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Geopolitics

The Obama Conundrum: A French Glance Toward Election Day

Editorial: Barack Obama’s bid for re-election in 2012 could be smooth sailing, but is he chipping away at America’s leading role in the world?

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Alexenia Dimitrova

Less than six months after the Democrats' expected but still memorable midterm shellacking, Barack Obama seems to be back in control of his country. Almost no one in Washington today seems to foster any serious doubts about his chances to win a second term in 2012.

Many things can change, of course, during the 18 months left before the next election day, and it appears obvious to many that the president's strength today comes as much from his adversaries' weakness as from his own merits. The fact that America now seems bent on keeping him in the White House does not mean that people there are happy with their political leaders and prefer to go with political continuity. The reality is that, with unemployment rates stuck at "European levels," the United States is a more dispirited nation than ever, profoundly unsatisfied with the present and worried about the future.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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