been trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, early Wed Oct. 13, 2010.

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government)

In this photo released by the Chilean government, miner Florencio Avalos, second left, hugs a relative after he was rescued from the collapsed San Jose gold and copper mine where he was trapped with 32 other miners for over two months near Copiapo, Chile, early Wed, Oct. 13, 2010.

(AP Photo/Hugo Infante, Chilean government)

Alfonso Avalos (right) father of Chilean miner Florencio Avalos and Wilson Avalos brother of Florencio embrace each other after Florencio was brought to the surface from the collapsed San Jose mine, near Copiapo. Rescue workers in Chile by had lifted to safety nearly a third of the 33 miners trapped deep underground, in an historic and complex operation carried off without a hitch.

(AFP/Hector Retamal)

Relatives of miner Carlos Barrios react while watching on a TV screen the rescue operation at the camp outside the San Jose mine near Copiapo, Chile, Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010. Barrios was the thirteenth of 33 miners who was rescued from the collapsed gold and copper mine after more than 2 months trapped underground

(AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Residents rally in support of the miners trapped in the San Jose mine, as they gather to watch the rescue on a large screen in a public square in Copiapo October 12, 2010. Chiles 33 trapped miners are set to travel nearly half a mile through solid rock in a shaft just wider than a mans shoulders on Tuesday night, as their two month ordeal after a cave-in draws to an end

REUTERS/Mariana Bazo

Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu to Chilean President: We salute your bravery, dedication

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu



October 13, 2010 (KATAKAMI) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Chilean President Sebastian Piñera Wednesday and congratulated him on the ongoing rescue mission of the miners in San Jose Mine.

“The people of Israel and I salute the bravery of the miners and the dedication of the rescuers. You have inspired the entire world with your dedication to the value of life.” Netanyahu also extended an invitation to the Chilean president to visit Israel, which the latter accepted