Author Archives: Mark Leon Goldberg
The English language Pakistani newspaper The Dawn offers a great round up of world leaders’ reactions to Obama’s Victory:
‘Your brilliant victory rewards a tireless commitment to serve the American people. It also crowns an exceptional campaign whose inspiration and exaltation have proved to the entire world the vitality of American democracy,’ French President Nicolas Sarkozy said in a letter to Obama.
‘By choosing you, the American people have chosen change, openness and optimism,’ Sarkozy added.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown praised Obama’s ‘energising politics… his progressive values and his vision for the future’ as congratulations poured in before the final result was even announced in the race between Obama and Republican John McCain.
China’s President Hu Jintao said in a written message: ‘In a new historical era, I look forward to… taking our bilateral relationship of constructive cooperation to a new level.’
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso pledged to work with the new US leader to strengthen relations.
Mexican President Felipe Calderon congratulated Obama on his ‘triumph’ and invited him to visit the United States’ southern neighbour.
Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Obama’s victory was a landmark for equality.
‘Twenty-five years ago Martin Luther King had a dream of an America where men and women would be judged not on the colour of their skin but on the content of their character,’ Rudd told reporters. ‘Today what America has done is turn that dream into a reality.’
Meanwhile, the government of Kenya has declared Wednesday a national holiday. Presumably, this song will play on repeat over Kenyan Radio.
Because of the centrality of two eastern states (Pennsylvania and Virginia) we should know by the early evening whether this is going to be a late night or an early night. Either way, UN Dispatch will be up until the polls close and a winner is declared. I’ll be covering the elections from an international viewing party at the Historic Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington, DC (co-sponsored by Humanity in Action and L’Institut Montagne) and from the Democratic National Committee election watch party where I’m credentialed as media. Finally, readers in the Netherlands should attend the President’s Night 2008 party at the Melkveg with which I will be corresponding throughout the evening via phone.
Interested in what the rest of the world thinks about today’s elections?
Check out MorningSide Post for international live blogging; PRI’s The World for the global elite’s take; and Voices Without Votes to see how bloggers around the world are reacting to today’s historic elections.
What does your iPod, cell phone, pager, and laptop have to do with the crisis in the Congo? A lot, actually. Eastern Congo, where fighting has recently taken a dramatic upswing, is one of the best places in the world to mine Columbite-tantalite, otherwise known as Coltan.
Coltan is a unique metal used in the batteries of small electronics. And as devices like Ipods became more in demand around the turn of the millennium, so too did the demand for Coltan.
This turned out to be more of a curse than a blessing for the people of eastern Congo. competition over Coltan mines between the government of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda and a panoply of armed groups in eastern Congo helped fuel a civil war in Congo that has claimed over 4 million lives.
The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting offers a great explainer on the Coltan-conflict nexus in Eastern DRC.
The SG: In Ethiopia over the weekend, the SG is now in the United Arab Emirates. Today he met with Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, where the two discussed developments in the region, including Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan, and in the Middle East Peace Process.