Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

What the election campaign says about Germans

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Strikingly different election campaign styles in Germany and Britain, especially parties’ contrasting use of the media, provide some intriguing insights into the political traditions of the two nations.

in Britain, the parties hold daily news conferences, broadcast live, where leaders attempt to set an agenda for the day — be it on health, tax or education — and then get grilled by the press corps.

In Germany there is no equivalent. In fact, there are not even regular weekly news conferences with conservative Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Social Democrat (SPD) rival Frank-Walter Steinmeier

Instead, they seek direct contact with voters by holding speeches in town squares and, especially in the southern state of Bavaria, beer tents.

from Raw Japan:

Watching the giants fall

Some elections count more than others, and never more than when a longstanding dominant party is sent packing. I've been lucky enough to witness turning points in four countries on two continents.

France, India, Italy, now Japan -- all have rejected one-party dominance for the rough and tumble of alternating majorities. In each case, I was fortunate to behold history.

from The Great Debate UK:

Brown must create Afghanistan war cabinet

richard-kemp2- Col. Richard Kemp is a former commander of British Forces in Afghanistan and the author of Attack State Red, an account of British military operations in Afghanistan published by Penguin. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Disillusionment with the inability of the Kabul administration to govern fairly or to significantly reduce violence played a role in the reportedly low turnout at the polls in Helmand.

Back to the future in Malaysia with Anwar sodomy trial II

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By Barani Krishnan

A decade ago, Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim was on trial for sodomy and corruption in a trial that exposed the seamy side of Malaysian justice and the anxieties of a young country grappling with a crushing financial crisis and civil unrest.

Anwar is Malaysia’s best known political figure, courted in the U.S. and Europe and probably the only man who can topple the government that has led this Southeast Asian country for the past 51 years.

from The Great Debate UK:

From afar, G8 seeks a handle on Afghanistan

Luke Baker- Luke Baker is a political and general news correspondent at Reuters. -

The mountains and deserts of southern Afghanistan are far removed from the elegant charms of Trieste in northern Italy, but there will be a link between the two this weekend.

Foreign ministers from the Group of Eight nations meet in the Italian city on the Adriatic on Thursday for three days of talks, with the state of play in Afghanistan, as well as developments in Iran and the Middle East, front and centre of their agenda.

Talk-show stumbles add to Merkel challenger’s woes

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After his Social Democrats scored their worst-ever result in European elections on Sunday, Frank-Walter Steinmeier might have thought things couldn’t get much worse. But then the man who hopes to beat German Chancellor Angela Merkel in September’s federal election sat down for a late night television talk show. During the one-hour broadcast, a tense-looking Steinmeier tried to answer the growing number of critics who say he lacks the charisma for the top job — but to many, he only ended up confirming that view. 

Breaking from his normally polite, soft-spoken manner, Steinmeier frequently interrupted presenter Anne Will. When Will presented him with a video clip of SPD activists questioning his ability to energise the party, Steinmeier tried to sell his ”seriousness” as a vote-winning virtue. Perhaps the oddest moment came at the very end, when an unemployed man from eastern Germany complained about his struggles to find work. After quizzing the gas fitter about his search, Steinmeier announced that he had “two or three ideas” about jobs in the man’s region and promised to personally take charge of finding him a job.  To derisive chuckles, his spokesman was asked at a regular government news conference on Monday whether Germany’s other 3.5 million jobless could count on the SPD candidate to personally sort out their work woes. No, the spokesman said, shifting uneasily in his chair: “The situation yesterday was very special.” 

Austrian far-right leader isolated over Israel stance

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Senior figures from across Austria’s political spectrum have condemned the head of the far-right Freedom Party, Heinz-Christian Strache, over his party’s European election campaign directed against Israel and Turkey.

In an advertisement in the newspaper Kronen Zeitung, Freedom opposes the accession of Turkey and Israel to the European Union. Although Turkey is in EU accession talks, Israel is not.

Berlusconi, as he is

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Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is the consummate campaigner. No matter where he finds himself, the indefatigable 72-year-old always makes sure the cameras are squarely on him.

Although he is quick to flash a smile to his supporters, Berlusconi can be just as fast in delivering barbed words to his critics. And when he does not have the time to do it, his supporters are more than happy to oblige.

from Africa News blog:

What chance for democracy in Nigeria?

Can Nigeria, the so-called “giant of Africa”, live up to its claim of being the biggest democracy in the black world? Not if its latest state governorship election is anything to go by, argue some in Africa’s most populous nation.

The re-run of elections for the post of governor in southwest Ekiti state were seen as a test of whether Nigeria’s electoral system has improved since flawed federal and state polls in 2007.

In Peru, the first man might be an American

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The American husband of Peruvian lawmaker Keiko Fujimori has become a citizen of Peru, an aide to the legislator said on Monday as she plans a run for the presidency in 2011.

Her father, Alberto Fujimori, 70, was sentenced to 25 years in prison this month for human rights abuses, but Keiko is the already leading the race.

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