The mayor of the German city of Dresden flies into London today under pressure from her countrymen to beg Britain not to build a memorial to Second World War bomber crews.
Conservative Helma Orosz, 57, is officially in the UK to open an exhibition tonight detailing the bombing of London, her city and that of its twin, Coventry, during the war.
But other politicians - and Germany‘s largest daily newspaper - are pressuring her to try to get the memorial planned to recognise the long-overlooked courage of RAF bomber crews scrapped.
They're not saying it's insensitive, are they?
Yes, they are:
This memorial injures the feelings of Dresdeners and is utterly tasteless,' said Dresden Liberal party councillor Holger Zastrow.
Bild, the influential best-selling newspaper, ran a story on Monday with the English headline ‘Please say NO‘ and added: 'Today the Mayoress has her chance to tell her official colleagues in Britain that she, like the Queen, is "not amused."
'Dresden has every reason not to be.
This is a good opportunity for Orosz to express to her London colleagues the opinions of Dresdeners about the bomber monument!' added Bild.
Mrs. Orosz leads a city more deeply scarred by the war than any other.
Over two days and nights in February 1945 British and American bombers turned the city into a sea of flames and rubble.
But if we can build a mosque on Ground Zero, surely we can commemorate the Allied airmen who razed a city in Nazi Germany to the ground. You know- forgiveness and all that.
President Barack Obama announced on Monday a six-year plan to revamp the United States’ ageing roads, railways and runways with a $50-billion up-front investment to jump-start job creation.
The plan is one of several economic initiatives that Obama is due to unveil this week aimed at generating some desperately needed U.S. job growth and limiting predicted Democratic losses in Nov. 2 congressional elections.
Administration officials say Obama will ask Congress Wednesday to increase and permanently extend a tax credit for business research as a way of boosting job growth. The proposal would cost $100-billion over 10 years.
But economists are skeptical any measures Mr. Obama takes now will make a significant difference in the $13.2-trillion U.S. economy and point out that investments in infrastructure typically do not stimulate the economy quickly.
A senior administration official acknowledged the infrastructure plan will not immediately stimulate the economy and that the first jobs it creates will be in 2011.
The plan would mean jobs “over the course of 2011 ... “This is a six-year reauthorization (of transportation projects) that is front-loaded,” the official said.
The Vatican on Sunday said it was closely following the case of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and might intervene through its diplomatic channels in support of the woman.
The statement came after Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh, in an interview with Italian news agency Adnkronos, appealed to Pope Benedict and the Italian government to intervene to save his mother’s life.
“The Holy See is following the case with attention and participation,” Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi said in a statement. “The church’s position against the death penalty is well-known and stoning is a particularly brutal form of it.”
When a request for intervention on humanitarian issues pertaining to another state is made, the Vatican does so through diplomatic means rather than publicly, the statement said.
The case has highlighted Iran’s use of stoning and drawn international outrage, with several foreign political leaders and celebrities expressing solidarity with the condemned woman.
Italy’s government on Sunday renewed its appeal to Iran to spare the woman’s life, saying it urged Tehran to consider a “gesture of clemency” in the case.
The adulterer and the adulteress, scourge ye each one of them (with) a hundred stripes. And let not pity for the twain withhold you from obedience to Allah, if ye believe in Allah and the Last Day. And let a party of believers witness their punishment.