Trump travel ban could hurt US 2026 World Cup bid – FIFA President

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, has said that President Donald Trump’s new immigration ban could stop the US from winning the bid to host the 2026 World Cup.

Infantino stated this while speaking in London on Thursday.

He made it clear that any country hoping to host the World Cup must be accessible to all participating nations.

Trump has banned citizens from six Muslim nations from travelling to the US and with plans to expand the World Cup to 48 teams, the order could prove to be a stumbling stock.

“When it comes to FIFA competitions, any team, including the supporters and officials of that team, who qualify for a World Cup need to have access to the country, otherwise there is no World Cup. That is obvious,” Infantino said.

“Mr. Trump is the president of the United States of America and as such of course [I have] huge respect for what he does.

“He’s in charge, together with his government, to take decisions that are best for his country. That’s why he has been elected. In the world there are many countries who have bans, travel bans, visa requirements and so on and so forth”, he said.

Infantino added: “We are now in the process of defining the bid requirements.The requirements will be clear. And then each country can make up their decision, whether they want to bid or not based on the requirements.”

Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump discuss mending ties.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and US president-elect Donald Trump have spoken over the phone to discuss efforts to improve US-Russian ties, the Kremlin and Trump’s office said.


“President-elect Trump noted to President Putin that he is very much looking forward to having a strong and enduring relationship with Russia and the people of Russia,” Trump’s office said in a statement on Monday.


The Kremlin, in a far more specific and longer statement, said that Putin congratulated Trump on his victory and expressed Russia’s readiness to “establish a partner-like dialogue with the new administration on the basis of equality, mutual respect and non-interference in domestic relations”.


“During the call, the two leaders discussed a range of issues including the threats and challenges facing the United States and Russia, strategic economic issues and the historical US-Russia relationship that dates back over 200 years,” Trump’s office said.


In its statement, the Kremlin said Putin and Trump agreed that US-Russian ties were in “extremely unsatisfactory” condition.


Syria’s civil war


The two also agreed on the need to combine efforts in the fight against “international terrorism and extremism” and discussed settling the Syrian war in that context, according to the Kremlin.


How to fight side-by-side in Syria, where Russia supports President Bashar al-Assad and the US supports rebels fighting against him, and also against the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant group (ISIL, also known as ISIS), has been one of the key sticking points between US President Barack Obama and Putin.

The Kremlin said that Putin and Trump agreed to continue phone contact and to plan a personal meeting in the future.


Obama began his presidency with a goal to “reset” ties with Russia, but they eventually plunged to the lowest point since the Cold War over the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.


Separately, vouching for the successor he never imagined having, Obama on Monday sought to reassure an anxious nation and world that Trump would maintain US alliances and influence.


“There is enormous continuity … that makes us that indispensable nation when it comes to maintaining order around the world,” Obama said.


Relationships and policies go beyond presidents, he said, adding that military officials, diplomats and intelligence officers would cooperate with their foreign counterparts as before.


In a White House meeting with Trump last week, Obama said the Republican “expressed a great interest in maintaining our core strategic relationships”, including “strong and robust NATO” partnerships.


It was a sharp change in tone for Obama, who regularly mocked Trump’s candidacy in the last days before the election, even accusing the billionaire businessman and former reality television star of helping ISIL with his rhetoric about Muslims and undermining US democracy through his claims of a “rigged” election.


At the time, almost all polls showed Democrat Hillary Clinton leading Trump.

Extradition: Justice Abang Refuses Kashamu’s Fresh Application To Stop DSS, Police

A Federal High Court in Abuja has refused an application by Senator Buruji Kashamu to stop the Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Police from going ahead with his arrest and extradition to the United States.
Kashamu is the Senator representing Ogun East in the National Assembly.

Justice Okon Abang in his ruling on Wednesday held that the application was incompetent.

He added that the security agencies deserved to be served notice to show cause before the order was granted.

Kashamu’s counsel, Godswill Mrakpor, had asked the court to grant urgent hearing to the application, insisting that there were moves to arrest and transport Kashamu to the US to face drug-related charges.

Prince William Appears On Cover Of Leading British Gay Magazine

Prince William is featured on the cover of a leading British gay magazine, which carries his remarks condemning the bullying of LGBT people, the publication announced Wednesday.

The Attitude magazine article marks the first time a British royal has been photographed for the cover of a gay publication, the magazine said in a statement.
The cover line — “No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason” — came about after the Duke of Cambridge invited the publication to bring LGBT people to Kensington Palace to share their experiences on bullying, the statement said.
The magazine’s editor, Matthew Todd, facilitated the discussion, during which participants spoke about the struggles they’ve dealt with, including suicide attempts, depression, drug addiction and eating disorders. The Prince then posed for the cover, shot by photographer Leigh Keily.
“No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason and no one should have to put up with the kind of hate that these young people have endured in their lives,” Prince William said in a statement.
“The young gay, lesbian and transgender individuals I met through Attitude are truly brave to speak out and to give hope to people who are going through terrible bullying right now. Their sense of strength and optimism should give us all encouragement to stand up to bullying wherever we see it,” he added.
Todd, the magazine’s editor, said he met parents who had lost their children to suicide after being bullied for their sexuality.
“I am very happy that the future King of the United Kingdom agrees this must stop and I would urge parents in particular to raise their voices in their communities to ensure that every school protects — really protects — all children.”
A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The Duke of Cambridge is working hard to support the fight against bullying and to help break the stigma around mental health. He has established a taskforce on the prevention of cyberbullying and along with the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry is leading the Heads Together campaign on mental health and wellbeing.”
The news was announced the day after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge signed a condolence book at the U.S. Embassy in London for victims of the terror attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
Founded in 1994, Attitude bills itself as the UK’s best-selling gay magazine, and has previously featured celebrities on its cover including Daniel Radcliffe, David Beckham, Lady Gaga and James Franco.

Six Nigerians Extradited From South Africa To US To Face Fraud Charges

Six Nigerian nationals were extradited from South Africa to Gulfport, Mississippi, to face a nine-count federal indictment in the Southern District of Mississippi alleging various Internet fraud schemes. A total of 20 defendants are charged in this case.

The Nigerians are; Oladimeji Seun Ayelotan, 30, Rasaq Aderoju Raheem, 31, Olusegun Seyi Shonekan, 33 Taofeeq Olamilekan Oyelade, 30 Olufemi Obaro Omoraka, 26 Anuoluwapo Segun Adegbemigun, 39, are charged along with 15 others in an Oct. 7, 2014, indictment with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit identity theft, use of unauthorized account access devices, theft of U.S. government funds and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The charges stem from the defendants alleged participation in numerous Internet-based complex financial fraud schemes, including romance scams, re-shipping scams, fraudulent check scams and work-at-home scams, as well as bank, financial and credit card account takeovers.

Source: Department of Justice. Office of Public Affairs
United States of America

US War Against ISIS is ‘Total Fraud’ to Create a CIA Base: Journalist

A Pentagon plan to arm and train the so-called moderate militants in Syria to fight against the ISIS terrorist group is a “total fraud” and “bogus” claim to carve out a CIA base in the region, an American journalist in Missouri says.

The United States is fighting a “multi-front war” against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad because he operates independently from the West, said Dean Henderson, an author and columnist at Veterans Today.

“This whole ISIS thing is just an attempt to carve out this base where CIA, Mossad, British intelligence … can operate freely and attack Syria for now but maybe later Iran,” Henderson told Press TV on Sunday.

Henderson said Congress is wasting “precious US tax dollars” to fund the false fight against ISIS, which the CIA helped create in the beginning.

“We’re not against ISIS, we are ISIS, we created ISIS, we trained ISIS, we are ISIS,” he acknowledged.

On Saturday, a delegation of US senators led by John McCain, began a tour of the Middle East, which will take them to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to discuss a Pentagon plan to arm and train “moderate” militants in Syria.

The US Defense Department has announced it is deploying about 1,000 troops to train the Syrian militants to fight against the ISIS terrorist group.

Some analysts reject the notion that “moderate” militants exist in Syria. “Nobody in any position of expertise here thinks that there really is any significant moderate Syrian rebel force. It does not exist,” Dr. Kevin Barrett, a professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies, said in an interview with Press TV on Saturday.

Credit: Press TV

Barrack Obama Condemns CIA Torture And Interrogation Techniques

US President Barack Obama has said that some of the tactics described in a Senate report on harsh CIA interrogations were “brutal”, “wrong” and “counterproductive”.

He said that the CIA techniques, which were employed in the wake of September 11, 2001 attacks on the US, “were not only inconsistent with our values as nation, they did not serve our broader counterterrorism efforts or our national security interests”.

“One of the things that sets us apart from other countries is that when we make mistakes, we admit them,” Obama told the Spanish-language television network Telemundo.

The US president said that releasing the information was an important step in the process of making sure that such a scenario isn’t ever repeated.

“I hope that today’s report can help us leave these techniques where they belong – in the past…,” he said in a statement.

Obama said the report, which condemned the CIA for brutality and deception, makes clear that the interrogation programme under the administration of his predecessor, George W Bush was created too hastily and without enough thought about potential consequences.

The enhanced interrogation programme was dismantled by Obama in 2009.

The heavily redacted 480-page report – published on Tuesday – covered the treatment of around 100 suspects rounded up by US operatives between 2001 and 2009 on terrorism charges. The full 6,200-page report remains classified.

The US embassies in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Thailand are warning of the potential for anti-American protests and violence after the report. Afghanistan and Thailand were hosts to two of the secret facilities where prisoners were interrogated.

Senate Intelligence Committee chair Dianne Feinstein said the techniques used by the CIA were “far more brutal than people were led to believe” and that “coercive techniques regularly resulted in fabricated information” from detainees.

“There are those who will seize upon the report and say see what the Americans did? And they will try to use it to justify evil actions or incite more violence,” said Feinstein. “We can’t prevent that, but history will judge us by our commitment to a just society governed by law and the willingness to face an ugly truth and say never again.”

Nigeria-US Training Cancellation ‘Logistical, not Political’ Says FG

The Nigerian government said that a decision to cancel US training of its soldiers to fight Boko Haram was a logistical, not a political decision.

The US Embassy in Abuja announced on Monday that the Nigerian government had halted a training programme of an army battalion, which would have developed into a unit to take on the militants. The cancellation came after Nigeria’s ambassador to Washington last month criticised the United States for the “scope, nature and content” of its support for the counter-insurgency.

In particular, he said Washington had failed to provide the weapons required to deliver a “killer punch” to Boko Haram. But Nigeria’s national security spokesman, Mike Omeri, played down talk of strained diplomatic ties, saying it did not affect the countries’ existing military cooperation. “This is just a training component for one battalion of the Nigerian Army,” he told AFP. “We have had the first and second phase of that training, so it is not as if the whole bilateral military agreement has been suspended. The suspension is logistical and not political.”

Omeri was quoted as saying in the Nigerian media on Friday that the cancelled third phase required military equipment to be withdrawn from current operations to be used for training.

Credit:  Yahoo News

Texas Ebola Patient Thomas Eric Duncan Dies

The first man diagnosed with Ebola in the US, Thomas Eric Duncan, has died, says the Dallas facility where he was being treated.

A statement released by the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital said,”It is with profound sadness and heartfelt disappointment that we must inform you of the death of Thomas Eric Duncan this morning at 7:51am.Mr Duncan succumbed to an insidious disease, Ebola. He fought courageously in this battle.”

The Liberian national picked up the killer virus in Liberia before flying to Texas where he fell ill and was admitted to the Dallas hospital.

His family said they had visited him on Tuesday at the hospital, but declined to view him via video link because his condition was too “disturbing”.

Mr Duncan’s nephew, Josephus Weeks, said he and his mother had been unable to sleep after seeing Mr Duncan’s face over video during a previous visit. He was being treated with an experimental drug and had been on a breathing machine while receiving kidney dialysis.

China, World’s Largest Economy; Overtakes U.S.

Us Dollar Versus China Yuan

Chris Giles at the Financial Times flagged up the change. He also alerted us back in April this year that it was all about to happen.

The simple logic is that prices aren’t the same in each country: A shirt will cost you less in Shanghai than San Francisco, so it’s not entirely reasonable to compare countries without taking this into account. Though a typical person in China earns a lot less than the typical person in the US, simply converting a Chinese salary into dollars underestimates how much purchasing power that individual, and therefore that country, might have. The Economist’s Big Mac Index is a great example of these disparities.

So the IMF measures both GDP in market exchange terms, and in terms of purchasing power. On the purchasing power basis, China is overtaking the US right about now and becoming the world’s biggest economy.

Also, according to the IMF by the end of 2014, China will make up 16.48% of the world’s purchasing-power adjusted GDP (or $17.632 trillion), and the US will make up just 16.28% (or $17.416 trillion).

IMF, Google Public Data Explorer Adjusted for purchasing power, the IMF thinks China’s economy is now the world’s largest.

It’s not all sore news for the US. It’ll be some time yet until the lines cross over in raw terms, not adjusted for purchasing power. By that measure, China still sits more than $6.5 trillion lower than the US and isn’t likely to overtake for quite some time. But in terms of the raw market value of China’s currency, it still has a long way to go.


Al Qaeda Urges Branches to Unite Against US-led ‘War on Islam’


Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb urged their “brothers” in Iraq and Syria to “stop killing each other and unite against the American campaign and its evil coalition that threatens us all.”

Powerful Al-Qaeda branches in Yemen and North Africa issued an unprecedented joint statement Tuesday calling for jihadists in Iraq and Syria to unite against the common threat from a US-led coalition.

AQAP and AQIM also called on the people of 10 Arab countries that have joined the coalition against the Islamic State group to prevent their governments from acting against IS. And it promised “dark days” to the “alliance of infidelity and evil”.

Al-Qaeda’s leadership under Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Egypt-born successor to group founder Osama bin Laden, has disavowed IS, which has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria. And it has its own branch, the Al-Nusra Front, fighting in Syria.

But the joint statement, released on two jihadist Twitter accounts, called for differences to be set aside in the face of the growing coalition.

“Make the unity of the infidel nations against you a reason for your unity against them,” it said, accusing Washington of “leading a Crusader campaign against Islam and all Muslims… Stop the infighting between you and stand as one against America’s campaign.”

The statement adds, “we call upon our people in… all the nations of this Satanic alliance… to stand before the face of their agent governments and prevent them — by all legitimate means — from going to war against Islam under the excuse of fighting terrorism.”

It also urged Syrian rebels to keep up their fight against President Bashar al-Assad, warning them to “beware of being tricked by America… and thus being diverted from your path” and becoming its “pawns”.

Both Yemen-based AQAP, seen by Washington as the network’s most dangerous branch, and AQIM have rejected IS’s declaration of an Islamic caliphate in June and said they remained loyal to Zawahiri.

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: Nigeria: When the Oil is Over by @Lanre_Olagunju

Insight pix


Nigeria’s oil and its derivatives are the most explored of all its natural resources; yet, oil money hasn’t done much for the country in terms of economic development, job creation and poverty reduction, basically because corruption, wastefulness, insensitivity, lack of structure and infrastructure has hindered its even distribution. With an average daily oil production of 2.4 million barrels, and other countless resources, rather than progress, Nigeria has remained an important case-study in explaining the intricacies of being broke and wretched even in the midst of abundance.

Whether Nigeria will remain an oil giant or not is gradually becoming non-debatable, after the World Bank’s published prediction. The prediction says Nigeria’s oil will be depleted in 41 years, though the nation can keep supplying at 2011 levels for another 41 years. Many aggrieved Nigerians are less concerned if the oil dries up tomorrow, hoping that if it does, probably the entire nation will sit up and diversify into other economic sectors.

According to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas (ASPO), the global rate of discovery has been falling steadily since 1965, after it was discovered that the world oil-field peaked at about 55 billion barrels (8.7×109 m3)(Gb)/year.

Though there’s been a whole lot of heavy criticism and sentiments on Matthew Simmons oil peak theory, most especially for being overly focused on Saudi Arabia in his book, Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy. Wikipedia explains peak oil as the point in time when the maximum rate of petroleum extraction is reached, after which, the rate of production is expected to enter terminal decline. Quoting Matthew Simmons, “…peaking is one of these fuzzy events that you only know clearly when you see it through a rear view mirror, and by then an alternate resolution is generally too late.”  The calculation of peak oil has a lot to do with observing and noting the rate of production of individual oil wells, and also the combined production of related oil wells. But Nigeria is not a nation that keeps records, how can one trust the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to have a detailed oil production data? So the World Bank’s prediction shouldn not be discarded. Moreover, crude oil falls in the category of non-renewable energy source, basically because it is produced from the remains of plants and animal, and that takes millions of years.

For energy source to be categorized as renewable, it essentially has to be replaceable within days or years. So mathematically, if we are consuming it faster than the earth produces it, obviously one day soon we will eventually run out of it. Happily, the world won’t run out of energy as long as there’s energy from the sun, singularly because a large percentage of all the energy we use comes from the sun. More so, energy from the sun that reaches the earth surface in an hour is literally much more than we can consume in a year.

There can’t be a more appropriate time for the Nigerian government to benefit from the power of foresight than now. There’s no guarantee that petroleum will remain a highly sought after source of energy. America’s import of Nigeria’s oil decreased by 125% between July 2011 and 2012. That aside, The United States Energy Department is all out to ensure that America produces 11.4 million barrels per day of oil and liquid hydrocarbon, come 2013. Energy wise, Obama’s administration is so concerned about America’s self-reliance.

This is the time for Nigeria to get back to her “economic first love”- agriculture, which used to be the mainstay of the economy before the advent of oil. Way back in 1961, Nigeria produced about 42% of the world’s consumed groundnut. The neglect of the agricultural sector ensured her dominance was eclipsed by China, USA and Argentina. Nigeria also lost palm oil relevance and dominance to Malaysia and Indonesia, just like she lost cocoa to Cote d’Ivoire and then cotton to Mali and Burkina Faso. Report has it that Nigeria losses US$10 Billion (1.6 Trillion Naira) in potential annual export revenue opportunity from groundnut, cocoa, cotton and palm oil, assuming Nigeria maintained her 1961 market share.

Currently, Nigeria is the world’s number two importer of rice, importing two Million MT of rice , besides that, Nigeria Imports over 1 Trillion Naira in wheat, rice, sugar and fish every year. Then we say there are no jobs! Nigeria depends majorly on importation of feed; hence, she imports inflation, driving poverty northward. The beauty about agriculture is that it actually provides jobs. So it’s not just about providing food. In practical terms it boosts the economy as well. Agricultural development has contributed to Thailand’s low rate of unemployment which is the lowest in the world at 1.2%. Malawi became absolutely self-sufficient in food production within one year by focusing on agricultural transformation after the late former President, Bingu wa Mutharika said “Enough is enough, I am not going to go on my knees to beg for food. Let us grow the food ourselves.” Another example is Kenya, look at the sea of jobs Kenya has created through Private sector driven marketing institutions. Kenya is now at the number one position in the global horticulture market, creating 8 Million jobs in the Kenyan Horticultural sector.

I am @Lanre_Olagunju

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.


*A large part of this article was first published on