MUNCIE, Indiana, 7:45 p.m. — Today was exhausting (*wipes forehead*). Doing nothing is indeed hard work…and now I sound like a politician…but onward, ho…

Minutes ago, I decided to search for a summer job. (YIKES!) I opened up Firefox, and the main page of Berliner Morgenpost, a first-tier German newspaper, popped up. Yes, it’s my homepage. I like being different.

I intended to go straight on to Google, but I noticed a picture in the top left corner: a man in silhouette in front of an American flag. The name “Barack Obama” accompanied the photograph.

Being the curious young lad I am, I clicked on the photo. Seconds later, I was looking at Senator Obama giving a speech, or answering a question, or doing whatever else presidential candidates do.

That was one picture. There were 13 more.

The 14 photographs ranged across Obama’s life: the young Barack with his father; Obama’s parents, together (sidenote: Obama’s parents divorced in his youth); Obama’s high-school class in Hawaii; Obama’s senior-year high-school yearbook; Obama teaching law at the University of Chicago; and it goes on.

The captions for the pictures are equally interesting. The caption accompanying photograph 13 in the series, which shows Obama dancing with wife Michelle, tranlates to, “He is popular and has a good chance to become the Democratic presidential candidate…”

Obama is international news. Media outlets around the globe recognize Obama’s momentum and its implications for them come Jan. 20, 2009. Despite international discontent with U.S. foreign policy and leadership over the past several years, the president of the United States remains the most influential head of state in the modern world.

The next president’s policies will have international repercussions. People the world over are watching to see what those policies could mean for them.

News organizations in the People’s Republic of China are closely following developments in the U.S. presidential race. People’s Daily, based in Beijing, has scores of online articles devoted to the race. The most recent carries the title, “Obama, Clinton in dead heat.” It is dated today, Jan. 7.

People everywhere care who wins. Right now, they care about Barack.

Chris Young