Officials at the Pike River Coal Mine can't find 27 miners, according to TVNZ, which says an electrician discovered an explosion when he went to investigate a power outage. Instead, he found a worker who'd been blown off his loader. They escaped safely. Radio New Zealand says rescuers can't enter the mine to look for victims because the ventilation failed after the blast and dangerous gas may be present. The Pike River mine is on New Zealand's South Island; it lies on the west coast, across the island from Christchurch. The disaster is drawing international coverage and supporters have set up a FB page.
OBAMA IN LISBON FOR EU, NATO MEETINGS
The president will talk with European leaders about NATO's efforts in Afghanistan and U.S. economic goals. The AP notes Obama has set aside just two hours tomorrow for U.S.- EU talks:
Chief among Europe's concerns: Afghanistan, counterterrorism and the economy, which is again causing deep concern on the continent amid news that European countries may have to step in to help stabilize debt-stricken Ireland.
Speaking of which....
IRELAND IN BAILOUT TALKS WITH EU, IMF
It's ugly. After vigorously insisting Ireland did not need and would not accept financial rescue loans from the EU, Irish leaders are saying, well, actually....yes, we're discussing the terms now. Ireland is reeling. This is the front page of the Irish Examiner, courtesy of the Newseum:
The Irish Examiner's front page, Nov. 19, 2010.
The front page piece by political correspondent Shaun Connolly begins with a lament:
Irishmen and Irishwomen: how in the name of God have we come to this? And in the name of the dead generations from which she received her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through our new masters at the European Central Bank summons her children to her financial sovereign funeral.
The blistering editorial is steeped in history and is sure to sadden some and infuriate others: it's based on a Declaration of Independence issued by Irish nationalists (later executed) against British authority, during the 1916 Easter Rising insurrection. From the original Declaration:
IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN: In the name of God and of the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom. ...
We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the ownership of Ireland, and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign and indefeasible.
Other participants in the Easter Rising (which was crushed) included the Sinn Fein party.