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Gorbachev Candidacy Gets Cold Shoulder

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared Friday that he will run for the Russian presidency, insisting he could win as the leader of a democratic coalition despite polls indicating he is deeply unpopular.

Having toyed publicly with the idea of a comeback since at least mid-1993, Gorbachev’s announcement Friday was no surprise.

Perhaps mindful of Gorbachev’s popularity ratings of less than 1 percent in the polls, Izvestia, the capital’s leading newspaper, ignored the announcement altogether. Friday’s evening news broadcasts gave it short shrift.

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Early exit polls show strong support to lift Ireland ban on abortion

UPDATED: 3:05 p.m.

updated  Ireland’s referendum Friday represented more than a vote on whether to end the country’s strict abortion ban. It was a battle for the very soul of a traditionally conservative Roman Catholic nation that has seen a wave of liberalization in recent years.