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old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

07 December 2005

kerosene in the smoking room Part 2

Germany's new Chancellor Angela Merkel
of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU).
I have no idea what or who the International Police Association,
Landesgruppe Nordrhein-Westfalen e.V. is, but I know where
Westphalia is; does that count? Anyway, I found this caricature
of Chancellor Merkel on the IPA's website. This is quite mild
and respectful. Other cartoonists are not so mild and respectful
in depicting Chancellor Merkel. Make sure the children aren't
in the room and do a Google Image search.

Wednesday 7 December 2005

She told me the US goofed
No she didn't
Yes she did, she said that
You are perhaps mistaken

BERLIN (Reuters) -- The German government said on Wednesday it stood by comments from Chancellor Angela Merkel that the United States has admitted it made a mistake in detaining a German citizen and imprisoning him in Afghanistan.

At a news conference on Tuesday with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Merkel told reporters Washington had acknowledged it erred in detaining Khaled el-Masri, who says he spent months in jail in Afghanistan where he was beaten.

However, a senior U.S. official later disputed that Rice had made such an admission and suggested Merkel was mistaken.

German government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm rejected that suggestion on Wednesday, telling reporters: "The comments, as they were made yesterday, are valid."

The spat overshadowed a bridge-building meeting between Merkel and Rice that was designed to show Germany and the United States have overcome past differences over the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

The Masri affair has become an explosive political issue in Germany and attracted world attention as the United States faces renewed allegations of illegal tactics and human rights abuses while waging its war on terrorism.

It presents Merkel, who has vowed to improve relations with Washington, with her first big foreign policy test since becoming chancellor two weeks ago.

- 30 -


from Reuters website:

In October 1851 Paul Julius Reuter, a German-born immigrant, opened an office in the City of London which transmitted stock market quotations between London and Paris via the new Calais-Dover cable. Two years earlier he had used pigeons to fly stock prices between Aachen and Brussels, a service which operated for a year until the gap in the telegraph link was closed.

Reuters, as the agency soon became known, eventually extended its service to the whole British press as well as to other European countries. It also expanded the content to include general and economic news from all around the world. The reputation of its service was enhanced by a succession of reporting scoops. For example, in 1865 Reuters was first in Europe with news of President Lincoln’s assassination in the United States.

As overland telegraph and undersea cable facilities developed, the business expanded beyond Europe to include the Far East in 1872 and South America in 1874. In 1883 Reuters began to use a ‘column printer’ to transmit messages electrically to London newspapers and in 1923 pioneered the use of radio to transmit news internationally. In 1927 it introduced the teleprinter to distribute news to London newspapers.

In 1925 the Press Association, the UK press agency, took a majority holding in Reuters Ltd. and in 1939 the company moved its corporate headquarters to its present location at 85 Fleet Street, London.

During both World Wars, Reuters came under pressure from the British government to serve British interests. In 1941 Reuters deflected this pressure by restructuring itself as a private company. The new owners, the British national and provincial press, formed the Reuters Trust, with independent trustees. The Trust preserves Reuters independence and neutrality. The principles of the Trust were maintained and the power to enforce them was strengthened when Reuters became a public company in 1984.


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