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28 Oct, 2008 01:21

Obama assassination plot foiled

Two white supremacists have been charged with plotting to assassinate U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama. A court in Tennessee was told the plan was uncovered by federal agents who believed the pair also planned a murder spree. They are said to have

Agents say the skinheads were planning to rob a gun store and then to target a predominantly black high school.

They were going to shoot 88 black people and decapitate another fourteen African-Americans.

The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic for the white supremacist community.

Barack Obama will make history if he wins the election by becoming the first-ever African-American President of the United States.

Swing states are crucial

With a mere week and a half left to U.S. Election Day, the presidential candidates are targeting swing states in their bids to win the keys to the Oval Office. Barack Obama and John McCain are doing their best to sway undecided voters.

The Democrat candidate, Barack Obama, will be spending most of the remaining nine days of the campaign in states won by President Bush four years ago. He concluded a swing through the West with two rallies in Colorado, while his Republican rival, John McCain, has made the battleground state of Ohio a top priority.

His running mate, Sarah Palin, the Alaska Governor, was making another push to sway voters in the state of Florida, where polls show McCain is trailing narrowly behind Obama. Florida is another of the key battlegrounds that can make or break the presidential dreams of Barack Obama and John McCain.

In the 2000 election it was the scene of a vote-rigging scandal, which led many to accuse George W. Bush of stealing the election from Al Gore.

Voting computers have now been introduced, so there is no prospect of a repeat of the problem with hanging chads as there was back then. Instead, there are concerns about the complexity of the voting process and that the computers might be vulnerable to hackers.

Election officials are trying to dispel those fears, saying there’s no evidence hackers are targeting voting equipment and that, despite the apparent complexity of the ballot casting process, it’s actually not that hard to follow. Practice sheets have been introduced to give people a better chance to vote properly and ensure their vote is counted.

According to official results and with much controversy, Florida supported the Republicans in the last two presidential elections. But opinion polls suggest there is a real possibility of the state turning Democrat come November.

Hispanic Americans at a loss

The Hispanic community makes up 20 per cent of the population in Florida, and while traditionally immigration laws are the main concern for Latino voters, this time the economic crisis is what worries most of them.

This may turn into a reason to push some voters to the polls, while keeping others away because many are too busy struggling.

Store clerk Francisco Cavezaz has also been hit by the economic crisis, and he sees people trying to cope with its consequences every day.

“People count their pennies to buy a bar of soap!” he says.

He says that’s what killed people’s trust in politicians: “They really depend on a lot of influential companies that support their campaigns and stuff like that, so their loyalties are questionable.”

Even though some analysts predict a record turnout in the election, a lack of trust may strike a blow.

John is an activist motivating Hispanic voters not to be afraid of speaking out on election day.

“Every vote, if counted, can make a difference. The problem is that the integrity of the system is in question,” he says.

However, many have been hit hard by the government’s decisions and don’t believe the next president will make a difference.