Romney warms up tepid campaign by linxiaoqin


									                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ARAB TIMES, SUNDAY, DECEMBER 18, 2011
INTERNATIONAL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              15

‘Silver Star’ to pilot planned: The
US Air Force will award a Silver Star
posthumously to Francis Gary Powers,
the pilot whose spy plane was shot down in
1960 over the Soviet Union in a defining
moment of the Cold War.
   The Air Force determined that the U-2
pilot showed “steadfast loyalty” while
under harsh interrogation in Soviet prisons.
In a report obtained by The Associated
Press, it cited his “sustained courage” and
gallantry despite “cajolery, trickery, insults
                         and threats of
                            The Silver Star is
                         the Air Force’s third-
                         highest honor for
                         service beyond the
                         call of duty.
                            Powers was
                         swapped for a Soviet
                         spy in February
                         1962 at Berlin’s
                         Glienicke Bridge.
       Powers            He died in the 1977
                         crash of a traffic hel-
icopter he was flying in Los Angeles.
   His son, Francis Gary Powers Jr, request-
ed that his father be considered for the
medal. He said the Air Force confirmed this
week that it plans to award it. “It is vindica-
tion of my father 50 years afterwards,” he
said. “Dad is one of our American heroes.”
                  ❑ ❑ ❑
Perry ‘double-dipper’: Texas Gov
Rick Perry is a double-dipper, collecting a
salary and retirement benefits simultaneous-
ly, according to a personal financial disclo-
sure form made public Friday.
   The report filed by the Republican presi-
dential candidate with the Federal Election
Commission shows that Perry is collecting
his $7,700 monthly state pension in addi-
tion to his nearly $133,000 annual salary as
governor. State law allows any employee to
begin collecting retirement benefits if their      US Army soldiers from the 2-82 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, walk off the plane as they arrive at their home base of Fort Hood, Texas after being part of one of the last American
years of military and state service plus their     combat units to exit from Iraq on Dec 16, in Fort Hood, Texas. The US military formally ended its mission in Iraq after eights years of war and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. (Inset): US Army 2nd
age adds up to more than 80.                       Lieutenant Kym Leyva from San Antonio, Texas greets her brother, Sergeant 1st Class Kevin Ross from the 2-82 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, as he arrives at the home base of Fort
   To qualify, the 61-year-old Perry counted                                                                                                  Hood, Texas. (AFP)
his five years in the Air Force and 24 years
in public service in Texas, including as a
part-time legislator, agriculture commis-
sioner, lieutenant governor and governor.                                                                                Politics
   Perry was required to file the disclosure
form because of his presidential candidacy.
                 ❑ ❑ ❑
Anti-piracy act vote delayed: A
key House vote on controversial anti-piracy
                                                                                                                                                    S. Carolina gov gives GOP candidate boost
legislation has been delayed.

                                                                                                        Romney warms up tepid campaign
    The House Judiciary Committee
adjourned on Friday without deciding on
whether or not to send the so-called Stop
Online Piracy Act to the House floor.
    The committee had been engaged in a
marathon markup version of the bill, but the                                                            GREENVILLE, Dec 17, (RTRS): US
session came to an abrupt end, as Congress
had to turn its attention to a floor vote on a
                                                                                                        Republican presidential candidate                                               ‘Support for Israel unshakable’
                                                                                                        Mitt Romney warmed up his tepid
nearly $1 trillion spending bill that would                                                             campaign in South Carolina on
avert a government shutdown.
    The discussion will resume when
Congress is next in session — which could
                                                   US First Lady Michelle Obama talks
                                                                                                        Friday with the endorsement of
                                                                                                        Republican Governor Nikki Haley,
                                                                                                        winning a key ally for a tough fight.
                                                                                                                                                    Obama urges unity as he thanks troops
be next week.
    The law, along with its Senate sister, the     to a group of children during a Toys                    “We’ve been hoping for this for a        WASHINGTON,              Dec        17,    with around 4,000 US soldiers still in          different story,” Obama said,
Protect IP Act, are both championed by the         for Tots event at Joint Base                         long, long time,” Romney said at a          (Agencies): US President Barack            Iraq, all of whom will depart in the            defending himself sharply against
recording and film industries. They both           Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, on                  campaign event in Greenville with           Obama urged national unity                 coming days.                                    Republican attacks. “We have been
seek to combat online piracy by giving the                    Dec 16. (AP)                              the Tea Party champion Haley stand-         Saturday as he expressed his grati-           After that, all that will remain are         there and we will continue to be
Justice Department authority to block off-                                                                                                          tude to troops who fought the war in       157 soldiers under the authority of             there. Those are the facts.”
                                                                                                        ing at his side as he started a two-day     Iraq and welcomed them home at             the American embassy in Iraq, a                    Obama never specifically refered
shore “rogue” websites that engage in the                                                               tour of the early-voting state.
illicit sale of everything from pirated films                                                                                                       the end of the war.                        country where there were once                   to his Republican critics in his
                                                                                                           Romney has been lagging in South             “Now it is up to us to serve these     nearly 170,000 troops on more than              remarks to more than 5,000 listen-
to bogus pharmaceuticals. (RTRS)                                                                        Carolina and his backers in the state       brave men and women as well as             500 bases.                                      ers at a conference of the Union for
                  ❑ ❑ ❑                                                                                 have been urging him to campaign            they serve us,” Obama said in his             The withdrawal ended a war that              Reform Judaism, which represents
Activists challenge 2006 law: A                                                                         here more frequently to compete with        weekly radio and Internet address.         left tens of thousands of Iraqis and            a large and generally liberal branch
group of animal rights activists sued the US                                                            rival Newt Gingrich, who has been               “Every day, they meet their            nearly 4,500 American soldiers                  of North American Judaism.
government on Thursday to challenge the                                                                 leading in polls of the state’s             responsibilities to their families and     dead, many more wounded, and                       But his comments came amid
constitutionality of a law they say treats                                                              Republicans.                                their country,” he continued.”Now          1.75 million Iraqis displaced, after            sustained      attack    from      the
them like terrorists if they cause a loss in                                                               The state is critical on the political   it’s time to meet ours – especially        the US-led invasion unleashed bru-              Republican presidential field over
profits for businesses that use or sell animal                                                          calendar. South Carolina holds the          those of us who you sent to serve in       tal sectarian fighting.                         his record on Israel, with Newt
products.                                                                                                                                           Washington.”                                  Obama called the end of the war              Gingrich, Mitt Romney and others
                                                                                                        first primary in the South on Jan 21,           The president said political divi-     in Iraq “an extraordinary achieve-              accusing him of throwing Israel
   Five activists represented by the Center
for Constitutional Rights filed the lawsuit in          Manning                   Assange               the third contest, following Iowa on        sions and discord should not stand         ment” that was made possible by                 under the bus and siding with the
federal court in Boston, asking that the                                                                Jan 3 and New Hampshire on Jan. 10.         in the way of progress in America.         the hard work and sacrifice of US               Palestinians.
Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act be struck            Defense request denied                                While Romney is favored to win               “This is a moment where we must        troops, arguing that it was time for               Ahead of Obama’s remarks
down as unconstitutional because it has a                                                               New Hampshire, it would be a night-         come together to ensure that every         the nation to address the needs of              Friday, the Republican National
chilling effect on lawful protest activities.      The prosecution was poised to begin                  mare scenario for him to lose both          American has the chance to work            these veterans.                                 Committee organized a conference
   Staff attorney Rachel Meeropol says the         laying out its case against the young                Iowa and South Carolina with the            for a decent living, own their own            Obama is welcoming home                      call where former Sen. Norm
2006 law has left activists afraid to partici-     soldier blamed for the largest leak of               winner likely to have important             home, send their kids to college,          troops who served in Iraq, offering             Coleman asserted that Obama “has
pate in public protests out of fear they will      classified material in American histo-               momentum going into the Jan. 31 pri-        and secure a decent retirement,” he        up their service as a lesson of the             a serious policy problem with
be prosecuted.                                     ry after an Army appeals court late                  mary in Florida, which could crown          said.                                      nation’s character.                             Israel.”
   “There are many terms in the law that           Friday rejected a defense effort to                                                                  US forces formally marked the             Meanwhile, Obama told a Jewish                  Obama strongly disputed any
                                                                                                        the ultimate nominee.                       end of their mission in Iraq with a        group Friday that his administration            such criticism. “I am proud to say
are not defined, and because of that protest-      remove the presiding officer.
ers don’t have notice that certain conduct is                                                              Romney has had difficulty in             low-key ceremony near Baghdad              has done more than any other in                 that no US administration has done
                                                      The long-awaited military court                   appealing to conservatives, particu-
going to violate the statute and what con-         case against Army Pfc. Bradley                                                                   on Thursday.                               support of Israel’s security, and he            more in support of Israel’s security
duct is protected by the First Amendment,”         Manning, the accused source for the
                                                                                                        larly those who make up the lion’s              The “casing of the colors” near        declared his commitment to Israel               than ours. None. Don’t let anyone
Meeropol said. The First Amendment to the          WikiLeaks website’s trove of US mil-                 share of the Republican community           the airport, the first site the US         to be “unshakable.”                             else tell you otherwise. It is a fact,”
US Constitution guarantees free speech.            itary and diplomatic secrets, will go                in South Carolina. Haley could prove        occupied in Baghdad in 2003, came             “So don’t let anybody else tell a            he said.
(AP)                                               forward with Lt Col Paul Almanza as                  to be a valuable ally.
                 ❑ ❑ ❑                             the presiding officer. The defense                      Haley, an Indian-American, was
                                                   requested that Almanza, an Army                      elected in 2010 as South Carolina’s         said he hoped to emulate Haley’s           sion to disrupt Romney’s campaign,              work for mortgage giant Freddie
Cornell gets $350m: Cornell                        Reserve lieutenant colonel and                       first female governor with the strong       come-from-behind performance in            quickly accused the wealthy former              Mac.
University said Friday it had received a           Justice Department prosecutor, step                                                              South Carolina.                            venture capitalist of being out of                 Romney, on a two-day tour of
$350 million gift from an anonymous                                                                     backing of Tea Party champion Sarah
donor for its vision of an applied sciences
                                                   aside because of alleged bias.                       Palin. Though her popularity has               “I see every state as a battlefield,”   town with everyday Americans.                   South Carolina to try to dent
                                                   Almanza rejected the request and                     sagged a bit in recent months, her          Romney said. “There’s no place I              “There is not one thing in Mitt              Gingrich’s big lead in the polls here,
campus in the city as a major rival in the         refused to suspend the hearing
competition to build a world-class gradu-                                                               endorsement was still coveted by            can look at and say, ‘this is going to     Romney’s entire history that shows              all but accused Gingrich of lobbying
                                                   pending an appeal.                                                                               be easy, I don’t need to worry about       one bit of concern for middle-class             for Freddie Mac by accepting $1.6
ate institution bowed out.                            Manning, a one-time intelligence                  Republican presidential candidates.
    California’s Stanford University with-                                                                 Haley told reporters she believes a      that.’”                                    Americans,” said DNC Chair                      million in consultants’ fees from an
                                                   analyst stationed in Baghdad, is
drew from the competition because it had           accused of leaking hundreds of thou-                 spirited campaign of appearances and           After days of hurling sharp attacks     Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.                       enterprise at the heart of America’s
failed to find a way to ensure the success of      sands of sensitive items including                   TV ads would turn around Romney’s           at chief rival Gingrich, Romney               Romney told reporters on his                 housing crisis.
its proposed campus in its talks with the          Iraq and Afghanistan war logs, State                 fortunes in the state. She said South       renewed his focus again on                 plane that he had made a “self-dep-                While Romney, once the lone
city, the school’s president said in a state-      Department cables and a classified                                                               Democratic       President      Barack     recating understatement” and that in            frontrunner, was planting his flag in
ment.                                                                                                   Carolina voters are not concerned
    “We were looking forward to an innova-
                                                   military video of a 2007 American                    about Romney’s Mormon religion.             Obama and his leadership of the US         his younger days he had done some               a Gingrich stronghold, Gingrich
                                                   helicopter attack in Iraq that killed 11                “When it comes to Mormon faith, I        economy.                                   consulting work for various health              spent the day off the campaign trail,
tive partnership with the city of New York,        men, including a Reuters news pho-
and we are sorry that together we could not                                                             will tell you that whatever the per-           “This is a failed presidency,” he       care companies.                                 with      a     book-signing      near
                                                   tographer and his driver.                            son’s faith, that’s not going to be an      said.                                         Romney, with a decided financial             Washington and private family
find a way to realize our mutual goals,”              The Justice Department has a
John Hennessy said in the statement.                                                                    issue for my constituents, and the rea-        Democrats were eager to return          edge over Gingrich, will have a clear           events in the capital city.
                                                   separate criminal investigation into
    Hours after Stanford announced its deci-       WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.                    son I know why is because South             fire, seizing on a comment Romney          advantage the longer the race goes                 Meanwhile, former Utah governor
sion to withdraw from the competition,             (AP)                                                 Carolina just elected a 38-year old         made earlier in the day in Sioux City,     on. He launched a heavy wave of                 John Huntsman was courting inde-
Cornell’s president said it had received                                                                Indian female governor,” she said.          Iowa, to workers at a steel plant.         advertising attacks on Gingrich’s               pendent voters in New Hampshire in
what it called the largest gift in the universi-                                                           She told the crowd she settled on           Romney, talking about popular           temperament and electability this               hopes of doing well in the state’s Jan
ty’s history to build its proposed campus.         for aid. (AP)                                                                                    entitlement programs, said until he        week.                                           10 primary. Polling suggests he may
                                                                                                        Romney after listening to all the con-
(AP)                                                               ❑    ❑     ❑                         tenders and determining he had the          got into government, “I have to               He capped those attacks by calling           be on the rise, thanks largely to tens
                  ❑ ❑ ❑                            Overturning marriage law mulled:                     best qualities to be president, includ-     admit I didn’t know all the differ-        Gingrich’s ideas “zany” during a                of thousands of independents likely
UN emergency fund gets $375m:                      A US judge appeared sympathetic to a les-            ing her No 1 priority: “I didn’t want       ences” between Medicare, a health          New York Times interview.                       to vote in that contest. Independents
More than 45 countries from wealthy                bian federal employee’s bid to strike down           anyone tied to Washington.”                 insurance program for the elderly,            Romney sought to create doubts               represent about 40 percent of the
Norway to impoverished Niger and                   a law denying health-insurance benefits to              Romney, who had campaigned for           and Medicaid, which helps the poor.        about rival Newt Gingrich among                 New Hampshire electorate.
Afghanistan pledged $375 million Friday to         her spouse, in the first hearing since the           Haley when she won a come-from-                The      Democratic        National     South Carolina conservatives on                    He described himself as “the surg-
a United Nations fund that provides imme-          Obama administration decided to quit                 behind victory as governor in 2010,
diate money to respond to humanitarian             defending the statute.                                                                           Committee, which is on a daily mis-        Saturday by criticizing his high-paid           ing candidate.”
emergencies around the world.                         US District Judge Jeffrey White heard
   The UN Office for the Coordination of           two hours of arguments on Friday at a hear-
Humanitarian Affairs said this was a $16           ing on a challenge to the Defense of
million increase in pledges compared to            Marriage Act, or DOMA.
2011. It singled out Denmark, which                   “The court is faced with enforcing the
announced that it will double its contribu-        equal protection clause in the context of a     married couples.                                                                            across the US, helping to buy the Christmas       husband, Lloyd, live paycheck to paycheck
tion to nearly $18 million, making it one of       fundamental right — that is marriage,”             Karen Golinski has worked as a staff                                                     gifts that families couldn’t afford.              and that layaway — the practice of paying
the largest donors.                                White said.                                     attorney for the 9th US Circuit Court of                                                       Lori Stearnes said at first she thought it     off purchases bit by bit — often helps
   The Central Emergency Response Fund                The judge did not make any rulings from      Appeals in San Francisco for 20 years.                                                      was a joke when someone from her local            spread out the costs of Christmas.
was revamped by the UN General                     the bench.                                      (RTRS)                                                                                      Kmart store called to say someone had paid           “It just gives you a warm feeling,” said
Assembly in December 2005 after world                 Congress passed DOMA in 1996 and                              ❑ ❑ ❑                                                                      off most of her bill for toys and outfits she     Stearnes, 53.
leaders decided to make up to $500 million         President Bill Clinton signed it into law. It                                                                                               bought for the youngest four of her seven            A similar random act of kindness hap-
                                                                                                   Anonymous donors pay strangers:                                                             grandchildren.                                    pened at a Kmart in Indianapolis, where a
available annually so the UN can act speed-        prevents same-sex couples who are legally       Santa seems to be getting some help:
ily to help people caught in conflicts, natu-      married in seven states and the District of                                                                                                    The total bill was about $250, but after       young father wearing dirty clothes and
                                                                                                   Anonymous donors are paying off                                                             the stranger helped, she only had a $58 bal-      worn-out boots stood in line at a layaway
ral disasters and other emergencies instead        Columbia from enjoying more than 1,000          strangers’ shopping accounts at retail stores
of waiting for donors to respond to appeals        federal benefits awarded to heterosexual                                                            White                 Clinton           ance, she said. Stearnes said she and her         counter with three small children. (AP)

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