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December 12, 2006
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12 December 2006
 
Mengistu Haile Mariam
Ethiopia's former Marxist ruler Mengistu Haile Mariam is found guilty in absentia of genocide after a 12-year trial.

 
The funeral of former military leader Augusto Pinochet is under way in the capital, Santiago.
At least 57 people are killed and more than 220 hurt in a suicide bomb attack on a Baghdad square.
December 11 News highlights:
General Augusto Pinochet:  Augusto Pinochet took power in 1973 in a military coup against Salvador Allende's democratically elected Marxist government.

Why Kofi Anan Went to the Harry Truman Presidential Library?

The U.N. Secretary-general Kofi Annan is delivering his final speech today. It's expected to lay out the principles for world leaders in the 21st century. Laura Trevelyan reports from the Truman library in Missouri.

>> Why is Kofi Annan coming hereto the Harry Truman presidential library to deliver his final major speech? It's because Harry Truman became president back in 1945, the year the second world war ended, the year the united nations was created. The hope was that with strong American leadership the U.N. Could prevent such a war from ever happening again. Well, this is the replica of Harry Truman inside the white house, and joining me now is Scott Roley of the Truman Library. Scott, tell me what kind of point do you think Kofi Annan is trying to make by coming here to make his final speech?

>> Well, I think the main point probably is that people sometimes forget at least in America that the united nations was a conscript or a dream of the united states in the post-world war II era and he wants to drive that point home I suspect.

>> What was Harry Truman ís vision for united nations and what it could achieve?

>> Well, historically Truman was one of those who felt that the failure of the league of nations was an unfortunate thing, and so after the horrible effects of world war ii, you know, obviously the idea of a place where you go and adjudicate things and reach peaceful conclusions rather than have more world wars I think is ultimately what he was after.

>> So Harry Truman was a real believer in what the united nations might be able to achieve.

>> Yes. All his life he carried in his pocket several stanzas from Alfred Lloyd Tenson's Poe Emlocksly Hall that talk about the parliament of man. He used to rewrite it when it would get too crumbled from being in his wallet. It illuminates that he believed in this dream, and even he made sure in his actions that the U.N. Was involved in almost the first thing we did when Korea was invaded. We went to the U.N. Security council and got them involved, and technically that was a U.N. War, not a U.S. War.

>> So do you think Kofi Annan's trying to draw parallels between the American leadership towards the U.N. Shown by Harry Truman and by the current administration?

>> Well, he might be. That's interesting. They like to cite president Truman as a parallel to president bush anyway, so that's fair.

>> Now, president Truman had very high hopes for what the united nations could achieve. Do you think he was disappointed by the time he left office? I don't think so, not by the time he left office. I think it was on the path that he wanted it to go on, at least up to that point. They were starting to build the structure at that point. He was there at the groundbreaking. They had passed a number of important things, the universal declaration of human rights. I think he felt it was still on the right road at that point, where it did or didn't go off the path I don't know exactly.
 

11 December 2006
 
Police using water cannon in Santiago (Pic: Neil Walker)
Supporters and foes of Chile's General Pinochet gather after his death, as some opponents clash with police.

 
Violence in Afghanistan has surged because of Pakistan's peace deals with pro-Taleban militants, a report says.
Six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear programme are to resume on 18 December, China says.
 


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