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Daily Archives: 10/15/2010

Photostream : British Foreign Secretary William Hague in Brussels



British Foreign Secretary William Hague arrives for a 'Friends of Democratic Pakistan' meeting on October 15,2010 at the EU headquarters in Brussels. Also attending the meeting of 26 countries and international institutions are a slew of foreign ministers and dignitaries, including US envoy for the region, Richard Holbrooke. Pakistan is ready to facilitate talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in the interests of regional peace, the country's foreign minister said today. ( AFP PHOTO/GEORGES GOBET / GETTY IMAGES )

Pakistan's Secretary of State for Financial Affairs Hini Raddani Khar (C) speaks with US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke (L) and Bristih Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth William Hague prior a meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan on October 15, 2010 at the European Union headquarters in Brussels. This Third council is expected in particular to look at the aftermath of the recent floods in Pakistan (humanitarian situation, reconstruction and rehabilitation) and at a longer term comprehensive approach to recovery (economic recovery, trade, institution building and administrative reforms). AFP PHOTO / GEORGES GOBET / GETTY IMAGES

(L to R) Pakistan's State Minister for Economic Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke and Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague attend the "Friends of Democratic Pakistan" meeting at the EU Council in Brussels October 15, 2010. ( GETTY IMAGES / REUTERS/Francois Lenoir )

British Foreign Secretary William Hague (3rd R) smiles as he reaches for a boxes of chocolates offered to him by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (unseen) at the start of their meeting on October 14, 2010 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. NATO Foreign and Defence ministers are holding a rare joint meeting to discuss the new ‘strategic concept,’ a mission statement on how the alliance must respond to modern threats, from cyber attacks to missile strikes from ‘rogue’ states.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd L, back) and British Foreign Secretary William Hague (2nd R, front) take part in a meeting on October 14, 2010 at the NATO Headquarters in Brussels. NATO Foreign and Defence ministers are holding a rare joint meeting to discuss the new 'strategic concept,' a mission statement on how the alliance must respond to modern threats, from cyber attacks to missile strikes from 'rogue' states. (Getty Images)

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong congratulates Chile leader

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to Chile President Sebastian Pinera, congratulating him on the successful rescue of the 33 trapped miners. -- ST PHOTO: FRANCIS ONG PG



October 15, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE STRAITSTIMES.COM) — PRIME Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong has written to Chile President Sebastian Pinera, congratulating him on the successful rescue of 33 miners trapped in a collapsed mine.

The miners’ gripping ordeal began on Aug 5 when a mine under Chile’s far northern Atacama desert caved in. The curtains fell on the two-month-long drama on Thursday when the last miner was safely pulled out, sending a world which had been holding its breath into outbursts of joy.

PM Lee also congratulated Mr Pinera for his ‘professional execution of an extremely difficult and riskyoperation’.

‘ This success would not have been possible without the Chilean government’s steady leadership and resolve,’ he wrote.

‘Many Singaporeans watching the rescue operations have been impressed by the spirit and resilience of the Chilean people.

‘ We share the joy and celebration of the Chilean people, and especially with the families of the rescued miners.

‘I wish all the rescued miners a speedy recovery to good health.’

Talks between Medvedev and Chavez begin in Kremlin


Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) welcomes Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez as they meet at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow October 14, 2010. REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov




MOSCOW, October 15 (KATAKAMI / Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is holding talks with his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez in the Kremlin. Hugo Chavez arrived in Moscow for a visit on Thursday.

At present, the talks are being held in the narrow format behind closed doors.

As is expected, the Moscow meetings will yield a plan of action which will be the basis for cooperation up to 2014.

The document lists specific cooperation guidelines in such spheres as foreign policy, financial sector, oil and gas industry, military-technical cooperation, nuclear power engineering, telecommunications, agriculture, fishing, transportation, education, health care, tourism, sport, culture, and elimination of natural calamities aftermath.

Michelle Obama more popular than US President

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk along the Colonnade of the White House, Sept. 21, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)



October 15, 2010 Washington (KATAKAMI / Spicezee.Zeenews.Com) : The US First Lady, Michelle Obama’s approval ratings have soared to 65 percent, twenty points higher than the president, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll.

According to the Daily Mail, Michelle Obama is seen as a saviour for the Democratic party, and her popularity among voters and candidates has given the Democrats a boost ahead of next month’s mid-term elections.

The survey results also revealed that six out of ten men and more than seven out of ten women approve of Michelle Obama’s performance as First Lady.

Republicans are much cooler on the First lady, with 39 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said, “Not surprisingly, Mrs. Obama is extremely popular among Democrats, but she is also well-liked among independents.”

Michelle’s popularity has reportedly attracted the congressional candidates so much that they expressed more excitement at the prospect of campaigning with her than with Barack Obama.

When President Obama visited Wisconsin to talk up Democrat Senator Russ Feingold last month, the election hopeful’s support plunged 5 percent overnight, but after Michele’s trip to the same state on Wednesday, his popularity spiked to its highest level of his campaign and she helped him raise more than 150,000 dollars (240,000 pounds), the paper said.

Several Democrat candidates have aired TV adverts highlighting votes in Congress where they have opposed the White House, while few others have reportedly urged the president’s office that they would prefer it if Barack Obama stayed away, the paper added.

While President Obama is facing criticism for failing to bring America out of a prolonged economic crisis, Michele is acting as the first cheerleader to improve her husband’s image.

President Yudhoyono gives assurance to build shelters for Wasior flood victims


Indonesian army soldiers carry a flood victim to the hospital in Wasior village of Indonesia's Papua province October 9, 2010. At least 126 people died, 66 went missing and more than 800 injured after flash floods swept Wasior on October 4, according to data from Indonesia's National Disaster Mitigation Agency on Saturday. (REUTERS/Beawiharta)



October 15, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono gave assurance in Manokwari that the government will build temporary shelters to accommodate thousands of victims of major flooding, which recently hit Wasior in West Papua.

“The government has been determined to build the temporary shelters,” the President said at Rendani airport on Friday as quoted by Antara.

Yudhoyono was in Manokwari on his way to go back to Jakarta after visiting the flood site for two days and meeting with the victims.

He said that the temporary shelters will be much better that the existing temporary accommodation used by the victims.

Data at the National Disaster Mitigation Agency shows that at least 4,771 people have been displaced by the flooding and they are now accommodated at several locations in Manokwari.

Indonesian Police Chief thanks House for endorsing Timur Pradopo

Comr.Gen.Timur Pradopo (left) an General Bambang Hendarso Danuri (right)



October 15, 2010 ( KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — The National Police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuari on Friday lauded that the House of Representatives’ legal commission for declaring Comr. Gen. Timur Pradopo eligible to replace his post.

Bambang praised the House’s Commission III on legal and human rights’ positive stance during Timur’s fit-and-proper test on Thursday.

“Thanks God, the test went well and I really appreciate the Commission members for accepting (Timur’s nomination),” Bambang said Friday morning during his work visit to Manokmari, West Papua, as quoted by Kompas.com.

Bambang said that he welcomed criticism raised by some legislators, saying it was a good input for the betterment of the police institution. He also hoped Timur could perform well in carrying his upcoming tasks.

During the interview, the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) Faction and the National Mandate Party (PAN) demanded the police to stay independent and professional, respect diversity, fight against violence act and settle troubled Bank Century case immediately.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono nominated Timur as the sole candidate at the last minute, refusing to select two candidates – general monitoring inspector Comr. Gen. Nanan Sukarna and training and education institutions chief Comr. Gen. Imam Sujarwo – proposed by Bambang.

Bambang will retire from his post by end of this month.

Thatcher sorry for missing party

FILE : British Prime Minister David Cameron greets former Prime Minister Baroness Thatcher on the steps of Number 10 Downing Street on June 8, 2010 in London, England. Baroness Thatcher served as Prime Minister of the UK from 1979 to 1990. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images Europe)


October 15, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE SCOTSMAN.COM) — Baroness Thatcher last night sent her apologies to guests after illness forced her to miss a Downing Street reception to mark her 85th birthday.
The former prime minister expressed her disappointment in a message read out to a gathering of 150 friends and colleagues at the event, hosted by David Cameron.

But she also made light of the bout of flu that prompted her absence, playing on her famous phrase that the “lady’s not for turning”.

“After all the trouble that everyone has been to, I am so disappointed not to be with you this evening,” Lady Thatcher wrote.

“I want to thank the Prime Minister and everyone present for your understanding.

“I hope that you will appreciate that on this particular occasion I have had to accept that the lady is not for returning. Please, please enjoy yourselves.”

Lady Thatcher had insisted the gathering go ahead despite her last-minute withdrawal.

Mr Cameron announced he was hosting the event at the Conservative Party conference last week, when he was cheered by delegates for hailing the peer as “the greatest peacetime prime minister of the 20th century”.
He first invited Lady Thatcher to N0 10 soon after he became Prime Minister earlier this year.

Photostream : British PM David Cameron meets Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger


British Prime Minister David Cameron (C), reacts as he prepares to greet the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the steps of 10 Downing Street, in central London, on October 14, 2010. (AFP PHOTO/CARL COURT)



British Prime Minister David Cameron (L), gestures as he poses for photographers with the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, on the steps of 10 Downing Street, in central London, on October 14, 2010. (Photo : Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images)



Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) talks to the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, inside number 10 Downing Street, October 14, 2010 in London. Mr Cameron and Mr Scwarzenegger will meet British troops later today at Wellington Barracks in central London. (Photo by Stefan Wermuth - WPA Pool/Getty Images)



British Prime Minister David Cameron (R) watches as Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger (C) talks to soldiers at Wellington Barracks on October 14, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)



British Prime Minister, David Cameron reacts as Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger makes a joke about having watched the troops training in the gym, during a visit to The Wellington Baracks on October 14, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Leon Neal - WPA Pool/Getty Images)



Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (2nd L) talks with soldiers during a visit with the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to Wellington Barracks, in central London on October 14, 2010. ( REUTERS/Leon Neal/Pool )



(Number 10 Gov.UK) Governor Schwarzenegger meets PM at Number 10

First 3 Chilean miners head home from hospital


Andre Sougarret (3rd L), chief of the rescue mission, poses with miners Daniel Herrera (L), Jose Ojeda (4th L), Jorge Galleguillos (4th R), Ariel Ticona (3rd R), Alex Vega (2nd R), and Claudio Yanez, and other members of the rescue team during a meeting in the Copiapo Hospital in Copiapo, Octobeer 14, 2010. Chile's 33 rescued miners recovered from their two-month ordeal on Thursday as the offers and gifts that go along with their new celebrity status started to roll in, including an invitation to Graceland. (REUTERS/Codelco/Handout )


October 14, 2010. COPIAPO, Chile  (KATAKAMI / MSNBC.COM) — The first three miners left the hospital late Thursday night as all now known as “los 33” began their unfamiliar new lives as national heroes.

Chilean TV showed miner Edison Pena, plucked 12th from the cavern where they were trapped for more than two months a half mile underground, getting out of the hospital in Copiapo first.

All three miners, still wearing their shades, piled into an SUV bound for home, smiling and waving.
“I didn’t think I’d make it back, so this reception really blows my mind,” said Pena, 34, as waiting neighbors showered him with confetti. Triathlete Pena ran 6 miles a day down in the mine tunnel in the days after the collapse to cope with the stress.

“We really had a bad time,” he added, before ducking into his home and closing the front door.
All the miners got tastes of what awaits: swarms of reporters, TV producers, publicity agents and even soccer teams all desperate for a piece of their story.

The men posed in hospital bathrobes for a group photo with President Sebastian Pinera.

Unity helped the men for 69 days underground, including more than two weeks when no one knew whether they were alive.

But the moment they walk out the hospital doors, they’ll go beyond the reach of a government operation that has cared for, fed and protected them in a carefully coordinated campaign to ensure each of them would leave in top condition.

“Now they’re going to have to find their equilibrium and take care of themselves,” the hospital chaplain, the Rev. Luis Lopez, told The Associated Press.

They got quite the preview Thursday of what lies ahead. On their first full day of fresh air, the miners were probably the 33 most in-demand people on the planet.

A Greek mining company wants to bring them to the sunny Aegean islands, competing with rainy Chiloe in the country’s southern archipelago, whose tourism bureau wants them to stay for a week.

Soccer teams in Madrid, Manchester and Buenos Aires want them in their stadiums. Bolivia’s president wants them at his palace. TV host Don Francisco wants them all on his popular “Sabado Gigante” show in Miami.

Hearing that miner Edison Pena jogged regularly in the tunnels below the collapsed rock, the New York City marathon invited him to participate in next month’s race.

What about a reality show? Some other kind of TV work? Why not, said television writer-producer and Oscar nominee Lionel Chetwynd, who said he expected projects were being pitched around Hollywood within hours of the rescue.

“Television is a quick-response medium,” he said, joking: “In fact, I think I’ll call my agent when we get off the phone.”

Doctors said the other miners would get out of the hopital Friday and over the weekend.

Their families and friends were organizing welcome-home dinners, street celebrations and even weddings. Lilianett Ramirez, whose husband Mario Gomez promised her a church wedding in the “Dear Lila” letter Pinera read on TV when the men were found alive, said they have now set a date: “If God and the Virgin desire it, we’ll get married on Nov. 7, his birthday,” she said, beaming as she left the hospital.

The government promised six months of psychological treatment, made sure each has a bank account only he can operate, and coached them on dealing with rude questions.

The rescue team even asked Guinness World Records to honor all 33 with the record for longest time trapped underground, rather than the last miner out, Luis Urzua. Guinness spokeswoman Jamie Panas said the organization was studying the question.

The men certainly have an extraordinary story to tell. No one before them had been trapped so long and survived.

Pinera also was defining face of the rescue, embracing Luis Urzua when he climbed out of the pod to become the 33rd miner out, then leading a joyous crowd in the national anthem.
“They have experienced a new life, a rebirth,” he said, and so has Chile: “We aren’t the same that we were before the collapse on Aug. 5. Today Chile is a country much more unified, stronger and much more respected and loved in the entire world.”

The billionaire businessman-turned-politician also promised “radical” changes and tougher safety laws to improve how businesses treat their workers.

“Never again in our country will we permit people to work in conditions so unsafe and inhuman as they worked in the San Jose mine, and in many other places in our country,” said Pinera, who took office in March as Chile’s first elected right-wing president in a half-century.

Among the most compelling stories from the ordeal will be Urzua’s. He was the shift foreman when 700,000 tons of rock sealed them in. It was his strict rationing of the 48-hour food supply that helped them stay alive until help came.

Early reports on their food supply were based on memories and partial information from down below. Based on new details the miners shared Thursday with their families, the rationing appears to have been even more extreme than previously thought.

“He told me they only had 10 cans of tuna to share, and water, but it isn’t true the thing about milk, because it was bad, out of date,” Alberto Sepulveda said after visiting his brother Dario.

Other family members were told the tuna amounted to about half a capful from the top of a soda bottle — and that the only water they could drink tasted of oil.

“I think he was a fundamental pillar that enabled them to keep discipline,” said Manuel Gonzalez, the first rescuer down and the last to leave.

“The guys that were down there, I think they never lost their hope,” he added. “There were critical moments, but at the end they never lost their hope because they had very positive leaders who kept the group unified.”




Readout of the President Obama’s Call with President Piñera of Chile

FILE : President Barack Obama greets Chilean President Sebastian Pinera during the official arrivals for the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, Monday April 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)




October 14, 2010 (KATAKAMI / WHITE HOUSE GOV) — “Earlier today, President Obama called Chilean President Sebastian Piñera to congratulate him and the Chilean government on the historic rescue of the 33 miners trapped under more than 2,000 feet of rock in northern Chile since August 5.  The President hailed the rescue as a tribute not only to the determination of the rescue workers and the Chilean government, but also the miners and the Chilean people who have inspired the world.  President Piñera conveyed his thanks to the President, the United States government, and the American companies and individuals who provided support for the rescue efforts.”

US general’s promise over Linda Norgrove kidnap death

Aid worker Linda Norgrove (Photo: EPA)


October 14, 2010 (KATAKAMI / METRO.CO.UK) — Gen David Petraeus insisted Britain would be fully involved in the inquiry into the apparent ‘friendly fire’ death.

As he met prime minister David Cameron at No.10 to give him an update, the body of Miss Norgrove arrived back in RAF Lyneham, Wiltshire. A post-mortem examination on the 36-year-old will be held before a full inquest.

Gen Petraeus discussed the case with Mr Cameron during 90 minutes of talks.

‘Gen Petraeus said the investigation was a personal priority for him and emphasised there would be full co- operation between the US and UK,’ a spokesman for Mr Cameron said.

US central command has launched an investigation after it was initially reported Miss Norgrove from the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides had been blown up by her Taliban captors. However, film footage suggests she was already clear of them when her would-be rescuers threw a grenade.

Gen Petraeus also thanked Mr Cameron for the ongoing British commitment to Afghanistan and the ‘valued contribution made by British troops’.

They agreed operations in Kandahar and Helmand province were ‘proceeding well’.

Mr Cameron also briefed Gen Petraeus on the defence review to be announced next week.

Photostream : Britain’s PM David Cameron meets Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan General David Petraeus


Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron , right, meets General David Petraeus, left, Commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, inside 10 Downing Street, central London Thursday Oct.14, 2010. The talks in London have been overshadowed by revelations that a kidnapped British aid worker may have been killed by her American rescuers _ rather than her Taliban captors as first reported. .(Getty Images / AP Photo/ Daniel Deme, pool)



Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron (R) speaks to ISAF Commander General David Petraeus (L) at 10 Downing Street in Central London October 14, 2010. ( REUTERS/Pool/Daniel Deme )General David Petraeus leaves 10 Downing Street after meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron on October 14, 2010 in London, England. Petraeus, the top US commander in Afghanistan, has called for an investigation into the death of British aid worker Linda Norgrove, who was held hostage in Afghanistan. Ms Norgrove died after a failed rescue opperation by US forces on October 8, 2010 in Afghanistan. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)



U.S. General David Petraeus leaves Downing Street after his meeting with Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron in London October 14, 2010. ( REUTERS/Toby Melville )



General David Petraeus leaves 10 Downing Street in London Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010. British Prime Minister David Cameron raised the case of a slain British aid worker in a Downing Street meeting Thursday with NATO's top commander in Afghanistan, U.S. Gen. David Petraeus. Cameron earlier this week revealed that Linda Norgrove, a kidnapped British aid worker, may have been killed by her American rescuers _ rather than her Taliban captors as first reported. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)


Somali President Names Somali-American as Prime Minister

Newly appointed Prime Minister for Somalia Mohamed Abdulahi attends a briefing at the presidential palace in Mogadishu. (Getty Images / NYTimes)


October 14, 2010. MOGADISHU, Somalia (KATAKAMI / NYTimes) — The Somalian president on Thursday named a Somali-American to replace the prime minister whose resignation last month brought the weak transitional government to a standstill.

“After long consultations and prayers,” President Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed said at a news conference in Mogadishu, “we have succeeded in nominating the right and proper person.”

“ I hope,” President Sharif said, “that he will succeed the difficult task ahead.”

The previous prime minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, resigned Sept. 21 after months of intense pressure from the president. Disputes between the two men siphoned focus from the government even as Islamic militants increased their attacks.

Despite the deployment of thousands of African Union peacekeepers to bolster the central government, the militants, the Shabab, control much of the country, including most of the capital.

The appointee, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, worked in the Somali Embassy in Washington from 1985 to 1988, according to a statement on the government’s Web site, The Associated Press reported. He has a master’s degree in political science and taught conflict resolution and leadership skills at Erie Community College, in Buffalo, N.Y., The A.P. said, citing his resume.

“I am ready to work with the members of the parliament and if god wills, I will appoint the new council of ministers soon.” said Mr. Mohamed. “Security is the first priority for my government.”

Photostream : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) welcomes Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez as they meet at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow October 14, 2010. (REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astakhov)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, right, greets Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez during their meeting in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service,pool)

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, right, seen during their meeting in the Gorki residence outside Moscow, Thursday, Oct. 14, 2010. (AP Photo/RIA-Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service,pool)

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) listens to his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez as they meet at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow October 14, 2010. (REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Dmitry Astak)