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."
A CAUTIONARY TALE: Bookseller Lam Wing-kee speaks of the danger that his adopted home Taiwan now faces and the ordeal of his detention in China Lam Wing-kee (林榮基) leaned forward in his chair, answering quickly and sharply to issue a warning to the people of his new home, Taiwan. “Be ready now,” Lam said. “We should be more alert as citizens, we should get ready,” the 64-year-old Hong Konger said. “If they can take Hong Kong back, the next place, I feel, is Taiwan.” Late in Taipei at Causeway Bay Books Mark II, on the 10th floor of a nondescript building, Lam, a wiry, gray-haired bookseller, was sitting at his desk with a bemused gaze behind thin oval glasses. The desk was neat, but crowded with books and a
‘POLICE EVERYWHERE’: A law that would criminalize the publication of images of police officers was passed by the National Assembly and awaits Senate approval Violent clashes erupted in Paris on Saturday as tens of thousands took to the streets to protest against new security legislation, with tensions intensified by the police beating and racial abuse of a black man that shocked France. Several fires were started in Paris, sending acrid smoke into the air, as protesters vented their anger against the security law, which would restrict the publication of police officers’ faces. About 46,000 people marched in Paris and 133,000 in total nationwide, the French Ministry of the Interior said. Protest organizers said about 500,000 joined nationwide, including 200,000 in the capital. French President Emmanuel Macron late
Not enough beds and not enough doctors: a skyrocketing COVID-19 caseload is pushing hospitals in the Balkans to the cusp of collapse, in chaotic scenes reminding some medics of the region’s 1990s wars. After nearly a year of keeping outbreaks more or less under control, the nightmare scenario that the Balkans feared from the start of the COVID-19 pandemic is now starting to unfold. In hard-hit Bosnia-Herzegovina, one doctor described the distress of having to juggle the care of multiple patients whose lives were hanging by a thread. “The situation reminds me of the war, and I’m afraid it could get even worse
SIGNIFICANT RULING: That male prisoners are denied a choice as to their hair length suggests they are treated less favourably than female prisoners, the judges wrote Prison staff were wrong to cut the hair of a former Hong Kong legislator known for his long locks, the territory’s top court said yesterday, in the second significant ruling against authorities this month. The decision came as powerful establishment voices called for an overhaul of the judiciary — something opponents fear could muzzle the Hong Kong legal system’s vaunted independence as Beijing cracks down on its critics. The ruling by the Hong Kong Final Court of Appeal is the culmination of a long legal battle by former Hong Kong legislator Leung Kwok-hung (梁國雄), 64, who served a brief jail sentence in