London – In a historic first, the president of Ireland began a state visit to Britain on Tuesday to mark the growing reconciliation between his nation and the one that long ruled it from afar through centuries of oppression and rebellion.
After a bloody war of independence and decades of mistrust, London and Dublin have become increasingly close partners linked by trade, history and culture. The rapprochement was made possible by the 1998 accord that ended armed sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, which remains part of Britain but enjoys a measure of self-rule.
The four-day visit to Britain this week by Irish President Michael Higgins will witness the 16th anniversary of that landmark pact, known as the Good Friday Agreement. On Tuesday, Higgins was given a warm ceremonial welcome at Windsor Castle by Queen Elizabeth II.
Obama’s aunt who asked asylum dies
Boston – President Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango, who was denied asylum in the United States but stayed illegally for years, died Tuesday at age 61.
Onyango had been treated in recent months for cancer and respiratory problems. She died in a Boston rehabilitation center.
Onyango, a half-sister of Obama’s late father, moved from Kenya to the U.S. in 2000 and was denied asylum by an immigration judge in 2004. She remained in the country illegally, living in Boston public housing.
She finally was granted asylum in 2010 by a judge who said she could be in danger if she returned to Kenya because of her relationship with Obama.