More than six years after they were thrown into a U.S. prison, the New York Times has reported that six Algerian detainees may finally get their day in court.
Rahm Emanuel may have been a ballet and dance major at Sarah Lawrence College, but in political circles Obama's choice as chief of staff is infamous as a profane "tough guy." Politicos and pundits frequently reference his reputation as a Chicago-style "enforcer" and his ready use of "sharp elbows" and "brass knuckles."
On November 7, the New York Times reported that "sales of handguns, rifles and ammunition have surged in the last week, according to gun store owners across the nation who describe a wave of buyers concerned that an Obama administration will curtail their right to bear arms."
One of the first orders of business for a new president-elect is to consider which people to nominate for his cabinet. The position of secretary of state is generally regarded as the most critical of these, since it is one of four original cabinet positions, and the secretary of state is first among cabinet members in the line of presidential succession (following the vice president, speaker of the House, and president pro tempore of the Senate).
New research, published in the medical journal Nature, suggests that scientists have for the first time come to a better and more thorough understanding of the genetic basis for cancer. The research may point to new and more effective treatments in the future.
During the presidential campaign, as well as on election night, the major media generally ignored the third-party candidates who threw their hats into the presidential ring. These largely ignored candidates, none of whom attained one percent of the vote, included: Independent Ralph Nader (667,000 votes; 0.5 percent), the Libertarian Party's Bob Barr (494,000 votes; 0.4 percent), the Constitution Party's Chuck Baldwin (178,000 votes; 0.1 percent), and the Green Party's Cynthia McKinney (144,000 votes; 0.1 percent).*
During the Republican presidential debate in Durham, New Hampshire, in September 2007, Congressman Ron Paul warned that "we've dug a hole for ourselves and we've dug a hole for our party. We're losing elections and we're going down next year if we don't change it."
A report in the British newspaper, the Guardian, for November 1 examined the plight of 17 members of a dissident ethnic Chinese group who have been incarcerated at the U.S. detention facility inside Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba for almost seven years. The men are members of the Uyghur ethnic group — Turkic-speaking Muslims who are seeking political autonomy from China.
The flying circus that is the quadrennial U.S. presidential-election campaign is finally coming to another cyclical finish. It culminates today, when millions of voters will go to their polling stations and cast their ballots. But millions will also stay away and not participate, feeling that it is a waste of time to stand in line for up to two hours, because they believe that, as a certain Southern politician once put it, "There is not a dime's worth of difference between the Republicans and the Democrats."
"Police departments in cities across the country are beefing up their ranks for Election Day, preparing for possible civil unrest and riots after the historic presidential contest," reported The Hill, a Washington, D.C.-based newspaper and Internet site, on October 21.