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Top News Stories 2008-06-17 06:58:20

Front Page: Gore Endorses Obama, Japan Hangs Murderers, Israel Makes Progress

  • Gore Endorses Obama: Last night at an event in Michigan, Al Gore officially endorsed Barack Obama, drawing from his own experience to drive his point saying, “Looking back over the last eight years, I can tell you that we have already learned one important fact since the year 2000. Take it from me, elections matter. If you think the next appointments to the Supreme Court are important, you know that elections matter.” In front of nearly 20,000 people Gore outlined the challenges facing the US and said Obama is “clearly the candidate best able to solve these problems and bring change to America.”

  • Japan Hangs Murderers: In Japan today, a serial killer who whose rash of grisly killings in the late 1980s triggered calls for tighter restrictions on violent pornographic videos, was hanged at a detention center in Tokyo. His unspeakably heinous crimes were ultimately punished alongside two other convicted murderers. The justice minister said, "I ordered their executions because the cases were of indescribable cruelty. We are pursuing executions in order to achieve justice and firmly protect the rule of law." Japan is one of the few industrialized countries to use capital punishment, and the use has risen dramatically amid rising concerns about violent crime. In the past six months, 13 have been hanged, compared to one in all of 2005.
  • Israel Makes Progress: Israel appeared to be making diplomatic progress yesterday on three issues: a prisoner exchange in the works with Hezbollah; a call back for brokered talks with Syrian representatives in Turkey; and gearing up for a possible truce with Hamas in Gaza. Israeli officials however say it would be premature to draw any conclusions about understandings with Syria or Hamas. The positivity comes with skepticism as some Israelis suspect that the current burst of diplomatic activity is intended to distract attention from the political and legal troubles of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
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