*Source: Bombardier (NSI News Source Info) PARIS AEROSPACE - June 14, 2009: Airline also confirmed as previously unidentified launch customer for CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft. Air Nostrum’s cumulative orders for Bombardier aircraft since 1998, now total 100, including 35 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft. According to Bombardier, the prototype CRJ1000 NextGen jet will be flown to the Bombardier Flight Test Center in Wichita, Kansas after a few more flights from Mirabel. Next year, it will be joined in Wichita by the first production CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft to prepare for entry into service and review by the Flight Operations Evaluation Board composed of pilots from Transport Canada, the Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency.Bombardier says that the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft program has attracted a total of 63 firm orders, conditional orders and options, from four airlines. Brit Air (a subsidiary of Air France) has ordered eight aircraft and holds options on an additional eight. Myair.com in Italy ordered 15 aircraft, converting an earlier order for 15 CRJ900 jets to the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft. Adria Airways of Slovenia has ordered one aircraft, and also holds one option. An undisclosed customer has ordered 15 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, with a conditional order for 15. Bombardier Aerospace today confirmed that Air Nostrum of Valencia, Spain has now placed firm orders for a total of 35 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft including: A new firm order for 15 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, being announced today. This firm order was previously announced by Bombardier on February 19, 2007 as a conditional order for 15 CRJ1000 aircraft by an unidentified customer. Delivery of these 15 aircraft will start in 2014 and continue through 2016; A firm order for 15 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, previously announced by Bombardier on February 19, 2007 as a firm order placed by an unidentified launch customer; A conversion of five remaining CRJ900 aircraft to CRJ1000 NextGen jets from a firm order for 16 CRJ900 aircraft placed by Air Nostrum in 2004. The other 11 ordered CRJ900 aircraft have been delivered to the airline. Based on the list price for the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft, the new firm order for 15 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft announced today is valued at approximately $ 793 million US. The total value of Air Nostrum’s orders for 35 CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft is approximately $ 1.75 billion US. “Air Nostrum is proud to be a launch customer for the CRJ1000 NextGen regional jet, which promises the same qualities as the CRJ200 and CRJ900 aircraft that we currently operate,” said Carlos Bertomeu, Chief Executive Officer, Air Nostrum. “Bombardier’s products have propelled us to our position as one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious regional airlines. We fully expect our new CRJ1000 NextGen airliners – and especially their outstanding economics - to help us continue to grow and prosper.” “We are delighted by Air Nostrum’s selection of the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft to meet their regional jet requirements for the future,” said Gary R. Scott, President, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft. “Air Nostrum has been a valued Bombardier customer since 1998, and has now placed orders for a total of 100 CRJ and Q-Series aircraft. Air Nostrum’s recognition as one of Europe’s most outstanding airlines, is a testament to its operational expertise, customer satisfaction, and to the performance and reliability of these Bombardier commercial aircraft.” An independent airline, Air Nostrum operates as IBERIA regional. It flies to more than 120 domestic and international destinations with approximately 153,000 flights a year that carry about 5.2 million passengers. As of today, Bombardier has recorded a total of 64 firm orders for the CRJ1000 NextGen aircraft. About Bombardier Commercial Aircraft Bombardier Commercial Aircraft is a world leader in the design and production of aircraft that seat up to 145 passengers. Its mission is to provide a complete range of commercial aircraft optimized for best-in-class efficiency with the highest level of customer service. The product portfolio is comprised of three commercial aircraft families: for short-haul operations, the 70- to 80- seatQ400 NextGen airliner is a fast, fuel-efficient and lower-emission large turboprop. For medium-haul applications, the CRJ NextGen family of aircraft is a benchmark for regional jet efficiency in the 60- to 100-seat segment. For longer routes, the 110- to 130-seat CSeries airliners are the world’s newest and most advanced single-aisle aircraft designed specifically for comfort and setting new standards in technology, fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact. About BombardierA world-leading manufacturer of innovative transportation solutions, from commercial aircraft and business jets to rail transportation equipment, systems and services, Bombardier Inc. is a global corporation headquartered in Canada. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended Jan. 31, 2009, were $19.7 billion US, and its shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (BBD). Bombardier is listed as an index component to the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North America indexes. News and information are available at http://www.bombardier.com/.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
DTN News: Bombardier Sells An Additional 15 CRJ1000 NextGen Aircraft To Air Nostrum
DTN News: Raytheon Begins Testing Upgraded Laser-Guided Maverick Missile Components *Source: Raytheon Company (NSI News Source Info) PARIS - June 14, 2009: Raytheon Company is testing key components that will be used in the AGM-65E2, the U.S. Air Force's newest variant of the laser-guided Maverick missile. The AGM-65 Maverick is a tactical, air-to-surface guided missile designed for close air support, interdiction and defense suppression mission. It provides stand-off capability and high probability of strike against a wide range of tactical targets, including armor, air defenses, ships, transportation equipment and fuel storage facilities. Maverick was used during Operation Desert Storm and, according to the Air Force, hit 85 percent of its targets. The laser-guided Maverick missile is a direct-attack, air-to-ground precision munition used extensively by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps in ongoing combat operations. The newest variant of the missile, the AGM-65E2, will have an enhanced-laser seeker and new software, reducing the risk of collateral damage and enabling aircraft to use their onboard lasers to designate a target. "In my opinion, the warfighter needs this weapon, because it is ideally suited for urban combat and high-speed maneuvering targets," said Col. Michael Holbert, commander of the U.S. Air Force's 84th Combat Sustainment Wing. "We look forward to putting this very capable weapon into the hands of U.S. warfighters and also into the hands of our international partners." The AGM-65 Maverick family of precision-attack missiles is used by the air, naval and marine forces of 33 countries. More than 69,000 missiles have been produced to date, and more than 6,000 have been used in combat with a 93 percent kill rate. "Maverick has a long history of on-time deliveries with proven performance," said Darryl Kreitman, Raytheon's Maverick program director. "Because Maverick is integrated on more than 25 aircraft and is combat proven, it offers a best-value solution for the warfighter who needs a direct-attack weapon." Raytheon Company, with 2008 sales of $23.2 billion, is a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. With a history of innovation spanning 87 years, Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services. With headquarters in Waltham, Mass., Raytheon employs 73,000 people worldwide.
DTN News: Tata Group And Sikorsky Aircraft Seal Agreement To Manufacture S-92(R) Helicopter Cabins In India
DTN News: Tata Group And Sikorsky Aircraft Seal Agreement To Manufacture S-92(R) Helicopter Cabins In India
*Source: Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MUMBAI, India - June 14, 2009: The Tata Group and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., today completed an agreement for Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) to manufacture Sikorsky S-92® helicopter cabins in India. The S-92 helicopter is the most advanced aircraft in Sikorsky's civil product line, certified to the most stringent safety requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The helicopter's advanced health and usage monitoring system sets a new level of reliability and enables cutting-edge fleet management services. The first cabin is scheduled for delivery in late 2010 from a new greenfield facility that TASL will construct at Hyderabad in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Tata Advanced Systems is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons and is a lead company for providing integrated solutions for aerospace, defence, homeland security and disaster management. "We're excited and proud to have the highly admired Tata Group join our global supply chain," said Sikorsky President Jeffrey P. Pino. "India's aerospace market is poised for significant growth, and we are thrilled to have the opportunities to support that growth and to tap into the capabilities of India's highly skilled aerospace workforce." Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ratan N. Tata, Chairman, Tata Sons, said, "We are pleased to enter into a long-term supply relationship with Sikorsky and believe that the manufacture of the S-92 cabin in India is a significant first step in the growth of India as a global hub for aerospace manufacturing. The Tata Group greatly values its association with the UTC Group of companies and looks forward to further strengthening the same in the future." The S-92 helicopter is the first helicopter in its class certified by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to the most rigorous standards. The aircraft also is certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency to its stringent safety standards. Nearly 100 S-92 helicopters have been produced to date, and the worldwide operating fleet has accumulated more than 150,000 flight hours. The aircraft perform a variety of missions including search and rescue off the U.K. coast, and Head of State transport for the leaders of several nations. The S-92 helicopter also has become the helicopter of choice for transporting oil workers to offshore platforms. The agreement signed today strengthens the link between UTC and the Tata Group, two of the world's largest and most respected diversified industrial enterprises. UTC reported 2008 revenues of $58.7 billion, and Tata Group had 2007-2008 revenues of $62.5 billion. Both companies derive the majority of their revenues from outside their native countries, and both employ hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. While the agreement marks the first for the manufacture of Sikorsky products in India, UTC's other subsidiaries have a significant presence there. Combined, UTC's Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace systems, Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, Otis Elevator, Carrier air conditioning and UTC Fire & Security units today occupy more than 100 offices and factories in nearly 50 cities, and employ approximately 4,000 people in India. "India represents a strategic growth opportunity for UTC due to its favorable demographics and accelerating modernization," said Jothi Purushotaman, President, UTC India, who attended the signing ceremony. "We are pleased to be associated with the Tata Group, and we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship." "The signing of the contract represents a significant step forward in Tata Advanced Systems' plans to establish a meaningful presence in the manufacture of aerostructures," said Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Davinder Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, TASL. "We believe the combination of Tata's manufacturing capabilities and skill sets, and India's productivity benefits can deliver tremendous efficiencies for aerospace OEMs." Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., based in Stratford, Connecticut, USA, is a world leader in helicopter design, manufacturing and service. The company's mission statement reflects its long commitment to safety and innovation: "We pioneer flight solutions that bring people home everywhere...every time(TM)." United Technologies Corp., based in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, provides a broad range of high technology products and support services to the aerospace and building systems industries. Tata companies operate in seven business sectors: communications and information technology, engineering, materials, services, energy, consumer products and chemicals. They are, by and large, based in India and have significant international operations. The total revenue of Tata companies, taken together, was $62.5 billion (around Rs. 251,543 crore) in 2007-08, with 61 per cent of this coming from business outside India, and they employ around 350,000 people worldwide. The Tata name has been respected in India for 140 years for its adherence to strong values and business ethics. Every Tata company or enterprise operates independently. Each of these companies has its own board of directors and shareholders, to whom it is answerable. The major Tata companies are Tata Steel, Tata Motors, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Power, Tata Chemicals, Tata Tea, Indian Hotels and Tata Communications.
DTN News: Estonia To Send Additional Peacekeeping Unit To Afghanistan
*Source: Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) TALLINN - June 14, 2009: Estonian lawmakers have decided to send an additional contingent of peacekeepers to Afghanistan to improve security ahead of the war-torn country's August 20 presidential election, the parliamentary press service said on Thursday. The Baltic country initially planned to send the peacekeeping unit to Iraq, but Estonia officially ended its mission in Iraq in early February after the Iraqi government gave no request for the mission to be prolonged. Over 20 countries have already decided on sending additional units to Afghanistan, including Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Poland. An Estonian 34-soldier infantry platoon returned from Iraq in December 2008. Estonian servicemen have been involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom since June 2003. Two Estonian soldiers have died and 18 have been wounded in the country. Since 2003, Estonian soldiers have been in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). The country's military has seen three deaths and about 30 servicemen wounded during its participation in NATO operations in Afghanistan.
DTN News: Zimbabwe TODAY June 14, 2009 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Meeting President Barack Obama At The White House
DTN News: Zimbabwe TODAY June 14, 2009 - Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Meeting President Barack Obama At The White House *Source: DTN News (NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON - June 14, 2009: President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe in the Oval Office at the White House June 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama met Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Friday in Washington. The two leaders are expected to discuss what has been described as Harare's difficult road ahead.
Prime Minister Tsvangirai has been in Washington this week meeting with members of Congress and other officials seeking aide to rebuild Zimbabwe's economy.
DTN News: A Devastating Defeat For Iran's Green Revolution
*Sources: DTN News / Ian Black in Tehran The Observer (NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN - June 14, 2009: After an election campaign of unprecedented hope and passion, the official result shattered those who had longed for reform. Now, while millions still give their support to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, an opposition backlash fuelled by bitter accusations of government lies could tear the nation apart. A supporter of Iran's moderate presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavi holds a piece of paper that reads "We write Mousavi, they read Ahmadinejad" during post-election unrest in Tehran June 13, 2009. Thousands of people clashed with police on Saturday after the disputed election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked the biggest protests in Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Nowhere in Iran is as symbolic of the country's turbulent history as the huge Azadi (Freedom) Monument, with its vaulting, marble-clad concrete arches and inlaid peacock-blue tiles visible from anywhere in Tehran. Built by the shah to symbolize the glories of Ancient Persia, it was there that a crowd of millions roared their acclaim of Ayatollah Khomeini when he returned from exile in 1979 to launch the Islamic revolution. And as Khomeini's heirs held Iran's 10th presidential election on Friday, two young soldiers stood in the monument's mercifully cooling shade and argued about who to vote for. Private Mohsen Khodabaksh, in an ill-fitting khaki uniform, had already chosen Mir Hussein Mousavi, the moderate candidate and great hope of millions of Iranians desperate to see change in the Islamic Republic. "He is going to give freedoms to young people and get rid of the morality police," the conscript explained. Mohammed Khorasani, his equally scruffy friend, was backing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "He's been good for the last four years," was his verdict. And if a second term for the hardliner brought further isolation for Iran? "Everything depends on God's will. If there is a war, we will defend our country." Arguments like those were pondered by millions of voters before they flocked to the polling stations in unprecedented numbers. But, contrary to all predictions and stretching credulity far beyond breaking point, Ahmadinejad emerged on top amid fury over both the conduct of the poll and its result. The disillusionment on the streets of Tehran yesterday was extreme. Several hundred demonstrators, many wearing the green colours of Mousavi's campaign, chanted "The government lied to the people," gathering near the Interior Ministry as the final controversial count was announced. Elsewhere in Tehran, up to 300 young people blocked the avenue by forming a human chain and chanted "Ahmadi, shame on you. Leave the government alone." One news agency reported that a senior policeman told demonstrators: "The time of dancing and shouting is over." "It's such a cheek, it's impossible for it to stand," argued a woman photographer from a north Tehran suburb. "If they don't fix it, it will erode any legitimacy that is left for the Islamic Republic. " The drama came at the end of an extraordinary week that seemed to promise a new politics for Iran and an end to the mass apathy that allowed the populist Ahmadinejad to take power in 2005. The previous record turnout was in 1997, when reformist cleric Mohammad Khatami - who is now backing Mousavi - was elected and ushered in a period of optimism and change. Mousavi's slick, youth-driven "green" campaign - the colour is for Islam and hope - galvanised demands for a stabler economy, more liberty at home and easier relations abroad. Night after night tens of thousands of his supporters rallied in a party atmosphere without a single policeman or militiaman in sight as a river of green clothes, armbands and banners - as well as cars and bikes - swept up Valiasr Avenue, Tehran's main north-south thoroughfare. Some young women even cast off their hijab headscarves and danced with men - unthinkable public behaviour in normal times. It was inspiring to see this show of peaceful, if raucous, people power, driven by youthful high spirits. But there was also a warning that the authorities seem to have ignored. "If there's cheating," went one popular slogan, "there'll be rioting." The menacing black-clad police deployed on Valiasr last night showed that it was being taken seriously. Hopes were high that Mousavi, with his high-profile wife, Zahra Rahnavard, alongside him, would be a president who would emulate Khatami and ease social restrictions, especially for women, as well as improve Iran's international standing. "I think there will be more freedom," said a smiling Soraya Sohrabinejad, 21, draped in a fetching green tunic and the flimsiest of hijabs at the challenger's final campaign rally. But excitement and wishful thinking may have combined with an underestimation of the scale of possible electoral fraud, though there were warning signs there, too: a senior ayatollah was rumoured to have issued a fatwa sanctioning moves to ensure victory for Ahmadinejad, and Mousavi supporters were advised to vote in schools rather than mosques or Basij militia offices. Mohamed Atrianfar, a leading reformist commentator, said that he was certain Mousavi would prevail, with even sections of the military backing him. "We hope to be able to forget the Ahmadinejad years and connect the end of the Khatami period with the start of the Mousavi period," he said. Still, alongside such optimism it was clear that Ahmadinejad was still the object of adulation for traditional supporters in the countryside, small towns and poor areas of south Tehran. "I like his background, what he has done, and his pure intentions," said shoemaker Mohammed Sadegh, 73, voting before attending Friday prayers at the university mosque near his home. "He is a real Hezbollahi [fighter in the 'party of God']. It's true there has been inflation in the last few years, but the president has raised the wages of government employees and helped them. And from the point of view of the Iranian people, he's been doing well." Others were less enthusiastic but ready to give him the benefit of the doubt - and four more years in office. "Ahmadinejad might not have done so well, but at least he doesn't steal our money," said factory manager Nader Asadi. Random encounters suggest that ordinary Iranians care more about corruption and the economy than the nuclear issue, the Middle East and Holocaust denial, the main preoccupations of the west and wider world. Mousavi supporters are now torn between anger at the election result and the hope that it might somehow yet be reversed - despite the tone of finality from the regime last night. Others felt vindicated by their decision not to take part in a process they had always dismissed as a sham. "Nothing that matters is decided by the people in this country," insisted a businessman, Ali Zadeh, who abstained. "I will never vote for an Islamic theocracy. It's never going to change. People who supported Mousavi can't believe what happened." Protesters continued to congregate in Tehran's streets last night, but for many the anger was already turning into resignation. As one senior policeman told demonstrators: "The time of dancing and shouting is over".
DTN News: Is Google About To Introduce A Microblog Search Offering? *Source: Reuters (NSI News Source Info) INTERNET - June 14, 2009: Google executives have openly professed their admiration for Twitter’s success and they may finally be able to cash in on it. The Google Operating System blog reports that the company will launch a search service that will index content from Twitter and other microblogging sites, similar to Google’s current blog search offering. Results would also be incorporated into Google’s main web results. Google Operating System (which is not associated with Google) does not cite sources for its story but does note a recent Google listing, which refers to “Google’s MicroBlogsearch” and mentions Twitter as “the popular service associated with this format.” As the blog notes, it also wouldn’t be too surprising for Google to launch a way to search Twitter, considering that Google’s Marissa Mayer has said that that the company is “interested in being able to offer ... micro-blogging and micro-messaging in our search.” It’s unclear whether Google would be launching the service independent of Twitter. The two companies have been rumored to be in discussions about some sort of search partnership—and Google CEO Eric Schmidt has talked about how ads could be attached to services like Twitter—something that he said Google would be “very happy to pursue with them.” If Google did launch its service independent of Twitter, it’s easy to see how users could swoop to the Google version, rather than Twitter’s own search service, which is riddled with problems. A Twitter executive said last month that the company was planning to bulk up its own search function but nothing has been said about those plans since. Google representatives did not immediately return an e-mail seeking comment Saturday. Related: *How Will Twitter Monetize Search If It’s Broken? *Twitter To Expand Search Beyond Own Site *Google’s Schmidt: ‘We Don’t have To Buy Everyone To Work With Them’ *Schmidt: Google Would Be ‘Happy’ To Work With Twitter
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY June 14, 2009 - Pakistani Paramilitary Soldiers On High Alert And Guard For Islamic Extremists Unrest In Karachi
DTN News: Pakistan TODAY June 14, 2009 - Pakistani Paramilitary Soldiers On High Alert And Guard For Islamic Extremists Unrest In Karachi
*Source: DTN News
(NSI News Source Info) KARACHI, Pakistan - June 14, 2009: A Pakistani paramilitary soldier searches a car at a checkpoint in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, June 13, 2009.A Pakistani paramilitary soldier searches a car at a checkpoint in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, June 13, 2009.
Authorities have beefed up nation-wide security after a recent wave of terrorism, which killed many people in different parts of the country.
Pakistan is battling a wave of violence by Islamic extremists in its towns and cities and in the lawless border area with Afghanistan in the northwest.
DTN News: Pakistan ~ Most Cities And Towns Close In Mourning For Dr Sarfaraz Naeemi
*Source: Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LAHORE, Pakistan - June 14, 2009: Thousands of people attended the Namaz-i-Janaza of Allama Dr Sarfaraz Naeemi at Nasir Bagh here on Saturday. He was later laid to rest in the compound of Jamia Naeemia, beside the grave of his father Maulana Muhammad Hussain Naeemi. Dr Naeemi was killed in a suicide attack at Jamia Naeemia on Friday. A policeman stands atop Punjab University while keeping guard over a crowd of thousands attending the funeral prayers for Muslim cleric Sarfraz Naeemi in Lahore June 13, 2009. Naeemi was attacked by a suicide bomber in his mosque complex after leading Friday prayers a day earlier. Pakistani warplanes struck a stronghold of Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud on Saturday in retaliation for the killing of the anti-Taliban cleric, the military said. Major markets in Lahore and some other cities and towns of Punjab and other provinces remained closed in mourning for Dr Naeemi. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud was nominated in the First Information Report (FIR) lodged by Raghib Hussian Naeemi, son of late Dr Sarfaraz Naeemi, with Qilla Gujjar Singh police in Lahore. A ‘day of mourning’ observed in Karachi virtually brought the city to a standstill, with most markets remained closed and transport off the road in many areas. Armed supporters of a religious group 'Sunni Tehreek' provide security to their leaders who attend the funeral prayer of a prominent religious leader Sarfraz Naeemi, who was died in a suicide bombing, Saturday, June 13, 2009 in Lahore, Pakistan. The Taliban claimed responsibility Saturday for recent suicide attacks in Pakistan, including the assassination of a leading moderate cleric and the bombing of a Peshawar hotel frequented by foreign aid workers. Four vehicles were reportedly torched and a few incidents of firing were reported in which about half a dozen people were injured. Other cities and towns of Sindh observed a complete strike. There was a curfew-like situation in Hyderabad, Larkana, Nawabshah, Sukkur, Shikarpur, Mirpurkhas, Khairpur, Umerkot, Dadu, Sanghar and Thatta. In Balochistan, Sunni Tahreek and Jamaat-i-Ahl-i-Sunnat held protest rallies in Quetta, Nasirabad, Sibi and some other towns.
DTN News: Libyan Leader Muammar Gaddafi Invites Back Italians Expelled From Libya *Source: Reuters (NSI News Source Info) ROME - June 14, 2009: Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi ended a first visit to former colonial power Italy on Saturday by inviting Italians expelled in the wake of his 1969 revolution to return to the North African country. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi gestures as he shakes hands with Confindustria (Italian industry lobby) Chairwoman Emma Marcegaglia before a meeting in Rome June 12, 2009. Libya has earmarked spending of 11.8 billion euros to attract foreign investment to the North African country, whose leader Muammar Gaddafi told Italian business leaders on Friday they would have top priority. Gaddafi's four-day trip has led to a warming in relations. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi apologized for the excesses of Italy's 1911-1943 colonial rule, opening the door to billions of euros of investment from the oil-rich Arab republic. On Saturday, Gaddafi received a delegation of Italians expelled from Libya when he swept to power four decades ago and promised the doors of his country were open to them. "Gaddafi has acknowledged our problem. He has invited us all to return to Libya," David Jerbi, one of thousands of Libyan Jews forced to flee the country. Jerbi said Gaddafi did not explicitly speak about the case of Libya's Jewish community which traces its origins to Roman times and has dwindled almost to nothing. "It's a very good start on his behalf: he has approached us and is opening possibilities," Jerbi said outside the park where the Libyan leader pitched his tent during his stay. Gaddafi angered Rome's Jewish community by calling the meeting on a Saturday, the sacred Sabbath day. Many Jewish leaders refused to attend. Berlusconi said all Italians were now able to return to Libya. The Libyan leader, who says the wounds of the past have healed, angered many Italians by wearing a photograph of an executed resistance leader on his arrival in Rome, and by criticizing the condition of women and democracy in Europe. Some Italians deported from Libya sounded skeptical about Gaddafi's offer, which did not appear to deal with reparations. "He told us that he was forced (to expel us) and that by doing so he saved our lives because the Libyan people wanted to kill us," said Umberto Robbi, who was expelled in 1970. "So to save us he also confiscated all our property."
DTN News: US Rejects Victory Claim By Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
*Source: AP By Carolyn Thompson
(NSI News Source Info) NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario - June 14, 2009: The U.S. on Saturday refused to accept hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim of a landslide re-election victory in Iran and said it was looking into allegations of election fraud. Any hopes by the Obama administration of gaining a result similar to Lebanon's recent election, won by a Western-backed moderate coalition, appeared to be in jeopardy. Supporters of Iranian reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi being chased by security forces as they pass by a burning bus on the streets of Tehran, protesting the declared results of the Iranian presidential election in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, June 13, 2009. Iranian riot police have clashed with supporters of the main opposition candidate in disputed presidential elections.(AP photo) "We are monitoring the situation as it unfolds in Iran, but we, like the rest of the world, are waiting and watching to see what the Iranian people decide," U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said at a news conference with Canada's foreign affairs minister, Lawrence Cannon. Minutes after Clinton spoke, the White House released a two-sentence statement praising "the vigorous debate and enthusiasm that this election generated, particularly among young Iranians," but expressing concern about "reports of irregularities." Despite the challenge from reformist Mir Hossein Mousavi to incumbent Ahmadinejad, many officials and experts thought a Mousavi victory would result in only incremental shifts toward the U.S. Because real power in Tehran is still wielded by religious leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, some say an Ahmadinejad re-election may make it easier to build an international consensus against Iran. Administration officials remained silent out of concern that any comments might influence the results. But they were privately hoping for a victory by the more moderate Mousavi. President Barack Obama's previous overtures include his recent address in Cairo to the Muslim world as well as, earlier, a televised New Year's address to the Iranian people and a series of diplomatic contacts. Officials say Obama's attempts to reach out have gone largely unanswered. Neither Clinton nor the White House mentioned Ahmadinejad or his chief rival Mousavi, by name, or acknowledged the incumbent's victory declaration. Iranian authorities reported that Ahmadinejad was re-elected with 62.6 percent of the vote. He called on the public to respect the vote. But Mousavi, a former prime minister who has become the hero of a youth-driven movement seeking greater liberties and a gentler face for Iran abroad, rejected the results and accused authorities of rigging Friday's vote. Karim Sadjadpour, an Iran analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said Saturday that Ahmadinejad's claim of a victory puts the Obama administration in a tough position. "I think it's going to make it incredibly difficult for the Obama administration to acquiesce on Iran's enrichment of uranium when there is a president in Tehran who continues to deny the Holocaust, and continues to be belligerent toward Israel," Sadjadpour said. "I don't see the probability of Ahmadinejad taking a more moderate or conciliatory approach his second time around. Similar to what President Bush said when he was re-elected in 2004, he said, 'I've earned political capital, and now I am going to use it.'" In brief remarks in Canada, Clinton cited "the enthusiasm and the very vigorous debate and dialogue" in the run-up to the vote. "We obviously hope that the outcome reflects the genuine will and desire of the Iranian people," she said. Disappointment in the results was summed up by the Anti-Defamation League, which noted Ahmadinejad's history of "extremist allegations and attacks" against Jews and Israel as well as the United States "We are greatly disappointed by the re-election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad," the ADL said in a statement. "We had hoped that a different outcome to this election would have sent a message to the international community that Ahmadinejad's incendiary behavior is not reflective of the beliefs and views of the Iranian people. Unfortunately, the result for Iran is likely to be another four years of extremism and isolation." The election focused on what the office of the Iranian president can influence: boosting Iran's sinking economy, pressing for greater media and political freedoms, and being Iran's main envoy to the world. Iran does not allow international election monitors. During the 2005 election, when Ahmadinejad won the presidency, there were some allegations of vote rigging from losers, but the claims were never investigated.