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Republican Primary Debates Start

Fox News | FOX News is hosting the first 2012 presidential debate in one of the first primary states Thursday night in Greenville, S.C. Five of the men trying to become the next Republican nominee will do their best to be considered the GOP frontrunner, taking questions on everything from a weak economy to the greatest foreign policy threat. Debate cheat sheet follows:

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Nader To Organize Opposition To Obama


Politico | Ralph Nader is convinced that Barack Obama will win reelection in 2012, but that won’t stop him from trying to organize a slate of Democrats in the coming months to challenge the president in party primaries next year.

Nader told POLITICO on Wednesday that he is working on bringing together about half a dozen presidential candidates who could “dramatically expand a robust discussion within the Democratic Party and among progressive voters across the country.” Each would focus on a specific issue where the far left says Obama hasn’t done enough, including the environment, labor and health care.

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Obama Releases Long-Form Birth Certificate

Foxnews | The White House has released President Obama's long-form birth certificate, saying the document is "proof positive" the president was born in Hawaii. 

The release marked an unexpected turn in the long-simmering, though widely discredited, controversy over Obama's origin. Obama's advisers have for the better part of three years dismissed questions about the president's birth, directing skeptics to the short-term document released during the 2008 campaign. But as the issue gained more attention at the state level and particularly in the 2012 presidential race, Obama said Wednesday that it was starting to distract attention from pressing challenges like the budget. 

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Ron Paul Says Youth Vote Will Desert Obama

CBSNEWS | Rep. Ron Paul, the Texas Republican known for his staunch libertarian views, announced today he's forming a presidential exploratory committee.

This marks Paul's third bid for the presidency. He first ran in 1988 and again in 2008, winning a small but enthusiastic group of supporters among the GOP electorate.

Part of Paul's fervent support in 2008 was grounded in college-aged voters, a constituency that also largely favored Barack Obama. In this campaign, the 75-year-old Paul said today, Mr. Obama won't be able to hang on to the youth vote.

"I think that Obama will not be able to hang on to that enthusiasm of the young people because of what's happened in the last couple years," Paul said in Des Moines, Iowa, after his exploratory committee was announced.

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Ron Paul Makes It Official


NationalJournal | Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, whose outspoken libertarian views and folksy style made him a cult hero during two previous presidential campaigns, will announce on Tuesday that he's going to try a third time.

Sources close to Paul, who is in his 12th term in the House, said he will unveil an exploratory presidential committee, a key step in gearing up for a White House race. He will also unveil the campaign’s leadership team in Iowa, where the first votes of the presidential election will be cast in caucuses next year.Paul, 75, ran as the Libertarian Party candidate in 1988, finishing with less than one half a percent of the vote. After more than a decade as a Republican congressman, Paul gave it another shot in the 2008 presidential election, gaining attention for being the only Republican candidate calling for the end to the war in Iraq and for his “money bomb” fundraising strategy, which brought in millions of dollars from online donors in single-day pushes.

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Oliver Stone: "Barack, Don't Betray Us"

Alternet.org | "Suddenly, a season of peace seems to be warming the world," the New York Times exulted on the last day of July 1988. Protracted and bloody wars were ending in Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia and Nicaragua, and between Iran and Iraq. But the most dramatic development was still to come.

In December 1988, the Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, declared the cold war over. "The use or threat of force no longer can or must be an instrument of foreign policy," he said. "This applies above all to nuclear arms."

He proposed cutting offensive strategic arms in half, jointly safeguarding the environment, banning weapons in outer space, ending exploitation of the third world and canceling third world debt payments. He called for a UN-brokered ceasefire in Afghanistan, acknowled­ging that, after nine years, the Russians had failed to defeat the Afghan insurgents despite deploying 100,000 troops.

Still, he was not finished. He held out an olive branch to the incoming administration of George H W Bush, offering a "joint effort to put an end to an era of wars".

The New York Times described Gorbachev's riveting, hour-long speech as the greatest act of statesmanship since Roosevelt and Churchill's Atlantic Charter in 1941. The Washington Post called it "a speech as remarkable as any ever delivered at the United Nations".

Gorbachev saw this as a new beginning for America, Russia and the world, but US policymakers had something very different in mind, hailing it as the triumph of the capitalist west after the long decades of the cold war.

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Arizona Approves Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates To Prove Eligibility


ABC15 | The Arizona Senate has approved a revised bill requiring presidential candidates to prove they are U.S. citizens eligible to run for the office. The bill approved Wednesday gives candidates additional ways to prove they meet the constitutional requirements to be president. 

It was prompted by the ongoing claim by some that there is no proof President Barack Obama was born in the United States and is therefore ineligible to be president.  Democrats argued the bill exceeds the state's authority and say state officials are not fully qualified to determine the validity of a candidate's documents. 

Republicans argue the U.S. Constitution gives state legislatures the right to determine how federal elections are conducted. 

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Obama Issues Veto Threat; Government Shutdown Looms


Foxnews | President Obama vowed Thursday to veto a Republican stopgap budget bill, a move that appeared to bolster a claim by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that the government "looks like it's heading" toward a shutdown without a deal on a six-month plan.

The White House issued a statement Thursday afternoon declaring that Obama would veto a GOP proposal to fund the government for one week while negotiations continue on a longer-term plan. Republicans have pitched the bill as the only option for keeping the government open past a Friday deadline, but its policy riders and $12 billion in cuts are not acceptable to Democrats. 


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Ohio Passes Law Restricting Public Worker Rights


BBC | Legislators in the US state of Ohio have passed a bill that will severely limit the collective bargaining rights of public sector workers.

The bill, which will affect teachers, nurses and other government workers, would allow unions to negotiate wages but not healthcare or other benefits.

Republican Governor John Kasich is likely to sign it into law within days.

He says the measure, which has sparked weeks of pro-labour protests in Ohio, is needed to close a big budget gap.

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