In Nigeria, witnesses say gunmen killed at least twenty-five people at a student housing area in northeastern Nigeria. The attack took place late Monday at the Federal Polytechnic college in the town of Mubi in Adamawa state. Students at the school say gunshots were heard for at least three hours. Officials say the attackers may have known their victims because they entered a housing area and called out the victims by name. One student told VOA the attackers asked questions about religion and politics and then killed those who gave the wrong answers. The Islamist group Boko Haram is known for carrying out attacks in northeastern Nigeria. An official with Nigeria’s emergency management agency says the incident may have been linked to college politics after recent student elections.
Major political change is coming to the Republic of Georgia after the opposition defeated the ruling party of President Mikheil Saakashvili in Monday’s parliamentary election. The President admitted Tuesday his party had been defeated by the Georgian Dream Coalition led by billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili. In a statement carried on television, Mr. Saakashvili promised to help the opposition with a new government. He will remain Georgia’s president until his term ends next year. Under changes in the constitution, many of the President’s powers will then be turned over to a new prime minister. Mr. Ivanishvili has said he wants to be prime minister. He promised news reporters Tuesday that there will be no political repression just because some people have different political views. But, he also said anyone who committed a crime would be charged and put on trial.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has rejected increasing criticism of his economic policies by the Iranian people. Iran’s money is on a path to another record low against the dollar. Street traders said the rial traded as low as thirty-nine thousand per dollar in the unofficial or black market on Tuesday before rising a small amount. Last week, it traded at about twenty-four thousand to the dollar. Iran’s money has dropped sharply in value this year as the United States and European Union increased economic restrictions. The goal is to pressure Iran to suspend its disputed uranium enrichment program. Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani says he believes eighty percent of Iran’s economic problems are linked to government mismanagement. Mr. Ahmadinejad said government policies have nothing to do with the money’s weakness. He blames what he calls psychological pressure from Iran’s enemies.
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Amnesty International is urging Egypt to hold police and military members responsible for abuses against protesters. The rights group also wants the government to reform the police and armed forces to prevent future violations. The group released two reports on Tuesday. One said investigations showed that Egyptian troops abused, tortured and killed protesters during demonstrations. The protests took place under the rule of the country’s military council. Amnesty noted that military courts have tried protesters. But, it said no action has been taken against the soldiers responsible for the abuses. The second report details abuses by Egypt’s three main police forces.
The first of three debates between President Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney takes place Wednesday night. VOA’s Pam Dockins asked some observers what the two candidates have to do to win undecided voters. Milargo Zardine has her report in Special English.
President Obama is said to be leading Mr. Romney in studies of likely American voters. What should Mr. Obama do to win reelection? Larry Sabato is director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia.
I don’t think he has to draw any grand designs about a second term.
But for Mitt Romney Mr. Sabato says that’s a different story.
Most people see the debates, and the first one in particular, as a do-or-die moment for him.
Mark Hetherington, a professor at Vanderbilt University, says the debates give Mr. Romney a chance to give his campaign a lift.
Governor Romney, you know, needs to stay focused on the things that people, at least up until recently, you know, have viewed him as the stronger advocate for, and that is, economic concerns. His background in business seems to be something that people have generally liked.
Professor Hetherington says both candidates will have to work hard to get the attention of, and to connect with, undecided voters.
That’s the..., of course, the trick at this point is figuring out who you can move at this late stage in the game.
The Brookings Institution Stephen Hess says both men have to worry about how likeable they are to voters. President Obama, Mr. Hess says, will have to defend his record without looking too aggressive.
We can expect that he will be attacked. That’s the nature of debates and thing he has to do is not lose his cool.
As for Mr. Romney, Stephen Hess says, in general, there are two ways of looking at the candidate.
There’s the one that says that the American people are not terribly comfortable with him as a man and that it is very important for him to be better liked, likability. Then the other school would, of course, be this is his opportunity to show strong leadership.
Mr. Hess believes the American economy will be the main issue in the presidential election next month. He says each candidate will have to succeed on that issue to win over voters. I’m Milargo Zardine.
And, that’s the news in VOA Special English coming your way from Washington.