Asia-Pacific

Australia parliament gift shop withdraws 'Barrack' mug

Barack Obama, pictured on 7 June 2010
Image caption US President Barack Obama has postponed his visit to Australia twice

A gift shop at Australia's Parliament House has withdrawn 200 mugs intended to mark US President Barack Obama's visit because of a spelling glitch.

The A$10 ($8.2, £5.6) mugs welcomed "Barrack Obama" - a mistake attributed to an official who ordered them.

Two were sold before the error was spotted but the rest have since been scrapped.

They would not have been needed anyway - Mr Obama has cancelled his visit to deal with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

It is the second time the US president has delayed a planned trip to Australia.

He cancelled one earlier this year to focus on his healthcare reform bill.

The black and white mugs featured a smiling picture of Mr Obama beneath his misspelt name in large, bold type.

Parliamentary services secretary Alan Thompson told AFP news agency that his staff had learned a "valuable lesson".

If Mr Obama scheduled a fresh visit, new mugs would be ordered with more attention to detail, he said.

"It did seem a good idea at the time and I think it would have made an excellent keepsake had he arrived and had the spelling been correct," he said.

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