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Daily Archives: March 24, 2011

Iran's first aid cargo arrives in Japan

Iran's Ambassador to Japan Abbas Araqchi

March 24, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Iran’s first shipment of humanitarian aid for Japan’s disaster-hit areas has arrived, Iranian Ambassador to Japan Abbas Araqchi says, Iranian Television Press TV Channel reported on Thursday.

“The shipment arrived in [Tokyo’s international] airport Narita today,” Araqchi said on Thursday.

“From the beginning of this crisis in Japan, the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Red Crescent Society (IRCS) expressed readiness for every kind of help to Japan’s government,” Fars News Agency quoted Araqchi as saying.

The Iranian envoy said Iran has sent 50,000 canned fish and beans, adding that the Islamic Republic is the first country in the Middle East to send aid to Tokyo.

A second shipment would be dispatched next week, Araqchi added.

On March 11, an 8.9-magnitude earthquake, off the northeast coast of Japan’s main island, unleashed a 23-foot (7-meter) tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks for hours.

“Deputy Head of IRCS [Mahmoud] Mozaffari and I will visit Miyagi Prefecture to deliver the aid to the officials,” Araqchi said.

Japan’s National Police Agency said earlier on Thursday that 9,700 people have so far been killed and over 16,500 more are presumably dead as a result of the quake.

There are fears of a much higher death toll from the disaster that has displaced hundreds of thousands of Japanese.

The quake is now considered Japan’s deadliest natural disaster since the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, which claimed the lives of more than 142,000 people.  (*)
 
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Photostream : Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walk during their meeting at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (R) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walk during their meeting at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) shakes hands with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during their meeting at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev (L) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meet at the Gorki presidential residence outside Moscow March 24, 2011. REUTERS/Dmitry Astakhov/RIA Novosti/Kremlin

 
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Mandela Foundation to release book of 2,000 quotes

Former South African president Nelson Mandela casts his vote in South Africa's general elections in 2009. A new book containing 2,000 of his quotes will go on sale ahead of his 93rd birthday in July, his foundation has said.

March 24, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM / FRANCE 24 / AFP ) — A new book containing 2,000 quotes from Nelson Mandela will go on sale ahead of his 93rd birthday in July, his foundation said Thursday.

“Nelson Mandela by Himself: The Authorised Book of Quotations” pulls from public speeches as well as private papers, correspondence and audio recordings made over 60 years, the Mandela Foundation said in a statement.

The quotes are grouped into 300 categories ranging from political topics like “Democracy” and “Racism” to personal musings on values such as “Optimism” and “Courage”.

South Africa’s first black president turns 93 on July 18, amid lingering concerns about his health following his brief hospitalisation in January for an acute respiratory infection.  (*)
 
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Two magnitude 7.0 quakes hit Myanmar: USGS

Two magnitude 7.0 quakes hit Myanmar: USGS

March 24, 2011 (Reuters) – Two strong quakes of magnitude 7.0 struck northeast Myanmar, close to the Thai and Laotian borders, the U.S. Geological Survey reported on Thursday.

It said the quakes struck seconds apart at 8:25 a.m. on Friday (1355 GMT on Thursday) and were centered 69 miles north of Chiang Rai in neighboring Thailand. The first one was very shallow, at a depth of 6.2 miles, while the second one was deeper at 142.5 miles.

It is a sparsely populated, hilly area best known as the Golden Triangle, which is a traditional source of illicit opium. (*)

 

 
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Photo : Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, right, meets with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow on Thursday, March 24, 2011. Netanyahu is scheduled later to meet with Russian President Dmitry medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. (AP photo, Pool)

 
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Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu urges no let-up in Iran nuclear pressure

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

MOSCOW, RUSSIA, March 24, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Despite the current unrest in the Middle East, the international community should continue to insist on the closure of Iran’s nuclear program, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday, RIA NOVOSTI reported.

“The growing tensions in the Middle East increase various risks, and radical Islamic movements could take advantage of these risks,” Netanyahu told journalists in Moscow.

Netanyahu will meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev later on Thursday to discuss the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the situation in Libya.

“It’s hard for the world to realize this, as it was hard in the 1930s to realize the threats posed by radical movements,” the Israeli PM added. “The most important thing now is not to allow Iran to develop its own nuclear arms.”

“If they manage to develop nuclear arms this regime will never fall. And they will threaten other countries and you too,” the Israeli PM said.

“Iran is not controlled by [President Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad. Iran is controlled by [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali] Khamenei. I see his bigotry and hatred for the modern world.”

“Hitler firstly began conquering the world and then started developing nuclear arms, Khamenei is going the opposite way,” Netanyahu said, adding that only the threat of military operations could force Iran to halt its nuclear program.   (*)
 
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Regional heads to attend Iran's Nowruz Festival

A Haft Seen set

IRAN, March 24, 2011 (KATAKAMI.COM) — Presidents of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Armenia and Iraq will take part in an international Nowruz festival hosted by Iran, Press TV Channel reported.

Kyrgyz deputy prime minister, Qatari Crown Prince Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Omani Foreign Minister Youssef bin Alawi bin Abdullah will also attend the event, scheduled to be held in the Iranian capital of Tehran on March 27 and 28, said an official in charge of the festival, quoted by IRNA on Thursday.

The official, Mohammad Reza Forqani, added that the participating dignitaries would also meet with Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The leaders from Iran’s neighboring countries will also deliver speeches about Nowruz and issue a statement at the end of the event, Forqani said.

He said Iran’s mission to the United Nations would also hold a special ceremony, in cooperation with Tajikistan and Afghanistan, on the occasion of Nowruz and the new Iranian calendar year.

Nowruz, which coincides with the first day of spring on the solar calendar, is mostly celebrated in Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, India, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The International Day of Nowruz was registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity on February 23, 2010.

During Nowruz, Iranians set Haft Seens as an expression of their traditional, spiritual, and social values.

Haft Seen is a table containing seven items starting with the phonemic Farsi equivalent of the English letter ‘S’ or ‘Seen.’ Sabzeh (freshly grown greens), Samanu (sweet wheat paste), Senjed (jujube), Seeb (apple), Seer (garlic), Somagh (sumac), and Sekeh (coin), are among items that begin with the Farsi letter Seen.

The items are believed to bring health, love, beauty and fertility in the coming year.   (*)
 
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