François Hollande has won the presidency of France, turning the tide on a rightward and xenophobic lurch in European politics and vowing to transform Europe's handling of the economic crisis by fighting back against German-led austerity measures. The 57-year-old rural MP and self-styled Mr Normal, a moderate social democrat from the centre of the Socialist party, is France's first leftwing president for 17 years. Projections from early counts, released by French television, put him on 51.9% and Nicolas Sarkozy on 48.1%. His victory is a boost to the left in a continent that has gradually swung right since the economic crisis broke four years ago. From the town of Tulle in his rural heartland of Corrèze in southwest France, Hollande declared victory. "May 6 should be a great date for our country, a new start for Europe, a new hope for the world," he said. "I'm sure in a lot of European countries there is relief, hope that at last austerity is no longer inevitable." He said his … [Read more...] about French president François Hollande promises ‘a new start’ for Europe
Iration broken promises
The Saudi experiment was supposed to be a voyage of discovery for everyone, although we are no nearer to identifying the best heavyweight in the world, nor a conveniently misplaced moral compass. Deontay Wilder? Unquestionably he is the most dangerous. Tyson Fury? The trickiest and craziest. Oleksandr Usyk? The unproven. Andy Ruiz Jr? The fattest. What we do know is that Anthony Joshua, who again owns three-quarters of the heavyweight pie, won’t spend the rest of his life as an obscenely rich has-been in north London. If Andy Ruiz Jr, all 20st 3lb of him, had beaten the slimmed down Joshua (16st 13lb) for the second time in six months, AJ’s career might have been shredded. There would likely be no talk of paydays in the desert, unified and undisputed titles, legacy nights and football stadiums filled with 90,000 fans. He would not be needed or wanted in the Big Mix. That is modern boxing: compelling, eternally flawed, frustrating and cruel. When Joshua beat Ruiz over 12 … [Read more...] about What next for restored heavyweight world champion Anthony Joshua?
Boris Johnson faces the threat of battling against the Brexit party for leave votes in every seat across Britain, after Nigel Farage gave the prime minister a two-week deadline to drop his Brexit deal. After a rocky 48 hours, which saw Johnson booed during a hospital visit and urged by Donald Trump to join forces with Farage, the Brexit party leader urged him to strike a “leave alliance”. Launching the Brexit party’s campaign in Westminster, the former Ukip leader claimed the deal agreed by Johnson in Brussels last month was “not Brexit”. Farage said his message for the prime minister was: “Drop the deal because as these weeks go by and people realise what you’ve signed up to … people will not like it. “Simply, it is not Brexit. What we’re doing here is kicking the can down the road.” He suggested the Brexit party would be prepared to stand aside in a swath of seats – but only if Johnson axes his own withdrawal … [Read more...] about Boris Johnson faces threat of Brexit party battle in every seat
Patterns make for ugly pictures in modern British elections. Chief among them is the dominance of older voters. Ever since the loud and justified yell of anguish over Gordon Brown’s infamous 75p rise in the state pension, older voters have harried successive governments to improve their incomes and protect their wealth. Brown’s mistake was made in his budget of April 2000 and from that date onwards, prime ministers have tampered with pensioners’ livings standards at their peril. This week’s vote illustrates how little has changed. If anything, the votes of older people loom ever larger, dominating the spending promises of all the main political parties. And where those policies threaten the seniors’ finances, political parties suffer. To give an illustration of how retired households have caught up with working ones, the Office for National Statistics points us towards median household income figures. In 1990, a retired household could expect to live on … [Read more...] about Older voters are richer than ever, yet still their needs rule
The crowd cheers as a mariachi band belts out a song dedicated to Andrés Manuel López Obrador, leader of Mexico’s National Regeneration party (Morena), while he poses for selfies with jostling supporters in front of the stage. The gathering feels more like a party – complete with cake, flowers and the faint smell of alcohol and marijuana – rather than a midsize political rally on the home turf of President Enrique Peña Nieto and one of the most powerful factions of the governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). The event is nominally in honour of Delfina Gómez, Morena’s candidate in the 4 June election for governor of the state of Mexico. But the race is one of the the country’s most important in political, economic and symbolic terms. Which is why López Obrador – commonly known as AMLO – is the headline act on the campaign trail as his centre-left party bets on his firebrand charisma and popularity to rouse … [Read more...] about Mexico opposition targets governor’s race that would ‘prove president’s failure’