Bush, Rumsfeld gave ‘secret orders’
Obama tries being a regular guy
Obama’s granny is goodwill ambassador
3 Indians among top 50 WSJ women
Triple strikes kill 28
Indian-American groups protest Sonal’s appointment
Bush, Rumsfeld gave ‘secret orders’
New York, November 10
The US military since 2004 has used this secret authority to carry out nearly a dozen undisclosed attacks against the Al-Qaida. These were authorised by a classified order that defence secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld signed in the spring of 2004 with the approval of President Bush, the New York Times said.
The secret order gave the military new authority to attack the Qaida terrorist network anywhere in the world, and a more sweeping mandate to conduct operations in countries not at war with the US, the report said.
In 2006, a Navy team raided a suspected militants’ compound in the Bajaur region of Pakistan, the paper said quoting a former top official of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Officials watched the entire mission captured by the video camera of a remotely piloted Predator aircraft in real time in the CIA’s Counter-terrorist Centre at the agency’s headquarters in Virginia 7,000 miles away, the paper said.
Some of the military missions have been conducted in close coordination with the CIA, American officials told the paper. In others, like the special operations raid in Syria on October 26 this year, the military commandos acted in support of CIA-directed operations.
But as many as a dozen additional operations have been cancelled in the past four years, often to the dismay of military commanders, senior military officials told the paper.
They said senior administration officials had decided in these cases that the missions were too risky, were too diplomatically explosive or relied on insufficient evidence.
Chicago, November 10
Obama and his family know their lives will change drastically when they move into 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in January, so they are enjoying the last few months of “normalcy” before entering the fishbowl of the White House.
He seemed slightly taken aback on Friday when he walked into his first news conference as President-elect and a room full of reporters stood as he entered. Accustomed to reporters balancing computers on their laps as they asked questions on the campaign trail, Obama just said “Wow” then began speaking.
Though security has been beefed up since Obama became President-elect, with a few more streets blocked off around his Chicago house and more police officers in his motorcade, the 47-year-old is trying to go about his regular business.
In the past few days he has gone out to a downtown restaurant for a three-hour dinner with his wife Michelle, enjoyed an unprecedented number of nights in a row at home in his own bed and followed a daily workout regime.
For his Saturday night dinner date with his wife, Obama’s motorcade was as unobtrusive as a dozen cars snaking their way through downtown could be. The police rang their sirens only a few times and for most of the ride they did not use their flashing lights, presumably in an effort to minimize attention.
President-elect with his wife even went to daughters’ school this week for a parent-teacher conference, which had to be postponed because of the grueling presidential campaign which kept Obama away from home most of the time.
They looked like other parents, conferring as they exited the school.
One constant that Obama has required is regular exercise. Even after staying up until nearly 2 am on election night, he went to the gym early on Wednesday before a day of meetings. Yesterday morning Obama got up early and headed to the gym, located in a nearby apartment complex owned by a good friend. — Reuters
Nairobi, November 10
Mama Sarah Obama (86) who will join other ambassadors, including former Argentine football star Diego Maradona, is expected to work from Inter-Governmental Institution for the Use of Micro-Algae Spirulina’s subsidiary in Kenya, based at the Kisumu Kids Empowerment Organisation.
Sarah welcomed the appointment saying it was in line with what she had been doing all along by taking care of orphans and the vulnerable children.
“Last night, I received a call from my granddaughter Auma Obama breaking news of my appointment for an international position, that shocked me,” she was quoted as saying by Kenya Broadcasting Corporation.
She added that she was still celebrating with relatives who travelled long distances to reach her home in a show of goodwill over her grandson being elected as President of the most powerful country in the world.
She was speaking at her Kogelo home when journalists paid her a courtesy call to congratulate her on her new position. She was flanked by family members led by Said Obama.
The grandmother was however at a loss on how she will divide time to serve in her new appointment and welcoming the visitors still trooping into her homestead.
She said she was more at home than staying elsewhere adding that she will discuss the arrangements with the subsidiary in Kisumu to find out how best her contribution would benefit the organisation without interfering with her normal routine. — PTI
New York, November 10
Cisco’s chief technology officer Padmasree Warrior and INX Media’s chief executive Indrani Mukerjea are the other two women who made the cut.
Ranked at the second spot, snacks and beverages major Pepsico chief Nooyi is the lone Indian in the top 10. Warrior and Mukerjea are ranked at the 31st and the 41st positions, respectively.
At the top of the heap is Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation chairman Sheila Bair. Barbara Desoer, who is the president, Mortgage, Home Equity & Insurance Services, at the Bank of America, is placed at the third position.
Writing on Nooyi, the publication said confronted this year by high commodity prices, a downturn in the US beverage sales, and other consequences of the souring economy, the Pepsico chief did not shy from some bold steps.
Others in the top 10 are the People’s Bank of China’s Deputy Governor Hu Xiaolian (4th), French finance minister Christine Lagarde (5), Kraft Foods’ chief executive Irene Rosenfeld (6), Temasek Holdings’ chief Hon Ching (7), DuPont president Ellen Kullman (8), Xerox chairman Anne Mulcahy (9) and Laura Tyson (10), who is the Prof of Business at California University, Berkeley.
Describing 36-year-old Mukerjea as India’s first female media mogul, the report pointed out that INX Media, founded in 2007 with funding from private-equity firms Temasek Holdings and New Silk Route Advisers, is betting on growth in a country with 120 million television homes and millions more who still don’t own one. — PTI
Baghdad, November 10
In another attack, in Baquba, capital of volatile northern Diyala province, a teenaged girl in a suicide-bomb vest blew herself up at a checkpoint of the US-backed security patrolmen, killing four persons and wounding 18. The Police said the bomber was a girl and was 13 years old.
The triple attack in Baghdad, one of the deadliest incidents in Iraq for months, took place in the Kasra neighbourhood on the east bank of the Tigris in a bustling area of tea shops and restaurants near a fine arts institute.
Male and female students, many of whom were having breakfast at the time of the strike, were among the dead and wounded, as were the Iraqi soldiers and the police, who had rushed to the scene.
Jassim Mohammed, a bystander, said he saw one of the car bomb blasts strike outside a restaurant.
''Innocent and simple people were gathering to have breakfast or shop in the nearby area. A minibus which was driving past was also hit and four or five of its passengers were killed.
''How can you explain this act? This is not a military unit, not a military barracks. There is nothing there.'' Such coordinated and massive strikes have become rare but steady reminders of the capacity of militants to unleash mayhem in Iraq, even though they no longer control whole swathes of towns and villages and violence overall has fallen sharply.
The attack by a female suicide bomber in Baquba is part of a trend that has increased this year. US forces say Al Qaida Sunni Islamist militants are increasingly recruiting female bombers — often teenaged girls — to thwart security checks.
New York, November 10
In a joint statement, the Indian Coalition Against Genocide and the Indian American Coalition for Pluralism and the Non-Resident Indians for a Secular and Harmonious India said they were holding consultations among themselves and the like-minded Indian-American leaders on the issue.The organisations have asked Shah to clarify her position about her association with the VHP and its “mother organisation” the RSS.
The statement said they have avowed to increase their efforts to “educate the American politicians and business leaders about the attempts by the Hindu ultra-nationalist Hindutva movement to infiltrate the power centres of the US society by giving big donations and through volunteer work.” — PTI