Posts Tagged ‘security’
Airport in Alabama shut over security scare (Reuters)
Last Updated on Sunday, 27 February 2011 06:57 Written by admin Sunday, 27 February 2011 06:57
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) – Authorities shut down the airport at Birmingham, Alabama, on Sunday due to a suspicious package, airport spokeswoman Toni Bast said.
“We have secured the terminal. Passengers are not able to get out of the terminal or (people) are not able to pick up passengers from the terminal,” Bast told Reuters, referring to the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
Local media reported that an alert related to the package occurred at around 4:45 p.m. central time (2245 GMT), local media reported. Some passengers were allowed to leave the airport on foot after the alert, Bast said.
Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and the southeastern state’s economic hub.
The Birmingham-Shuttlesworth airport is Alabama’s largest and serves the greater Birmingham area and surrounding southeastern cities, according to its website.
(Reporting by Peggy Gargis; Editing by Matthew Bigg and Paul Simao)
Obama endorses India for UN Security Council seat – Washington Post
Last Updated on Monday, 8 November 2010 10:27 Written by admin Monday, 8 November 2010 10:27
NEW DELHI – President Obama endorsed India’s desire for a permanent seat on an expanded U.N. Security Council, a symbolic gesture sure to cement the goodwill he earned on a visit here this week but equally likely to trouble neighboring China and Pakistan.
Obama’s embrace of the idea, part of a generous valedictory to India’s Parliament and people, demonstrated the geopolitical complexity that the United States faces in the region and that the president has had to navigate. While there is little prospect that other members of the Security Council will agree to invite India in, Washington is heavily dependent on China for its economic engine and counts on Pakistan to help it wage the Afghan war.
On the eve of his arrival three days ago, many Indians believed Obama placed their interests behind those of its regional rivals. Few Indians hold the same opinion as he leaves.
“The United States not only welcomes India as a rising global power, we fervently support it, and we have worked to help make it a reality,” Obama said. “With India assuming its rightful place in the world, we have a historic opportunity to make the relationship between our two countries a defining partnership of the century ahead.”
On his last day here, Obama paid tribute to India’s national hero, Mohandas K. Gandhi, called Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “a dear friend,” and, in a speech that he sprinkled with Hindi words and phrases, criticized Pakistan for not stopping terrorism.
That criticism in some ways may have been an effort to make amends for an earlier rhetorical misstep, when on a first-day visit to a memorial he did not mention Pakistan as the staging ground for the Nov. 26, 2008, terrorist attack in Mumbai, which killed more than 160 people. The next day, a 19-year-old college student in Mumbai asked him why he did not call Pakistan a “terrorist state.”
Obama’s careful answer, coupled with the previous day’s omission, infuriated Indian commentators, who said the president was coddling Pakistan.
But in his parliamentary address, Obama said, “We will continue to insist to Pakistan’s leaders that terrorist safe havens within their borders are unacceptable, and that the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks be brought to justice.”
The line received the most applause of the evening.
“In Mumbai, Obama looked like a salesman of American companies,” said Sanjay Nirupam, a lawmaker from Mumbai, referring to the billions of dollars in aircraft, engine and other export contracts the president announced there. “In today’s speech, he came across as a salesman for India.”
Obama’s fondness for India is in part rooted in his fondness for its leader.
Singh is a bookish, Oxford-educated economist whom Obama admired from the time of their first lunch together at the Group of 20 summit in London in 2009.
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
Obama backs permanent seat for India on Security Council – CNN International
Last Updated on Monday, 8 November 2010 07:26 Written by admin Monday, 8 November 2010 07:26
- Obama makes wide-ranging speech to parliament in New Delhi
- He welcomes talks between India and Pakistan
- The president notes Gandhi’s influence on MLK
New Delhi, India (CNN) — In another major sign of growing ties between India and the United States, President Barack Obama on Monday backed a permanent seat for India in the U.N. Security Council.
“In the years ahead, I look forward to a reformed U.N. Security Council that includes India as a permanent member,” he said in an address to the Indian parliament.
The statement came as Obama made a wide-ranging address that envisioned closer economic and security ties between the United States and India, standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the world’s largest democracy.
Ben Rhodes, a top White House aide, told reporters before the speech that the Obama administration wants to “send as clear a statement as possible” that the United States sees India as a “rising player” on the international stage.
But Rhodes said the United States was “not getting into” details about the time frame in which the United States would like to see India get the permanent seat and whether or not it will push to get India veto power as well.
Rhodes, a senior staffer on the National Security Council, said the president’s endorsement “speaks volumes” about U.S. support for India and the administration will let the key details be “hashed out” by the United Nations itself.
At present, there are five permanent members — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, and France.
Actually getting India a permanent seat, however, will not be easy. Obama administration officials acknowledged that they and previous administrations have supported Japan, Germany, and Brazil at various times for permanent seats on the U.N. Security Council without any success so far.
Before Monday’s announcement was made India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh eluded to the deal during a joint news conference before Obama’s speech to parliament in which he highlighted the close cooperation on major issues typically confronted by the United Nations.
“As states possessing nuclear weapons, we have today put forth a common vision of a world without nuclear weapons, and decided to lead global efforts for non-proliferation and universal and non-discriminatory global nuclear disarmament,” Singh said.
“This is a historic and bold bilateral initiative. We have also decided to strengthen cooperation to tackle nuclear terrorism, and we welcome U.S. participation in the Global Center for Nuclear Energy Partnership which will be set up in India.”
Obama, who mourned the deaths of American citizens in the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai and the killings of Indian citizens in the September, 11, 2001 strikes in the United States, said the shared bond is prompting both countries to work together to fight terrorism.
He addressed the conflict in Afghanistan and the role of India’s rival, Pakistan, in the conflict.
“America’s fight against al Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates is why we persevere in Afghanistan, where major development assistance from India has improved the lives of the Afghan people.”
He said the United States is working with Pakistan to address the threat of terror networks, such as those in Pakistan that were responsible for the Mumbai attacks and it welcomes “dialogue” between both nations, who have fought over the status of the disputed territory of Kashmir.
“The Pakistani government increasingly recognizes that these networks are not just a threat outside of Pakistan — they are a threat to the Pakistani people, who have suffered greatly at the hands of violent extremists,” said Obama.
“And we will continue to insist to Pakistan’s leaders that terrorist safe-havens within their borders are unacceptable, and that the terrorists behind the Mumbai attacks be brought to justice. We must also recognize that all of us have and interest in both an Afghanistan and a Pakistan that is stable, prosperous and democratic — and none more so than India.”
Obama said India and the United States “are now ready to begin implementing our
civil nuclear agreement,” a measure he called a “landmark” deal. At the same time, he talked about the importance of reducing the spread of nuclear weapons.
“The United States and India can pursue our goal of securing the world’s vulnerable nuclear material. We can make it clear that even as every nation has the right to peaceful nuclear energy, every nation must also meet its international obligations — and that includes the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
Obama also said Monday “the world cannot remain silent” as “peaceful democratic movements are suppressed,” citing the government of Myanmar, also known as Burma.
“For it is unacceptable to gun down peaceful protesters and incarcerate political prisoners decade after decade. It is unacceptable to hold the aspirations of an entire people hostage to the greed and paranoia of a bankrupt regime. It is unacceptable to steal an election, as the regime in Burma has done again for all the world to see,” he said.
He said India shouldn’t shy away from condemning human rights violations.
“If I can be frank, in international fora, India has often avoided these issues. But speaking up for those who cannot do so for themselves is not interfering in the affairs of other countries. It’s not violating the rights of sovereign nations. It’s staying true to our democratic principles. “
Obama hailed Mahatma Gandhi, who used peaceful non-violence to help India gain its independence, and he noted Gandhi’s influence on Martin Luther King and the non-violent resistance that typified the American civil rights movement.
“I am mindful that I might not be standing before you today, as president of the United States, had it not been for Gandhi and the message he shared and inspired with America and the world,” the president said.
Obama lauded India’s rise on the world stage, saying “for Asia and around the world, India is not simply emerging; India has already emerged” and said the country is unleashing an “economic marvel.” He envisions, he said, U.S.-Indian relations as “one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century.”
He said India has overcome critics who say the country was too poor, vast and diverse to succeed, citing its Green Revolution, investments in science and technology.
“The world sees the results, from the supercomputers you build to the Indian flag that you put on the moon.”
Obama praised India’s democratic institutions: its free electoral system, independent judiciary, the rule of law, and free press. He said India and the United States have a unique link because they are democracies and free-market economies.
“When Indians vote, the whole world watches. Thousands of political parties. Hundreds of thousands of polling centers. Millions of candidates and poll workers, and 700 million voters. There’s nothing like it on the planet. There is so much that countries transitioning to democracy could learn from India’s experience; so much expertise that India could share with the world. That, too, is what’s possible when the world’s largest democracy embraces its role as a global leader,” he said.
Noting the country’s rise as a world power, Obama said he sees the United States cooperating with India in various international and regional alliances. He praised India’s role in the climate change negotiations and its role as a top contributor in U.N. peacekeeping missions.
Obama talked about both countries pursuing joint research efforts, such as starting green jobs. He talked about reducing barriers to foreign investments, helping India improve weather forecasting before monsoons and to aid families in saving water.
He mentioned improved food processing and sharing India’s knowledge with African farmers, with support for India’s efforts to battle disease and increase educational exchanges.
CNN’s Ed Henry and Sara Sidner contributed to this report