Senator sworn in
WASHINGTON: Republican Scott Brown took over the seat of the late Massachusetts Sen Edward Kennedy on Thursday, removing the Democrats’ supermajority necessary for passage of much of President Barack Obama’s priority legislation. Brown was sworn-in by Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday at a Congressional ceremony a week earlier than he originally had planned and just in time to plunge him into a partisan fight over Obama’s choice of a union attorney for a top labour job. Brown’s arrival in the Senate ends the Democrats’ supermajority by giving the minority Republicans 41 votes they can use to block President Barack Obama’s agenda.
Obama statue row
JAKARTA: A statue of a young President Barack Obama that drew a public backlash after it was given a prominent position in a Jakarta park will be moved to the elementary school he attended while living in the Indonesian capital, officials said on Friday. The decision by Jakarta’s government to move the 43-inch statue of a 10-year-old Obama holding a butterfly comes as the president prepares for his March visit to Indonesia, where he lived for several years as a child. Despite his widespread popularity among Indonesians, the statue drew criticism after it was placed in a park in December, with protesters arguing Obama is not a national hero. More than 56,000 Facebook members joined the Indonesian-language Facebook group “Take Down the Barack Obama Statue in Taman Menteng Park.”