Dear tearchers and friends,

I just read a Reuter's News report and have a couple of questions:

1. The U.N. Security Council, which endorsed Gambari's emergency visit, had hoped for some sort of dialogue between a military that has been in charge for 45 years and 62-year Nobel laureate Suu Kyi, in detention for nearly 12 of the last 18 years.
Q: Is it OK to use past perfect like this? Can we explain that "had hoped" is the past action which took place before the other past action "endorsed"? Or, "had hoped" just took place before some other implied past action in general?

2. Western governments say the death toll in the crackdown is likely to be far higher than the 10 officially acknowledged when troops opened fire to clear protesters from the streets of Yangon, Myanmar's former capital and main city.
Q: How to explain the use of simple present "say" and "is" here, considering this is a report of past events? (Please note 1 and 2 are in the same report. 2 follows 1 immediately. Nothing in between them). Is this a case of "mix mode writing"?

Please help. Thanks. LG.
1. Yes, it's OK, and you have the right explanation.
2. They say these days ...., it's correct.
Thanks Marius.