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Entries in Washington Post (68)


US Politics: Romney's "Decisive Victory" in Florida Primary (Balz)

FLORIDA REPUBLICAN PRIMARY: MITT ROMNEY 771,842 (46.4%); NEWT GINGRICH 531,294 (31.9%); RICK SANTORUM 222,248 (13.4%); RON PAUL 116,776 (7.0%); OTHER 21,538 (1.3%)

Bolstered by superior resources and a relentlessly aggressive style, Mitt Romney won a decisive victory in the Florida primary Tuesday night, dealing a major setback to principal rival Newt Gingrich while putting himself back into a commanding position in the race for the Republican presidential nomination.

Romney’s win came after a bitter and almost wholly negative campaign by both leading candidates. The victory, his second of the year to go along with two defeats, gives the former Massachusetts governor much-needed momentum as the GOP contest moves west for Saturday’s Nevada caucuses. Romney is strongly favored to repeat his 2008 victory there.

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Egypt Feature: The Rise and Fall of the 6 April Youth Movement? (Fadel)

The April 6 youth movement has shrunk in stature against a backdrop of economic woes and instability, including months of clashes between security forces and demonstrators that have disrupted daily life. Although the group once had near-heroic status, its troubles have been compounded by the ruling military’s success in portraying the group as agents of a foreign-backed insurrection.

Together with other youth groups and activists, the group is trying to organize mass protests Jan. 25 to demand the immediate transfer of power from the military to the newly elected parliament, which is expected to be seated soon.

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President Obama's Wars: The US Steps Up Its Proxy Fight in Somalia

Civilians Flee Fighting in Northern Somalia (Photo: Abdi Warsameh, AP)The Obama administration is intensifying its campaign against an al-Qaeda affiliate in Somalia by boosting the number of proxy forces in the war-torn country, expanding drone operations and strengthening military partnerships throughout the region.

In many ways, the American role in the long-running conflict in Somalia is shaping up as the opposite of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan: relatively inexpensive, with limited or hidden U.S. footprints.

While the White House has embraced the strategy as a model for dealing with failed states or places inherently hostile to an American presence, the indirect approach carries risks. Chief among them is a lack of control over the proxy forces from Uganda, Burundi and Somalia, as well as other regional partners that Washington has courted and financed in recent years.

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Occupy Wall Street Follow-Up: 1000s March, New York Times Shrugs Shoulders

A journalist for Agence France Presse films her own arrest by New York police

See also Occupy Wall Street LiveStream: The March on the Stock Exchange

Thursday brought new life to the Occupy movement, at least for activists and many protesters, as thousands of people marched on Wall Street in the morning and later gathered at Union Square and Foley Square. Two days after the eviction from Zuccotti/Liberty Square, and amidst police clearances of protest sites in other cities, the marches --- which took up many New York avenues and intersections --- were a sign of persistence, even if aims and outcomes are far from clear.

You would be hard-pressed to know this from the website of The New York Times, however.

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Iran Analysis: Ahmadinejad --- A Phoenix Rising from the Ashes?

Ahmadinejad may slip some of the immediate shackles. As we noted yesterday, he is no mug, with a tenacity and determination that has prevailed over many of his political foes. But he faces checks at every turn. His economic high-point of the subsidy cuts packages has quickly descended, amidst problems with the programme, wider economic tensions, and the $2.6 billion bank fraud. His play for renewed discussions with the US appears to be going nowhere fast (thanks to both the US and to his domestic opponents). And his political base is shrinking rather than than expanding.

The pendulum does not swing that far. Rocky does not throw a climactic punch. The Phoenix does not rise.

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Iran Feature: Did Unnamed Officials Use the Media to Turn Nanodiamonds into Nuclear Bombs?

For Nanodiamonds or a Nuclear Device?Dr. Vyacheslav Danilenko is a well known Ukrainian (“former Soviet”) scientist. But his specialties are not “weapon” or “nuclear” science, indeed there seems to be nothing to support that claim, but the production of nanodiamonds via detonations. According to the history of detonation nanodiamonds he describes in chapter 10 of Ultrananocrystalline Diamond –-- Synthesis, Properties, and Applications, he has worked in that field since 1962, invented new methods used in the process and is related with Alit, an Ukrainian company that produces nanodiamonds.

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US Politics Feature: Is It "The Curse of the Front-Runner" for Mitt Romney? 

Take a look at, the political betting website, and Mitt Romney has got the Republican presidential nomination wrapped up. He is currently given a 69% chance of becoming the GOP candidate in 2012, with Rick Perry and Herman Cain trailing at 12% and 7.6% respectively.  

Unfortunately for Mitt Romney, the history of Republican primaries  is littered with examples of hot favourites who were unable to maintain their momentum and finish the race as the victor.

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Occupy Wall Street (and Beyond) Feature: Linking Up with the Unions (Wallsten)

Occupy Wall Street activists protest at a cafe owned by Danny Meyer, a member of the Board of Director of Sotheby's

The Occupy Wall Street protests that began as a nebulous mix of social and economic grievances are becoming more politically organized — with help from some of the country’s largest labor unions.

Labor groups are mobilizing to provide office space, meeting rooms, photocopying services, legal help, food and other necessities to the protesters. The support is lending some institutional heft to a movement that has prided itself on its freewheeling, non-
institutional character.

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The Latest from Iran (21 October): Back-Channel Talks with the US?

Iran Feature: Detained Reformist Leader Tajzadeh Writes the Supreme Leader
The Latest from Iran (20 October): 240 Days of House Arrest

1635 GMT: The Plot. It looks like Turkey is trying to broker a resolution between Tehran and Washington over the US allegations of an Iranian plot to kill the Saudi Ambassador to Washington....

Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, at a joint news conference with his visiting Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salehi, made a carefully-balanced statement: "We don't believe that Iran would be engaged in such an act, but America says they have evidence. Governments should be transparent on such issues. Those who make the claims should also be clear about their claims, and Iran should answer to that."

Davutoglu continued, "What needs to be done now is that all parties involved share what they have and clear the issue without giving way to a further increase in tensions. Turkey is ready to contribute if there is anything we can do to help relieve the tension."

Turkish media reported this week that the US sent official to Turkey to present evidence of the alleged plot. A US Embassy spokesman would not comment on the reports.

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Yemen Interview: President Saleh "I Will Retire When There Are Elections"

Six days after returning  to Yemen from medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, President Ali Abdullah Saleh spoke on Thursday with Aryn Baker of Time magazine and Sudarsan Raghavan of The Washington Post.

Beyond the standard rhetoric --- Saleh has authorised his Vice President to conduct dialogue with the opposition, even though that opposition is linked to Al Qa'eda, note two things.

First, any talk of negotiation is limited by Saleh's insistence that his main opponents, General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and tribal leader Sheikh Sadegh al-Ahmar, cannot not have any influence: "[The initiative] says to remove all the elements causing tensions. Because if we transfer power and they are there, this will mean that we have given in to a coup."

And second, Saleh is playing up the image of his "alliance" with the US --- note how often he refers to co-operation with American intelligence.

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