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Alabama to ‘clarify’ illegals law December 10, 2011

The law required new training for Alabama’s police force

The governor of the southern US state of Alabama says he and legislators are working to clarify the state’s tough immigration law.

Governor Robert Bentley’s announcement comes after business groups argued that the law was harming Alabama’s international image.

The law allows police to demand proof of legal residency from anyone suspected of living illegally.

No possible changes were detailed, but a bill is said to be under preparation.

Mr Bentley says he expects a bill to be ready for the next legislative session.

In one embarrassing incident for the state, two foreign workers from the Honda and Mercedes car assembly plants were investigated under the law.

The cases were later dropped.

More than 30 groups and individuals challenged the law, but some provisions were allowed by a federal court.

Continue reading the main story

Analysis




Proponents of the law say illegal immigrants are taking jobs that should be going to those with the right to live and work in the country.

Employers in construction, agriculture and services tell a different story. Privately and sometimes publicly, they say that Alabamians are not prepared to do the jobs filled by immigrants – legal and illegal.

As a result, many immigrants have fled the state, and the US Department of Justice has asked an appeal court to block the law.

Other provisions, including requiring schools to check the legal status of new students and making it a crime to transport an illegal immigrant, are on hold because of legal challenges.

‘Devastating consequences’

“We recognise that changes are needed to ensure that Alabama has not only the nation’s most effective law, but one that is fair and just, promotes economic growth, preserves jobs for those in Alabama legally, and can be enforced effectively and without prejudice,” Mr Bentley said on Friday.

One of the legal challengers welcomed the statement and said it represented a significant change in thinking for the state.

“We are delighted legislators are recognising the devastating consequences of the law,” Mary Bauer, legal director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, told the Associated Press.

However, Ms Bauer added that the Center was concerned no examples of possible changes to the law were given.

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Presidential Supporters Take to Streets in Eastern Congo December 9, 2011

Within minutes after the announcement that Congolese President Joseph Kabila was re-elected, his supporters poured onto the streets in celebration.  Truckloads of soldiers and police in riot gear also immediately fanned across the eastern Congolese city of Goma.

Children are shouting “number three,” the number that represents their candidate for president, the winner, Joseph Kabila.  Unlike in the days of the campaign, no one is shouting for the other candidates.

This 13-year-old boy, Jim, says he came out in support of his president.  He is happy Mr. Kabila will extend his ten-year rule for another five years.

But even Jim’s support for Mr. Kabila is limited.  Jim says if Mr. Kabila does not keep his promises, he will call for him to step down.

Around the corner, a campaign office for Etienne Tshisekedi is closed, along with all of the shops along the main streets.  Tshisekedi has lost at the polls but remains adamant that he is the winner.

Nicholas Matabaro is a member of the party of Mr. Tshisekedi.  He says the ballot boxes were stuffed and the election was stolen.

He says his party plans to protest, and expects to be joined by supporters of the other candidates.  And although he doesn’t threaten violence, he says they are prepared to die for their cause.

Matabaro also blames the international community for sanctioning the elections – saying Kabila won because of support from outside.  International observers all noted flaws in the disorganized election process, but still called for the acceptance of the results long before they were published.

As night falls in eastern Congo, the streets are heavily guarded and many of Mr. Kabila’s supporters are heading home.  Opposition supporters have said they plan to protest by day, and in this war-torn province the fear of post-election violence is keeping many people behind closed doors.  

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Cain suspends US presidency bid December 4, 2011


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Herman Cain made his announcement in his home city of Atlanta

US presidential hopeful Herman Cain has said he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination.

He blamed political and media pressure on his family in the wake of “false” allegations of sexual harassment and a 13-year-long extra-marital affair.

“I am not going to be silenced and I’m not going away,” he told supporters in his home city of Atlanta, Georgia.

Next month, voters in Iowa will begin the process of choosing a Republican presidential candidate for 2012.

Mr Cain said the allegations against him had taken a toll on his family, but added: “I am at peace.”

“I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family,” he told supporters at what had been billed as the opening of his campaign headquarters.

“These false and unproved allegations continue to be spinned in the media and in the court of public opinion so as to create a cloud of doubt over me and this campaign and my family,” he said.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

If Cain’s voters in the main go for Newt Gingrich, as pollsters think they will, it would be an important and significant boost to the Newt surge.”

End Quote




He said he would endorse another candidate at a later date but gave no hint of where he would direct his supporters to go.

Tweets of praise

On Friday Mr Cain discussed with his wife, Gloria, whether to press on with his campaign.

Last week, an Atlanta woman, Ginger White, 46, came forward to claim she had a 13-year affair with Mr Cain.

Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, Ms White denied they had been in love, saying: “It was a sexual affair – as hard as that is for me to say.”

While rejecting any suggestion of an affair with Ms White, Mr Cain has acknowledged helping pay her monthly bills and expenses, and that his wife did not know about the friendship.

The BBC’s Marcus George, in Washington DC, says even before the questions arose about Mr Cain’s private life, there were doubts about his plans for tax reform and his understanding of foreign affairs.

The former pizza executive went from obscure longshot to unlikely frontrunner to tabloid fodder.

While Mr Cain’s ratings slumped, support for former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged.

Mr Gingrich has now overtaken frontrunner Mitt Romney in some opinion polls on who should be the Republican candidate to challenge Barack Obama for the White House in November 2012.

Within minutes of his speech, rival Republican candidates – including Michele Bachmann and Mr Gingrich – had tweeted their praise for Mr Cain.

“Herman Cain provided an important voice. His ideas energy generated tremendous enthusiasm for the conservative movement,” Michele Bachmann tweeted.

Mr Gingrich’s tweet said: “I am proud to know Herman Cain and consider him a friend and I know he will continue to be a powerful voice for years to come.”

Tea Party

Mr Cain made his announcement before the series of state-by-state contests, known as primaries and caucuses, begins next month in Iowa to to choose the Republican nominee.

The former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive – who has never won an election – was propelled by conservative Tea Party support to the front of the Republican field in October.

Portraying himself as a business-savvy, anti-establishment outsider, he captured the spotlight with his folksy charm and catchy 9-9-9 tax reform proposal.

But supporters were also alarmed when he made confusing comments about abortion and badly fumbled a question on Libya policy in a recorded interview.

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The rise and fall of Herman Cain | Ana Marie Cox

There was a distinct lack of tension in the build-up to Herman Cain‘s announcement that he would be suspending his campaign for the GOP nomination. The conclusion was inevitable and yet mysteriously drawn-out, like when “Titanic” won Best Picture.

It’s tempting to elaborate further on that metaphor – what was the launch of “Women for Cain” a few days ago but some rapidly re-arranged deck chairs? – but the Cain campaign lacked the expectations and the budget of either the ship or the blockbuster movie.

When Cain surged ahead in the polls despite his negligible political experience and even tinier political operation, pundits scoffed: he had no ground game in Iowa, for heaven’s sake! But such derision, in the moment, did little to deter Cain’s fans. His bravado about his ignorance made political establishment figures shake their heads, but voters liked the guy who “sounds like me”. In the face of that unquestioning admiration, there were only two things that could bring down Herman Cain: a scandal or a short attention span.

I’m not sure which one actually did him in. Cain’s Fauxmney moment lasted about as long as any of the other candidates’. As news of allegations of sexual impropriety continued to dominate coverage, Cain grew more brittle and defensive – but who’s to say that the spotlight wouldn’t have revealed that side of his character even without the growing chorus of women with stories of ugly (or, at least, inappropriate) behavior?

Candidates can survive scandal; political figures can even profit from it – because American voters aren’t so much prudes as repressed adolescents, given to rapturous infatuations and instant dismissals. (In this respect, they may not be too different from Cain.)

And everyone knows Mitt Romney‘s the only one they can bring home to mom.

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Herman Cain suspends his campaign December 3, 2011


Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play.

Herman Cain made his announcement in his home city of Atlanta

US presidential hopeful Herman Cain has said he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination.

He blamed political and media pressure on his family in the wake of “false” allegations of sexual harassment and a 13-year-long extra-marital affair.

“I am not going to be silenced and I’m not going away,” he told supporters in his home city of Atlanta, Georgia.

Next month, voters in Iowa will begin the process of choosing a Republican presidential candidate for 2012.

Mr Cain said the “false” allegations against him had taken a toll on his family, but added: “I am at peace.”

“I am suspending my presidential campaign because of the continued distraction, the continued hurt caused on me and my family,” he told supporters at what had been billed as the opening of his campaign headquarters.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

If Cain’s voters in the main go for Newt Gingrich, as pollsters think they will, it would be an important and significant boost to the Newt surge.”

End Quote




He said he would endorse another candidate at a later date but gave no hint of where he would direct his supporters to go.

Doubts

On Friday Mr Cain discussed with his wife, Gloria, whether to press on with his campaign.

Last week, an Atlanta woman, Ginger White, 46, came forward to claim she had a 13-year affair with Mr Cain.

Speaking to MSNBC on Thursday, Ms White denied they had been in love, saying: “It was a sexual affair – as hard as that is for me to say.”

While rejecting any suggestion of an affair with Ms White, Mr Cain has acknowledged helping pay her monthly bills and expenses, and that his wife did not know about the friendship.

The BBC’s Marcus George, in Washington DC, says even before the questions arose about Mr Cain’s private life, there were doubts about his plans for tax reform and his understanding of foreign affairs.

The former pizza executive went from obscure longshot to unlikely frontrunner to tabloid fodder.

While Mr Cain’s ratings slumped, support for former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich has surged.

Mr Gingrich has now overtaken frontrunner Mitt Romney in some opinion polls on who should be the Republican candidate to challenge Barack Obama for the White House in November 2012.

Tea Party

Mr Cain made his announcement before the series of state-by-state contests, known as primaries and caucuses, begins next month in Iowa to to choose the Republican nominee.

The former Godfather’s Pizza chief executive – who has never won an election – was propelled by conservative Tea Party support to the front of the Republican field in October.

Portraying himself as a business-savvy, anti-establishment outsider, he captured the spotlight with his folksy charm and catchy 9-9-9 tax reform proposal.

But supporters were also alarmed when he made confusing comments about abortion and badly fumbled a question on Libya policy in a recorded interview.

Comments (0)