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French far-right leader Marine Le Pen announces 2022 presidential bid



French far-right leader Marine Le Pen isn’t wasting time. She announced her intention to stand in France’s 2022 presidential elections.

“My decision is made,” Le Pen said Thursday as she presented her New Year’s wishes.

Le Pen said she is proposing a “grand alternative to put the country back on its feet” and create “national unity.”

Le Pen reached the runoff in the 2017 election but lost badly to Emmanuel Macron, who is now in the midst of one of the most difficult periods of his presidency. In addition to the grassroots yellow vest movement that’s seeking social and economic justice, Macron is facing a strike over reforms to the country’s pension system that has run for 43 days.


She noted that her candidacy must be approved at her National Rally party’s congress in 2021, something that Jordan Bardella, a rising star in the party and European parliamentary deputy, said on BFMTV should pose no problem.

Regarding the early announcement of her candidacy, he said it gives France a “message of hope.”

Ahead of municipal elections in March, Le Pen is seeking to lure disenchanted voters from the center-right, and even from the far-left.

Image: Bertrand Guay, AFP

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Coronavirus epidemic surges in South Korea as cases exceed 3,000



South Korea confirmed 813 more coronavirus cases on Saturday, the biggest increase to date for the country, taking the national total to 3,150 infections with four additional deaths.

Authorities also reported the country’s first case of reinfection – a 73-year-old woman who tested positive for a second time after her recovery and release from hospital last week.

The illness recurred “as her immune system had declined”, said Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) official Kwon Jun-wook.

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2020 Election

Donald Trump has launched a 2020 campaign disinformation juggernaut — and it’s gaining speed



You may be forgiven if you are under the impression that the Trump administration's response to the coronavirus outbreak is just one more example of his incompetence, aggressive ignorance, contempt for science and outright abuse of government. But it's worse than that. For the White House, and especially for Donald Trump's re-election campaign, it's an opportunity to put into play the massive disinformation apparatus they have built for the 2020 presidential race.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Never Trumpers fear for their safety if they dare attend CPAC: report



On Saturday, Politico profiled a handful of longtime conservatives who have criticized President Donald Trump — and the general consensus was that they feared hostility at this year's annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

One such figure was former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL), a Tea Party darling who has since attacked Trump for undermining the rule of law, and briefly mounted a presidential primary challenge. He attended CPAC as a guest of comedian Trevor Noah, and attendees who saw him seemed conflicted. "Torn between catching up with an old colleague and being singled out by observers as talking to a Trump foe, they split the difference — and instead kept asking him how his wife was doing," wrote Tina Nguyen.

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