Just Two More Days
And Bush Is Gone
Israel calls a halt to its assault on Gaza
• Hamas ‘to fight on’ after ceasefire
• Olmert says war aims ‘fully attained’
Chris McGreal in Jerusalem
The Observer, Sunday 18 January 2009
Israel called a halt to its bombardment of Gaza last night after winning American and European pledges of support to shut down the Hamas weapons supply pipeline.
The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, in effect declared Hamas was broken, saying that its power is diminishing. “The conditions have been created that our aims, as declared, were attained fully, and beyond,” he said in a televised address. “The campaign has proven Israel’s power and strengthened its deterrence.”
But Hamas said it would keep fighting for as long as Israeli troops remained in Gaza. “A unilateral ceasefire does not mean ending the aggression and ending the siege,” a spokesman said. “These constitute acts of war, so this will not mean an end to resistance.”
Rupert Cornwell: Obama: In the footsteps of Abraham Lincoln
Out of America: Barack Obama prepares to swear on Tuesday to ‘preserve, protect and defend’ the constitution of the US, but so much more rests on his shoulders. Can he fulfil the huge expectations?
Sunday, 18 January 2009
America is living a strange and magical moment. In a fickle universe, US presidential inaugurations are a quadrennial rock of predictability, like leap years and the football World Cup. But never has there been one quite like the inauguration this week of Barack Obama.
The event is always a republican version of a coronation, quasi-ecclesiastical even as it flaunts its populist trappings. But when Obama takes the oath of office at noon on Tuesday from John Roberts, the Chief Justice, the occasion will be far more, a beacon of hope in a tempest of fear. The closest in modern times was in 1961, when John F Kennedy brought hope and renewal. But back then the country was not terrified, merely jaded, in an era when the fundamentals of American civilisation seemed immutable.
Poll Finds Faith in Obama, Mixed With Patience
By ADAM NAGOURNEY and MARJORIE CONNELLY
Published: January 17, 2009
President-elect Barack Obama is riding a powerful wave of optimism into the White House, with Americans confident he can turn the economy around but prepared to give him years to deal with the crush of problems he faces starting Tuesday, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll.
While hopes for the new president are extraordinarily high, the poll found, expectations for what Mr. Obama will actually be able to accomplish appear to have been tempered by the scale of the nation’s problems at home and abroad.