G-20 leaders not inclined to compromise
At the Group of 20 summit in Seoul, Obama’s effort to win consensus on a unified approach to boost the world economy appears doomed, raising the specter of countries pursuing their own interests.
By Christi Parsons, John M. Glionna and Don Lee, Los Angeles Times
November 12, 2010
Reporting from Seoul – President Obama appeared to fall short in his attempt to forge a unified approach to boosting the global economy as a frequently rancorous meeting of world leaders seemed set to conclude in Seoul on Friday without agreement on specific steps to avert damaging currency and trade wars.
Leaders of the world’s biggest economies showed that they were in no mood to compromise during the two-day summit. Instead, they were headed toward broad, general pledges that did little to mask their inability to find common ground for immediate action.
New evidence may write Lindbergh out of history as first to fly Atlantic
Research shows two French pilots made trip, but died on landing
By John Lichfield in Paris Friday, 12 November 2010
The greatest single mystery of the early days of aviation has been solved, according to French researchers.
The American pilot Charles Lindbergh was not the first person to fly the full width of the Atlantic in 1927, the researchers say. He was merely the first person to land his aircraft successfully, and the first to live to tell the tale.
Documentary evidence dredged from US official archives shows that two French pilots reached the Canadian coast from Paris 10 days before Lindbergh flew the Spirit of Saint Louis from New York to Le Bourget on on 20-21 May, 1927
Foreclosure mess prompts growing number of public officials to slow down process
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Staff Writer
One month ago, the city of Chicago and the surrounding suburbs of Cook County became a foreclosure-free zone. It wasn’t the banks or judges that instituted the moratorium, because they were still moving cases forward at a rapid clip. The holdup was elsewhere: at the sheriff’s office. Sheriff Thomas J. Dart, whose office is responsible for physically evicting delinquent homeowners, announced Oct. 19 that his deputies would “no longer be doing the banks’ work for them anymore.”
“I can’t possibly be expected to evict people from their homes when the banks themselves can’t say for sure everything was done properly,” he explained.
To Congress With Mantra, ‘Why Not Me?
By JENNIFER STEINHAUER
Published: November 11, 2010
MOLINE, Ill. – Bobby Schilling has spent the last decade perfecting his pizza crust. (The secret? A hint of whole wheat flour in the dough.) But this year, like dozens of other previously apolitical Americans, the cheerful father of 10 looked at the Congressional candidate arena and got to thinking, “Hey, why not me?”
Running as a Republican with little money in a district controlled by Democrats for decades, Mr. Schilling was initially received about as warmly as a stink bug. “The party folks in Washington were kind of like, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ ” he said.
Irish Debt Causing New Jitters Across Europe
Dublin’s Merkel Problem
German Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn’t have many fans in Greece. Many in the Mediterranean country feel that Germany was aggressively accusatory earlier this year when it came to Athens’ severe national debt and budget deficit problems. Bitterness has only increased as tough austerity measures have taken hold.
Now, though, it would appear that Merkel’s popularity has plummeted in several more European countries, Ireland being chief among them. Ever since European Union leaders agreed in late October to a Berlin proposal that foresees the possibility of bankruptcy proceedings for euro zone countries — including potential losses for holders of sovereign bonds — interest rates have skyrocketed on those bonds. On Wednesday, Irish bond yields rose for the 12th day in a row — closing at 8.7 percent on Wednesday — indicating that investors are increasingly losing faith in the country’s ability to pay back debt.
EU safety regulator orders A380 engine inspection
The European Union’s air safety regulator has issued an emergency order to inspect all Superjumbo A380 passenger jet engines after a Rolls-Royce turbine blew up on a Qantas flight last week.
The order by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) confirms earlier indications from investigators that they suspect a turbine disc on Rolls-Royce engines was the cause of an explosion on the Qantas Airbus A380 jet.
“This condition, if not detected, could ultimately result in uncontained engine failure, potentially leading to damage to the airplane and hazards to persons or property on the ground,” EASA said in its emergency directive.
Robert Fisk: How Lebanon can’t escape the shadow of Hariri’s murder
Five years after the former prime minister was killed, rising sectarian tensions and a teetering government are threatening a new conflict
Friday, 12 November 2010
I guess that you have to live here to feel the vibrations. Take last week, when I instinctively ducked on my balcony – so did the strollers on the Corniche – at the supersonic sound of an F-16 fighter aircraft flashing over the seafront and the streets of Beirut.
What message were the Israelis sending this time? That they do not fear the Hezbollah?
That they can humiliate Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri?
No relief from easing of Gaza blockade, says UN director
The Irish Times – Friday, November 12, 2010
MARK WEISS in Jerusalem
THE SENIOR UN official in Gaza, John Ging, has said there has been “no material change” for the population of Gaza despite Israel easing restrictions in the summer.
Mr Ging, the Gaza director of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), told the BBC that nothing had changed for people on the ground “in terms of their status, the aid dependency, the absence of any recovery or reconstruction, [and] no economy”.
He said the easing of the Israeli blockade “has been nothing more than a political easing of the pressure on Israel and Egypt”.
UK fears North Korean attack on Seoul G20 summit
US has already urged China to use influence with the unpredictable dictatorship
Patrick Wintour in Seoul The Guardian, Friday 12 November 2010
The British delegation is taking seriously the potential threat of an attack on the G20 summit by North Korea, whose border is just 50 miles away from the gathering in Seoul.
Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has already urged the Chinese to use their influence with the unpredictable dictatorship to discourage it from trying anything provocative during what is the most important diplomatic gathering ever on the Korean peninsula.
A diplomat said: “There has been speculation that the North Koreans will attempt some kind of disruptive incursion into South Korea.”
A date with destiny for Aung San Suu Kyi
Burma’s heroine could be just hours from freedom
By Phoebe Kennedy in Rangoon and Andrew Buncombe
Friday, 12 November 2010
At the offices of her beleaguered political party in the centre of Rangoon, loyal supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi were sweeping up the dust, hanging up banners and getting themselves ready. Perhaps they were hoping against hope, being led more by their hearts than their heads. If so, then so too were millions more people across Burma, and around the world.
Seven years after the jailed democracy leader was last made a prisoner in her own home, Ms Suu Kyi’s supporters were cautiously optimistic that tomorrow she may be finally released from house arrest. Some believe she could even be freed later this evening and that one of her sons may be there to greet her.
Public urged to halt requests to Nelson Mandela
The Irish Times – Friday, November 12, 2010
DAVID SMITH in Johannesburg
AIDES TO Nelson Mandela yesterday demanded a halt to the thousands of requests for autographs, endorsements and interviews in a plea interpreted by some as a veiled warning to the governing African National Congress (ANC) and others accused of hijacking the name.
The ANC was criticised last year for using the frail 92-year-old anti-apartheid leader at its final election campaign rally.
Mr Mandela’s most recent public appearance, on a bitterly cold night at July’s World Cup final in Johannesburg, was the result of “extreme pressure” from Fifa, according to his grandson.
Guinea delays election results
Results were due to have been announced on Wednesday, 72 hours after the polls closed, but the electoral commission said that timeline would only commence once all the votes had been brought to the count centre in Conakry.
The commission’s chairperson, Siaka Sangare, said late on Wednesday that the commission had agreed with the Supreme Court the count should only be expected three days after the votes had been centralised.
Sangare said the electoral commission had received “many complaints and is making a point to examine them”.