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US president and EU president

Page last updated at 11:23 GMT, Thursday, 19 November 2009
Belgian PM named as EU president

European Council leaders have elected a president under the rules of the newly-adopted Lisbon Treaty. But how does the position compare to that of other presidents, such as the President of the United States?

President of European Council President of United States of America

Flags of Eu and US

European Union:
Population: 490 million
GDP: $18.7tn
United States:
Population: 304 million
GDP: $14.9tn

Military: 3,800 troops on European military missions Military: 250,000 on deployment (Iraq/Afghanistan)

Land mass: Land mass:

Graphic showing land mass of EU and US

Elected by:
European Council leaders. Liable to select candidate by consensus. If vote held, each country has different number of votes. Winner must gain 258 out of 345 votes from at least 18 of the 27 countries.
Elected by:
Electoral College system. In general election, must win 270 out of 538 electoral college votes. President Barack Obama won 67 million votes in popular vote.

Term of two and half years – renewable once. Term of four years – renewable once.

Salary reported to be 350,000 euros ($521,374) a year President earns 268,521 euros ($400,000) a year

Position and key roles: Position and key roles:

Flow charts shwoing structure of EU and US government

Chairs European Council.Duty to “facilitate cohesion and consensus”, without national bias.

Head of state.Partisan, elected on own platform of policies, usually with support of a party, eg Republican or Democratic.

Represents EU abroad on issues concerning its common foreign and security policy.

Negotiates treaties. Directs foreign policy. Can sign executive orders without Congress approval.

No powers of veto.

Power of Veto – President must sign any bill passed by Congress before it becomes law.

Must report to European Parliament after each European Council meeting.

President must report to Congress by delivering State of Union address.

Eufor US

Military control:
No influence on military. EU Military staff receives “taskings” from EU Military Committee (which represents defence chiefs of all member states).
Military control:
Commander-in-Chief of armed forces – responsible for strategy. Congress must approve going to war but president can decide when to launch nuclear missiles.

BBC link for Native Americans


Koreans, North and South to meet after 50 years

Saturday, 26 September 2009 02:27 UK

Koreans prepare for rare reunion

By John Sudworth
BBC News, Seoul


Kim Yu-jungKim Yu-jung says she has thought of her daughter every day

Sitting on the floor, with her suitcase in front of her, 100-year-old Kim Yu-jung is preparing for a remarkable journey.

Surrounded by four of her children, the youngest of them now in his late 50s, she is packing some winter clothes for the colder weather in the North.

The family is one of a small number given a rare chance to meet their long-lost relatives from the other side of the border that cuts this peninsula, and the lives of its people, in half.

Mrs Kim is going to meet the daughter she last saw more than half a century ago.

Lee Hye-gyong, then just 16 years old, was separated from her family in the chaos of war, and ended up living in the north.

Her photo, taken just a year before the outbreak of the Korean War, shows a young schoolgirl unaware of the unimaginable tragedy shortly to befall her country and her family.

Selected at random

“I have thought about her for more than half a century,” Mrs Kim tells me.

Lee Hye-gyongLee Hye-gyong was just 16 when was separated from her family

“There wasn’t a day when I didn’t.”

For six days, from 26 September, 200 families, half from the North and half from the South, will travel to a mountain resort in North Korea for their reunions.

Their names have been selected at random from the tens of thousands on the waiting list.

In the early part of this decade the meetings were held regularly and, caught on television cameras, they are a powerful reminder of the continuing humanitarian cost of Korea’s division.

Fathers and mothers cling to lost sons and daughters, husbands to wives, and sob uncontrollably, grieving for the more than five decades of lost time.

Building bridges?

The programme is not without its critics, who say it allows North Korea to play politics with people’s lives by deciding when they will, or will not, take place.

Professor Chung Min Lee, a foreign policy adviser to the current South Korean president, says political problems may have curtailed the programme’s scope.

Two Korean sisters are reunited for the first time in 2000 after being split during the 1950-53 war - 15 August 2000 file photo Past family reunions produced emotional scenes

“In the past North Korea has agreed that it would institutionalise these reunions, but whenever an obstacle arises – for example the UN imposes sanctions because they have tested a nuclear weapon – then the whole issue gets sidelined,” he tells me.

The last reunion took place back in 2007 as tensions between North and South began to rise.

The fact that this latest round is being allowed to take place is being seen by some as a sign that North Korea is ready again to build bridges with the South.

But no date has yet been set for the next one and many humanitarian issues remain unresolved.

‘Memories faded’

The South wants to know the status of 500 of its citizens, mostly fishermen, who it believes were seized by the North in the decades following the war, and never returned.

The South also believes that hundreds of its prisoners of war still remain alive in the North.

A man checks a list at the Korea Red Cross in Seoul, South Korea, 21 September 2009The Red Cross maintains the list of those seeking reunion

But Pyongyang refuses to discuss the issue, claiming that they have all voluntarily defected from the South.

The list of those seeking a reunion is maintained by Red Cross officials on either side of the border.

In a downstairs room in the organisation’s Seoul office a team of volunteers waits to register new applicants.

Yeo Kwan-soo last saw his pregnant wife and seven-year-old son in 1951. At the age of 85 he is only now putting his name on the database.

“After our wartime separation I thought about my family back in the North all the time,” he tells me.

“But as the years rolled by the memories began to fade and I began to lose hope.”

Although 100-year-old Mrs Kim is one of the lucky ones, the reunions themselves are far from easy.

The families are allowed to spend time together and share meals, but once the visit is over they return home, knowing it is highly unlikely they will see each other again.

I ask her family if they think it will be hard for her to leave her daughter in North Korea for a second time.

“Her life has been like a time capsule of modern Korean history,” one of them tells me.

“She’s been through many things, she’s not like other women.”


The Promises film project

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Comprehension about the Promises film project.

While working on this film, you have contributed to the project: Congratulations!

A-The narrator B. Z grew up 20 minutes from here but never got the chance to get there:


-he never crossed the borders between the two communities

-he was given the opportunity to get there

B-Checkpoints are situated :

  • so that Arabs and Muslims cannot cross the the West Bank

    to avoid extremists

  • as a protection for the population in general for active terrorists

  • as daily reminders of occupation

  • because no other ways are possible at the present times

C-The Western Wall is situated behind the Aqsa Mosque :

-the Wall is called Holy Wall for the Jews and people leave their prayers or wishes in it

-the Wall is a western destination for tourists and politicians around the world

-one of the twins in the film says that when he was younger he used to pray for a stolen bike, to make a wish but mostly for….

D-The little girl uses the future tense during the « chair » scene:

  • she has projetcs and dreams for the future, her future life

  • she has no dreams for her future given the situation

Ereligious practice: who does what?

The Jews read the Torah (the law)

What is the Torah composed of?

various books from the Bible:  Genesis, Exodus, Numbers and a few others

The Shabbat is part and parcel of the Jewish religion:

  • it is a day devoted to family and prayers

  • it is a festive day and people stop buying things, shops are closed and the town is having a rest

  • it is the seventh day in the Bible when God is supposed to have a rest after creating the earth, man and woman.

  • people who practise the prayers and respect the traditions wear the kippa (calotte)

F-Prayers for Muslims:

bending forward in sign of respect is part and parcel of praying as well as washing oneself before entering the mosque

Book : the Coran

G-Can you name a few details given by the litlle girl?

  • the child in the film says she is not allowed to tear toilet paper.

  • She is preparing meals whereas her brother is playing on the computer

H-Symbols working for an optimistic and realistic outcome= issue= building up of the peace process:

  • children from various districts talk to each other

  • children are willing to know each other although they are different

  • the two chairs : the little girl tries to separate them and it takes time

  • the little girl eventually succeeds in separating the two chairs… ON HER OWN , with nobody’s help


encercler-échapper-colonisation protéger- viser- soulèvement palestinien-jeter- les colons-

Palestinian uprising- settlers-to aim at-settlement- to escape from- to encircle- to throw- to protect

to throw-Intifada ( Intifadah- ??????? )

What do you think?

There is no chance for peace without these meetings (the meeting of young people, across the borders and frontiers)

There is a lot of chance for peace without these meetings.

J-Do you think that the language barrier is a problem for the different communities:

  • yes, it is a problem because they don’t undertsand each other

  • yes, it is a problem because they are not invited to communciate with each other

  • no, it isn’t a problem

  • there is a real obstacle because they have to get translators who are willing to help

  • languages are of the utmost importance

  • languages are part of the identity of each community


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