The Day Of Change Is Here
The ’08 Race: A Sea Change for Politics as We Know It
By ADAM NAGOURNEY
Published: November 3, 2008
The 2008 race for the White House that comes to an end on Tuesday fundamentally upended the way presidential campaigns are fought in this country, a legacy that has almost been lost with all the attention being paid to the battle between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.It has rewritten the rules on how to reach voters, raise money, organize supporters, manage the news media, track and mold public opinion, and wage – and withstand – political attacks, including many carried by blogs that did not exist four years ago. It has challenged the consensus view of the American electoral battleground, suggesting that Democrats can at a minimum be competitive in states and regions that had long been Republican strongholds.
As China’s Losses Mount, Confidence Turns to Fear
Officials Use Bailouts to Forestall Unrest
By Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Foreign Service
Tuesday, November 4, 2008; Page A01
SHENZHEN, China — When Chong Yik Toy Co. went bankrupt, the bosses fled without meeting their payroll and angry workers took to the streets in protest. Less than 72 hours later, the local government came to the rescue.
Armed with bags full of cash totaling half a million dollars, accountants began distributing the money so the 900 former employees would have something to get by on. The Chinese officials who made the emergency payments on Oct. 21 called it an “advance,” part of a “back-pay insurance fund.”
In Birmingham, Obama’s run is more than just politics
By Tony Pugh | McClatchy Newspapers
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – On the night before Tuesday’s historic presidential election, city leaders here summoned voters to the scene of one of the most appalling events of the civil rights movement.
From the pulpit of the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four young girls were killed in a 1963 bombing, speakers Monday night urged the mostly black crowd to make sure they vote.
It was a familiar appeal from a familiar venue.
At the height of Birmingham’s bloody civil rights struggle, 16th Street Baptist was a frequent meeting place for local black leaders, but Monday’s rally drew its energy and urgency from an unprecedented development – the chance to elect the nation’s first African-American president.
Fear and loathing divide two Americas on eve of vote
?As the US goes to the polls liberal Americans are gripped by anxiety that they will suffer a repeat of their 2000 disappointment while right-wingers rail against ‘a socialist takeover’
Ed Pilkington and Paul Harris
The Guardian, Tuesday November 4 2008
A collective fever, marked by flu-like symptoms ranging from clammy palms to night sweats and a permanent low-level nausea, seems to have settled over liberal America and it shows no sign of dissipating unless and until Barack Obama’s victory is beyond the slightest doubt.
The outbreak of shared agony is on vivid display outside the food co-op in Park Slope, Brooklyn. If New York city epitomises liberal America; and if Park Slope, a neighbourhood of Brooklyn heavily peopled by writers, artists and other creative souls, epitomises left-leaning New York; then the co-op epitomises left-leaning Park Slope.
The supermarket is owned entirely by its customers: to shop there you have to belong to the management cooperative.
UN appoints Nigerian to mediate peace deal
• No sign yet of Rwandan delegation at talks venue
• Convoy finds aid camp levelled and refugees gone
Julian Borger, diplomatic editor
The Guardian, Tuesday November 4 2008
The United Nations last night appointed one of Africa’s elder statesmen as a peace envoy to the Democratic Republic of Congo to mediate a deal between regional antagonists, as fears grew for the fate of tens of thousands of civilians driven into the bush by the latest upsurge in fighting.
According to diplomats at the UN headquarters in New York, the former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo, was assigned by the UN secretary general Ban Ki-Moon to work with the African Union to hammer out a working peace deal between the Congolese government, the Tutsi rebels in eastern Congo, and the Rwandan government which is widely believed to back them. Diplomats said last night that all sides had accepted Obasanjo as a mediator.
UN aid workers stunned to find camps empty
By Daniel Howden in Nairobi
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
The first UN aid convoy to reach the heart of rebel-held territory in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo arrived yesterday to find refugee camps that had housed tens of thousands of people last week now standing empty.
Stunned aid workers described the camps around Rutshuru that had been sheltering as many as 50,000 people displaced by the relentless fighting, as levelled with all signs of building materials and people gone.
“All the camps are empty. They have all left,” said Francis Nakwafio Kasai, a field officer with the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). “All the shelters have been destroyed … nothing remains.”
Taliban forces advance across ‘valley of terror’
By Omar Waraich in Mingora, Swat Valley
Tuesday, 4 November 2008
It was routinely vaunted as the “Switzerland of Asia”. A plush region of mountains, dense forests and shimmering azure rivers. For years it was favoured as a choice holiday destination for Pakistan’s middle classes.
Now, a year after the Pakistani military launched a campaign here to halt a Taliban insurgency, officials fear that four-fifths of the state has slipped from their control. While the world’s attention has been fixed on the counter-insurgency operations in the volatile tribal areas along the Afghan border, the forces loyal to local Taliban commander Maulana Fazlullah have swiftly advanced across Swat Valley, beheading opponents and torching homes and schools as they enforce their brutal brand of Islamic law.
Bomb threats to embassies ahead of Bali executions
From Times Online
November 4, 2008
The US and Australian embassies in Indonesia have received bomb threats ahead of the imminent execution of the Bali bombers.
Tristram Perry, a spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Jakarta, confirmed that a threat had been received but said that the embassy remained open.
“We take all these threats seriously and we are are working closely with the local Indonesian authorities and police to deal with it,” said Mr Perry.
Abubakar Nataprawira, Indonesia’s national spokesman, said the threat was received through a telephone text message to police.
Celebrated Le Palace to open once again
?From The Times
November 4, 2008
Adam Sage in Paris
Mention Le Palace to Parisians and they will recall a history of murders and intrigue, sex and debauchery, love and despair. But, no, they are not thinking of the Royal Family.
Le Palace is one of France’s most celebrated nightspots, the scene of extravagant music hall in the 1920s and a notoriously wild discotheque in the 1970s. For 12 years it was left empty and deserted, with grime covering frescoes on the walls and dust gathering on the black marble bar that once hosted the likes of Mick Jagger, Grace Jones and Andy Warhol.
Next week this most emblematic of Parisian buildings will reopen, although now as a venue in keeping with the new mood of the times. After death, drugs and drag-queens, it will become a 1,000-seat theatre specialising in comedy and concerts
European Press Review: Obama the Better Choice>
The Economist is one of the latest influential publications to support Democrat Barack Obama in the US presidential election. DW-WORLD takes a look at what it and other media have said in the campaign’s final hours.
The British business weekly, The Economist, has “wholeheartedly” endorsed Barack Obama, saying the Democratic candidate has “clearly shown that he offers the better chance of restoring America’s self-confidence.”
The magazine admits it was disappointed that the John McCain on the campaign stump has been a weaker, more indecisive and more right-wing version of the John McCain who made a name for himself as a senator. His choice of Sarah Palin as a running mate was the epitome of the “sloppiness” exhibited by Candidate McCain, The Economist says, writing: “It is not just that she is an unconvincing stand-in, nor even that she seems to have been chosen partly for her views on divisive social issues, notably abortion.” Rather, the magazine deplores the fact that McCain made his most important appointment after meeting Palin only twice.
In Lebanon, pragmatism tempers jihadist aims
In a move to avoid a second deadly battle in a Palestinian refugee camp, some groups have taken a rare step away from Islamist militancy.
By Nicholas Blanford | Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor
from the November 4, 2008 edition
EIN ELHILWEH PALESTINIAN CAMP, LEBANON – Nearly 17 armed factions and 70,000 people are packed into this teeming Palestinian slum.
Militants patrol narrow passageways that connect cement and cinder-block dwellings overfilled with poor families. For months now they have coped with a violent feud between rival groups that has threatened to spill into an all-out battle similar to last year’s conflict in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon.
But the groups – secular, leftist, Islamist, nationalist, jihadist – are attempting to forge a rare pact to bring about a much-needed reprieve to tensions in Ein el-Hilweh, which has caused even the more radical, Al Qaeda-inspired elements to publicly moderate their views. The pact could see the formation of a joint security force to police the camp.
The restraint comes as Lebanon and Syria are paying closer attention to the potential threat posed by jihadists after recent bomb attacks in both countries. And groups such as Esbat al-Ansar, which the US considers a terrorist organization, are mindful of the outcome of the fight in Nahr al-Bared when the Lebanese Army took on the Al Qaeda-inspired militants of Fatah al-Islam. The camp was flattened, more than 200 militants were killed, and 30,000 residents were left homeless.
Iran minister faces impeachment
A senior Iranian minister faces an impeachment hearing after he admitted he faked a degree from Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Interior Minister Ali Kordan is expected to face parliament later.
Both conservatives and moderates MPs have called on Mr Kordan to resign or be dismissed from the cabinet.
Correspondents say that if Mr Kordan does lose his job, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may have to submit his whole cabinet for a vote of confidence.The impeachment process is being seen as a major challenge to the president.
Mr Ahmadinejad has said the impeachment is illegal as Mr Kordan committed no wrongdoing while in office, the Irna news agency reported.
Two top state police officers slain in Mexico
One of the killings occurs in Mexico state, where 12 officers have been killed in five days, apparently by gangs seeking a foothold in areas near the capital.
By Ken Ellingwood
November 4, 2008
Reporting from Mexico City — A police commander was ambushed by gunmen as he left home early Monday, becoming the 12th officer slain in the central state of Mexico in five days.
The spate of killings has claimed state and municipal officers in half a dozen cities and towns since Thursday.
State authorities said the attacks appeared to be the work of criminal gangs that have sought a foothold for drug trafficking and other illegal activities in Mexico state, which borders Mexico City on three sides.