Friday, 27 February 2009

malaysia king in London

King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin of Malaysia is met by the owner of Harrods ...

The King of Malaysia - HIS MAJESTY AL WATHIQU BILLAH NUR ZAHIRAN and the Queen of malaysia WITH mr Mohammed Alfayed the owner o f HARRODS at a dinner in harrods

Mohammed Al fayed accopanying the QUEEN of Malaysia


Ayoub mzee with with the legend of BONEY M - Maize Williams

maize williams

Some of the leading Fashion designers from Malaysia

Pat Bolaye wa there

Dr William Shija was there

I was there as well

Photos : ayoub mzee

Thursday, 26 February 2009

news from other sources

NEWS FROM OTHER SOURCES s o u t h y o r k s h i r e s t a r Zimbabwean asylum seeker suicide attempt A teenage asylum seeker, who fled Zimbabwe with her mother and sister, has tried to hang herself in Yarl's Wood immigration centre in Bedfordshire.u x b r i d g e g a z e t t e Council dispute over care of young asylum seeker The Court of Appeal has ruled in favour of Liverpool Council in a dispute with Hillingdon Council over the responsibility for the care of a young asylum seeker. Hillingdon was accused of dumping the boy in Liverpool.c h i l d r e n & y o u n g p e o p l e n o w Asylum seeking children plans delayed Plans to disperse unaccompanied asylum seeking children across the UK have been delayed despite the plans being published over a year ago.i r i s h n e w s Unlawful detention leads to settlement,for,student,detained,on,Belfast,visit.html Jamiu Omikunle, an 18-year-old Nigerian student, has been awarded £20,000 by the High Court after his 'unlawful detention' by the UK Border Agency both at Antrim Road police station in Belfast and Dungavel immigration removal centre in Scotland.i n d e p e n d e n t Asylum for Iranian lesbian Pegah Emambakhsh, 41, who fled Iran after her girlfriend was arrested and sentenced to death in Tehran has won her battle to be granted asylum in Britain.a s i a n n e w s Pilots to snub ID card trial Airline pilots flying into Manchester Airport will refuse to carry national identity cards during a controversial trial which starts in October.w i g a n t o d a y Racists force family to flee South African-born Mehilu Mcube, his wife and two children have been forced to flee their Wigan home for a second time after a campaign of racist violence and intimidation was launched against them.s u n d e r l a n d e c h o Vandals strike again at family's home A Sunderland family have been left shaken after a series of attacks on their home and car.b b c n e w s Man remanded over student's death A south London man has been remanded in custody when he appeared in court charged with the manslaughter of 16-year-old student Mohammed al-Majed in Hastings, East Sussex.w h i t e h a v e n n e w s Racist abuser faces prison A Crown Court judge has told Stephen Callandar he faces prison for racially aggravated harassment in Carlisle; his friend who pleaded guilty earlier to the same offence at Magistrates Court was electronically tagged and placed under curfew.l a n c a s h i r e t e l e g r a p h Facebook boaster fined Thomas Richards, 21, has received a four-month suspended jail term, community service and ordered to pay compensation to Ayaz Aslam after he admitted an assault which he boasted about on Facebook.a s i a n i m a g e Soldier claims 'racist abuse' A 29-year-old British Muslim soldier has claimed that he was racially abused and throttled by a sergeant. An employment tribunal is due to start later this year.b b c n e w s No prosecution over death of Jean Charles de Menezes The CPS has decided there is not enough evidence to charge any of the officers involved in the death of Jean Charles de Menezes after new evidence came to light during the inquest into his death.g u a r d i a n De Menezes family to sue police The family of Jean Charles de Menezes is to continue their legal battle by suing the Metropolitan police for damages for the death of the Brazilian electrician.b b c n e w s Law Lords back Abu Qatada deportation Five Law Lords have ruled that the cleric Abu Qatada, and two other men known only as RB and U, can be deported from the UK to Jordan and Algeria respectively.g u a r d i a n Anti-terror detainees win compensation The cleric Abu Qatada and ten others detained under anti-terror legislation have been awarded compensation by the European Court of Human Rights. Judges ruled that their detention without trial in the UK breached their human rights.b b c n e w s UK to shift anti-terror strategy The BBC's Panorama programme has learned that the UK government is preparing a major shift in its counter-terrorism strategy to combat 'radicalisation'.g u a r d i a n New report says racism still rife in police force An independent review chaired by Richard Stone, who oversaw the Stephen Lawrence inquiry a decade ago, has concluded that the police remain institutionally racist.b b c n e w s Policeman loses payout challenge A decision to revoke the compensation awarded to London policeman Det Sgt Gurpal Virdi over a claim of victimisation has been upheld by the Court of Appeal.p o l i t i c s . c o . u k Met launches racism inquiry$1270051.htm A 'race and faith' inquiry will be launched tomorrow to examine the way the Metropolitan Police Service handles the employment of ethnic minorities.b r i g h t o n a n d h o v e a r g u s Sussex singer distances herself from BNP Dame Vera Lynn has said that she had 'no idea' her 'White Cliffs of Dover' song would be included on a BNP-backed CD and is in talks with her legal team over the song's appearance on the album.n o r t h u m b e r l a n d g a z e t t e Race inquiry landlord arrested again Peter Mailer, landlord of the Black Bull in Warkworth, Northumberland and a BNP supporter, has been arrested for a second time after a further complaint about allegedly offensive material on public display in his bar.m a n c h e s t e r e v e n i n g n e w s BNP man fined over racist abuse A BNP candidate has been fined after he admitted racially abusing his German-born neighbour in a row over a Union Jack flag in Dukinfield, Lancashire.b b c n e w s Council withdraws funding for parade Sandwell Council has withdrawn funding for a St George's day parade through West Bromwich after concerns that last year's event was 'infiltrated' by the far right.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

From Queen Mother Nzingha Assata

Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2009 06:18:14 -0800
Subject: London Mayor's African Diaspora Conference
Greetings Afrikan family

I want to raise a matter of serious concern and if not
dealt with is going to put Afrikan people in serious

Yesterday 19/2/09, I went to City Hall to a conference
titled African Diaspora Conference and whilst I didn't
go there expecting a radical, revolutionary conference, I am
telling you that I left in a state of shock

Let me state that we are in serious danger from our sisters
and brothers from the continent who have come here and are
getting comfortable jobs with the council and other places.
Brother Abu often speaks of it on Galaxy Radio and yesterday
I had first hand experience of it. Let me say that if we do
not take this matter serious we and our children will indeed
see the Rivers of blood forcasted by Enoch Powell in this

The conference was chaired by an Afrikan Pastor Nims Obunge
MBE (chamber). He was going to meet fellow collaborator in
selling Black people out Desmond Tutu after the conference.
A number of continental Afrikans were involved in the
planning of the conference . There was absolutely no
Afrikans speaking at the conference, so after the 3rd white
person had spoken and I saw a white woman arriving who was
announced as the next speaker, I raised my hand and stated:

"I thought this conference was about the Afrikan
disapora and yet we have heard nothing from any Afrikans,
you have 4 white people telling us things, this is
outrageous, when do we get to say what we want to say"

The Afrikan chair, regurgitated some nonsense about the
workshops and us remembering that we are there for the
benefit of our children. He was clearly oblivious to the
fact that white peoples agenda could never benefit our
children or our people. In the workshops which followed I
was spoken to by an elder who praised me for speaking up.
She said that before I spoke, she turned to the Afrikan
sister who had been identified as part of the planning group
and asked her why there were no Black people speaking, the
sister told her that she did not have to be at the conferene
if she didn't like it; the elder was rally glad that I
spoke up.

Our workshop refused to collaborate with the Mayor's
agenda and told the brother running the workshop of the
dangers of Afrikans colluding with their own exploitation
and oppression, we asked him to feed back that we were not
going to cooperate without being able to decide the agenda.
When he fed back from the workshop he told the meeting what
he knew the white people wanted to hear and not what we had
said, so myself and another sister had to stand up and tell
the meeting that he did not feed back what we had said in
our meeting.

I am sending you this information because this type of
outrageous behaviour is going on across the country and is a
very serious threat to our well being as a people. What was
frightening was that it was not only older Afrikans with
this mentality but the younger ones were just as uninformed
about who they are and what is expected of them. If they
could advance theri career or business then all was well.
They were not even listening to objections. It was clear
that if Massa said "Jump they would ask how high."
Clearly Afrikans who are aware must now come out of our
comfort zone to deal with our own people otherwise we will
be sold once again and our children and gandchildren will
die in the streets of London .

Remember what goes around comes around, how will we respond
this time, will we sit back and allow ourselves to be sold

This is very serious, please pass on to others.

Queen Mother Nzingha Assata

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MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2009, 2:00 P.M. EST

MODERATOR: First, I would like to say welcome to the Foreign Press Center again. And we ask that you turn your cell phones off and put them on vibrate, please. And we’re going to start with the program.

Today, we have U.S. Congressman John Lewis, who was elected to Congress in November of 1986, and he has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia until present time. Congressman Lewis is often called one of the most courageous persons of the Civil Rights Movement ever produced. He has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, secure civil liberty, and building what is – he calls, “the beloved community in America.” His dedication to the high ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress.

I present to you today, Congressman Lewis.

MR. LEWIS: Thank you. Thank you very much for those kind words of introduction. Let me just say that I’m delighted, very happy, and very pleased to be here at the Foreign Press Center.

As you heard, during my early life I was very much involved in the Civil Rights Movement in America. I grew up in rural Alabama, about 50 miles from Montgomery, outside of a little place called Troy. My father was a sharecropper, a tenant farmer. I grew up very poor. But in 1944, when I was four-years-old, and I do remember when I was four, my father had saved $300, and with the $300 he bought 110 acres of land. And on this farm we raised a lot of cotton and corn, peanuts, hogs, cows, and chickens. And I won’t bore you with the chicken story.

But it was my responsibility, as a young child, to care for the chickens. And I fell in love with raising chickens, like no one else could raise chickens. As a little child, I wanted to be a minister, so from time to time, with the help of my brothers and sisters and my first cousins, we would gather all of our chickens together in the chicken yard, like you would gather here in this room, and we would have church. And sometimes I would speak or preach with my brothers and sisters and the chickens making up the congregation or the audience. And when I look back on it, some of these chickens would bow their heads, some of these chickens would shake their heads. They never quite said “amen.” But I’m convinced that some of those chickens that I preached to during the ‘40s and the ‘50s tended to listen to me much better than some of my colleagues listen to me today in the Congress. Don’t tell any of them I said that. But some of these chickens were just a little more productive, at least they produced eggs.

But growing up there outside of Troy, and we would visit Troy, visit Montgomery or Birmingham, a community – a little town called Tuskegee – I saw those signs that said white men, colored men, white women, colored women, white waiting, colored waiting. And I would ask my mother, my father, my grandparents, my great-grandparents, why segregation? Why racial discrimination? And they would say that’s the way it is. Don’t get in the way. Don’t get in trouble.

But in 1955 at the age of 15, I heard the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., on an old radio and the words of Dr. King inspired me. I had heard about Rosa Parks in Montgomery – inspired me to find a way to get in the way. I was so inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That in 1956 at the age of 16, with some of my brothers and sisters and first cousins, we went down to the public library in a little town of Troy, Alabama, trying to check out some books, trying to get library cards. And we were told by the librarian that the library was for whites only and not for coloreds. I never went back to that library until July 5, 1998 – by this time I’m in the Congress – for a book signing of my book “Walking with the Wind.” It was like a big family reunion – blacks and whites showed up, had a wonderful program, we had food. At the end of the program, after I signed a lot of books, they gave me a library card. It says something about the distance we have come and the progress we’ve made in America in laying down the burden of race.

In 1958 at the age of 18, I met Martin Luther King, Jr., for the first time. I had met Mrs. King in 1957, Rosa Parks back in 1957, but 1958 I met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and I got involved in America’s Civil Rights Movement. Came to Washington, D.C., the first time, after being involved in sit-ins, to go to something called a Freedom Ride. Back in 1961, it was almost impossible for blacks and whites to board a bus, to be seated together in Washington, D.C. and travel together into Virginia, through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi into New Orleans without the possibility of being arrested or jailed or beaten. That’s what happened to us in 1961. 1961 is the same year that Barack Obama was born, the summer of the Freedom Ride, end of segregation and racial discrimination in public transportation all across the South. Those signs came tumbling down. And the only place you’re going to see those signs in America today will be in a museum, in a book, on a video. Back in 1961, ’62, ’63, ’64, ’65 it was almost impossible for people of color to be able to register to vote in many of the southern states of the old Confederacy from Virginia to Texas.

I came back here in 1963 at the age of 23. We had a meeting with President Kennedy in the Oval Office of the White House which chaired something called the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, better known as SNCC. By this time, all across the South, hundreds and thousands of people have been arrested and jailed for sitting in, for marching. Police Commissioner Bull Connor in the city of Birmingham had used dogs and fire hoses on people. So we came to meet with President Kennedy in June of 1963, and told him that there was a great deal of discontent, people were restless, and we needed to do something. We told him we were going to march on Washington.

And after meeting with him, we met as a group, the leaders of the movement, and organized a march on Washington. And I was the youngest speaker on August 28, 1963 – 23 years old – when Dr. King stood and said, I have a dream today, a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. Dr. King spoke number ten, out of the ten people that spoke. I spoke number six. And out of the ten people that spoke that day, I’m the only one still around.

I remember working on my march on Washington speech. When I was working on that speech, I saw a photograph in The New York Times of a group of black women in Southern Africa, carrying signs, saying, “One man, one vote.” So in my march on Washington speech, I said something like: “One man, one vote is the African cry. It is ours, too. It must be ours.” And that became the rallying cry of the young people in my old organization called SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. And all across the south, we started mobilizing people around the right to vote.

So these many years later after the march from Selma to Montgomery and after the march on Washington, we have witnessed what I call in America a nonviolent revolution – a revolution of values, a revolution of ideas. People are registered and they are voting. And as I said a few days ago, I just returned from a trip in India commemorating the 50th anniversary of Dr. King and Mrs. King’s trip to walk the steps of Gandhi. And a group of members just returned last night from India. And I said there in India as we traveled, if it hadn’t been for Gandhi, hadn’t been for Martin Luther King, Jr., there would be no Barack Obama.

The teaching of Gandhi, the philosophy of passive resistance and nonviolence, and also taught by Martin Luther King, Jr., and inspired hundreds and thousands and millions of citizens in America helped to free and liberate not just a people, but a nation. And it’s gratifying, really, to go and travel abroad and go to New Delhi and Mumbai and other parts of India, and see people who are still adhering to the philosophy and to the discipline of nonviolence: the message of passive resistance, the message of peace, the message of love, the message of nonviolence.

And many of the people that we came in contact, young people, people in government, really admire what Dr. King did here. And they are very hopeful about the new President and his Administration. So I’ve gone on for a while, so why don’t I just open it up for some questions.

MODERATOR: Okay. Please remember to wait for the microphone and identify your organization and your name, please.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Congressman, and thank you very much for giving us – to ask you questions. My name is Hiroki Sugita. I’m with Kyodo News, Japanese newswire service. Recently, Attorney General Mr. Holder talked about the race issue in this country and he used the word – phrase “nation of cowards.” And would you comment what do you think of this, what he said?

MR. LEWIS: Well, I believe the attorney general was trying to suggest that in America, in spite of all of the changes, in spite of all of the progress that we’ve made as a nation and as a people, we still have some reservation to talk about the issue of race. But we need to discuss it. We need to engage in dialogue. That’s why during a non-election year, some of us in the Congress take members of the House and the Senate, both Democrats and Republicans, back to visit some of these historic sites.

So the first weekend in March, we will be taking a coalition of Democrats, Republicans, African American members, white members, Latinos, Asian American members back to Birmingham, to Montgomery and to Selma. And as a matter of fact, the attorney general will be making the trip. It’s March 6th, 7th, and 8th. And he will be in Selma on the 8th of March to speak at the – from the same pulpit that Dr. King and myself spoke from many, many times during 1965, during the march from Selma to Montgomery.

QUESTION: Thank you, Congressman Lewis. And I thank you so much for your dedication to civil right and promoting human rights around the globe. My name is Nike Ching from Voice of America, Mandarin service. Last Congress, you have introduced resolution to urge the United States take a – it should become an international human rights leader. And also you sponsored – you have sponsored resolutions that – to urge China to play a more constructive role in Darfur crisis. My question for you is: What is your position, the U.S. becomes a United Nations Human Rights Council? Do you support that? And then, also, I would like to know, like, do you support the human rights continue to be the core value of U.S. foreign policy? And after that, if I may, I would like to have a follow-up after that. Thank you.

MR. LEWIS: Well, I think it’s important. I think it is a must that the issue of human rights continues to be a core – a standard and the heart and soul of our foreign policy. We cannot have – preach human rights here at home and not preach human rights abroad. When it comes to the matter of our foreign policy, whether it’s dealing with trade or bilateral concern, the issue of human rights must be involved.

QUESTION: Do you support United States to become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council?

MR. LEWIS: I do support it. I think it’s very important for the United States to be a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

QUESTION: May I have a follow-up, please? I’m sorry. Secretary Clinton was just over East Asia last week, and then she said something like she will not emphasize so much on human rights with China, because there is more – a lot more important issues like global warming and things like that. I wonder if you have any comment on that?

MR. LEWIS: Well, when we were abroad in India, I did hear about the statement. I have not seen – I heard it on CNN, and I have not seen it written and I did not see it coming from the lips of the Secretary of State. But I do know the Secretary of State, who is a good friend and known her for many, many years, is deeply committed to the question of human rights.

QUESTION: Thank you, Congressman. It’s a privilege to be with you today. My name is Paolo Valentino. I’m the U.S. correspondent for Corriere Della Sera. The election of President Obama marks the end of a journey, in a way, in the evolution of the role of the Afro American community. Now – and yet the candidate Obama and President Obama had during the campaign, for instance, criticized certain attitudes of the black, or the Afro American community, like the lack of commitment of certain Afro American fathers toward the family or toward the kids. Do you hear those criticism, and if you could elaborate on that?

MR. LEWIS: Well, I share the concern raised by then-candidate Barack Obama. I think he was speaking to something that others have spoken to. During the lifetime of Martin Luther King, Jr., and many other leaders, people suggested and stated there are certain things that we can do and must do for ourselves, and we cannot depend on others to do it, nor federal government. And I think Barack Obama, as candidate and as President, was right in what he said.

QUESTION: Hello, sir. Thank you very much for being here. My name is Natalia Mozogovaya. I’m the Washington correspondent of Haartez, the Israeli newspaper. I have two questions.

First of all, I would be happy to hear your position on the possible participation of the United States in the Durban conference. And the second one: We’ve heard here some voices saying that during the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, maybe United States should have put more pressure on Israel to stop it earlier because so many people were killed. Thank you.

MR. LEWIS: Well, I think it’s important for the United States Government and for the American people to be represented in international conferences. We need to be at the table. We do – we need to be inside the tent and not outside. We need to be part of the debate and not be spectators. I think it’s important. I know there’s some concern about what may be done or what may be said during this conference, but I think that is very important.

I would leave it up to the Barack Obama Administration to take a lead, to take the initiative in saying what we should be doing as it relate to what is going on in the Middle East at this time.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Lewis. Genocide topic is also connected to human rights. That’s why I am asking – Mr. Barack Obama, while running as candidate for president, he pledged to affirm Armenian genocide. And many other candidates during the last decades also made such kind of promises, but unfortunately did not keep it while being in White House, and the last president, George W. Bush, was one of them. What do you think about now times – how much realistic is it to expect that Mr. Obama will keep the promise and genocide will be accepted? Thank you very much.

MR. LEWIS: Well, it is – it is my hope and my prayer, and I think it’s the hope and the prayers of the American people and people of good will all over the world that President Barack Obama would keep his commitment, keep his word as it relate to what is going on, on the whole question of Darfur, as someone raised earlier. I think it was former Secretary of State Colin Powell who suggested that what is going on there is genocide, and if – we should call it what it is, and we should use everything possible to put an end to genocide in Darfur, and get China to use its influence and bring it to bear on the leaders in Sudan.

QUESTION: Congressman, there was a big controversy on the political caricature on the New York Post, and I would like to ask you, what do you think that – racial prejudice is still there in the U.S. media or American media? This kind of racial prejudice is the – it seems to me somewhat stronger in the media than the – out of – in the rest of the world.

MR. LEWIS: Well, in America, because of our long history, going back to the days of slavery and to the present, we live in a race-conscious society. We’re very conscious. And there have been a long history of stereotypes. I don’t know what has been the reaction of some of the people in the Administration, but apparently, in some parts of the American community, the cartoon in the New York Post struck a raw nerve. I’ve only seen it abroad, when I was abroad. I just got back last night, late last night, and I saw it on television abroad. I think people have to be sensitive, whether you’re writing an editorial or writing a story, whether it’s a cartoonist who is trying to make a point for some type of editorial.

No one, but no one in the country such as – want to deny members of the media freedom of the press. People have a right to draw and print. That’s in keeping with our basic constitutional rights, our Bill of Rights in America. But a large number of people saw this as offensive, and whether it was a reference to the President or not, we don’t know what was in the mind of the cartoonist.

QUESTION: Thank you, Congressman Lewis. My name is Harima from Tokyo Broadcasting, Japanese major networks. I believe you have witnessed the various process of – various stage of the long Civil Rights Movement history. And now we see the first black President. But on the other hand, is still the racist issue in this society to be discussed, to be overcome. And how do you define this moment in the history of civil rights movement, as well as the history of the United States?

MR. LEWIS: Well, the moment that we witnessed, with the election of Barack Obama last November and the swearing-in of him just last month, must be looked upon as an unbelievable moment in the history of America, and maybe in the history of a people. To me, it is almost unreal.

I remember the night that he was declared the winner. I jumped and I shouted, and I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience. I started crying. I didn’t think my feet were ever going to touch the floor again. And a member of the media asked me and said, you’re crying so much tonight, what are you going to do when he takes the Oath of Office? I said, if I have any tears left, I’m going to cry some more. And that’s exactly what I did.

It says something about America. It says something that we’re still struggling in this country, in this democracy, to create a more perfect union. We’re not there yet. We have not yet created the beloved community. We have not yet created or fulfilled the dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But I’ll tell you one thing. It is a down payment, it’s a major down payment, on the fulfillment of this dream.

Just think, a few short years ago, less than 44 years ago, in many parts of the American South, people of color could not register to vote, not until after the voting rights that was passed by the Congress, and finally into law by President Lyndon Johnson on August 6th, 1965. There was hundreds and thousands and millions of people, and now some of these same people, or their grandchildren or their great-grandchildren, are now voting and participating with hundreds and thousands and million of others to elect Barack Obama as President of the United States.

So we on our way toward the creation of a truly multiracial, democratic society in America. There may be some setbacks. There may be some disappointments. But as a nation and as a people, we on our way.

MODERATOR: Congressman Lewis, we have a center in New York. New York, you have a question? Go ahead.

QUESTION: Hi, I have two questions. My name is Martin Gelin. I’m from a Swedish newspaper. First question is: What specific policies do you think the President can implement to improve things for the African American community? And the second question is: The Republican Party have, for the first time, an African American chairman, Michael Steele, and the African American support for the Republicans has been pretty steady, at like 4 or 5 percent for the last ten years. Why do think it’s been so low? And do you think that Michael Steele is going to be able change that?

MR. LEWIS: Well, the President and his Administration, working with members of the Congress on both sides of the House, must continue to do what is necessary to improve the lives of all Americans. There’s still too many of our people that have been left out and left behind. We have a healthcare disparity. We’ve got to close the gap in education. We got to find a way to put, at the top of the American agenda, the concern and the need of the least among us, the very poor.

People have been doing very well until recent months. But in spite of the level of improvement, the growing number of African American and other minorities that are entering the middle class, there’s too many people that are left out and left behind. It’s not only African Americans, but there are low income whites, and Latinos and Asian American and Native American. So we all got to be caught up and brought into the mainstream of the American way of life.

Now, when it comes to the like of African Americans supporting the Republican Party, I think African American, like other American, have a keen sense of their friends. The Republican Party must become very sensitive to the needs of all American and not just those at the top, but all American.

I think Michael Steele is going to have a very difficult road to hoe and a difficult job to bring African American to the fore. Simply because a person is black and head of a party, it doesn’t mean that the great majority of blacks, African Americans, are going to follow him. He ran for the Senate in the state of Maryland, and the great majority of black America in Maryland did not vote for him.

MODERATOR: We take another one from New York.

QUESTION: Thank you so much for speaking to us, sir. My name is Andreas Bondevik. I’m a correspondent from the Norwegian News Agency. I’d like to take the opportunity to ask you, the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo and your friend Mr. Gleditsch, has invited you to the 50th anniversary this year. I just wanted to ask you if you know if you have time to come and speak here in Oslo, and if so, when that will be? Thank you.

MR. LEWIS: We have received an invitation. And we will give the invitation very careful consideration. I would love to come and spend some time. In 1966, when I was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the students in the Scandinavian countries invited me to come and I spent several weeks traveling, and I would love to do it again.

But this time, you know, I’m a member of the Congress and I don’t like missing votes. I like to try to represent the people that sent me to Washington. But if we can find the time to do it, we will come.

MODERATOR: Okay. We’ll take one more question from New York.

QUESTION: Thank you. My name is Jacquelien Nienhuis. I work for a Dutch newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad. You just said that we are there – not there yet, but Obama’s victory is a major down payment for Mr. Martin Luther King’s dream. What do you feel is now the biggest priority for American Civil Rights Movement to fulfill this dream?

MR. LEWIS: Well, if you’re going to see meaningful changes in the days, months, and years to come in America, it’s not just going to be about civil rights, but more about human rights. And there must be a coalition, similar to the coalition of the ‘60s, a coalition of conscience. In a real sense, we must pick up where Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy left off in 1968.

At the time that Martin Luther King., Jr., was assassinated in April 1968, he was organizing something called the Poor People’s Campaign, where he was trying to bring to Washington to put on the American agenda the concerns and needs of all segments of the American society. We have to find a way to say to those of us in the Congress, and say to the new Administration, and say to our business leaders, our religious leaders, the media, and people in the academic community, that we’re all in this thing together and we got to look out for each other, that in a sense, we’re one America, we’re one people, we’re one family, we’re one house, the American family, the American house. And we all live in this world together.

That’s what I tried to say in India during the past week, that we got to create a society at peace with itself, here in America and around the world, that we got to spend our limited resources on taking care of those that are in need. We have a right to know in America, and we have a right to know in the world, what is in the food we eat, what is in the air we breathe, what is in the water we drink, and make this little piece of real estate that we call the earth, this little planet look greener and to look cleaner and to look peaceful for all of us who dwell among our fellow human beings.

MODERATOR: Okay, we have time for one more question, and we’ll go to the back.

QUESTION: Thank you.

MODERATOR: Wait for the mike.

QUESTION: Thank you very much, Congressman Lewis. My name is Shogo Kawakita with Kyodo News, Japanese news wire service. I have two questions, if I may. One is, you just mentioned the United States has not achieved a perfect union. Could you briefly tell us the definition of a perfect union? That’s my first question. Then secondly, President Obama is now trying to rebuild a moral leadership in the world, which was undermined under Bush Administration. But he has faced – he is facing challenges, that is, the threat of terrorism. How should the United States reconcile the security and civil liberty?

MR. LEWIS: Well, I may not be able to give you the best definition for a more perfect union. But an all-inclusive community – we must include everybody. No one, but no one, must be left out or left behind. But I think we will know when it’s perfect, maybe will not become – be perfect. But when we come to that moment, come to that state in America or in this world, where we recognize the dignity – respected dignity and the worth of every human being, and that we do not violate the human rights of people, and we guarantee people to meet that basic need, that is important in any society. And in America, we could serve as a model for the rest of the world.

When it comes to the issue of terrorism, there is not any room in our society for terrorism. And wherever it exists, there must be effort to combat it, but not with just bombs and missiles and guns. There must be in our country and in the world more people-to-people diplomacy, people getting to know each other. I would love to see our country spend millions and billions of dollars for more Peace Corps volunteers, sending people all over the world to meet and work with other people, that we do more cultural exchanges, having young people from other parts of the world come to America, and have American young people travel to other parts of the world to engage in educational exchanges, cultural exchanges.

One of the things that I’ve been thinking about since coming back from India, that we can have some type of – not – fellowships where young people from India come to America to study the way of Martin Luther King, Jr., to study the Civil Rights Movement, and having young people from America to go to India to study the way of Gandhi and pass it on to generation and generation, and you create a sea of humanity all over the world, not just in India but in the other part of Asia and Europe and in Central and South America.

Thank you very much.

MODERATOR: Okay. Thank you so much, Congressman for coming today. We’re happy to have you. You were very informative, and thank you for coming.

MR. LEWIS: Thank you.

Joint Press Release
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve SystemFederal Deposit Insurance CorporationDepartment of the TreasuryOffice of the Comptroller of the CurrencyOffice of Thrift Supervision

February 23, 2009
Joint Statement by the Treasury, FDIC, OCC, OTS, and the Federal Reserve
The U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and the Federal Reserve Board today issued the following joint statement:
"A strong, resilient financial system is necessary to facilitate a broad and sustainable economic recovery. The U.S. government stands firmly behind the banking system during this period of financial strain to ensure it will be able to perform its key function of providing credit to households and businesses. The government will ensure that banks have the capital and liquidity they need to provide the credit necessary to restore economic growth. Moreover, we reiterate our determination to preserve the viability of systemically important financial institutions so that they are able to meet their commitments.
"We announced on February 10, 2009, a Capital Assistance Program to ensure that our banking institutions are appropriately capitalized, with high-quality capital. Under this program, which will be initiated on February 25, the capital needs of the major U.S. banking institutions will be evaluated under a more challenging economic environment. Should that assessment indicate that an additional capital buffer is warranted, institutions will have an opportunity to turn first to private sources of capital. Otherwise, the temporary capital buffer will be made available from the government. This additional capital does not imply a new capital standard and it is not expected to be maintained on an ongoing basis. Instead, it is available to provide a cushion against larger than expected future losses, should they occur due to a more severe economic environment, and to support lending to creditworthy borrowers. Any government capital will be in the form of mandatory convertible preferred shares, which would be converted into common equity shares only as needed over time to keep banks in a well-capitalized position and can be retired under improved financial conditions before the conversion becomes mandatory. Previous capital injections under the Troubled Asset Relief Program will also be eligible to be exchanged for the mandatory convertible preferred shares. The conversion feature will enable institutions to maintain or enhance the quality of their capital.
"Currently, the major U.S. banking institutions have capital in excess of the amounts required to be considered well capitalized. This program is designed to ensure that these major banking institutions have sufficient capital to perform their critical role in our financial system on an ongoing basis and can support economic recovery, even under an economic environment that is more challenging than is currently anticipated. The customers and the providers of capital and funding can be assured that as a result of this program participating banks will be able to move forward to provide the credit necessary for the stabilization and recovery of the U.S. economy. Because our economy functions better when financial institutions are well managed in the private sector, the strong presumption of the Capital Assistance Program is that banks should remain in private hands."
2009 Banking and Consumer Regulatory Policy

World Security Network reporting from Berlin, February 21, 2009
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
"During the Cold War and the arms race of the superpowers, the world stood on the brink of a nuclear catastrophe on several ocasions."The ending of the Cold War between 1989 and 1991 re-activated regional rivalries and lifted the restraints on latent mercenary entrepreneurs, and forced participants in existing low intensity, privatized or civil conflicts around the world to seek new financial backers. The proliferation of such conflicts has prompted many commentators, recognizing also that states have lost their monopoly on military force, to discover a new type of war with each 'new war'. But, apart from it being too soon to tell if these new wars are only a temporary phenomenon, or restricted to certain parts of the world, what is much more important and even essential is the political and moral framework through which we interpret these developments.
In an attempt to capture the unexpected forms taken by excessive violence since the epochal years 1989-91, Robert Kaplan has argued, that these developments are indicating a coming anarchy, which has of course to be prevented. In Yugoslavia, Kaplan saw the impending collapse of nation states and the rise of a Hobbesian jungle of gang wars, tribal slaughter, and ideological jihads.
His statement is based on the assumption that the level at which wars are being fought has shifted from the level of the state to a "lower" level. It is argued that in most of these conflicts, non-state actors are involved on at least one side. This is seen to lead to the conclusion that the motivation and goals of these non-state actors no longer follow political or ideological imperatives but have other sources which may be ethnic, economic, or the fact that violence has become an autonomous force. This view leads directly to recent concepts such as the idea of a liberal American empire, because this is seen to be the only principle that can guarantee a minimum of order as a defence against the approaching anarchy.
Things would look different, however, if this diffusion onto the level of conflict "below" that of the state were no more than a transitional phase, or if this development (which cannot be disputed in general terms, because there is a lot of evidence for it), were restricted to certain parts of the world - such as Sub-Saharan Africa and the traditional lines of conflict on the fringes of the former empires. Additionally one may take into account the possibility that some aspects of future conflicts will be politically determined even though the parties involved are non-state actors (as Hezbollah, Hamas). The paradigm of these wars would not be determined by the order/anarchy antithesis, but by the antithesis between different conceptions of order in the minds both of the actors themselves as well as of "interested third parties", public opinion, to which the various conflict parties refer and appeal. Ideas of a "liberal empire", which may still be relevant to an antithesis between order and anarchy, would be especially likely to aggravate conflicts over the politics of order.

Medical Justice has published an: 'On-line handbook for visiting independent doctors'.View the handbook at: Metropolitan Support Trust/Refugee Support's Research Consultancy Unit has commissioned research on housing and homelessness issues specific to Lesbian, gay, Bisexual and transgender (LGBT) asylum seekers living in and returning back to London.If you would like any more information about this research project, or would like to contribute, please contact the Research Consultancy Manager, Charlotte Keeble: The International Commission of Jurists has published: 'Assessing Damage, Urging Action: Report of the Eminent Jurists Panel on Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and Human Rights'.Download the full report at: (pdf file, 1.9mb)Or download the summary at: (pdf file, 640kb)HOUSE OF LORDS JUDGEMENTSThe House of Lords has published a judgement on the deportation of Abu Qatada and two Algerian men. View and download the judgement at:

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

white house

Office of the Press Secretary
February 24, 2009

Excerpts of the President’s address to the joint session of Congress tonight:

We have lived through an era where too often, short-term gains were prized over long-term prosperity; where we failed to look beyond the next payment, the next quarter, or the next election. A surplus became an excuse to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market. People bought homes they knew they couldn’t afford from banks and lenders who pushed those bad loans anyway. And all the while, critical debates and difficult decisions were put off for some other time on some other day.

Well that day of reckoning has arrived, and the time to take charge of our future is here.

Now is the time to act boldly and wisely – to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity. Now is the time to jumpstart job creation, re-start lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education that will grow our economy, even as we make hard choices to bring our deficit down. That is what my economic agenda is designed to do, and that’s what I’d like to talk to you about tonight.


The recovery plan and the financial stability plan are the immediate steps we’re taking to revive our economy in the short-term. But the only way to fully restore America’s economic strength is to make the long-term investments that will lead to new jobs, new industries, and a renewed ability to compete with the rest of the world. The only way this century will be another American century is if we confront at last the price of our dependence on oil and the high cost of health care; the schools that aren’t preparing our children and the mountain of debt they stand to inherit. That is our responsibility.

In the next few days, I will submit a budget to Congress. So often, we have come to view these documents as simply numbers on a page or laundry lists of programs. I see this document differently. I see it as a vision for America – as a blueprint for our future.

My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we’ve inherited – a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession.

Given these realities, everyone in this chamber – Democrats and Republicans – will have to sacrifice some worthy priorities for which there are no dollars. And that includes me.

But that does not mean we can afford to ignore our long-term challenges. I reject the view that says our problems will simply take care of themselves; that says government has no role in laying the foundation for our common prosperity.


Yesterday, I held a fiscal summit where I pledged to cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office. My administration has also begun to go line by line through the federal budget in order to eliminate wasteful and ineffective programs. As you can imagine, this is a process that will take some time. But we’re starting with the biggest lines. We have already identified two trillion dollars in savings over the next decade.

In this budget, we will end education programs that don’t work and end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don’t need them. We’ll eliminate the no-bid contracts that have wasted billions in Iraq, and reform our defense budget so that we’re not paying for Cold War-era weapons systems we don’t use. We will root out the waste, fraud, and abuse in our Medicare program that doesn’t make our seniors any healthier, and we will restore a sense of fairness and balance to our tax code by finally ending the tax breaks for corporations that ship our jobs overseas.


I know that we haven’t agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.


But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places; that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.

I think about Leonard Abess, the bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He didn’t tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said, ''I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself.”

I think about Greensburg, Kansas, a town that was completely destroyed by a tornado, but is being rebuilt by its residents as a global example of how clean energy can power an entire community – how it can bring jobs and businesses to a place where piles of bricks and rubble once lay. “The tragedy was terrible,” said one of the men who helped them rebuild. “But the folks here know that it also provided an incredible opportunity.”

And I think about Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina – a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says, “We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters.”

BRIEFER: U.S. Congressman John Lewis, D-GATOPIC: “New Direction for the Civil Rights Movement”

WHEN: Monday, February 23, 2009, at 2:00 p.m.WHERE: 800 National Press Building, 529 14th Street, NWBACKGROUND:
U.S. Congressman John Lewis was elected to Congress in November 1986 and has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District since then. That District includes the entire city of Atlanta, Georgia and parts of Fulton, DeKalb and Clayton countries. Congressman Lewis is often called “one of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced.” He has dedicated his life to protection human rights, securing civil liberties, and building what he calls “The Beloved Community” in America. His dedication to the highest ethical standards and moral principles has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle in the United States Congress. As a young boy, he was inspired by the activism surrounding the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the words of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., which he heard on radio broadcasts. Ever since then, he has remained at the vanguard of progressive social movements and the human rights struggle in the United States

Remembering Walter Rodney
21 February 2009
The fourth annual Huntley conference explores Walter Rodney's influence and legacy.
Saturday 21 February 2009, 9.30-4.30pm
London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, London EC1R 0HB
Speakers include:
Harry Goulbourne
Colin Prescod
Kimani Nehusi
Richard Wiltshire
Maureen Roberts
Emma Agyemang
Hakim Adi
Margaret Busby
Glenda Trew
Free but booking is essential.
Events listing is provided for information only. Inclusion in this listing should not be taken to imply that the Institute of Race Relations supports an event or is involved in organising it.

No Borders gathering
21 February 2009
A meeting of UK-wide No Borders groups in Bristol.
Saturday/Sunday 21/22 February 2009
St Werburgh's Community Centre, Horley Road, St Werburghs, Bristol BS2 9TJ

A Charmed Life: Eddie Noble
26 February 2009
The film premiere and panel discussion of the life and times of Hackney resident Eddie Noble.
Thursday 26 February 2009, 5.45pm
Hackney Museum, Technology & Learning Centre, 1 Reading Lane, London E8 1GQ
Speakers include:
Ian Rathbone - Speaker, Hackney Council
Denise Noble - Eddie Noble's daughter
Ros Gihan Williams - Co-director
Patrick Vernon - Producer and co-director

Monday, 23 February 2009

LOG ON TO www.gfmradio. com TODAY (MONDAY 23 FEBRUARY 2009) AT 7PM TO 9PM (LONDON TIME) - 19.00 HRS TO 21.00 HRS GMT.
1966. Listen to the programme! live on www.gfmradio. com.What are your ideas and thoughts, please send your comments to request@gfmradio. com or call into the programme 0208 520 1355 or text your comments to 07770514033.
Selassie Mawuenyega, Deputy Editor of Kilombo Journal, interviews Explo Nani-Kofi, the Managing Editor of Kilombo Journal. SPONSORS of Explo's Political Talk Show- Kilombo Pan-African Community JournalUbuntu Democracy In Action Network.

On Wednesday 25 February, Explo Nani-Kofi (Managing Editor of Kilombo Pan-African Journal) and Kofi Mawuli Klu ( Chief Executive Commissioner, AAPCCCOME), will have a political discussion with Sister Ekua on Africa Speaks on Voice of Africa Radio on 94.3FM, www.voiceafricaradi
from 8pm to 10pm GMT.

There will also be a programme on BEN TV Woman's Hour on Ghana's Independence Anniversary on Wednesday 4 March 2009. Watch this space !
Please forward this message to others on your email list

Amnesty International USA demands that UNMIS tells ICC & MONUC of whereabouts of Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen
Posted: 19 Feb 2009 07:49 AM CST
From Amnesty International USAPRESS RELEASEFebruary 18, 2009United Nations should not aid fugitives from international justiceAmnesty International is demanding that the United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) co-operates with the International Criminal Court (ICC) by providing the whereabouts of Okot Odhiambo and Dominic Ongwen to facilitate their arrest and surrender.In a letter to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Sudan, Amnesty International expressed its concern that UNMIS were preparing to help return the two men, who are leaders of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), to their native Uganda. Ugandan officials have repeatedly and publicly stated that they will not arrest and surrender the LRA leaders to the ICC.“UNMIS is bound by the Negotiated Relationship Agreement between the ICC and the UN, which requires that the two bodies cooperate closely with each other,” said Martin Macpherson, Amnesty International’s International Law and Organizations programme. “If UNMIS were to hand the two men over to the Ugandan authorities, the UN would effectively help prevent their arrest and surrender to the ICC and this would amount to an obstruction of justice.”Amnesty International urges UNMIS immediately to provide the ICC, as well as the United Nations Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC), with all information about the whereabouts of Odhiambo and Ongwen to facilitate their arrest and surrender to the ICC. The same information should be provided to any state that is able and willing to arrest and surrender the suspects to the ICC.The organization also calls on UNMIS not to facilitate the return of the two men to Uganda unless Uganda pledges to arrest them immediately and surrender them to the ICC.BackgroundThe arrest warrant for Okot Odhiambo lists 10 counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enslavement and forced enlisting of children. The arrest warrant against Dominic Ongwen lists seven counts of crimes against humanity and war crimes, including murder, enslavement and inhumane acts.During 2008 and in the past months of 2009, LRA forces are believed to have abducted hundreds of people including women and children, and committed a number of other human rights violations, including unlawful killings, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, southern Sudan and the Central Africa Republic.

Sunday, 22 February 2009

The Launch of the BBC -AFRICA colaboration play Moses Johns at Club Volts in lONDON

Some of the guests and actors

Follow the new Obama administration's First 100 Days in office. Join us online for daily news, slideshows, blogs and more - and join the discussion. You can also follow VOA on Twitter! As always,, with its community site, will continue to provide you with the latest coverage. Also check out VOA's coverage of the global economic crisis.

N. Korea Stresses War Readiness on Eve of Clinton Visit to South expected to discuss North Korea's apparent plans to test a long-range missile during her visit to South's capital, SeoulUS Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives at military airport in Seongnam, south of Seoul, 19 Feb 2009North Korea says it is prepared for war, in the latest sharpening of its rhetoric against South Korea and the United States. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to discuss the North's apparent plans to test a long-range missile during her visit to the South's capital. Thursday's statement from North Korea's official news agency warns South Korean leaders - who it calls a "group of traitors" - that the North's army is "fully ready for an all-out confrontation."Pyongyang also says South Korea and the United States will pay a "high price" for conducting joint military drills on the Korean peninsula next month, which the North views as a rehearsal for an invasion. American military leaders say Operation Key Reserve and Foal Eagle are a purely defensive drill held every year. About 28,000 U.S. forces are stationed in South Korea to deter any repeat of the North's 1950 invasion of the South. The latest threats come as experts warn North Korea could be days or weeks away from test-launching a ballistic missile possibly capable of reaching U.S. territory. North Korea hinted it would proceed with the launch this week, when it reasserted its right to "space development." Similar rhetoric preceded its 2006 test launch of a long range missile.South Korean Unification Minister Hyun In-taek told lawmakers, Thursday, a North Korean launch would not benefit the impoverished nation.He warns what he calls North Korea's unlawful action would lead to the country's further isolation.The possible launch, as well as efforts to get rid of North Korea's nuclear weapons, is expected to dominate talks between South Korean leaders and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Friday.Scott Snyder, director of the Center for U.S.-Korea policy, says there is plenty of buzz surrounding Clinton's visit."It's the first time in a long time that we've had a political secretary of state," Snyder said. "There's going to be a lot of interest in her, as a personality, here." Snyder says Clinton's main task will be to reassure South Korea that President Barack Obama is not neglecting the region's affairs. "It sort of seemed in the first few weeks that Asia was getting lost in the administration's agenda," Snyder said. "So, I think her visit has been a catalyst for recognition that issues like North Korea cannot be completely left off the table." Clinton is also scheduled to receive an honorary degree at a South Korean women's university, before departing for Beijing, Friday.

China Ready to Host Secretary Clinton secretary of state arrives in Beijing FridaySecretary of State Clinton during her visit at ASEAN secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, 18 Feb 2009 China is ready to host U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, whowill be making her first trip to Beijing in her new position. Secretary Clinton arrives in the Chinese capital, Friday. Mrs. Clinton chose to highlight climate change, among other issues,on her trip to Asia this week. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswomanJiang Yu said Thursday that China attaches great importance to theissue and hopes to strengthen Sino-American cooperation in addressingclimate change.Jiang says, despite the financial crisis, Chinaalready developed a national program against climate change and willcontinue to make unremitting efforts in this area.She also saysChina looks forward to progress at global climate treaty talks,scheduled for the end of the year in Copenhagen. China has passed theUnited States to become the world's leading emitter of greenhouse gases.Althoughclimate change is a likely topic of discussion for Clinton's Beijingvisit, many China analysts say her trip will be judged more on tonethan actual content. Chinese officials are hoping relations willcontinue in the non-confrontational spirit of the George W. Bushadministration. Clinton, herself, has advocated a "positiveand cooperative" relationship with Beijing. In a speech at the AsiaSociety in New York, last weekend, she said Washington has a very broadagenda when it comes to China.One topic likely to be addressedduring her visit is Taiwan. China views cross-straits relations as oneof the most important aspects of U.S.-China ties. Spokeswoman Jiangsays Beijing hopes the United States will stay committed to the OneChina principle.The undecided fate of 17 Uighur detainees, whowere cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay, may also be raised inSecretary Clinton's talks with her Chinese counterparts. AlthoughBeijing wants the men to be returned for trial, the United States hasnot agreed to send them to China, fearing they may be persecuted.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang YuSpokeswomanJiang says China wants the men to be prosecuted in China, because theyare members of the East Turkestan terrorist organization, which is on asanction list of the U.N. Security Council.Jiang says China is against any country accepting the Chinese Muslim detainees.Someof the 17 Uighur detainees were cleared for release as early as 2003,but have continued to be held because no other country agreed to takethem. Wednesday, a U.S. appeals court in Washington overturned aruling that would have released the men into the United States.In 2006, Albania accepted five other Uighur men who were released from Guantanamo Bay.

Gates Says NATO Help in Afghanistan May Be Largely Civilian defense chief says, in long term, allies are more likely to provide civilian help to Afghan government than additional troops Defense Secretary Robert Gates (File) The day after President Obama approved the deployment of 17,000 additional U.S. troops for Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he will ask NATO allies to also send more troops to help provide security for the country's presidential and provincial elections, scheduled for August. But the secretary says in the long term the allies are more likely to provide civilian help to the Afghan government than additional troops.
Gates spoke on his way to Krakow, Poland for a meeting of NATO defense ministers.
The secretary's emphasis on civilian help from NATO reflects the recognition in the U.S. government that the allies have provided just about all the troops they are willing to provide, currently about 32,000. Gates says he still wants more NATO troops for the elections in August, for which he says the commitment has been disappointing, but he says those may be short-term deployments.
"We really need additional help on the civilian side, there needs to be a strengthening on the civilian side, as we are strengthening on the military side. And frankly I think that it may be, I hope that it may be, easier for our allies to do that than significant troop increases, especially for the longer term," he said.
Secretary Gates says the NATO civilians can help on projects related to improving the performance of the Afghan government, improving the legal system and fighting corruption and the drug trade.
He also called on NATO members to send more military trainers to Afghanistan to help the effort to increase the size of the country's army to 134,000. The Afghanistan war is not popular in many NATO countries, and many leaders are concerned that sending more troops, who could potentially suffer more casualties, would hurt them with voters, or even bring down their coalitions.
President Obama has ordered a senior-level Afghanistan strategy review, with the results expected before he meets with his NATO counterparts at their summit at the beginning of April. But on Tuesday the president approved the deployment of 17,000 more U.S. troops, which will bring the total U.S. commitment to about 55,000 by June.
Secretary Gates says the troops are needed to improve security, regardless of exactly what strategy the president adopts.
"I think that these additional numbers give us a better chance to provide the kind of security for the population that is necessary, frankly, for economic development and for governance to take hold, and so on," he said.
But the secretary says how long the troops stay, and whether they are replaced when their tours of duty end, will depend on the outcome of the strategy review. He also says the deployments will result in a reduction of the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, because some of the units being sent to Afghanistan had been scheduled for Iraq deployments.
Secretary Gates is the only member of the cabinet of former-President George W. Bush asked to stay on by President Obama, and the Krakow meeting Thursday and Friday is the first time the secretary is meeting with his NATO colleagues since the change of U.S. administrations a month ago. He said he is bringing new message.
"The message is that it is a new administration. And the administration is prepared, as the president's decision made clear yesterday, to make additional commitments to Afghanistan, but there clearly will be expectations that the allies must do more as well," he said.
Secretary Gates also says there are ways non-NATO nations can continue to help in Afghanistan, particularly by providing money to help pay for the army expansion and civilian development projects.

Netanyahu Wins Key Backing in Israeli PM Contest from far-right party leader appears to guarantee Benjamin Netanyahu a majority of seats in 120-member parliament Benjamin Netanyahu (File)Israeli President Shimon Peres is wrapping up consultations with political parties before he announces his decision on who will be Israel's next Prime Minister. Benjamin Netanyahu and his hawkish Likud Party got a boost in his bid to be the new Prime Minister Thursday by winning the backing of far-right politician Avigdor Lieberman. Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party came in third in the February 10 general elections, showing how much strength the right has gained in Israel. On Thursday, Lieberman threw his party's new strength, which now includes the 15 seats that Mr. Netanyahu would need to form a coalition government, behind Likud. He said that coalition should include the participation of Tzipi Livni's Kadima party. "Our main target today [is] to establish a unity government of three biggest parties," he said. "We give a recommendation for Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister, but it must be a unity government of three parties, Likud, Kadima, and Israel Beiteinu. I don't believe in any other possibility."
Voter concerns about security helped right win electionThe right's strong showing was fueled by voters' concerns over security at a time when Palestinian militants continue to strike from Gaza and Iran plows ahead with plans to develop its nuclear capabilities.In last week's election, Netanyahu's Likud Party came in second - just one parliamentary seat behind Livni's Kadima. The race was too close to call. The candidate whose party has a better chance of forming a coalition government with smaller parties is usually the one picked to be Prime Minister. That decision will be made by President Peres. He is expected to announce his pick soon. Mr. Peres began consultations on Wednesday after receiving official, final election results. His meetings continued into Thursday. "It is now the time to open a new chapter because there is a new chapter in world politics. And I wouldn't be prejudiced about any elected Israeli," he said. "Whoever was elected by the people will not be free from facing the call of the time."Mr. Netanyahu campaigned on promises to boost security and improve Israel's economy. He has pledged to focus less on negotiations with the Palestinians and concentrate more on shoring up the Palestinian economy. He has also called for toppling Hamas. Lieberman ran on a platform that calls for handing over control of Arab communities in Israel to the Palestinian authority in exchange for Jewish settlements in the West Bank, a measure that would effectively exclude many Arabs from Israel. He also wants Arab Israelis to be required to pledge loyalty to the Jewish State.
Israeli turn to right may cause problems with US relationsPolitical analysts say Israel's turn to the right may put it on a collision course with the new U.S. administration, which is still in the process of formulating its Middle East policy. A number of U.S. officials are planning visits to the region in the coming weeks, including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.On Thursday, U.S. congressmen Brian Baird and Keith Ellison visited the Gaza Strip to get a look at U.N. operations following Israel's 22-day offensive on militants. Reports said Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, was also due to be in Gaza.They planned no meetings with Hamas. Visits by U.S. government officials to Gaza are rare. The lawmakers went into the Strip despite a general security warning from the U.S. Department of State that urges Americans to avoid all travel to the Gaza Strip.

Obama Heads to Ottawa for First Foreign Trip as President issues to top agenda in series of meetings between US president and Canadian leadersPres. Obama steps out of his limousine before departure from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, 18 Feb 2009U.S. President Barack Obama begins his first foreign trip since taking office when he heads to Canada on Thursday. White House officials said economic matters will top the agenda during President Obama's visit to Canada. It should come as no surprise because the U.S. and Canadian economies are deeply intertwined.Canada is America's largest trading partner - exceeding the U.S. trade relationships with China and the European Union. Canada is also the largest single exporter of oil and natural gas to the United States.That is why a statement by candidate Barack Obama last year, during the height of his bid for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination, created so much concern north of the border.NAFTA revisited
He raised the specter of renegotiating NAFTA - the North American Free Trade Agreement - with Canada and Mexico."I think we should use the hammer of a potential opt out as leverage to insure that we actually get labor and environmental standards that are enforced," he said.Since then, his comments on NAFTA have become more restrained. In an interview this week with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Mr. Obama said the United States respects its trade pacts. He said he simply wants to incorporate NAFTA side agreements on labor and the environment into the trade deal."What I have also said is that Canada is one of our most important trading partners; we rely on them heavily. There is $1.5 billion worth of trade going back and forth every day between the two countries and it is not in anybody's interest to see that trade diminish," he explained.That is welcome news to Canadian leaders, who have stressed that their country is a reliable source of energy for the United States in a sometimes turbulent world.
The environmental cost of Canada's crude
A June 25, 2008 aerial view of an area in Alberta, Canada, where the world's largest oil companies are building open pit mines to get at the oil sandsBut Canada's oil carries a big environmental price. Most of the heavy crude it sells to the United States comes from massive reserves in the western province of Alberta, where oil comes mixed with sand and clay. It is separated in a process that emits vast amounts of greenhouse gases.President Obama told the Canadian Broadcasting Company that the answer may be new technology."I think to the extent that Canada and the United States can collaborate on ways that we can sequester carbon, capture greenhouse gases before they are emitted into the atmosphere, that is going to be good for everybody," he said.Environmentalists, however, are urging President Obama to push for tough restrictions on the production of tar sands oil."Any kind of special exemption or protection that would be given for greenhouse gas regulations, especially for the expanding the tar sands industry, just seem to be totally at odds with the commitments that both of our countries have made to fight global warming," said Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, who is with the National Resources Defense Council.
Another sensitive issue: Afghanistan
Another sensitive issue on the agenda for the talks in the Canadian capital is Afghanistan.Canada has about 2,700 soldiers in the southern city of Kandahar whose mission is due to end in 2011.Inter-American relations specialist Peter DeShazo of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington said President Obama is not likely to ask Prime Minister Harper to reconsider."I am not sure that is an issue that is on the table. What will be of more concern to both sides is the current situation in Afghanistan and what needs to be done," he said.Stephen Harper (file)This will be President Obama's first face-to-face meeting with a foreign leader since his inauguration. And while he will discuss important matters with Prime Minister Harper, the session is primarily a chance for the two men to get acquainted.Ideologically, Mr. Harper, who heads the Conservative Party, might have had more in common with Mr. Obama's predecessor, George Bush. But analyst Peter DeShazo said the Canadian leader will likely find plenty of common ground with Barack Obama."The issues involved in the U.S.-Canadian relationship transcend politics on either side. And, therefore, progress in working those issues is important to both sides," he added.An image of US President Obama is taped to a lamppost near Parliament Hill, 18 Feb. 2009Mr. Obama will be in Ottawa for less than seven hours and it will be all business - a series of private meetings and a press conference.Security is expected to be high, with road closures and restrictions on air traffic. But large crowds are expected near Parliament Hill, where the events will take place. Recent public opinion polls in Canada have shown approval ratings of up to 86 percent for the new president of the United States.

US Central Bank Chief Pledges Continuing Efforts to Restore Growth, Ben Bernanke expects unemployment rate to rise above eight percent before recession endsFederal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, 18 Feb. 2009The head of the Federal Reserve,, Wednesday defended his actions over the past year that were aimed at restoring normal lending in the credit markets. Bernanke declined to make specific predictions, but was cautiously optimistic that an economic turnaround may begin this year.
In nationally televised remarks from Washington's National Press Club, Bernanke said he expected the unemployment rate to rise above eight percent before the recession ends. And while he made no prediction as to when the deep downturn will end, he did say that the combination of low interest rates and fiscal stimulus should be helpful.
"If we can take strong and aggressive action, including the Fed's actions to try to improve credit markets, I think we can break the back of this thing and that we will begin to see improvements in 2009. We fail to take adequate actions, the situation will continue to deteriorate. And unemployment would obviously be higher in that case," he said.
Bernanke answered questions following his talk. He repeated his strong belief that in a severe downturn like the current one it is vital to protect the financial system.
"We must continue the efforts to stabilize the banking system and the financial system. If we do not stabilize the financial system, then fiscal policy will not lead to a sustained recovery. Both of these parts are essential," he said.
Bernanke endorsed the fiscal stimulus program, worth nearly $800 billion, that was signed into law this week. He spoke as President Obama was unveiling his program to stabilize home prices which have declined over two years and stem the wave of foreclosures on owners who do not meet their mortgage payments.
The Federal Reserve is revising downwards its economic outlook to a possible three percent decline for 2009. Previously, the Fed had projected a recovery beginning after mid-2009.


South Africa Struggles to Cope With Zimbabwe Refugees fleeing political repression, while others escaping effects of collapse of economy and public servicesZimbabweans rest in makeshift homes at showgrounds in Musina, 17 Dec 2008 The crisis in Zimbabwe has driven millions of its citizens to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Many are fleeing political repression, while others are escaping the effects of the collapse of the economy and public services. This has created headaches for South African officials who must cope with the influx. It is morning at the Musina town showgrounds, a cluster of brick buildings and sheds on a sprawling field meant to host agricultural fairs. Shelters made of cardboard and plastic sheeting are scattered across the grounds. Food in tin cans simmers over cooking fires.Thousands of people have gathered at a fence behind which stand a group of vans, a mobile registration center set up by the South African government.This is the first stop in South Africa for many of those fleeing the crisis in Zimbabwe.Mike Dziva, a 23-year-old mechanic, has made it inside the gate and is in line to register for political asylum. "I left Zimbabwe because there are some hard conditions," Dziva said. "One is due to political violence, political instability. And then health care is very poor. People are dying of cholera. Even education. The schools are closed until now." Refugees, mostly from Zimbabwe, stand outside the Central Methodist Church in Johannesburg, 30 June 2008 (file)Many refugees arrive with few or no possessions. They often are attacked by gangs, called gumaguma's, who roam the border area robbing and sometimes raping refugees.Seventeen-year-old Ray Shumba is one such victim."I was with my brother. So we went through the river and when we were coming through in Musina, we met some of the gumaguma's," Shumba said. "And they took all of our clothes and money, everything we had."Many applicants are desperate to get inside the fence and begin their registration. People caught without documents are picked up by the roving police vans and deported.The manager of the mobile registration center, Sakhile Dlalisa, says his staff can only handle 300 applications per day."We are under pressure because we are having nine officials working here," Dlalisa said. "If we had more capacity, having additional staff members and also resources, trucks and additional computers or work stations, we could process more."His staff has registered more than 60,000 people, mostly Zimbabweans, since the center was set up six months ago. But more than 2,000 applicants are still waiting to file and more arrive each day.Dlalisa says 95 percent of the Zimbabwean applicants are rejected because the South African government considers them to be economic migrants looking for a better life, rather than political refugees fleeing a repressive regime.But this does not deter them because they know that the rejection can be appealed. Many people, once they receive their papers, move on to major cities or farms in the interior. Often they seek relatives or friends who can help them.One of the most graphic signs of the Zimbabwean crisis is the epidemic of cholera, an easily preventable and treatable disease that has killed several thousand people in Zimbabwe in recent months.The disease has spread across the border with the refugees, infecting several thousand people in South Africa and killing more than 50.The Doctors Without Borders charity this week warned that the epidemic could spiral out of control in Zimbabwe. One of its physicians in Musina, Fabrizio Ferli, says cholera is still a threat in South Africa."The epidemic is not finished in Zimbabwe and it should not be considered finished in this area," Ferli said. "We are still seeing cholera cases here. We are taking samples and considering as cholera patients all the acute watery diarrhea we are finding here at the moment."He says cholera is the most visible sign of Zimbabwe's failed health services. There are also many cases of malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.Some refugees cross the border looking to further their education because most of Zimbabwe's schools are closed.Aid groups have placed 250 school-age children in local schools, but most go to informal classrooms in the camp with volunteer teachers.Aid workers say they are worried about 1,500 unaccompanied children with no family who are considered especially vulnerable to exploitation as child laborers or sex slaves. A young Zimbabwean boy eats a meal at the showgrounds in Musina, 17 Dec. 2008 Relief workers say they are surprised by the number of mothers with small children fleeing Zimbabwe. They care for these tiny refugees in special drop-in centers that are off-limits to others.Agnes Moyo has been bringing her six-month-old baby to the center after crossing the border with her husband and two other children. She says she left home after supporters of President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF Party badly beat her father. "I cannot go back to Zimbabwe because I cannot. I cannot because I have seen so many consequences, so I cannot go there," Moyo said.There is little food and most refugees sleep out in the open. It is a tough existence. But they get by on hope and survival skills. Whatever their reason for leaving home, virtually no one plans to return.

Sufi Clerics in Somalia Support Unity Government raises possibility of a wider sectarian war between adherents of Sufi order and powerful al-Shabab groupSufi clerics in Somalia have declared their support for the new unity government led by a moderate Islamist. The declaration is raising the possibility of a wider sectarian war between adherents of the Sufi order and the powerful al-Shabab group in Somalia. President of Somalia Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, arrives at the UN compound in in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 01 Feb 2009Sufi clerics, meeting this week in the Somali capital Mogadishu, say they fully support the newly-elected president of Somalia, moderate Islamist Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, and the efforts he is making to bring peace to the long-suffering country. The clerics spoke Wednesday through a group of adherents of the Sufi order, who recently took up arms against al-Shabab in Somalia. The spokesman for Ahlu-Sunna Wal-Jama'a, Sheik Abduqadir Mohamed Soomow, says the international community should be thanked for sponsoring last year's peace talks in Djibouti. The talks paved the way for the Ethiopian troop withdrawal from Somalia in January and allowed Sheik Sharif's Islamist-led opposition group to join the government.The cleric says Sufi scholars are calling on all Somalis to support the national unity government, which they hope will rule according to Islamic law and gain the support of the international community.Sufism, a mystic form of Islam, has centuries old roots in Somalia but is considered heretical by conservative factions of Islam, especially Salafism and Wahhabism. Since the fall of Somalia's last functioning government in 1991, Salafism and Wahhabism, taught in many Saudi-run mosques and religious schools in Mogadishu and elsewhere, have gained a following among many young Somalis. These Somalis make up the bulk of the al-Shabab, a militant group ideologically aligned with al-Qaida and vehemently opposed to Sheik Sharif's new western-backed government. Al-Shabab once functioned as the military wing of the Islamic Courts Union, an Islamist movement led by Sheik Sharif before he and other leaders were ousted from power by Ethiopia in late 2006.Al-Shabab grew powerful as an anti-Ethiopian insurgent group and took control of many parts of central and southern Somalia. In recent weeks, Sheik Sharif has reached out to the group, urging the leaders to reject extremism and to participate in rebuilding the country. Somalia observer for the International Crisis Group, Rashid Abdi, says although al-Shabab gained many recruits as an anti-Ethiopian insurgent group, many Somalis are now rejecting its militant brand of Islam in favor of Sheik Sharif's call for reconciliation. "It is undeniable that there is a great deal of opposition building against al-Shabab, especially from the traditional Muslim groups in Somalia," said Abdi. "There is a mobilization of various groupings of orthodox Sunni Muslims all over Somalia to form a broad front against al-Shabab."Recently, Ahlu-Sunna Wal-Jama'a scored military victories over al-Shabab in the central Somali Galgadud region, prompting fears that a wider conflict could erupt between the two groups. Abdi says if Sheik Sharif fails to bring al-Shabab to the negotiating table, a war may have to be fought to determine which version of Islam Somalis will embrace. "If these attempts at reconciliation collapse, then the prospect of a sectarian war happening in Somalia is real and that is definitely something to worry about," he said.Sheik Sharif has never spoken out against the Salafist-Wahhabist branches of Islam. But he is believed to be sympathetic to Ahlu-Sunna Wal-Jama'a and its cause.

Plan to Auction Gandhi Belongings Draws Criticism in India of country's independence leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi say sale of his items runs contrary to ideals espoused by one of greatest leaders of modern timesMohandas Gandhi (file photo)A planned auction of some belongings of India's independence leader, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, has drawn sharp criticism in India and a plea for them to be returned to the country. His followers say the sale of his items runs contrary to the ideals espoused by one of the great leader's of modern times. The items belonging to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, which are to go on the auction block next month in New York, include a pair of well-worn leather sandals, an inexpensive pocket watch, his trademark wire-frame spectacles and a brass bowl and plate.Gandhi is a national icon who led a peaceful independence struggle against British colonial rule. He inspired uncounted Indians to join a civil disobedience campaign. His philosophy of non-violence inspired several similar resistance movements.Items to be sold for private collectorThe auction house, Antiquorum Auctioneers, is selling Gandhi's items for a private foreign collector. It says the sale is significant because the ascetic leader had few possessions. Gandhi's followers in India say this is the very reason his belongings should not be sold for profit. They point out that Gandhi barely possessed anything, because he was a staunch opponent of materialism and consumerism. Ramachandra Rahi, secretary-general of the Gandhi Memorial Foundation in New Delhi, says it is ironic that a price is being put on the belongings of a man who preached the ideal of simple living. Rahi says in the market-oriented society that has emerged today, everything is for sale. He says this is particularly so in the United States, although the same is happening in India. Rahi says this is not correct. He says, if Gandhi is acknowledged as a great leader, his possessions should be put in museums anywhere in the world, so that future generations can draw inspiration from his life and ideals. The significance of what goes under the hammer has been underlined by the auction house. Gandhi gave his eyeglasses to an army colonel who asked him for inspiration, saying they were the "eyes" that had given him the vision to free India. He kept a watch because he valued punctuality. The brass plate and bowl were the dishes from which he ate a simple meal.Grandson says items should be displayed as natural treasuresGandhi's great grandson, Tushar Gandhi, says the items must come back to India and be displayed as national treasures. He has launched a campaign to raise money to bid for them at the auction. He says Gandhi holds a special place in the heart of Indians and that his belongings have a sentimental value for the country."These are the symbols of a person whom we have learnt to worship, and I think these things must be back in India so that generations to come will feel a closeness to him, will be inspired," Gandhi said. "Because, even today anywhere in the world, you draw a sketch of wire rimmed glasses and show it to anybody, and the first thing they will see is Gandhi. So, these are very closely connected with his identity and the rightful place for them is in India."Tushar Gandhi is racing against time to collect the money. The auction takes place in early March. But he says many people have responded to his plea and donated amounts ranging from one dollar to $2000. "People have come up to me and said we can only give you 50 rupees [one dollar] will you accept that? I think that is what is very important," Gandhi noted. "These ordinary people are going that extra bit…a driver, a farmer, an unemployed youth they all ask one question, they make one request. They say promise us you will bring this back."Several members of parliament have also called on the government to buy the relics.Rahi of Gandhi Memorial Foundation says the occasion of the auction of Gandhi's items is an appropriate time for the world to recall one of his messages.Gandhi had said the world has enough to satisfy every man's need, but not for every man's greed.Gandhi was killed by a Hindu fanatic in 1948, a year after India became independent.

Geronimo Descendants Push for Return of Indian Chief's Remains of famous Apache Indian chief want remains returned to his birthplace in southwestern US for traditional burial Geronimo (Photo - US Archives)Descendants of the Apache chief, Geronimo, have announced a lawsuit to reclaim the remains of the famous Indian leader from a U.S. military burial site as well from the reportedly hidden tomb of a secret Yale University society.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. federal court this week, marks the 100th anniversary of the Apache leader's death during the Indian wars. The suit, filed by 20 of Geronimo's blood relatives, names U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates among its defendants saying that they are responsible for keeping Geronimo's remains at an army base in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Geronimo's great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo, who is leading the efforts, has asked that the remains be released and returned to Geronimo's birthplace in the southwestern United States for a traditional Apache burial. "If our remains are not properly buried, in our tradition, the spirit is just wandering until a proper burial has been performed. The only way to put this to a closure is to release the remains and his spirit so that he can be taken back to his homeland on the Gila Mountains (Arizona-New Mexico)," he said.
The lawsuit also names the secret Yale University student society, Skull and Bones, in its case. The descendants cite long held claims that in 1918 three members of the group took bones and other items buried with Geronimo at Fort Sill and are holding them at the organization's headquarters in the eastern state of Connecticut.
Prescott Bush, the grandfather of former U.S. president George W. Bush was allegedly one of the men accused of stealing the items, but officials at Fort Sill have dismissed speculation that the grave was disturbed.
The group's lawyer, former attorney general Ramsey Clark, says the lawsuit will allow them to find out if the bones are in the group's possession. "It's a good time for them to come forward say yes, or no. If the answer is no then give us the evidence," he said.
Harlyn Geronimo says that he hopes the request for his ancestor's repatriation is taken under serious consideration by U.S. authorities. He says he has previously appealed to former President George W. Bush for help in the effort, but never received a reply. "I hope the people we actually filed on will take this seriously. I believe it's on their lap at this time to seriously consider our request to release the remains and perform our correct burial in the Gila wilderness," he said.
Geronimo was one of the last Native Americans to lead warriors in the fight against Mexican and American expansion into Apache lands. In 1886, he surrendered to the U.S. military on the understanding that he would be allowed to return to his homeland and tribe.
However, Geronimo was held for more than 20 years as a free-range prisoner of war in Fort Sill until his death from tuberculosis in 1909, at the age of 90.


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