NEWS STAND: Obama’s Speech, Caucus Friction, Atlanta Stays Black, China in Africa

The Root's take on the news.


The full story in the Washington Post


The string of black mayors remains unbroken in Atlanta. A recount confirmed last night that Kassim Reed had defeated City council member Mary Norwood by 714 votes. A recount began after Reed’s margin of victory was less than one percent of the total.

Norwood, who represents the mostly-white Buckhead section of the city, has been favored in the election because of Atlanta’s growing white population and widespread disaffection with previous city administrations. African Americans have led the city since 1973, when Maynard Jackson became the first black mayor of a major southern city.

Other major cities have had black mayors only to see white politicians regain control including Los Angeles (Tom Bradley), Chicago (Harold Washington) and New York (David Dinkins). Reed, 40, will take office on Jan. 4.

You can read the Atlanta papers’ take here.


China’s flirtation with African countries has worried some in the West, including the U.S. Seeking natural resources to feed its giant manufacturing machine, China has become the biggest investor in a number of African countries – often those led by unsavory dictators. The big advantage for a lot of countries is that the Chinese deals come with no sticky strings like better governance or observance of human rights as preconditions. In 2006, China signed deals with African countries with $40 billion. Africa now provides a third of China’s oil imports.

African experts brush off complaints about China’s involvement. ┬áDambisa Moyo, the Zambian economist who riled western donors with her book “Dead Aid,” says: “China’s African role is wider, more sophisticated and more businesslike than any other country’s at any time in the postwar period.” She argues that business deals are more likely to be carried through than government-to-government deals where the money ends up disappearing.