McCain and Obama approach the final leg of the race



"After weeks of economic upheaval and a day that brought another precipitous drop in the stock market, Sens John McCain and Barack Obama... held a final presidential debate that was marked by a vigorous series of disputes on abortion, the economic crisis and which man has run the more negative campaign," The Washington Post reported. "McCain entered the night trailing in the polls and needing a clear victory to reverse the direction of his campaign, which has been hurt by the continuing focus on the troubled economy. The GOP nominee has struggled to separate himself from the policies of the unpopular Bush administration, and tonight he repeatedly made clear that he was his own man and would go in a 'new direction'. " 'Senator Obama, I am not President Bush,' McCain said, after the Democrat pointed out that he had voted for Bush's budget proposals. 'If you wanted to run against President Bush, you should have run four years ago.' " Before Wednesday night's presidential debate, The New York Times said: "The McCain campaign's recent angry tone and sharply personal attacks on Senator Barack Obama appear to have backfired and tarnished Senator John McCain more than their intended target, the latest New York Times/CBS News poll has found. "After several weeks in which the McCain campaign unleashed a series of strong political attacks on Mr Obama, trying to tie him to a former 1960s radical, among other things, the poll found that more voters see Mr McCain as waging a negative campaign than Mr Obama. Six in 10 voters surveyed said that Mr McCain had spent more time attacking Mr Obama than explaining what he would do as president; by about the same number, voters said Mr Obama was spending more of his time explaining than attacking. "Over all, the poll found that if the election were held today, 53 per cent of those determined to be probable voters said they would vote for Mr Obama and 39 per cent said they would vote for Mr McCain." In another report, The New York Times said: "With Senator John McCain unveiling a $52.5 billion package of proposals on Tuesday, both presidential candidates have now outlined their plans for addressing the economic crisis, leaving voters with a clear choice when it comes to one of the biggest challenges the next president will face. "Mr McCain's new plans include tax cuts on capital gains and on withdrawals from retirement accounts by people 59 and older, bigger write-offs for stock losses and a tax waiver for unemployment benefits. "Those proposals, which would be effective for two years, complement an overall economic program that hews to the Republican playbook: tax cuts geared especially to individuals and businesses at the top of the income scale, in the belief that they will stimulate the economy and create jobs that benefit everyone. " 'If I am elected president,' Mr McCain said Tuesday in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, 'I will help to create jobs for Americans in the most effective way a president can do this, with tax cuts that are directed specifically to create jobs and protect your life savings.' "The $60 billion stimulus package that Senator Barack Obama announced Monday, combined with his longstanding economic agenda, reflect Democratic emphasis on tax cuts intended for middle-class and low-wage workers and for the smallest businesses, as well as spending increases for public works to create jobs." The Financial Times contrasted the differing styles with which the two candidates approach foreign policy. "Although the specific policies of the two men often echo each other, the overall contrast is amplified by differences in rhetoric and temperament. Mr Obama is deliberative and sometimes vague; Mr McCain, forceful and combative. "And while the Democrat has built up an extensive network of advisers who agonise over his foreign policy positions, Mr McCain's advisers stress their candidate is his own man. A series of polls has indicated that Mr Obama is by far the more popular throughout the world but both hope to capitalise on international relief at the departure of Mr Bush - and both may find themselves battling unrealistic expectations. "In a series of Financial Times interviews with former and serving diplomats from the US and beyond, many were more sympathetic to Mr Obama's philosophy. " 'Obama is correct that a strong, self-confident and effective US should not be afraid to sit down with our adversaries,' says Nicholas Burns, who until this year led the Bush administration's efforts on Tehran's nuclear programme. 'Frankly, in the case of Iran, it would be unconscionable to head towards a military conflict if we had not tried a major diplomatic effort beforehand... We really haven't had a meaningful set of conversations with Iran in 30 years.' "Without endorsing Mr Obama, Marc Grossman, who served as the state department's number three during Mr Bush's first term, said the American people wanted 'a little more diplomacy rather than a little less diplomacy'." In Politico, Andrew Rasiej and Micah L Sifry looked at the impact of YouTube on the first presidential election campaign in which it has played a role. "Together, Barack Obama and John McCain's YouTube channels have received more than 100 million video views - though it's telling to look at the different ways the two campaigns use the service. As of this writing, McCain's channel contained just over 300 videos, with about 20 million views in all. Nearly all of his videos are short, well-produced pieces that look like, and in many cases are, TV commercials. Of his top 10 most-viewed videos, only one of them - a nearly eight-minute clip of a Sarah Palin speech - breaks that mold. "Obama, by contrast, had more than 1,500 videos on his site, totaling about 80 million views. Many of them, like McCain's, are similar to TV commercials, but that is hardly the rule for Obama. Hundreds of his videos are more like campaign training manuals or appear to be microtargeted at a narrow sliver of viewers - Republicans in Ohio, for instance, or absentee voters in Michigan. But even those obscure videos have been viewed thousands of times. At the other end of the spectrum, only one of Obama's top 10 most-viewed videos is a 30-second commercial. The rest are longer TV appearances and speeches, including Obama's famous speech on race, which was 37 minutes long and has been viewed more than 6 million times. "But focusing only on how the campaigns are using YouTube, without looking at what ordinary users are doing, would be a bit like exploring video today by looking only at what the big three TV commercial networks put online. A search for videos tagged with the words 'Obama' or 'McCain' finds more than 750,000 unique results on YouTube. In other words, the campaigns are responsible for only about 0.25 per cent of all the content uploaded to the site about their candidates." Looking beyond the election itself, in The Boston Globe, Stephen Kinzer considered an issue which will be among the most pressing for the next president: the war in Afghanistan. "Despite their differences over how to pursue the US war in Iraq, Senators John McCain and Barack Obama both want to send more American troops to Afghanistan. Both are wrong. History cries out to them, but they are not listening. "Both candidates would do well to gaze for a moment on a painting by the British artist Elizabeth Butler called 'Remnants of an Army.' It depicts the lone survivor of a 15,000-strong British column that sought to march through 150 kilometers of hostile Afghan territory in 1842. His gaunt, defeated figure is a timeless reminder of what happens to foreign armies that try to subdue Afghanistan. "The McCain-Obama approach to Afghanistan, like much of US policy toward the Middle East and Central Asia, is based on emotion rather than realism. Emotion leads many Americans to want to punish perpetrators of the Sept 11, 2001 attacks. They see war against the Taliban as a way to do it. Suggesting that victory over the Taliban is impossible, and that the United States can only hope for peace in Afghanistan through compromise with Taliban leaders, has been taken as near-treason." Der Spiegel reported: "On Wednesday, the highest ranking German commander in Afghanistan, Major General Hans-Lothar Domrose, voiced his concerns in an interview with the Suddeutsche Zeitung. Domrose is the chief of staff of Nato's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and thus third in command of the 50,000 soldiers under Nato command in Afghanistan. He said in the interview that the West has gotten more than it bargained for in Afghanistan. " 'The assumption that one could easily defeat the insurgents using conventional means was wrong,' he told the Munich paper. 'Perhaps we, the international community, were a bit naive.' "He added, however, that one of the primary reasons for the difficulty ISAF is currently encountering is the fact that Taliban fighters are able to retreat to relatively safe havens across Afghanistan's 2,500-kilometer (1,553-mile) long border with Pakistan. 'As long as these sanctuaries on the Pakistani side of the border exist, we are going to have a difficult time,' he said, before adding that he didn't think the war in Afghanistan was winnable unless the border was sealed." In a commentary for RFE/RL, Helena Malikyar said: "For some time now, polls and other research have indicated that Afghans are tired of living in a protracted state of armed conflict and insecurity. "There have also been credible signs of similar attitudes within the Taliban - among both foot soldiers and pragmatists in the group's leadership. "Mullah Mohammad Omar's recent call for an end to attacks on schools, book-burning, and dismemberment - as well as a marked decrease in suicide attacks targeting civilians - would seem to indicate the Taliban leadership is aware that public opinion is turning against it. "At the same time, a recent increase in coalition and Nato air strikes that have led to civilian causalities is increasingly hard to dismiss as inevitable 'collateral damage'. Afghan public opinion is rapidly turning against international forces and, by extension, the Afghan government. In The Christian Science Monitor, Anand Gopal reported: "In several provinces close to Kabul, the government's presence is vanishing or already nonexistent, residents say. In its place, a more effective - and brutal - Taliban shadow government is spreading and winning local support. " 'The police are just for show,' one local says. 'The Taliban are the real power here.' "Widespread disillusionment with rampant crime, corrupt government, and lack of jobs has fueled the Taliban's rise to de facto power - though mainly in areas dominated by fellow ethnic Pashtuns. Still, the existence of Taliban power structures so close to Kabul shows the extent to which the Afghan government has lost control of the country."

pwoodward@thenational.ae

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

 


 

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Specs

Power train: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 and synchronous electric motor
Max power: 800hp
Max torque: 950Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed auto
Battery: 25.7kWh lithium-ion
0-100km/h: 3.4sec
0-200km/h: 11.4sec
Top speed: 312km/h
Max electric-only range: 60km (claimed)
On sale: Q3
Price: From Dh1.2m (estimate)

Know your camel milk:
Flavour: Similar to goat’s milk, although less pungent. Vaguely sweet with a subtle, salty aftertaste.
Texture: Smooth and creamy, with a slightly thinner consistency than cow’s milk.
Use it: In your morning coffee, to add flavour to homemade ice cream and milk-heavy desserts, smoothies, spiced camel-milk hot chocolate.
Goes well with: chocolate and caramel, saffron, cardamom and cloves. Also works well with honey and dates.

Apple Mac through the years

1984 - Apple unveiled the Macintosh on January 24
1985 - Steve Jobs departed from Apple and established NeXT
1986 - Apple introduced the Macintosh Plus, featuring enhanced memory
1987 - Apple launched the Macintosh II, equipped with colour capabilities
1989 - The widely acclaimed Macintosh SE/30 made its debut
1994 - Apple presented the Power Macintosh
1996 - The Macintosh System Software OS underwent a rebranding as Mac OS
2001 - Apple introduced Mac OS X, marrying Unix stability with a user-friendly interface
2006 - Apple adopted Intel processors in MacBook Pro laptops
2008 - Apple introduced the MacBook Air, a lightweight laptop
2012 - Apple launched the MacBook Pro with a retina display
2016 - The Mac operating system underwent rebranding as macOS
2020 - Apple introduced the M1 chip for Macs, combining high performance and energy efficiency
2022 - The M2 chip was announced
2023 -The M3 line-up of chip was announced to improve performance and add new capabilities for Mac.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Electric scooters: some rules to remember
  • Riders must be 14-years-old or over
  • Wear a protective helmet
  • Park the electric scooter in designated parking lots (if any)
  • Do not leave electric scooter in locations that obstruct traffic or pedestrians
  • Solo riders only, no passengers allowed
  • Do not drive outside designated lanes
EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Honeymoonish

Director: Elie El Samaan

Starring: Nour Al Ghandour, Mahmoud Boushahri

Rating: 3/5

Roll of honour

Who has won what so far in the West Asia Premiership season?

Western Clubs Champions League - Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins; Runners up: Bahrain

Dubai Rugby Sevens - Winners: Dubai Exiles; Runners up: Jebel Ali Dragons

West Asia Premiership - Winners: Jebel Ali Dragons; Runners up: Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Premiership Cup - Winners: Abu Dhabi Harlequins; Runners up: Dubai Exiles

West Asia Cup - Winners: Bahrain; Runners up: Dubai Exiles

West Asia Trophy - Winners: Dubai Hurricanes; Runners up: DSC Eagles

Final West Asia Premiership standings - 1. Jebel Ali Dragons; 2. Abu Dhabi Harlequins; 3. Bahrain; 4. Dubai Exiles; 5. Dubai Hurricanes; 6. DSC Eagles; 7. Abu Dhabi Saracens

Fixture (UAE Premiership final) - Friday, April 13, Al Ain – Dubai Exiles v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Imperial Island: A History of Empire in Modern Britain

Author: Charlotte Lydia Riley
Publisher: Bodley Head
Pages: 384

The National Archives, Abu Dhabi

Founded over 50 years ago, the National Archives collects valuable historical material relating to the UAE, and is the oldest and richest archive relating to the Arabian Gulf.

Much of the material can be viewed on line at the Arabian Gulf Digital Archive - https://www.agda.ae/en

SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo

Power: 247hp at 6,500rpm

Torque: 370Nm from 1,500-3,500rpm

Transmission: 10-speed auto

Fuel consumption: 7.8L/100km

Price: from Dh94,900

On sale: now

Our legal columnist

Name: Yousef Al Bahar

Advocate at Al Bahar & Associate Advocates and Legal Consultants, established in 1994

Education: Mr Al Bahar was born in 1979 and graduated in 2008 from the Judicial Institute. He took after his father, who was one of the first Emirati lawyers


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