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January 31, 2008

Giuliani and Edwards drop out

USA Today reports that Republican Rudy Giuliani and Democrat John Edwards both annouced they have ended their bid for president. Both candidates made the decision to drop out of the presidential race following weak results in the Florida primary.
Immediately after dropping out Giuliani backed fellow GOP candidate John McCain and offered support for McCain saying he is "prepared to be the president of the United States at a time of great peril." Edwards has not yet chosen a Democratic candidate to back. He plans to meet in private with both Obama and Clinton before he chooses to back someone or remain neutral.
In both Party's the exit of Giuliani and Edwards leaves a two horse race. In the case of the Republicans they are left with McCain, who is now the favorite for the GOP, and the well financed Mit Romney. Mike Huckabee is maintaining a down but not out stance but, with only one victory in Iowa and a low money supply, he is not expected to be a factor.
The remaining Democratic candidates are much more defined and even. The question now, asked by Larry Eichel of The Philadelphia Inquirer is, who gains from Edwards departure? While it remains unknown who, if anyone Edwards will back.
Early suggestions point to a boost for Obama because he will now be the lone recipiant of the "anyone but Hillary" vote. One advantage for Hillary is that she shares with Edwards a much more traditional Democratic view and will likely absorb many of the Edwards issue supporters.
The streamlining of the candidates sets the stage for super Tuesday which will more than likely determine the nominee for each party.

Winter weather puts freeze on holiday travel

Facing the worst winter in 50 years, Chinese officals are asking millions of workers to cancel their annual trip home for the Lunar New Year CNN reported. The nasty weather conditions have halted much of the countries transportation. Frozen electric grids have halted trains in some places for 40 hours while the snow and ice made a dozen major highways impassable, all this during one of the heaviest travel times for China's city dwellers.
The Lunar New Year is often the only time when workers in the city can go home to visit their family. "It is our Chinese tradition to go home and reunite with the family -- especially in the last day of the year -- having dinner with my parents," stranded worker Jim Hui told a CNN reporter.
Despite the call to cancel plans "for the sake of their safety, and relieving the stress on transportation" as Zheng Guogang chief of the China Meteorological Administration told the China Daily, people were still trying to get out of town anyway they could.
As an incentive to stay put the goverment as well as some private organizations were offering free movie passes, parties and in some cases an extra week of vacation.
As Al Jazeera states China's government is declaring war on the winter storm. Dispatching millions of police and soldiers to aid in the storm clean up. Chinese officals are hoping to prevent political unrest linked to the transportation failures since rail networks are govermnet owned.
On top of all the travel plans and crippled transportation the weather is expected to stay bad for three more days forecasters say.

January 27, 2008

First Entry

This is me testing out my new blog.