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November 19, 2007
• Two of the main candidates for the Democratic nomination clashed in a debate, over rumours over ‘scandalous information’ possessed by the Clinton electoral team about Barack Obama. This follows a row about planted questions in one Clinton rally in Iowa, and Clinton has been accused of not giving ‘straight answers to tough questions’ by Obama. So are the Democrats playing into the hands of the Republicans with infighting? And more generally how do we think the US electoral process is going to pan-out?
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6297545.stm – Guide to the US electoral process
http://timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article2778923.ece – Quick guide to the candidates
• President Sarkozy is facing up to the first challenge to his Presidency in the form of striking public sector workers. Sarkozy was elected on a package of reforms, but the workers are striking over pension reforms. Sarkozy may be comforted by polls showing 55-60% of French opposing the strikes, but a poll in Liberation showed 79% believed that Sarkozy had failed to deliver on his central economic pledges. So is this a key moment in the Sarkozy economic project? And can a French President successfully stand-up to strikes?
• Foreign Secretary David Miliband has suggested that the EU should expand beyond Europe, to include Russia, Middle Eastern and North African countries. He claimed that EU enlargement was ‘our most important tool’ for extending stability, seeing the EU less as a potential superpower and more as a bargaining chip in persuading countries to reform and adhere to global standards. So is an ever expanding EU feasible, given the anti-immigration feelings brewing in some sectors of many European countries? And would countries from the aforementioned regions actually wish to join the EU?
Also in the news:
• Elephant football in Thailand – http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/video/2007/nov/19/elephant.festival
• Blondes make men act dumb – http://women.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/women/the_way_we_live/article2890531.ece
• Ahmadinejad dismisses dollar – http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7101050.stm