LONDON (AP) — World leaders are expressing praise and admiration today for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, as word spreads that she died today of a stroke at the age of 87.
She's being credited with modernizing Britain's industrial landscape, even at the cost of violent strikes and riots -- and with standing beside the United States as the west won the Cold War over the Soviet Union.
British Prime Minister David Cameron says Thatcher "didn't just lead our country. She saved our country." He says he believes she'll be remembered as "the greatest British peacetime prime minister."
President Barack Obama says Americans will never forget her "standing shoulder to shoulder" with Ronald Reagan as the West triumphed in the Cold War -- reminding the world that people can shape the currents of history with "moral conviction, unyielding courage and iron will."
But Thatcher isn't being remembered fondly in Northern Ireland and Argentina. The leader of the Irish nationalist Sinn Fein (shin fayn) party, Gerry Adams, describes Thatcher as a hypocrite who sanctioned secret talks with senior IRA figures but refused to make any concessions in public.
And scores of Argentines are posting criticisms of her online, blaming her for the deaths of hundreds of Argentine troops during the battle over the Falkland Islands.
212-a-04-(John Blundell, author of "Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of the Iron Lady", in AP interview)-"Margaret, I'm afraid"-John Blundell, who knew Margaret Thatcher since 1971, says that while the former British prime minister was different from her public persona, there was one thing she wasn't. (8 Apr 2013)
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197-c-20-(Mark Smith, AP White House correspondent)-"the Cold War"-President Obama is hailing former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who died today at age 87. AP White House Correspondent Mark Smith reports. (8 Apr 2013)
<<CUT *197 (04/08/13)>> 00:20 "the Cold War"
GRAPHICSBANK: MARGARET THATCHER headshot, as British Prime Minister, on flag texture with 1925-2013 lettering, finished graphic (8 Apr 2013)
APPHOTO LST109: Floral tributes are seen being left outside the house of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who died from a stroke at age 87, in London, Monday, April 8, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan) (8 Apr 2013)
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APPHOTO NYMT203: FILE - This is a 1980 file photo showing British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Thatcher's former spokesman, Tim Bell, said Thatcher died of a stroke Monday morning, April 8, 2013. She was 87. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File) (1 Jan 1960)
<<APPHOTO NYMT203 (01/01/60)>>