Queen Elizabeth Arrives in Ireland, NATO Attack Injures Pakistani Troops
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh are greeted by Irish President Mary McAleese and her husband Martin McAleese at the Aras an Uachtarain, the official residence of the President of Ireland, on May 17, 2011 in Dublin, Ireland. (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Queen Elizabeth II arrived in Ireland Tuesday to begin a four-day visit, the first by a British monarch in more than a century and since Ireland became a republic. The visit, designed to highlight a strong relationship between London and Dublin and peace with Northern Ireland, comes at the invitation of Irish President Mary McAleese, who had encouraged the visit for 14 years.
Security has been beefed up in light of threats from the Irish Republican Army (IRA). In Dublin on Monday a pipe bomb on a bus was safely detonated by the army. There were also threats made in London. The estimated cost of the added security, including the deployment of additional police on the streets, barricades, surveillance and sweeps of the city, has been estimated at 30 million euros.
The queen will make stops at Trinity College Dublin, National War Memorial Gardens and Dublin Castle , where she is expected to deliver a speech during a state dinner.
Two Pakistani Soldiers Injured in NATO Attack
A NATO helicopter attacked a Pakistani army post, injuring two soldiers and further raising tensions with the United States in the light of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden. There were reports that there had been ammunition fire from the outpost, which sits near the border with Afghanistan.
NATO officials confirmed there had been an “incident” but did not provide further details. Pakistan’s army released a statement saying their troops had fired on the helicopter when it crossed into their airspace, and that the two were injured in the return gunfire. NATO has promised an investigation into the exchange.
Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., wrapped up his official visit to Pakistan, which was aimed at improving strained relations. Pakistan agreed to return part of a helicopter used in the bin Laden raid and wants the United States to decrease its military personnel, which is about 200, in the country.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is also expected to visit Pakistan soon.
Mississippi Flooding Covers Millions of Acres
The historically high Mississippi River continues to inundate land as it heads downstream toward the Gulf of Mexico. Engineers opened spillways to divert water to lowland areas in an attempt to keep the worst of the flooding from hitting Baton Rouge and New Orleans. There have been widespread evacuations in towns like Butte Larose, La., which could be swamped with water levels as high as 15 feet.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal estimated that the floodwaters could cause hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to the state’s agriculture. The river is expected to crest in Baton Rouge on Wednesday.
Some Call for Resignation of Jailed IMF Chief Strauss-Kahn
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund and a potential candidate to challenge French President Nicolas Sarkozy, remains jailed on New York’s Rikers Island prison after being denied bail on Monday. His arrest on charges of sexually assaulting a maid at a New York City hotel has shocked many in the financial world and prompted calls for his resignation.
Austrian Finance Minister Maria Fekter said Strauss-Kahn “has to figure out for himself, that he is hurting the institution,” referring to the IMF and its efforts to improve financial stability as Europe struggles with a debt crisis. Strauss-Kahn’s attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said evidence thus far made it “quite likely that he will be ultimately be exonerated.”