14 Oct

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective


Rivals for Democratic nomination discuss gun control, immigration and the email row in first TV debate in the race to the White House

Highlights from the first Democratic presidential debate, which saw Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton lock heads on a number of issues, including gun control and Syria. The Vermont senator also consoled his main rival, asking for the public and media to stop its attack and constant discussion of her ‘damn emails’. Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee also enjoyed some time in the sun

Hillary Clinton has cemented her status as the Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting with a commanding and assured performance at the first televised debate of the party’s primary race for the White House.

The former secretary of state appeared unfazed by the controversies that have beset her campaign, including her use of a personal email server at the State Department, portraying the scandal as one concocted by partisan opponents and insisting: “I’m still standing.”

Sanders, in contrast, stumbled over his past policy on gun control and, in what was a pivotal moment of the debate, opted to give Clinton a pass over the issue that has dogged her campaign.

“I think the secretary is right,” he said in turning to Clinton, shortly after she was pressed over her use of the email server by the CNN moderator, Anderson Cooper. “And that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”

Bernie Sanders appears to come to the defense of Hillary Clinton, calling for an end to the constant outrage and discussion of the former secretary of state’s private email server. ‘Enough of the emails, lets talk about the real issues facing America,’ he says, provoking applause from the crowd and a hand shake from Clinton

The line prompted thundering applause from the Democratic audience and a heartfelt “thank you, me too” from Clinton, who smiled and shook Sanders’ hand.

The Vermont senator prefaced the remark about Clinton’s emails by saying it “may not be great politics” to defend her – and he may have been right.

His display of magnanimity defused a politically toxic issue for Clinton and compounded the sense that the debate in Nevada provided a much-needed boost to her campaign.

In the end, it was a debate that highlighted stylistic rather than policy differences between the five Democratic candidates, and one leaving no doubt that Clinton – the only woman on stage, and a candidate with unrivalled experience at all upper echelons of American government – is the party’s clear frontrunner.

The former New York senator and first lady dealt confidently when pressed on trade, climate change, the Black Lives Matter movement and the civil war in Syria, portraying herself as a policy wonk with a pragmatic bent.

“I’m a progressive, but I’m a progressive who likes to get things done,” Clinton said when challenged over whether she was a “moderate” masquerading as a leftwinger to win over the party faithful lured by Sanders.

“I know how to find common ground, and I know how to stand my ground,” she said. “And I have proved that in every position that I’ve had, even dealing with Republicans who never had a good word to say about me.”

As the action onstage heats up at the first Democratic debate in Las Vegas, the scene backstage is even more frenetic. The Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui gives a peek behind the curtain of the spin room, where campaign aides and reporters swap notes and photographers clamor to get that perfect shot

Clinton, who was poised and unruffled throughout the two-hour debate, deftly portrayed the controversy over her use of the potentially un-secure private email server as the focus of conservative adversaries and, in particular, the Republican House committee that has called her to testify this month……………………


‘Everything that Bernie stands for, we stand for:’ Sanders supporters rally after Democratic debate – video

Directly after the first debate in Las Vegas, Bernie Sanders left the stage and took a detour to the spin room, stopping to speak to a group from National Nurses United


Activists demonstrate against detention of Jason Goolsby, 18, as footage filmed by a friend shows police response to alleged suspicious activity at bankt

Mobile phone video shows Washington DC police aggressively restraining an 18-year-old scholarship student and musician on Monday evening. Jason Goolsby, who is African American, was apprehended by city officers who were responding to a call alleging suspicious activity outside a bank. Lt Sean Conboy said the call claimed that ‘three subjects may be trying to rob people at the ATM’.

Dozens of young people protested in Washington DC on Tuesday after cellphone video emerged showing police aggressively restraining an 18-year-old scholarship student and musician.

Friends of Jason Goolsby, who is African American, were among those who took to streets in the city’s south-east section to demonstrate against his detention on Monday evening by city officers who were responding to a call alleging suspicious activity outside a bank.

Footage filmed by a friend showed Goolsby yelling and screaming as he was manhandled by two officers, who twisted his arms behind his back and placed their knees on his body to keep him on the ground. “I’m not resisting,” he said, as one officer appeared to prepare to handcuff him.

The friend, who was identified in the clip as Mike, posted the video on Twitter on Monday evening. He wrote that the pair had been “harassed and assaulted because ‘someone felt uncomfortable around us’ at the bank”. The footage showed that Mike was also detained by officers after they ordered him to step back. Officials claimed he was “interfering with police”. Neither man was officially arrested……………….


Netanyahu’s office announces move as part of package of ‘aggressive’ measures to stem wave of violence that has left 37 dead

The Israeli military begins deploying hundreds of troops across cities on Wednesday to help police to counter a recent wave of Palestinian shooting and stabbing attacks that have caused panic across the country. The military’s deployment marks the first implementation of measures by Israel’s security cabinet to counter the attacks

Israeli police will be authorised to seal off Palestinian areas of Jerusalem in response to continuing violence and attacks, part of a package of “aggressive” measures announced by the office of the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.

The controversial measure – approved by Netanyahu’s security cabinet – comes as the Israeli military announced it was preparing to deploy six companies of soldiers to reinforce police, also called for in the same meeting.

Announcing the measures early on Wednesday, Netanyahu’s office said he had ordered police to “impose a closure on, or to surround, centres of friction and incitement in Jerusalem, in accordance with security considerations”.

It also announced that a terrorist’s house that has been demolished will not be rebuilt, and that the permanent residency rights of terrorists will be revoked and their property confiscated.

The moves were criticised by Human Rights Watch, which warned that they risked inflaming an already dangerous situation.

“The recent spate of attacks on Israeli civilians would present a challenge for any police force,” said Sari Bashi, Israel/Palestine country director at Human Rights Watch. “But exacerbating the punitive policy of home demolitions is an unlawful and ill-considered response.”

“Locking down East Jerusalem neighbourhoods will infringe upon the freedom of movement of all Palestinian residents rather than being a narrowly tailored response to a specific concern. The checkpoints are a recipe for harassment and abuse.”………………………


Human rights chief condemns language such as ‘swarms of refugees’, saying it is deployed by those seeking to make political capital from the crisis

Refugees arriving on the island of Lesbos. UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan criticises use of dehumanising language in response to refugee crisis.

Refugees on the island of Lesbos. UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein of Jordan criticised the use of dehumanising language in response to the crisis. Photograph: Muhammed Muheisen/AP

The dehumanising language used by UK and other European politicians to debate the refugee crisis has echoes of the pre-second world war rhetoric with which the world effectively turned its back on German and Austrian Jews and helped pave the way for the Holocaust, the UN’s most senior human rights official has warned

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, described Europe’s response to the crisis as amnesiac and “bewildering”. Although he did not mention any British politicians by name, he said the use of terms such as “swarms of refugees” were deeply regrettable.

In July, the UK prime minister, David Cameron, referred to migrants in Calais as a “swarm of people”. At this month’s Conservative party conference, the home secretary, Theresa May, was widely criticised for suggesting that mass migration made it “impossible to build a cohesive society”.

Theresa May announces plans to limit the right to claim asylum in Britain. Speaking at the Conservative party conference in Manchester on Tuesday, the home secretary says it is impossible to build a cohesive society when immigration is too high. May says refuge should be limited to those fleeing wars and oppression

In an interview, the high commissioner said the language surrounding the issue reminded him of the 1938 Evian conference, when countries including the US, the UK and Australia refused to take in substantial numbers of Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler’s annexation of Austria on the grounds that they would destabilise their societies and strain their economies. Their reluctance, Zeid added, helped Hitler to conclude that extermination could be an alternative to deportation.

Three-quarters of a century later, he said, the same rhetoric was being deployed by those seeking to make political capital out of the refugee crisis. “It’s just a political issue that is being ramped up by those who can use the excuse of even the smallest community as a threat to the sort of national purity of the state,” he said.

“If you just look back to the Evian conference and read through the intergovernmental discussion, you will see that there were things that were said that were very similar.

“Indeed, at the time, the Australian delegate said that if Australia accepted large numbers of European Jews they’d be importing Europe’s racial problem into Australia. I’m sure that in later years, he regretted that he ever said this – knowing what happened subsequently – but this is precisely the point. If we cannot forecast the future, at least we have the past as a guide that should wisen us, alert us to the dangers of using that rhetoric.”……………




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