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May 2011



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Barack Obama listens asDavid Cameron speaks during a joint press conference at the Lancaster House

Barack Obama listens as David Cameron speaks during a joint press conference at Lancaster House. Photograph: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

There were no big policy announcements, But, nevertheless, it was still packed with interesting stuff. Andrew Sparrow with the main points

• Obama said that winning the war in Libya would be a “slow, steady process”. He said that he and Cameron continued to discuss on a regular basis what could be done to put more pressure on the Libyan regime. But he played down hopes of an early breakthrough. “I think that there may be a false perception that there are a whole bunch of secret super-effective air assets that are in a warehouse somewhere that could just be pulled out and would somehow immediately solve the situation in Libya,” he said. “That’s not the case.” People had to be patient, he said.

We are bringing to bear an array of air power that has made a huge difference but ultimately this is going to be a slow, steady process in which we’re able to wear down the regime forces and change the political calculations of the Gaddafi regime to the point where they finally realise that they’re not going to control this country, the Libyan people are going to control this country

Obama said that the need to avoid civilian casualties meant that the operation might take longer than would otherwise be the case. But he said he was confident that Gaddafi would eventually go. “I believe that we have built enough momentum that, as long as we sustain the course that we’re one, that he is ultimately going to step down.” Cameron said that he and Obama had agreed that they should be “turning up the heat in Libya”

• Obama declined to give a specific endorsement for Cameron’s deficit reduction strategy. He said that the two leaders agreed on the need for deficit reduction, but he did not say anything that could be read as clear backing for the coalition’s approach and a clear rejection of Labour’s. In his opening statement Cameron said that although he and Obama didn’t go into politics to cut spending, “neither did we seek office to see our great economies decline, or to land our children with unsustainable debts”. Cameron went on: “That’s why by the second half of this decade, we’re making sure that debt ratios will be falling on both sides of the Atlantic.”

But when Obama was asked if he supported Cameron’s debt reduction approach, he said that each country was going to have to take different decisions. He said America and Britain had to sustain growth and that, although governments had to “live within their means”, they also had to sustain investment in areas like science and education. He said that he and Cameron wanted to arrive at the same point, where “we’re making sure that our governments are doing what they need to do to ensure broad-based prosperity, but doing so in a responsible way that does not mortgage our futures and leave a mountain of debt to future generations.”

He also stressed that the nature and role of the public sector was not the same in the UK as it was in the US, and that “the nature of the debt and the deficits are different, and as a consequence the sequencing and pace [of deficit reduction] may be different.”

• Obama stressed that it was important to be flexible in economic policy. He said governments had to be wiling to make adjustments. “There are going to be opportunities for us to make investments, there are going to be areas where we thought those were good ideas at the time, programmes that were started with the best of intentions and it turns out they were not working as well as they should,” he said. “If it’s not working well, we should get rid of it and put that money into programmes that are working well.”

Although Obama said that Cameron agreed on the importance of “making adjustments”, this was mildly embarrassing for Cameron because he has always insisted that his government has no “plan B” in relation to the economy.

• Obama said that the Americans would accept any decision by the British not to extradite the computer hacker Gary McKinnon to the US. The Americans want to put him on trial in the US for breaking into military computers, but his supporters in Britain say that he’s a harmless eccentric with Asperger’s syndrome (he was looking for evidence of UFOs when he hacked the Pentagon system) and that his health would be at risk in a US jail. Theresa May, the home secretary, is now considering whether new medical evidence justifies his extradition being blocked. Obama said the matter was now in the hands of the British legal system. “We have confidence in the British legal system coming to a just conclusion, so we await resolution and will be respectful of that process,” he said.

Cameron said that May was considering the matter in a quasi-judicial capacity. “I totally understand the anguish of [McKinnon’s] mother and his family about this issue,” Cameron added.

• Obama and Cameron both paid lavish tribute to the warmth of the relationship between the US and Britain. Using the formula the two men unveiled yesterday, they said that the relationship was not just “special”, but “essential” too. They were also keen to stress their personal regard for each other, referring to each other by first name rather than by title. Cameron also warmly praised the leadership Obama has shown in international circles. “I have come to value not just his leadership and courage, but the fact that to all the big international issues of our time, he brings thoughtful consideration and reason,” Cameron said.

Read in Full:


Previous Updates

“Clegg Washes hands of Hacker Case”:



“UK-US Extradition Treaty To Be Reviewed”:


Gary Mckinnon Updates: UK Hacker Could Serve Time In British Jail/Gary McKinnon’s Mother Praises Cameron-Obama Talks

Wednesday, 21 July 2010 7:44 P GMT
Wednesday 21st July, 2010. David Cameron has raised the prospect that computer hacker Gary McKinnon could serve some of any US-imposed sentence in a British jail after raising the issue with US President Barack Obama at the White House. He

Gary McKinnon Updates: Nick Clegg Raises Doubts Over Powers To Halt Extradition

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 6:41 P GMT
Gary McKinnon: Nick Clegg raises doubts over powers to halt hacker’s extradition Plans to extradite Gary McKinnon, the Pentagon computer hacker, might not be stopped by the Government after all, Nick Clegg has suggested. By

Gary McKinnon Updates: New British Government Considers McKinnon’s Appeal/Theresa May Halts Legal Battle Against Extradition To US

Wednesday, 19 May 2010 2:43 P GMT
Gary McKinnon is hoping to avoid U.S. prosecution for hacking by approaching the new coalition governmentby Jeremy KirkMay 18, 2010, 12:10 PM —  IDG News Service —  <!–paging_filter–> Britain’s new government i

Gary McKinnon Updates: US Prosecution Of McKinnon ‘Spiteful’, Says Ex-Top-Cop

Tuesday, 11 May 2010 8:40 P GMT

No reason why Pentagon hacker can’t be tried in UK By John Leyden • Get more from this author Posted in Policing, 10th May 2010 09:04 GMT The senior former policeman in charge of the National Hi-Tech Crime Unit squad which first

McKinnon’s Mum Fights For Civil Liberties In Parliamentary Run(Includes Outcome Update)

Tuesday, 4 May 2010 10:01 P GMT
A day in a life on a campaign trail By John LeydenPosted in Government, 3rd May 2010 08:02 GMTInterview Janis Sharp, mother of accused Pentagon hacker Gary McKinnon, is upbeat about her run for Parliament despite acknowledging she has little cha

Gary McKinnon Updates: Janis Sharp To Battle Straw

Tuesday, 13 April 2010 5:31 P GMT
Janis Sharp PRESS ASSOCIATION The mother of accused computer hacker Gary McKinnon is to stand against Justice Secretary Jack Straw at the General Election. Janis Sharp blames Mr Straw, who was Foreign Secretary when Britain’s current extrad

Gary McKinnon Updates: New Court Date In Extradition Marathon

Tuesday, 23 February 2010 2:46 P GMT
Ian GrantMonday 22 February 2010 03:33 Self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon will return to court in May to hear whether the home secretary was right to allow his extradition to the US to face charges of hacking US federal and military comp

Gary McKinnon Updates: Charlie Mckinnon On His Son’s Fight Against US Extradition

Tuesday, 9 February 2010 7:02 P GMT
Feb 7 2010 Lesley Roberts, Sunday Mail CHARLIE McKINNON should have left his scaffolding job by now and be enjoying a quiet retirement. Instead, the building site worker is at the centre of a major international incident, fi

Gary McKinnon Updates: Death Threats

Friday, 22 January 2010 4:40 P GMT
UFO hacker Gary McKinnon gets death threats Exclusive report by Chris Richards, Rep

Gary McKinnon Updates: Pentagon Hacker Wins Delay Of Extradition To U.S.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010 1:42 A GMT
January 13, 2010. A Briton who hacked into NASA and Pentagon computers has won the right to challenge the government’s decision to refuse to block his extradition to the United States, his lawyers said on Wednesday. Skip related contentGary

Gary McKinnon Updates: New Hope on Extradition

Tuesday, 1 December 2009 2:02 P GMT
Hacker gets new hope on extraditionTuesday, Dec 1  2009 Home Secretary Alan Johnson has said he is considering granting computer hacker Gary McKinnon extra time to apply for a judicial review of his case. Skip related contentMr McKinn

Gary McKinnon Updates: Gary McKinnon’s Mother In Tears After Snub From Alan Johnson

Wednesday, 11 November 2009 1:33 A GMT
The mother of Gary McKinnon, the internet hacker fighting extradition to the United States, broke down in tears yesterday after Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, allegedly refused to talk to her. By Rosa Prince, Political Correspond

Gary McKinnon Updates: Computer Hacker Gary McKinnon Loses Fight To Stand Trial In UK

Wednesday, 7 October 2009 3:36 P GMT
Janis Sharp will talk about her son Gary McKinnon’s ongoing extradition case. 07 October 2009 05:00 AM The mother of Scottish computer hacker Gary McKinnon

GaryMcKinnon Updates: Verdict on Extradition to be Announced This Week

Tuesday, 15 September 2009 9:58 P GMT
UFO hacker Gary McKinnon to learn of Supreme Court appeal 14 September 2009 Self-confessed hacker Gary McKinnon, who gained unauthorised access to multiple Pentagon computer systems, will learn this week whether an application for an

Gary McKinnon Updates: Protestors Challenge McKinnon Extradition/American Civil Liberties Union Attacks David Miliband over UK/US Extradition Treaty

Thursday, 27 August 2009 9:05 P GMT
By Jon Ashford Skip related contentProtestors against Gary McKinnon’s extradition demonstrated in Grosvenor Square today, just metres from the US embassy.Among the attendees at the demonstration, organised by civil liberties campaigners Lib

Updates(Includes New Petition): Gary McKinnon Loses Appeal Against Extradition To The U.S.

Friday, 31 July 2009 10:39 A GMT
By Michael Seamark and James Slack Last updated at 10:59 AM on 31st July 2009British computer expert Gary McKinnon today lost his latest High Court bid to avoid extradition to America where he faces trial for hacking into U.S. military networ

Updates: Gary McKinnon’s Impending Extradition Must Be Stopped/No Pity From US

Sunday, 26 July 2009 9:45 P GMT
David Burrowes MP, Sunday, July 26 2009 This last month has been an unusual one since it has involved a constituent’s case receiving national prominence and has led to Parliamentary calls for a review of both an Act of Parliament and a Treaty.

Gary McKinnon Updates: In the Name of Compassion, Britain Must Reverse This Shameful Decision

Friday, 3 July 2009 6:57 P GMT
Gary McKinnon is facing charges of up to 60 years in a U.S. court By Daily Mail Comment Last updated at 1:51 AM on 03rd July 2009Eight years ago, a solitary geek sat at his computer in his flat in North London. A sufferer of Asperger’s sy

Gary McKinnon Updates: New Hearing Date Set On Extradition/My Son Is Not A Cyber-Terrorist/Petition Tops 4,000

Tuesday, 16 June 2009 1:10 P GMT
TERRIFIED: Gary McKinnon  GARY McKinnon is facing extradition for what has been described as “the biggest military computer hack of all time”. His mother JANIS SHARP argues that his treatment by the authorities is cruel, unne

Gary McKinnon Updates: Can A Harmless UFO Obsessive Be Saved From 70 Years In A Brutal American Jail?

Monday, 1 June 2009 6:22 P GMT
By Geoffrey WansellThe fate of self-confessed ‘bumbling computer nerd’ and UFO spotter Gary McKinnon  -  who faces extradition to the U.S. and a possible 70-year prison sentence after hacking into 97 military and Nasa computers&nbs

Gary McKinnon Updates – Pink Floyd Guitarist Sings In Support

Wednesday, 27 May 2009 1:43 P GMT
Warwick AshfordPink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour is to produce a new recording of the song Chicago by Graham Nash in support of London UFO fanatic and computer hacker Gary McKinnon.Nash authorised a reworking of the song written for the “

Gary McKinnon Update: Sign Our Petition Today

Wednesday, 13 May 2009 5:45 P GMT
Journalists: find our latest press release about Gary McKinnon’s case in ‘Related resources’ at the bottom of this page. Gary McKinnon was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome in August 2008 and faces extradition to the United States to

Gary McKinnon Updates: Supporters Rally at U.S. Embassy in London

Friday, 3 April 2009 10:10 P GMT
Gary McKinnon’s mother, six others back his effort to avoid being extradited to the U.S. By Jeremy Kirk April 2, 2009 (IDG News Service) As protesters again took to the streets of London today in

Gary McKinnon Updates – ‘Drop Hacker Case’ – Terry Waite

Tuesday, 17 March 2009 3:42 P GMT
‘Drop hacker case’ – Terry WaiteHuman rights campaigner and former hostage Terry Waite has called on the US to drop charges against British computer hacker Gary McKinnon. Glasgow-born Mr McKinnon, 42, from Wood Green, north London, faces up t

Gary McKinnon Updates: Latest Round in Extradition Battle Lost/Sting Supports Fight for UK Trial

Thursday, 26 February 2009 2:57 P GMT
Hacker loses extradition battleComputer hacker Gary McKinnon lost the latest round of his fight against extradition to the US when British prosecutors refused to bring charges against him.  Gary McKinnon lost latest round of hi

Gary McKinnon – Ongoing Updates

Monday, 12 January 2009 11:26 P GMT
Gary McKinnon, the hacker accused of breaking into the Pentagon and Nasa, could be tried in Britain Photo: PA Nasa hacker Gary McKinnon could be tried in Britain Gary McKinnon, the British hacker accused of breaking into

Ongoing Updates: Gary McKinnon: Extradition Judicial Review Hearing Set For Jan 20

Tuesday, 2 December 2008 3:24 P GMT
Tuesday 2 December 2008, 6:22 PM Posted by Tom Espiner Gary McKinnon, the man accused of hacking Nasa and Pentagon computers, will have his oral judicial review hearing on 20 Jan, according to the Free Gary McKinnon website. The judic

Ongoing Updates: Dan Ackroyd, Peter Howson, Politicians Rally Behind Gary McKinnon/”Only A Fool” Music Video

Monday, 3 November 2008 4:48 P GMT
MPs join fight to save McKinnon from US prisonPentagon hacker ‘too vulnerable’ to survive hard time By John Leyden • Get more from this author Posted in Law, 3rd November 2008 13:32 GMT MPs are being asked to support accused Pentag

Gary McKinnon: Last Ditch Attempt Fails, Judicial Review Only Recourse Left

Tuesday, 14 October 2008 11:56 A GMT
According to Karen Todner, the lawyer representing British hacker Gary McKinnon, the UK government won’t intervene to stop the extradition of the hacker to US and neither has it guaranteed his return to UK to serve the sentence.  Tod

Gary McKinnon: Protest Outside Embassy

Friday, 3 October 2008 12:08 A GMT
Protest outside Embassy for hacker editorial@hamhigh.co.uk02 October 2008 Campaigners for Gary McKinnon By Robyn RosenA second demonstration in support of computer hacker Gary McKinnon drew a crowd of more than 100 supporters.Mr McKinnon, 42 an

NAS Media Response: Gary McKinnon Extradition

Thursday, 4 September 2008 11:15 P GMT
Media response: Gary McKinnon extradition3rd September 2008 We are aware of the ongoing case of Gary McKinnon, a man with Asperger syndrome who is appealing against extradition to the US where he will face charges of hacking into US defence computer

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