By Daniel Zarchy
*Primary*: Heading into Super Tuesday, the Democratic primary is still anyone’s game, with only Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Mike Gravel still in the race.
Obama received some key endorsements from Sens. Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry, and the New York Times endorsed Clinton and John McCain.
On the GOP side, the Arizona senator’s recent surge of success has him on top of Govs. Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney, who have had less success in the more recent primaries.
Still, with the unusually large voting group Feb. 5, which comprises more than half of all delegates, the race is far from won on either side.
Subprime mortgage rates continue to plague the U.S. economy, causing a major drop in the stock market and the slowest periods of economic growth since 2002. The Federal Reserve is taking aggressive action to stimulate growth, including massive cuts to interest rates. The president and Congress also passed a $146 billion stimulus package to help supplement the push.
The FBI has announced inquiries into 14 lending companies that may have contributed to the current housing value crisis, possibly leading to fraud and insider trading charges.
*Egypt/Gaza*: Hamas, the militant anti-Israel group in Gaza that was elected to power in 2006, blew a hole in the wall between Gaza and Egypt last week. The tens of thousands of Palestinians who poured in to buy supplies were reportedly accepted and welcomed by the Northern Egyptian residents.
Now, Fatah and Hamas, the two rival Palestinian groups are in Cairo to negotiate an amicable end to what is now viewed as a border crisis between Egypt and Gaza. Egyptian officials are pressing Fatah and Hamas to group together, though the two groups continue to fight and are far from cooperating. Meanwhile, both Fatah and Egyptian forces say they will take control of and seal the border.
*United Nations/Iran*: After two rounds of U.N. sanctions against Iran, in punishment for continuing is nuclear program, there has been an observable effect on the Iranian economy, according to the British ambassador.
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims that the Iranian economy is unaffected, and promised to push forward with the Iranian nuclear program, which is only intended to produce electricity, he said.
Though there is disagreement between members of the U.N. Security Council on the legitimacy of the Iranian program, U.N. diplomats say a third round of sanctions is on the way in the following weeks and threaten “further appropriate measures” should the nuclear program continue.