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    11 July 2009

    Cheney Is Linked to C.I.A. Concealment of Terror Program

    (  By New York Times, Asnycnow15)
    CIA_seal.jpg The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a
    secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years
    on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the
    agency's director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and
    House intelligence committees, two people with direct
    knowledge of the matter said Saturday.

    The report that Mr. Cheney was behind the decision to conceal
    the still-unidentified program from Congress deepened the
    mystery surrounding it, suggesting that the Bush
    administration had put a high priority on the program and its
    secrecy.

    Mr. Panetta, who ended the program when he first learned of
    its existence from subordinates on June 23, briefed the two
    intelligence committees about it in separate closed sessions
    the next day.
    Tags ; CIA Cheney Panetta

    Afghan strategy 'right', PM says

    Gordon Brown has defended the government's Afghanistan strategy, saying it is the right one despite a "dangerous battle" ahead.

    By BBC News |UK

    The prime minister said it was aimed at preventing terrorism in the UK. Fifteen British soldiers have died in 10 days.

    Two men killed on Thursday have been named. The first was Rifleman Daniel Hume, 22, of 4th Battalion The Rifles.

    The second was Private John Brackpool, 27, Prince of Wales' Company, 1st Battalion Welsh Guards.

    © BBC MMIX

    Pakistan to try Mumbai suspects

    Pakistan says the trial of five men suspected of involvement in the attack on the Taj Hotel in Mumbai last November is likely to start next week.

    Interior Minister Rehman Malik said investigations were complete for these suspects and named another 12 men still wanted in connection with the case.

    The charges show Pakistan is serious in pursuing suspects in the case despite Indian claims to the contrary, he said.

    More than 170 people died in the attacks, including nine gunmen.

    © BBC MMIX

    Obama: Africa must accept responsibility

    obama_ghana

    President Obama has wound up his whirlwind visit to Ghana, with a high-profile trip to a former slave trading post. Thousands of people flocked to Cape Coast to see him, but few were able to get close.

    The President has roots in Kenya, while his wife Michelle’s ancestors were shipped to America as slaves. The tour of Cape Coast will have been deeply emotional for them, and he said his family had experienced the triumphs and tragedies of Africa’s history.

    Earlier, he addressed parliament, warning Africa to take more responsibility for its future. The President congratulated Ghana as a model of democracy in Africa, but said every nation on the continent must accept its obligations.

    “History is on the move,” the President said. “But these things can only be done if all of you take responsibility for your future. And it will not be easy, it will take time and effort. There will be suffering and setbacks, but I can promise you this, America will be with you every step of the way, as a partner, as a friend.”

    It was Obama’s first trip to sub-Saharan Africa as President, and he said Ghana is an example of what can be achieved. Last week’s G8 summit promised to support development, but Obama said real change must begin with Africans themselves.

    Short but sweet: Obama’s historic trip to Ghana

    img_287X161_m110709-obamainghana

    On his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa since entering the White House, President Obama has been formally welcomed to Ghana. Amid pomp and ceremony, the United States’ first African American leader was received by his Ghanaian counterpart John Atta Mills. After inspecting a military guard, Obama was to address parliament in a message promoting democracy on the continent.

    Obama’s father came from Kenya. But, with a strong democratic track record, Ghana was chosen for the visit because it symbolises an Africa different to the old images of war, misery and corruption.

    Another highlight of Obama’s trip to the West African nation will be his visit to a fort used in the transatlantic slave trade.

    His wife Michelle, who flew in with the president and their daughters yesterday, is herself descended from Africans shipped to the US as slaves.

    The enthusiasiam of their airport welcome, with traditional drumming and dancing, is reflected throughout Ghana. The president’s stay may be brief – barely 24 hours – but Obama-mania is all around.

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