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10 Feb

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

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Democratic and Republican voters deliver resounding victories for two candidates whose 2016 presidential campaigns were once seen as far-fetched

The numbers are in and Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have won the New Hampshire primary. Both candidates won by large double-digit margins with TV networks able to call the races immediately after polls closed. The Guardian looks back at the potentially game-changing night

Voters in New Hampshire delivered a resounding rebuke to the US political establishment on Tuesday, with strong wins for leftwing Democrat Bernie Sanders and bombastic Republican outsider Donald Trump in the second major test of the 2016 presidential race.

The Vermont senator’s victory over Hillary Clinton will give him much needed momentum as he heads for tougher states further south, while high voter turnout helped power Trump to a double-digit victory that could end up matching consistent polling leads he has maintained since declaring his candidacy.

Voters hungry for what Sanders calls “political revolution” turned out in large numbers to vote for the Democratic socialist, according to the Associated Press.

Sanders took to the stage at his victory party and wasted no time going straight to the theme that appears to have dominated the election here: campaign finance.

“Together we have sent a message that will resonate from Wall Street to Washington … that government belongs to all of the people,” he said to applause and foot-stomping from a fired up audience of mixed ages.

But he warned of the brickbats ahead as the campaign prepares to move to the national stage. “They are throwing everything at me except the kitchen sink, and I have a feeling that it is coming soon,” he said………………

Israeli PM says proposed barrier would also solve problem of Hamas tunnels from Gaza, but plan already has critics in his own cabinet

Binyamin Netanyahu inspects the new fence at the border between Jordan and Israel near Eilat

Binyamin Netanyahu inspects the new fence at the border between Jordan and Israel near Eilat, saying: ‘In our neighbourhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.’ Photograph: Marc Israel Sellem/Pool/EPA

Binyamin Netanyahu has announced his intention to “surround all of Israel with a fence” to protect the country from infiltration by both Palestinians and the citizens of surrounding Arab states, whom he described as “wild beasts”.

The Israeli prime minister unveiled the proposal during a tour of the Jordan border area in Israel’s south, adding that the project – which would cost billions of shekels – would also be aimed at solving the problem of Hamas infiltration tunnels from Gaza, a recent source of renewed concern.

He called the border project a part of a “multi-year plan to surround Israel with security fences to protect ourselves in the current and projected Middle East”.

Describing the need for new walls and fences on Tuesday, Netanyahu said: “In our neighbourhood, we need to protect ourselves from wild beasts.

“At the end of the day as I see it, there will be a fence like this one surrounding Israel in its entirety. We will surround the entire state of Israel with a fence, a barrier.”

Netanyahu said the Israeli government was also examining ways of sealing gaps in the existing separation wall that runs along large areas of the occupied West Bank.

That separation wall – ordered to be built at great cost by former prime minister Ariel Sharon – was originally credited with a drop in the number of violent attacks by Palestinians in Israel, not least suicide bombings, a key feature of the second intifada in the first few years of this century…………..

By temporarily freezing the rule, the high court’s order raises fears that the centerpiece of the president’s clean power plan could be overturned

The high court’s move is a blow to the Obama administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents.

The supreme court’s move is a blow to the Obama administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

The supreme court agreed to block Barack Obama’s clean power plan on Tuesday, raising fears that the centrepiece of his climate change plan could be overturned.

The unexpected decision creates instant uncertainty about the future of Obama’s climate plan and the historic global agreement to fight climate change reached in Paris last December.

The White House registered its immediate disapproval, and said in a statement that the administration would continue taking “aggressive steps” to reduce climate pollution. “We disagree with the supreme court’s decision,” the White House said.

But officials told reporters in a conference call that they remained confident this was a “bump in the road”, and that the plan would prevail.

The officials also said Obama had been briefed and would speak on the decisions soon.

The surprising vote by the justices put a temporary freeze on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules cutting carbon emissions from power plants until the Washington DC circuit court of appeals hears challenges from 29, mainly Republican-led states, and dozens of corporations and industry groups. Arguments are scheduled for 2 June.

The 5-4 decision for a stay came as a shock to the EPA and environmental campaign groups, and was widely seen as a sign that opponents of the power-plant rules have made a strong argument against the plan……………

James Clapper did not name specific agency as being involved in surveillance via smart-home devices but said in congressional testimony it is a distinct possibility

James Clapper, US director of national intelligence.

‘In the future, intelligence services might use the internet of things for identification, surveillance, monitoring, location tracking, and targeting for recruitment’, says James Clapper, US director of national intelligence. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

The US intelligence chief has acknowledged for the first time that agencies might use a new generation of smart household devices to increase their surveillance capabilities.

As increasing numbers of devices connect to the internet and to one another, the so-called internet of things promises consumers increased convenience – the remotely operated thermostat from Google-owned Nest is a leading example. But as home computing migrates away from the laptop, the tablet and the smartphone, experts warn that the security features on the coming wave of automobiles, dishwashers and alarm systems lag far behind……………

smart phones

US politics

Election 2016

Riding a wave of voter anger at traditional politicians, US Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont won the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Sanders, who describes himself as a ‘Democratic socialist’ has called for eradicating income inequality, breaking up the big banks and providing free college tuition. ‘Together we have sent the message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington,’ he told his supporters on Tuesday night


Bernie Sanders sweeps to decisive win over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

‘I have some work to do’: Clinton on New Hampshire primary loss – video

Ben Carson primary party so quiet bartender knits blanket

Goldman Sachs’ CEO Lloyd Blankfein inadvertently pushed young people closer to Democratic underdog who speaks their language of ‘economic angst’

bernie sanders millennials

Bernie Sanders’ huge popularity among millennials hinges greatly on his appeal to their sensibilities on corporate greed and student debt. Photograph: Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters

Congratulations, Lloyd Blankfein, on giving the presidential bid by Vermont senator Bernie Sanders a big boost! Oh, that wasn’t what you meant to do? Whoops …

Whether or not the Goldman Sachs CEO intended to further undermine the appeal of Democratic party contender and his former paid speaker, Hillary Clinton, in eyes of a key voter bloc, that’s precisely what his description of Sanders’ campaign as having “the potential to be a dangerous moment” accomplished. And if either of them want to know why, it’s the economy stupid!

Blankfein, speaking to CNBC’s Squawk Box, didn’t endorse Clinton outright – that might have been the kiss of death. It’s just that any additional kind of linkage between Wall Street and Clinton could prove another nail in the coffin in the latter’s attempts to woo millennials at a critical moment in her campaign. As it is, Sanders is already using Blankfein’s ill-considered comments to raise funds. And the one group most likely to be outraged may have the least money, but they already have demonstrated tremendous fervor in the Sanders’ cause.

In the one actual test to date, the Iowa caucuses, the millennial wave of enthusiasm for Sanders (and the corresponding feeling that Clinton is somehow part of an insiders’ club) translated into a whopping 70% of the millennial vote swung in Sanders’ favor over Clinton’s. That dwarfed the 43% points by which a then-insurgent Barack Obama captured the state in 2008.

To understand the demographics, you have to look at the chronology. The millennials who now are “feeling the Bern” came of political age during a period of acute economic anxiety. At the height of the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008, they were in middle school, high school or college; then and in the years that followed, they watched parents, friends and neighbors lose jobs and even their homes, and saw their communities suffer…………….

 

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