Springsteen, Jay-Z, put the pop in Obama rally

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Updated 06 November 2012
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Springsteen, Jay-Z, put the pop in Obama rally

COLUMBUS, Ohio: President Barack Obama brought along two opening acts on the final day of presidential campaign.
Bruce Springsteen. Jay-Z, but theirs wasn’t an introduction, it was pop culture moment.
The Boss was spending the entire day with Obama, traveling on Air Force One from Madison, Wisconsin, to Columbus, Ohio, and then to Des Moines, Iowa, where Obama planned a coda for his campaign, a finale where his run for the presidency began five years ago.
Jay-Z boomed his way into Columbus’s Nationwide Arena, performing a rendition of his hit “99 Problems” with a political twist, changing a key R-rated word to make his own political endorsement. “I got 99 problems but Mitt ain’t one,” he sang.
Springsteen added a whole new sense of vigor, even giddiness, to the Obama entourage, with many of the president’s aides and advisers appearing clearly star-struck by the rock star’s presence.
Springsteen, in jeans, black boots, a work shirt, vest and leather jacket, was not wearing the typical Air Force One attire. But the Obama camp has left formality aside; many aides are growing beards through Election Day and ties have been left behind in favor of sweaters for the chilly outdoor events during the last hours of the campaign.
Asked if there was any downside to using celebrity glitz instead of substance to drive voters to the polls in the final days, Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki laughed. “I think Bruce Springsteen might be offended by you calling him glitzy,” she said.
“Bruce Springsteen, and some other celebrities who have been helping us, reach a broad audience that sometimes tune out what’s being said by politicians,” she said.
As Psaki spoke to reporters at the back of the plane, Obama was up front and on the phone with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie discussing the recovery from Superstorm Sandy. Christie, who says he has attended more than a hundred Springsteen’s concerts, said Obama then handed the phone to Springsteen, a New Jersey native whose songs often have been tributes to his youth in the state.
Upon landing in Columbus, Springsteen told a reporter that it was his first trip on Air Force One. Grinning, he said: “It was pretty cool.” As for New Jersey, he said “I’m feeling pretty hopeful” that the state’s hard-hit shore will recover
In Madison and Columbus, Springsteen serenaded audiences with renditions of top anthems “No Surrender,” “Promised Land,” and “Land of Hope and Dreams.” But he also has a custom made campaign song named after the Obama motto “Forward” — “Not the best I’ve ever written.”
“How many things rhyme with Obama?” he asked.


France charges two ex-spies with passing secrets to ‘foreign power’

Updated 25 May 2018
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France charges two ex-spies with passing secrets to ‘foreign power’

  • Two former French spies, one of whom was reportedly posted in Beijing, have been charged with passing intelligence to a “foreign power,”
  • French media reports, citing sources close to the inquiry, said China is suspected

PARIS: Two former French spies, one of whom was reportedly posted in Beijing, have been charged with passing intelligence to a “foreign power,” a disclosure that has rocked the country’s intelligence services.
Defense Minister Florence Parly, who oversees the country’s General Directorate for External Security (DGSE), said Friday that she was not in a position to identify the country which recruited the agents, who were discovered and indicted in December.
“Two French agents in our service and probably one of the spouses of these agents are accused of serious acts likely to be considered acts of treason, on suspicions of delivering information to a foreign power,” Parly told CNews television.
“I can’t say much else,” she added.
“France has partners but we live in a dangerous world, and unfortunately these types of things can happen.”
French media reports, citing sources close to the inquiry, said China is suspected.
Parly said the agents were “quite likely” still in service at the time but investigators were still determining how long they had been passing along intelligence.
She also declined to specify the nature of compromised information, nor to reveal if the two agents were working together.
A judicial source told AFP late Thursday that two of the three suspects are being prosecuted for “delivering to a foreign power information that undermines the fundamental interests of the nation” and “compromising the secrecy of national defense.”
“One of them has also been charged for direct incitement to the crime of treason,” the source added.
The third person — believed to be the wife — has been indicted for “concealment of treasonable crimes” and placed under judicial control, meaning they are subject to certain constraints pending trial, according to the same source.
The armed forces ministry said: “These acts of extreme gravity have been detected by this service, which has brought these facts to its knowledge to the Paris prosecutor.”