Former US President Ronald Reagan was remembered as a heroic leader who used his warmth and "unique capacity to communicate" to restore the US' greatness following the Vietnam War and bring about the collapse of the Soviet Union. \nReagan died Saturday after a 10-year battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was 93. \n"He will be missed not only by those who knew him and not only by the nation that he served so proudly and loved so deeply, but also by millions of men and women who live in freedom today because of the policies he pursued," said former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Reagan's ideological soulmate and close friend. \nThatcher called Reagan "a truly great American hero," while Britain's Queen Elizabeth II said she was "saddened by the news" of his death. \nBritish Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote to Reagan's wife, Nancy, and US President George W. Bush to express his condolences, the British premier's office said. \n"President Reagan will be remembered as a good friend of Britain," Blair's office said in a statement. \nIn Russia, Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev hailed Reagan as a great US president and said he was made distraught by news of his death. \n"I deem Ronald Reagan a great president, with whom the Soviet leadership was able to launch a very difficult but important dialogue," Gorbachev was quoted as saying. The news of Reagan's death on Saturday "upset me very much," he said. \n"Reagan was a statesman who, despite all disagreements that existed between our countries at the time, displayed foresight and determination to meet our proposals halfway and change our relations for the better, stop the nuclear race, start scrapping nuclear weapons and arrange normal relations between our countries," Gorbachev said. \n"I do not know how other statesmen would have acted at that moment, because the situation was too difficult. Reagan, whom many considered extremely rightist, dared to make these steps, and this is his most important deed," he was quoted as saying. \nImelda Marcos, the widow of former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, laid a wreath of orchids and white anthuriums at the tightly guarded gates of the US embassy in Manila, to honor the president who helped the couple leave the country after their 1986 ouster from power. \n"He was truly an outstanding human being and a loyal friend. We will miss him," she said. \nYasuhiro Nakasone, who served as Japan's prime minister from 1982 to 1987, hailed Reagan as an "indispensable friend of the Japanese people." \n"He was a great president who guided the Cold War toward a victory for freedom against communism. I attended five [Group of Seven] summits with him, and he would use his skillful humor and leadership to steer them to success." \nFormer Canadian prime minister Brian Mulroney, who with his wife joined Ronald and Nancy Reagan in crooning "When Irish Eyes are Smiling" at a summit in Quebec in the 1980s, called Reagan's death "a great loss for the US and the world. \n"He was an absolutely marvelous human being and a great and historic leader who will be remembered very favorably," Mulroney said. \nFrench President Jacques Chirac expressed sadness at Reagan's death. \n"He salutes the memory of a great man of state who, through the force of his convictions and his commitment in favor of democracy, will leave a profound mark on history," Chirac's office said. \nMeanwhile, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi expressed regret that Reagan died without ever standing trial for 1986 air strikes he ordered that killed the Libyan leader's adopted daughter and 36 other people. \nReagan ordered the April 15, 1986, air raid in response to a discotheque bombing in Berlin allegedly ordered by Qaddafi that killed two US soldiers and a Turkish woman and injured 229 people. \n"I express my deep regret because Reagan died before facing justice for his ugly crime that he committed in 1986 against the Libyan children," Libya's official JANA news agency quoted Qaddafi as saying. \nJANA described former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher as Reagan's partner in the strikes because some of the warplanes took off from US bases in the UK.
FRENCH AID: Paris has sent a navy ship and aircraft from Reunion Island with some pollution control equipment, but rough seas are spreading the oil spill The operator of a Japanese bulk carrier which ran aground off Mauritius in the Indian Ocean yesterday apologized for a major oil spill, which officials and environmentalists say is creating an ecological disaster, as police prepared to board the ship. The MV Wakashio, operated by Mitsui OSK Lines, struck the reef on Mauritius’ southeast coast on July 25. “We apologize profusely and deeply for the great trouble we have caused,” Mitsui OSK Lines executive vice president Akihiko Ono said at a news conference in Tokyo. The company would “do everything in their power to resolve the issue,” he said. At least 1,000 tonnes of
They stand as eyesores to most passers-by and potential public health risks to authorities, decaying buildings wrapped in tangles of exposed wire, studded with protruding leaky plastic pipes, vegetation billowing from cracks and terraces where particulates from polluted air have accumulated over time. With skyscrapers and ultramodern developments on every side, some of these “nail houses” are also sitting on land worth millions of dollars in Shenzhen’s inferno of a property market, where new-unit and second-hand home prices rival London. In battles over land and development, the nail house phenomenon has become widespread throughout China over the past two decades, with owners
An Italian alpine resort on Friday remained on high alert over fears that a vast chunk of a glacier on the slopes of the Mont Blanc massif could plummet in high temperatures. “No one gets through! No cars, bikes or pedestrians,” was the message at a checkpoint where an automatic barrier and two guards blocked the small road snaking up into a lush valley below the Planpincieux glacier, near the town of Courmayeur and the Italian-French border. The blockade has largely been greeted with contempt by the locals, one of whom said: “It’s a joke.” The huge ice block measuring around 500,000 cubic
The Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong (FCC) yesterday said that reporters in the territory were experiencing “highly unusual” visas problems, and called on the US and China to stop using the media as a political weapon. Journalists have been caught up in US-China tensions, with both sides placing limits or expelling reporters from their territories in the past few months. Now the spat is filtering into Hong Kong, a regional press hub nominally in charge of its own immigration policies. The FCC said in a statement that multiple media firms had reported delays getting visas in recent months. “The delays have affected journalists