Monthly Archives: January 2008

2 ACCUSED OF KEEPING GIRL, 13, AS PROSTITUTE

Published: January 31, 2008
A police detective and his female companion kidnapped a 13-year-old runaway girl and forced her into prostitution with 20 men at private parties, the authorities said on Wednesday.The detective, Wayne Taylor, 35, and his companion, Zalika Brown, 29, of 173-37 Vaswani Avenue in Jamaica, were charged with kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, endangering the welfare of a child and promoting prostitution, said the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown. They were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Wednesday night and pleaded not guilty.

The girl left her home in Brooklyn on Jan. 10 and encountered someone identified only as Drama who offered to find her a job dancing at parties and introduced her to Ms. Brown, the police said.

Ms. Brown told the girl that she had been “purchased” for $500 for use as a prostitute and introduced Detective Taylor as her husband, the police said, although they described the couple as boyfriend and girlfriend.

Detective Taylor, a 14-year-member of the Police Department assigned to the Housing Bureau, who was suspended without pay upon his arrest, set prices of $40 for oral sex and $80 for intercourse and instructed the girl to give her age as 19, investigators said.

The girl was taken to a party in a barbershop, where she was forced to have sex for money that was then turned over to the suspects, the police said. That routine was repeated in the following days as the couple drove her and other prostitutes to other parties in Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn, investigators said.

At one point, the suspects complained that the girl was not earning enough money, the police said, and Ms. Brown slammed the girl’s head to the floor and other prostitutes hit her. Detective Taylor threatened the girl that if she did not earn more, he would force her into streetwalking, the police said.

The girl escaped from the couple a few days ago and went to a police station, investigators said. She was able to provide the address where she said she was held, they added. She has since returned to her family, they said.

(Article courtesy of The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com )

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HOLOCAUST CARNIVAL FLOAT SHOCKS BRAZILIANS

HOLOCAUST FLOAT CAUSES CARNIVAL CONCERN
Updated 09.57 Thu Jan 31 2008
A dance school has been causing controversy in Brazil with a carnival float commemorating the Holocaust.The float, made by the Viradouro Samba School, is part of a “shockers” theme and features a pile of emaciated dead bodies.
“I consider it an extremely successful float, because it will go down the parade avenue with the function of alerting people, so that this never happens again” – Paul Barros

The Israelite Federation of Rio de Janeiro has taken a stand against the float but Viradouro artistic director Paul Barros insists it will be a success.

“I consider it an extremely successful float, because it will go down the parade avenue with the function of alerting people, so that this never happens again,” he said.

Viradouro’s parade entry also includes floats depicting the shock of birth, the shock of horror and the shock of cold.

“These eight sensations that were chosen, were placed in the school’s theme in order to provoke a collective shock,” said Mr Baros.

“The majority of them are certainly shocking and will have this effect on the public.”

The Holocaust float will be the only one without dancers on top.

Rio’s Carnival is famed for the parades by samba schools with glitzy floats and costumes and street parties where costumed revellers drink and dance all night.

The use of religious references has often caused last-minute problems for samba schools and in the past, the Roman Catholic Church has barred floats with figures of Christ and the Virgin Mary and samba schools had to cover or modify them.

© Independent Television News Limited 2008. All rights reserved.

http://itn.co.uk/news/710761603e4e1b7e4a02dda35128ecf2.html

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HOLOCAUST CARNIVAL FLOAT SHOCKS IN BRAZIL
RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP)—Jewish groups in Brazil have expressed disgust over a controversial float to appear in Brazil’s upcoming carnival parade that depicts dead victims of the Nazi Holocaust.The display, by the Unidos da Viradouro school, will be sandwiched among 11 others that are to parade along the city’s carnival avenue on Sunday.

In dramatic contrast to the floats carrying sequined, scantily clad dancers smiling and gyrating, and followed by drum bands, the Holocaust entry will show only motionless, skeletal figures piled on top of each other.
Its creator defended the float, which will move along under the theme “It’s Horrifying.”
  
“It’s a very respectful float. It’s going to depict it (the Holocaust) as a sort of alarm, so that it never be repeated,” the creator, Paulo Barros, told AFP.
  
“I believe the carnival is also a way of showing what happens in the world,” he said.
  
But Brazilian Jewish groups are not seeing it that way.
  
Sergio Niskier, the president of the Israelite Federation of Rio de Janerio, said it was “inappropriate” to punctuate the festival atmosphere of carnival with a scene symbolizing the systematic murder of six million people in Nazi concentration camps between 1938 and 1945.
  
“Really, it makes no sense to highlight this issue with drums and dancing girls when there are still survivors of that horror and many of their descendants who carry the mark of that tragedy in their skin,” he told reporters.
  
Barros, however, said he informed the Jewish group of his plans months ago.
  
“They were anxious about putting this float in a carnival atmosphere,” he admitted.
  
But, he predicted, “When the float goes by, people will feel respect.”
  
A counterpart at the rival Grande Rio samba school, Roberto Szaniecki, himself of Polish Jew descent, disagreed.
  
“It’s insensitive. The parade is going to be broadcast in Europe. I don’t have grandparents because of the Holocaust,” he told the newspaper O Dia.
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UPDATE 2/1/2008:
JUDGE BANS HOLOCAUST THEMED RIO CARNIVAL FLOAT:

Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:12pm EST

By Pedro Fonseca

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A Brazilian judge barred a samba group on Thursday from featuring a Holocaust display and a dancer dressed as Adolf Hitler in its Carnival parade after fierce complaints from Jewish groups.

State judge Juliana Kalichszteim ruled the Viradouro samba group, or school, would be subject to a $110,000 fine for the float and $28,000 for the Hitler impersonation if it went ahead with its original parade plan.

“Carnival should not be used as an instrument of hatred, any kind of racism and clear trivialization or barbaric and unjustified acts against minorities,” the judge said.

Viradouro planned to feature a tableau of a pile of dead model bodies when it marches in the Sambadrome stadium on Sunday night.

The globally televised parades, led by virtually naked Carnival queens and featuring thousands of dancers and drummers, are the highlight of the celebrations in Rio de Janeiro.

The official script also said an actor would pose as Nazi leader Hitler on the float.

Viradouro officials said they have not yet received the judge’s ruling and would decide later whether to appeal.

The Israelite Federation in Rio de Janeiro state was the first to object earlier this week and was later joined by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a prominent international Jewish human rights group. 

Some six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust, an extermination program carried out in World War Two by Nazi Germany.

“A guy dressed as Hitler atop a pile of dead Jews, that’s too much. It’s beyond the limits of common sense. There is no way we could accept that,” said Sergio Niskier, president of the Rio federation, hailing the judge’s decision.

Viradouro officials have said the float was “extremely respectful” and was meant as a warning about the horrors of the past so that they never happen again.

The school’s parade theme is “Shockers” and it includes floats depicting the shock of birth, the shock of horror and the shock of cold.

On Wednesday, another samba group agreed to remove the swastika symbol from uniforms that its dancers planned to wear in its Carnival parade about the predictions of Nostradamus after complaints from the Jewish federation. The Estacio de Sa group also said it would drop a section of the parade named after Hitler.

(Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Angus MacSwan and Alan Elsner)

http://www.comedy-central.com/http/h4/index.php?url=http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSN3131385820080131&cid=1127002686&ei=3Y2iR-GnBZH8-gH93NSHBw

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FORMER NEW YORK MAYOR DINKINS SUPPORTS HILLARY CLINTON

David N. Dinkins Hillary Rodham ClintonMayor David N. Dinkins campaigned with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Representative Charles B. Rangel at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C., on Jan. 25. (Photo: Todd Heisler for The New York Times)
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On rare occasions, David N. Dinkins says, he is approached by New Yorkers who ask him how he could possibly support Hillary Rodham Clinton in her quest to become president rather than Barack Obama.

“In fact, every now and then, a black person will ask me that,” said Mr. Dinkins, who was elected New York City’s first black mayor in 1989. “They wonder how I can be in support of a white woman running against this black man. And, sometimes, a white person will come to me and somehow make the assumption that I’m with Obama.”

Mr. Dinkins, who served from 1990 through 1993, is running to be a delegate for Senator Clinton. He said he periodically laments how the race for the Democratic nomination has been viewed by some voters purely through the prism of race and gender. Nonetheless, he said, his enthusiastic support for Ms. Clinton should be surprising to no one.

“It starts with friendship and loyalty,” Mr. Dinkins said. “The Clintons helped me and they have been supportive of me. She has been an outstanding United States senator. To be honest, I don’t know Obama. I’ve met him just once, when he made that great speech at the convention. He is a bright young man. I’m not against him — I’m for Hillary.”

In particular, Mr. Dinkins said, he has been impressed with her performance as a senator. “She didn’t come with an attitude of being the former first lady,” he said. “She came into the Senate with the perspective that she was one of 100 senators and she did everything but fetch coffee for the Republican senators. She did the hard work and learned how to do the job well.”

Nonetheless, against the backdrop of Senator Obama’s historic campaign to become the nation’s first black president, Mr. Dinkins said he is occasionally questioned by black New Yorkers about his decision.

“Some will question my bona fides in blackness,” Mr. Dinkins said. “And I point out that I supported Jesse Jackson in 1984 and that there were very few people for him at that time. In 1988, I was a co-chair of his campaign.”

Mr. Dinkins added: “My record is clear. And every now and then, I ask them, ‘Where were you in 1988 when I was supporting Jesse Jackson?’ Then I explain that it’s not a racial thing or a gender thing with me. I just happen to think that the lady is very smart, very good and will make a heck of a president.”

As a former mayor and highly recognized New York City politician, Mr. Dinkins is just one of a large number of prominent New York officials and former officials who are seeking to be Clinton delegates. It is a group that includes members of the Assembly, State Senate and City Council, as well as union leaders and borough presidents.

Since leaving Gracie Mansion, Mr. Dinkins has remained politically active, principally by endorsing various candidates in local, citywide and statewide races. Since leaving office, he has also worked as a professor at Columbia University and a radio host.

Most of the state’s Democratic establishment is supporting Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Obama. Among the many Democrat office-holders running on Mrs. Clinton’s delegate slates in Tuesday’s primary are:

  • United States Representative José E. Serrano of the Bronx.
  • Assemblywoman Deborah J. Glick of Manhattan.
  • Assemblymen Jonathan L. Bing, Adriano Espaillat and Keith L. T. Wright of Manhattan.
  • Assemblywomen Barbara M. Clark, Aurelia Greene, Audrey I. Pheffer and Catherine T. Nolan of Queens.
  • Assemblywoman Annette M. Robinson of Brooklyn.
  • Assemblyman Michael N. Gianaris of Queens.
  • Assemblymen Jeffrey Dinowitz and Carl Heastie of the Bronx.
  • Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera of the Bronx.
  • Assemblymen Peter J. Abbate, N. Nick Perry and Darryl Towns of Brooklyn.
  • State Senator Diane J. Savino of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
  • State Senator Martin Malave Dilan of Brooklyn.
  • State Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan.
  • State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson of the Bronx.
  • City Councilman Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn.
  • City Councilmen Hiram Monserrate and Thomas White Jr. of Queens.
  • City Councilwoman Melinda Katz of Queens.
  • City Councilwomen Inez Dickens and Melissa Mark-Viverito of Manhattan.
  • City Councilman Miguel Martinez of Manhattan.
  • City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx.
  • City Councilman Joel Rivera of the Bronx.
  • Helen M. Marshall, the Queens borough president.
  • Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president.

Other delegate candidates for Mrs. Clinton include John Gulino, the Staten Island Democratic chairman; Mayor Byron W. Brown of Buffalo; and Lillian Roberts, executive director of District Council 37, the city’s largest public workers’ union.

Read more Primary Journal blog entries from the New York region.

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SECOND KENYAN OPPOSITION LEADER KILLED

Published: February 1, 2008
NAIROBI, Kenya —A second Kenyan opposition lawmaker was shot to death on Thursday, and riots immediately exploded in opposition strongholds.

The violence led to the postponement of talks being brokered by Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general. The current secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, said he would travel to Nairobi on Friday to help address the crisis.

The lawmaker who was killed, David Kimutai Too, was shot by a policeman in Eldoret, in the country’s volatile Rift Valley, where many people have been killed or have fled their homes.

Kenyan government officials were quick to say the latest killing was connected to an illicit love triangle. The opposition, however, called it an assassination.

“This is the part of the strategy to reduce the number of parliamentarians,” said Salim Lone, a spokesman for the top opposition leader, Raila Odinga.

Mr. Too was the second opposition lawmaker to be killed in two days, in escalating violence that has claimed more than 800 lives and is putting Kenya on the brink of disaster.

The trouble began with a disputed election in December, in which Kenya’s president, Mwai Kibaki, was declared the winner despite widespread evidence of vote-rigging, and the violence has moved steadily across the country, town by town, death by death.

On Tuesday, Melitus Mugabe Were, a popular opposition member of Parliament, was dragged from his car and shot to death in his driveway by two armed thugs. The police are investigating closely, but Mr. Were’s friends and family say that he was not robbed and that the killing was a professional assassination.

Mr. Annan, who has emphasized that time is running out in Kenya, told reporters that because of what had happened “we have postponed this afternoon’s session and we will work all day tomorrow so that the leaders can attend to urgent matters.”

Mr. Ban said he would travel to Nairobi on Friday from an African Union summit in neighboring Ethiopia to help with the talks between the opposing political sides.

Mr. Too is a member of the Kalenjin ethnic group, which has supported the opposition. In the days after the election, Kalenjins swept across the countryside burning homes that belonged to Kikuyus, Mr. Kibaki’s ethnic group, and killing many of them. In one attack, a Kalenjin mob burned a church, killing up to 50 people hiding inside. Most of them were Kikuyu women and children.

Mr. Too’s killing seemed to send a shock wave of outrage and panic across Kenya.

In Kisumu, an opposition stronghold in the far west of Kenya, mobs of young men tore through the streets, burning tires, hurling rocks and blockading roads. They did not appear to accept the government’s explanation of the killing, and it seemed that even if Mr. Too’s death had nothing to do with the volatile political situation here, it was bound to be interpreted as being linked to the turmoil.

“We won’t believe what they say,” said Willis Omondi, a protester holding a sling for hurling rocks. “We know the government is involved. Kibaki’s government will never work in Kenya. We will paralyze them even if they kill our leaders.”

In Eldoret, the police clashed with protesters who had ringed the police station. Kenyan authorities said they had arrested the policeman who shot Mr. Too, but the crowd was demanding that the police hand him over.

According to government authorities, Mr. Too was driving in his car with a policewoman whose boyfriend was also a police officer. The boyfriend drove alongside them on a motorcycle and shot and killed both.

The Rift Valley, one of the most beautiful slices of Africa, has been the epicenter of Kenya’s postelection problems and is home to ethnic groups that have long felt others do not belong.

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Yasuyoshi Chiba/Agence France-Presse–Getty Images

Supporters of opposition leader Raila Odinga blocked a road in Kisumu, Kenya on Thursday.

Riots Follow Killing of Kenyan Legislator

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OBAMA SAYS CLINTON WOULD BE A STEP BACK

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., addresses supporters at a rally in Denver, Colo., on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008.  (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

AP Photo: Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., addresses supporters at a rally in Denver, Colorado on Wednesday, January 30, 2008.

 

By NEDRA PICKLER and MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer 1 hour, 23 minutes ago

DENVER – Democratic Sen. Barack Obama said Wednesday a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidency would be a step back to the past, turning her husband’s image of a bridge to the future against her. The former first lady decried the tenor of his comments in an interview with The Associated Press.

“I know it is tempting — after another presidency by a man named George Bush — to simply turn back the clock, and to build a bridge back to the 20th century,” the Illinois senator said in Denver.

“… It’s not enough to say you’ll be ready from Day One — you have to be right from Day One,” he added in unmistakable criticisms of Clinton, who often claims she’s better prepared to govern, and her husband, who pledged during his own presidency to build a bridge to the 21st century.

Within hours, Hillary Clinton pushed back in an interview with the AP — and got in her own dig.

“That certainly sounds audacious, but not hopeful,” said Clinton, in a play on the title of Obama’s book, “The Audacity of Hope.” “It’s not hopeful and it’s not what we should be talking about in this campaign,” said Clinton, suggesting Obama was abandoning the core of his campaign.

“I would certainly, through you, hope we could get back to talking about the issues, drawing the contrasts that are based in fact that have a connection to the American people,” Clinton said.

In his speech, Obama depicted Clinton as a calculating, poll-tested divisive figure who will only inspire greater partisan divisions as she sides with Republicans on issues such as trade, the role of lobbyists in politics and national security. At the same time, he elevated McCain, fresh off victory in Florida‘s crucial primary, as the likely Republican nominee.

In the AP interview, Clinton vowed to take the high road and warned that voters in the mega-primaries next week expect that.

“I’m going to continue to talk to people about what we need to do in our country to try to lift people up, to keep focused on the future to be very specific about what I want to do as president because I want to be held accountable,” said Clinton.

Obama drew more than 10,000 people to his speech at the University of Denver. They packed a hockey arena and crammed into two overflow rooms and still were lined up outside to get in. Colorado is a caucus state, one of 22 to hold nominating contests Tuesday, and is one of a handful of states where the Obama campaign is predicting victory. Clinton has the advantage in several others, while several are still up for grabs.

“Democrats will win in November and build a majority in Congress not by nominating a candidate who will unite the other party against us, but by choosing one who can unite this country around a movement for change,” Obama said, speaking as rival John Edwards was pulling out of the race in New Orleans, leaving a Clinton-Obama fight for the Democratic nomination.

“It is time for new leadership that understands the way to win a debate with John McCain or any Republican who is nominated is not by nominating someone who agreed with him on voting for the war in Iraq or who agreed with him in voting to give George Bush the benefit of the doubt on Iran, who agrees with him in embracing the Bush-Cheney policy of not talking to leaders we don’t like, who actually differed with him by arguing for exceptions for torture before changing positions when the politics of the moment changed,” Obama said.

“We need to offer the American people a clear contrast on national security, and when I am the nominee of the Democratic Party, that is exactly what I will do,” he said.

The two rivals fought hard prior to the South Carolina primary, but the tenor has eased a bit since then.

“I’ve been trying to keep this on a level where the contrasts and comparisons are certainly fair, this is an election after all,” said Clinton. “I’ve been trying very hard to set the right tone, to be focused on bringing the party together, bringing the country together but around specific goals.”

Clinton spent her day in Little Rock, before heading to Atlanta for speeches to the Southern Baptist Convention and a major Democratic fundraiser. She took a colorful diversion on the trip to Atlanta, heading down the aisle of her campaign plane serving peach cobbler to reporters and staffers.

“It was fresh this morning,” said Clinton. “I love anything peach.”

Obama said he understands voters might feel some comfort at the idea of returning to another President Clinton after eight years of Bush. But he cautioned voters not to buy the argument that Clinton’s experience is what the country needs.

“It is about the past versus the future,” he said. “And when I am the nominee, the Republicans won’t be able to make this election about the past.

“If you choose change, you will have a nominee who doesn’t just tell people what they want to hear,” Obama told them. “Poll-tested positions, calculated answers might be how Washington confronts challenges, but it’s not how you overcome those challenges; it’s not how you inspire our nation to come together behind a common purpose, and it’s not what America needs right now. You need a candidate who will tell you the truth.”

Later Wednesday, Obama gave a 10-minute talk by live broadcast to a joint meeting in Atlanta of four historically black Baptist denominations, where Clinton was to appear in person later. These groups produced some of the most prominent civil rights leaders, including the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.. whom Obama quoted.

“Pastors are pushing this movement forward,” Obama said of his campaign, “and I need each and every one of you in this fight.”

He asked the audience to imagine what it would mean for the country to see him with his hand on the Bible, taking the presidential oath of office.

“Our children will look at themselves differently and their possibilities differently. They’ll look at each other differently,” he said.

___

Associated Press Writer Mike Glover reported from Atlanta.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080131/ap_on_el_pr/obama_clinton_11

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SEEING RED OVER HILLARY:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/30/opinion/30dowd.html?em&ex=1201928400&en=15ef667b93134fd0&ei=5087%0A

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GIULIANI ENDS CAMPAIGN FOR THE WHITE HOUSE; THROWS SUPPORT TO MCCAIN

Monica Almeida/The New York Times

Rudolph W. Giuliani and Senator John McCain at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif. More Photos >

Published: January 30, 2008
Rudolph W. Giuliani, the combative New York City mayor who rose to national prominence during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, formally ended his presidential campaign on Wednesday and declared that he would throw his support to the candidacy of Senator John McCain.

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“John McCain is the most qualified candidate to be the next commander in chief of the United States,” Mr. Giuliani said. “He is an American hero.”

Mr. Giuliani made his announcement at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., just hours before the candidates took the stage there for a debate. His decision, on a day that also saw the Democratic contender John Edwards bow out of the race, followed a devastating defeat for Mr. Giuliani in Tuesday’s Republican primary in Florida. After a series of early primary losses, Mr. Giuliani had made a great effort to win over Florida voters, but finished in a distant third to Mr. McCain in the polling.

Standing next to Mr. McCain at a podium in the library, Mr. Giuliani said that “it is appropriate to make this announcement hear at the Reagan library because President Reagan’s leadership remains and inspiration both for John McCain and myself.”

Mr. Giuliani’s endorsement, which was widely reported throughout the day, provides a boost to Mr. McCain in what appears to be shaping into a two-candidate race. Mr. McCain, of Arizona, and Mitt Romney, the former Massachusetts governor, exchanged a series of bitter attacks before the Florida primary, and Mr. McCain went out of his way to recognize Mr. Giuliani after his victory on Tuesday. He said Mr. Giuliani “conducted himself with all of the qualities of the exceptional American leader he truly is.”

Appearing at the podium after Mr. Giuliani made his endorsement, Mr. McCain referred to the former New York mayor as “my strong right arm and my partner and my friend.”

“There will be a clear choice this November, and I believe my life has prepared me, a life of service and a life of dedication, to lead this nation,” Mr. McCain said. Mr. McCain’s victory, with 36 percent of the vote after 99 percent of Florida’s precincts reported, made him the front runner heading into the multistate Republican primaries and caucuses on Feb. 5. Mr. Giuliani received 15 percent of the votes and Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, received 14 percent. But Mr. Romney, who finished second with 31 percent, seemed unfazed, telling CNN: “In a two-person race, with myself and Senator McCain, I like my chances.”

Mr. Giuliani’s early defeat was a dramatic reversal from his early prominence in the Republican field. Building on an image of strength based on his role as New York City mayor during the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Giuliani climbed to a lead in the polls last summer. By September, he had raised far more money than either Mr. McCain or Mr. Romney, with a $16 million war chest.

But despite the early promise, Mr. Giuliani’s support never materialized at the polls. He lost several early primaries, including New Hampshire, where he finished fourth despite a strong early campaign effort. Mr. Giuliani had said before the primary that a victory in Florida would have offered an opportunity to reverse his early losses.

A former federal prosecutor, Mr. Giuliani was seen to have strong credentials on law enforcement and counterterrorism, but many of his social positions, notably on abortion and immigration, were at odds with conservative Republican voters.

A native New Yorker, Mr. Giuliani first rose to prominence as a hard-charging federal prosecutor who scored notable convictions against the city’s organized crime families. His tenure as New York mayor was more controversial; supporters hail his leadership in driving crime in the city to historic lows, while opponents say his time was characterized by bitter divisiveness.

In his concession speech on Tuesday, Mr. Giuliani nodded to the distance between his positions and that of many in the Republican Party.

“We’ve got a big party and we’re getting bigger,” he said. “I’m even in this party.”

(John M. Broder contributed reporting from Miami; Michael Powell from Orlando, Fla.; and Michael Luo from St. Petersburg, Fla.)
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LIVE BLOGGING THE REPUBLICAN DEBATE:

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HISTORY IN THE MAKING, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN

Sen. John Edwards announced today that he was leaving the Democratic Presidential race for the nomination “so that history can blaze its path.”

Truer words were never spoken.

IT IS TIME .

It…is…time.

For the first time in American political history a Black man and a Woman are in the race for the office of President of the United States. All of America—not just Black and White—-all:  Latino-, Asian-, Arab-, Native- American, now have the chance to decide who they will vote in to lead this country out of years, decades—centuries of hate, violence, depravities, transgressions, and moral anarchy that has plagued this nation since its inception.

It will be up to Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton to put their agendas on the table and speak forthrightly and earnestly to the American people.

Crime and the prison system.

The housing crisis.

The war in Iraq.

Educations that are failing America’s students.

The national debt.

The shrinking middle class; the growing canyon-wide chasm between rich and poor, where this country will be no different from Mexico and Brazil, with the landscape dotted with gated communtities and horrid ghetto-slums.

The legal system’s racist double-standard and its disparity in unequal justice under the law.

Health care and the abomination of so many people having to put medicine before food.

The failed foreign policy and America’s horrible non-relationship with the international community.

The future cataclysm that global warming threatens.

The issues of immigration and what this country will do about it.

The economy racing towards a recession.

A poverty rate that rivals most third world countries.

High infant mortality rates that one would expect in underdeveloped nations.

This country has had many chances to turn itself around and do right by all of its citizens. So many chances. It now has that chance. . . . .once again.

The court has now been left to Obama and Clinton.

All eyes are on them and how they handle themselves all the way up to the first Tuesday in November.

Oh, that we are all blessed to live in such a glorious time!

History in the making, ladies and gentlemen.

History in the making.

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