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Hillary Clinton officially announces she's running for President


Hillary Clinton finally announced her much-anticipated presidential candidacy yesterday with a campaign video based around American families, saying “everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion”.

Although nobody was surprised by the announcement, figures from Carole King to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo immediately expressed their support for her campaign.

Second in my inbox supporting Hillary is @NYGovCuomo

— Andrew J. Hawkins (@andyjayhawk) April 12, 2015

I'm in.

— Carole King (@Carole_King) April 12, 2015

This is Hillary reading a text from me that says "with you every step of the way, gurl" #mypresident

— Lena Dunham (@lenadunham) April 12, 2015

Best thing about #Hillary2016 video- All the different human configurations that come under the definition-in 2015- of "Family" Powerful.

— Bonnie Greer (@Bonn1eGreer) April 12, 2015

And, of course, it didn't take long for journalists to start ruminating on the various ways in which Hillary Clinton's womanhood and age would affect her "leadership ability":

AND SO IT BEGINS: @TIME on what perimenopause means for Hillary's leadership skills #sexism

— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) April 10, 2015

Whatever the outcome, let's hope Clinton's campaign marks the beginning of the end for phrases like "biologically speaking" in political analysis. 

Anna Leszkiewicz is a pop culture writer at the New Statesman.

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How Theresa May laid a trap for herself on the immigration target

When Home Secretary, she insisted on keeping foreign students in the figures – causing a headache for herself today.

When Home Secretary, Theresa May insisted that foreign students should continue to be counted in the overall immigration figures. Some cabinet colleagues, including then Business Secretary Vince Cable and Chancellor George Osborne wanted to reverse this. It was economically illiterate. Current ministers, like the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, also want foreign students exempted from the total.

David Cameron’s government aimed to cut immigration figures – including overseas students in that aim meant trying to limit one of the UK’s crucial financial resources. They are worth £25bn to the UK economy, and their fees make up 14 per cent of total university income. And the impact is not just financial – welcoming foreign students is diplomatically and culturally key to Britain’s reputation and its relationship with the rest of the world too. Even more important now Brexit is on its way.

But they stayed in the figures – a situation that, along with counterproductive visa restrictions also introduced by May’s old department, put a lot of foreign students off studying here. For example, there has been a 44 per cent decrease in the number of Indian students coming to Britain to study in the last five years.

Now May’s stubbornness on the migration figures appears to have caught up with her. The Times has revealed that the Prime Minister is ready to “soften her longstanding opposition to taking foreign students out of immigration totals”. It reports that she will offer to change the way the numbers are calculated.

Why the u-turn? No 10 says the concession is to ensure the Higher and Research Bill, key university legislation, can pass due to a Lords amendment urging the government not to count students as “long-term migrants” for “public policy purposes”.

But it will also be a factor in May’s manifesto pledge (and continuation of Cameron’s promise) to cut immigration to the “tens of thousands”. Until today, ministers had been unclear about whether this would be in the manifesto.

Now her u-turn on student figures is being seized upon by opposition parties as “massaging” the migration figures to meet her target. An accusation for which May only has herself, and her steadfast politicising of immigration, to blame.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

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