Sanders claims victory as review ordered of Iowa results

first_imgDemocratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders joined Pete Buttigieg on Thursday in claiming victory in the chaotic Iowa caucuses as an exasperated party chairman ordered a review of the results of the first nominating contest.Sanders, the leftist senator from Vermont, and Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, have been separated by a razor-thin margin in the results released so far from Monday’s caucuses.Buttigieg declared himself the winner based on the number of delegates from the midwestern state who will be sent to the Democratic convention in July while Sanders staked his claim based on the popular vote. Three days after the caucuses were held, however, the final results are yet to be released and some doubts have been raised about their accuracy.Democratic Party chairman Tom Perez finally stepped in on Thursday, demanding a review of the results from the caucuses embarrassingly marred by technical problems.”Enough is enough,” Perez said on Twitter. “In order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.”Perez said it would involve an examination of the results from each caucus site rather than a full recount. With returns in from 97 percent of the 1,765 precincts in Iowa, Buttigieg was leading by 26.2 percent to Sanders’ 26.1 percent in the delegate totals.Progressive Elizabeth Warren was next with 18.2 percent followed by former vice president Joe Biden with 15.8 percent and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar with 12.2 percent.- ‘Much, much, much too complicated’ -Sanders, speaking on Thursday in New Hampshire, the next state to hold a presidential nominating contest, pointed to his 6,000-vote edge.”In other words, some 6,000 more Iowans came out on caucus night to support our candidacy than the candidacy of anyone else,” he said.”From where I come from the person who gets the most votes wins,” Sanders said, arguing that too much emphasis was being put on delegate totals.At the end of the day, he said, the caucus system is “much, much, much too complicated” and it was a mistake for the state party to “rely on untested technology.”Party officials have blamed the technical meltdown on a “coding error” with an app that was being used for the first time to report results.President Donald Trump pounced on the debacle in the first-in-the-nation contest to decide which Democrat will face him in November.”The Democrats, they can’t count some simple votes, and yet they want to take over your health care system,” Trump said during remarks at the White House celebrating his acquittal at his Senate impeachment trial.Buttigieg appeared to be getting a bounce from his strong performance in Iowa as the latest New Hampshire poll showed the centrist candidate in second place in the Granite State, which holds a primary on Tuesday.The Boston Globe/WBZ-TV/Suffolk University poll had Sanders, who won the New Hampshire primary four years ago before eventually losing the nomination to Hillary Clinton, topping the field with 25 percent.Buttigieg’s support surged to 19 percent from 12 percent on Monday, according to the poll, while Biden saw his backing fall to 12 percent from 18 percent over the same period.- ‘Gut punch’ -Biden, who described his likely fourth-place finish in Iowa as a “gut punch,” was meeting with advisors on Thursday to map out strategy. He has topped national polls since entering the crowded race.”I expected to do better,” Biden said as he took the gloves off and launched attacks on Sanders and Buttigieg.”If Senator Sanders is the nominee for the party, every Democrat in America… will have to carry the label Senator Sanders has chosen for himself,” Biden said of the self-described democratic socialist.The 77-year-old Biden, who served in the Senate for 36 years before becoming Barack Obama’s vice president, went after the 38-year-old Buttigieg for a relative lack of experience.”It’s a risk — to be just straight up with you — for this party to nominate someone who’s never held an office higher than mayor of a town of 100,000 people in Indiana,” Biden said.The Sanders campaign announced, meanwhile, it had raised $25 million in January, its largest fund-raising month to date.After the New Hampshire vote, the candidates will turn their sights on the Nevada caucuses on February 22, the South Carolina primary on February 29 and then the March 3 “Super Tuesday,” when 14 states hold primariesMichael Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York who is also in the race, chose to ignore the early nominating contests and has spent hundreds of millions of dollars on ads hoping to make a splash on Super Tuesday.Topics :last_img read more

FT: Ghana tops Group F after stuttering Afcon campaign

first_imgFrustrated by Squirrels, surviving Lion attack, Ghana tames Wild DogsKwesi Appiah flashed a loaded smile after the second and final goal. It said without words, relief and justification in all the vilifications.Ghana left it late to qualify from Group F at Afcon 2019 after using for a guinea pig, Guinea-Bissau in a 2-0 win.They endured stuttering starts against Benin’s Squirrel, spirited but goal-less performance against Indomitable Lions of Cameroun.But after Guinea-Bissau let the Wild Dogs out, the Stars came alive with early second half goal from Jordan and a confidently knitted attack to give Partey a goal for the critics.Ghana’s campaign has been like one of those fearful flights in a shaking plane. A panicked and resigned passangers throwing sticks at a calm pilot who is running out of runaway. But just some yards off, the plane lifts off – relief. The Black Stars showed intent but with no points available for intent, it was actually Guinea-Bissau that would rattle the Stars  in the 17minute. A shot full of umpth, scrabbled across the cross ball after a goal-saving shave with keeper Ofori’s fingers.Coach Kwasi Appiah can finally smileBaba Rahaman epitomised Ghana’s game plan, clever crosses and hope to find Kwabena Owusu or Jordan Ayew or the more prolific header, Dede Ayew.Rahaman showed why he remains Ghana’s best left-back with his crisis-causing crosses. Samuel Owusu, a winger played catch up in this technique. His best crossing effort found Jordan Ayew inside the box. The ball found Jordan but Jordan’s head did not find the ball as his muscled effort to connect failed. Not that anybody would bank their hopes on Jordan’s aerial abilities. Ghana banks its hopes on the Crystal Palace’s ability to dribble, hold the ball or simply finish. And he did finish it with his feet early in the second half after Ghana’s favoured way of scoring was once again replicated inside the Suez stadium. Jordan punished Guinea-Bissau for a high defensive line after Wakaso sneaked in a long pass to set off a race between a defender and an attacker.Jordan won, wound up the defender and shot into the top corner of the far post to gift Ghanaians such a relief. Guinea-Bissau will feel hard down by all sides of the goal post – the far side, near and cross bar. When goalkeeper was not tipping a shot out, the post appeared tipped to help. Not once. Thrice.And the Wild Dogs would not slump because of a Jordan Ayew goal. What Wild Dog would that be? Mendes nearly followed after Liverpool and Egypt star Mohammed Salah with a freekick that made a sail straight towards the net.Keeper rooted largely. But another root, the side bar would intervene, the ball kissing the bar and out. It was Partey’s goal that finally smothered Guinea-Bissau’s determination. Facing two banks of four opponents sitting slightly deep, Wakaso took matters into his own hands after winger Owusu hestitated from dashing through Bissau bodies. He passed across to Wakaso who directed it to Dede Ayew who had his back to the edge of the box. He turned quickly, spotted Rahaman’s run beind a defender and dropped a pass after the left-back beat the offside trap. Rahaman cut the ball back in as Partey ghosted in to connect for the second goal.That was when Kwesi Appiah smiled. Like Jesus calmed the storm, the goal will calm a choppy sea of angry supporters who say the coach is not a tactician.    Ghana’s last shot at qualification at Afcon 2019 in Egypt is underway. The Black Stars face Guinea-Bissau. Anything less than a win for the Black Stars could be F for fail in Group F.                                                             ===============================85mins: Lively Samuel Owusu comes off for Kwadwo Asamoah. The Stars are flashing smiles all over the pitch. And GNB’s determination looks smothered right now. Who can score three goals in five minutes at Afcon? Well GNB would need that right now. Their Afcon campaign has been goal-lessCaleb Ekuban is on for Partey who has made his point for inclusion after a clamour for bench time. Ekuban will now have the chance to clamour for game time. GOOOAALLLLLL!!!!!!!Partey scores!!!!!!. He gets to the end of a nice piece of supporting roles first from Wakaso, then to Dede Ayew who picks Baba Rahaman down the left after the defender beats the offside trap. He cuts the ball inside before slumping to the ground.No problem, Partey steals in to introduce the ball into the net. Ghana gets a brace. We need to spend time in talking about this goal. It represents all that Ghanaians want to see in the Black Stars. Despite  two banks of four GNB players sitting quite deep, Wakaso still initiates an attack around the wall of ‘Wild Dogs’.66mins: Kwabena Owusu is yanked off for Afriyie Acquah for his first involvement in Ghana’s Afcon campaign. It is a defensive midfielder for a striker as Kwesi Appiah tries to screen the defence from the ‘Wild Dogs’.64mins : Quick session of GNB chances. Frist a well taken freekick is palmed away by a piece of great goalkeeping as the ball sailed towards the top near post. And then a corner that needed nobody, head or leg to trigger palpitations. The ball skimmed across the cross bar after it tried to dink. 55mins: Partey finally comes to the party! Fiery shot at the edge of the box! At least this is on target. Perhaps his first shot on target for the highly-rated Ghanaian player.51mins: Mendes bullet shot at the edge of the box fires past tame defenders and a largely rooted keeper. But another root – the near post turns the shot out! The ‘Wild Dogs’ of GNB will not be tamed by Jordan goal!GOOAAALLLLL!!!!!!46mins: Jordan latches on to a through pass down the left as GNB keep a high line. The Crystal Palace striker darts and aGNB defender actually shows his the way past him, he angles his body and lets off a shoot into the top far post.Half-time43mins: Dede Ayew and later Thomas Partey try direct shots outside the box after a plethora of crosses bear little fruit. But their attempts, grass-cutting as they are, are dealt with by a well-positioned keeper. Partey’s shot spilled but recovers it at the second attempt40mins: Under no pressure except the pressure to score, Kwabena Owusu heads wide, leaving the keeper untested after Samuel Owusu worked hard inside the penalty box to cross-find him.35mins: Jordan Ayew, largely starved of service gets his and Ghana’s best chance yet. A long pass from deep off the boot of Wakaso found him with the keeper to beat and a defender saying his last prayers. God answered the defender, ball shaves the far post. Ghana so close yet so far.29mins: A proper Owusu cross finds Jordan Ayew nicely. It is Jordan’s head that can’t find the ball. Let’s himself down. But who expects Jordan to score with his head? Never been a strength.26mins: Poor Partey freekick. Bereft of energy, confidence and technique, the weak shot cum cross some yards away from the penalty box is expelled by GNB busy bodies.22mins: Joseph Aidoo picks a yellow card for late tackle on a sprinting Mendes deep inside the left. GNB is set up to counterattack after soaking in enough of the eager Black Stars players.17mins: GNB attacker Piqueti unleashes the best shot so far, canoning off the cross bar. Ferocious! Slightly elevated by the fingers of goalkeeper to hit the cross bar. It is actually GNB who has tested Ghana more despite seeing it less.16mins: Baba Rahaman cross from the left is delightful but for the lack of contact to the intended target Andre Ayew. GNB goalkeeper leaps to grab it.14mins: GNB attacker Mama Blade goes solo and opts for the ground inside the penalty box when a little show of enterprising footwork could have led to a suprise.An animated Black Stars appear fully seized of this game’s demands. But despite spending lots of time in the scoring-half of the pitch, here has been no shot on target after 12minutes. Several heavily weighted crosses that miss the intended player or simply blocked passes in the final third.last_img read more