Thursday, June 05, 2008


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New York Times
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-Clinton Ready to End Bid and Endorse Obama
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton will endorse Senator Barack Obama on Saturday, bringing a close to her 17-month campaign for the White House, aides said. Her decision came after Democrats urged her Wednesday to leave the race and allow the party to coalesce around Mr. Obama. Howard Wolfson, one of Mrs. Clinton’s chief strategists, and other aides said she would express support for Mr. Obama and party unity at an event inWashington that day. One adviser said Mrs. Clinton would concede defeat, congratulate Mr. Obama and proclaim him the party’s nominee, while pledging to do what was needed to assure his victory in November.
Her decision came after a day of conversations with supporters on Capitol Hill about her future now that Mr. Obama had clinched the nomination. Mrs. Clinton had, in a speech after Tuesday night’s primaries, suggested she wanted to wait before deciding about her future, but in conversations Wednesday, her aides said, she was urged to step aside. “We pledged to support her to the end,” Representative Charles B. Rangel, a New York Democrat who has been a patron of Mrs. Clinton since she first ran for the Senate, said in an interview. “Our problem is not being able to determine when the hell the end is.”

-Many Blacks Find Joy in Unexpected Breakthrough
Kwabena Sam-Brew, a 38-year-old immigrant from Ghana, doubted that Nana, his 5-year-old American-born daughter, would remember the rally that effectively crowned Senator Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee Tuesday night. But Mr. Sam-Brew said he would describe it to her: “I will tell her, ‘Tonight is the night that all Americans became one.’ ” Mr. Sam-Brew, a bus driver living in Cottage Grove, Minn., said Mr. Obama’s achievement would change the nation’s image around the world, and change the mind-set of Americans, too. “We as black people now have hope that we have never, ever had,” Mr. Sam-Brew said. “I have new goals for my little girl. She can’t give me any excuses because she’s black.” In his remarks Tuesday, Mr. Obama did not mention becoming the first American of color with a real chance at being president of the United States, and, of course, most of the Democrats who had voted for him were white. But for that very reason, many African-Americans exulted Wednesday in a political triumph that they believed they would never live to see. Many expressed hope that their children would draw strength from the moment.

-Zimbabwean Opposition Leaders Held by Police
Morgan Tsvangirai, the opposition leader who placed first in Zimbabwe’s March elections and now faces a runoff with President Robert Mugabe, was detained by the police for nine hours on Wednesday and charged with drawing a big crowd, his party said. He was released late in the evening. “It makes absolutely no sense that a presidential candidate in an election is arrested for attracting crowds of people,” the party said in a statement. The party said Mr. Tsvangirai was charged under the Public Order and Security Act, and it called the charge “spurious.” Amnesty International condemned his detention as part of a “sharp and dangerous crackdown” that has included killings, torture and the intimidation of the political opposition. The opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, also said Wednesday that three people sleeping at one of its offices in Masvingo Province were shot dead by unidentified militia members around midnight, bringing to 65 the number of its supporters killed since the March elections.

-Zimbabwe’s Reign of Terror
In his cynical and bloody bid to hang on to power, Zimbabwe’s president, Robert Mugabe, has bet on the indifference of his neighbors and the rest of the world. So far, shamefully, he has been right. On Tuesday, three-and-a-half weeks before a runoff presidential election, Mr. Mugabe’s henchmen detained Morgan Tsvangirai, the popular opposition leader and likely winner of the first round, for nine hours. That is onlythe latest outrage. International aid agencies reported this week that they had been ordered to stop distributing food to hundreds of thousands of hungry Zimbabweans, at least until the June 27 vote. Officials working for Mr. Mugabe claimed that the aid groups were backing the opposition, but it is clear that the government wants to further intimidate voters while reducing the number of possible outside witnesses to its campaign of terror. At least 50 people have been killed since March, when the first round of voting took place, and thousands have been beaten, driven from their homes or both. Still, the international community, and African leaders in particular, have done nothing more than wring their hands.

Washington Post
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-Exit, Sort of, Sen. Clinton
She made many mistakes -- but also won many votes.
THE END of Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign offers more than the usual opportunities for finger-pointing and blame-shifting. The mistakes were many -- from tactics and strategy to money and message -- although these probably would have been survivable against a less formidable foe. The campaign inexplicably viewed caucus states as not meriting time and attention. It underestimated the appeal of Barack Obama, failed to take seriously his fundraising prowess, misjudged how many of the young voters who flocked to his rallies would turn up at the polls. It assumed that an aura of inevitability would carry Ms. Clinton triumphantly to the nomination, then squandered its money and had no plan or organization in place for the contests beyond Super Tuesday. The campaign discounted the yearning of voters for change and failed to offer, until too late, a compelling narrative about why they should choose Ms. Clinton. We could go on, but others will, and in the litany of woulda, coulda, shoulda, it's easy to forget some of Ms. Clinton's substantial achievements.

-For Obama, No Time to Stop and Savor Victory
To the victor go the headaches.
There were no champagne toasts for Barack Obama after he clinched the Democratic nomination Tuesday night. His wife, Michelle, and a group of friends returned to Chicago on a separate plane. The senator from Illinois spent much of his post-rally time in Minnesota trying to reach Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on the telephone before flying to Washington, where a fresh set of challenges awaited. He had to deliver a crucial speech to Jewish leaders skeptical of his commitment to Israel. There were troubling signs of disarray within his own party. And there was the small matter of a primary opponent who still had not dropped out of the race. When his campaign plane hit a patch of heavy turbulence, Obama ignored the pilot's request for passengers to take their seats. Instead, he remained standing in the aisle, conferring with aides about the speech he woulddeliver the next morning to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

-Criminal case against Texas sect members possible
SAN ANGELO, Texas -- The polygamist sect raided by authorities two months ago has its children back. But with a criminal investigation under way into allegations of sexual abuse, the splinter group's troubles are not over.
Child-welfare officials have alleged that members of the sect pushed underage girls into marriages with older men, and while the last of 440 children seized from the ranch were returned to their parents Wednesday, prosecutors could still bring criminal charges.

-Saudi king opens conference on interfaith dialogue
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi Arabia's king urged a gathering of Muslim scholars Wednesday to open religious dialogue with Christians and Jews. But politics intruded as a senior Iranian figure said the Islamic world should stand up to the U.S. and its "international arrogance." King Abdullah spoke at the start of a three-day conference of Islamic scholars, clerics and other figures in the holy city of Mecca called to get Muslims on the same page before the kingdom launches a landmark initiative for talks with adherents of other monotheistic faiths. The tone was one of reconciliation between Islam's two main branches, Sunni and Shiite. Abdullah, one of Sunni Islam's most prominent figures, entered the hall with Shiite Iranian politician Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who later sat at the king's left in a gesture of unity. But while Rafsanjani spoke warmly of his host, he also highlighted the political divide between their nations by delivering pointed criticism of America, a Saudi ally. He accused the U.S. of greedily trying to control the region's oil and said Muslims should resist it.


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