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Winston-Salem (United States) (AFP) - Michelle Obama, surprise star of the 2016 White House campaign, hit the trail Thursday with Democrat Hillary Clinton as the former and current first ladies fight to conquer battleground states before Election Day. Obama has emerged as a compelling force in the hard-fought campaign, delivering powerful arguments against Republican Donald Trump and in support of Clinton's bid to become the first female president in US history. Michelle and Hillary joined forces on the trail for the first time to headline a rally at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina -- a key swing state where early voting is already under way before the November 8 election.
By Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - In a curious convergence of events on the same day last week, four Venezuelan provincial courts issued identical rulings, state governors quickly hit Twitter to celebrate, then the election board emailed a short but bombshell statement. Opposition hopes for a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro were dashed, on grounds of fraud in an initial signature drive. For many in the opposition, that settled a years-old debate about the nature of Venezuela's socialist government, uniting them in conviction they are now fighting a dictatorship.