Sat, Mar 19, 2011 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take



Obama blamed again

On the road to a national energy policy, US President Barack Obama just can’t catch a break. First, worries over coal-burning plants’ role in global warming prompted Obama and other Democrats to look more favorably on offshore oil and gas exploration. Last year’s massive BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico ended that abruptly. Then, nuclear power was gaining acceptance as part of a possible broad political agreement, including expanded energy production and increased efficiency in vehicles and buildings. Now the crisis in Japan is throwing a shadow over nuclear energy worldwide. Making matters worse for Obama, a spike in US gasoline prices is angering Americans just as his re-election campaign cranks up. And Republicans are quick to criticize Obama for the high prices.


Security firm hacked

EMC corp says its RSA security division has been hacked. The intruders compromised a widely used technology for preventing computer break-ins. The breach is an embarrassment for one of the world’s premier security vendors and potentially threatens highly sensitive computer systems. Based in Massachusetts, EMC’s statement is a rare public acknowledgment by a security company that its internal anti-hacking technologies have been hacked. It is especially troubling because RSA’s technology plays an important role in making sure unauthorized people aren’t allowed to log in to heavily guarded networks. The scope of the attack wasn’t immediately known, but the potential fallout could be widespread. RSA’s customers include big military contractors, governments, various banks and medical facilities and health insurance outfits.


Rousseff touts her country

This weekend’s visit to by US President Barack Obama shows the country can be a “really important partner” to the US, President Dilma Rousseff said in an interview on Thursday. “Brazil is a country which has taken an international role and which can, due to its historic links with the United States and its place in this region, be a really important partner,” Rousseff said in the interview with Valor daily. “Which other country in the world has the oil reserves we have, is not at war, has no ethnic conflict, respects contracts, has extremely clear democratic principles and a world vision which is so favorable to peace?” the president said. Rousseff said her country strongly defended human rights, from Iran to the US. “If I don’t agree with the stoning of women, nor can I agree with the fact that people stay in prison their whole life without trial,” Rousseff said, alluding to Iran and the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba where terror suspects are held.


Another dissident freed

The government on Thursday released dissident Librado Linares, one of three political prisoners remaining from a group Havana pledged to free in a deal last year with the Catholic church. Linares, a 50-year-old engineer, told AFP of his release by telephone from his home in Camajuani, near the central city of Santa Clara. “Three state security agents brought me home and I am very happy to be able to be reunited with my family,” he said. Linares was part of a group of 75 dissidents who were sentenced to lengthy prison terms after a vast crackdown on political opponents in 2003 known as the “black spring.” Of the 75 originally detained, 23 were freed between 2003 and last year, largely for medical reasons.

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