Khamis, 13 Januari 2011

The Malaysian Insider :: World

The Malaysian Insider :: World

Tucson says farewell to youngest shooting victim

Posted: 13 Jan 2011 06:19 PM PST

Pall bearers load the casket into a hearse outside St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church after the funeral of 9-year-old Christina Green in Tucson on January 13, 2011. — Reuters pic

TUCSON, Jan 14 — Hundreds of people gathered to say farewell yesterday to a bright 9-year-old who loved to dance and play baseball, but was gunned down when she went to learn about politics from her congresswoman.

Christina Green was the youngest victim of a shooting spree last Saturday that claimed six lives and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords battling for her life. Her funeral was the first to be held.

Hundreds of mourners including a group of leather-clad bikers and several of Christina's classmates began lining both sides of the road outside St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church ahead of her funeral at 1 p.m.. A church bell signalling noon broke the quiet as mourners waited for the service.

Family members escorted the small wooden coffin into the church in silence for the service, which was closed to the news media. They filed out to the solemn strains of a piper.

"She showed an appreciation for life uncommon for a girl her age," President Barack Obama said in an emotional address to thousands of people crammed into a Tucson sports stadium to mourn on Wednesday evening.

"I want to live up to her expectations, I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it, I want America to be as good as Christina imagined it," he said to applause and roars of approval.

The lively youngster was born on September 11 2001, the day of suicide aircraft attacks on New York.

A stars and stripes flag pulled from the rubble of the World Trade Centre in the days after Christina's birth was brought in to hang between two fire truck ladders.

The top student, who was elected to her class council, was the granddaughter of former pro baseball manager Dallas Green.

She loved dancing, gymnastics and swimming, and hoped to be the first woman to play major-league baseball.


It was the first funeral for William Moody, a 9-year-old classmate of Christina's who was with his grandmother, Lynnette Moody. It was not the funeral he expected to attend first, he said.

"It's like my grandma said, she thought my first funeral would be for an old person who had a full life," he said. "It's weird not having her in school."

The Bishop of Tucson, Bishop Gerald Kicanas, gave a blessing inside the church, as mourners offered each other consolation outside.

"We've all been affected in Tucson," said Maggie Parisoff, 35, a crisis counsellor roving through the crowd outside the church to offer help to anyone in need. — Reuters


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Gates: No doubt on China president’s control of military

Posted: 13 Jan 2011 05:03 PM PST

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates gives a speech to students at Keio University in Tokyo on January 14, 2011. — Reuters pic

TOKYO, Jan 14 — The United States has no doubt that China's President Hu Jintao is in control of his country's military, US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said today.

Gates was speaking to university students in Tokyo just days after meetings in China meant to bolster ties with its military.

Gates expressed renewed concerns about a buildup by the People's Liberation Army, which flexed its muscle this week with its first-ever test flight of a stealth fighter jet, and called China's military modernisation programme "opaque". — Reuters


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