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G20: Obama rebuffs Aus PM’s switch bid

world Updated: Sep 07, 2009 23:49 IST

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a valiant attempt to reschedule this month’s G20 summit so he could attend the Australian Rules Grand Final — before being rebuffed by US President Barack Obama.

Rudd, playing up to Australia’s sports-obsessed reputation despite dire times for the global economy, said he had tried to explain the game was the local equivalent of the US football’s Superbowl.

“I said to the president, ‘Look, have you heard of the AFL Grand Final? This is going to be a bit of a conflict’,” Rudd told commercial radio on Monday.

“I had to explain to him for a little bit what the AFL Grand Final is, but I said, ‘Look, can you imagine having a summit on the day that you’ve got the Superbowl over there?’”

“And he said ‘Kevin, I’m not moving the date’. So there you go.”

Rudd will join world leaders in the US city of Pittsburgh on September 24-25 for the G20 meeting to discuss ways to keep the post-crisis global economy on track. The grand final will be held in Melbourne the following day.

Size matters when it comes to Sarko visits

A woman chosen to appear behind President Nicolas Sarkozy when he made an appearance at a French factory has told Belgian television that her petite stature was the deciding factor.

“I am told you have been chosen because of your size, is this true?” the journalist asks the woman. “Yes,” she replies. “You must not be bigger than the president,” the journalist goes on. “That’s right,” she adds.

Sarkozy went to the Faurecia auto parts company in the Normandy town of Caligny on September 3.