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TUESDAY, MAY 8, 2012
109TH YEAR I ©2012 THE MIAMI HERALD
SHAKE-UP IN EUROPE
Amid protests, Putin takes Russia’s reins again BY ELLEN BARRY
New York Times Service
BALINT PORNEZCI/BLOOMBERG NEWS
A supporter of Francois Hollande waves a French flag at a victory rally in Paris on Sunday.
HOLLANDE SIGNALS RETURN OF FRANCE AS COMPLICATED ALLY FOR WEST BY HELENE FOUQUET Bloomberg News
He plans a visit to Merkel following his inauguration next week. Immediately after that, he steps onto the world stage at a Group of Eight summit at Camp David, near Washington, and a NATO summit in Chicago. France’s seventh president since the founding of the Fifth Republic in 1958, Hollande has said he’d order the withdrawal from Afghanistan of all combat troops by the end of 2012, one year ahead of Sarkozy’s schedule and two years before the United States. He warned in March that he was also “reticent” about a U.S.-advocated European missile-defense shield. The views may not be set in stone. “As an opposition candidate to Sarkozy he had to take these stances,” Hubert Vedrine, a former Socialist foreign minister, said. “His foreign-policy positions have responded to domestic demands. Now begins the time for discussions and compromises.”
Following a president once nicknamed “Sarko the American,” Francois Hollande is set to resume the traditional role of French leaders: annoying their allies. Hollande, who made Nicolas Sarkozy a one-term president yesterday, has promised to speed France’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and questioned the return to NATO’s command structure engineered by Sarkozy. He is picking ﬁghts with Germany’s Angela Merkel over debt-crisis politics. “He’ll be a classic French president: ally of the U.S. but not emotionally involved like Sarkozy, whose attitude toward the U.S. was like a hiccup in French foreign-policy history,” said Francois Heisbourg, chairman of London-based Institute for Strategic Studies. “More classic, therefore, means more complicated.” The president-elect’s agenda will be dominated by foreign policy in his ﬁrst days in ofﬁce. • TURN TO FRANCE, 2A
In rise and fall of Chinese party boss, a ruthless arc BY MICHAEL WINES
New York Times Service
lawyer who dared to defend one of Bo’s high-proﬁle targets — and was sentenced to 30 months in prison for supposedly manufacturing false testimony in the case. “They can’t even protect their own children.” As recently as January, Bo was aiming for the pinnacle of Chinese political power, a seat on the nine-member Politburo’s Standing Committee, when the Communist Party’s leadership begins a generational turnover this autumn. He was a ﬁxation for the news media and foreign leaders, the handsome convention-ﬂouter who was breaking the calciﬁed mold of China’s leadership caste. Today, Bo’s fall has transﬁxed the world. He is suspended from the Politburo, under investigation for “serious violations” of Communist Party rules and being held incommunicado at an unknown location. His wife, Gu Kailai, long known for her own zealous ambition, stands accused by party investigators of murdering a British family friend, Neil Heywood,
BEIJING — News 1+1 is a sort of Chinese 60 Minutes, a newsmagazine on state-run China Central Television that explores — as much as the censors permit — the more contentious corners of Chinese society. In December 2009, the program took aim at a much-publicized anti-corruption campaign in the metropolis of Chongqing, a crusade that had grabbed national attention for its sweep, but raised deep concerns about its brutality and disregard for the law. What followed was an object lesson in how Bo Xilai, the campaign’s architect and the secretary of Chongqing’s Communist Party at the time, dealt with those who stood in his way. Bo called Jiao Li, a friend and colleague from the past who was president of China Central Television, or CCTV, at the time. In short order, the producer of News 1+1 was transferred to another program. The show’s popular host was brieﬂy banned from the airwaves. “Poor CCTV,” said Li Zhuang, a • TURN TO BO, 3A
IN MEXICO, FRONTRUNNER FENDS OFF ATTACKS IN PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE, 4A
ARIS MESSINIS/AFP-GETTY IMAGES
The leader of the Greek leftist coalition Syriza, Alexis Tsipras, greets supporters in Athens.
GREEK ELECTION IMPASSE HERALDS LENGTHY INSTABILITY BY NICHOLAS PAPHITIS Associated Press
“The campaign positions of Mr. Samaras are at the opposite end of the alternative proposals of a left-wing government,” said Tsipras, who strongly opposes Greece’s bailout commitments. “There can be no government of national salvation, as [Samaras] has named it, because his signatures and commitments to the loan agreement do not constitute salvation but a tragedy for the people and the country.” Another election, possibly as soon as next month, looms for a country that is reliant on international support to avoid bankruptcy. Sunday’s vote saw parties backing the draconian international rescue package lose their majority in Parliament — raising the chances of a possible Greek exit from the common euro currency. The uncertainty weighed on markets across Europe, with the Athens exchange closing 6.7 percent down.
ATHENS — Greece faces weeks of political turmoil that could scupper its ﬁnancial bailout after voters angry at crippling income cuts punished mainstream politicians, let a far-right extremist group into Parliament and gave no party enough votes to govern alone. Greek conservative leader Antonis Samaras, whose proausterity party came ﬁrst in national elections but fell well short of a governing majority, is now trying to form a new coalition government. Samaras has three days in which to build an alliance, after receiving the formal mandate from President Karolos Papoulias on Monday. But initial exploratory talks with Alexis Tsipras, the 38-yearold head of the second-placed Radical Left Coalition party, failed, increasing fears that Samaras — or anyone else — will be unable to command a major• TURN TO GREECE, 2A ity in Parliament.
MOSCOW — Vladimir Putin reclaimed the Russian presidency under the vaulted gold ceiling of a Kremlin palace Monday, as police tried to stamp out a second day of protests in the city, passing on orders to detain anyone wearing a white ribbon, the opposition’s symbol. In a ceremony anchored less in words than the physical attributes of power, Putin’s motorcade glided soundlessly through a city that seemed emptied of people. Inside the Kremlin’s battlement, he then walked over a long red carpet through a series of large chambers until he reached one that was lustrous and intricate. There Putin took the oath of ofﬁce for a third time, extending his status as Russia’s paramount leader to a total of 18 years. He has said he may run for a fourth six-year term after that, meaning he could legally remain in power until 2024. Putin, who will turn 60 in the fall, looked grave — and at times burdened — as he delivered a short address to a roomful of ministers, religious leaders and a sprinkling of international ﬁgures, including his close friend, Silvio Berlusconi, the former Italian prime minister. “I will do my best to justify the trust of millions of our citizens,” Putin said. “I think it is the meaning of my whole life, and it is my duty to serve our country, serve our people. This support encourages me and inspires me and helps me address the most difﬁcult tasks. We have passed a long and difﬁcult road together.” As a 30-gun salute cracked over an eerily quiet city, police were under orders to clear squares and boulevards around the Kremlin, where opposition protesters were gathering for a second day. Police reported that 120 people had been detained Monday, adding to upward of 400 who were rounded up by police ofﬁcers after an unexpectedly large anti-Putin march Sunday. • TURN TO RUSSIA, 2A
Ron Paul plotting a path to the convention BY MICHAEL D. SHEAR
New York Times Service
The marquee names in the cast of the 2012 presidential election are Mitt Romney and Barack Obama. But in the days ahead, watch for a somewhat forgotten member of the extras: Ron Paul. Paul, a Texas congressman, ofﬁcially remains in the hunt for the Republican nomination. And now, his well-organized network of faithful supporters is causing trouble for Romney at state party conventions around the country. In state after state, Paul’s libertarian-minded army of volunteers is trying to seize delegates from Romney, taking over party chairmanships and ousting longstanding party ofﬁcials with Romney ties. LARA SOLT/AP Nothing Paul is doing threatens Romney’s hold on the nomination. High school seniors show their support for Rep. Ron Paul But the actions could have an im- during a town hall meeting in Fort Worth, Texas. pact at the Republican National Convention on these fronts: during the primaries and caucuses. A headline from the Portland He is having some success. Press Herald in Maine tells the THE DELEGATES In Nevada on Saturday, Bob story there: “Ron Paul SupportIn essence, Paul is doing what List, a former governor and a Rom- ers Take Over Maine GOP ConRick Santorum and Newt Gingrich ney supporter, lost his seat on the vention.” Supporters of Paul were had threatened to do — use gather- Republican National Committee elected chairman and secretary of ings of conservative voters at state (and his ticket to the convention) the state convention. party conventions to peel away del- to a backer of Paul, according to • TURN TO PAUL, 2A egates that were awarded to Romney the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
OBAMA RELEASES A POSITIVE CAMPAIGN AD, 5A
GRACE PERIOD FOR FRANCE AS MARKETS DIGEST ELECTION, BUSINESS FRONT
KNICKS WIN THEIR FIRST PLAYOFF GAME IN 11 YEARS, SPORTS FRONT
INDEX NEWS EXTRA ..............3A WORLD NEWS............6A OPINION........................7A COMICS & PUZZLES....6B