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Daily Archives: 11/06/2010

Prince Harry meets war-wounded heroes

Prince Harry

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November 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / TELEGRAPH.CO.UK) — Proudly sporting an England rugby tie, the 26-year-old arrived at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday in glorious autumnal sunshine ahead of the match with New Zealand.

Inside the stadium he met members of the armed forces injured in Afghanistan, exchanging banter about the upcoming game whilst enquiring about their recovery.

The prince, vice patron of the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and patron of the RFU Injured Player’s Foundation, posed for pictures with servicemen who had lost limbs as a result of bomb blasts in Afghanistan.

Some of those he met had only recently returned from battle and are currently undergoing treatment at the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine in Birmingham.

Others are patients at the Headley Court rehabilitation centre in Epsom.

Headley Court has recently undergone refurbishment, and the prince appeared keen on seeing the improvements.

“There is a nice pool down there,” he told injured soldiers and their carers. “The facilities down there, I can’t wait to see them.”

Warrant Officer Bob Toomey, the Royal Marine liaison at Headley Court, explained the high esteem in which the prince is held within the armed forces.

He said: “It is utter respect. But you can also feel very relaxed with him. The lads were bantering with him, he was bantering back.

“The lift that this gives the lads, it means so much to them. It is part of their rehabilitation.

“He was talking about their injuries and he couldn’t believe how upbeat they were. He was also talking about England winning.”

After meeting the wounded serviceman, Prince Harry headed off to a pre-match lunch with rugby officials and dignitaries.  (*)

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Chinese President Arrives in Portugal

Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) waves as he stands with his wife Liu Yongqing upon their arrival at Orly airport, south of Paris on November 4, 2010. Hu is on a three-day state visit during which France hopes to clinch billions of dollars in deals for nuclear, aviation and energy technology. (Photo by CHARLES PLATIAU/AFP/Getty Images)

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November 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / VOA) — Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in Portugal Saturday for an official visit aimed at boosting bilateral trade, investment and energy and cultural exchanges.

During his visit, President Hu is scheduled to hold talks with Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, Prime Minister Jose Socrates and other top officials. The two sides are expected to sign several cooperation agreements.

China’s official news agency, Xinhua, says the smooth handover of Macao from Portugal to China in 1999 opened a new page in the history of bilateral relations. It says the relationship further improved with the 2005 inauguration of the strategic partnership between the two nations.

President Hu, accompanied by his wife Liu Yongqing, members of the Chinese government and around 50 business leaders, arrived in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, from Nice, where he wrapped up his visit to France.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy took Mr. Hu to Nice for private talks that were expected to revolve around global issues.

During the visit to France, the Chinese delegation secured more than $20 billion in contracts for French firms, boosting France’s airline, telecom and nuclear industries. (*)

Gaza rocket hits Israel, no casualties: army

File photo : An Israeli soldier keeps watch on the border between southern Israel and the Hamas-controlled Palestinian coastal territory in July. Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have fired a rocket into southern Israel but caused no casualties or damage, the Israeli army said.

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November 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / FRANCE 24 / AFP ) – Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel on Saturday but caused no casualties or damage, the Israeli army said.

The rocket exploded in an open field near the Gaza border, a military spokeswoman said.

Since the start of this year, Palestinians have fired more than 165 rockets or mortar rounds at Israel from the Hamas-controlled coastal strip, according to the military. (*)

Indonesia : Mount Merapi refugees to be concentrated

Refugees look for second-hand clothes distributed at a temporary shelter for those affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, November 6, 2010. Merapi's latest round of eruptions began Oct. 26, followed by more than a dozen other powerful blasts and thousands of tremors. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

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November 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — Yogyakarta government considers relocating people displaced by Mt. Merapi eruptions to stadiums and big buildings that can accommodate thousands of people in order to facilitate supply of food.

Governor Hamengku Buwono X said Saturday he would coordinate with the Sleman regency and Yogyakarta municipality administrations to relocate the refugees to Maguwoharjo Stadium in Sleman, and Mandala Krida Stadium and the Youth Center in Yogyakarta.

Refugee camps are scattered across Sleman, many of them accommodated at Maguwoharjo Stadium.

Refugee rest in a safe place as searing ash clouds shoot from the crater of Mount Merapi in Klaten district, Central Java, on November 6, 2010 (AFP/Bay Ismoyo)

The governor, who is also the Yogyakarta sultan, also offered the displaced people to camp at Pagelaran Sitihinggil square in his palace compound. “The place is open to the refugees if they feel secure and comfortable there,” he said as quoted by kompas.com..

More than 202,000 people from four regencies around Mt. Merapi have sought refuge after a series of eruptions, 56,000 of them in Sleman. (*)

Photostream : Hospital overwhelmed by Indonesia volcano victims

An injured, suffered from Mount Merapi eruption, receives treatment from an Indonesian medic at a hospital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia , Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. The hospital at the foot of Indonesia's most volatile volcano is struggling to cope with victims brought in after the mountain's most powerful eruption in a century. Some have clothes, blankets and even mattresses fused to their skin. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

An injured, suffered due to Mount Merapi eruption, lies on a bed at a hospital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia , Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. The hospital at the foot of Indonesia's most volatile volcano is struggling to cope with victims brought in after the mountain's most powerful eruption in a century. Some have clothes, blankets and even mattresses fused to their skin. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

An injured, suffered due to Mount Merapi eruption, receives treatment from an Indonesian medic at a hospital in Yogyakarta, Indonesia , Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. The hospital at the foot of Indonesia's most volatile volcano is struggling to cope with victims brought in after the mountain's most powerful eruption in a century. Some have clothes, blankets and even mattresses fused to their skin. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

A medic, right, measures blood pressure of an Indonesian refugee at a temporary shelter for those affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. Merapi's latest round of eruptions began Oct. 26, followed by more than a dozen other powerful blasts and thousands of tremors. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

An Indonesian refugee, left, is attended to by a medic at a temporary shelter for those affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. Merapi's latest round of eruptions began Oct. 26, followed by more than a dozen other powerful blasts and thousands of tremors. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Volunteers assist an evacuee from Mount Merapi eruption having breathing difficulty due to volcanic ash exposure on arrival at a sport stadium used as an evacuation center in Sleman district on November 5, 2010. At least 54 people were killed and dozens injured Friday when Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupted again, burning villages as far as 18 kilometres (11 miles) away, officials said. The latest deaths bring the total toll to more than 90 since the country's most active volcano started erupting on October 26. (Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA/AFP/Getty Images)

Lava and ash spews from erupting Mount Merapi seen from Klaten district in Central Java province before dawn, on November 6. Indonesia's most active volcano, Mount Merapi, killed 77 people with its latest eruption and forced thousands to flee after it erupted again. (AFP/Bay Ismoyo)

Mount Merapi volcano erupts spewing out towering clouds of hot gas and debris as seen from Ketep village in Magelang, Indonesia's Central Java province, November 6, 2010. Merapi erupted with renewed ferocity on Friday, killing 65 people, bringing the total death told to over 100 and blanketing the area with white ash. REUTERS/Beawiharta

Indonesian army member distributes food for refugees at a temporary shelter for those who are affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Yogyakarta, Indonesia,Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010. Merapi's latest round of eruptions began Oct. 26, followed by more than a dozen other powerful blasts and thousands of tremors. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

Photostream : Chinese President Hu Jintao visits France

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) meets his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao at the Villa Massena in Nice November 5, 2010. Hu is on a three-day visit in France. (Getty Images / REUTERS / Jacques Witt/Pool )

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, right, welcomes Chinese President Hu Jintao, left, upon his arrival at the Massena Palace in Nice, southern France, Friday Nov. 5, 2010. The Chinese President is on his second day state visit to France.(Getty Images /AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) and China's President Hu Jintao speak together as they arrive at the Villa Massena for talks in Nice November 5, 2010. China's President Hu Jintao is on a three-day visit in France. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Christian Alminana )

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, center, and Chinese President Hu Jintao, left, meet people as they arrive at the Villa Massena in Nice, southern France, Friday Nov. 5, 2010. The Chinese President is on a state visit to France. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Lionel Bonaventure, Pool)

Former French President Jacques Chirac (L) speaks with China's President Hu Jintao (R) during a meeting at the George V Hotel in Paris November 5, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Patrick Kovarik/Pool )

Chinese President Hu Jintao, left, is welcomed by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon at Matignion, in Paris, Friday, Nov.5, 2010. France announced 16 billion Euros(22,8 billion Dollars)in deals to sell uranium, technology and more than 100 Airbus planes to China.(Getty Images / AP Photo/Yoan Valat, Pool)

China's President Hu Jintao (C) stands next to French Junior Minister for Veterans' affairs Hubert Falco (L) and a military official as he pays homage after laying a wreath at the unknown soldier's tomb at the Arc of Triomphe in Paris November 5, 2010. (Getty Images/ REUTERS/Thibault Camus/Pool )

Chinese President Hu Jintao (L) waves as he stands with his wife Liu Yongqing upon their arrival at Orly airport, south of Paris on November 4, 2010. Hu is on a three-day state visit during which France hopes to clinch billions of dollars in deals for nuclear, aviation and energy technology. (Photo by CHARLES PLATIAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Bush to speak with Oprah Winfrey, Jay Leno

This photo taken Oct. 28, 2010 and provided by Harpo Productions Inc., shows talk-show host Oprah Winfrey interviewing former President George W. Bush during taping of 'The Oprah Winfrey Show' at Harpo Studios in Chicago. The show will air nationally on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2010. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Harpo Productions Inc., George Burns)

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November 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — The world will soon be hearing a lot from former President George W. Bush.

After relative silence since leaving office in 2009, Bush will be on the air throughout next week and beyond in promotion of his memoir, “Decision Points,” which comes out Tuesday. Along with previously announced TV appearances with Matt Lauer and with Oprah Winfrey, Bush will speak with Jay Leno on the “Tonight” show, have radio interviews on the programs of conservative commentators Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and make several TV appearances on the Fox News Channel, the hosts including Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and Greta Van Susteran.

The schedule was announced Saturday by spokesman David Drake of Crown Publishers, an imprint of Random House, Inc.

Bush will also meet with Candy Crowley on CNN and appear on “CBS Sunday Morning” with Jim Axelrod. Besides his taped interview with Lauer airing on NBC on Monday night, Bush will speak live with Lauer on the “Today” show on Wednesday morning. Among his print interviews: a cover story for the magazine of AARP, which represents millions of people 50 and older.

The 64-year-old former president will not be out there alone. His parents, former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, also will appear on Winfrey’s show. His wife, former first lady Laura Bush, will join him on “CBS This Morning.” Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, will be with his brother on CNN.

Bush’s book tour was organized by Drake; the former president’s literary representative, Washington attorney Robert Barnett; former White House press secretary Dana Perino; and Bush spokesman David Sherzer. (*)

Australia : Clinton arrives for defence talks

Hillary Clinton was welcomed on the tarmac by Kevin Rudd. (AAP: Mal Fairclough)

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November 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / ABC.NET.AU) — Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd has greeted US secretary of state Hillary Clinton as she arrived in Melbourne for a two-day visit.

Ms Clinton touched down at a section of Melbourne Airport that was cordoned off by police and US diplomatic agents.

She was welcomed on the tarmac by Mr Rudd and Australia’s ambassador to the US, Kim Beazley.

“It’s great to have the secretary of state with us in Australia,” Mr Rudd said.

“She is a very welcome guest for these AUSMIN talks here in Melbourne. It’s the first time we’ve had Ausmin in Melbourne – it’s a great city, a great day and it’s great that the secretary of state is going to see this wonderful city.”

Ms Clinton is on a two-week tour through the Asia-Pacific region. Her visit is part of the annual talks between the Australian foreign and defence ministers and the US secretaries of state and defence.

This afternoon she will hold her first official meeting with Mr Rudd and the pair will dine together tonight.

Mr Rudd says he is keen to give the United States greater access to Australian defence bases and confirmed both countries are interested in closer cooperation between their defence forces.

“We in Australia have an interest in ensuring we have continued and increased use of Australian ports, facilities and training facilities and test-firing ranges by the armed forces of the United States,” he said.

Tomorrow Ms Clinton will meet Prime Minister Julia Gillard. The pair met briefly at last month’s East Asia Summit in Vietnam.

On Monday Ms Clinton and US defence secretary Robert Gates will meet their Australian counterparts for talks on issues including Afghanistan and security in the Asia Pacific region.

Ms Gillard says America’s force posture review – an official investigation into the geographical and strategic placement of US forces around the world – will be at the top of the agenda in her talks with Ms Clinton.

“We anticipate that that will give rise to a process of discussion about how that force posture review has implications for Australia,” she said.

“[It] could have implications in future joint exercises; it could have implications in future sharing of joint facilities.”

Also on Sunday, Ms Clinton will front an hour-long forum to respond to questions submitted via video link, and online on Facebook and Twitter, as well as take questions from an audience of people under the age of 35.

The town-hall style event in Melbourne will be hosted by Lateline’s Leigh Sales and broadcast on the ABC. Questions can be posted on ABC News’s Facebook page or on Twitter with the hashtag #hillaryoz.

Ms Clinton was due to visit Australia in January this year, but postponed her trip because of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti.

Meanwhile, Ms Clinton has ruled out running for president in 2012 or 2016, saying the United States should be ready for a woman president but it would not be her.

In interviews in New Zealand, the failed 2008 presidential candidate made clear she had no plans to run again despite talk – fueled partly by her fellow Democrats’ losses in Tuesday’s US mid-term elections – she might embark on a new race.

Asked by TV3 New Zealand whether she ruled out standing for the top US office through 2016, Ms Clinton, according to a US reporter, replied: “Oh yes, yes. I’m very pleased to be doing what I’m doing as secretary of state.”

 

(MS)

Pope heads to liberal Spain to press church agenda

Nuns walk through the Obradoiro square in front of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, background, Spain, on Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. Pope Benedict XVI will visit the pilgrimage city of Santiago de Compostela on Nov. 6 to celebrate his Holy year. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Lalo R. Villar)

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November 06, 2010 VATICAN CITY (KATAKAMI / AP)  – Pope Benedict XVI begins a pilgrimage to Spain on Saturday to visit two of Christianity’s most spectacular sites, fulfilling a long-held personal wish while pressing his bid to revive the faith in a once-staunchly Catholic country that is now among Europe’s most liberal.

Benedict arrives first in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, a medieval and present-day pilgrimage site whose ornate cathedral is said to hold the remains of St. James the Apostle.

He wraps it up on the other side of the country in Barcelona, where he’ll dedicate the famous albeit unfinished Sagrada Familia church — and face a gay “kiss-in” expected to draw thousands.

With such opposition palpable, it’s no coincidence that Spain’s Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero will only see Benedict as he’s leaving on Sunday night. Laws under Zapatero’s watch allowing gay marriage, fast-track divorce and easier abortions have deeply angered the Vatican.

In Zapatero’s place, Spain’s royal family will take care of the protocol meeting and greeting functions during the two-day visit.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi noted that Benedict had long hoped to make a pilgrimage to Santiago with his brother, Monsignor Georg Ratzinger, but they never got a chance and now Ratzinger is too old and frail to travel.

Millions of the faithful every year take part in the “Camino de Santiago” pilgrimage to the western Galician city — even more so in this jubilee year, which occurs every time the feast of St. James — July 25 — falls on a Sunday.

The scallop shell symbol of St. James, ubiquitous around the city, is particularly important to Benedict: it forms the central part of his papal coat of arms.

“From the beginning of my pontificate, I have tried to live my ministry as the successor of Peter with the sentiments of a pilgrim,” Benedict said in a message last month to pilgrims at the Santiago sanctuary.

In Santiago, Benedict will do as the pilgrims do — embrace a statue of the apostle in the cathedral, pray before his tomb, and watch as the cathedral’s enormous “botafumiero” incense burner swings pendulum-like across the length of the transept.

He’ll also celebrate a Mass in the plaza outside. As many as 200,000 people are expected to travel to Santiago to see the pontiff, packing the square and cobblestone streets of the city’s beautiful old quarter.

Tensions rose even before the pope arrived, as riot police swinging truncheons clashed Thursday night with anti-papal protesters in Santiago, some of whom carried red banners reading “I am not waiting for you.”

In Barcelona, where Benedict arrives Saturday night, hundreds of people staged a peaceful nighttime rally Thursday against the visit, with banners decrying everything from the cost of hosting the pope to the pedophile priest scandal that has rocked the Vatican.

The centerpiece of Benedict’s visit to Barcelona is the dedication Sunday of one of Spain’s greatest architectural marvels, Antoni Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia church.

The Vatican says the Mass in Barcelona could draw as many as 100,000 people who will witness as the church — over 100 years in construction and still unfinished — is declared a basilica.

Gaudi, one of Catalan’s star modernist architects, was killed in 1926 when he was run over by a tram, leaving his life’s work woefully unfinished. He is on the path to possible sainthood, though Benedict isn’t expected to make any major announcements during his visit, Vatican officials say.

Thousands of gays and lesbians plan a kiss-in in the pope’s presence as he leaves the grounds of the city’s actual cathedral on Sunday morning, puckering up en masse to protest the conservative pontiff, whose opposition to gay marriage is well known.

The protests are clear indications of how the influence of the Catholic Church in Spain has waned in the decades since conservative dictator Francisco Franco died in 1975. After Franco’s rigid social and political constraints came an explosion of hedonism and cultural vigor that has horrified the Vatican and spurred this second of three planned trips by Benedict to the country.

For many liberal Spaniards, though, the church’s association with the Franco regime has been a cause for much of the alienation.

(MS)

Clinton heads to Melbourne

First official visit: Hillary Clinton (AFP: Saul Loeb, file photo)

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November 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / ABC.NET.AU) — Hillary Clinton will arrive in Australia later today on her first official visit since becoming the United States secretary of state.

Ms Clinton is on a two-week tour through the Asia-Pacific region and today will fly into Melbourne.

Her visit is part of the annual talks between the Australian foreign and defence ministers and the US secretaries of state and defence.

Those talks will take place on Monday and will focus on regional and global security issues, including the war in Afghanistan.

Tomorrow, Ms Clinton will meet Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The pair met briefly at last month’s East Asia Summit in Vietnam.

Ms Clinton was due to visit Australia in January this year, but postponed her trip because of the devastating earthquakes in Haiti.

Meanwhile, Ms Clinton has ruled out running for president in 2012 or 2016, saying the United States should be ready for a woman president but it would not be her.

In interviews in New Zealand, the failed 2008 presidential candidate made clear she had no plans to run again despite talk – fueled partly by her fellow Democrats’ losses in Tuesday’s US mid-term elections – she might embark on a new race.

Asked by TV3 New Zealand whether she ruled out standing for the top US office through 2016, Ms Clinton, according to a US reporter, replied: “Oh yes, yes. I’m very pleased to be doing what I’m doing as secretary of state.”

 

(MS)

Speaker Nancy Pelosi running for House minority leader

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hosts a Democratic congressional election night results watch rally in Washington, November 2, 2010. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst )

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November 05, 2010 (KATAKAMI / Reuters) – Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi ended speculation that she may quietly step aside after her Democrats lost midterm elections, announcing on Friday she will run for minority leader in the new Republican-led chamber next year.

Pelosi made the announcement via her Twitter account, saying, “Driven by the urgency of creating jobs” and protecting healthcare, Wall Street reform and Social Security and Medicare, “I am running” for Democratic leader.

In the wake of Republicans winning control of the House from Democrats in the midterm congressional elections on Tuesday, Pelosi may face a challenger — though none have yet surfaced.

House Democrats, particularly Pelosi’s fellow liberals, are expected to rally behind their embattled 70-year-old leader, who in 2007 became the chamber’s first woman speaker and is a close ally of President Barack Obama.

House Democratic Leader Steny Hoyer, the party’s No. 2 in the chamber, had already said he would not challenge Pelosi if she decided to seek the post.

Republicans won the House in a landslide, promising to slam the brakes on Obama’s agenda that Pelosi pushed through the House the past two years, including an overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system and a crackdown on Wall Street.

The White House declined comment on the leadership process. “As the president has said before, he appreciates the work of the speaker and the entire House Democratic leadership team who have been great partners in moving the country forward,” a spokesman said.

There had been widespread speculation that Pelosi, who Republicans made their top election-year target, might step away from House Democratic leadership or even resign from Congress.

While polls show less than one in three Americans approve of the powerful yet often polarizing Pelosi, she won re-election on Tuesday to a 13th term from her liberal California district with 80 percent of the vote.

Pelosi, in a letter to fellow House Democrats, wrote that she intends to stay and fight to protect their legislative achievements.

“Our work is far from finished. As a result of Tuesday’s election, the role of Democrats in the 112th Congress will change, but our commitment to serving the American people will not,” Pelosi wrote.

“We have no intention of allowing our great achievements to be rolled back. It is my hope that we can work in a bipartisan way to create jobs and strengthen the middle class,” Pelosi added.

“MOST EFFECTIVE MEMBER”

Pelosi declared her candidacy after conferring with fellow House Democrats. Several members said they would not support her, but many urged her to run.

“The fact is, Nancy Pelosi is the single most effective member of Congress, period,” said Democratic Representative George Miller, a longtime ally.

Larry Sabato, a political science professor at the University of Virginia, noted that Pelosi has been described as the most powerful House speaker since Sam Rayburn, the tough Texan who presided over the chamber more than a half-century ago.

“Now she wants to imitate Rayburn — stay as minority leader after losing” the speakership, Sabato said.

Representative John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, made an about-face and backed Pelosi as minority leader, a day after saying, “I don’t think she’s the right leader to take us forward.”

Yarmuth said on Thursday he would prefer Hoyer as minority leader, but on Friday said he would vote for Pelosi, citing her ability to “build consensus” in a diverse Democratic caucus and advance policies that “improve the lives of all Americans.”

But Representative Dan Boren, a conservative Oklahoma Democrat, remained opposed to Pelosi. He told Fox News that he would support someone more conservative. “People are so mad about the extremists in both parties,” Boren said.

While it was unclear who, if anyone, may challenge Pelosi, Representative Heath Shuler, a conservative North Carolina Democrat, said during the campaign that he might try.

Hoyer, a moderate, had been seen as the likely new House minority leader if Pelosi decided not to seek the post.

Within minutes after Pelosi announced she wanted the job, Hoyer’s office said he may run for the No. 2 Democratic position in the new Republican House, minority whip.

But Hoyer would face a fight. The current House Democratic Whip, James Clyburn, announced on Friday that he intends to run again for the job.

Clyburn offered Democrats hope, noting that in both 1946 and 1952, they lost control of the House, but quickly regrouped and won back the chamber two years later.

Representative Chris Van Hollen is the only member of House Democratic leadership to say he will step down. He plans to surrender his post as head of the House Democratic campaign committee as soon as any remaining undecided races are settled.

(MS)

Indonesian Military (TNI) to build more field hospitals, kitchens to serve evacuees from Mt. Merapi eruptions

Indonesian soldiers (Kopassus) search for victims of Mount Merapi eruption at a village that was hit by pyroclastic flow in Argomulyo, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. A deadly surge of blistering gases cascaded down the slopes of Indonesia's most volatile volcano Friday, torching houses in one mountainside village and triggering a chaotic midnight evacuation. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Trisnadi)

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November 06, 2010 (KATAKAMI / THE JAKARTA POST) — The Indonesian Military (TNI) will set up more field hospitals and public kitchens in several places to serve evacuees from Mt. Merapi eruptions, the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said Friday.

BNPB director Wisnu Wijaya told Antara news agency the TNI would deploy a brigade of personnel to support the disaster mitigation efforts, in line with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s order.

The brigade consists of medical, engineering, marine and transport battalions.

Wisnu said the military brigade would set up field hospitals, activate all hospitals in the region and open public kitchens.

The military would also mobilize transport means to help evacuation of people.

The Air Force meanwhile has also prepared six Hercules C-130 and three C-212 Cassa planes at its Abdurahman Saleh airbase in Malang, East Java, in case a mass evacuation of refugees takes place.

The airbase’s commander, Air Commodore Agus Dwi Putranto, told reporters the armada of planes had just arrived from a mission to flood-stricken Wasior in West Papua.

Photostream : Former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin buried in Moscow’s Novodevichy Cemetery

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (C) pay their respects to former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin during a memorial service at the Novodevichy monastery in Moscow, November 5, 2010. The longest serving Prime Minister in post-Soviet Russia, Chernomyrdin died on Wednesday at the age of 72. (Getty Images / REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Alexsey Druginyn )

Honour guards stand at attention next to the coffin of former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin during a commemoration ceremony in Moscow, November 5, 2010. The longest serving Prime Minister in post-Soviet Russia, Chernomyrdin died on Wednesday at the age of 72. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Pool/Mikhail Metzel )

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (C), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (R) and Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill walk behind the coffin of former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin during his funeral at Novodevichy monastery in Moscow, November 5, 2010. The longest serving Prime Minister in post-Soviet Russia, Chernomyrdin died on Wednesday at the age of 72. (Getty Images / REUTERS / RIA Novosti / Pool/Alexsey Druginyn )

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) walks behind the coffin of former Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin during his funeral at Novodevichy monastery in Moscow, November 5, 2010. The longest serving Prime Minister in post-Soviet Russia, Chernomyrdin, died on Wednesday at the age of 72. (Getty Images /REUTERS/RIA Novosti/Kremlin/Mikhail Klimentyev )

From left, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill are seen during the funeral of former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin at Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow, Russia, Friday, Nov. 5, 2010. Viktor Chernomyrdin, who served as Russia's prime minister in the turbulent 1990s as the country was throwing off communism and developing as a market economy, died Wednesday. (Getty Images / AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Mikhail Klimentyev, Presidential Press Servicel)