Posts Tagged ‘backs’
Obama administration backs FAA despite uproar (Reuters)
Last Updated on Thursday, 21 April 2011 05:35 Written by admin Thursday, 21 April 2011 05:35
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration has full confidence in the top U.S. aviation security official and his agency following a string of very publicized lapses by air site visitors controllers, which includes 1 this week involving a plane carrying very first woman Michelle Obama.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood advised Reuters on the sidelines of a transportation conference on Wednesday that he supports Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Randy Babbitt “1,000 %.”
He also stated he noticed no want for an independent evaluation of the FAA’s performance beyond the investigations already under way.
LaHood said the FAA has started off nine investigations into embarrassing disclosures of controllers sleeping on the task and other security-connected incidents and is doing work as rapidly as achievable to locate out what went wrong in every scenario.
“We are undertaking a leading-to-bottom evaluation,” LaHood mentioned. “We feel we’re searching into this as completely as we perhaps can.”
On the PBS “NewsHour” program, LaHood mentioned the FAA had fired two controllers who had been on suspension –including 1 who had been sleeping on the work in Knoxville, Tennessee.
“A controller actually manufactured a bed in the management tower, brought a pillow, brought blankets, he’s been fired,” he stated. “We’re not going to sit by and allow that kind of conduct take place in control towers.”
A 2nd controller, in Miami, was violating methods by directing a 737 to fly also closely to a more compact plane to check it, LaHood stated.
Hank Krakowski, the FAA official in cost of day-to-day operations involving the nation’s fifteen,000 air targeted traffic controllers, resigned last week more than the uproar accompanying disclosures of controllers sleeping on the job in several locations, including Washington.
The National Transportation Security Board (NTSB) is also seeking into controller problems and tiredness. The board, which is an independent agency, said on Wednesday it would investigate Monday’s incident involving Michelle Obama’s jet.
Representative John Mica, chairman of the House of Representatives Transportation Committee, told Reuters in a separate interview that he also supported Babbitt, a previous airline pilot and fiscal advisor who took the work in 2009.
“He still has my self-assurance,” Mica said. “I assume he inherited a mess and he’s attempting to kind via it.”
LaHood explained he had not spoken with the White Property about the newest mishap involving a authorities jet carrying Mrs. Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, on a flight from New York.
The first lady’s plane was ordered to abandon its landing tactic to Andrews Air Force Base outdoors Washington soon after controllers at a Virginia radar middle permitted the Boeing 737 to get too close to a military cargo plane flying about 3 miles ahead.
There was a concern that the lumbering Air Force C-17 would not distinct the runway ahead of Mrs Obama’s plane, the following in line on the method route, was ready to land.
The Boeing jet made a sequence of subtle maneuvers before generating a new tactic with out incident. Neither plane was actually in any imminent hazard and both landed securely, the FAA mentioned.
The mistake, known as an operational error, is not unheard of and generally they are corrected simply and rapidly with little, if any, exterior observe.
(Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Jackie Frank)
Pakistan rally backs blasphemy law – Aljazeera.net
Last Updated on Sunday, 9 January 2011 08:52 Written by admin Sunday, 9 January 2011 08:52
An estimated 20,000 people have rallied in the Pakistani city of Karachi against possible changes to the blasphemy law that was behind the killing of Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab.
A large number of police officers guarded Sunday’s demonstration, which forced the closure of businesses and roads in the area. Participants chanted slogans and waved the flags of religious parties.
Taseer was killed in the capital, Islamabad, last Tuesday over his views in favour of the blasphemy law’s amendment. That liberal stance offended the country’s increasingly powerful conservative religious base.
Qari Ahsaan, from the banned group Jamaat ud Dawa, addressed the crowd from a stage, saying: “We can’t compromise on the blasphemy law. It’s a divine law and nobody can change it.”
“Our belief in the sanctity of our prophet is firm and uncompromising and we cannot tolerate anyone who blasphemes. Whoever blasphemes will face the same fate as Salman Taseer.”
But speaking to Al Jazeera from Islamabad, Omar Waraich, Pakistan correspondent for the UK’s Independence newspaper, said:”The reality is that there are no moves afoot right now to amend this law in any way. The government and the ruling party [Pakistan People's Party, or PPP] have backed off that.”
“It [the rally] certainly means that a more radical, more intolerant mood has become mainstream in Pakistan for the moment.
“For the moment the liberal voices have been silenced.”
Pakistan has yet to execute anyone for blasphemy, but Bibi’s case has exposed the deep faultlines in the conservative country.
Sunday’s protesters held banners in support of the police commando who shot dead Taseer. “Mumtaz Qadri is not a murderer, he is a hero,” said one banner in the national Urdu language.
“We salute the courage of Qadri,” said another.
Waraich called the Karachi rally “a display of muscle”.
“This is a muscle-flexing exercise by the religious right in Pakistan who, after the tragic events of this week when Salman Taseer was assassinated, they feel emboldened by the fact that there have been many cheering that tragedy and are now out to make political capital out of it,” he said.
The blasphemy law was recently used to sentence Asia Bibi, a Christian mother-of-five, to death. Politicians and conservative religious leaders have been at loggerheads over whether Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan’s president, should pardon her.
Controversy over the law flared when Sherry Rehman, a former information minister and a senior PPP member, tabled a bill in November seeking to end the death penalty for blasphemy.
Rehman spoke to AFP from her heavily guarded home in Karachi on Sunday and said she would not be cowed by the protest.
“They can’t silence me … it’s not any extreme position like a repeal bill, it’s very rational,” she said. “They can’t decide what we think or speak, these are man-made laws.”
Most of those convicted of blasphemy in Pakistan have their sentences overturned or commuted on appeal through the courts.
However, Waraich of The Independent said, “what happens with these blasphemy laws is that they are used to give militants and vigilante groups and even the states, cover when actions are taken against minorities, especially the beleaguered Christian community in Pakistan”.
The pro-blasphemy law rally took place in Karachi as Christian groups held memorial services in Islamabad and in the eastern city of Lahore to honour Taseer.
Bishop Alexander John Malik led a rare gathering of 300 Christians at a cathedral in Lahore on Sunday.
“He was a voice for the oppressed section of society. We dedicate this day to him,” Malik said, before leading prayers for Taseer.
Only around three per cent of Pakistan’s population of 167 million are estimated to be non-Muslim.
Obama backs India in quest for U.N. post – USA Today
Last Updated on Monday, 8 November 2010 07:26 Written by admin Monday, 8 November 2010 07:26
By Calum MacLeod, USA TODAY
“The just and sustainable international order that America seeks includes a United Nations that is efficient, effective, credible and legitimate,” Obama said as he called for India to be part of a reformed council.
After Obama and first lady Michelle Obama headed to a state banquet in the Indian President’s British-built palace, analysts played down the significance of Obama’s support for an Indian council seat.
“The security council commitment could be the big-ticket item that will remain in the memory” after Obama’s visit, said Sreeram Chaulia, an international affairs expert at the Jindal Global Law School in Haryana. “The imponderables include what will be China’s reaction?”
Mani Shankar Aiyar, a veteran Indian diplomat and political columnist, said India “should not go ’round begging for a seat.”
“It is for the international community to request it,” he said, adding that Obama’s speech “is a little sign of hope, but not a big one.”
The five permanent members of the Security Council are the U.S., China, France, the United Kingdom and Russia. The only other country the U.S. has endorsed for permanent membership is Japan.
Aiyar said Indians were more interested in Obama’s vow to work together to improve harvests using new technologies and farming techniques, and a U.S.-India partnership to help promote open government in India.
“These are of far greater significance to the ordinary Indian,” he said.
Another concern of India’s is China.
“India does need America, just as South Korea, Vietnam and Japan do. We’re all growing, but we’re growing in China’s shadow. Having the U.S. as the resident power in Asia is not that bad an option,” Chaulia said.
Obama also pushed for greater market access for U.S. firms in India.
Bhaskar Goswami, an agriculture and trade policy analyst with the Forum for Biotechnology and Food Security, a New Delhi-based think tank, said more access for American farmers will hurt India’s farmers, who work tiny patches of land.
“We have enough food to feed our hungry, but what is lacking is the political will” to curb the corruption that sees 65% of food marked for the poor leak onto the open market, Goswami said.
Obama’s comments on Pakistan drew criticism Monday from student questioners who challenged U.S. support for India’s rival.
Pakistan criticized Obama’s call to add India to the Security Council, and Pakistani politician Mushahid Hussain Syed said the United States has good reason to support Pakistan.
“We remain very high on the U.S. agenda,” said Syed, secretary-general of the center-right Pakistan Muslim League. “The war (in Afghanistan) can only be won” with Pakistan’s support, he said.
Obama Backs India for Seat on Security Council – New York Times
Last Updated on Monday, 8 November 2010 12:26 Written by admin Monday, 8 November 2010 12:26
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Reuters Blogs (blog)
Obama Backs India for Seat on Security Council
New York Times
President Obama delivered a speech to India's parliament on the third and final day of his visit to the country on Monday. By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG NEW DELHI — President Obama announced here on Monday that the United States would back India's bid for a …
Obama fields tough questions from Indian students
Obama Backs India for Permanent UN Security Council Seat
Obama to Leave India After Backing It for Bigger Role at UN