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/ 23 May 2008

Running mate sought as Obama shifts gear

Democratic party officials disclosed on Thursday that Barack Obama has sanctioned a hunt for a vice-presidential candidate, a further sign that he regards the battle with Hillary Clinton as being over. Time magazine, in a report in its next issue, quotes a friend of Bill Clinton saying he wants his wife to be the vice-presidential candidate.

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/ 21 May 2008

Court ruling on Scorpions expected next week

Johannesburg businessman Hugh Glenister will likely hear next week whether his court bid to stop the government from disbanding the Scorpions has succeeded. The Pretoria High Court on Wednesday reserved judgement in his case, with Judge Willie van der Merwe indicating it was likely he would deliver judgement sometime next week.

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/ 21 May 2008

Gauteng says attacks on the wane

The xenophobic attacks in Gauteng appeared to have subsided, a provincial spokesperson said on Wednesday. However, KwaZulu-Natal police are monitoring a possible outbreak of attacks there. ”There are no new reports of attacks,” said Thabo Masebe, deputy director of communications for the provincial government.

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/ 16 May 2008

Bush appeasement slur angers Democrats

United States President George Bush used a visit to Israel on Thursday to denounce Democratic party offers to negotiate with America’s enemies in the Middle East as comparable to appeasement of Hitler. Although Bush did not name any Democratic politician, the party’s presidential contender Barack Obama has offered to open negotiations with the Iranian leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

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/ 15 May 2008

Political parties unite behind Scorpions

The African Christian Democratic Party, Democratic Alliance, Independent Democrats and United Democratic Movement have filed a joint submission in the Pretoria High Court as a friend of the court in support of Hugh Glenister’s bid to stop the disbanding of the Scorpions, the parties said on Thursday.

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/ 14 May 2008

Clinton easily wins West Virginia

Questions about Barack Obama’s inability to win over white, working-class voters were raised again tonight when Hillary Clinton won a landslide victory in West Virginia, one of the last contests of a prolonged primary season. Exit polls indicated she had won the state easily, by a margin of two to one.

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/ 10 May 2008

Obama momentum builds in White House race

Barack Obama moved closer to sewing up the Democratic presidential nomination on Friday with more superdelegates rallying to his side, as rival Hillary Clinton fought on despite mounting odds against her. Clinton has vowed no surrender and plunged straight back into campaigning before the May 13 primary in West Virginia.

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/ 7 May 2008

Minister concerned over SABC suspensions

Communications Minister Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri expressed ”great concern” on Wednesday about the suspension of South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) CEO Dali Mpofu and head of news Snuki Zikalala. ”All will be done on [the minister’s] part to ensure the ability of the SABC to carry out its mandate,” she said.

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/ 7 May 2008

Obama wins North Carolina

Hillary Clinton’s hopes of winning the race for the Democratic nomination for president are dwindling after she failed on Wednesday to close the gap on Barack Obama in two key primaries. She won the Indiana primary but saw that outweighed by his win in North Carolina.

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/ 5 May 2008

Debate over Scorpions gathers momentum

Debate on the future of the Scorpions gained new steam on Monday as the government released a report from an inquiry it had commissioned into the elite detective unit. The Scorpions still have a role to play in the country’s crime-fighting efforts, states the report that was submitted to President Thabo Mbeki two years ago.

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/ 5 May 2008

Clinton, Obama duel as vital votes loom

Rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stepped up their battle on Monday on the eve of the next primary showdown, as the Democratic Party head urged unity in the race to rout Republicans from the White House. ”It’s not about Hillary Clinton, it’s not about Barack Obama. It is about our country,” Democratic national committee chairperson Howard Dean said.

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/ 4 May 2008

Obama hunts for knock-out as fight turns ugly

It looked like yet another jubilant Barack Obama rally. The cavernous Indiana University sports hall in Bloomington jammed with thousands of supporters who stood in their seats and cheered deafeningly loudly. Ever since Obama launched his bid to become America’s first ever black President 15 months ago, hundreds of cities and towns have seen the same huge rallies.

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/ 2 May 2008

Fatigue, racism threaten to knock Obama

Barack Obama was showing signs of campaign fatigue. Sitting on a picnic bench in a park on Pagoda Street, Indianapolis, in discussion with a group of 30 supporters, he told a story about the ”modest” background of himself and his wife, Michelle. And 10 minutes later, seemingly having forgotten, he told them it all again.

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/ 29 April 2008

Obama pastor reignites US debate on race

Barack Obama’s fiery former minister thrust his way back into the United States presidential campaign on Monday, again placing the divisive issue of race at the heart of the Democratic White House tussle. An unapologetic Reverend Jeremiah Wright hit back at weeks of criticism over his incendiary comments.

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/ 26 April 2008

Obama says he will fine-tune his campaign

Democrat Barack Obama said on Friday he would fine-tune his United States presidential campaign and remind voters of his humble roots after a defeat in Pennsylvania fuelled in part by his failure to win over working-class voters. Obama leads the Democratic race but is in a gruelling battle with Hillary Clinton for the right to face Republican John McCain in November’s presidential election.

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/ 15 April 2008

Berlusconi sweeps back to power in Italy election

Silvio Berlusconi has won his third Italian election with a bigger-than-expected swing to the centre right, but the media magnate said it would not be easy to solve deep economic problems. Votes were still being counted on Tuesday, but with Berlusconi’s victory clear on Monday evening, centre-left leader Walter Veltroni called to concede defeat.

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/ 14 April 2008

Berlusconi set for comeback as Italian PM

Self-made billionaire Silvio Berslusconi looked set to secure a third term as Italian prime minister on Monday, with exit polls predicting a narrow win for his conservative coalition in general elections. The exit polls, which came moments after voting ended, predicted the 71-year-old media magnate’s centre-right coalition would win.

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/ 11 April 2008

Berlusconi pleads for big election majority

Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday appealed to Italian voters to give him a huge majority at the general election on Sunday and Monday. He said that ”to really govern” he needed a margin of at least 20 seats in the Senate, the Upper House of the Italian Parliament. That would allow him ”to take, if necessary, difficult and unpopular decisions”.

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/ 9 April 2008

US commander to halt Iraq troop withdrawals

The top United States commander in Iraq told Congress on Tuesday he plans to stop US troop withdrawals in July due to fragile security gains and heard appeals for quicker action to find a way to end the war. Appearances by General David Petraeus and the US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, drew US presidential candidates.

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/ 3 April 2008

ACDP: Govt has failed Free State farmers

Free State Agriculture had to take the government to court to ensure the safety of farmers and farm workers because the government had failed them, the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) said on Thursday. ”Safety is a constitutional right. A Constitution not being applied is not worth the paper it is written on,” said the ACDP.