Passport

Breaking: Area politicians craft insincere pitches to voters

The Politico's Ben Smith blogs about the above anti-Obama mailer that's making the rounds and makes a good point:

The odd thing here is that both Clinton and Obama come from the pro-trade wing of the party. Both have, in less heated moments, defended free trade in theory, and neither wants to repeal Nafta.

But when in Ohio, you argue about who hates trade more.

Politicians pandering to voters? Shocking.

Passport

Ping-pong diplomacy is back in action, Kosovo style

TEH ENG KOON/AFP/Getty Images

China may not be willing to accept Kosovo as an independent state in diplomatic circles, but when the paddles come out, Kosovo's as equal a player as they come. In the first international appearance by a national Kosovo sports team since the breakaway province declared independence from Serbia last Sunday, Kosovo's ping-pong team took to the tables today for the opening rounds of the 2008 World Team Table Tennis Championship, in southern China

Although a full member of the International Table Tennis Federation, Kosovo is unlikely to be Olympic ready by August. In order to participate in Beijing, Kosovo would need full U.N. recognition as an independent state –- something Russia and China are unlikely to allow any time soon. Kosovar athletes will still be allowed to compete, but only under the Olympic flag, a concession actually made for Serbs back in 1992, when the then former Yugoslavia was under U.N. sanction.