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As Barack Obama looks through papers, his eight-year-old daughter, Sasha, spies on him from behind a sofa.

The photograph, released by the White House, was taken by Peter Souza, whose brief is to document the Obama presidency.

Mr Obama has said that one of the greatest benefits of working in the White House is having his family living in the same building.

Despite its spontaneous feel, the image evokes obvious – and possibly intentional - comparisons with famous pictures of a three-year-old John F Kennedy Jr playing under the same desk as his father sat working at it.

The photographs were taken a month before President Kennedy's assassination in November 1963.

Earlier this year, the White House released pictures showing Mr Obama, watched on by Caroline Kennedy, peering into the same section of the desk from which her young brother looked out 46 years ago.

The boy would often play under the desk – presented by Queen Victoria to President Rutherford Hayes – and liked to pretend that its kneehole panel was a secret door.

Mr Obama has said that one of the greatest benefits of working in the White House is having his family living in the same building.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Russia-Georgia war EU report due & Russia vows to protect S Ossetia

## Russia-Georgia war EU report due

An independent report into who started last year's Russia-Georgia conflict is set to be published by the European Union.

At the time both countries blamed each other for the outbreak of fighting.

The report is expected to say that while the Georgians fired the first shots, the Russians created and exploited conditions that led to war.

The death toll from the conflict is generally put in the hundreds. Tens of thousands fled their homes.

At the time, the Russians accused Georgia of shelling civilians and attacking their peacekeepers in the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

For their part the Georgians say they were targeting separatist forces - and repelling a Russian invasion that was already under way.

Given the European Union's relations with Russia have improved compared to a year ago, reaction in Brussels may be muted - welcoming the report itself, but distancing the EU from its content.

## Russia vows to protect S Ossetia

Russia's prime minister has vowed to protect the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a year after it recognised their independence.

Speaking at the opening of a direct gas pipeline to South Ossetia, Vladimir Putin said his country would not allow any "military escapades" by Georgia.

The two fought a war last year, during which Georgia's attempts to regain control of South Ossetia were repelled.

Earlier, Russia's military said it had halved its presence in the two regions.

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