US spin doctor to aid Labour
David Axelrod, the mastermind behind US President Barack Obama’s 2008 and 2012 election victories, is to advise Britain’s Labour Party in the run-up to next year’s general election, the party announced on Thursday. He is to work alongside shadow foreign secretary and election strategist Douglas Alexander until the vote, expected to take place in May next year. The party is also to use Axelrod’s consultancy firm AKVD as it looks to regain power from the Conservative-led coalition following election defeat in 2010. Labour Party leader Miliband called the appointment “excellent news.”
Chelsea Clinton pregnant
Chelsea Clinton announced on Thursday that she is pregnant with the first grandchild of former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Marc and I are very excited that we have our first child arriving later this year,” said Chelsea Clinton, 34, referring to her investment banker husband, Marc Mezvinsky, 36. Chelsea Clinton delivered the news with a broad smile at a New York City event on empowering women. The audience at “Girls: A No Ceilings Conversation,” organized by the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, immediately broke into applause and cheers.
President touts moderacy
The nation’s president has underscored his moderate policies and outreach to the West during a military parade marking the country’s National Army Day. President Hassan Rouhani said yesterday that Iran has no hostile intentions toward anyone in the world, including the US, which has long been considered an enemy. “We are not after war, we are after logic, we are after talks,” he said. The remarks were a stark contrast to his belligerent predecessor, former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Rouhani made no mention of archfoe Israel, but said Iran “will not invade any country,” although it would “resist any invasion.”
Wrongfully jailed awarded
Thirty years ago, a 16-year-old girl, Theresa Fusco, was found raped and strangled near the roller skating rink on Long Island where she worked. Not long afterward, prosecutors charged three men, who were convicted and went on to spend 18 years in prison. On Thursday afternoon, a federal jury awarded two of those men, John Restivo and Dennis Halstead, US$18 million each for a wrongful conviction by Nassau County and for the years they lost. The county dismissed charges against the three men in 2003 after DNA evidence indicated that the rape had been committed by someone else, who has never been identified. One of the three men, John Kogut, was retried and acquitted, but he lost his wrongful conviction lawsuit and is appealing.
Laptop lent to Clinton sold
The laptop computer that former president Bill Clinton used in 1998 to send the first-ever US presidential e-mail has sold for US$60,667 in an online auction, the Boston auction house that handled the transaction said on Thursday. RR Auction did not disclose the name of the buyer of the still-functional Toshiba Satellite that Clinton borrowed to e-mail astronaut John Glenn, who was orbiting Earth. The laptop, with accessories and full documentation, originally belonged to White House physician Robert Darling, who lent it to Clinton when NASA informed the president that Glenn wanted to swap e-mails.