Incoming Japan PM in Obama-Bush gaffe

Updated 18 December 2012
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Incoming Japan PM in Obama-Bush gaffe

TOKYO: Japan’s presumptive premier Shinzo Abe got his US leaders mixed up yesterday, when he told business chiefs he had been speaking to “President Bush” after a phone call from Barack Obama. The gaffe came in one of Abe’s first speaking engagements since his landslide victory in weekend polls that saw his Liberal Democratic Party returned to power.

Abe, who was prime minister in 2006-7 during the final years of George W. Bush’s presidency, quickly realized his error when assembled journalists and business leader began chuckling. The 58-year-old corrected his verbal misstep and told officials from the Keidanren, Japan’s business lobby, that he and Obama had agreed on the importance of the Japan-US security alliance.

Abe is expected to be formally elected as prime minister by fellow lawmakers on Dec 26. Business chiefs had been kept waiting for Abe, who turned up around an hour late. Aides told reporters the White House call had been expected earlier.

 


French priest suspended after slapping baby during baptism

Video shows priest slapping crying baby.
Updated 23 June 2018
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French priest suspended after slapping baby during baptism

  • The baby’s parents, visibly shocked, eventually manage to extricate the child from the priest’s grip
  • The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water

PARIS: A French Catholic priest was suspended Friday after a video of him smacking a crying baby during a baptism ceremony went viral, drawing widespread condemnation on social media.
In footage posted on Twitter on Thursday, gasps can be heard when the 89-year-old priest, after ordering the infant he is holding to “be quiet,” sharply slaps his cheek.
A few seconds later he smacks him again.
The baby’s parents, visibly shocked, eventually manage to extricate the child from the priest’s grip during the ceremony in Champeaux, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) southeast of Paris.
“This loss of self-control can be attributed to the fatigue of an elderly priest, but that doesn’t excuse it,” the diocese of Meaux, which includes the town, said in a statement.
It said the priest would no longer be leading baptisms and weddings nor holding mass until further notice.
“The child was bawling and I needed to turn his head so I could pour the water. I was saying ‘be quiet’ but he wouldn’t calm down,” the priest told France Info radio on Friday.
“It was something between a caress and a little slap,” he said. “I was trying to calm him down, I didn’t really know what to do.”