Egyptian leftist politician submits bid to run for president

Leftist presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabahi talks during an interview with Reuters in Cairo

Leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi officially submitted his bid on Saturday to run for Egypt's presidency, making him the second candidate for next month's election alongside former army-chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi who is widely expected to win. Sabahi, who heads a political alliance called the Popular Current, was a member of parliament during ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak's years in office and came third in the 2012 election that was won by Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi, who led the army overthrow of Mursi in July after mass protests against his rule, is widely expected to win the election as he is viewed by many in the country as the saviour of the people who can bring stability to Egypt. … [Read more...]

Bespoke shoes scandal claims scalp of Hollande aide

Political advisor of France's President Francois Hollande, Aquilino Morelle, arriving at the Elysee presidential palace in Paris on February 25, 2013

A close advisor to Francois Hollande resigned on Friday after allegations about a conflict of interest and his extravagant lifestyle dealt a fresh blow to the beleaguered French president. In a statement to AFP, senior political advisor Aquilino Morelle, 51, said he was stepping down but denied any wrongdoing in a scandal that has put the spotlight on his collection of 30 pairs of bespoke shoes. … [Read more...]

Labour hires Obama election strategist

Former White House advisor David Axelrod walks into the West Wing of the White House on November 15, 2013 in Washington

David Axelrod, the mastermind behind US President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 election victories, is to advise Labour in the run up to next year's general election, the party announced. He will work alongside shadow foreign secretary and election strategist Douglas Alexander until the vote, expected to take place in May 2015. "Mr Axelrod will become an integral part of Labour's team," said a Labour statement. "He will also participate in regular strategic discussions with Mr Miliband and the Labour campaign team." … [Read more...]

Graft trial of son of Senegal’s ex-president to start in June

Children of Senegal President Wade prepare to vote during Senegal's presidential election in the capital Dakar

Karim Wade, son of Senegal's ex-president, will go on trial in two months to face corruption charges, a year after he was accused of illegally amassing a fortune of $1.4 billion during his father's rule, a government official said. The decision ends hopes that Wade, who was the most powerful figure in his father Abdoulaye Wade's 2000-2012 government, could see the case thrown out of the Court for Illegal Enrichment that handles corruption issues. "The court has taken the decision for Karim Wade to face trial in two months from now," Soro Diop, an adviser to the justice ministry, told Reuters. … [Read more...]

Former New York Mayor Bloomberg to spend $50 million on gun control

New York Mayor Bloomberg speaks to reporters after his meeting regarding gun violence with U.S. Vice President Biden, at the White House in Washington

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg ramped up his efforts to fight gun violence on Wednesday with a plan to spend $50 million on a grassroots network to organize voters on gun control. The initiative's political target is the powerful pro-gun lobby, including the National Rifle Association, that spends millions of dollars each year to back gun-rights supporters. Bloomberg's group, called Everytown for Gun Safety, will focus on state and local lawmakers, corporate boards, and state and federal elections - "fields of play formerly occupied almost solely by the gun lobby," according to a statement. The billionaire Bloomberg told NBC's "Today" show he did not view his $50 million investment as a "heavy political lift." "Thirty-one thousand Americans either get murdered or … [Read more...]