Mali army abandons northern town after rebel attack

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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Supporters of Mali's junta attend a rally to protest against regional bloc ECOWAS in BamakoGAO/BAMAKO (Reuters) – Mali’s army abandoned its military bases around the key northern garrison town of Gao on Saturday after a fierce assault by heavily armed rebels, military and civilian sources said. It was the latest defeat for the army after a lightning 48-hour advance by northern rebels seeking to capitalize in chaos in the West African country after last week’s coup. “Given the proximity of the camps to residential areas, our forces decided not to fight,” a statement by junta leader Captain Amadou Sanago read out on state television said. …

In U-turn, Egypt’s Brotherhood names presidential candidate

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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File photo of newly released deputy chairman of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat al-Shater attending a pro-democracy rally at Tahrir Square in CairoCAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, in a policy U-turn, on Saturday named its deputy leader and businessman Khairat al-Shater as its presidential candidate for a vote in May after initially pledging it would not run for the nation’s top job. The Brotherhood said it changed tack after reviewing other candidates in the race and after parliament, where its Freedom and Justice Party controls the biggest bloc, was unable to meet “the demands of the revolution”, a reference to its mounting criticism of the ruling army’s handling of the transition. …

Obama postpones many issues until elections

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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President Barack Obama greets the crowd in Burlington, Vt., Friday, March 30, 2012, The president was in Vermont on a quick campaign swing that is going to include a series of fundraisers that are expected to draw more than 4,500 people.(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)Missile defense isn’t the only area in which President Barack Obama will have “more flexibility” if he’s re-elected. Immigration, the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, gay marriage, tax policy and other issues could invite bold initiatives by a president who knows he will never run for office again, especially if his party gains ground in congressional elections.

Obama postpones many issues until elections

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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President Barack Obama greets the crowd in Burlington, Vt., Friday, March 30, 2012, The president was in Vermont on a quick campaign swing that is going to include a series of fundraisers that are expected to draw more than 4,500 people.(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)Missile defense isn’t the only area in which President Barack Obama will have “more flexibility” if he’s re-elected. Immigration, the Canada-to-Texas oil pipeline, gay marriage, tax policy and other issues could invite bold initiatives by a president who knows he will never run for office again, especially if his party gains ground in congressional elections.

For Santorum, Ryan Becomes ‘Some Other Wisconsinite’ After Endorsing Romney

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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After heaping praise on the Rep. Paul Ryan throughout the past week, Rick Santorum suddenly turned cold on him after the Wisconsin congressman endorsed his rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Mitt Romney. During an appearance at the Faith and Freedom Coalition in Pewaukee,Wis., today,…

Protesters demand justice in Trayvon Martin case. An icon spreads

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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Baltimore street artist Justin Nether composed this mural, depicting
Trayvon Martin, at East Baltimore and Caroline streets.

Two demonstrations, one in Springfield, Mass., and one in Sanford, Fla., brought protesters together Saturday around one theme, justice in the case of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old shot to death by George Zimmerman, a self-appointed neighborhood watch volunteer who ignored a police dispatcher’s warnings and violated key rules in the official Neighborhood Watch Manual, including a prohibition against carrying a firearm while on patrol.

He was questioned for hours by police on the night of the Feb. 26 shooting, his 9mm pistol and clothes impounded. But the state prosecutor for the county refused to charge him despite the fact that the lead Sanford Police Department investigator in the case did not believe Zimmerman’s claim that he had been defending himself after being injured from an attack by Martin and was in fear for his life.

In Sanford, the central Florida city where the shooting took place, an NAACP-organized march and rally, variously estimated at one thousand to several thousand protesters, included fiery speeches by the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson NAACP President Benjamin Jealous. They helped carry a large yellow banner inscribed with the words: “Justice for Trayvon.”

Marchers chanted: “We want an arrest. Shot in the chest.”

Protesters, including the Rev. Al Sharpton and the
Rev. Jesse Jackson, march in Sanford, Fla. (Reuters)

“Because of the age of the young man and because of the circumstances of his death, every community can identify with that,” said Bernard Simelton, president of the Alabama state conference of the NAACP. “We’ve had things like that happen in Alabama where somebody gets killed and the police just sweep it under the rug. It just touches everyone.”

In Springfield, an estimated 1000 protesters, many dressed in hoodies, gathered at city hall for the 1,000 Hoodies Walk:

State representatives Benjamin Swan and Cheryl Coakley-Rivera, D-Springfield, were among those who joined in the practice at the Massachusetts House of Representatives and were joined by state Sen. James Welch, D-West Springfield, who wore a bright green hoodie on Saturday.

“The ultimate message is people need to be judged on who they are and how they treat people, not what they wear or how they look. You don’t need to be of any particular race to receive that message,” Welch said.

There were also marches, among other places, in Massachusetts and Milwaukee.

(Continue reading below the fold)


Sudan and South Sudan accuse each other of border attacks

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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JUBA/ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan have accused each of launching further attacks in the oil-producing area straddling their border, dashing hopes for a new round of talks designed to end the dispute. Clashes first broke out on Monday in the worst direct confrontation between the two since South Sudan became independent in July 2011 but died down two days later when South Sudanese troops moved out of the disputed Heglig area, inside Sudan. But on Friday Sudan launched an aerial bombardment on South Sudanese army border positions, according to South Sudan’s army. …

In Wis., Santorum slams Romney and Romney raps Obama

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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The state of the Republican nominating contest was on display in Wisconsin on Saturday, with Rick Santorum vigorously slamming front-runner Mitt Romney, while the former Massachusetts governor focused solely on President Barack Obama.

Humor can help candidates; ouch when it doesn’t

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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Mitt Romney hit an off note when he told a “humorous” story about his dad shutting down a factory.

Romney pivots to fall, doubts linger in GOP right

Posted by admin | Posted in Politics | Posted on 31-03-2012-05-2008

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Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, greets people in the audience during a campaign stop in Muskego, Wis., Saturday, March 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)Appearing ever-more confident in Wisconsin’s primary, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focused entirely on Democratic President Barack Obama during a campaign trip through this upper Midwestern battleground that could effectively seal the nomination for him Tuesday.