President Obama speaks in Hawaii at the Ihilani Resort on November 13, 2012
President Obama speaks in Hawaii at the Ihilani Resort on November 13, 2012

Hawaii is still making the national and international news because of the Asia Pacific Economic Conference, but not for reasons most people might expect.

During President Barack Obama’s press conference on Sunday at Ko Olina on Oahu’s Leeward Coast, he said he was in Asia. That didn’t slip by Fox News. Fox ran a report yesterday:

“It’s hard to mistake that Hawaiian scenery.

“But President Obama apparently forgot where he was during his press conference Sunday on the outskirts of Honolulu — despite being born there.

“The president mistakenly described his location as “Asia” while answering a question about budget cuts. 

“When I meet with world leaders, what’s striking — whether it’s in Europe or here in Asia — the kinds of fundamental reforms and changes, both on the revenue side and the public pension side, that other countries are having to make are so much more significant than what we need to do in order to get our books in order,” Obama said.

Obama understandably had Asia on the mind, as his press conference came in the middle of the U.S. hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where representatives from many Asian countries were in attendance.
And, hey, Hawaii is a latecomer, having only been a state since 1959. 
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President Barack Obama also spent part of Monday golfing with his childhood friend and Punahou classmate, Robert R. “Bobby” Titcomb, who he regularly socializes with when the Obama family visits Hawaii.

Reporters from around the world took note because Titcomb was arrested in a reverse prostitution sting in April 2011. Titcomb was fined $500 after entering a deferred plea of no contest in May 2011 to a charge of soliciting prostitution.

The deferral, granted over the objection of the Prosecutor’s Office by District Judge Leslie Hayashi, meant the charge against Titcomb was dismissed if he stayed out of legal trouble for six months – and apparently he has.

When Harrison asked the judge to accept the deferred no contest plea, Deputy Prosecutor Kurt Nakamatsu objected, saying Titcomb had received a similar deferral in 1989 on a traffic charge of leaving the scene of an accident. Titcomb was also convicted of a contempt of court charge in 1986, the prosecutor said.

“He already had a chance to keep his record clean,” Nakamatsu argued to Hayashi.

The judge granted the deferral and ordered Titcomb to appear at an October 19 hearing to prove that he has complied with the sentence.

Harrison also appeared for Titcomb in Wahiawa Traffic Court in May to reach a plea bargain in an excessive speeding case against Titcomb.

He had been charged with travelling 58 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone March 4 but was allowed to plead guilty to a reduced charge.

Finally, a video of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meeting with Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Donald Tsang has gone viral.

Reporters caught what some international media thought was a streaker.

The London Daily Mail said: “Hillary Clinton got a Hawaiian surprise this weekend when a half-naked man interrupted a photo op when he ran behind her carrying a flaming torch and wearing nothing but a loincloth.”

That actually did happen, but those who live here in Hawaii know there is an explanation.

The man is Chester Centino, a member of Tihati Productions, and 6 nights a week he is assigned the duty of lighting the majority of the 90 tiki torches on the Hilton Hawaiian Village grounds. He dresses in a traditional malo or Hawaiian loin cloth.

Clinton, who has been to Hawaii many times before this trip, wasn’t concerned at all. She burst out laughing when the torch runner went by saying: “That was great.  Hope you all captured that. People will wonder what the chief executive is doing.”

Hawaii News Now has a fun interview with the instantly famous torch runner here.

Finally, President Barack Obama may have snubbed the opportunity to showcase Tori Richard designer Aloha shirts made especially at his request for 21 world leaders in the traditional group photo, but celebrity George Clooney won’t follow his example.

George Clooney and many in the cast in the movie, The Descendants, are dressed in Tori Richard aloha shirts.

The Descendants, which is filmed in Hawaii, is based on a novel by Hawaii’s own Kaui Hart Hemmings, daughter of former Sen. Fred Hemmings.

The Descendants premieres tonight in select theaters, on Friday throughout the mainland and in Hawaii on November 23.

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards. Hawaii Reporter has a weekly television news show, News Behind the News, which airs on Mondays at 1:30 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m.