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France’s Right-Wing National Rally Party Poised to Win in France



National Rally Party, Le Pen
Marine Le Pen: Reuters Image

On the last day of voting before Sunday’s first round of parliamentary elections, France’s conservative National Rally (RN)grew its lead, in an opinion poll that put it close to a majority.

Marine Le Pen’s National Rally party has been ahead in the polls since President Emmanuel Macron called an unexpected election this month. The election has caused France to be uncertain and has scared its European neighbors and the financial markets.

Les Echos newspaper released a new Opinion Way poll on Friday that showed the National Rally could get as much as 37% of the vote. This is two percentage points more than the poll’s previous score from last week.

The expected vote total for Macron’s moderate Together party was 20%, which is two points less than the previous report. The left-wing group New Popular Front had the same 28% of the vote as before.

In a different poll put together by Elabe, BFM TV found that the RN and its allies could get between 260 and 295 seats in the new parliament. This would put them over the 289-seat threshold needed for an absolute majority, which would give them a clear mandate to rule.

It’s hard to make accurate seat projections because the outcome rests on how 577 constituencies across France vote. Also, after Sunday’s first round, candidates who are against the RN may work together to pull their names from the race in order to beat far-right candidates in the second round on July 7.

To win in the first round, a candidate needs to get an absolute majority of the votes cast as well as votes from at least 25% of the eligible voters in the district. It’s hard to do this, and most districts have to go to a second round of voting. The winner in the second round is the person who got the most votes.

The idea of either an RN-led government or a split parliament has scared the financial markets. On Friday, the risk premium on French government bonds rose to its highest level since the euro zone crisis in 2012.

If the National Rally won the election outright, they would have to “cohabit” with Macron for the rest of his term, until 2027. This would be the first time that a French president had to share power with a party that is not part of the major political party.

National Rally’s Anti – EU Views

The RN has toned down some of its anti-EU views and promised to be responsible with money, but it’s still not clear how it will pay for its election promises or what its strong doubts about the EU will mean for its future unity.

Racism is at the heart of the party’s “French first” policies, even though Le Pen is trying to clean up the party she received from her racist father, Jean-Marie.

In the last TV debate on Thursday, Macron’s Prime Minister Gabriel Attal said that his RN opponent Jordan Bardella was still letting racist speech happen in his far-right camp. Bardella denied the allegation.

The party has done well because people are angry at Macron. Macron’s choice to run for president in 2017 as the leader of a new, broad-based centrist movement changed French politics and was meant to stop the rise of radical parties.

People say that he made changes that were good for business, but many French voters think that he didn’t care about their worries about the rising cost of living and worsening public services.

Le Pen hinted at the kinds of fights that living together might cause on Friday when she said that an RN prime minister would block Macron’s choice for the French official at the European Commission in Brussels.

She told Europe 1 radio, “The prime minister, not the president, is the one who gets to choose the French commissioner.” A foreign source said Thursday that Macron backed Thierry Breton for a new term. Breton is a former businessman who now oversees the internal markets at the Commission.

Source: Reuters

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Ana Wong is a sharp and insightful journalist known for her in-depth reporting on tech and finance. With a knack for breaking down complex topics, she makes them accessible for everyday readers.


US President Joe Biden Dismisses Calls for Cognitive Test



US President Joe Biden - ABC News Image
US President Joe Biden - ABC News Image

In a television interview on Friday, US President Joe Biden deflected queries on his mental health in an attempt to put a stop to demands that he withdraw his reelection campaign after his dismal debate performance with former President Donald J. Trump.

Sensations of discontent among certain Democratic voters, lawmakers, and fundraisers were growing, and the one-on-one meeting with the ABC network was billed as the most important of the 81-year-old president’s lengthy career.

However, the 22-minute sit-down with  ABC’s George Stephanopoulos seemed to offer little comfort as Biden continued to downplay polls and party concerns that the debate had seriously harmed his chances while blaming illness for his poor performance.

“I was feeling sick and miserable. The president stated, “I just had a really bad cold,” in his first lengthy, unscripted statement since his confrontation with Republican challenger Donald Trump last week.

The purpose of the interview was to help Biden weather the storm, but his rough voice and rambling responses immediately prompted criticism from Democrats for coming across as “out of touch.”

“I don’t think anybody’s more qualified to be president or win this race than me,” Biden responded when asked if continuing in the race would endanger Democrats’ chances of winning the presidency.

Biden was Defiant

He declined requests for a mental health evaluation, claiming that his daily tasks as president need him to take a cognitive test. I have to pass that test every day for all I do.

As the program aired, the Trump campaign jokingly stated on social media that “Biden sounds great” before declaring that the president “is in denial and in decline.”

The interview followed Biden’s sluggish and frequently nonsensical performance in the Atlanta debate against Trump, which sent shockwaves through his party and prompted demands for him to withdraw from the contest.

The Biden team has strongly refuted any notion that he could pull out and, in the final hours before the ABC interview, unveiled a rigorous campaign itinerary for the remainder of July.

The president made a strong declaration during an animated stump speech at a Madison, Wisconsin, campaign rally: “I’m staying in the race.” Donald Trump will lose to me.

Following the debate, surveys have showed a growing margin in favor of Trump, and a number of Democratic-leaning political pundits, major newspapers, and at least four members of Congress have called for Biden to resign.

Democrats turning on Biden

US media reported that House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner were arranging crisis discussions with members in the coming days.

Throughout Friday’s interview, ABC interviewer George Stephanopoulos brought up the rising Democratic demand for a discussion on selecting a new candidate and questioned Biden about his willingness to resign if he became certain he couldn’t defeat Trump.

“Well, that depends. He responded, “I might do that if the Lord Almighty comes down and tells me that.”

After the fact, Biden clarified that he had not seen the debate, saying, “I don’t think I did, no.”

He also rejected the notion that his subpar performance was an indication of a more significant medical issue.

“It was a bad episode with no signs of a major illness.” I was worn out. In terms of getting ready, I disregarded my gut feelings, and I had a terrible night,” Biden remarked.

Top White House assistant to Barack Obama, David Axelrod, who has occasionally caused trouble for the Biden administration, claimed that the interview revealed a president who is “dangerously out of touch” and expressed doubts about his suitability for office.

He led Trump by ten points at this moment four years ago (in polls). He is now six points behind, according to Axelrod’s post on X.

According to the White House, Biden will travel to Pennsylvania this weekend and then deliver a press conference during the NATO summit in Washington the following week.


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Election News

President Joe Biden Says “I’m Not Going Anywhere” Vows to Stay in the Race



President joe Biden

President Joe Biden on Thursday told supporters I’m not going anywhere” to a crowd gathered for a July Fourth barbecue on the White House South Lawn Thursday. His comments come after his disastrous debate with former President Donald J. Trump.

President Biden is facing a growing sense that he may have just days to make a persuasive case that he is fit for office before Democratic support for him completely evaporates.

In a Wednesday night meeting with Democratic governors, Biden acknowledged that he needs to get more sleep and limit evening events so he can turn in earlier to be rested for the job, according to three people familiar with the meeting, who also spoke on condition of anonymity.

One person said the president joked that his health was fine, it was his brain that had challenges.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who was in the meeting, was asked Thursday by the Associated Press about the idea that Biden wants to limit events after 8 p.m. and responded: “He did that with a smile on his face. It was more of a rhetorical framework of just being fit and rested.”

Newsom, who was campaigning for Biden in western Michigan, added, “I like when a president acknowledges they’re human.”

Biden at a make of break moment

In an interview with a Wisconsin radio station that aired Thursday, Biden argued that much more than his own political future was in jeopardy, saying: “The stakes are really high. I know you know this. For democracy, for freedom … our economy, they’re all on the line.”

The interview on the Earl Ingram Show on the Civic Media Radio Network, taped Wednesday, was the part of a media and public events blitz that the Democratic president and his staff have acknowledged as a make-or-break moment.

At the July Fourth barbecue, President Biden welcomed military families formally from a lectern, but then went over to personally greet the crowd for a few moments.

He suddenly grabbed a microphone and stood in the center of the grass, explaining that there were thousands of people waiting to come into the party and he needed to duck back inside because the grounds were locked down as long as he was out there.

The president is scheduled to campaign in Wisconsin on Friday and sit for an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that will air as a prime-time special that night.

He plans to be in Philadelphia on Sunday and hold a full news conference during the NATO summit in Washington next week.

It is not a given that his campaign will survive even that long if he does not deliver a strong showing on ABC. Discussions that were once a whisper around who should step into his place should he bow out are growing louder.

For now, President Biden is not ready to walk away and he has communicated that in conversations with Democratic governors, close allies and staffers from his campaign.

Source: AP

Hunter Biden Sues Fox News Over Explicit Images Featured In A Streaming Series

Hunter Biden Sues Fox News Over Explicit Images Featured In A Streaming Series


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Election News

Biden Has Scheduled His First Interview After His Shaky Debate Performance



Biden Pardons Thousands of Service Members Convicted Under Gay Sex Ban

President Joe Biden has booked his first television interview since his disastrous debate with former President Trump last week, which prompted many in his party to wonder whether he should be the Democratic nominee.

On Friday at 6:30 p.m. ET, ABC will carry portions of George Stephanopoulos’ interview with Biden on “World News Tonight with David Muir.” The extended interview will appear Sunday on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”


Biden | ABC Image

Biden Has Scheduled His First Interview After His Shaky Debate Performance

During last week’s CNN debate, Biden struggled to finish sentences and frequently appeared bewildered while Trump spewed forth falsehoods, raising serious concerns about Biden’s age and capacity to serve a second term.

The interview is a significant coup for ABC News and a watershed moment for Biden following his halting debate performance. Although Biden has made multiple public appearances since the debate, he has read prepared statements at each venue.

This will be his first unscripted appearance since the debate. Several White House supporters have publicly and privately urged Biden to quickly hold a live interview or news conference to allay concerns about the president’s understanding.

ABC did not immediately reply to a request for comment on whether it intends to publish the entire unedited interview version. Due to time limits, networks typically trim down programming interviews.


Biden | Rolling Stone Image

Biden Has Scheduled His First Interview After His Shaky Debate Performance

Biden’s last significant interview was with David Muir in Normandy last month. He earlier spoke with CNN’s Erin Burnett on May 8 and Time magazine’s Massimo Calabresi on May 28.

According to CNN, the interview with ABC will be his fourth major televised interview in 2024. Biden has conducted fewer interviews than his prior predecessors.


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