A Minor Inconvenience
MUMBAI: Commercial flights are likely to be delayed by at least an hour when Air Force One, with an escort of three aircraft and five helicopters, touches down at Mumbai airport on Saturday morning. Though officials have yet to receive communication on air-space closure, protocol calls for a gap six minutes during a VVIP visit.
No commercial or civil flight is allowed to land or take off three minutes prior to and after the scheduled time of arrival. In the US Presidents case, a longer hiatus between his aircraft and other flights is expected. TOI has learned that the Centre is considering extending it to ten minutes in order to secure the airport and the skies.
Even if the closure is for six minutes, one has to take into account the sheer number of aircraft in Obamas entourage, said an airport official. With nine aircraft, helicopters and planes, scheduled to land on Nov 6, air-space closure may last for at least 54 minutes.
-The Times of India
The Kidnapping of Hari the Hindu
Their command over the English language has unwittingly landed nearly 300 city cops in virtual confinement as they have been assigned duties at the Taj and are not allowed to leave the hotel till US president Barack Obama leaves on Sunday afternoon.
The officers, holding ranks of sub inspector, assistant sub inspector, inspector, senior inspector and assistant commissioner of police were handpicked by their seniors for their communication skills in English, apart from general police training.
The 300-odd officers will work in tandem with highly trained 300 US security men, forming the inner protection ring guarding the US president during his stay at the Taj.
-Daily News and Analysis, India
Obama Using A Teleprompter? Nooooo!
Namaste India! In all likelihood that will be silver-tongued Barack Obama's opening line when he addresses the Indian parliament next week. But to help him pronounce Hindi words correctly will be a teleprompter which the US president uses ever so often for his hypnotising speeches.
According to parliament sources, a technical team from the US has helped the Lok Sabha secretariat install textbook-sized panes of glass around the podium that will give cues to Obama on his prepared remarks to 780 Indian MPs on the evening of Nov 8.
It will be a 20-minute speech at Parliament House's Central Hall that has been witness to some historic events, including first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru's "tryst with destiny" speech when India became independent.
Obama will make history for more than one reason during the Nov 6-9 visit. This will be the first time a teleprompter will be used in the nearly 100-feet high dome-shaped hall that has portraits of eminent national leaders adorning its walls.
Indian politicians are known for making impromptu long speeches and perhaps that is why some parliament officials, who did not wish to be named, sounded rather surprised with the idea of a teleprompter for Obama.
"We thought Obama is a trained orator and skilled in the art of mass address with his continuous eye contact," an official, who did not wish to be identified because of security restrictions, said.