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Daily Archives: June 4, 2009

Pro-independence party wins in Greenland

The pro-independence Inuit Ataqatigiit party has won Greenland's parliamentary elections, just weeks before a new self-rule status goes into effect in the Danish semi-autonomous territory.
The leftist Inuit Ataqatigiit (Inuit Community, IA) took 43.7 percent of the vote, double its standing in the last election in 2005, ousting the social democratic Siumut party which has run the island for the past three decades.
Siumut slid 3.9 points to take 26.5 percent of Tuesday's vote.
Siumut called the snap election so a new government could be in place when the new self-rule status takes effect on June 21.
The new status paves the way for independence and gives the island rights to lucrative Arctic resources, as well as control over justice and police affairs and, to a certain extent, foreign affairs.
According to political observers, voters are expected to punish Siumut for its perceived abuses of power after a slew of scandals, including one over expenses similar to the recent debate in Britain.
Siumut is seen as the party that brought semi-autonomy to Greenland and was behind the November 2008 referendum on self-rule, approved by 75.5 percent of voters.
The liberal Atassut party, part of the outgoing ruling coalition with Siumut, saw its support fall by nearly half to 10.9 percent.
The opposition Democrats also saw a steep drop in support to 12.7 percent.
The island of just 57,000 people is rife with social problems and depends heavily on Danish subsidies.
However global warming could unlock potentially lucrative revenues from natural resources under Greenland's seabed and icecap, which according to international experts is home to large oil and gas deposits as well as diamonds, gold and other minerals.


Nancy Reagan can ‘see Ronnie’ at night

Nancy Reagan still sees her deceased husband, president Ronald Reagan, when she is alone at night, she said in a newly published magazine interview.
"It sounds strange, but I see Ronnie," Reagan, who turns 88 next month, told Vanity Fair in a rare interview.
"At nighttime, if I wake up, I think Ronnie’s there, and I start to talk to him. It’s not important what I say. But the fact is, I do think he’s there. And I see him."
The Reagans' deep love for each other was famous and five years after the president's death, aged 93, Nancy Reagan says: "I miss Ronnie a lot, an awful lot."
"People say it gets better. No, it does not," she added.
Commenting on President Barack Obama's White House, the former first lady said she had voted for his Republican challenger John McCain, but was "very impressed" by his campaign.
Reagan has long been interested in astrology, something that has made her the target of jokes. She told Vanity Fair of her shock on hearing Obama quip last November that he was only going to take advice from living ex-presidents and not "get into a Nancy Reagan thing about doing any seances."
But she suggested the harm had been repaired.
"I thought, There’s at least going to be a note written. Sure enough, that afternoon [Obama] called," her son Ron Reagan told the magazine.
Since then she has been invited to dinner with the Obamas and spent 45 minutes on the telephone with the First Lady, Michelle Obama.
Her advice to her successor? To have lots of state dinners. The Reagans hosted 56, while George W. Bush and his wife Laura had only six.
"It’s the easiest thing in the world. You don’t have to do anything. Just have a good time and do a little business. And that’s the way Washington works."