US midterm elections ‘show how Trump and his ilk will be defeated’ – The Guardian
We begin our tour of British newspapers from the Guardian Opinion page, which ran an article by Jonathan Friedman entitled “Democrats’ performance in the midterm elections shows how Trump and his ilk can be defeated”.
The author says that political developments around the world in recent years have caused so much concern that if there is hope, we must savor them.
And this week, he adds, there has been a slew of better-than-expected news from the United States, news that should encourage opponents of the threat of nationalist-populism around the world.
He notes that American voters emphasized this point two years ago when they didn’t re-elect Donald Trump, but few thought they would do so again in the midterms.
He says there has been much talk of a “red wave” for Republicans, with polls predicting heavy losses for the Democratic Party amid rising inflation and an unpopular president.
The top Democrats were on the verge of defeat, but the party won many of the closest Senate elections and kept losses in the House of Representatives so light that even if Republicans took control, they would not have the secure majority they wanted.
He argues that even if Trump himself does not stand for election, enough Americans will reject “Trumpist candidates” deeply mired in conspiracy theory and anti-democracy.
The author believes Democrats are more focused and, according to partisan strategist David Shore, display “an incredible discipline of messaging” and sticking to the issues the American public approves of, whether it’s through jobs, health care or abortion rights. This latter case was particularly stimulating after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn a woman’s right to an abortion and its constitutional protections of a woman’s right to an abortion.
“torture” Alaa Abdel-Fattah
We turn to a report by Heba Saleh in the Financial Times entitled “The Plight of Egyptian Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah Overshadows Climate Change Conference”.
The author says that the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, which is hosting the COP27 climate summit, is a popular spot for international gatherings because Sharm el-Sheikh is nestled between the mountains and the sea near the southern tip of Sinai with a small number from local residents, and it is easy to isolate and secure, a place hard to remove facts in the country.
She adds that with the arrival of world leaders for this week’s climate meeting at the resort, Egypt’s human rights record and in particular the plight of political opponent Alaa Abdel Fattah has become the focus of intense attention, at times overshadowing the official affairs of the conference.
It notes that British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Schulz and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk have called on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to release Abdel Fattah, who is serving a five-year sentence.
In the author’s view, the COP27 summit also provided an exceptional global platform for the maligned and banned from broadcasting Egyptian human rights defenders.
She says human rights activists have enjoyed the solidarity of international climate activists and the conference has created an unprecedented opportunity to have their voices heard.
She adds that this was confirmed when Egyptian MP Amr Darwish criticized Sana Seif, Abdel Fattah’s sister, who runs a campaign in Britain, when she addressed the public. After accusing them of “inviting foreign powers to put pressure on Egypt,” he was removed from the room by UN security officials, and the incident drew the attention of dozens of journalists.
“The moment that should have been a show of Egyptian diplomacy has been overshadowed by all the focus on human rights,” Michael Hanna, an analyst at the International Crisis Group, told the newspaper.
The author says tens of thousands of Islamists have been arrested, and the arrests have extended to secular critics of the regime since Sisi ousted former President Mohamed Morsi following widespread protests.
He recalled that 40-year-old Alaa Abdel-Fattah attracted attention during the 2011 revolution that ended the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak. He has been on a partial hunger strike since April and warned against drinking water on Sunday, the day the conference began. His family says he is convinced that the Egyptian authorities have no intention of releasing him, the article said.
The author says that Abdel Fattah, who received British citizenship last year, has spent eight of the last ten years in Egyptian prisons. His family has not heard from him for days and fear he may die.
His mother, Laila Soueif, said: “In one, two or three days at most, what Alaa is going through will end. If he is released, he will be free. When he dies he will be free.”
The author says the government has refused to recognize Abdel Fattah’s hunger strike or allow him to visit the British consulate. But Macron said this week Sisi was committed to ensuring the activist’s health was “preserved,” comments that alarmed his family.
Russian retreat from Kherson
We turn to an editorial in The Independent entitled “Withdrawal from Kherson shows Russia is losing face”.
The irony of Russia’s withdrawal from Kherson is, according to the newspaper, the best decision by Vladimir Putin’s generals since they launched their “special military operations” in February.
She added that Russian army leaders saw that Kherson was untenable and that a great loss of men and materiel was imminent.
The Independent points out that the Russian army could not afford any more casualties of this magnitude, and for once prudence prevailed over stubbornness.
The Russian army has lost face, the newspaper said, and it is clear that Ukrainians would like to liberate the region’s capital. But returning the defense line to the east bank of the Dnipro River will make life more difficult for the Ukrainian army.
According to the newspaper, the winter and the long distances with all the logistical difficulties spoke in favor of the defender.
The Independent confirms that the forces of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made excellent use of Western weaponry, training and intelligence, and that their counterattacks were impressive.
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