Wednesday, June 11, 2008
MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) -- Thousands of destitute Mozambicans who fled anti-foreigner violence in South Africa may revolt against their home government if their needs are not met, according to a woman with a unique perspective on both countries.
Graca Machel-Mandela, shown in April, told Mozambique it must help the destitute who have returned.
Former Mozambican first lady Graca Machel, who is married to former South African President Nelson Mandela and is a child rights advocate, spoke Wednesday in the Mozambican capital during a conference on ethnic cleansing.
A wave of attacks against immigrants in South Africa, which killed at least 60 people in May, drove 39,000 Mozambicans back home, authorities say.
Some fled on crowded buses sent by the Mozambican government; others took trains or found other ways to return. Once they arrived, however, most became dependent on others for survival.
"For the first few weeks, they will cry on the shoulders of their families for having lost everything," Machel said. "Then they will go and cry to the government, and at the end they will revolt against the government and all who are around them."
South Africans killed 27 Mozambicans during the violence, accusing them and other immigrants of taking jobs and committing crime.
Thousands protest South Africa's crime wave
Protesters denounce anti-foreigner violence in South Africa
Although not all were assaulted during the attacks, accounts of violence, including a photograph of a burning Mozambican man on the front pages of local newspapers, were enough to persuade many to leave.
Machel said inadequate living conditions in South Africa's poorest areas, rather than hatred of foreigners, sparked the attacks. She said the violence was the result of years of unmonitored immigration that put enormous pressure on South Africa's urban infrastructure.
"Extreme poverty dehumanizes people and leads them to madness," she said. "That's what happened in Rwanda over 10 years ago."
South Africa -- considered the African powerhouse -- has long been a magnet for people fleeing poverty or violence in other nations on the continent. Up to 3 million Zimbabweans alone are believed to be in South Africa because of the economic meltdown and political repression in their country.
Delegates from Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe attended the meeting Machel addressed.
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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
All About Graca Machel • Mozambique • Nelson Mandela • South Africa
Monday, June 9, 2008
A segunda volta das presidenciais no Zimbabué estão a ser condicionadas pelos partidários do Presidente Robert Mugabe. A acusação foi feita pela Human Rights Watch, organização humanitária que alerta para as perseguições movidas aos apoiantes de Morgan Tsvangirai.
tamanho da letra ajuda áudio
Num clima marcado pela incerteza e pela pressão, pouco mais de duas semanas após o regresso de Morgan Tsvangirai ao país, a Human Rights Watch vem alertar para a ausência de condições para o desenrolar de um escrutínio livre a 27 de Junho.
No seu mais recente relatório, a organização humanitária Human Rights Watch afirma de forma clara que não há condições para eleições justas no Zimbabué.
Os abservadores denunciam que os apoiantes do líder do Movimento para a Mudança Democrática (MDC) e candidato da Oposição, Morgan Tsvangirai, estão a ser alvo de forte perseguição.
A denúncia inclui relatos de intimidação, tortura e assassinatos levados a cabo por apoiantes do Presidente Mugabe e pelas forças da ordem.
O Regime zimbabueano defende-se destas acusações dizendo que está a ser alvo da parcialidade dos observadores internacionais.
Tsvangirai detido duas vezes em menos de uma semana
Na passada semana, Morgan Tsvangirai foi detido pelas autoridades policiais por duas vezes no espaço de três dias.
Logo na quarta-feira, apenas 12 dias após o regresso ao país, o líder da Oposição esteve detido durante oito horas próximo da segunda cidade do país, juntamente com 14 dos seus colaboradores.
O porta-voz de Tsvangirai, George Sibotshiwe, explicou que o líder do MDC estava a realizar uma acção de campanha quando a comitiva foi travada por uma barreira da polícia, que levou os detidos para Lupane, a Norte de Bulawayo.
Segundo Sibotshiwe, não foi apresentada qualquer queixa e a polícia também se escusou a fornecer outras informações.
Dois dias depois, na sexta-feira, Tsvangirai voltava a ser detido e libertado duas horas depois, numa clara manobra de intimidação por parte do regime de Mugabe.
Morgan Tsvangirai encontrava-se em campanha ainda próximo de Bulawayo quando foi mandado seguir para a esquadra de polícia mais próxima. Ali terá sido interrogado durante 25 minutos, abandonando as instalações duas horas depois.
A polícia anunciou então que por razões de segurança os comícios da Oposição estavam suspensos. O porta-voz de Tsvangirai classificou a decisão de absurda, interpretando-a como uma "clara indicação de que o regime vai fazer tudo o que é necessário para continuar no poder".
Segundo a Oposição, morreram já morreram 58 pessoas desde que teve início o processo eleitoral. Contudo, o regime de Mugabe responsabiliza o MDC pela violência.
Regresso sob o signo da ameaça
Morgan Tsvangirai deixou o Zimbabué depois da primeira volta das eleições presidenciais, que decorreram a 29 de Março e lhe deram uma maioria de votos, para um périplo por países vizinhos com o objectivo de montar um cerco diplomático a Robert Mugabe.
Tsvangirai decidiu adiar o regresso ao país até ao passado mês de Maio, após informações dos seus colaboradores do MDC que asseguravam estar em marcha um golpe militar para o assassinar.
Trata-se de uma realidade que não constitui novidade para o líder do principal partido da Oposição, que já terá escapado a pelo menos três tentativas de assassinato.
Uma delas em 1997, quando individuos não identificados tentaram atirá-lo de uma janela de um 10.º andar.
No ano passado, acabou hospitalizado depois de barbaramente agredido pela polícia durante um acção religiosa com os seus apoiantes.
Paulo Alexandre Amaral, RTP
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Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Obama é o primeiro candidato negro à presidência dos Estados Unidos da América
Barack Obama vai ser o candidato do Partido Democrata às eleições presidenciais, de Novembro, nos Estados Unidos. O Senador do Illinois venceu as primárias nos Estados de Dakota do Sul e Montana.
tamanho da letra ajuda áudio
Com esta vitória Barack Obama conseguiu 1.751 delegados, mas com os super-delegados que já tem assegurados, ultrapassou os 2.118 votos e garantiu o número de delegados necessários para ser eleito na Convenção Nacional do partido, em Agosto.
“Hoje assinalamos o final de uma viagem histórica, com o início de outra. Uma viagem que trará um novo dia melhor para a América. Graças a vocês esta noite posso estar aqui a dizer que serei o candidato Democrata à presidência dos Estados Unidos da América”, afirmou Obama aos apoiantes no Minnesota.
O Senador do Illinois é o primeiro candidato negro à presidência dos Estados Unidos da América.
Hillary Clinton felicita Obama
“Esta noite quero começar por felicitar o Senador Obama e os seus apoiantes pela extraordinária campanha que fizeram. O Senador Obama inspirou muitos americanos a preocuparem-se com a política e deu poder a muitos mais para se desenvolverem. E o nosso partido e democracia são mais fortes e vibrantes graças a isso”, declarou Hillary Clinton, a adversária de Obama na nomeação democrata.
A Senadora de Nova Iorque explicou que só irá tomar decisões nos próximos dias. “Tem sido uma longa campanha e esta noite não tomarei qualquer decisão”.
John McCain preparado para defrontar Obama
“Será um adversário formidável. Mas estou preparado para o desafio e empenhado em disputar as eleições de uma forma meritória para a nossa campanha e para o povo orgulhoso, decente e patriótico que peço para liderar”, declarou John McCain, o candidato Republicano à presidência dos Estados Unidos.
Clique aqui para ver o blogue de Vítor Gonçalves, correspondente da RTP nos EUA
Cristina Sambado, RTP
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Sen. Hillary Clinton says she's not out, but with rival Sen. Barack Obama securing his long-held lead, many are asking what she plans to do next.
Sen. Hillary Clinton says Tuesday she will let her supporters and party leaders decide her course.
1 of 2 Both candidates were in Washington on Wednesday, first to each address the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and later when they are both expected in the Senate for a budget vote.
Obama became his party's presumptive nominee Tuesday and will be looking to unite Democrats divided by the long and contentious primary season.
"She's an extraordinary leader of the Democratic Party, and has made history alongside me over the last 16 months. I'm very proud to have competed against her," Obama told the Israel lobbying group Wednesday.
Some say putting Clinton on the ticket might fit the bill for uniting Democrats, but the former first lady promised Tuesday that she wouldn't make an immediate decision on her future.
"Now, the question is: Where do we go from here?" she asked supporters Tuesday at New York's Baruch College. "And given how far we've come and where we need to go as a party, it's a question I don't take lightly. This has been a long campaign, and I will be making no decisions tonight."
Clinton lavished her opponent with praise, saying he ran an "extraordinary race" and made politics more palatable for many. Watch how the primary played out »
Clinton vying for VP?
What's next for Sen. Hillary Clinton? AC360° investigates.
Tonight 10 ET
see full schedule »
"Sen. Obama has inspired so many Americans to care about politics and empowered so many more to get involved," she said. "Our party and our democracy is stronger and more vibrant as a result. So we are grateful."
But with some Democrats clamoring for her to join Obama on the ticket, and with the Democratic National Convention -- and thus, the official anointment -- still more than two months out, the senator from New York gave no hint as to her plan. See VP prospects' pros, cons »
She again invoked the popular vote, saying she snared "more votes than any primary candidate in history," but primaries come down to delegates, and according to CNN calculations, Obama has her whipped, 2,156 to 1,923. Watch why some Clinton faithful aren't ready to back Obama »
Even the White House seemed convinced of Obama's victory. White House press secretary Dana Perino said Wednesday that President Bush congratulated Obama on becoming the first black White House nominee from a major party. She said his win shows the United States "has come a long way."
But Clinton's supporters seemed undeterred Tuesday, chanting as she spoke, "Yes, she will! Yes, she will!"
But now Clinton will have to ask herself, will what?
iReport.com: Can you see Clinton as VP?
Who could join Obama on the ticket?
Press hails Obama the 'giant slayer'
Bob Johnson's letter to Rep. James Clyburn (PDF)
She vowed to keep fighting for an end to the war in Iraq, for universal health care, for a stronger economy and better energy policy, but she didn't indicate in what capacity she would wage these battles. That, she said, would be up to her supporters and the party brass. See what lies in store this fall »
"This has always been your campaign," she said. " I hope you'll go to my Web site at HillaryClinton.com and share your thoughts with me and help in any way that you can. And in the coming days, I'll be consulting with supporters and party leaders to determine how to move forward with the best interests of our party and our country guiding my way."
The party's best interests were high on the minds of party leaders Wednesday, as Sen. Harry Reid, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin and DNC Chairman Howard Dean called on Democrats to focus on the general election. Watch Obama liken electing Sen. John McCain to re-electing Bush »
"To that end, we are urging all remaining uncommitted superdelegates to make their decisions known by Friday of this week so that our party can stand united and begin our march toward reversing the eight years of failed Bush/McCain policies that have weakened our country," said a statement from the four.
Billionaire businessman Bob Johnson, a close Clinton adviser and friend, told CNN's "American Morning" on Wednesday that Obama could best forge party unity by offering Clinton the vice presidential slot.
A day after the final two primaries in South Dakota and Montana, Johnson sent a letter to House Majority Whip James Clyburn to lobby the Congressional Black Caucus to endorse Clinton as Obama's running mate. Read the letter (PDF)
Saying Clinton would "entertain the idea if it's offered," Johnson told CNN, "This is Sen. Obama's decision. If the Congress members can come together and agree as I do that it would be in the best interest of the party to have Sen. Clinton on the ticket, they carry that petition to Sen. Obama." Watch how the world reacted to Obama's win »
"This is not a pressure. This is elected officials giving their best judgment," said Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television.
Johnson's letter to Clyburn says, "You know as well as I the deep affection that millions of African-Americans hold for both Senator Clinton and President Clinton."
It continues, "But most important, we need to have the certainty of winning; and, I believe, without question, that Barack Obama as president and Hillary Clinton as vice president bring that certainty to the ticket." Watch Johnson urge Obama to pick Clinton »
Johnson is one of many influential Clinton supporters, including Rep. Charles Rangel of New York, who have raised the prospect of her joining Obama on the ticket. They say she has solid credentials and wide appeal, exemplified by her popular support in states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, which will be crucial to a Democratic victory in the fall.
Obama and Clinton spoke by phone for a few minutes Wednesday. He told her he wants to "sit down when it makes sense" for her, said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.
Clinton said that would happen soon, Gibbs said, but he also said Obama did not raise the issue of the vice presidency. Clinton campaign Chairman Terry McAuliffe confirmed there had been "absolutely zero discussions" on the matter. Watch how an Obama/Clinton dream team might fare against McCain »
The Clinton campaign issued a statement saying she was open to becoming vice president.
"She would do whatever she could to ensure that Democrats take the White House back and defeat John McCain," the statement said.
Though he made no allusions to his possible running mate, Obama had high praise Tuesday for his rival and downplayed division between the two camps.
The country and the party "are better off because of her," he said of Clinton, adding that she is driven by "an unyielding desire to improve the lives of ordinary Americans, no matter how difficult the fight may be."
"And you can rest assured that when we finally win the battle for universal health care in this country -- and we will win that fight -- she will be central to that victory," he said.
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All About U.S. Presidential Election • Democratic Party • Hillary Clinton • Barack Obama
(CNN) -- Barack Obama has done what many just a year ago thought was impossible. He took on the most powerful family in Democratic politics and won.
Sen. Barack Obama on Tuesday became the first African-American to head the ticket of a major political party.
On Tuesday, Obama became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, marking the first time an African-American will head the ticket of a major political party.
The first-term senator captured the Democratic nomination by beating out Sen. Hillary Clinton, who was hoping to become the first female nominee.
He also had to campaign against the senator's husband, former President Bill Clinton, one of the great political talents of the 20th century who, at least going into the primary season, enjoyed widespread popularity among Democrats.
During one debate, Obama wondered out loud if he was running against the wife or the husband, given the former president's high profile on the campaign trail.
The two Democratic candidates fought a protracted and, at times, bitter battle that carried them through every state and brought nearly 35 million of their supporters to the polls.
When Obama declared his candidacy in February 2007, he faced an uphill battle. Clinton, a former first lady and New York senator, was the favored candidate.
iReport.com: Your thoughts on Obama's milestone
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Election Center 2008
Eleven months later, Obama proved the cynics wrong. He won Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses and, in what he called a "defining moment in history," he told his supporters "change is coming." Watch a recap of the primary season »
In the weeks that followed, what was once a wide field of candidates narrowed. Obama, once a long shot for the nomination, was in the final two.
His competition was fierce. Clinton, who boasted 35 years of experience and top-dollar supporters on her side, campaigned relentlessly.
She and Obama took the stage for more than 20 debates.
As the competition stiffened, their exchanges got heated. The two endured preacher-gate, Bosnia-gate, a bitter battle over the race card and other controversies that framed the race.
Questions arose over Obama's experience. Did a 46-year-old junior senator from Illinois have what it took to become the Democratic nominee?
Obama, the son of a white woman from Kansas and a father from a small village in Kenya, said yes.
Obama was used to defying expectations. He was the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review. He was the third African-American since Reconstruction to be elected to the U.S. Senate.
But he tried to avoid being cast as the black candidate.
In a speech in March given to address the controversy surrounding his former pastor, Obama challenged Americans to take a closer look at race relations.
"I have brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, uncles and cousins, of every race and every hue, scattered across three continents, and for as long as I live, I will never forget that in no other country on Earth is my story even possible," he said.
"It's a story that hasn't made me the most conventional candidate. But it is a story that has seared into my genetic makeup the idea that this nation is more than the sum of its parts -- that out of many, we are truly one."
Stop after stop, he preached a message of hope and unity.
His opponents criticized him for offering rhetoric and not solutions. But month after month, millions of voters believed.
On the night of his first victory, he told his supporters, "This was the moment when the improbable beat what Washington always said was inevitable."
Standing before a crowd of thousands Tuesday in St. Paul, Minnesota, Obama declared himself the Democratic nominee.
"Tonight we mark the end of one historic journey with the beginning of another -- a journey that will bring a new and better day to America," he said.
"Tonight, I can stand before you and say that I will be the Democratic nominee for president of the United States." Watch Obama declare himself the nominee »
Obama's rally was at the same arena that will house the 2008 Republican National Convention in September.
Previewing the battle ahead, Obama laid out his case against Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee.
"This is our time. Our time to turn the page on the policies of the past," he said. Watch Obama take aim at McCain »
"It's not change when John McCain decided to stand with George Bush 95 percent of the time, as he did in the Senate last year."
But just hours earlier, McCain argued he represents the change the country needs. Watch McCain go on the offensive against Obama »
"No matter who wins this election, the direction of this country is going to change dramatically. But the choice is between the right change and the wrong change, between going forward and going backward," he said.
In recent weeks, McCain and Obama have provided a glimpse of the issues that will become themes of their general election fights.
McCain says Obama doesn't have the necessary experience. Obama counters, saying McCain will only bring four more years of President Bush's "failed policies."
The presidential hopefuls have already exchanged jabs over foreign policy, economics, housing woes and judgment.
The differences between the two are not subtle, and if recent scuffles are any indication of what lies ahead, the fight for the White House will be anything but subdued.
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All About U.S. Presidential Election • Democratic Party