In the closing hours of their bitter campaign, US President George W. Bush and challenger Senator John Kerry charged through the critical battlegrounds of Florida and Ohio, going from hushed church services to raucous campaign rallies with promises to keep America safe. \nKerry said that if elected he would undertake an unprecedented "flurry of activity" to protect national security that would include quick Cabinet appointments. \n"I'm going to make America safer and I have some very strong and real steps to take quite immediately to make that happen," Kerry said on Sunday in an interview. \nBush emphasized a similar theme. \n"If you believe America should fight the war on terror with all her might and lead with unwavering confidence," he said on Sunday, "I ask you, come stand by me. \n"If you are a Democrat who believes your party has turned too far left in this year, I ask you, come stand with me," Bush said. \nStrategists on both sides said today's election will likely hinge on which party is successful in getting their voters to the polls after two vastly different and costly campaigns to increase turnout. \nKerry adviser Mike McCurry said the Democratic campaign was no longer concerned with generating big turnouts at rallies, but was focused instead on having Kerry make quick stops to attract local media coverage that might help voters decide. \nThe election's outcome was uncertain in the battleground states, the eight or so states where Bush and Kerry are vying for a winning margin of the 270 Electoral College votes. The campaign's final weekend was clouded by war and terrorism -- a videotape by Osama bin Laden and the deaths of eight US Marines in Iraq. \nNonetheless, Karl Rove, the president's top political adviser, called the race for Bush. \n"We're ahead," he told reporters in Cincinnati, Ohio, the last campaign stop on Sunday. "We will win Florida and Ohio. We will take at least two or three or four states that were won by [Democrat Al] Gore in the last election." \nBush made a pitch for Cuban voters in Miami, promising them that he would push for freedom in Cuba. \n"We will not rest -- we will not rest, we will keep the pressure on until the Cuban people enjoy the same freedoms in Havana they receive here in America," Bush said. \nThe crowd responded with cries of "Viva Bush." \nBush began the day at The Church of the Epiphany, a Roman Catholic church where the pastor, Monsignor Jude O'Doherty, all but endorsed Bush. \n"Mr. President, I want you to know that I admire your faith and your courage to profess it," the priest said in a long tribute to Bush. "Your belief in prayer and dependence on God has to be an example for all of us." \nKerry, who is Catholic, wor-shipped in Dayton, Ohio, first at a Catholic Mass and then -- for the fifth consecutive Sunday -- at a predominantly black church, the Shiloh Baptist Church. \nQuoting the Bible, Kerry said, "There is a standard by which we have to live. Coming to church on Sundays and talking about faith and professing faith isn't the whole deal."
Choosing a full-fledged confrontation with the US due to the loss of a megacontract for submarines for Australia, France is making a risky bet and other nations are not rushing to its defense. After Australia renounced its deal for conventional submarines in favor of US nuclear-powered ones, France took the extraordinary step of pulling its ambassadors from Washington and Canberra for consultations. Bertrand Badie, an international relations professor at the Sciences Po institute in Paris, said France had put itself in a position where it can only appear to be backing down or losing face once its ambassador returns to the US,
Could delivering COVID-19 immunity directly to the nose — the area of the body via which it is mostly transmitted — help conquer the pandemic? The WHO says clinical trials are under way to evaluate eight nasal spray vaccines that target COVID-19. The most advanced effort so far by China’s Xiamen University, the University of Hong Kong and Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy has completed phase 2 trials. “When the virus infects someone, it usually gets in through the nose,” said researcher Nathalie Mielcarek, who is working with the Lille Pasteur Institute to develop a nasal spray vaccine against whooping cough. “The
FREE-FOR-ALL CONTEST: Taro Kono’s popular support means that he ‘probably has the edge, but if he has a lead, it’s a very vulnerable one,’ an Asia expert said The campaign to become Japan’s next prime minister began yesterday, with four candidates vying for leadership of the ruling party in an unusually close race. In televised speeches, the candidates set out their priorities, from boosting Japan’s digital prowess to addressing the falling birthrate. Among them are two women hoping to lead a nation that has never had a female prime minister, although both are considered long shots. The race follows Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s shock announcement that he would not run for head of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Whoever the party picks in a Sept. 29 vote is to contest
PLANNING TO REOPEN: Amid 1,607 new COVID-19 cases, the country is making a shift away from lockdowns, acknowledging that outbreaks will happen Australia reported 1,607 new coronavirus cases yesterday as states and territories gradually shift from trying to eliminate outbreaks to living with the virus. Victoria, home to about a quarter of Australia’s 25 million people, recorded 507 cases as Premier Daniel Andrews said a weeks-long lockdown will end once 70 percent of those 16 and older are fully vaccinated, whether or not there are new cases. Andrews said the state might reach that vaccination threshold around Oct. 26. About 43 percent of Victorians have been fully vaccinated, 46 percent nationwide. “We will do so cautiously, but make no mistake, we are opening this place