White House strikes back on Death Star petition

Updated 12 January 2013
0

White House strikes back on Death Star petition

WASHINGTON: The Obama administration dashed the hopes of Star Wars geeks across the galaxy by rejecting an official petition calling for the US government to build a Death Star, the fictional planet-destroying space station featured in the Star Wars movies. “The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn’t on the horizon,” said Paul Shawcross, head of the White House budget office’s science and space branch.
“The Administration does not support blowing up planets,” Shawcross wrote in a response to the 34,435 people who signed the petition on the White House website. The White House accepts petitions and responds to the most popular ones. Most of the petitions on the website address weighty policy issues.
But in recent weeks, national attention has been drawn to quirky petitions, such as one that supports the minting of a trillion-dollar platinum coin to avoid a debt default if Congress fails to raise the US debt limit next month. “The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $ 850,000,000,000,000,000. We’re working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it,” Shawcross said.


Boris Becker denies claims diplomatic passport is ‘fake’

Former German tennis player Boris Becker. (AFP)
Updated 23 June 2018
0

Boris Becker denies claims diplomatic passport is ‘fake’

  • Lawyers for the three-time Wimbledon champion lodged a claim in the High Court in Britain saying that he had been appointed a sports attache for the CAR to the European Union (EU) in April
  • Becker shook up the tennis world at Wimbledon in 1985 when, as an unseeded player, he became the then youngest-ever male Grand Slam champion at the age of 17

LONDON: Tennis legend Boris Becker on Friday insisted that his Central African Republic diplomatic passport, which he claims entitles him to immunity in bankruptcy proceedings, was real despite the country’s leaders calling it a “fake.”
“I have received this passport from the ambassador, I have spoken to the president on many occasions, it was an official inauguration,” the German star told BBC’s Andrew Marr.
“I believe the documents they are giving me must be right.”
Lawyers for the three-time Wimbledon champion lodged a claim in the High Court in Britain saying that he had been appointed a sports attache for the CAR to the European Union (EU) in April.
This, they argued, granted him immunity under the 1961 Vienna Diplomatic Convention on Diplomatic Relations from bankruptcy proceedings over failure to pay a long-standing debt in Britain.
Bur CAR leaders say the document’s serial number corresponded to one of a batch of “new passports that were stolen in 2014.”
In April, the 50-year-old former tennis star tweeted a picture of himself shaking hands with CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadera at a meeting in Brussels.
Becker told Marr he was “very happy anytime soon to visit Bangui, the capital and to speak to the people, personally about how we can move forward and how can we resolve this misunderstanding.”
Becker shook up the tennis world at Wimbledon in 1985 when, as an unseeded player, he became the then youngest-ever male Grand Slam champion at the age of 17, defending the trophy the following year.
He went on to enjoy a glittering career and amassed more than $25 million (21.65 million euros) in prize money.