Obama says disappointment over Copenhagen is valid
TODAY - 24 December, 2009
Ratan Tata launched the much awaited Rs 1 lakh Nano which was a common man's dream come true this year. A look at the other top events
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The opening day of a two-day strike by the supporters of a new state has brought violence to parts of India's southern Andhra Pradesh state.
Over 100 buses were burnt, and shops and businesses attacked overnight.
The strike was called after the federal government said the demand for a Telangana state would be considered after consultation with all parties.
Earlier the government had announced that it would allow the creation of Telangana irrespective of opposition.
An estimated 35 million people will live in the new state.
K Chandrasekara Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS), which is spearheading the protest for a Telangana state, has resigned from the lower house of parliament, along with two other MPs from the region.
Fifty lawmakers from the Telangana region and belonging to the Andhra Pradesh assembly have also handed in their resignations.
The latest uproar and strike call followed federal Home Minister P. Chidambaram's statement on Wednesday evening that all political parties should be consulted before deciding on a new state.
Mr Chidambaran explained the government's change in stance by saying that the situation in Andhra Pradesh had "altered" since he had made an announcement earlier this month on the formation of a Telangana state.
He said a "consensus had emerged among political parties allowing the formation of a new state" when he made the announcement on 9 December.
"However, after the statement, the situation in Andhra Pradesh has altered. A large number of political parties are divided on the issue," Mr Chidambaram added.
"There is need to hold wide-ranging consultations with all political parties and groups in the state," he added.
Politicians from Telangana reacted sharply to Mr Chidambaram's statement, saying that the government had put the demand in "cold storage".
About 50 lawmakers from the region have handed in their resignations.
The move to form Telangana state has plunged Andhra Pradesh into crisis - lawmakers have resigned, and there has been sporadic violence.
Investors fear the protests will hurt Hyderabad, an IT hub of southern India and home to firms like Microsoft, Google and Dell.
Telangana region is spread over 10 northern districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Campaigners say Telangana's economic development has been neglected in favour of the richer and more powerful Andhra region - and that a new state is the only solution.
The last three new states in India were formed in 2000: Chhattisgarh was created out of eastern Madhya Pradesh; Uttarakhand was created out of the hilly areas of northern Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand was carved from Bihar's southern districts.
India currently has 28 states.
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US president Barack Obama says people are justified in being disappointed by the outcome of the Copenhagen summit on climate change.
But he said in an interview with with US PBS television's Newshour that at least there had not been too much "backsliding" on previous positions.
He said this was preferable to a complete collapse of the talks.
The summit ended with no binding deal, but with nations "taking note" of a need to limit temperature rises to 2C.
"I think that people are justified in being disappointed about the outcome in Copenhagen," Mr Obama said.
"Rather than see a complete collapse in Copenhagen, in which nothing at all got done and would have been a huge backward step, at least we kind of held ground and there wasn't too much backsliding from where we were."
Mr Obama's comments follow China's rejections of claims made by a British minister that it "hijacked" efforts to reach an agreement at the climate summit in Copenhagen.
Beijing's foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Tuesday that the accusations were a political plot made by leaders who wanted to shirk their own obligations.
China and other big developing countries have long accused the world's richer economies of failing to offer big enough emissions cuts, and of not offering enough help to other nations struggling to cope with climate change.
On Monday, China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi praised the summit, saying it had been "not a destination, but a new beginning".
The final accord was reached between the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa, but is not legally binding.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says the agreement must be made legally binding next year.
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FEATURES AND ANALYSISWhy did it fail?
Richard Black gives eight reasons why there was no global deal
VIDEO AND AUDIOBan Ki-moon: 'Essential beginning'
Tuvalu rejects Copenhagen pact
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Obama's closing statement in full
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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Trade Arabia Disappointment at Copenhagen justified: Obama - 2 hrs ago
Forbes.com RPT-Obama says disappointment at Copenhagen justified - 6 hrs ago
Business Day Accusations fly over Copenhagen flop - 26 hrs ago
Citizen.co.za UN chief calls for new climate pact push - 33 hrs ago
Irish Times China rejects British talks claims - 41 hrs ago
Page last updated at 08:31 GMT, Thursday, 24 December 2009
The start of a two-day strike by supporters of a planned new Indian state, Telangana, brings violence to the region.
FEATURES, NEWS, ANALYSIS
A big explosion hits a busy road in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar, with at least four people reported killed.
The government in the Indian state of Manipur orders a judicial enquiry into the killing of a former separatist rebel.
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