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Palin casts ballot, keeps it secret

world Updated: Nov 05, 2008 00:53 IST

AFP
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Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin cast her ballot in her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, on Tuesday but refused to reveal whom she voted for.

"I am also exercising my right to privilege, see, and I don't have to tell anybody who I vote for," Palin told reporters after voting at Wasilla cek."

The crisis will also be discussed at a 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit in Johannesburg at the weekend, a South African foreign ministry spokesman said.

Analysts say there is no doubt that Kigali's Tutsi-dominated regime assists Nkunda, frustrated by Kinshasa's failure to disarm a Rwandan Hutu rebel group harbouring perpetrators of the 1994 genocide against Tutsis.

Meanwhile, the UN is struggling to reinforce overstreched peacekeepers trying to protect civilians in the Goma area after government forces were routed by advancing rebels who have stopped outside the town.

"We are in the process of redeploying. We have already reinforced Goma and now we will continue in the coming days," said the UN's top peacekeeping official, Alain Le Roy, in Goma.

MONUC is the world's largest peacekeeping force, with 17,000 troops in the country, but only has a few thousand deployed in Nord-Kivu.

DR Congo's newly-appointed Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito visited Goma on Tuesday at the start of a three-day visit to the troubled east of the country, which an aide said was designed to "comfort the population".

UNICEF reported Tuesday that children have been forcibly recruited into armed groups in rebel-held areas of eastern DR Congo.

The UN Children's organisation said it had received reports from aid workers that 37 children had been recruited into the Mai-Mai armed groups in the Rutshuru region north of regional capital Goma.

Aid agencies were Tuesday battling outbreaks of cholera among tens of thousands of displaced people scattered in four camps in the eastern Nord-Kivu province, more than 100 to date but with the number growing by up to 10 new cases a day.

UN workers distributed water and biscuits to refugees at the Kibati camp on the northern outskirts of Goma on Tuesday, an AFP photographer reported, amid concerns over the whereabouts of people who have fled other camps.

The UN said on Monday that "uy university students wanting to be more involved in political and economic issues compared with past elections.

About 40 percent of the new voters registered this year are under 25, according to the Virginia State Board of Elections as surveys showed nearly two-to-one support for Obama over McCain among voters nationwide aged 18 to 29.

One of the largest increases of registered voters was recorded here in Blacksburg, a Democratic bastion surrounded by Republican strongholds in the stFerrell said his vote would go for McCain, a 72-year-old former prisoner of war in Vietnam.

"I am not necessarily saying McCain is the perfect person for the job, but Obama, he won't wear the American flag pin and that's the main issue I have with him," said the V-Tech junior marketing student as he was hurrying for his next class.

Obama's patriotism was questioned by some when he opted not to don a Stars-and-Stripes lapel flagpin at some points in the election primary campaign. It is a US presidential tradition he now seems largely to have adopted.

Virginia together with Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania are key battleground states.

In 2004, incumbent President George W. Bush won Virginia easily -- 54 percent to 45 percent -- over his Democratic rival John Kerry, the 10th straight time a Republican presidential candidate had carried the state.