Chatter: Four more years for President Barack Obama




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Need to know:
"Four more years."
Chances are that's a phrase you've read many times in the past 12 hours, since within minutes of the presidential election being called for Barack Obama, it was already the most retweeted phrase in the history of, well, ever.

Like every thing else about last night, it happened faster than anyone would have predicted (apart, perhaps, from freaky Nate Silver). The first swing states swung blue and by the time Ohio went to Obama, everything was over. (Unless of course you were Karl Rove, in which case you imploded in a fit of willful disbelief.) Obama had the time to get up to 303 electoral votes before Mitt Romney officially threw in the towel, having hastily put together the concession speech he never thought he'd need. Several of Mitt's "thank you... thank you so very much"s later and Obama was making his second victory address, telling Americans of all stripes to put their dukes down, leave the campaign behind and come together for those famous four more years.

The morning after, the congratulations are coming thick and fast from the rest of the world – which, as its people told us, wanted this result. They too will be watching to see if, as Obama promised last night, "the best is yet to come."

With gay marriage now legal in three more states? With more women in the Senate than ever before? With two states that now let you smoke weed for fun? The suspense may be over, but the story's just beginning. Follow it with us here.

Want to know:
Call us Psychic Silver, but one prediction we're happy to make is that everyone will have a lot more time for all those other huge international stories now that the campaign's no longer clogging up our newsfeeds.

Syria, for example. British Prime Minister David Cameron is due to open talks with Syrian rebels any moment, a day after saying he'd do "anything, anything" to get President Bashar al-Assad out of Syria.

That "anything" could consist of granting Assad safe passage in exchange for leaving power and the country, Cameron has suggested. Today, visiting refugee camps on the Syrian-Jordanian border, he insisted "we have got to do more" to bring about a post-Assad future – including meeting with armed rebels to in a bid to "help shape the opposition."

Meanwhile around 30 people have been killed in Syria today, activists report, including at least 10 in bombings in Damascus.

Dull but important:
You know what else is still going on? The euro crisis. And at the center of it, still, is Greece, which is preparing to decide on a new batch of austerity measures.

The Greek parliament votes this evening on its fourth such package in three years. This one comprises pension reforms, wage cuts and tax hikes designed to save Greece some $17 billion. The measures must be passed before the European Union and International Monetary Fund agree to pay out the next installment of Greece's $167-billion bailout.

Unions and opposition supporters, however, are doing their best to stop them. The country has been on nationwide strike since yesterday; today, massive rallies are planned outside parliament to tell the coalition government not to give in to its creditors' "blackmail."

Just because:
Fresh from banning protests, Bahrain has now revoked the citizenship of dozens of opposition activists.

Thirty-one Bahrainis are no longer Bahrainis, having – the Interior Ministry says – "caused damage to state security." They include former MPs and senior members of at least three opposition movements, as well as several Shiite clerics.

Activists say the move is yet another attempt to punish and intimidate those who express dissent. The government maintains it is only keeping order. And those who have drawn a link between the crackdown on protests and recent deadly bombings, ministers say, are only attempting to "spread panic."

Strange but true:
One last word on the US election to honor our Most Dedicated Voter of 2012, who cast her ballot while giving birth.

Chicago native Galicia Malone, 21, stopped by the polling station to make her first ever vote, while in labor with her first ever child. Kudos.

Our Most Dedicated... Something Else, meanwhile, is Donald Trump – for reasons his apoplectic Twitterings should make clear.