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."
China has possibly committed “genocide” in its treatment of Uighurs and other minority Muslims in its western region of Xinjiang, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China said in a report on Thursday. The bipartisan commission said that new evidence had last year emerged that “crimes against humanity — and possibly genocide — are occurring” in Xinjiang. It also accused China of harassing Uighurs in the US. China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centers” to stamp out extremism and give people new skills, which others have called concentration camps. The UN says that
The Polish Supreme Court on Friday quashed a lower court’s green light for the extradition of a businessman to China for alleged fraud, a charge he has denied, saying that he is being targeted for supporting Falun Gong. Polish authorities took Chinese-born Swedish citizen Li Zhihui, now 53, into custody in 2019 on an international warrant issued by China for alleged non-payment in a business deal, Krzysztof Kitajgrodzki, his Polish lawyer, told reporters. Following the Supreme Court ruling, the case would return to a lower appellate court for review. Kitajgrodzki told reporters that it was still not a given that his client
DELIVERING HOPE: The Japanese PM pledged to push ahead with plans to stage the Games, despite polls showing about 80% think they will not or should not happen Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga yesterday vowed to get the COVID-19 pandemic under control and hold the already postponed Olympic Games this summer with ample protection. In a speech opening a new session of parliament, Suga said that his government would revise laws to make disease prevention measures enforceable with penalties and compensation. Early in the pandemic, Japan was able to keep its caseload manageable with nonbinding requests for businesses to close or operate with social distancing, and for people to stay at home, but recent weeks have seen several highs in new cases per day, in part blamed on eased attitudes
The Palauan president-elect has vowed to stand up to Chinese “bullying” in the Pacific, saying that the archipelago nation is set to stand by its alliances with “true friends,” Taiwan and the US. Surangel Whipps Jr, 52, a supermarket owner and two-time senator from a prominent Palauan family, is to be sworn in as the new president tomorrow, succeeding his brother-in-law, Tommy Remengesau Jr. In a forthright interview, Whipps said that the US had demonstrated over the years that it was a reliable friend of Palau, most recently shown by its delivery of 6,000 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. “It’s important for