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Friday, August 31, 2012

Romney Accepts Nomination, Pledges To Restore America

Mitt Romney accepted the Republican presidential nomination at the party’s conference in Florida pledging to “restore the promise of America” . Largely panned by critics for being too distant from the average American voter, Romney offered to “help you and your family” while recounting the times he woke up alongside his wife to “a pile of kids asleep in our room”. Speaking about President Barack Obama, his adversary in November’s election, the candidate said that “you know there’s something wrong with the kind of job he’s done as a president when the best feeling you had was the day you voted for him”. Domestically, Romney pledged to create 12 million new jobs in the next four years and to make the country energy independent by 2020, but got a standing ovation with a promise to repeal Obama’s healthcare bill. In the brief foreign policy section of his speech, the Republican candidate accused the current administration of throwing Israel “under the bus” and said he would show Russia “a little less flexibility and more backbone”. Speaking before Romney, actor Clint Eastwood endorsed the Republican candidate while conducting an imaginary conversation with an empty chair said to represent Obama.

7.6 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes The Philippines

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines at 20:47 local time (12:47 GMT) off the southern island of Samar, 109km (68 miles) from the city of Guiuan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Tsunami warnings were initially issued for Taiwan, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Guam, Indonesia, Palau and the eastern coast of the Philippines, but were later cancelled. Filipino news channel ABS-CBN reported that the government had ordered the evacuation of coastal towns near the earthquake and that several residents had been taken into shelters located on higher ground. There were unconfirmed reports that the quake had destroyed roads and bridges in the area.

South Africa Justice Minister Demands Explanation for Miners Charges

South Africa’s Justice Minister demanded explanations from prosecutors who decided to charge 270 striking miners with murdering 34 colleagues. They were accused under the “common purpose” doctrine, which finds all participants of a crime responsible for its outcomes. It was a provision commonly used by the state during Apartheid to secure convictions against its opponents. The National Prosecuting Authority has yet to details the charges being laid against the Lonmin platinum mine workers. “There is no doubt that the NPA’s decision has induced a sense of shock, panic and confusion within members of the community and the general South African public”, said justice minister Jeff Radebe. “Therefore it is incumbent upon me to seek clarity on the basis upon which such a decision is taken”, concluded Radebe. Thirty-four miners were killed by South African police on August 16 during protests where union workers asked for a pay rise at the Lonmin platinum mine in Marikana, northwest of Johannesburg.

Chelsea Owner Wins Legal Battle Against Boris Berezovsky

A London judge ruled that Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich did not intimidate former partner and exiled Russsian oligarch Boris Berezovsky into selling his business empire. Berezovsky claimed that he had been extorted by Abramovich into selling his shares in Russian oil company Sibneft for a “mere $1.3 billion” (£800 million), seeking £3 billion ($4.7 billion) in damages. Justice Elizabeth Gloster said in her ruling that she found Berezovsky “an unimpressive, and inherently unreliable, witness, who regarded truth as a transitory, flexible concept, which could be moulded to suit his current purposes”. In a brief statement after the ruling, Berezovsky said that “Lady Gloster took responsibility to rewrite Russian history”. Some estimates said the legal costs of the case could reach up to £100 million ($159 million), one of the most expensive in British history.

Weekend Read: This Campaign Is No Fun Anymore

Reporter Mark Leibovich searches for any signs of joy in this year’s presidential race, where the main protagonists seem terrified of making mistakes. In the New York Times.

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