THE Democrat Barack Obama won the American presidential election, beating his Republican opponent John McCain by 52 percent to 46 percent, and becoming the first black American president. Mr Obama said, “change has come to America”. The campaign had lasted for almost 18 months and was the most expensive ever fought. In the US Congress, the Democrats increased their majority, but not sufficiently to prevent a Republican filibuster to block legislation the party opposed strongly. The Congo experienced another of its periodical internal military uprisings when the Tutsi General Laurent Nkunda led a strong rebel force against the government army. Ministers and diplomats from the US and Europe hurried to the Congo capital Kinshasa; the UN Secretary General convened a peace meeting in Nairobi. Israel broke a six-month truce with the Hamas faction in Gaza, alleging that Hamas was tunneling beneath the border in order to capture Israeli soldiers. Six Palestinians were killed by the Israeli army and Hamas resumed the firing of rockets into Israel.


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