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					                                                                                                                                                                                                                     ARAB TIMES, WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2012
INTERNATIONAL                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               18

                                  World News Roundup


     Common ground

 unify ‘Occupy’
 WASHINGTON, April 10, (RTRS):
 Mercedes          Robinson-Duvallon
 turned 83 in February, but there was
 little time for celebration.
     On her birthday, as she sat in a
 wheelchair recovering from sur-
 gery, sheriffs’ deputies arrived to
 evict her from the Miami home
 where she has lived since 1966. A
 year earlier her property had moved
 into foreclosure after she defaulted
 on a refinanced loan.
     Robinson-Duvallon says she
 would be homeless now but for the
                     intervention of
                     about 40 mem-
                     bers of Occupy
                     Fort Lauderdale,
                     a Florida branch
                     of the national
                     movement that is
                     income inequali-
                     ty and corporate
        Davis        greed. The group
                     took over her
 lawn and house and even baked her
 a birthday cake.
     The deputies decided to let her
     “I owe the Occupy people,” said
 Robinson-Duvallon, who is now
 challenging the eviction in court.
 “This has all been so horrible, I
 can’t tell you how many times I’ve
 cried and cried.”
     What happened in Miami is also
 occurring in Cincinnati, Los
 Angeles and Minneapolis, as local
 Occupy groups pursue an issue they
 believe has emotional resonance                  US President Barack Obama speaks as the Easter bunny listens during the 134th annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House on April 9, in Washington, DC. (AFP)
 among America’s struggling lower
 and middle classes.                                   Obama kicks off 134th annual Easter Egg Roll
     Fighting foreclosures and evic-
 tions, activists say, gives the dis-
 parate movement a unifying focus        In an annual family-friendly rite of             daughters Malia and Sasha and the            musical performances, cooking                 “Easter Parade.”                             and Sasha took turns reading from
 and embodies its anti-Wall Street       spring, President Barack Obama                   Easter Bunny.                                with celebrity chefs and clowns                  His first stop was the day’s center-      “A Sick Day for Amos McGee” by
                                         and his wife Michelle kicked off the               “It’s a beautiful day — perfect            galore. There was even a yoga gar-            piece event, the egg rolling race.           Philip C. Stead. The president fol-
 message. It also has offered a way      White House Easter Egg Roll on                   weather,” enthused Mrs Obama.                den. Officials expected some                  Obama blew the whistle and joined in         lowed with Maurice Sendak’s “Where
 for Occupy — up till now a largely      Monday, joining tens of thousands                “There’s something for everyone. ... I       30,000 children and their parents to          the cheers of parents as youngsters          the Wild Things Are,” which he called
 white, middle-class movement —          of youngsters and their parents in a             hope you put on your comfortable             take part.                                    scampered across the grass toward            an “all-time classic,” and encouraged
 to broaden its reach to minorities.     day of racing, reading, sports and               shoes.”                                         After welcoming the throng, the            a finish line a short distance away.         his audience to join in the growling,
               Fights                    crafts on a breezy, sun-splashed                   The annual event, first held in            president and his family, including           “We’ve got a winner over here,” he           roaring and teeth-gnashing of the
    Interviews with Occupy activists     South Lawn.                                      1878 when Rutherford B. Hayes                first grandmother Marian Robinson,            shouted as one child finished the            characters. “You guys were excellent
 in 11 states show groups from coast        “We are so thrilled all of you could          was president, featured traditional          Mrs Obama’s mother — set off to mix           course.                                      wild things,” he said, before excusing
 to coast have taken up foreclosure      join us,” Obama said from the South              egg-rolling races — as well as               and mingle as the president’s own                He then joined the rest of his fami-      himself. “I’ve got to go to work. I’m
 fights through rallies, home occu-      Portico, flanked by the first lady, their        obstacle courses, book-readings,             Marine Band played Irving Berlin’s            ly on the book-reading stage. Malia          gnashing my teeth.” (AP)
 pations and court appearances.
 Matt Browner Hamlin of occupy-
 ourhomes.org, a national group
 focused on this cause, counts “more
 than 100 Occupy groups” that have
 taken direct action or formed fore-
 closure working groups.
    Cheryl Aichele of Occupy Los
 Angeles said activists there have
 helped a dozen homeowners thus
                                                                                                                                                                   ‘It’s over for me’
 far and have many more requests.
 “This cause,” she said, “brings
 together everything that we are
 fighting against — corporate greed,
 bank bail outs, a corrupt judiciary
 and corrupt government.”
                                                                                              Santorum quits White House race
    There is little evidence that the                                                         WASHINGTON, April 10, (AFP):               a “difficult weekend,” and said while       important voice in our party and in the       He has also drawn suspicion
 banking industry is taking notice,                                                           Rick Santorum Tuesday dropped his          Bella was getting better, “it did cause     nation,” Romney added.                     because of his Mormon faith.
    Robert Davis, executive vice                                                              long-shot White House bid, effective-      us to think.”                                  A devout Catholic, Santorum’s rad-         Pressure will now build on former
 president of an industry lobby          In this photo taken March 19, 2012,                  ly handing Mitt Romney the                    “While this presidential race is over    ical views on religion, women and          House speaker Newt Gingrich to pull
 group, the American Bankers             US Republican Congressional candi-                   Republican party crown to challenge        for me and we will suspend our cam-         marriage played well with the party’s      out and allow the party to heal from
 Association, said, “It is unlikely      date Tom Cotton, standing, greets                    President Barack Obama in November         paign effective today, we are not done      conservative base, but were alienating     the divisive campaign and come
 that protests are going to have any     people in a Hot Springs, Ark, restau-                elections.                                 fighting,” he said.                         the all-important voting bloc of mod-      together around Romney ahead of the
 bearing on the court process” where     rant. Cotton and one other                              “This presidential race is over for        “We’re going to continue to fight        erates and independents.                   November 6 presidential polls.
 foreclosures often are challenged.      Republican seeking the office in                     me,” Santorum told supporters in           for the Americans who stood up and             The        53-year-old       former        Gingrich, who has won just two
    He said banks rely on law            Arkansas’ 4th District are veterans of               Gettysburg, in his home state of           gave us that air under our wings that       Pennsylvania senator was a virtual         contests and is also lagging far behind
                                              the war in Afghanistan. (AP)                    Pennsylvania.                              allowed us to accomplish things that        unknown on the national scene when         his rivals with his campaign mired in
 enforcement to quash eviction
 protests that constitute “unlawful                                                              Despite an upset victory when he        no political expert would have ever         he first threw his hat into the ring in    debt, acknowledged Sunday that
 occupation of a property ... They                                                            won the very first contest in the          expected.”                                  June to be the Republican nominee.         Romney was his party’s “most likely”
 need to be removed so the property                                                           Republican nominating race in Iowa in         His surprise decision to quit the race      Despite being written off early on,     nominee.
 can be sold.”                                                                                January, Santorum has failed to build      came just two weeks before a primary        Santorum built his campaign state-by-         But he insisted he was staying in the
    In Cincinnati, a group called                                                             any momentum.                              vote in Pennsylvania, amid polls            state, winning key successes in some       race despite being far outpaced, after
 Occupy the Hood has found the                                                                   He has trailed a distant second in      showing he could lose the state to          of the southern conservative states.       polls once had him as the leading
 issue a rallying point in the city’s                                                         the battle to be the party’s contender     Romney.                                        His pro-life, anti-contraception,       Republican to take on Obama.
 East Price Hill neighborhood, an                                                             aiming to thwart Obama’s hopes of a           With Romney enjoying a command-          marriage-only-between-a-man-a-                “I think you have to be realistic,
 ethnically mixed, working-class                                                              second four-year term, outspent by         ing lead in the delegates race that         woman message gained traction with         given the size of his organization,
 area hard hit by the economic                                                                Romney’s deep war chest and out-           determines the nominee, the party           heartland evangelicals deeply skepti-      given the number of primaries he’s
 downturn. Average neighborhood                                                               organized by his extensive grass-roots     establishment had been urging               cal of Romney, who they view as a          won. He is far and away, the most like-
 home values have fallen 41 percent           Obama                    Romney                 network.                                   Santorum to step aside and allow the        moderate disguised in conservative         ly Republican nominee,” Gingrich
 since 2002.                                                                                     Over the Easter weekend, the for-       party to coalesce around one single         clothing.                                  told “Fox News Sunday.”
    Amid chants of “Banks got                                                                 mer Pennsylvania senator halted cam-       candidate.                                     Romney, the multi-millionaire for-         If Romney gets the 1,144 delegates
 bailed out, we got sold out,” Rigel                                                          paigning for four days after his              Romney swiftly congratulated             mer governor of the liberal East Coast     to clinch the nomination at the party’s
 Behrens and other activists in                  America                                      youngest daughter, Bella, who suffers      Santorum for being “an able and wor-        state of Massachusetts, has also stirred   August convention in Tampa, Florida,
 Cincinnati recently conducted a                                                              from a rare genetic disorder, was hos-     thy competitor” and for the campaign        controversy, with many saying he is        Gingrich said: “I’ll support him. I’ll do
 “foreclosure tour,” visiting seven                                                           pitalized again.                           he had run.                                 out of touch with ordinary people          everything I can this fall to help him
 boarded-up homes.                       Taxes at center of ‘fight’: With his                    Santorum acknowledged it had been          “He has proven himself to be an          struggling in the tough economy.           defeat Obama.”
    “Abandoned homes are the most        Republican opponent now almost certain
 obvious, physical manifestation of      to be Mitt Romney, a multi-millionaire,
 what is wrong with our system,”         President Barack Obama is trying to put          pendents” in the poll.                       foreboding economic news elsewhere.           election for Obama and hiring slowed in         “President Obama and his team are des-
 said Behrens.                           fairer taxes at the center of his re-election      Obama’s renewed focus on tax rates            High gasoline prices hovering near $4 a    March, though the unemployment rate          perate to avoid talking about last Friday’s
            Shutdowns                    campaign, but a new poll suggests the            comes as the White House stares down         gallon are set to remain a hurdle to re-      dipped to 8.2 percent from 8.3 percent.      incredibly weak jobs report, which is why
    Those who have watched the           message may fall flat in swing states.                                                                                                                                                   they create sideshows to distract people
 Occupy movement since its                  Obama was to talk about taxes in Florida                                                                                                                                              from what really matters,” said Andrea
 September beginnings say the fore-
 closure focus may help it recover
                                         on Tuesday when he delivers a speech in
                                         support of the “Buffett Rule,” a measure to                                                                                                    Healthcare law                            Saul, a spokeswoman for Romney.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     “Apparently, the only job the White
                                         insure a 30 percent tax on income over $1                                                                                                                                                House is interested in saving belongs to
 from a slump that followed forced
 shutdowns of encampments in New         million earned by wealthy Americans.
                                            Vice-President Joe Biden will travel to
                                                                                                                                                                                        may hike deficit                          Obama. Everyone else will have to con-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  tinue to suffer. Mitt Romney is running
 York, Washington and other cities.
    “The Occupy movement seems           the battleground state of New Hampshire on                                                                                                     WASHINGTON,           April   10,         for president to put America back to
                                         Thursday also to discuss taxes. The Obama                                                                                                      (RTRS): US President Barack               work,” she added.
 to have lost some of its punch,” said   campaign sees the issue as a weak point for                                                                                                    Obama’s healthcare law could                 Taxes for America’s highest earners
 Susan MacManus, a University of         Romney, a former private equity executive                                                                                                                                                have fallen sharply since 1995, according
 South Florida political science pro-                                                                                                                                                   sharply exceed its cost-savings
                                         and ex-governor of Massachusetts.                                                                                                              targets and add up to $530 bil-           to a White House report on Tuesday,
 fessor. “Focusing on an issue that         “Middle class families are taking it on                                                                                                                                               released ahead of a speech by Obama on
 affects the working class and leaves                                                                                                                                                   lion to the federal budget deficit,
                                         the chin right now and they don’t see oth-                                                                                                     a leading authority on US gov-            fairness in the tax code that is a key part
 people feeling alienated is poten-      ers doing their fair share,” Wisconsin                                                                                                         ernment benefit programs said             of his campaign for reelection.
 tially a good strategy. If they can     Democratic congresswoman Tammy                                                                                                                 on Tuesday.                                  The White House estimated the 400
 make it work.”                          Baldwin said in a conference call set up                                                                                                          A study by Charles Blahous,            highest income households in the country,
    Activists in Cincinnati and else-    by the Obama campaign.                                                                                                                         a George Mason University                 who all earned over $110 million, paid an
 where say foreclosures are a serious       But Obama’s push on tax fairness may be                                                                                                     research      fellow   and    the         average of 18.1 percent of their income in
 political issue in minority neighbor-   falling on deaf ears in the swing states where                                                                                                 Republican trustee for the                federal taxes in 2007, well down for 29.9
 hoods, where the five-year-old          the Nov. 6 election will likely be decided.                                                                                                    Medicare and Social Security              percent those households paid in 1995.
 housing crisis cast a long shadow.         In 12 battleground states, 80 percent of                                                                                                    entitlement programs for the                 One of the richest men to ever seek the
    Housing counseling groups have       independent voters lacking strong views                                                                                                        elderly, challenges the adminis-          White House, Romney paid an effective
 cataloged how black Americans           on either Obama or Romney said they                                                                                                            tration’s contention that the             tax rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 on more
 and Hispanics — even those with         prefer a candidate who focuses on creat-                                                                                                       2010 law would better keep                than $21 million in income. Obama’s
 good credit — were more likely to       ing economic opportunity rather than             This file image released by Bath Iron Works shows a rendering of the DDG-                     healthcare costs in line.                 campaign is anxious to paint him as elitist
 end up victims of predatory lenders.    reducing income inequality, according to a       1000 Zumwalt, the US Navy’s next-generation destroyer, which has been                            Known as the “Affordable Care          and out of touch with ordinary Americans.
    Millions of Americans lost their     poll by the moderate Democratic group            funded to be built at Bath Iron Works in Maine and at Northrop Grumman’s                      Act,” or “Obamacare,” the meas-              “Of millionaires in 2009, a full 22,000
 homes in the downturn and around        Third Way released on Monday.                    shipyard in Pascagoula, Miss. The enormous, expensive and technology-                         ure to expand health insurance            households making more than $1 million
 one in four American homeowners            All the same, Obama leads probable            laden warship that some Navy leaders once tried to kill because of its cost is                for millions of Americans is con-         annually paid less than 15 percent of their
 is “under water” — owing more           Republican presidential candidate                now viewed as an important part of the Obama administration’s Asia-Pacific                    sidered      Obama’s    signature         income in income taxes,” the White
 than their homes are worth.             Romney by 35 percent to 29 percent               strategy, with advanced technology that the Navy’s top officer says represents                domestic policy achievement.              House report said, citing date from the
                                         among the same group of “swing inde-                                        the Navy’s future. (AP)                                                                                      Internal Revenue Service. (RTRS)

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