Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 5th 2013 Contents A27
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YANGON---Myanmar is sending
its first contestant in half a century
to the Miss Universe pageant, in
another sign that the once-isolated
Southeast Asian nation is
undergoing dramatic change.
Moe Set Wine, 25, who studied
business and marketing in the US,
was picked among 20 other
contenders Thursday night to
represent her country at the 62nd
Miss Universe pageant in Moscow
on November 9.
Myanmar sent its first
representative to the pageant in
1959, but stopped in 1962 under the
rule of late dictator Gen Ne Win, who
imposed a socialist government on
an already conservative Buddhist
society. Ne Win, who stepped down
in 1988 during an abortive pro-
democracy uprising and died in
2002, was himself a notorious
Myanmar returning to Miss Universe competition
WASHINGTON---House Republicans held
their ground yesterday in a standoff with
President Barack Obama over the govern-
ment shutdown, accusing him of intran-
sigence and not caring about the impact
of the shutdown, now in its fourth day.
With little sign of compromise on either
side, many fear the shutdown, triggered
by a dispute over the president s healthcare
reforms, will drag on until bickering politi-
cians tackle the more dire threat of a pos-
sible US default later this month.
House Speaker John Boehner speaking
after a closed-door meeting with House
Republicans, said the House of Represen-
tatives would not vote on a "clean" spend-
The party has demanded a halt, or at
least a delay, in implementing Obama s
healthcare reforms, the signature legislation
of his presidency, as a condition of allowing
a vote on spending that would allow the
government to reopen.
Boehner yesterday also demanded
spending cuts in exchange for raising the
government s borrowing limit.
Although they reiterated their openness
to discussions, they pointed to a Wall Street
Journal report in which an unnamed
Obama administration official was quoted
as saying, "we are winning...It doesn t
really matter to us" how long the shutdown
lasts "because what matters is the end
"This isn t some damn game," Boehner
said at a news conference. "The American
people don t want their government shut
down and neither do I."
White House Spokesman Jay Carney
said it was "utterly false" to suggest Obama
did not want a speedy end to the shutdown.
"We want this to end now. Period," he
The government was obliged to close
many of its operations because Congress
failed to pass a spending bill by October
1, the start of the new fiscal year.
Parallel to the spending crisis, Congress
must raise the nation s line of credit by
October 17 or risk default, and lawmakers
expect that to be the flashpoint for a larger
MADRID---Emergency services say a man has died
after being crushed by grapes during the annual
harvest in the central Spanish wine producing region
of Castilla-La Mancha.
A local rescue service centre said yesterday the
man was pulled out of a winery grape reception bay
that he fell into the day before, just as a truck unloaded
5.5 tons of grapes ready for crushing into juice for
Ambulance operators and firefighters tried to resus-
citate the man---identified only by his initials, AO---
but he was declared dead just before midnight Thurs-
With around 1,790 square miles of vineyards,
Castilla-La Mancha is considered to have more land
dedicated to grape cultivation than any other region
in the world. (AP)
ITALY---Survivors of a fiery shipwreck off a tiny
Italian island that killed more than 100 African
migrants looking for a better life in Europe clung
to empty water bottles to keep from drowning, were
seminude and covered in gasoline, a witness said
Lampedusa resident Vito Fiorino said he was the
first to come across dozens of migrants scattered in
the sea. Some didn t have the strength to grab the
lifesaver thrown to them and the migrants said they
fought to stay alive for three hours, Fiorino said.
"It was a scene from a film, something you hope
never to see in life," he told The Associated Press.
The scope of the tragedy at Lampedusa---with 111
bodies recovered so far, 155 people rescued and up
to an estimated 250 still missing, according to offi-
The 66-foot smuggler s boat was carrying migrants
from Eritrea, Ghana and Somalia, when it caught
fire early Thursday. (AP)
ASSISI---Pope Francis broke bread with the poor
and embraced the disabled on a pilgrimage to his
namesake s hometown yesterday, urging the faithful
to follow the example of the 13th-century St Francis,
who renounced a wealthy, dissolute lifestyle to
embrace a life of poverty and service to the poor.
According to tradition, God told St Francis to
"repair my house," and the first pope to take the
saint s name has made clear that he sees that as his
own mission as well.
For Francis, that means reaching out to the most
marginalised among the church s 1.2 billion followers,
engaging people of other faiths or no faith at all, and
allowing the faithful to shake things up in their dio-
ceses---even at the annoyance of their bishops---if
that s what it takes to better spread God s word.
After all, the pope said, St Francis was a radical
himself in his complete devotion to his faith---a model
that can serve Catholics today. (AP)
JERUSALEM---Israel has condemned a pro-
nouncement by a European advisory council
against male ritual circumcision, a practice
that Jewish leaders consider central to their
In a non-binding resolution this week, the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe said circumcision was "a violation of
the physical integrity of children."
It urged European states to take action to
protect the rights of children.
Israel s Foreign Ministry yesterday called on
the council to annul the move, saying the tra-
dition is key to "two important religions,
Judaism and Islam."
Spokesman Yigal Palmor said "any com-
parison of this tradition to the reprehensible
and barbaric practice of female genital muti-
lation" was both ignorant and inciting of reli-
Palmor warned that although the resolution
wasn t binding, it could influence European
parliaments to ban circumcision. (AP)
WASHINGTON---The mother of a woman
who was shot to death by police after a car
chase that began when she tried to breach a
barrier at the White House and ended outside
the Capitol building said her daughter suffered
from post-partum depression.
The harrowing chase Thursday unfolded
between two US landmarks, briefly shuttered
the chambers where
federal lawmakers were
debating how to end a
and stirred fresh panic
in a city where a gun-
man two weeks ago
killed 12 people.
Two law enforce-
ment officials identified
the driver as 34-year-
old Miriam Carey, of
She was travelling with
a one-year-old girl who avoided serious injury
and was taken into protective custody.
Carey s mother, Idella Carey, told ABC News
Thursday night that her daughter began suf-
fering from post-partum depression after giving
birth to her daughter, Erica, last August.
"A few months later, she got sick," she said.
"She was depressed. ... She was hospitalised."
Idella Carey said her daughter had "no history
of violence" and she didn t know why she was
in Washington on Thursday. (AP)
Man crushed to death
by grapes in Spain
Witness: Boat migrants
used bottles to stay afloat
Pope trip to St Francis'
town highlights goals
Protestors hold signs during an event with the Democratic Progressive Caucus and
furloughed federal employees on Capitol Hill in Washington, yesterday, as the budget
battle continued. AP PHOTO
killed in chase
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