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Camping to protest climate change A protester smokes a cigarette as she sits at the entrance of the ’Climate Camp’ in southeast London on Thursday. Hundreds of environmentalists gathered on a field setting up a weeklong protest camp against climate change.

AP PHOTO
WASHINGTON Obama efforts praised

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama pledged to right the wrongs he said bogged down efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Seven months into the job, he’s earning high praise from some unlikely places.

Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., says Obama’s team has brought a more practical and flexible approach. Many local officials offer similar reviews. Even Doug O’Dell, former President George W. Bush’s recovery coordinator, says the Obama administration’s “new vision” appears to be turning things around.

Jindal said he had a lot of respect for the current FEMA chief, Craig Fugate, and his team. “There is a sense of momentum and a desire to get things done,” the governor said.

Added O’Dell: “I think the results are self-evident.”

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates Pirates fire at Navy copter

Somali pirates holding a hijacked ship off the coast of Somalia fired at a U.S. Navy helicopter as it made a surveillance flight over the vessel, the first such attack by pirates on an American military aircraft, the Navy said Thursday.

The helicopter, which is based on the USS Chancellorsville, was not hit and there were no injuries, the Navy said.

The copter was flying on Wednesday over a Taiwanese-flagged fishing vessel, the Win Far, which pirates seized along with its 30-member crew in April and were holding south of the Somali port town of Hobyo.

LANCASTER, Pa. Plane in two incidents

A two-seat airplane that flew into restricted air space and caused the evacuation of the White House four years ago has been involved in a similar incident.

The 1970 Cessna 150, which is owned by a Pennsylvania club, entered the no-fly zone around 2 p.m. Tuesday and was escorted down by two Coast Guard helicopters.

The student pilot was within several miles of highly restricted air space in which he could have been shot down, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Paul Takemoto said.

The plane is owned by the Vintage Aero Club, a group based at the Smoketown Airport near Lancaster.

OTTAWA, Kan. ‘White hope’ explained

A Kansas congresswoman says a recent comment about fellow Republicans seeking a “great white hope” was not a reference to someone who could challenge President Barack Obama’s political agenda.

Rep. Lynn Jenkins said Thursday that she was making a comment about GOP leaders in the U.S. House. She says she was trying to reassure Republicans that there are bright leaders there.

But Jenkins says she apologizes if anyone was offended by her remarks at the Aug. 19. forum.

She says she was unaware of any negative connotation to the phrase.

The phrase stems from the early 1900s when there was a campaign to find a white boxer who could defeat heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson, who was black.

A spokesman says White House officials will give Jenkins the benefit of the doubt.

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