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World, Nation Briefs


Monday, February 26, 2018
California Democratic Party Won’t Endorse Feinstein in Primary

San Diego — U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein failed to win the official endorsement of the California Democratic Party as she seeks her fifth term, another sign that the party is divided over how best to battle Republicans in Washington.

Democratic activists were more eager to back her primary challenger, state Senate leader Kevin de Leon, who is touting himself as a fresh face with stronger progressive credentials, particularly on immigration.

However, he too failed to earn the 60 percent support needed to win the endorsement on Saturday at Democrats’ annual convention.

That means neither candidate will get the party’s seal of approval or extra campaign cash leading into the June primary.

With Democrats still licking their wounds from the 2016 election, some of the party’s biggest stars, including U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, urged unity ahead of the midterm elections. They reminded more than 3,000 activists gathered this weekend that President Donald Trump is their common enemy.

Though party activists rebuked Feinstein, she has millions of dollars to run a successful campaign and polling has shown she enjoys wide support among Democratic voters and independents, a critical piece of the electorate in a race without a Republican.

Syrian Capital, Its Suburbs Calm After UN Cease-Fire Vote

Beirut — The Syrian capital and its embattled eastern suburbs were relatively calm on Sunday, following the U.N. Security Council’s unanimous approval of a resolution demanding a 30-day cease-fire across Syria, opposition activists and residents of Damascus said.

The activists reported few violations, including some clashes, on the southern edge of the rebel-held suburbs, known as eastern Ghouta, and two airstrikes late on Saturday night, shortly after the resolution was adopted. The calm came after a week of intense airstrikes and shelling that killed more than 500 people in eastern Ghouta and left dozens dead or wounded in the government-held Damascus, which rebels pelted with mortar shells.

“This has been the calmest night since last Sunday,” said Rami Abdurrahman who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, referring to the start of the bombing campaign on Feb. 19. He said there have been no deaths reported since the resolution passed.

China Paves Way for Xi Jinping To Remain Leader For Years

Beijing — China’s ruling Communist Party has proposed scrapping term limits for the country’s president, the official news agency said, appearing to lay the groundwork for party leader Xi Jinping to rule as president beyond 2023.

The party’s Central Committee proposed to remove from the constitution the expression that China’s president and vice president “shall serve no more than two consecutive terms,” the Xinhua News Agency said on Sunday.

“Xi Jinping has finally achieved his ultimate goal when he first embarked on Chinese politics — that is to be the Mao Zedong of the 21st century,” said Willy Lam, a political analyst at the Chinese University in Hong Kong.

Xi, 64, cemented his status as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao in the 1970s at last year’s twice-a-decade Communist Party congress, where his name and a political theory attributed to him were added to the party constitution as he was given a second five-year term as general secretary.

— Wire reports