Election Diary

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The Independent US

* John Kerry's secret weapon in the closing days of the campaign may be Bill Clinton. The former president, still recovering from his heart by-pass surgery six weeks ago, is expected to appear with the Democratic candidate at a rally in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, on Monday. Mr Clinton is far and away his party's biggest draw, and a master at galvanising black and minority voters. The race, he told The Washington Times, was "too close to call". It would be decided by Mr Kerry's ability to cope with "the last-minute avalanche of mud" from Republicans.

* John Kerry's secret weapon in the closing days of the campaign may be Bill Clinton. The former president, still recovering from his heart by-pass surgery six weeks ago, is expected to appear with the Democratic candidate at a rally in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania, on Monday. Mr Clinton is far and away his party's biggest draw, and a master at galvanising black and minority voters. The race, he told The Washington Times, was "too close to call". It would be decided by Mr Kerry's ability to cope with "the last-minute avalanche of mud" from Republicans.

* Contrary to reports, some foreigners are rooting for George Bush. On Tuesday, he was endorsed by President Putin of Russia. Yesterday, despite the "axis of evil" rhetoric, he got the nod from the head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Hasan Rowhani. According to Mr Rowhani, Iran historically had less trouble with Republicans than Democrats, and now was no exception. Predictably, the reaction from the Bush/Cheney camp was, thanks but no thanks. Democrats saw it as proof of Mr Bush's incompetence in the war on terror.

* Where the Democrats failed, the markets have succeeded. The Sinclair Broadcast Group has dropped plans to show its "documentary" critical of John Kerry's anti-Vietnam War activities. A day after sacking its Washington bureau chief, who said the programme was merepropaganda, Sinclair said only excerpts of Stolen Honour would be shown. In the 10 days since Sinclair announced its plan, its stock price fell 17 per cent, slashing $140m (£77m) off its value.

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