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Millions to watch Obama become US’ first black President

WAITING FOR OBAMA: People with masks of Barack Obama wave during a ‘Bye Bye Bush’ demonstration in Spain.

People with masks of Barack Obama wave during a

Barack Obama will become the first black president of the United States of America on Tuesday.

He came, he campaigned and he conquered and now Obama’s swearing-in ceremony will watched across the world.

Inauguration Day in the US is steeped in tradition. The president-elect and family will start their day with the morning service at the St Johns Church.

Obama and vice-president elect Joe Biden and their families will then proceed to the White House, where they will be greeted by outgoing President George W Bush. The swearing-in ceremony will be held at the US Capital.

First Joe Biden will take the oath of office and then Barack Obama raising his right hand and putting his other hand on the Bible will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts and attend inaugural parade.

On the eve of his inauguration, Obama paid tribute to the man who ushered in the social change which has helped US get its first black president – Martin Luther King

“Never forget that the true character of our nation is revealed not during times of comfort and ease but by the right we do when the moment is hard. I ask you to help reveal that character once more. And, together, we can carry forward as one nation and one people the legacy of our forefathers that we celebrate today,” said Obama.

Over 2 million people are expected to watch the swearing-in ceremony as well as Obama give his inaugural address.

At Penysalvania they are anticipating 3,00,000 people for viewing stands and many others will watch teh inaugural parade.

It is difficult to say what strikes the most about the next US president. Is it Barack Obama’s background, his education or is it his youth?

It is perhaps a combination of all of them, expressed in that one word – charisma.

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January 20, 2009 Posted by | Elections, General, Politics, USA, USA Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

War on Mumbai Day 3: Sequence of events so far

30 hrs IST on Wednesday night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages.

WARZONE MUMBAI: At 21:30 hrs IST on Nov 26, 2008 night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages.

More than 36 hours on, the war on Mumbai is still in full flow. The situation has been developing minute by minute. Here’s making sense of what’s happened so far.

At 21:30 hrs IST on Nov 26, 2008 night, terrorists entered the 22-storey Taj hotel and took hostages. Mumbai’s Anti-Terrorist Squad reached the area and soon a gunbattle began, punctuated with explosions.

Within minutes of the first gun being fired, there was panic across Southern Bombay. Young, heavily armed terrorists were at various locations – from the CST Station to five star hotels to the very popular Leopold Cafe in Colaba. Eyewitness accounts being collated by intelligence agencies suggest that these terrorists made their way into the heart of city in boats.

At 02:00 hrs IST on Nov 27, 2008, a fire broke out in Taj hotel’s central dome. In the continuing gunbattle, three terrorists were killed by 05:00 hrs IST on Thursday. Some guests were evacuated, but the war was far from over.

Apparently having landed by boat at the nearby Gateway of India, the terrorists split up. They first opened fire at the popular Cafe Leopold before moving to the Taj and Oberoi hotels. A group of terrorists entered the CST Station, fired and lobbed grenades into the crowded. Ten people died in the ensuing mayhem.

The terrorists then moved to the adjacent municipal headquarters and then to Cama hospital, where again they opened fire and lobbed grenades.

The terrorists managed to kill ATS Chief Hemant Karkare, who was supervising operations personally. Along with him were Additional Commissioner of Police, Ashok Kamte and senior police inspector Vijay Salaskar, a crack encounter specialist of the Mumbai Police, both of whom too died in the attack on Cama hospital.

The terrorists then hijacked a police vehicle and drove towards Metro junction, where again they fire into the crowds present there. This group of terrorists were later gunned down by a police team.

While police hunted for the terrorists, the Army, National Security Guard and Naval commandos tried to defuse the hostage situation in the Taj and Oberoi hotels – where some foreigners were being held – and Nariman House through the night.

The Armed Forces have had partial success at the Taj, but the stand off at the Oberoi hotel and Nariman House continues.

November 29, 2008 Posted by | Attacks, General, India Related, World News | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Superstar Rajnikanth to join BJP?

Tamil Nadu superstar Rajnikanth

He is South India’s biggest super star and for almost two decades now his entry into politics has been speculated. And, with the general elections around the corner once again there is strong buzz of Rajnikanth taking the plunge.

BJP prime ministerial candidate LK Advani’s visit to Rajnikanth’s house in Chennai has sent tongues wagging. Sources said that Advani wants Rajni to hop onboard and campaign for the BJP in the upcoming elections.

However, when both were quizzed about the same, they were tight lipped. Advani said, ” I had an invitation from him to visit his house for a long time and I used the opportunity since I was here in Chennai.”

“Rajnikanth had been pressing me for a long time to visit his place. Today I accepted the invitation. We discussed many things, including his latest film. It was a happy meeting with him and his family,” the BJP leader said.

Advani said that it was long standing desire of Rajanikanth and himself for a meeting. “It was fulfilled today,” he said.

Advani was in Chennai yesteday in connection with the release of the Tamil version of his autobiography.

Advani welcomed Rajnikant’s statement that he would come to politics if god asked him to do so.
“I had appreciated his decision that he will come to politics when god wills,” Advani said.

Following the meet, Rajnikanth also kept mum and said, “It was just a casual visit.”

And, with superstar Chiranjeevi having launched a political party recently, several Rajni fans want to see their favourite star do the same. The meeting assumes significance in the wake of the demand by Rajnikant’s fans asking him to enter politics.

However, he had been resisting such demands but recently announced that he would undertake a tour of the state to meet his fans. He had also promised that he would be frequently meeting them.

Rajnikanth is not averse to the idea expect he says that he’s wating for a sign from the Gods to make the plunge. He had said, “No one can compel me. What has to happen will surely happen. God’s sign has to come. If God’s sign comes, I can even start a party tomorrow.”

During the run up to the 2004 elections Rajnikanth had declared that he will vote for the BJP, but stopped short of asking his fans also to support the party. The saffron party is hoping that this time too Rajni will indicate his support, even if he does not make a political plunge.

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Elections, General, India Related, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

America’s vote out: goodbye President Bush

Bush at a graduation ceremony for FBI Agents in Quantico, Va.

TERM OVER: Bush at a graduation ceremony for FBI Agents in Quantico, Va.

Even before one vote was counted, this result was clear: The US presidential race was a verdict on George W Bush.

Both Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain positioned themselves as agents of change—that is, change from Bush.

The US President’s approval ratings have hovered near historically low levels—it was just 26 percent in an AP-GfK poll conducted a couple of weeks before Election Day—and he was a factor in voters’ decision-making no matter how much he tried to keep out of the race.

Obama seized on Bush’s standing to make him a political liability for McCain, who in turn separated himself aggressively from the face of his own party as the campaign closed.

The President’s face has been such a fixture in anti-McCain ads that it was up to Laura Bush to add a touch of lightness to her husband’s woes.

“I’m really looking forward to Election Day,” she said at a Republican campaign event in Kentucky on Monday, “partly because it seems like George has been on the ticket this entire year.”

The quietest place in Washington on Tuesday may have been the White House itself.

The President voted absentee several days ago, so there was no video of him at his precinct, no statements to reporters, no public appearance whatsoever.

Bush planned to spend his evening in the White House residence, watching TV coverage of election results and hosting a small dinner with his wife, Laura.

There was sure to be at least some celebrating—Tuesday is the first lady’s birthday. Otherwise, it was a day when the White House purposely went dark.

“He realises this election is not about him,” White House press secretary Dana Perino said heading into voting day.

Tuesday marked the first time in 14 years—a period when Bush twice won the Texas governorship and the presidency—that he was not on the ballot.

Many pundits had no doubt about Tuesday’s outcome. Among them: Karl Rove, once of Bush’s closest aides and the architect of his two successful presidential runs. On election eve, Rove distributed his last analysis of the electoral map. It predicted Obama winning easily, with 338 electoral votes. It takes 270 to win.

The title of Rove’s e-mail: “The End.” He was referring to the election, but there was also a feeling of finality at the White House.

Outside, the post-Bush transition was starting. Construction workers churned away on Inauguration Day grandstands along Pennsylvania Avenue.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Elections, General, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment