Activists condemn ‘Another Pine Gap’

by Tom Freeman and Marie Montodo

Australian peace activists have criticised a new agreement between Australia and the US
which will lead to an increased American military presence in the area.

President Barack Obama assured the Asia-Pacific region that the U.S. was “here to stay,” after announcing 2,500 U.S. troops and aircraft will operate out of the city of Darwin, close to the Indonesian border.

Missile guidance base Pine Gap is an example of how the US and Australian militaries have worked together since the 1970s .

Cameron Hall, 35, from Tasmania, said “A lot of Australians will be upset about this.  In the cold war many people were worried because Pine Gap made us a target for Russia and China.  This announcement is bad timing because China is our main trade partner, and there is also a growing feeling of dissent about what is seen as a cavalier attitude by our government to giving away Australian territory.”

Pine Gap, near Alice Springs employs over 800 staff and is a Joint Defence Facility, like Menwith Hill in the UK.

“I have directed my national security team to make our presence and missions in the Asia Pacific a top priority,” Obama told an audience of American and Australian troops at the Royal Australian Air Force base in Darwin yesterday.

China has already expressed concerns about the move.  Xinhua, China’s state news agency, said “it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the United States is trying to seek hegemony in the region, which would be in line with its aspirations as a global superpower.”

Obama responded to these objections by saying the U.S. wants to work with China: “We’ll seek more opportunities for cooperation with Beijing.” He also added, however, that the U.S. would not ignore issues such as human rights in the region.

“Asia will largely define whether the century ahead will be marked by conflict, or cooperation; needless suffering or human progress,” he said.

SOUND FILE: obama addresses troops.

Torture saved British lives says Bush

By Michael Mckeand

George W. Bush's memoirs have brought a new light on interrogation methods adopted by the former president

George Bush has claimed that information obtained from terrorists through the interrogation method of ‘water-boarding‘ saved British lives. In his memoirs he claims that the controversial technique, which simulates drowning, helped to break up plots on Canary Wharf and Heathrow airport.

Bush confirmed his actions in an interview last night with The Times newspaper. He explained how he authorised the use of water-boarding to extract information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind the 9/11 attacks. When asked if he had by the interviewer, he responded: “Damn right!”.

Bush said: “Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives.”

In his book, ‘Decision Points’, the former president explains how the interrogation method helped break up plots in London as well as on US diplomatic facilities abroad and also on multiple targets across the U.S. He also defends his actions by claiming that water-boarding is not torture but is in fact one of a number of “enhanced interrogation techniques”. Nonetheless, the method was banned by President Obama who does regard it as torture.

Bush refuses to accept this definition. In an interview with NBC’s Today Programme, he said: “The lawyer said it was legal. He said it did not fall within the anti-torture act. I’m not a lawyer. But you gotta trust the judgment of people around you, and I do.”

When asked about allegations that lawyers were pressurised into giving the president the answer he wanted to hear, Bush directed people to read the book. An identical answer was given when Matt Lauer from NBC asked if it would be legal for another country to water-board a U.S soldier.

The technique was first approved for Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaida figure arrested in Pakistan in 2002. He was suspected of involvement in a plot to attack Los Angeles International airport.

Bush writes “His understanding of Islam was that he had to resist interrogation only up to a certain point. Waterboarding was the technique that allowed him to reach that threshold, fulfil his religious duty, and then co-operate.”

Bush also admitted that water-boarding would have been used on others if the right people were captured. “Had we captured more al-Qaida operatives with significant intelligence value” he says, “I would have used the programme for them as well.”

The claim that Water-boarding prevented attacks on London though has been challenged by Kim Howells, the former chair of the Commons intelligence and security committee. Talking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, he said “we’re not convinced that waterboarding produced information which was instrumental in preventing these plots coming to fruition and murdering people”. Instead, Howells believes that Bush was simply trying to “justify what he did to the world”.

In the same programme, former shadow home secretary David Davis shared similar beliefs. He said that torture does not work. “People under torture tell you what you want to hear,” he said. “You’ll get the wrong information and … apart from being immoral, apart from destroying our standing in the world, and apart from undermining the way of life we’re trying to defend, it actually doesn’t deliver.”

The British Government have long rejected the use of water-boarding, considering it a form of torture.

In a speech last month, chief of MI6 John Sawers insisted that MI6 had nothing to do whatsoever with torture which he described as “illegal and abhorrent”.

Obama loses the House

by Kirsty Tobin

As voters went to the polls yesterday, Democrats faced a bleak electoral map

Democrats have lost control of Congress following yesterday’s midterm elections in the United States.

With the G.O.P. claiming 239 seats, and the Democrats winning only 183, results are reflecting the approval ratings Obama has experienced in recent months. As Gallup places presidential approval ratings at a lowly 44%, the country begins to turn against the Democratic party.

John Boehner, expected to replace Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, highlighted this change of public opinion in his victory speech last night: “The American people have sent an unmistakable message to Obama tonight and that message is change course.”

Boehner spoke at length about the voice of the American people and the shift in policy they are demanding from their representatives: “Across the country right now, we’re witnessing a repudiation of Washington, a repudiation of big government, and a repudiation of politicians who refuse to listen to the American people.”

Harking back to the Obama slogan of ‘Change’, the Republican Party are now promising a new Washington.

Boehner is pledging a new approach which, he claims, has as yet been untried by either party: “cutting spending instead of increasing it, reducing the size of government instead of increasing it, and reforming the way congress works and giving the government back to the American people”.

Despite this bleak electoral map for the Democrats, there are occasional bright spots. Obama has retained majority in the Senate, albeit with a slightly narrower margin of control. The Democrats lost six seats to Republican challengers, but fought off attacks from Tea-Party favourites Sharron Angle (Nevada) and Christine O’Donnell (Delaware).

Obama has not yet offered any reaction to the results, but a press conference has been scheduled for later today. He is expected to reach out to Republicans, many of whom campaigned on platforms opposing his agenda and, particularly, his Healthcare Reform package.

International News Belt

Europe

Riot police clash with strikers outside a major oil refinery in France as the forces attempt to put an end to the 10-day-long blockade of the terminal. The action was prompted when the protests against the government’s plans to increase retirement age caused thousands of petrol stations across France to run dry.

A Dutch ferry was overturned after colliding with a German freight ship on the Amsterdam-Rhine canal. Divers and a helicopter with thermal image have been deployed but no victims have been found so far.

Asia

China’s Internet censorship ways are spreading to south-east Asia. Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma and the Philippines are moving towards blocking ‘critical’ content online to stifle dissent.

Tibetan students in China protesting for the right to study in their own language have increased in numbers. The movement formed in response to unconfirmed reports of plans to replace the Tibetan language with Chinese in classrooms.

Americas

President Obama speaks out against bullying in light of recent suicides of gay teenagers in America. An array of politicians, celebrities and bloggers have spoken out for the ‘It Gets Better Project’, launched last month by activist Dan Savage.

Former Canadian air force commander sentenced for life for murders of two women. Colonel Russell Williams also pleaded guilty to sexual assault and 82 counts of breaking and entering to steal women’s underwear.

Africa

Guinea presidential election may be delayed for a third time. The computers for vote-counting having been stolen and the failure to distribute key materials may stop the first democratic election in Guinea in 52 years set to happen on Sunday.

Stowaway crocodile may have caused plane crash in Congo. The disaster that killed 19 people and a British Pilot in August may have been due to an escaped crocodile causing panic on board, as told by the sole survivor.

Obama makes history with the health-care plan passed by the House

By Irene Gimeno

Barack Obama’s healthcare legislation passed by the House of Representatives on November 7 aims to provide with medical insurance coverage for the 96% of the American population.

The project was supported in Washington by 219 Democrats -39 opposed it- and only one Republican vote, that of Anh Cao, the Representative of Louisiana. Some of the members of the Democratic Party who voted for the bill argued that it was a step forward but that they expected to see it improved during the negotiations with the Senate (both chambers have to recognise the bill for the final approval).

The vote “came on the third anniversary of the 2006 Democratic takeover of the House and the passage moves the bill well beyond the health care overhaul attempted by President Bill Clinton in 1993”. President Obama said at the Capitol that the Representatives should “answer the call of history”, while trying to persuade the lawmakers on the day of the vote; however, his appeal did not convince the opposition, which responded to the bill with an almost unanimous rejection.

The Congress also rejected the Republicans’ lower-budget plan, which was said to be more “financially responsible” by the authors, since the cost of the new project is been put at $900bn over 10 years, and other sources even reckon it will not come cheaper than $1,2tn –paid through new fees and taxes.

The vote has been described as “a significant step towards the Obama administration’s goal of extending health coverage to millions of people lacking it”, specifically, 36 million more people will benefit from the plan, which would mean that 96% of the Americans will have health insurance. “This is our moment to revolutionize health care in this country”, declared George Miller, Democrat of California and one of the authors of the bill.

So far, the American government has only provided coverage for “the poor, elderly and military veterans”; therefore the aim is to force Americans to have medical insurance “provide several subsidies to those who otherwise could not afford it”. Big companies will provide their workers with insurance, so the result will be a government-regulated health insurance system.

The measure would also respond to the alarming news of the United States Census Bureau, that the figure of American citizens without health insurance increased from $45,7 million in 2007 to $46,3 in 2008 due to unemployment and recession, which shows that the medical system cannot depend exclusively on private funding.

John Dingell, a Representative who has pursued the plan to be passed over five decades, happily stated that the bill brings “peace of mind to everyone, regardless of health or income”, because everyone will be able to ask for assistance whenever they need it.

Nevertheless, the bill has taken a lot of negotiations to be passed. One of the most controversial issues in it is abortion and to what extend it will be covered by the medical insurance plan. Members from both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party had complained about the possibility of abortion being covered by the plan, so the House speaker Nancy Pelosi, known for her campaign pro-abortion rights, had to allow the opponents “to propose tight restrictions barring any insurance plan that is purchased with government subsidies from covering abortions” for the discontent of the abortion rights defenders. Meanwhile, the American religious community was campaigning against the possibility of a final bill with abortion concessions.

The final verdict will be soon given by the Senate, where the Democrats will present their plan. If it is finally approved, it will constitute a radical reform from the actual plan and a major achievement for American society in terms of public benefits.

President Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

By Janos Gal

Barack Obama has become the fourth US president to be awarded the Nobel Peace prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said they awarded him for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples”.

He follows Jimmy Carter, Thomas Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt in gaining the prestigious award.

It comes with a gold medal, a diploma and $US1.4m (£880,000).

Obama has been mentioned as nominee on previous occasions although it was felt he had been in his position for too short a period to receive the award.

However, the committee said it attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons and so deserved the prize.

Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist who invented dynamite, stated in his will that the prize should be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.

The announcement has surprised journalists present at the ceremony and around the world. “The award is certainly unexpected and might be regarded as more of an encouragement for intentions than a reward for achievements”. said Paul Reynolds from BBC News in London.

Justifying their decision the Nobel Committee said that “Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.”

But Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas official, told Reuters that: “Obama has a long way to go still and lots of work to do before he can deserve a reward he only made promises and did not contribute any substance to world peace. And he has not done anything to ensure justice for the sake of Arab and Muslim causes.”

Getting started with Twitter

By Jodi Mullen

Tonight the News Room bar on Leith Street will play host to Edinburgh’s first ‘Tweetup‘, an informal gathering for local users of social networking phenomenon Twitter. The meet follows the success of last month’s Edinburgh Twestival, a charity event which saw Twitter users raise thousands of pounds for good causes.

Twitter courtesy of searchengineland

Twitter courtesy of searchengineland

Over the last few months Twitter has become something of a media darling, with news organisations, including the BBC, and a host of major and minor celebrities jumping aboard the bandwagon. But the service, heralded as ‘the next Facebook‘ by some, has alienated many internet users who have questioned whether it’s anything more than a new way to waste time.

So what is Twitter exactly? In a nutshell, it’s a way to exchange short messages, also known as ‘tweets’, each no more than 140 characters long, over the internet. Subscribing to another user’s tweets is as simple as choosing to ‘follow’ them. The updates will then show on your own Twitter page, along with those of anyone else you follow.

Naturally, Twitter is reciprocal in nature. Just as you’re free to follow other users, they’re also free to follow you and view your tweets. Messages can be sent to other users by adding ‘@’ and their username at the beginning of a tweet – so, for example, replying to me on Twitter would just involve beginning the message with ‘@jodimullen‘.

Unlike Facebook and other popular social networking services, follower lists on Twitter are rarely confined to real-life friends and colleagues. With millions of users around the world, it’s easy to follow anyone who grabs your interest and build up a network of hundreds, or even thousands, of people you’ve never met but with whom you share interests.

The nature of individual tweets and their actual worth has been hotly debated by social media experts. Critics point out that at their worst, tweets can be little more than constant updates from boring people with nothing better to do, made all the more obnoxious by the fact that they can be shared with such a vast audience.

However, others have pointed to the many positive uses of Twitter. The service has become almost omnipresent amongst technology and IT professionals and has proved an important means of communication at various conferences and networking events. Many companies now issue announcements about software updates and new features over Twitter as it’s often the fastest way to disseminate information online. It’s an excellent way to share links and to make contacts online and has already become an indispensable networking tool for thousands of users.

And when Twitter has broken into mainstream news, it has usually done so in spectacular fashion. The service underpinned much of the Barack Obama’s online campaign in the run-up to last year’s presidential election and his team were praised for engaging with voters via the latest technology. More recently a group of mountain climbers in the Swiss alps were rescued after one of the team posted to Twitter that conditions had become dangerous and that members of the party were missing. His followers were able to alert the authorities and the climbers were airlifted to safety, though one man died on the mountain.

The service has also attracted a number of celebrity users, with Stephen Fry being one famous early adapter. Fry holds the record for the highest number of Twitter followers for a single user – well over 300,000 at last count. He has used Twitter to keep in touch with his fans as well as promoting his latest work. Jonathon Ross, Russell Brand and Alan Davies also have strong online presences, with ever-increasing numbers of followers.

Getting started with Twitter is easy – simply create an account at the service’s website, find some likely people to follow and start tweeting! For those interested in meeting Edinburgh’s Twitterati in the flesh, there’s still room for a few more at tonight’s Tweetup but the last few places are expected to go quickly.

www.webmail.juniata.edu

By: Dustin L. Gee

It’s only been six days since 47 year-old, Barack Obama was elected the first black President of the United States of America, and yesterday, George W. Bush welcomed Obama and his wife, Michelle, to the White House Mansion, located in Washington D.C. for a tour of their soon to be home, which they will occupy in less then two months.

Arriving early, Obama and his wife Michelle stepped out of a black limousine to be greeted by current President, George W. Bush and First Lady, Laura Bush. The two women hugged and the two men shook hands. All four posed for a historical photograph that was eagerly waiting to be captured by photographers.

According to Stephanie Cutter, an Obama Spokeswoman, told the Washington Post, “The two couples were all smiles yesterday, with no evidence of tension. The Obamas were warmly welcomed and the Oval Office meeting was productive and friendly.”

Once they entered the White House, Obama went with the man he will succeed, setting a side nearly two years of criticism that took place during the presidential election, to address the economy and tour the presidential private living quarters. Was2031329

The Scotsman revealed “President Bush and Obama engaged in a private talk about the challenges of leading a nation freighted in this hand-over of power by a severe economic downturn and two wars.”

Both Obama and Michelle have visited the White House on previous occasions, but this was the couples first time to enter as future residents. Furthermore, this was Obamas first-time to enter the Oval Office.

On the other hand, the outgoing first lady led her successor on a White House tour that focused primarily on the upstairs private residence, including three bedroom suites and three living areas.

One of the stops on the tour that was of particular interest included the first lady’s sitting room, whose windows afford a direct view of the Oval Office below: “She can really keep an eye on who’s coming and going, who’s meeting with the president.”

Michelle Obama and Laura Bush also spent time discussing “raising daughters in the White House,” Stephanie Cutter, the Obama transition spokeswoman, said in a statement. “Mrs. Obama was honored to finally meet the First Lady, who was a gracious hostess.”

Michelle has already made clear that her first priority will be smoothly settling her daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, into this new life.

Overall, Stephanie Hess, a presidential Historian called yesterday’s visit a “symbolic moment” of the change to come. “When he walks out of the White House, he really is the president-elect,” he said of Obama, adding: “It’s part of the movement of power, the movement of democracy.”

News in Brief

images1

by Margaret Kearns and Alexandre Tregre

Scottish hospitals to fight MRSA with “fresh air machines”

Scottish hospitals are to trial the use of Air Disinfection machines aimed at combatting the spread of the superbug MRSA. The clean air machines, devised by Mid-States Technology, have already proved successful in Sunderland Royal Hospital and are destined for Edinburgh, Dumfries and Galloway.

Obama team to meet Bush today for transition talks

Obama takes his first steps into the Oval office today to meet with Bush at the White House for a discussion on the transition of power. Head of Obama’s team John Podesta indicated yesterday a strong urgency to make reversals on many of Bush’s executive decisions on oil and gas drilling and stem cell research, amongst others.

Government advice to women: stop taking the pill

The Scottish government are to commence a new strategy urging women to forsake the contraceptive pill in favour of longer lasting methods of birth control such as implants or injections. The move is set to combat the rising abortion rate in Scotland with £270,000 a year earmarked for spending on the initiative.

First Lockerbie payouts made to families in U.S.

$500m has been paid to the U.S. families who lost loved ones in 1988’s Lockerbie bombing. The compensation money came from a $1.5bn Libyan Government payout issued to the U.S. in August which also incorporates the victims of bomb attacks in Germany in 1986. The Libyan government denies responsibility in the attacks but has taken the step in order improve its diplomatic relationship with the U.S.

Sat Nav for the blind developed by Glasgwegian

A blind man has invented Loadstone, an innovative new satellite navigation system for the blind. Monty Lilburn, 33 developed the mapping software which can be downloaded to a mobile phone and delivers useful directions and information on bustops, road crossings, cash machines, journey times and train stations.

Scottish man clubbed to death in Barcelona

Lanarkshire man Derek Cowan was found, having been clubbed to death at his business partner’s Barcelona home. British police have revealed Cowan may have been involved in illegal share dealing. Spanish police investigating the murder have refused to comment on the link and are continuing the search for Navy officer William Madley who is was to have met with the victim on the day of his death.

Russian sub accident claims 20 lives, 21 more critically injured

The trail run of a new Russian submarine has ended in tragedy in the Sea of Japan after a fire safety system malfunctioned by emitting freon gas, killing 17 civilians and 3 seamen amongst the 208 on board. A further 21 people are critically injured in hospital. President Medvedev has called for a thorough investigation of the accident.

New Labour party leader attacks Salmond

After winning his new position as Labour party leader, Ian Gray launched a verbal attack on SNP First Minister Alex Salmond. Mr. Gray became the fifth Scottish Labour leader since the devolution began. Following his victory he gave a speech that projected unfortunate feelings toward
Salmond claiming that, “we don’t need a First Minister who takes pride in putting people down.”

Doctors’ mistakes kill thousands

According to updated research it is suggested that doctors mistakes’ kill tens of thousands of patients at a cost of £300m a year in the United Kingdom. In Scotland alone such mistakes affect up to 50,000 patients. Unfortunately, up to 90% of medical errors are not accounted for. Such errors can include misdiagnoses and prescribing incorrect medications.

Weekend carnage on the roads as little boy dies in car smash

Four people have died on Scotland’s roads this past weekend including a seven year old boy from Peebles. Benjamin Paton and his dad Allan were involved in a road collision on the A9 near Perth which resulted in the death of the boy whose father was also seriously injured in the two car smash. The lives of three other men were also lost when a car left the road and two cars collided in Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire respectively.

Obama’s Airwave Invasion

Obama's campaign will run advertisements for half an hour on three major networks

Obama

By Niall Lennon

Barack Obama is set to dominate American television tonight by running a 30 minute political advert on three of the nations main networks.

The adverts, which will be shown at 20:00 eastern time, is said to be costing the Obama campaign in the region of $6m, making the adverts the most expensive piece of political advertising in the history of the United States. This once again has brought the Obama team under the spotlight and seems to be giving more weight to the argument that he has dominated the US media throughout this election process.

Senator Obama’s Campaign is believed to have raised the unprecedented amount of about $660m since he started his bid for president, double the amount Senator McCain’s team have raised. Most of Obama’s television campaigns up until this point have focused on local television in predominantly Republican areas, such as the east coast states of North Carolina, Virginia and Florida.

$150m of Obama’s campaign funds are said to have been spent in local TV markets and $30m on national ads on network and cable TV. It is also believed by the end of October he will have spent $100m on television campaigns for this month alone. Quite a significant amount compared to the $13m Senator McCain’s team have spent on television campaigning throughout the whole process.

This political television advertising format was also used back in 1992 when independent candidate Ross Perot ran a series of advertisements running for a half hour at a time. This style of campaigning was abandoned however, largely due to the shear cost of the adverts, but also because political commentators believed that this format would not hold the attention of American public for the full broadcast.

Obama’s half hour advertisements will be focusing on the two key domestic issues that seem to have been the main topics of debate during this final leg of the presidential battle, energy and taxes. Obama’s manifesto states that he wants to invest in alternative fuels and redistribute America’s wealth, promising tax cuts for households earning less than $250,000 per year, his main pledge on the matter being ‘I want to raise up the middle classes’.

Criticism has also been received on both sides throughout the presidential race due to the underhanded nature of some of the advertisements put out there by both sides to deliberately tarnish the name of their opponents raising questions of ethics. McCain’s team outweighed the Democrats however in the smear campaign, with 47% of their advertisements seen to be negative compared to 35% of obama’s adverts seen to be damning of McCain.

Obama a dead cert?

by Chisanga Malata

With only 11 days until the US presidential elections many newspapers, news channels and bookmakers believe that Barack Obama is set become to President of the USA.

A poll conducted by the New York Times and CBS the day after the final presidential debate by on October 15th showed that the Democratic candidate had a 14% point lead over his rival from the Republican party John McCain. The 4th and final debate was more aggressive and a lot sharper in which the candidates stated their obvious divisions in their plans for the country.

With Senator Obama possessing such a substantial lead over John McCain many people believe that the election is now just a formality and that Barack Obama will become the first African American president of the United States. This view has been echoed by many bookmakers who have stopped taking bets on the outcome of the elections. But can the elections really be over already with 11 days still to go until the big day or is it still too early to write off John McCain.

The reasons behind Obama’s huge point percentage lead over McCain are varied but a major factor which has turned voters away from voting Republican is McCain’s and Sarah Palin’s preoccupation with denouncing Barack Obama as not worthy of leading the country and associating him with 1960’s radical William Ayers claiming that he was “palling around” with Mr. Ayers, instead of explaining how they are going to lead the US in this time of major economic turmoil. This is coupled with the anxiety and the deep mistrust of the Bush administration which has created a bad environment for Senator McCain’s campaign. Also the appointment of Sarah Palin as his running mate hasn’t won him many fans. Many Americans believe that she is too inexperienced and wouldn’t be able to step in as president if anything was to happen to the 72 year old John McCain if the Republicans won the race to the Oval office.

But it is not just the negative tactics of the Republican’s campaign, the failures of the previous Republican regime and the inexperience of Sarah Palin which has contributed to Obama’s big lead over them, these factors are coupled with Obama’s plans for the country, his plans to bring back the troops from Iraq, his motivational speeches which have been compared to Martin Luther King Jr, and his plans to tackle the economic crisis within the USA. Senator Obama’s recovery plan for the USA has had great success with middle class America, he proposed a two year tax break for businesses which in turn would create new jobs, and he also proposed penalty free withdrawals from retirement funds which have been long standing issues in the states. As part of his $56 billion plan Americans would see the introduction of a 90 day moratorium on repossession whilst homeowners are trying to keep up or pay off their mortgage repayments.

Putting all these reasons aside Obama represents change and progression and many people see him as a man who genuinely wants realistic change to better his country as his slogan says “Change we can believe in”. Although the Democrats have a healthy lead over their rivals it is not all doom and gloom for the Republicans.

The Republicans still stand a good chance of winning the election because of John McCain’s experience in government, traditional republican states, and Obama’s association with William Ayers because of Senator Obama’s ethnicity.

Many Republican voters will argue that Senator McCain’s political experience over his adversary will play a major part to play in the election. Senator McCain was elected to the senate in January 1987 where as Obama was elected to the senate in 1996. This 9 year difference in experience will prove pivotal say some republican voters. They will vote for McCain on the grounds that they think his experience and wisdom will be better than Obama’s if he becomes the president. McCain can still be optimistic that he can lead the Republicans to the house on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue because of the states which traditionally vote Republican which are Florida, Texas, Ohio, Colorado, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. These states traditionally vote Republican and previous Democrat candidates have found it hard to do well in these states, although Obama seems to have done well in Ohio and Georgia but it will be hard for him to win the other notorious Republican states.

Senator McCain will no doubt draw again on Senator Obama’s connections with William Ayers in the next 11 days to try and gain voters. Williams Ayers was a former 1960’s anti-war activist who participated in planting a bomb dedicated to riot police casualties in the 1886 Haymarket Riot confrontation between labour supporters and the police, the blast broke 100 windows and pieces of the statue flew into a nearby building injury many people. McCain has already labeled Ayers a domestic terrorist and this association however little will affect Obama’s campaign.

The final and most obvious reason why Senator McCain still holds a fighting chance of winning the elections is because of Senator Obama’s ethnicity. As previously mentioned Barack Obama represents change and progression for African Americans, 50 years ago the possibility of a black man running for President of the USA would have been laughed at but due to the civil rights movement and hard work that is a real possibility. Although the majority of modern day America would accept an African American as their president there is a minority of Americans who will vote Republican because they do not want a black man to run their country. Voting Republican just because the Democrats candidate is African American is morally wrong but hundreds of thousands of Americans will do this. This proves to be the biggest threat to Obama becoming president.

So is Obama really a dead cert and is he already the president of the United States? It is still too early to say. We will have to wait until November 4th. No matter what any poll says there is always that threat of the Republicans gaining an unexpected win whether it is by the dislike of Barack Obama’s policies and his plans for the country or just because of the fact that he is an African American. If he is to lose this election hopefully it is not because of the latter.

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