Medvedev fires off 1st tweet at Silicon Valley

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev perched briefly at Twitter headquarters on Thursday as he began courting the micro-blogging sensation and other US Internet stars for a Moscow version of Silicon Valley. Twitter employees packed into a sixth-floor cafeteria where co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone gave Mr Medvedev a crash course in the service, which lets people share messages of 140 characters and Web links.
Mr Medvedev fired off his first “tweet” with a message in Russian that was translated as “Hello everyone, I am now on Twitter.”
In a possible sign of a budding Twitter lover, Mr Medvedev immediately launched into a second tweet of “Today I am going to visit the Silicon Valley companies including Apple, Yandex, and Cisco.”
Couches were set up living-room style on a raised platform at the back of the cafeteria in Twitter’s new headquarters one block from where Apple unveiled the first iPhone and the latest model that hits store shelves on Friday.
A book case contained a silver framed photograph of Stone and Williams flanking fashion model Tyra Banks. Bicycles were parked in a bike rack along another wall and a large, lighted “@” sign hung from a wall.
Meanwhile, Ben Rhodes, a spokesman for the White House national security adviser, told reporters that Mr Medvedev visit showcases “very substantial progress in resetting the US-Russia relationship in a number of important and very substantive areas.”
“We believe that this visit takes place at a new phase in the US-Russia relations,” Mr Rhodes said.
April’s long-awaited Cold War-era nuclear disarmament treaty signed in Prague signaled something of a renaissance in US-Russian relations.

Abramoff takes job at pizzeria
Washington, June 24: Disgraced millionaire superlobbyist Jack Abramoff, newly released from prison, has taken a job at a kosher pizzeria for pay of no more than $10 an hour, the New York Times reported on Thursday.
Abramoff, once among Washington’s most influential powerbrokers, started working this week at Tov Pizza in Baltimore, Maryland where he earns between seven and a half and $10 an hour, according to the newspaper.
“He is not the monster he has been portrayed as,” the pizzeria’s owner, Mr Ron Rosenbluth, told the Times.
Abramoff served three and a half years at a minimum security prison camp in Cumberland, Maryland, outside Washington and now is living at a halfway house which arranged the pizzeria job, the daily wrote.
“People ask me, ‘Why would you ever hire Jack Abramoff?’” Mr Rosenbluth said.
“I say, ‘Why wouldn’t I hire Jack Abramoff?’ He’s paying his debt to society, right?”
Abramoff became one of Washington’s leading lobbyists during the Republican rise to power in Congress in the 1990s, and expanded his influence with George W. Bush’s capture of the White House in December 2000. —AFP

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