World Leaders voice support for US strike against Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad bears “sole responsibility” for the US strike on a regime airbase, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande said in a joint statement on Friday.

“After the chemical weapons massacre of April 4 on Khan Sheikhun in northwestern Syria, a military installation of the Syrian regime was destroyed by a US air strike last night,” the statement, issued after a morning phone call, said.

“President Assad bears sole responsibility for this development.”

They added that “France and Germany, together with their partners and within the framework of the United Nations, will continue their efforts to hold President Assad responsible for his criminal deeds”.

Berlin and Paris “jointly call on the international community to join forces for a political transition in Syria in accordance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 and the Geneva Communique,” they said, referring to a statement issued on June 30 2012 by the UN-backed Action Group for Syria.

Merkel and Hollande were each informed “one to two hours before the strikes,” a source close to the French president’s office said.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel earlier said the strike was “understandable” after the UN Security Council was “unable to clearly and unequivocally respond to the barbaric use of chemical weapons against innocent people in Syria”.

His French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, with Gabriel on a trip to Mali, said he hoped the strikes would show Syria’s allies Russia and Iran that they should withdraw their support for Assad.

“The Russians and the Iranians must now understand that they cannot prop up Bashar al-Assad’s regime… it cannot go on, it makes no sense,” Ayrault told France Info radio.


Source: The Guardian

US-Russia relations under threat after US attacked Syrian air base

President Donald Trump ordered a massive military strike on a Syrian air base on Thursday in retaliation for a “barbaric” chemical attack he blamed on President Bashar al-Assad.

In a brief televised address delivered hours after the UN Security Council failed to agree on a prove into the apparent chemical attack, Trump confirmed the US strike on Syria and urged “all civilized nations” to unite to end the bloodshed in the country.

“On Tuesday Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched a horrible chemical weapons attack on innocent civilians using a deadly nerve agent,” Trump said. “Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack.”

“Tonight I call on all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types,” Trump said.

The US military fired dozens of cruise missiles at the Shayrat Airfield at 8:45 pm Eastern Time (0000 GMT), officials said.

A White House official said 59 “precision munitions” had been blasted at the base, while a US defense official said “dozens” of Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched.

The missiles were fired from the USS Porter and the USS Ross, which belong to the US Navy’s Sixth Fleet and are located in the eastern Mediterranean. A US official said the missiles targeted aircraft and runways at the base.

The sudden US military action against the Assad regime marks a stunning development in Syria’s brutal, six-year conflict and a sudden about-face for Trump.

It came despite a warning from Russia of potential “negative consequences” if Washington strikes Syria.

“All responsibility if military action occurs will be on the shoulders of those who initiated such a doubtful tragic enterprise,” Russian Ambassador to the UN Vladimir Safronkov said.

A US official said Washington had informed Russia ahead of the Syria strike.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had earlier vowed an “appropriate response” to the attack in Khan Sheikhun in rebel-held Idlib province, which killed at least 86 people, including 27 children.

The White House official said the United States assesses that the Assad regime used a chemical nerve agent consistent with sarin in Tuesday’s attacks.


Source: AFP

President Trump orders more air strikes in Somalia

Seventy days into his administration, President Donald Trump has issued his first order for military operation in Africa.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump approved a mission proposal from the Pentagon which will allow the U.S. Africa Command, AFRICOM, to strike at any part of the country designated “area of active hostility.”

A one paragraph statement from Pentagon spokesperson, Jeff Davis, stated that “The president has approved a Department of Defense proposal to provide additional precision fires in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somali security forces operations to defeat al-Shabaab in Somalia.”

This change is an uptick from the Obama administration authorisation which only allowed strikes in self-defense and in defense of AMISOM.

News outlets in the U.S. reported earlier this month that the head of AFRICOM, Thomas Waldhauser, requested additional authority to give the command more flexibility and timeliness in terms of making decisions to prosecute targets. This is generally understood to mean that the Command wants authority to strike at will, to conduct operations without recourse to the White House for each mission. It is not clear if such authority will be limited to Somalia or cover all parts of the continent that AFRICOM focuses on including Libya and North-east Nigeria.

The statement from the Pentagon did not indicate that the administration has given AFRICOM the authority to strike at will.

However, the approval for additional strikes against al-Shabaab came a day after the administration relaxed preventive rules against rampant civilian casualties. Mr. Trump signed a directive on Wednesday, that designated part of Somalia “area of active hostilities,” thereby making war-zone rules which mean less protection for civilians to be imposed on such places. This is raising alarm given recent reports of civilian casualties in Mosul, Iraq.

In a testimony before the United States Senate on March 9, Mr. Waldhauser, a general, re-stated U.S. commitment to the fight against Boko Haram.

“In West Africa, our primary focus is containing and degrading Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa,” he said.

“With forces from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, we are working with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to enable regional cooperation and expand partner capacity to ensure Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa do not further destabilise the region.”

There is no likelihood of direct operation by AFRICOM in the Lake Chad Basin in the foreseeable future. Mr. Waldhauser declared at the Senate hearing that “the MNJTF has been successful in enabling multinational cooperation and coordinating multinational operations and has placed significant pressure on Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa.”


Source: Premium Times

BREAKING: President Trump Declares Somalia a War Zone

Trump should “apologize” to Obama, Former CIA chief Leon Panetta says.

Former CIA director under the Obama administration Leon Panetta said on Monday (March 21) that US President Donald Trump should “apologise” to former President Barack Obama over Trump’s allegation that Obama “wiretapped” his election campaign.

FBI Director James Comey told a congressional hearing earlier on Thursday that he had seen no evidence to support a claim by Trump that Obama had wiretapped his campaign headquarters in Manhattan’s Trump Tower.

Panetta said Trump should move on to other pressing issues in the US, like healthcare and immigration.

FBI Director James Comey also confirmed during his hearing that the agency was investigating possible Russian government efforts to interfere in the 2016 US election including any links between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Moscow.

Panetta said the Russia election hacking allegations are a “big deal” worth looking into.

“It’s really important that we investigate just exactly what they did, whether there was any collusion involved,” Panetta said during the interview at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington.

BREAKING: Comey confirms US intelligence assessment of a Trump-Putin collusion

Two of the nation’s top counter-intelligence officials stood by the U.S. intelligence assessment in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government sought to help Donald Trump win the 2016 election.

Under questioning from Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas), FBI Director James Comey and Adm. Mike Rogers, director of the National Security Agency, said nothing has changed since they issued their Jan. 6 report on Russian interference in the election.

The report found that senior Russian officials, including Putin, wanted to undermine the U.S. democratic process, hurt Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and help Trump’s campaign.

Comey and Rogers declined to provide details on how the intelligence community reached that assessment.

“They wanted to hurt our democracy, hurt her and help him,” Comey said, adding that officials had reached that conclusion by December.

In part, the FBI and intelligence agencies came to believe that Putin wanted Trump to win because he very much disliked Clinton, Comey said.

“Putin hated Secretary Clinton so much that the flip side of that coin was that he had a clear preference for the person running against the person he hated so much,” Comey said.

Conaway interjected with an anecdote about his wife cheering for the Texas Tech Red Raiders on the football gridiron and wondering whether such an analysis may be too simplistic.

“That might work on Saturday afternoon when my wife’s Red Raiders are playing the Texas Longhorns,” he said. “She really likes the Red Raiders … The logic is because he didn’t like candidate Clinton that he automatically liked Trump. That assessment is based on what?”

“Well, it’s based on more than that,” Comey said. “But part of it is the logic. Whoever the Red Raiders are playing you want the Red Raiders to win; by definition you want their opponent to lose.”

“I know, but you wanted her to lose and him to win,” Conaway said.

“They are inseparable,” Comey replied. “It’s a two-person event.”

“When did you decide you wanted him to win?”

“Logically, when he wanted her to lose,” Comey said to laughter.


Source: LA Times

House leaders set to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday

Republican leaders plan a vote Thursday to repeal and replace much of Obamacare, optimistic that President Donald Trump can help them close the deal, multiple House Republican sources tell CNN.

Leaders continue to work toward the 216 votes needed to back the health care bill led by House Speaker Paul Ryan, and believe with some of the changes they are making they are securing additional support.
Friday morning, members of the Republican Study Committee — who have expressed serious doubts about the House’s health care bill — emerged from a meeting at the White House supportive.
“You’re looking at some of the top conservatives in the House,” he said. We stand united today to move this forward for the American people,” the chairman of the Republican Study Committee Mark Walker, R-North Carolina, told reporters Friday morning.
The timeline is still fluid and subject to change, but Republican members are being told that the current House bill is on track and being reworked to include the option for states to impose work requirements for able-bodied adults who are on Medicaid, something the RSC has been lobbying for. The RSC also was told, according to a GOP aide, that states were given the option to receive block grant funding rather than per capita funding.
Changes may also include making tax credits for older Americans more generous, an item that could win over some moderates.
In tinkering around the edges, leadership is optimistic that they can cobble together enough votes from both corners of their party to pass their legislation next week and move it onto the Senate where it faces another set of challenges and even more narrow math.
Trump said Friday he is “100% in favor” of the health care measure.
“I just want to let the world know I am 100% in favor and these folks — and they are tough and they love their constituents and they love their country — these folks were nos, mostly nos yesterday and now every single one is a yes,” the President said.
Thursday is the seventh anniversary of President Barack Obama signing the Affordable Care Act into law.

Environmental activists vandalize popular Trump golf course in LA

A group of environmental activists pulled off an elaborate act of vandalism at one of President Trump’s premier golf courses early Sunday morning.

The group — which labels itself an “anonymous environmental activist collective” — snuck into Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., and carved a message into the green with six-foot-tall letters that said: “NO MORE TIGERS. NO MORE WOODS.”

The 18-hole, 7,300-yard course is set among cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean just south of Los Angeles. Last year, Golf Digest ranked it the 43rd best course in California.

In a statement sent to The Washington Post, the group said the vandalism was carried out in response to the Trump administration’s “blatant disregard” for the environment. “In response to the president’s recent decision to gut our existing protection policies, direct action was conceived and executed on the green of his California golf course in the form of a simple message: NO MORE TIGERS. NO MORE WOODS,” the statement said.

The golf course did not respond to multiple requests for comment, nor did the Trump Organization’s New York headquarters.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that the department received a call for service Sunday morning about grass being dug up around hole five at the golf club. The spokesman said the department sent a deputy to the scene to determine whether the damage constituted an act of vandalism or whether it was accidental.

The message was carved into the green using gardening tools and took less than one hour to accomplish, according to a member of the group who discussed the project with The Washington Post on the condition of anonymity.

The group consisted of four people, who accessed the course by scaling a fence and “walking down a steep hill laced with cacti,” the group member told The Post. “Tearing up the golf course felt justified in many ways,” the member said. “Repurposing what was once a beautiful stretch of land into a playground for the privileged is an environmental crime in its own right.”

“We hope this sends a message to Trump and his corrupt administration that their actions will be met with action,” the member added. Previously farmland, Trump National Golf Club opened in 2006. On its website, the club touts its dedication to “protecting the environmentally sensitive habitat that plays host to several protected plant species and the endangered Coastal California Gnatcatcher (a small migratory bird).”

“Several environmentally aware agencies — including the U.S. Fish& Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish& Game — were involved with setting up a series of standards and guidelines for the course,” the website adds.

Sunday’s vandalism was not the first time Trump properties have been attacked. Trump’s brand-new Washington hotel was spray-painted with the words “Black Lives Matter” during an October demonstration, according to Politico.

The president has also been the target of scathing humor, both on “Saturday Night Live” — where he is regularly lampooned by Alec Baldwin — and by demonstrators across the country.

In addition to inspiring a new line of popular piñatas, the group Indecline unveiled life-size statues of Trump in the nude in public spaces in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Seattle in August.

President Trump’s travel ban faces first legal battle

President Donald Trump’s revamped travel ban is facing its first major legal setback, after a federal judge halted enforcement of the directive that would deny US entry to the wife and child of a Syrian refugee already granted asylum.

In a preliminary restraining order issued Friday that applies only to the Syrian man and his family, US District Judge William Conley in Wisconsin said the plaintiff “is at great risk of suffering irreparable harm” if the directive is carried out.

The man chose to remain anonymous because his wife and child are still living in war-wracked Aleppo.

It denies US entry to all refugees for 120 days and halts for 90 days the granting of visas to nationals from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan.

The new order, unveiled Monday, is due to go into effect March 16. Lifting an indefinite Syrian refugee travel ban and reducing the number of blacklisted countries by removing Iraq, it replaces a previous iteration issued in January that was blocked in federal court.

“The court appreciates that there may be important differences between the original executive order and the revised executive order issued on March 6, 2017,” Conley wrote.

“As the order applies to the plaintiff here, however, the court finds his claims have at least some chance of prevailing for the reasons articulated by other courts.”

He set a hearing for March 21.

– ‘New coat of paint’ –

In another legal challenge, the American Civil Liberties Union filed a complaint on behalf of several refugee assistance groups over the controversial executive order.

“Putting a new coat of paint on the Muslim ban doesn’t solve its fundamental problem, which is that the Constitution and our laws prohibit religious discrimination,” said Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s immigrant rights project.

“The further President Trump goes down this path, the clearer it is that he is violating that basic rule.”

The ACLU, the preeminent US civil liberties group, and the National Immigration Law Center brought the suit on behalf of the International Refugee Assistance Project and the refugee resettlement group HIAS, as well as several individuals.

The suit alleges that the new executive order violates the constitutional protection of freedom of religion in that it is “intended and designed to target and discriminate against Muslims, and it does just that in operation.”

“Rarely in American history has governmental intent to discriminate against a particular faith and its adherents been so plain,” the complaint says, alleging the new order will cause “irreparable harm” and asking for an injunction.

A federal judge in Maryland, Theodore Chuang, has scheduled a hearing in the case for March 15 — the day before the measure is due to take effect.

– ‘Still a Muslim ban’ –

Separately, a federal judge in Seattle who issued a nationwide halt to Trump’s original travel restrictions denied a motion to have the same ruling apply to the modified measures, saying at least one of the parties must first file additional court papers.

The state of Maryland said it would join Monday the suit filed by the attorney general from Washington state, which also has the support of Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York and Oregon.

“President Trump’s second executive order is still a Muslim ban,” Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh said in a statement.

“The administration persists in an effort to implement a policy that is inhumane and unconstitutional, but also makes us less safe, not more safe.”

The White House cites national security in justifying the ban, arguing that it needs time to implement “extreme vetting” procedures to keep Islamic militants from entering the country.

Polls show American public opinion is deeply divided on the issue. Most indicate a slight majority of voters opposed, with strong support among Trump’s political base.


Source: The Guardian

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.”

Nigerians are treated badly in US – Group berates Foreign Affairs Minister over comment

The Nigerian Coalition for Quality Governance, has faulted the position of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, that since Nigeria was not on the list of countries on which President Donald Trump of the US had imposed travel ban, Nigerians were free to travel to the country.

The group said that Onyeama was obviously not aware of the hurdles Nigerians had been facing in getting into the US at the border posts and that some had actually been sent back home.

In a statement by its National Coordinator, Gbenga Omoniya, the group said its attention was drawn to Onyeama’s effort to deny and dismiss the effects of the Executive Order of the US President Donald Trump banning nationals of select countries from the United States despite their possession of valid US visa.

“While it must be admitted that Nigeria is not officially among the countries whose citizens have been banned from entering the US, enough evidence has already surfaced that not a few Nigerians had been put on the next available planes from the US airports back to Nigeria despite their possession of all travelling documents including the US entry visa.

“There’s no doubt that Mr. Onyeama’s denial that Nigerians have been affected by the US president’s Executive Order may not have been unconnected with the Travel Advisory issued over the weekend by the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa that advised ‘Nigerians who have no compelling or urgent reason to travel to the US to postpone their travel plans until the new administration’s policy on immigration is clear’.

“While we’re not questioning the right of the Foreign Minister to an issue that borders on foreign policy as this, Mr. Onyeama has undoubtedly put the wrong foot forward in calling on Nigerians to ignore this Travel Advisory in the face of verifiable evidence that Nigerians are being unfairly targeted and included in the dragnet of the US immigration authorities.

“We had wondered why the Foreign Minister was always behind the ‘8th ball’ in his response to major foreign affairs and diaspora issues. While it’s never too late for Mr. Onyeama to wake up to his responsibility, we wonder if he must play to the gallery with his denial that Nigerians have been affected by the US travel ban in any way.”

The statement advised Onyeama to confirm cases where some Nigerians have been treated badly at airports “and many others who were affected but had no one to report to as his Ministry has no functional communication mechanism, before his next appearance at the next media house.”

“Rather than engage in spurious denials that has no basis in facts, we enjoin that the foreign minister collaborates with the relevant agencies of the federal government in making sure that Nigerians are treated with dignity and respect wherever they may be. Trump is putting America first. Onyeama should put Nigerians first too”, he stressed.


Source: Daily Post

Iran reacts to Trump’s new immigration order, to block US citizens.

Iran will not issue visas to Americans as long as the US refuses to do the same to Iranians, Majid Takht-Ravanchi, deputy foreign minister, said on Tuesday.

Takht-Ravanchi said his country was unperturbed by the renewed ban on Iranian visitors under President Donald Trump’s revised executive order.

“The new executive order is also worthless from a judicial point of view,” Takht-Ravanchi said.

“As long as Iranians were barred from entering the US, US citizens would be barred from entering Iran; as soon as the US lifts the ban, as it was forced to do at the end of February, Iran would respond in kind.”

Takht-Ravanchi said Iran had never been involved in “any terrorist attack” on US soil, and accused Trump of targeting countries that were not involved in such attacks.

Trump signed a revised executive order on Monday, halting new visas for 90 days for people from six predominantly Islamic nations – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and also suspending refugee admissions for 120 days.

The new order takes effect from March 16.

Iraq was on the previous 90-day ban order but the White House said it removed the country from the list due to “enhanced cooperation” with the government in Baghdad.


Source: NAN

“Warn Trump Against Harassment Of Nigerians”, SERAP Tells Osinbajo.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has urged the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, to “tell the U.S President, Donald Trump, in no uncertain terms that Nigeria would not tolerate any harassment and unfair treatment of her citizens with valid multiple-entry U.S visas at U.S airports.”

This was revealed in a statement released on Tuesday and signed by its Executive Director, Adetokunbo Mumuni.

It follows a disclosure by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, that in the last few weeks, the office has received a few cases of Nigerians with valid multiple-entry U.S visas being denied entry and sent back to Nigeria.

According to Mrs Dabiri -Erewa, such affected persons were sent back immediately on the next available flight and their visas were cancelled.

SERAP further said: “The Nigerian government must stand up to Trump and defend Nigerians’ internationally recognised right to freedom of movement just as the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider Al-Abadi did for his own citizens.

“The Iraqi leader ensured that his country was taken off the obnoxious executive order list. Osinbajo must now show the leadership needed to defend the country’s citizens who are facing unfair treatment in the hands of U.S immigration officers.

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) guarantees liberty of movement, and provides in article 13 that, “everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state.

“2. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country. The declaration also guarantees the right of everyone including Nigerians to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in the declaration can be fully realized.”

“SERAP notes that Eleanor Roosevelt, late wife of American President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, chaired the UDHR drafting committee.

“On the basis of the UDHR, persons are entitled to move from one place to another and to establish themselves in a place of their choice. The enjoyment of this right must not be made dependent on any particular purpose or reason for the person wanting to move or to stay in a place. Any restrictions must be in conformity with international standards.

“The Nigerian authorities must ensure that Nigerians’ liberty of movement is protected from interference by the trump government.

“The authorities should carefully study the revised executive order and take proactive measures to prevent any harassment and unfair treatment of Nigerians in the hands of U.S immigration officers.”


Source: Channels TV

President Trump’s Attorney General Under ‘Fire’ Over Russia.

The United States government has confirmed Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, met with Russia’s ambassador in 2016.

At his January confirmation hearing, Mr Sessions, a senator at the time, said he had no contracts with the Russians during the campaign, stressing that he never met any Russian official to discuss campaign issues.

The democrats, have however accused him of lying under oath, saying he must resign.

They have also called on him to step aside from the FBI investigation which he oversees as Attorney General such as the alleged Russian interference in the U.S election.

Mr Trump’s National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, was fired last month after he misled the White House about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, allegedly regarding sanctions against Moscow.


Source: Channels TV

Trump accuses Obama of “possibly” being behind White House leaks

Former US president, Barack Obama, has been blamed by his successor Donald Trump for the leaks emanating from the White House.

Trump made the claim on Monday night during an interview with ‘Fox and Friends’.

The US President also said “Obama’s people” were responsible for the anti-Republican protests during recent town hall meetings.

A Fox interviewer asked Trump if he believed Obama was involved in the protests, and he responded affirmatively.

“You never know what’s exactly happening behind the scenes. You know, you’re probably right or possibly right, but you never know.

“No, I think that President Obama is behind it because his people are certainly behind it,” he said.

“And some of the leaks possibly come from that group, which are really serious because they are very bad in terms of national security.

“But I also understand that is politics. In terms of him being behind things, that’s politics. And it will probably continue,” he added.

Some Republicans have also accused Obama of orchestrating the demonstrations through a progressive group called Organizing for Action, OFA, which was born during his presidential campaigns.

The full interview will air Tuesday.


Source: The Cable

Why Oscars failed – Donald Trump

President Donald Trump said Monday the chaos that erupted at the end of the Oscars was due to Hollywood obsessing about him rather than concentrating on running a smooth show.

In an Oval Office interview with conservative website Breitbart News, Trump said Oscars organizers had taken their eyes off the ball because they “were focused so hard on politics.”

“It was a little sad. It took away from the glamour of the Oscars,” he told the site, which was previously managed by Steve Bannon, who now serves as Trump’s chief White House strategist.

“It didn’t feel like a very glamorous evening. I’ve been to the Oscars. There was something very special missing, and then to end that way was sad.”

Trump’s comments came after Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty mistakenly presented the best picture statuette at the climax of the ceremony to “La La Land,” when “Moonlight” was the real winner.

The mixup, which made for a chaotic end to ABC’s telecast of the show, has been described as one of the most embarrassing moments in Oscars history.

– ‘Very upset’ –
With the dust settling on the controversy, the finger of blame has settled on PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Brian Cullinan, who was responsible, along with colleague Martha Ruiz, for ensuring that each awards presenter was handed the correct envelope.

Cullinan pulled the envelope that was supposed to be for best picture winner from the wrong pile, the company said.

“He is very upset about this mistake. And it is also my mistake, our mistake and we all feel very bad,” said Tim Ryan, PwC’s US chairman, according to trade magazine Variety.

Trump had been the target of light-hearted jokes and serious derision throughout the night as Oscar-winners railed against his immigration policies.

Host Jimmy Kimmel trolled the Republican via Twitter during the live broadcast and mocked the commander-in-chief’s criticism of screen icon Meryl Streep.

“I want to say thank you to President Trump. Remember last year when it seemed like the Oscars were racist? That’s gone, thanks to him!” Kimmel scoffed.

Trump doesn’t explain in the interview why he thinks the jokes at his expense led to the unrelated error, and it is unclear if he watched the show.

Breitbart, one of several news outlets favored by America’s white nationalist extremist fringe, said the comments came in a lengthy interview covering health care, tax cuts, immigration and a variety of other topics.

Breitbart said the mixup came after what it called “hours of Trump-bashing by the Hollywood elites.”

“Now, the president has got the last laugh as he hammers Hollywood for its epic fail,” it added.

President Trump’s choice for Navy Secretary declines offer.

President Donald Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of the Navy, Philip Bilden, has withdrawn from consideration for the post citing concerns about privacy and separating himself from his business interests.

In a statement by the Department of Defense, Mr. Bilden said he determined that he would not be able to satisfy the Office of Government Ethics requirements without what he called “undue disruption and materially adverse divestment of my family’s private financial interests”.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, in the statement, said he would make a recommendation to Mr. Trump for a nominee in the coming days.

“While I am disappointed, I understand and respect his decision and know that he will continue to support our nation in other ways.

“In the coming days I will make a recommendation to President Trump for a leader who can guide our Navy and Marine Corps team as we execute the president’s vision to rebuild our military,” Mr. Mattis said.

Mr. Bilden’s withdrawal followed that of Vincent Viola, Mr. Trump’s nominee for Secretary of the Army, who withdrew earlier this month.

Mr. Viola cited his inability to successfully navigate the confirmation process and Defense Department rules concerning family businesses.

Mr. Trump’s nominee as Secretary of Labour,
Andrew Puzder, had also recently withdrawn after a video from the Oprah Winfrey Show was released, which showed Mr. Puzder’s ex-wife saying he abused her.

Similarly, a day before Mr. Puzder withdrew, ex-National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, put in his resignation.

Mr. Flynn was forced to resign for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other officials about his contacts with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.


Source: NAN

President Trump criticizes media, labels CNN Clinton News Network

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday renewed his attack on what he called “fake news”, accusing the media of false reports and polls.

The American leader spoke at the Conservative Conference at the National Harbor in Maryland.

Mr. Trump called out “Clinton News Network”, when urged by his audience to mention some media he claimed published fake polls.

He also spoke on other issues like immigration, healthcare, and trade, saying he likes left-leaning American senator, Bernie Sanders, for his stance on trade.

Mr. Sanders lost the Democratic ticket to Hilary Clinton who lost the presidential election to Mr. Trump.

On healthcare, Mr. Trump restated his stance that “we’re going to repeal and replace Obamacare.”


Source: Premium Times

“China is the ‘grand champions’ of currency manipulation”, says President Trump.

President Donald Trump declared China the “grand champions” of currency manipulation, just hours after his new Treasury secretary pledged a more methodical approach to analyzing Beijing’s foreign exchange practices.

In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump said he has not “held back” in his assessment that China manipulates its yuan currency, inspite of not acting on a campaign promise to declare it a currency manipulator on his first day in office.

“Well they, I think they’re grand champions at manipulation of currency. So I haven’t held back,” Trump said. “We’ll see what happens.”

But Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday he was not ready to pass judgment on China’s currency practices.

Asked if the U.S. Treasury was planning to name China a currency manipulator any time soon, Mnuchin said he would follow its normal process of analyzing the currency practices of major U.S. trading partners.

The Treasury is required to publish a report on these practices on April 15 and Oct. 15 each year.

“We have a process within Treasury where we go through and look at currency manipulation across the board. We’ll go through that process.

“We’ll do that as we have in the past,” Mnuchin said in his first televised interview since formally taking over the department last week.

“We’re not making any judgments until we go continue that process.”

A formal declaration that China or any other country manipulates its currency requires the U.S. Treasury to seek negotiations to resolve the situation, a process that could end in punitive tariffs on the offender’s goods.

The U.S. Treasury designated Taiwan and South Korea as currency manipulators in 1988, the year that Congress enacted the currency review law.

China was the last country to get the designation, in 1994.

The current situation is complicated because China’s central bank has spent billions of dollars in foreign exchange reserves in the past year to prop up the yuan to counter capital outflows.

The International Monetary Fund in 2016 said that the yuan’s value was broadly in line with its economic fundamentals.

The U.S. Treasury also said in its last currency report in October that its view of China’s external imbalances had improved somewhat.

Trump’s pronouncements about the yuan could also complicate matters for Mnuchin as he prepares for his first meeting next month with his Group of 20 finance minister counterparts in Baden Baden, Germany.


Source: The Guardian

Caitlyn Jenner reacts to reversed “transgender bathroom bill” by President Trump

Transgender Advocate, Caitlyn Jenner, formally known as Bruce Jenner, has called on Donald trump to reverse latest position on “transgender bathroom bill,” tagging same a disaster.

The 67-year-old Retired American athlete in a video which has gone viral online has tasked President Donald Trump to go back on his promise he made during election, that he would support the LGBTQ community.

Addressing trump, in a video, she said: “From one Republican to another, this is a disaster.

“You made a promise to protect the LGBTQ Community, call me.”

Trump’s administration announced on Wednesday that it lifted federal guidelines by Obama administration that said transgender students should be allowed to use public school bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

The former Olympic champion also addressed the bullies, making special reference to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“You’re sick and because you’re weak you pick on kids, you pick on women and anyone else you think is vulnerable.

“As proof the Supreme Court will soon hear a very important Title IX case, thanks to the courage of a very brave young man, Gavin Grimm.

“Mr President, we will see you in court.

While shaming trump, She further encouraged transgenders not to give up hope.

“I have a message for the trans kids of America.

“You’re winning. I know it doesn’t feel like it today or every day, but you’re winning,” she said.

Jenner had supported trump during the Presidential elections for his support to the LGBTQ community.

Man commits suicide after third deportation from the US

With just a plastic bag of belongings in his hand, a Mexican man who was deported from the United States Tuesday promptly killed himself, jumping off a bridge in view of the US border.

Sinaloa state native Guadalupe Olivas Valencia, 44, threw himself to his death, authorities said. He had jumped 30 meters (100 feet).

Witnesses said the man was in great distress after being sent back to Mexico for the third time.

The tragedy comes as US President Donald Trump has pledged to deport millions of undocumented migrants living in the United States.

Trump has called Mexican migrants criminals and pledged to build a massive border wall.




White House: Report that National Guard may round up immigrants is false.

The White House on Friday denied it was considering mobilizing as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up non-citizens who are in the country illegally.


The Associated Press, citing a draft memo it obtained, reported earlier on Friday that the Trump administration was considering utilizing the military reserve branch in 11 states to target people who are in the United States illegally.


It was not immediately clear who authored the memo AP cited.


Source: Reuters

British government reject calls to prevent Trump from meeting the Queen

The British government on Tuesday rejected a petition which argued that receiving President Donald Trump as a guest would embarrass the Queen.

The British foreign office recommended that Trump “should be extended the full courtesy of a state visit’’, but lawmakers are to debate the petition on February 20.

The petitioners suggested that Trump should be allowed to enter Britain as the head of the US government, but should not be invited for a state visit, which would involve a reception by Queen Elizabeth II.

Those behind the petition were able to garner 1.8 million signatures.

“Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales,’’ the petition read.

The British parliament is planning to debate the petition alongside a counter-petition set up a few days later, which argued that Trump should indeed make a state visit to Britain.

British parliament says Trump is the leader of a free world and the UK is a country that supports free speech and does not believe people opposed to its point of view should be gagged.

The government is obliged to respond to any petition which is signed over 10,000 times.

Report say the date of Trump’s first visit to Britain as president has not yet been finalised.

British govt rejects call to ban Trump from meeting the Queen

The British Government on Tuesday rejected a petition which argued that receiving the new president as a guest would embarrass the Queen.

The British foreign office recommended President Trump “should be extended the full courtesy of a state visit’’, but lawmakers are still to debate the petition in parliament on Feb. 20.

The petition, which stated that Trump should be allowed to enter Britain as the Head of the U.S. Government, but should not be invited for a state visit, which would involve a reception by Queen Elizabeth II, garnered 1.8 million signatures.
“Donald Trump’s well documented misogyny and vulgarity disqualifies him from being received by Her Majesty the Queen or the Prince of Wales,’’ the petition read.

The British parliament is planning to debate the petition on Feb. 20, alongside a counter-petition set up a few days later which argued that Trump should indeed make a state visit to Britain.
According to the British parliament, he is the leader of a free world and the UK is a country that supports free speech and does not believe people opposed to its point of view should be gagged.

The government is obliged to respond to any petition which is signed over 10,000 times. Report say the date of Trump’s first visit to Britain as president has not yet been finalised.

President Donald Trump invites Nigerian leader Muhammadu Buhari to Washington

President Donald Trump of the United States (U.S.) has assured of his country’s readiness to assist Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism.

Trump also extended an invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari to visit Washington at a mutually convenient date, according to a terse statement from the presidency yesterday.

The development indicates the willingness of the U.S. government under President Trump to strengthen its relationship with Nigeria for mutual benefits to both countries.

According to Adesina, “the conversation was cordial and President Buhari congratulated Trump on his election as President of the United States, and on his cabinet.”

Adesina said the two leaders specifically discussed ways to improve cooperation in the fight against terrorism through the provision of necessary equipment.

“President Trump encouraged President Buhari to keep up the good work he is doing, and also commended him for the efforts made in rescuing 24 of the Chibok girls and the strides being taken by the Nigerian military.

“President Trump assured the Nigerian President of U.S. readiness to cut a new deal in helping Nigeria in terms of military weapons to combat terrorism. Trump also invited Buhari to Washington at a mutually convenient date.”

Meanwhile, a group, Northern Patriotic Assembly has raised the alarm over alleged plots by some individuals to exploit Buhari’s health saga through paid protests and media propaganda, and thereby undermine his presidency.

At a state of the nation press conference yesterday in Abuja, the National President of the group, Kwuanu Terrence said Buhari’s health saga had been grossly exploited to further undermine the stability of the country.

According to him, Buhari clearly, in keeping with the constitution, wrote to the National Assembly that he was proceeding on a medical leave, adding that the president further communicated with the lawmakers when he had to, upon the advice of his doctors, stay back longer than he initially anticipated.

Terrence alleged that since the first letter announcing Buhari’s holiday, there had been too much of efforts to make him look incapable of staying in office and consequently edge him out.

He said the undue attention was to overwhelm the president with stress so that his health would be further compromised. Terrance accused some individuals he described as “disgruntled men” from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of being behind the sustained campaign against President Buhari because of their loss of power at the federal level.

“Their idea of burying the hatchet is to undo other ethnic nationalities with the reasoning that the vice president, being of their own ethnic stock stands in line as the beneficiary if they can force Buhari out of office on health grounds. Such treachery is not alien to this collection of two timing politicians.

“For this purpose a refined model of the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) has been activated to be launched in the coming days. Financial mobilisation for paid protesters is being concluded as we speak.”

However, the Borno State chapter of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has declared seven days of prayers and fasting for Buhari’s speedy recovery. The declaration was contained in a statement of the Legal and Public Affairs Director of CAN, Evangelist Kwamkur Samuel issued to newsmen in Maiduguri yesterday.

“Clerics drawn from various churches in Borno State are to converge on some churches to offer special prayers and fasting for the quick recovery of President Buhari, to return to the country and continue with his good policies and programmes for the nation,” the statement said.

Governor Kashim Shettima has also instructed the Ministry of Religious Affairs to write the CAN chairman requesting prayers for the president in appreciation of his commitment to the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.

U.S. National Security Advsier, Flynn, resigns.

President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, resigned late on Monday after revelations that he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

It was discovered that the conversation had taken place before Mr. Trump took office; and Mr. Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.

Mr. Flynn’s resignation came hours after it was reported that the Justice Department had warned the White House weeks ago that Flynn could be vulnerable to blackmail for contacts with Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, before Mr. Trump took power on Jan. 20.

His departure is a sobering development in Mr. Trump’s young presidency, a 24-day period during which his White House has been repeatedly distracted by miscues and internal dramas.

The departure could also slow Mr. Trump’s bid to warm up relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Flynn submitted his resignation hours after Mr. Trump, through a spokesman, pointedly declined to publicly back Mr. Flynn, saying he was reviewing the situation and talking to Mr. Pence.

Mr. Flynn promised Mr. Pence that he had not discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russians, but transcripts of communications described by U.S. officials showed that the subject had come up in conversations between him and the Russian ambassador.

Such contacts could potentially be in violation of a law banning private citizens from engaging in foreign policy known as the Logan Act.

Mr. Pence had defended Mr. Flynn in television interviews and was described by administration officials as upset about being misled.

“Unfortunately, because of the fast pace of events, I inadvertently briefed the vice president-elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian ambassador.

“I have sincerely apologised to the president and the vice president, and they have accepted my apology,” Flynn said in his resignation letter.

Keith Kellogg, a retired army general, who has been chief of staff of the White House National Security Council, was named the acting national security adviser while Mr. Trump determines who should fill the position.

Mr. Kellogg, retired General David Petraeus, a former CIA director, and Robert Harward, a former deputy commander of U.S. Central Command, are under consideration for the position, a White House official said.

Mr. Harward was however described by officials as the leading candidate.

Sally Yates, the then-acting U.S. attorney general, had told the White House late last month that she believed Mr. Flynn had misled them about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador.

She said Mr. Flynn might have put himself in a compromising position, possibly leaving himself vulnerable to blackmail, the official said.

Ms. Yates was later fired for opposing Mr. Trump’s temporary entry ban for people from seven mostly Muslim nations.

A U.S. official, describing the intercepted communications, said Mr. Flynn did not make any promises about lifting the sanctions.

However, he indicated that sanctions imposed by President Barack Obama on Russia for its Ukraine incursion “would not necessarily carry over to an administration seeking to improve relations between the U.S. and Russia.”

Mr. Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general, was an early supporter of Mr. Trump and shares his interest in shaking up the establishment in Washington.

He frequently raised eyebrows among Washington’s foreign policy establishment for trying to persuade Mr. Trump to warm up U.S. relations with Russia.

A U.S. official said Mr. Flynn’s departure, coupled with Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and Syria and Republican congressional opposition to removing sanctions on Russia, removes Mr. Trump’s most ardent advocate of taking a softer line towards Mr. Putin.

Mr. Flynn’s leaving “may make a significant course change less likely, at least any time soon,” the official said.

Another official said Mr. Flynn’s departure may strengthen the hands of some cabinet secretaries, including Defence Secretary, Jim Mattis and Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.

However, the second official said Mr. Flynn’s exit could also reinforce the power of presidential aides , Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, whom he described as already having the president’s ear.

Congressional Democrats expressed alarm at the developments surrounding Mr. Flynn and called for a classified briefing by administration officials to explain what had happened.

“We are communicating this request to the Department of Justice and FBI this evening,” said Democratic representatives John Conyers of Michigan and Elijah Cummings of Maryland.

U.S. Representative Adam Schiff of California, ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Mr. Flynn’s departure does not end the questions over his contacts with the Russians.

“The Trump administration has yet to be forthcoming about who was aware of Flynn’s conversations with the ambassador and whether he was acting on the instructions of the president or any other officials, or with their knowledge,” Mr. Schiff said.

The committee’s chairman, Republican Devin Nunes, thanked Mr. Flynn for his service.

“Washington D.C. can be a rough town for honourable people, and Flynn, who has always been a soldier, not a politician, deserves America’s gratitude and respect,” he said.


Source: Reuters

Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Flynn resigns over Russian links

Michael Flynn has resigned as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser following reports that he misled Vice President Mike Pence, about the nature of talks he held with the Russian ambassador in December.

TELEGRAPH UK reports that Flynn submitted his resignation in a letter Monday evening. In his resignation letter, Mr Flynn said he held numerous calls with the Russian ambassador to the US during the transition and gave “incomplete information” about those discussions to Vice President Mike Pence.

See resignation letter below:


BREAKING: Trump says Israel settlement growth not ‘good for peace’.

US President Donald Trump does not believe Israeli settlement growth in Palestinian territories is “good for peace”, he told a paper Friday, in his most direct comments on the matter since inauguration.


In an interview published in Hebrew by the Israel Hayom newspaper, Trump was quoted as saying he was “not someone who believes that advancing settlements is good for peace”.


Source: AFP

Trump loses again as U.S. Appeals Court rules against travel ban.

The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday refused to reinstate President Donald Trump’s Executive Order, which temporarily banned citizens from seven countries into the U.S.

The three-member panel, in its unanimous ruling, upheld a February 3 decision by a U.S. District Court judge, James Robart, in Seattle, that halted the ban nationwide.

“We hold that the government has not shown a likelihood of success on the merits of its appeal, nor has it shown that failure to enter a stay would cause irreparable injury, and we, therefore, deny its emergency motion for a stay.

“The American people have an interest in free flow of travel, in avoiding separation of families, and in freedom from discrimination,” the judges – Michelle Friedland, William Canby Jr, and Richard Clifton – said in a 29-page unanimous ruling.

However, President Trump immediately indicated his intention to challenge the ruling at the Supreme Court.

“See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake,” Mr. Trump tweeted shortly after the ruling.

The Trump administration had appealed the ruling by Robart, and asked that the ban be reinstated.

The decision came six days after Mr. Robart froze the travel ban nationwide after challenges from Washington and Minnesota states.

Mr. Robart said both states had the right to challenge Mr. Trump’s order and were likely to succeed.

“The state has met its burden in demonstrating immediate and irreparable injury,” Mr. Robart said in his ruling.

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a notice of appeal on Saturday.

In a hearing on Tuesday at the Appeals Court the administration claimed that the ban was motivated by terrorism fears,and questioned the argument that it unconstitutionally targeted Muslims.

The president’s executive order banned entry for citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days.

It also put a 120-day hold on the general refugee programme.

Mr. Trump defended the ban as a important to national security.

However, the decision was met with protests across the country.

Source: NAN

Erdogan, Trump agree to act jointly against ISIS in Syria – Turkish sources

Presidents Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and Donald Trump of U.S. agreed in a phone call overnight to act jointly against Islamic State in the Syrian towns of al-Bab and Raqqa, both controlled by the militants, Turkish presidency sources said on Wednesday.

The two leaders discussed issues including a safe zone in Syria, the refugee crisis and the fight against terror, the sources said.

They also said Mr. Erdogan had urged the U. S. not to support the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units or Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG) militia.

Mr. Trump spoke about the two countries’ “shared commitment to combating terrorism in all its forms” and welcomed Turkey’s contributions to the fight against Islamic State, the White House said in a statement, but it gave no further details.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, SDF, an alliance of U.S.-backed militias, started a new phase of its campaign against Islamic State in Raqqa on Saturday.

Turkey, a NATO ally and part of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, has repeatedly said it wants to be part of the operation to liberate Raqqa but does not want the YPG, which is part of the SDF alliance, to be involved.

Mr. Erdogan’s relations with former President Barack Obama were strained by U.S. support for the YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a terrorist organisation and an extension of Kurdish militants waging an insurgency inside Turkey.

The Turkish army and Syrian rebel groups it supports are meanwhile fighting Islamic State in a separate campaign around al-Bab, northeast of the city of Aleppo.

Ankara has complained in the past about a lack of U.S. support for that campaign.

The offices of both leaders said Mr. Trump had reiterated U.S. support for Turkey “as a strategic partner and NATO ally” during the phone call on Tuesday.

The Turkish sources said new CIA Director Mike Pompeo would visit Turkey on Thursday to discuss the YPG, and battling the network of U.S.-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey accuses of orchestrating a July coup attempt; a charge he denies.

Turkey has been frustrated by what it sees as Washington’s reluctance to hand over Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999.

There was no immediate confirmation from Washington of Pompeo’s visit.


Source: Reuters

Court block Trump’s ban, clears Muslim immigrants to fly to U.S.

The United States government has told airlines that previously stopped some categories of travellers from boarding planes to the country to start allowing them fly, according to U.S. media.

The instruction came hours after a federal judge temporarily blocked President Donald trump’s executive order banning citizens of some Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

However, the White House vowed late on Friday that it would challenge the “outrageous” ruling, saying it would seek a halt to the judge’s order and restore Mr. Trump’s “lawful and appropriate order”.

“The president’s order is intended to protect the homeland and he has the constitutional authority and responsibility to protect the American people,” the White House said.

The government was “arguing that we have to protect the U.S. from individuals from these countries, and here’s no support for that”, said James Robart, a judge of Federal District Court for Washington.

Though far-reaching, the ruling was temporary. It will stay in place until the government is able to provide plausible arguments in support of its policy or obtain a stay of execution.

Mr. Robart’s order specifically targets two parts of Mr. trump’s order: its 90-day suspension of entry into the United States of people from the seven countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — and its limits on accepting refugees, including “any action that prioritizes the refugee claims of certain religious minorities,” the New York Times reported.

The government had argued that the order, which barred the admission of refugees for 120 days and indefinitely for Syrian refugees, was to allow it to evaluate the process for vetting refugees and other immigrants in order to safeguard the country against terrorism.

It added that after the temporary halt, persecuted religious minorities would be given preference. In fact, Mr. Trump disclosed in an interview that the United States would give Christians from those countries priority because they had suffered “more so than others.”

“What we’re seeing here is the courts standing up to the unconstitutional ban that President Trump imposed. There’s obviously more litigation to come, but this is truly good news for the many people both in this country and abroad who have been unfairly targeted on the basis of their religion by this ban,” Omar Jadwat, director of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the A.C.L.U, told the New York Times.

The ruling rendered the decision of a Boston federal judge, Nathaniel Gorton, who ruled in a favour of the Trump administration few hours earlier moot.

The judge had declined to extend a temporary halt to the order in that jurisdiction.

Mr. Gorton, said that while the nation’s immigration history was a source of great pride and that the plaintiffs in that case — Iranian nationals who are academics — had compelling stories, “the public interest in safety and security in this ever more dangerous world is strong as well.”


Source: Premium Times

Judges Across U.S. To Weigh Trump’s Travel Ban.

Justice Department lawyers across the United States will on Friday defend President Donald Trump’s order temporarily banning citizens of seven majority-Muslim nations from entering the country, a directive some attorneys general say is unconstitutional.

Trump last week signed the executive order, which affects people holding passports from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, and also halts temporarily the entry of refugees into the country.

The White House contends the moves are necessary for national security. Democratic attorneys general in several states have called them unconstitutional.

Federal judges in Boston, Seattle and Virginia will weigh lawsuits filed by different states and advocacy groups challenging Trump’s order. In Seattle, the states of Washington and Minnesota are together asking a judge to suspend the entire policy nationwide, which would represent the broadest ruling to date against Trump’s directive.

Should the judge rule that Washington and Minnesota have legal standing to sue, it could help Democratic attorneys general take on Trump in court on issues beyond immigration.

In a filing late on Thursday, Justice Department lawyers argued that Trump was well within his authority to issue the immigration restrictions.

Massachusetts, anti-poverty group Oxfam and seven Iranian nationals will ask a Boston judge to extend an order issued on Sunday barring the detention or removal of approved refugees, visa holders and permanent U.S. residents who entered from the seven countries.

“If an executive order looks like a Muslim ban, acts like a Muslim ban, and has been talked about as a Muslim ban, then it’s probably a Muslim ban,” the plaintiffs said in a court filing.

During his campaign, Trump discussed the idea of banning Muslims from entering the country to protect against terrorist threats, and on Thursday he defended the restrictions as necessary to protect religious liberty.

“There are those who would seek to enter our country for the purpose of spreading violence, or oppressing other people based upon their faith or their lifestyle – not right,” he told a Washington prayer breakfast.

Iran retaliates, denies US wrestling team visas after Trump ban

Iran has refused visas for US athletes due to compete in an international wrestling tournament in response to President Donald Trump’s travel ban on predominantly Muslim countries, the foreign ministry said Friday.

“Considering the policies adopted by the new US administration, the foreign ministry was inevitably forced to refuse travel by the US wrestling team to Iran,” spokesman Bahram Ghasemi was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency.

The team was due to take part in the event in western Iran from February 16-17.

Trump signed an executive order a week ago barring entry of all refugees to the US for 120 days, Syrian refugees indefinitely and blocking citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entry for 90 days.

The order, which caused mayhem worldwide and has been met with legal challenges, was later clarified to say that green card holders were not targeted by the ban.

Iran on Thursday rejected a warning from Trump over its latest missile test as “baseless and provocative”, reflecting growing tensions between Tehran and the new US administration.

Nobel Peace Laureates denounce Trump ‘hate’ speech.

Nobel Peace Prize winners condemned US President Donald Trump at a gathering on Thursday at which their host accused him of “a discourse of hate” against immigrants.


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, the prize’s latest winner for progress towards ending his country’s civil war, opened the four-day summit of peace prize winners in Bogota.


“Discrimination, the refugee crisis and the growing, absurd rejection of migrants under a discourse of hate and exclusion that wins over the hearts of frightened people. What can we say to humanity?” Santos said.


He did not name Trump but his comments were widely interpreted as an attack on the US leader’s recent moves to restrict immigration from Latin America and seven Muslim-majority countries.


Other laureates such as Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, Costa Rica’s former president Oscar Arias and US anti-landmine activist Jody Williams also spoke up to criticize Trump at the gathering.


Source: Guardian

President Trump ‘targets pre-marital sex, abortion’ in new executive order

President Donald Trump is planning to sign an executive order that will make government stop funding organisations in support of abortion and homosexuality.

The Nation, a newspaper in the US,  said it obtained a document which appears to be the new order.

The draft order seeks to create wholesale exemptions for people and organisations who claim religious or moral objections to same-sex marriage, premarital sex, abortion, and trans identity, and it seeks to curtail women’s access to contraception and abortion through the Affordable Care Act.

“Sexual relations are properly reserved for such a marriage, male and female and their equivalents refer to an individual’s immutable biological sex as objectively determined by anatomy, physiology, or genetics at or before birth, and that human life begins at conception and merits protection at all stages of life,” the document reads.

On religious grounds, the document provides total exemption for people or groups who do not provide employee health insurance that includes contraception, currently mandated under the Affordable Care Act.

Quoting legal experts, the publication said if signed, the order would likely violate the Establishment Clause of the US constitution, which is commonly referred to as the separation of church and state.

The newspaper said when it contacted, Sean Spicer, White House press secretary, he declined to make comments “ahead of the executive orders that we may or may not issue”.

“We have nothing on that front now,” he was quoted as saying.


Source: The Cable

Four States Sue Trump Over Muslim Ban

Four US states are suing the Trump administration over the president’s executive order banning refugees and travellers from a list of predominantly Muslim countries from entering America.

New York, Massachusetts and Virginia joined Washington state on a growing list of states in launching legal challenges against executive order that wreaked havoc at airports at the weekend

Washington became the first state to sue the White House on Monday.

On Tuesday New York joined a federal lawsuit against Trump’s executive order brought by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Urban Justice Center and others…

Eric Schneiderman, the New York state attorney general, described the order signed last Friday as unconstitutional, unlawful, and fundamentally un-American

“Virginia has a substantial interest in protecting its public universities and their faculty and students from the academic and fiscal disruption posed by the executive order,” according to the state’s motion filed in the federal court of Alexandria

Massachusetts attorney general Maura Healey said the state was also filing its own case seeking to have the ban struck down.

The executive order is harmful, discriminatory and unconstitutional. It

discriminates on the basis of religion and national origin, Healey said at a press briefing at her office



UNICEF begs Trump to consider 28 million refugees

UNICEF has asked President Donald Trump to open the US to the 28 million children who have been displaced by the conflicts in their countries.


The organisation made this appeal following Trump’s executive order to temporarily ban refugees from seven war- torn countries.


“The needs of refugees have never been greater,” UNICEF said.


“Worldwide 28 million children have been uprooted by conflict, driven from their homes by violence and terror. They need our help.


“The United States has a long and proud tradition of protecting children fleeing war and persecution. We trust that this support will continue and that the recent measures will prove to be temporary. All refugee children need our support.”


UNICEF said it is committed to working with governments and other partners around the world to help some of the most vulnerable children everywhere, from Syria to Yemen to South Sudan.


Trump temporarily banned immigration from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, and indefinitely stopped Syrian refugees from coming to the United States.


Source: The Cable

Obama backs protests against Trump’s Immigration Policy.

Breaking his silence only 10 days after he left office, former President Barack Obama has backed nationwide protests against President Donald Trump’s Refugee Order on Monday.

In a strongly worded statement issued through a spokesman, Kevin Lewis, and reported by networks, Mr. Obama said he was “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country”.

“Citizens exercising their constitutional right to assemble, organise and have their voices heard by their elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.

“With regard to comparisons to President Obama’s foreign policy decisions, as we’ve heard before, the President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion.”

The former president rejected Mr. Trump’s defence on Sunday that his executive orders restricting travel from seven countries were “similar to what President Obama did in 2011 when he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months”.

“The 2011 order did not ban visas for refugees, who by definition don’t travel on visas.

“It tightened the review process for citizens of Iraq and for refugees from the six other countries, while Trump’s is a near-blanket order applying to nearly all residents and citizens of all seven countries.”

Former presidents walk a fine line between staying politically engaged and avoiding knocking their successor.

President George W. Bush, for example, remained markedly silent on politics during Mr. Obama’s eight years in office.

But Mr. Obama’s relationship with Mr. Trump is different, and Monday’s statement made clear that the former president will stay engaged and outspoken on political action.

Mr. Trump’s order temporarily banned immigration from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia and indefinitely stopped Syrian refugees from coming to the United States.

The White House has compared Mr. Trump’s action to what President Obama did in 2011 when “he banned visas for refugees from Iraq for six months”.

It was crafted in response to two Iraqi refugees implicated in a bomb making scheme and while it did not outright ban refugees from coming to the U.Saudi, it did increase the amount of vetting each Iraqi refugee received.

Mr. Trump defended his executive order on Monday in the wake of protests across the country.

He said that America would “continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression” but would “do so while protecting our own citizens and border”.

“I have tremendous feeling for the people involved in this horrific humanitarian crisis in Syria.

“My first priority will always be to protect and serve our country, but as President I will find ways to help all those who are suffering,” Mr. Trump said.

Trump’s Travel Ban Discriminatory — Obama

A former US President, Barack Obama, has criticised President Donald Trump’s executive order to curb immigration, backing protesters who have taken to the nation’s airports to express their displeasure.

Obama, in a statement on Monday by his spokesperson, Kevin Lewis, said Trump’s immigration policy was discriminatory.

“The (former) President fundamentally disagrees with the notion of discriminating against individuals because of their faith or religion,” CNN quoted Lewis as saying.

Lewis added that Obama perceived the protests as “exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake.”

This is the first time Obama, who ceded power to Trump 10 days ago, would criticise the current President, breaking an unwritten rule that former presidents should refrain from criticising the current White House occupant.

Trump had on Friday banned seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days and suspended the admission of all refugees.

Trump’s order temporarily banned immigration from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia and indefinitely stopped Syrian refugees from coming to the United States.





President Trump Fires Acting Attorney General who Said Travel Ban was not Lawful

President Donald Trump fired acting US Attorney General Sally Yates after she defied him on his controversial executive order on immigrants and refugees, according to a statement White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued Monday night.

“The acting Attorney General, Sally Yates, has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” the statement read in part.

Yates — an appointee of former President Barack Obama — told the Justice Department earlier Monday not to defend Trump’s executive order.

Yates, who was set to be replaced by Trump’s appointee Jeff Sessions once he’s confirmed, denounced the executive order in a letter to Justice Department lawyers, saying it may not be lawful.

“I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” Yates said in the letter.

“At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”

Trump’s executive action, authorized on Friday, calls for a temporary halt on all refugees coming to the US, and bars the entry of foreign nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries. The order has sparked protests in streets and airports across the country, and has been roundly condemned from members of both parties. Trump spent the day Monday vigorously defending the order.

Trump criticized Yates in a tweet Monday evening:
Yates’s directive was generally a symbolic one and would only have been enforced until she left office.

Yates was appointed by former Democratic President Barack Obama.
The White House dismissed her comments as rhetoric and said Trump acted within his presidential powers.

A new acting AG Dana Boente was sworn in immediately.

US Allies worried

There was criticism from within the U.S. government. U.S. State Department officials circulated a draft memo of dissent, saying Trump’s move would hurt America’s image abroad and inflame anti-American sentiment.

Separately, U.S. officials said the department received multiple cables from U.S. embassies over the weekend reporting foreign dissatisfaction at the order.

The Iraqi parliament voted to ask the country’s government to retaliate against the United States, putting at risk cooperation in the fight against Islamic State.

A government official in Baghdad said Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari plans to meet the U.S. ambassador soon to express dismay at Trump’s decision.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson joined a chorus of concern expressed by U.S. allies, ranging from Iraq to Germany.

“This is, of course, a highly controversial policy, which has caused unease and, I repeat, this is not an approach that this government would take,” Johnson told parliament.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in London and other British cities on Monday to demonstrate against the ban. People, some holding placards reading “No to Racism, No to Trump” and “Dump Trump,” staged a protest outside the Prime Minister’s Downing Street residence.

President Donald Trump to cut off funding to UN agencies that promote abortion.

The administration of President Donald Trump is planning to stop funding any United Nations (UN) agency that promotes “the performance of abortion or sterilisation as a method of family planning”.

It is one of a number of prohibitions in the executive order that sets up a process for reviewing all American contributions to the UN—and automatically eliminating many others.

Also on the chopping block is “any United Nations affiliate or other international organisation that grants full membership to the Palestinian Authority or the Palestinian Liberation Organisation”; any organisation “substantially influenced by any state that sponsors terrorism”; and any group circumventing sanctions against North Korea or Iran.

The draft order, if enacted, would be a significant expansion on the so-called Global Gag Rule, which was first implemented by Ronald Reagan in 1984.

It was overturned during every Democratic administration, but Trump reinstated and expanded by it this week.

The Global Gag Rule only restricts usage of federal funding to organisations that do not promote (or even mention) abortion.

Trump’s draft order goes further to include sterilisation, a crucial medical procedure for women in a world where an estimated 300,000 women die during childbirth annually.

The United Nations Population Fund is one of several UN organisations that would receive a “special review of funding” under the draft order.

UNFPA states as its aim “a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”

The organisation fights against child marriage, female genital mutilation, and maternal death. In addition, the UNFPA has played a role in assuring that pregnant women fleeing conflict are able to safely give birth.

Trump will call for a Pentagon plan to hit ISIS harder, officials say.

The White House is drafting a presidential directive that calls on Defense Secretary James N. Mattis to devise plans to more aggressively strike the Islamic State, which could include American artillery on the ground in Syria and Army attack helicopters to support an assault on the group’s capital, Raqqa, officials said.

President Trump, who is to make his first visit to the Pentagon as commander in chief on Friday, will demand that the new options be presented to him within 30 days, the officials said. During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump repeatedly said that he had a secret plan to defeat the Islamic State, but he also said that he would give his commanders a month to come up with new options.

The White House is also expected to press for a review of the United States nuclear posture — one that retains all three legs of the nuclear arsenal with weapons aboard bombers and submarines and in underground missile silos — as well as a review of how to achieve the president’s goal of fielding a “state of the art” antimissile system.

The directive to identify new ways to hasten the demise of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and ISIL, has been widely anticipated by military commanders, who have begun drafting classified options to increase the pressure on the militant group, especially in Raqqa and Mosul, the stronghold in Iraq.

Work on the directive was described by several current and former officials who are close to the White House and who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the administration’s internal deliberations. The White House had no comment.

The man charged with overseeing this re-examination of American defense is Mr. Mattis, a retired Marine Corps four-star general who commanded American forces in the Middle East and will be working in partnership with Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The men have known each other for years and Mr. Mattis used to be General Dunford’s commanding officer while in the Marines.

Mr. Mattis will face multiple challenges. As an emissary to longstanding allies in Asia and Europe, he has staked out a position as the Trump administration’s reassurer-in-chief.

James Mattis, left, arrived for his first day of work at the Pentagon with Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Saturday. Credit Paul J. Richards/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

One of Mr. Mattis’s first moves as defense secretary was to phone the NATO secretary general to assure him that he strongly supported the alliance that Mr. Trump has criticized as “obsolete.” Mr. Mattis will fly to Asia next week on a trip to allay concerns in Japan and South Korea that the United States might abandon longstanding commitments to their security.

A week after that, Mr. Mattis is expected to make another reassurance trip — this one to Europe — to meet with counterparts at NATO in Brussels and then at a security conference in Munich.

Lawmakers and even some members of the military are hoping that Mr. Mattis can also serve as a counterweight on some of the new administration’s more hard-line positions. In a classified operations center at one Special Operations headquarters, a photo of Mr. Mattis is taped to a board with various captions written underneath. On Thursday morning, the caption read: “Watch over us.”

During his first visit to the Pentagon, Mr. Trump will conduct a ceremonial swearing-in of Mr. Mattis and is expected to sign the new directives and have a short meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Mr. Trump and Mr. Mattis appear to have some positive chemistry. They were seen chatting warmly on the reviewing stand during the inaugural parade. The new commander-in-chief relishes referring to “Mad Dog” Mattis at every opportunity, even though the retired general does not like that nickname and insists it is no more than a media invention.

And while they agree on the need for more military spending, some of the defense secretary’s views are at odds with his new boss, including his skepticism of Russia’s intentions, his traditional support for allies and flat opposition to the use of torture in interrogating terrorists.

The day before Mr. Mattis came to work at the Defense Department, he issued a statement to the Pentagon work force that cast the United States as a bulwark of the international order and the guardian of important alliances. In contrast to the “America First” oratory emanating from the White House, Mr. Mattis vowed that the Pentagon would work “for an America that remains a steady beacon of hope for all mankind.”

“General Mattis is prepared to give the president the best advice he can as secretary of defense even if it’s not something the president wants to hear,” said Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the senior Democrat on the Armed Services Committee, who spoke to Mr. Mattis on Tuesday. “The question is, how long can he do that if he’s not being responded to.”

Crafting a plan to step up the fight against the Islamic State is the most urgent task facing Mr. Mattis. When President Barack Obama left office, half of Mosul remained in the hands of the militants. Tens of thousands of American-backed Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters were closing in on Raqqa, but there was no agreement on which force should seize the capital itself.

The potential options include expanding the use of American Special Operations forces, raising the troop ceilings on United States forces in Iraq and Syria and having the White House delegate more authorities to the Pentagon and its commanders in the field, to speed up decision-making.

A difficult decision also confronts the Pentagon on whether to risk alienating Turkey by arming the Syrian Kurds for the Raqqa battle, or whether to cobble together a more diverse force that could include Turkish troops, Turkish backed opposition groups and perhaps even elements of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, as well as Apache helicopters and artillery. Turkey considers the Syrian Kurds terrorists and has been trying to forge closer ties with the Trump administration.

Expanding the American military will also pose challenges because of the soaring cost of some key weapons programs and the ambitious scope of the buildup Mr. Trump is seeking. As the steward of the Pentagon’s nearly $600 billion annual budget, Mr. Mattis will face tough choices, as it seems unlikely that the additional spending Mr. Trump plans for the armed forces can pay for all of the ambitious programs he has promised.

During the campaign, Mr. Trump called for a Navy of 350 ships, up from the current fleet of 272, and to expand the Army to 540,000 troops, an increase of about 65,000. The Air Force and Marines would also grow.

Funding such a military building would be costly. While the Pentagon has yet to outline its spending under the new administration, a paper by Senator John McCain, who heads the Armed Services Committee and is advocating a similar buildup, calls for spending $430 billion more than is currently planned, for the next five years.

Other directives in the works could affect the military. Mr. Trump told ABC News on Wednesday that he would “absolutely do safe zones” in Syria for refugees fleeing the violence there. A draft executive order obtained by The New York Times calls for Mr. Mattis, along with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, to produce a plan within 90 days for safe zones in Syria.

In the past, American military officials have warned that such a move would escalate the American involvement in the war in Syria, something the Obama administration staunchly opposed.

Military experts are looking to see who will join Mr. Mattis’s team at the Pentagon — and how many are picked by the new defense secretary himself. Mr. Mattis’s chief of staff will be Kevin M. Sweeney, a retired rear admiral whom Mr. Mattis has known for years. His senior military assistant will be Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller, who previously served as the top operations officer at Central Command when Mr. Mattis was in charge there.

German town refuses to grant Donald Trump honorary citizenship

U.S. President Donald Trump will not be made an honorary citizen of the small German town from where his grandparents emigrated, the town’s mayor, Thomas Jaworek, said on Friday after a council meeting.

Councillors in Kallstadt, the quaint village in Germany’s wine-making Rheinland region that was home to Mr. Trump’s grandparents, had been presented with a proposal to honour the newly inaugurated president.

The town’s councillors did not address the Trump proposal directly at the meeting, but instead reaffirmed their position that the town does not hand out honorary citizenships.

Germany’s own Republicans, a fringe party sharing the right-wing conservative values of their U.S. namesakes, lodged the request for honorary citizenship and even wanted to have a street or square named after him.

“There is no faction that supports the proposal,’’ Mr. Jaworek said ahead of the meeting.

The municipality of Freinsheim, which includes Kallstadt, also brushed aside a similar proposal, with a town spokesman saying Trump did not fulfill the requirements.

Report says Mr. Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich, who later anglicised his name to Frederick, set out from Germany for New York in the late 1800s and later headed west as part of the Gold Rush.

He sent some of his earnings back to his relatives in Germany, where a distant few of them could still be found in Kallstadt.

CNN: Trump will need more than ‘Nigeria’s 2017 budget’ to build wall in Mexico

President Donald Trump will need a little more than $25 billion – about the size of Nigeria’s 2017 budget – to build his much touted wall across the US-Mexico border.

The wall, which is projected by CNNMoney to be at least 1,300 miles long, 40 feet high, and containing 19 million tons of concrete, is expected to be more than double the price proclaimed by Trump during his campaign.

The taller portions of the existing fence between the populated sections of the US-Mexico border cost an average of $3.9 million per mile, according to the government accountability office.

Bernstein Research, which tracks materials costs in the US, suggest there are enough uncertainties to drive the cost up to $15 billion, and possibly as much as $25 billion.

The estimate does not include the cost of acquiring the land where the wall will be built, which is estimated  to cost a fortune.

In context, Nigeria’s 2017 budget is $25.99 billion or N7.298 trillion  the biggest budget in naira terms in the country’s 56-year history.

With the cost of land acquisition added to the estimated cost, Trump will need more than $25.99 billion to successfully erect a wall between the US and Mexico.

Trump has repeatedly said Mexico will be paying for the wall, which the country has refused.

Enrique Nieto, the Mexican president, made a cancellation of his proposed trip to Washington on January 31.

He was to meet with Trump, but the US leader said he should stay put in Mexico, if his country not willing to pay for the wall.

“The US has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost,” Trump said.

“If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”

Trump: Mexico should cancel meeting if they won’t pay for wall.

President Donald Trump on Thursday said his Mexican counterpart Enrique Nieto should cancel his upcoming visit to Washington if Mexico refuses to pay for a wall along the border.


“The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico.


“It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with massive numbers… of jobs and companies lost.


“If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting,” Mr. Trump said on Twitter


NAN reports that Mexico’s foreign minister Luis Videgaray said on Wednesday that in spite of pressure at home to scrap a summit between Messrs. Trump and Nieto fixed for Tuesday, January 31, “it is still on for now”.


Trump had signed new executive orders, including one authorising a wall on the U.S. southern border, just as a Mexican delegation led by Mr. Videgaray arrived at the White House for talks.


“The meeting between the two presidents in Washington next Tuesday is still confirmed,” Mr. Videgaray said. “The meeting, for now, is going forward.”


Source: Reuters

Mexico will not pay for Trump’s wall – President Enrique Pena Nieto insists

President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico is insisting that his country will not pay for the wall US President Trump is planning to build.

Pena Nieto said, “I’ve said time and again; Mexico won’t pay for any wall.

“It comes as our country is talking on new rules on cooperation, trade, investment, security and migration in the North American region. As president I assume the complete responsibility to defend the interests of Mexico and Mexicans.

Why President Trump using an unsecured Android would be a very bad idea – By Daniel Howley

The president of the United States is protected by a cavalcade of secret service agents at all times, uses a secure landline in the Oval Office and rides around in a limo that can survive a chemical attack. But it seems like Trump is skimping on security where it might matter most: his smartphone.

According to a report by The New York Times, Trump is still using an unsecured Android smartphone, rather than the kind of secure device President Barack Obama begrudgingly used after giving up his locked-down BlackBerry last year.

Why does it matter that Trump might be using an unsecured smartphone? Because gaining access to the president’s handset could give attackers a means to view anything he has saved on the device. Heck, hackers could enable the phone’s microphone without anyone ever knowing, giving them the ability to listen in on private conversations.

“Nearly all smartphones have location services as well as microphones,” explained security researcher and journalist Ashkan Soltani. “An attacker could use this device to track the president’s movements, even if it were not his primary phone, or hot-mic [remotely enable the phone’s microphone] to monitor his private conversations — another matter of national security.”

It’s also worth pointing out that Trump’s Twitter account, which he might access through his phone, has changed the direction of stocks in just 140 characters. If someone gained access to that account, they could send the stock market into free fall or cause a national panic.

“We live in a time when policy decisions and reactions happen in an instant,” Soltani said. “Were a foreign actor to hack his device, or otherwise get a hold of that account and tweet something at another nation state, that could inadvertently cause a diplomatic crisis or even a war.”

To be sure, it’s not clear that Trump is the person using this unsecured phone or if he has a staffer use it. It’s also unclear if the phone does anything beyond simply allow for Twitter access, or if it’s a fully functional phone.

Either way, the security of the president’s smartphone is incredibly important. When Obama traded in his BlackBerry, the smartphone he received from his security experts was essentially a tiny black brick.

Obama said his phone couldn’t do basic things like send text messages, take pictures or even play music. But as far as we know it was secure enough to prevent a hacker from attacking it.

Interestingly, as AndroidCentral points out, The New York Times’ report seems to contradict a previous Times article, which stated that Trump did in fact turn in his old Android phone for a secure device provided by the Secret Service.

We’ve reached out to the White House for comment and will update our piece when we receive a response.

Trump moves to stop US Embassy from issuing visas to citizens of 7 countries

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to sign executive orders today that includes a suspension of visas for citizens of Syria and six other Middle Eastern and African countries.

This was revealed by congressional aides and immigration experts, who asked not to be named, briefed on the matter. Trump gave a hint about this on twitter, saying a big day was planned on national security on Wednesday.

He is expected to block visas being issued to anyone from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.



BREAKING: Donald Trump withdraws US from Trans-Pacific Partnership deal that covers 40 percent of world’s economy

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order formally withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, following through on a promise from his presidential campaign.

“We’ve been talking about this for a long time,” Trump said as he signed the executive order in an Oval Office ceremony on Monday.

He also called the order a “great thing for the American worker”.

In the same ceremony, Trump also signed an order imposing a federal hiring freeze and a directive banning US non-governmental organizations receive federal funding from providing abortions abroad.
Promoted by Washington and signed by 12 countries in 2015, the TPP had yet to go into effect and US withdrawal is likely to sound its death knell.

Its signatories are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the US and Brunei. They together represent 40 percent of the world economy.

Source: Aljazeera

Police Arrest 65 at IPOB’s Pro-Trump Rally

Police in Nigeria on Sunday said they had arrested 65 people at a demonstration of support for US President Donald Trump organised by pro-independence activists in the country’s south.

The rally, which took place on Friday in the southern oil hub of Port Harcourt, was organised to coincide with the billionaire businessman’s inauguration as the 45th US president.

It was organised by a pro-Biafra group advocating an independent state in southeastern Nigeria and was held on the eve of massive demonstrations against Trump across the globe.

“Some suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB)… staged an unlawful protest in the Port Harcourt metropolis,” said Rivers State’s deputy police chief Ahmed Magaji.

He said the march was not authorised and had disturbed the public order, with police using tear gas to disperse them.

“About 65 of them were arrested” on suspicion of belonging to the IPOB, and were found to be carrying the movement’s flag, he said.

The IPOB is part of a wider secessionist movement that advocates an independent state of Biafra, a region in southeast Nigeria that unsuccessfully fought for independence in a brutal three-year civil war that ended in 1970.

Posting on Twitter, several pro-Biafra activists claimed police had brutally attacked the unarmed demonstrators and even killed several of them but there was no way of independently verifying the reports.

Early on in the US presidential race, IPOB threw its support behind Trump in the belief he would recognise their independence movement.

Soon after Britain voted in a referendum in June to leave the European Union, the group pushed for its own version of “Brexit” from Nigeria that it dubbed “Biafrexit”.

Separatist sentiment has grown over the past 15 months since the arrest of the brother of the IPOB’s leader, with activists engaging in bloody clashes with the security forces that have been condemned by human rights groups.



JUST IN: IPOB Trump solidarity rally turns violent

The solidarity rally by the indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, for new US President, Donald Trump in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State has turned violent.

Media and Publicity ?secretary of IPOB, Mr. Emma Powerful, in a short message he sent to DAILY POST alleged that no fewer than 11 members of the pro-Biafra group have been shot dead by security operatives.

“They have attacked our people; 11 have been confirmed dead, many others have bullet wounds”, he claimed in the statement.

He alleged that the attack was carried out by the police, the army and the Department of State Services, beside First Artillery junction, Port-Hacourt.

The IPOB spokesman had earlier in a statement he issued on Friday morning, raised the alarm over what he called, ?”the barbaric plans by the Nigeria security agencies against the recent TRUMP solidarity rally in Igweocha Port-Harcourt River state today, 20th January 2017.”

“The Nigeria security agencies, especially the DSS have perfected plans to share some weapons/guns to unscrupulous elements in the society to join the peaceful solidarity rally for TRUMP today in order to create problem within the crowd.

“IPOB is a peaceful organization that have no guns or weapons but Nigeria government and her security agencies especially the DSS have shared destructive objects to kill people in Igweocha River state today.

“?We are calling on international community, men and women of good conscience around the world to note this because IPOB is peaceful and if anything happens, Nigeria government led by Muhammadu Buhari and the security agencies, especially the DSS should be held responsible,” he had claimed.

However, when contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, of the Rivers State Police Command, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, described the reported killing as false.

He said to the best of his knowledge, there was no casualty as the police did not use force but merely employed minimal action, which involved the use of tear gas.

He added that the situation had been brought under control and that everybody was now going about their normal businesses.


Source: DailyPost

Twitter transition to begin Friday as Obama hands @POTUS account to Trump

Inauguration Day will be about more than just the peaceful transition of power. It will also be see the peaceful transition of Twitter handles.


On Friday, Jan. 20, President Barack Obama will give up the @POTUS Twitter account that he has used since 2015 to make way for President-elect Donald Trump and his team to take over the account.


This is unprecedented because Obama was the first president to have an official Twitter account, let alone even use Twitter. So the White House has laid out its plans for the transition, which include working with the National Archives and Records Administration to ensure that the tweets of @POTUS, @FLOTUS and several other official accounts are not lost.


What is unclear is what Trump plans to do with his new Twitter account. He has been a longtime Twitter user and has become famous for his Twitter tirades during the campaign. He currently has 20.4 million followers of his @realDonaldTrump account and recently said that he planned on remaining active using that handle. “I think I’ll keep it,” he told the Times of London, noting that he has 46 million followers across social media. “When you think that you’re 46 million there, I’d rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump.” The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for further comment.


The transition of the Twitter handles will take place on Friday after Trump is sworn in. When the Trump administration receives access to @POTUS, the account will be stripped of its previous tweets, but it will retain its 13 million followers.


Meanwhile, all of Obama’s tweets will be archived under Twitter account @POTUS44, which will be managed by NARA. Anyone who currently follows @POTUS will automatically follow this new account.


Obama, meanwhile, will be able to use his @BarackObama Twitter account, which has 80.7 million followers and during his presidency has been run by the Organizing for Action staff.


A similar process will occur for @FLOTUS, @WhiteHouse, @VP and a handful of other accounts.


Other digital assets that will be transferred to Trump’s administration include the White House accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Medium, Tumblr and Flickr. The White House website will also be archived under


The White House has laid out a comprehensive guide to following the Obama administration after Friday on its blog.

Trump retains 50 senior Obama appointees

President-elect Donald Trump has asked roughly 50 senior President Barack Obama administration appointees to remain in their posts after his inauguration to ensure continuity in government, according to Sean Spicer, incoming White House press secretary.

The officials include the highest-ranking career officials at key national security agencies like the Pentagon and State Department.

Deputy Defence Secretary Robert Work and America’s third-ranking diplomat, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, will serve as acting chiefs of their agencies until successors for the top jobs are confirmed by the Senate, Trump’s spokesman said.

Trump’s selection for James Mattis, the Pentagon retired general, is expected to be confirmed on Friday shortly after the inauguration ceremony, along with John Kelly, a retired general, for secretary of Homeland Security.

Senate debate on Trump’s choice of Mike Pompeo, for the CIA boss, is expected to start on Friday.

It is unclear if Pompeo will receive an immediate confirmation vote.

At the State Department, Shannon will be in charge until next week as a senate vote on Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, is not expected until Monday or Tuesday.

Also staying will be Brett McGurk, the Obama administration’s point-man for fighting the Islamic State group, Nicholas Rasmussen, the National Counterterrorism Center Director, and Adam Szubin, the Treasury Department’s top official for terrorism and financial intelligence.

Spicer said Chuck Rosenberg, the Drug Enforcement Agency administrator, and Susan Coppedge, the State Department’s ambassador-at-large to combat human trafficking, would be left in place for the transition.

The National Institutes of Health said its director, Francis Collins, was asked to stay on at least temporarily.

Republicans and Democrats are still negotiating over Trump’s nominees and Mattis and Kelly may be the only ones to make it through on Friday.

Why Buhari was not invited for Trump’s inauguration – Fayose

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, has described the non-extension of invitation to President Muhammadu Buhari to attend the Donald Trump’s inauguration as a clear signal that the president does not enjoy international relevance any more.
The governor said that the development was a very clear signal that Buhari’s government would not enjoy tangible support from the new US government.
Fayose, according to a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication and New Media, Mr. Lere Olayinka, on Thursday said there is no doubt that Buhari is not in the good books of the incoming US government.
He argued that Buhari’s frequent visit to US during Obama administration and the romance was due to the tacit support given to Buhari by Obama to win the 2015 election with deception.
He said, “With Obama’s role in the emergence of President Buhari, it can be said that he (Obama) is a member of the APC in the diaspora.”
” In an important event like this in US, our president will be missing in action.”
The governor wondered why the same president, who was a regular visitor to the US under Obama, was today not part of the historic inauguration of a new administration.
“No doubt, something is fundamentally wrong because if there is hope of a future relationship between President Buhari and the new US President, they would have been celebrating his inauguration and would not have allowed Nigerians to hear any other news apart from Buhari going to America.
“Obviously, Buhari’s junketing to US that gulped $1m per trip, has come to an inglorious end,” he said.
The governor, who congratulated Trump for winning against all odds, like he (Fayose) won his own election in Ekiti in 2014, appealed to the new American president to do everything possible to save Nigeria from the wanton killings and horrid human rights abuses of the Buhari administration.
He enjoined Trump to use his good offices to look into the daily killings in Nigeria particularly in Southern Kaduna where over 1,000 people were slaughtered like goats and buried in mass graves.
Fayose reiterated, “The Southern Kaduna killings is a clear case of genocide that must be thoroughly investigated and unraveled.
“To make matters worse was the bombing of the Internally Displaced Persons camp by the military in desperation to cover up the corruption and mismanagement of affairs in the camp.
” We appeal to Trump to ensure that the voice of the opposition is not silenced in this country.
“We however appreciate the non invitation of Buhari because that will give him the much needed opportunity to face the problems he inflicted on Nigeria, especially the IDP bombing, which left over 100 hapless Nigerians dead,” he added.

Migrants in race against time to cross US border before Donald Trump takes over

Migrants trying to sneak into the United States from the parched Mexican desert have to contend with border guards’ drones overhead, poisonous snakes underfoot and human trafficking gangs at their backs.

But these challenges are nothing compared to their bigger fear: that someday soon, US President-elect Donald Trump will build a wall to keep them out altogether.

So before Trump takes office on Friday, they are racing against time, riding a freight train up to the border to look for a way across.

In the town of Caborca near the frontier, a group of Hondurans warm themselves by a fire of trash in the early morning cold.

One of them, Wilson, a 48-year-old builder, missed the birth of his daughter to make the journey. Getting to the United States before Trump takes control was more important. #

“When I saw that man on the television saying how he hated migrants and was going to build a wall, I thought: ‘It’s now or never,” said Wilson, who would not give his last name.

“So we all spent Christmas and New Year traveling to try to get here in time. We want to beat him to it.”

Mexican authorities are arresting thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of undocumented migrants each month, according to government figures.

Governors of several northern states this week called for extra resources to deal with the surge.

Laura Ramirez, a local charity activist, has been serving more than 200 free lunches a day to migrants.

“There are more and more migrants coming,” she says.

– Walk like a cow –
In the border town of Sasabe, marks in the rust on the border fence appear to show a spot where migrants climbed over, says Sergio Flores, leader of a government migrant task force.

“They have been getting sophisticated” in their efforts to get across undetected, he says.

Nearby on the sand lies a bottle of water, painted black — a common trick to stop the plastic shining in the sun and catching the eye of border guards.

That is just part of the typical migrant survival kit, Flores says.

The migrants wear soft-soled slippers so as not to leave footprints in the sand, along with camouflage clothes and masks.

Some have even made soles for their shoes that make their footprints look like cows’ hooves.

Some put sanitary pads in their socks to cushion their feet on long walks.

In their rucksacks they carry anoraks, remedies for snake bites, alcohol for lighting fires, talcum powder for their feet and painkillers.

They buy their supplies in the shops on the town square in the local village of Altar — an area dubbed “Migrants’ Wal-Mart.”

– Coyotes and mules –
The migrants pay about $1,000 each to so-called “coyotes” — people traffickers — to bring them here from their native countries.

On arrival, some traffickers tell the migrants they must pay another $5,000 to get across the border.

“It’s big business,” Flores says.

Some who cannot pay the traffickers instead cross the border as drug “mules,” with 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of marijuana on their backs.

“You have to bring your own water, food and blanket,” says one such “mule,” a Honduran migrant who called himself El Guero.

“They don’t pay us. The payment is being allowed to cross.”

– Not welcome –
Trump sparked outrage during his election campaign when he branded immigrants from Mexico criminals and rapists.

The insult rankles with the migrants on the migrant trail.

“That racist man is panicking,” said El Guero. “Our only sin is being born in an impoverished country and not having enough money to pay the gangs.”

Just across the US border in the town of Arivaca, Arizona, locals mistrust the migrants.

“We cannot deny that they bring trouble,” says a waiter in the town, who asked not to be named.

“I just think they shouldn’t be here. This is not their home.”

Last week, in his first press conference since winning the election, Trump reiterated his campaign promise to build a wall along the border.

In Caborca, Wilson gazes towards the north, where he hopes soon to cross over to a better life.

“I trust God will soften Trump’s heart,” he says.

Anti-Trump protester sets himself on fire outside The Donald’s D.C. hotel

A protester set himself on fire outside Trump International Hotel in Washington DC on Tuesday.

The 45-year-old man, who has not yet been identified, said the act was in protest of the President-elect’s looming inauguration.

Witnesses described how he yelled ‘Trump’ several times as ‘flames ran up his back’ before lying down in the street.

He suffered non-life-threatening burns and was taken to hospital shortly after the incident at around 9.30pm.

A Washington DC Police source told he was not arrested.

A man set himself on fire in protest outside Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. on Tuesday night. His clothes remained ablaze in the middle of the road afterwards 

A man set himself on fire in protest outside Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C. on Tuesday night. His clothes remained ablaze in the middle of the road afterwards

The man said he was from California and that he was acting in protest against Trump 

The man said he was from California and that he was acting in protest against Trump

‘(I’m protesting) the fact that we’ve elected somebody who is completely incapable of respecting the Constitution of the United States.’

The man, who said he was from California, suffered third-degree burns on 10 percent of his body, according to the Washington Post.

He had used a lighter and accelerant to start the fire.

Authorities said they were called to the hotel after receiving a report of a person ‘in distress’.

A bypasser said it was not initially clear what the man was protesting when he set fire to items of clothing in the street outside the hotel.

‘He set himself on fire and as flames ran up his back he yelled Trump several times then lay down in the street.

Fire crews and an ambulance was called to the hotel shortly after 9.30pm to deal with the incident.

(He) then walked over to the police/security,’ Michael Shoag, who arrived at the hotel after the man set himself on fire, said.

While the man appeared to have suffered burns to his back, he was able to walk.

Trump International Hotel is on the parade route that the president-elect will travel during the inauguration on Friday as he makes his way to the White House.

Anti-Trump protesters have been flocking to Washington DC this week ahead of the event.

At least 26 protest groups have been granted permits, which is more than four times the average for past inaugurations, according to USA Today.

Approximately 400,000 protesters are anticipated in DC over the weekend, with more than half expected to walk on Saturday in the Women’s March on Washington.

They also inundated Ivanka Trump’s Manhattan home on Tuesday, carrying moving boxes plastered with protest slogans to mock the businesswoman’s move to Washington.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Tuesday he would also join demonstrators at a protest outside the family’s Manhattan hotel on the eve of the inauguration.

‘I’m rallying at Trump Int’l Hotel at 6PM on January 19 because our next president needs to hear from all NYers before he takes office. Join us,’ the mayor tweeted.

Washington DC Police said the man was not arrested and did not suffer life-threatening injuries
Source: DailyMail

Topless female protester grabs ‘Trump’s crotch.

A topless protester managed to get so close to Donald Trump on Tuesday that she grabbed his crotch… or rather that of his effigy, the latest addition to Madrid’s Wax Museum.


Shouting “Grab patriarchy by the balls” in English and Spanish, the woman burst into the waxwork’s unveiling ceremony to the consternation of a visibly embarrassed museum employee who tried to hide her bosom with a jacket.

The woman, whose name was not revealed, belongs to the Femen activist group known for its high-profile topless protests.


She wrestled briefly with an older man who tried to push her out and was soon escorted away, although not before grabbing the crotch of the effigy of the US president-elect, who has often been criticised for misogynistic comments.


The lifelike waxwork of Trump dressed in a dark suit, red tie, giving the thumbs up, was unveiled on a red carpet in front of the museum entrance in central Madrid, just days before the president-elect’s inauguration on Friday.


Source: AFP

The Dangers of Exclusion: Lessons for Africa from Brexit and the US Elections – By Dapo Oyewole

…in the shadow of ‘Brexit’, the rise of Trump and based on lessons from its own history, Africa has a chance to avert the dangers that come with economic and political exclusion. It can do so by opening up more political space to marginalised groups and spreading the dividends of economic growth more evenly across the different genders, sectors and sections of its hugely diverse societies.

As we step into a new year and a new world order unfolds, Africa must learn urgent lessons from the UK and US who, last year, both experienced the most paradigm-shifting political earthquakes witnessed in recent political history.

The United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s unexpected victory in the recent U.S. presidential elections have shown, in the starkest terms, how political and economic exclusion can stoke social divisions and spark tensions that can lead to major political upheavals.

As both countries writhe from the political whiplash of the ‘blue-collar revolution’ and struggle to come to terms with its implications, the political ripples are already spreading across the world. The geo-political power balance has shifted and global politics, as we knew it, has been turned on its head. The future of global governance is now on a precarious path.

The political fallout will not be limited to domestic policy changes in London and Washington. It will also affect their continued global leadership roles, partnerships and alliances, the weight of their influence on the international stage and their moral authority, for example, in advocating for the adoption of western liberal democracy globally.

Already, some governments are beginning to lean towards being less liberal, more authoritarian and less tolerant of diversity, while others are questioning more vocally the efficacy and legitimacy of Western liberal democracy as the only internationally acceptable model of political governance. Now, if resentment built from decades of political and economic exclusion of the largely rural working class in the UK and the US led to some of their polarised voter choices, then nowhere can we hear the warning bells of the potential impact of the same issues ringing louder than in a ‘rising Africa’.

Africa is a continent where, after decades of colonisation and kleptocratic authoritarian self-rule, democracy has begun to flourish and economic growth is advancing. However, according to the World Bank’s ‘Poverty in a Rising Africa Report‘, the gap between rich and poor remains alarmingly wide with close to half of the continent still living in poverty, while the political and economic elite – less than five percent of the population – live in astounding opulence.

Africa’s leaders must urgently increase political will to design and implement effective regional and national policies, while strengthening institutional capacities to create a more enabling policy environment for political participation and economic inclusion across society.

Also, according to the UN, about 70 percent of Africa’s population is under the age of 25, and 60 percent of the continent’s population is comprised of women. However, it is no secret that the majority of the political and economic decision-makers are men over the age of 60. Minorities are often oppressed or disenfranchised; gender equality and tolerance of non-heterosexual orientation are deemed antithetical to cultural norms in many regions and people with disabilities live largely on the margins of mainstream society. Needless to say, inequality and inequity still abound on the continent and remain a highly inflammable powder keg.

Therefore, an urgent lesson that Africa’s current leadership must learn from the British and American experience is that the ‘marginalised’ in society will not always stay pliant, complacent or silent. It is only a matter of time before ‘Africa’s excluded’ push back and demand to be seen, heard and included in shaping their own destinies and in sharing in the wealth of their nations. With the current restlessness and frustration of large numbers of poor, unemployed and disempowered African youth, nothing tells us that an ‘African Spiral’ will not follow the ‘Arab Spring.’

Hopefully, this will be expressed through peaceful and democratic means. But if it is fuelled by the political toxicity we have just observed in Britain and the United States, it could well inflame social tensions and political violence that will be hard to contain. Although the continent has made remarkable progress in developing and deploying internal political conflict resolution mechanisms such as the African Standby Force and other means of back channel diplomacy, we must not forget the hard lessons from apartheid in South Africa and the genocide in Rwanda.

Therefore, in the shadow of ‘Brexit’, the rise of Trump and based on lessons from its own history, Africa has a chance to avert the dangers that come with economic and political exclusion. It can do so by opening up more political space to marginalised groups and spreading the dividends of economic growth more evenly across the different genders, sectors and sections of its hugely diverse societies.

Africa’s leaders must urgently increase political will to design and implement effective regional and national policies, while strengthening institutional capacities to create a more enabling policy environment for political participation and economic inclusion across society. Government policies and programmes must actively ensure that they cater not only to the interests of the rich and powerful, but also to those of the poor and disempowered.

In 2017, African governments that aim to increase economic growth, maintain stable policies, sustain peaceful societies and offer a dignified life for their citizens, will have to take inclusive governance and shared prosperity as a priority. Yes, ‘Africa is rising’ and that is a great thing. But as it does so, it must learn vital lessons about the dangers of political and economic exclusion from Britain and the United States. Africa’s leaders must learn that for Africa’s rise to be sustainable, peaceful and progressive, it cannot be a rise for some. It must be a rise for all.

‘Dapo Oyewole is a public policy and international development specialist who advises governments, corporations and international institutions on development policy and strategy. He is an Aspen New Voices Fellow, a Yale World Fellow and a doctoral researcher at the School of Global Studies, University of Sussex.

BREAKING: ‘I think it was Russia’ behind election hacks – Donald Trump

US President-elect Donald Trump said Wednesday he believed that Russia was behind cyber attacks that rock the 2016 American presidential election but said it would be an “asset, not a liability” if he gets along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Trump, however, admitted it was not a given that the pair would be allies.


“If Putin likes Donald Trump, I consider that an asset, not a liability, because we have a horrible relationship with Russia,” Trump told a press conference — his first since winning the November presidential election.

“I don’t know that I’m going to get along with Vladimir Putin. I hope I do. But there’s a good chance I won’t,” he added, in the wake of explosive allegations about his dealings with Russia and purported intelligence gathered by Moscow about him.

Trump condemns leaks alleging Russia has compromising info about him

US President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday furiously denied explosive claims that Russian intelligence has gathered compromising personal and professional information on him.


“Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” he said on Twitter, reacting to unsubstantiated allegations in reports circulating in US media.


“Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to ‘leak’ into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?” he said.


His tweets came hours before he was scheduled to hold a news conference in New York, his first in nearly six months.


Even before the allegations surfaced widely in US media on Tuesday, reporters had been expected to grill the billionaire Republican over his ties to Russia after the US intelligence community concluded Moscow interfered in the November election to tip the race in Trump’s favor.

Intelligence chiefs last week presented America’s incoming 45th president, as well as current President Barack Obama, with a two-page synopsis on the potentially embarrassing information in Russian hands, according to CNN and The New York Times, who cited multiple unnamed US officials with direct knowledge of the meeting.


Russia denied the claims, with President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov telling journalists: “The Kremlin does not have compromising information on Trump.”

Poll: Most Americans think Trump can’t handle US presidency.

Americans have little confidence in President-elect Donald Trump’s abilities to handle his presidential duties, with less than half of them saying they trust him to prevent major scandals, handle an international crisis, or use military force responsibly.

According to a Gallup poll released by TIME, Americans have significantly less faith in Trump than they had in his predecessors.

Only 44 per cent said they were confident Trump would avoid major scandals in his administration, 46 per cent said they are confident in Trump’s ability to handle an international crisis, and 47 per cent said they trust him to use military force wisely.

When the same questions were asked at the start of outgoing President Barack Obama’s and former Presidents George W. Bush’s and Bill Clinton’s terms, roughly three-quarters of Americans said they had confidence in the newly elected President in these areas.

When compared with Gallup’s averages of confidence polling in his predecessors, Trump comes up short.

The incoming president has a 32-point confidence deficit in his ability to avoid scandals in his administration, a 29-point deficit in his ability to use military force well and a 28-point deficit in his ability to manage the executive branch.

Most Americans (60 per cent) believe Trump will be able to get things done with Congress, but even there he comes up far behind his predecessors — the average number of Americans with confidence in Obama, Bush and Clinton to work with Congress was 82 per cent.

The data also reflects a more polarised America than Obama or Bush faced when they came into office.

On average, only 21 per cent of Democrats have confidence in Trump’s ability to handle the various responsibilities of the presidency.

By contrast, roughly two-thirds of Republicans had some confidence in Obama and the same was true for Bush and Democrats.

But Trump even has a confidence deficit among members of his own party.

Only 84 per cent of Republicans have confidence in his abilities as President, compared with 94 per cent of Democrats who trusted Obama and 95 per cent of Republicans who had faith in Bush.

The poll’s sample included 1,028 adults and had a margin of error of +/- 4 per cent.

Plane carrying 35 expelled Russian diplomats departs Washington for Moscow.

A plane carrying 35 Russian diplomats, expelled from the United States over Moscow’s alleged interference in the presidential election, took off from Washington on Sunday, Russian news agencies reported.

“The plane has taken off, everyone is on board,” said the Russian embassy in Washington, quoted by the state-owned Ria Novosti agency.

Relatives of the diplomats are also onboard, making 96 in all.

The expulsions were part of a package of sanctions ordered by President Barack Obama on Thursday in the final weeks of his administration.US intelligence says the Kremlin ordered a hack-and-release of Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign staff emails in a bid to put Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Thirty-five Russians, described as intelligence operatives based at the Russian embassy in Washington and the consulate in San Francisco, were given 72 hours to leave the country.

Obama also ordered the closure of two Russian compounds in New York and Maryland that the United States says are used “for intelligence-related purposes.”

Economic sanctions were also announced against Russia’s FSB and GRU intelligence agencies. Four GRU officers including agency chief Igor Korobov also face sanctions.

Moscow has repeatedly denied the allegations.

President Vladimir Putin has ruled out sending home US diplomats in retaliation — a move interpreted as a sign he is looking to Trump to rebuild US-Russian ties after the US inauguration on January 20.

NBC: Love him or hate him, Kanye West had a very memorable 2016.

Kanye West began 2016 floating a run for the White House in 2020. He ended the year in another dramatic flourish — strutting into Trump Tower as perhaps the most unlikely ally of the president-elect.

And through all the antics, the year for Yeezy was at times as beautiful, dark and twisted a fantasy as ever.

That’s because the “Famous” rapper managed to remain remarkably relevant, if not for his music or his fashion line, than for a string of public and erratic outbursts that propelled him into the national conversation in unprecedented ways.

Next year, West turns 40, but don’t expect anything to change. The controversial rapper remains poised to keep people guessing and just as engaged as they were in 2016.

A Year Defined by Politics

West, who never said which political party, if any, he’d be affiliated with should he ever run for president, projected the utmost confidence that he is up to the task despite never having held public office.

A HuffPost/YouGov poll from last year suggested that only 6 percent of Americans would even consider voting for West.

Although West donated to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign and appeared to take shots at Trump, he retroactively endorsed the president-elect during an erratic concert in Sacramento, California, in November. He also criticized frequent collaborator Jay Z, Beyoncé and President Barack Obama — then stormed off the stage after declaring, “I’m on my Trump sh*t tonight.”

Is Trump’s meeting with Kanye West important or a distraction?2:26

West went on to have an unexpected face-to-face meeting with Trump at Trump Tower earlier this month to discuss “bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculums and violence in Chicago.” He left with a handshake and a signed copy of Trump’s TIME Person of the Year cover.

Trump has insisted that he and West are “great friends.”

“Kanye West hugging President-elect Trump is not how most of us expected 2016 to end,” said Zack O’Malley Greenburg, a Forbes entertainment writer and author of the Jay Z biography “Empire State of Mind.”

“Yeah, I think it’ll lose him some fans, but will it kill his career? I don’t think so. Kanye has made a brand out of making people uncomfortable, for better or worse.”

Meanwhile, West walked away from their conversation with an apparently different perspective on his political future, simply tweeting: “#2024.”

A Year Defined by Scandals

The Chicago rapper’s embrace of Trump, who has been dogged by criticism for racially charged and anti-Muslim rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, amused and alienated many of his fans and peers in the music business.

But it was just one of several controversial episodes from 2016.

“I think this was supposed to be the year that Kanye got his affairs in order. But what kind of ended up happening was something very different,” Greenburg said. In the end, 2016 ended up being a year of missed opportunities for him.”

In February alone, Kanye said that embattled comedian Bill Cosby was innocent of the numerous allegations of sexual assault lodged against him (Cosby has also denied the charges), and he asked Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to help him pay off a purported $53 million debt.

In a video leaked from a “Saturday Night Live” rehearsal, the rapper boasted that he was “50 percent” more influential than any other artist living or dead, including Pablo Picasso, drug kingpin Pablo Escobar and filmmaker Stanley Kubrick.

Speaking of Picasso, West named his latest critically acclaimed album, “The Life of Pablo,” after the iconic painter. But that LP’s botched rollout — it was initially supposed to be released exclusively on Jay Z’s music streaming platform Tidal, but was undermined by leaks and eventually found its way onto iTunes — somewhat overshadowed its content.

On that album, West resurrected his years-long feud with singer Taylor Swift, rapping that he made her famous and that, despite being a married father of two, he “might still have sex” with the singer.

West and his reality star wife, Kim Kardashian, would later provide audio of a phone conversation with Swift as proof that she signed off on the lyrics, an assertion the Grammy-winning pop star has called into question.

A Year Defined by Health Concerns

Public feuds aside, there have been legitimate worries from fans about West’s well-being.

His November concert rant in Sacramento preceded an extended hospital stay for exhaustion, according to his representatives. The rest of West’s ongoing “Life of Pablo” tour (21 arena dates) was canceled indefinitely, but that doesn’t mean he will be slowing down.

“Trying to predict what Kanye will do next is kind of a fool’s errand,” Greenburg added. “I think the only thing you can predict is that he is going to be unpredictable.”

In other words, the road to #2024 could be the start of a whole new West — and not just a White House run.

Trump’s immigration plan could cost the U.S. billions

President-elect Donald Trump’s vow to overturn an executive order that provides temporary protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children could cost the country tens of billions of dollars, a new study finds.

Put in place by President Obama six years ago, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has helped hundreds of thousands of young people — known as the DREAMers — come out from the shadows and get valid driver’s licenses, enroll in college and legally secure jobs.

If the DACA is repealed, roughly 645,000 people would lose their legal right to work in the U.S., putting them at risk of losing their jobs and possibly being deported, according to the San Francisco-based Immigrant Legal Resource Center. Terminating all of these workers and possibly finding and retraining replacements for them would cost businesses an estimated $3.4 billion, the nonprofit immigrant rights advocacy group estimated.

“Some employers may consider consolidating or shedding these existing positions to proactively reduce some of those [turnover] costs,” said Jose Magaña-Salgado, an immigration policy attorney and the author of the report. He added that replacement workers may not be found right away.

According to an October survey of more than 1,300 DACA recipients conducted by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, nearly 87% of people registered under DACA are employed and thoseworkers make an average of $13.96 an hour.

The Immigrant Legal Resource Center said losing these workers would not only reduce the tax revenue that these employees generate but it would also diminish contributions to programs like Social Security and Medicare by a total of $24.6 billion. Over the course of a decade, the group estimates that payments to Social Security would be cut by $19.9 billion, while those made to Medicare would be reduced by $4.6 billion.

Roughly half of those estimated contributions come from employers, who are required to pay into Social Security and Medicare for each of their employees under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA).

Of course, an employer may replace an employee who was terminated and resume paying into Social Security and Medicare for that position, Magaña-Salgado said. But in order to fill that position, the worker would likely have left another employer — leaving a tax revenue hole somewhere else.

“The incoming Administration would be wise to leave DACA fully intact,” he said in the report. “The billions of dollars in tax contributions resulting from the program should be reinvested in our nation’s workers and retirees, not left on the table.”

It’s unclear whether Trump will focus on repealing DACA as soon as he takes office in January.

In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes last month, Trump said he would first focus on deporting undocumented immigrants who have criminal records. Once those individuals are removed, he said he would then decide what to do about undocumented immigrants who, but for their status, are law-abiding people.

“We’re going to make a determination on the people that you’re talking about,” Trump said to CBS’s Leslie Stahl. “They’re terrific people, but we are gonna make a determination,” he said.

Electoral College Vote Seals Trump Victory As US Next President

President-elect Donald Trump has received a majority in the US Electoral College as votes from Texas electors put him over the 270 threshold.

Monday’s result confirmed as expected Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States.

The Electoral College appeared unswayed by a last-ditch bid by die-hard opponents to bar the Republican’s path to the White House.

Six weeks after his upset victory over the Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump sailed past the 270 votes needed to make his victory official, clearing the way for him to succeed Barack Obama on January 20.

Tech giants refuse to help Trump build registry of Muslim-Americans

Google, Apple, and Uber have said they won’t support the development of a Muslim registry by Donald Trump, U.S. president-elect.


They said this to Buzzfeed news after over a thousand Silicon Valley engineers pledged never to help build a Muslim registry.


Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter expressed a similar standpoint a few days ago.


During the presidential campaign, Trump harped on the possibility of creating a register of Muslim-Americans.


Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach, a member of Trump’s transition team, said Trump’s policy advisors began discussing a proposal to build the registry right after the election.


“In relation to the hypothetical of whether we would ever help build a ‘muslim registry’ – we haven’t been asked, of course we wouldn’t do this and we are glad – from all that we’ve read – that the proposal doesn’t seem to be on the table,” said a spokesperson for Google.


An Apple spokesperson also said: “We think people should be treated the same no matter how they worship, what they look like, who they love. We haven’t been asked and we would oppose such an effort”.


Uber and IBM also said “no” in response to whether they would take part in this project.


Oracle and Amazon, two companies that specialise in database services, haven’t clarified whether they will participate.

President Obama vows to send ‘clear message’ to Putin, warns Trump.

President Barack Obama vowed Friday to send a “clear message” to Russia for trying to sway the US election, while calling on Donald Trump and Republicans to put national security before politics.

Obama all-but-accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering an audacious cyber hack that many Democrats believe gravely wounded Hillary Clinton in a closely fought election.

The US intelligence community has concluded that a hack-and-release of the Democratic Party emails was designed to put Trump — a political neophyte who has praised Putin — into the Oval Office.

But with tensions rising between the world’s two preeminent nuclear powers and US political anger near boiling point after Trump’s shock election, Obama sought to exude calm while promising a measured response.

Assuring Americans that the ballot itself was not rigged, he promised to “send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us, because we can do stuff to you.”

Noting that “not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin,” Obama said he had personally told the former KGB officer when they met in September to “cut it out.”

“In fact we did not see further tampering of the election process,” he told journalists before heading for his Christmas vacation in Hawaii.

Obama’s comments come as Putin registered a major propaganda victory in Syria and became a focal point of American political debate.

Despite those coups, Obama belittled Russia as a second-rate power with little going for it, using language that is sure to infuriate the status-conscious Russian leader.

“The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate.”

– Ronnie’s grave –

But Obama’s sternest message may have been for Trump and other Republicans who have played down the cyber attack.

“Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin,” Obama said citing a recent poll. “Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave. How did that happen?”

Obama urged the president-elect — who has repeatedly questioned Russia’s involvement — to accept an independent nonpartisan investigation.

“My hope is that the president-elect is going to similarly be concerned with making sure that we don’t have potential foreign influence in our election process.”

“One way I do believe the president-elect can approach this that would be unifying is to say that we welcome a bipartisan, independent process,” Obama said.

The outgoing president rejected suggestions that he had been slow to respond to the claims of Russian interference.

“My primary concern was making sure that the integrity of the election process was not in any way damaged, at a time when anything that was said by me or anybody in the White House would immediately be seen through a partisan lens,” he said.

Obama also issued his fiercest warning shot for President-elect Trump about embracing illiberal politics.

“Mr Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s okay to intimidate the press. Or lock up dissidents. Or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like,” he said.

Republicans were unimpressed by Obama’s efforts to dial back tensions, with Senator Ben Sasse accusing Obama of a “mere scolding of dictators.”

“Instead of President Obama’s vague ‘we can do stuff,’ Congress should debate upending Putin’s calculus with a full menu of diplomatic, economic, military, and cyber responses,” Sasse said.

Trump Nominates US Ambassador To Israel

US President-elect Donald Trump has nominated David Friedman, a hardline Zionist, as US ambassador to Israel, likely paving the way toward a controversial decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds

Friedman, a fervent supporter of illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine and opponent of the so-called two-state solution, served as one of Trump’s main advisers on Israel during his presidential campaign.

“(Friedman) has been a long-time friend and trusted adviser to me. His strong relationships in Israel will form the foundation of his diplomatic mission and be a tremendous asset to our country as we strengthen the ties with our allies and strive for peace in the Middle East,” Trump said in a statement Thursday.

Friedman said he looked forward to filling the diplomatic position at a future US embassy in Jerusalem al-Quds, a move that would distance Washington from most of the international community, including its closest allies in Western Europe and the Arab world.

Trump vowed during his presidential campaign that he would move the US Embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds, a step that would enrage Palestinians and create an international furor.

Former US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush promised the same thing during their presidential campaigns in order to court pro-Israel voters, but later reversed their proposals.

Read More: presstv

Trump slams Democrats, Green Party on votes recount

Donald Trump, the incoming U.S. President, on Tuesday slammed the Democrats and the Green Party for their unsuccessful efforts at the presidential votes recount.

“The final Wisconsin vote is in and guess what – we just picked up an additional 131 votes.

“The Dems and Green Party can now rest. Scam!

“Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have just certified my wins in those states. I actually picked up additional votes!” Mr. Trump said on his twitter handle.

He also dismissed insinuations about alleged hacking of the voting system during the election.

“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card.

“It would be called conspiracy theory!

“Unless you catch “hackers” in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking.

“Why wasn’t this brought up before election?” he remarked.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the votes recount hope faded on Monday as efforts spearheaded by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein came to a close.

A Federal Judge ruled in Pennsylvania on Monday against Stein’s request for a review of the voting systems, saying it was possible they had been hacked and compromised.

In his decision, federal judge Paul Diamond said Stein’s allegation of possible election tampering “borders on the irrational.”

Diamond also cited the delay between Election Day and Stein’s decision to file the lawsuit, and said Stein did not have standing to sue on the issue.

Stein could appeal the decision, but time is short as all states must certify their election results by December 13, so it is unlikely any new action could be taken before then.

Stein initially filed for recounts in three states where the final margin for President-elect Donald Trump was narrow: Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.

Stein first began raising money for a possible recount in late November, and quickly began bringing in millions of dollars for the effort.

NAN reports that Stein’s effort has raised more than $7.3 million in crowd-funding, according to her fundraising page.

There were allegations of hacking of the U.S. voting system, which were fuelled after Democratic Hillary Clinton, projected to win the election, polled over 2.5 million votes ahead of Trump but lost the presidency to him on electoral college.

President Barack Obama has directed security agencies to commence fresh investigation into the alleged hacking, which should be concluded before the end of his tenure.

Kanye West visited Donald Trump to discuss ‘change’ and 2024.

Kanye West, rapper/producer, says it’s important to have a direct line of communication with Donald Trump, U.S president-elect.


The hip-hop mogul met with the businessman-turned-politician at the Trump Tower, in New York city, on Tuesday.


West, who refused to say anything when the duo addressed the press after their meeting, later took to Twitter to explain the reason behind his visit.


He said: “I wanted to meet with Trump today to discuss multicultural issues. These issues included bullying, supporting teachers, modernizing curriculum, and violence in Chicago.


“I feel it is important to have a direct line of communication with our future President if we truly want change,” he added.


The rapper who had earlier signified his intention to run for the American presidency also shared a hashtag, saying “2024”.

Why Trump’s Secretary Of State Pick Is So Controversial

Boosters of Donald Trump’s candidate to be the next secretary of state talk about his experience leading one of the world’s largest companies — and so do his detractors.

Fans of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson say running a global energy company equips the 64-year-old with the management tools needed to represent the US abroad. Skeptics say a closer look at that experience raises questions about conflicts of interest and whether the nominee would put US or corporate interests first.
The criticism is bipartisan, with both Republicans and Democrats voicing reservations about the Texan. Scientists, human rights activists and environmental groups also raised concerns Tuesday at the news of Tillerson’s nomination.
What’s their problem? They have a few. Here’s a look.
Trump campaigned hard on the promise that he would “drain the swamp” and target “global special interests” that partner with “corrupt” Washington politicians to rob “our working class.”
Yet Tillerson was recommended to the President-elect by three former government heavyweights: former secretaries of state James Baker and Condoleezza Rice and former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. All three, after their government careers, have benefited financially from ExxonMobil contracts.
Tillerson, while a Washington outsider, would also be the latest millionaire to join Trump’s Cabinet, which already has at least seven millionaires and two billionaires. And ExxonMobil, critics say, is the embodiment of global corporate power, a private empire with its own foreign policy.
“People did not vote on November 8 to … have the international corporate establishment be the face of America’s workers and interests around the world,” said Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
The Trump transition team did not respond to a request for comment.
This will likely be the biggest hurdle to clear in confirmation hearings. Tillerson has spearheaded ExxonMobil partnerships with a Russian energy company with ties to President Vladimir Putin, who has given him Russia’s highest honor for a non-citizen.
That connection has fueled concerns particularly because of Russia’s alleged hacking of the elections and Trump’s conciliatory stance toward Moscow, which many lawmakers see as a geopolitical threat. They point to Russian support for the Syrian regime, its 2014 annexation of Crimea, its destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine and aggressive moves against NATO allies.
Read More: CNN

What Trump Discussed With Kanye West

Rap superstar Kanye West on Tuesday delivered a surprise even in this most unusual of political years — he met President-elect Donald Trump, marking the artist’s first appearance since a reported mental breakdown.

West, a rare US celebrity to voice support for Donald Trump, showed up in the early morning with an entourage and his own cameraman at Trump Tower and boarded the elevator of the tycoon’s skyscraper home.

An uncharacteristically taciturn West returned to the lobby with the president-elect himself who, pressed on what the two discussed, said: “Life.”

“Just friends, just friends. He’s a good man. Long time. Friends for a long time,” said a visibly upbeat Trump.

West, sporting a fitted black sweatshirt, at first stood sullenly with his arms folded as reporters peppered him with questions — including on whether he would make good on his earlier promise to run for president in 2020, presumably challenging Trump.

“I’m just here to take a picture right now,” West finally said before flashing a smile and a thumbs-up sign.

Notably absent was the rapper’s wife, reality television star Kim Kardashian.

She has kept a low profile since gunmen broke into her Paris hotel room and robbed her of $10 million worth of jewelry — and gossip pages have recently speculated on the state of the couple’s marriage.

Read More:

Michelle Obama Finally Reveals How She Reacted The Night Trump Was Elected

As many Americans waited into the wee hours of election night to find out who would be voted the nation’s next president, First Lady Michelle Obama says she was not among them.

Instead, she was fast asleep in her White House bed.

In a joint interview with President Barack Obama for this week’s PEOPLE cover story, the first lady breaks her silence on President-elect Donald Trump‘s stunning victory, and reveals why she didn’t stay up to see the results.

“I went to bed. I don’t like to watch the political discourse; I never have,” Obama tells PEOPLE, adding of her husband, “I barely did with him.”

The first lady was one of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton‘s most powerful surrogates on the campaign trail, where she delivered passionate speeches about the dangers of electing Trump, being careful all the while to avoid mentioning him by name.

Her now-famous mantra, “When they go low, we go high,” delivered at the Democratic National Convention in July, moved audiences and became an unofficial slogan for Clinton’s campaign.

“Anything that I felt about the election I said and I stand by,” the first lady says now, adding of her early election night, “Once you do what you can do, then the rest is easy. It was in the hands of the American people.”

Though the first lady stands by her campaign-trail criticisms of Trump, she, like her husband, is prepared to help the president-elect as he transitions to the White House.

“This is our democracy, and this is how it works,” she says. “We are ready to work with the next administration and make sure they are as successful as they can be. Because that’s what’s best for this country.”

Credit: yahoo

KKK Holds Parade To Celebrate Trump’s Win

The Ku Klux Klan held a pathetic parade to celebrate the election of Donald Trump in North Carolina on Saturday.

The hate group’s “parade” was originally to be held in Pelham but was moved one county over to Roxboro because of protestors.

The Burlington Times-News reports that the KKK rally had a full police escort. State troopers blocked intersections while 30 vehicles drove around the town.

The paper reports that men and women shouted “White power!” and “Hail victory!” from vehicles flying KKK flags, Confederate battle flags, Donald Trump flags, and Christian flags.

The hate group had originally planned their parade in Pelham, but cowardly moved it when protestors showed up.

Groups in Greensboro, Mebane and Charlotte held rallies Saturday to counter the KKK’s event.

Read More: yahoo

Donald Trump appears to have ordered the cancellation of the next generation of Air Force One

President-elect Trump, who has for years flown in a jet airplane bearing his name, appeared to cancel a pending order for a new Air Force One, posting on Twitter on Tuesday morning that the upgrade costs too much.

The morning tweet appeared to come out of the blue; Mr. Trump had not focused during the campaign on the cost of Boeing’s plans for a next-generation plane for the president of the United States.

And his criticism of the contract to build a new plane based on the Boeing 747-8 — Mr. Trump said the costs have swelled to $4 billion — raised the possibility that Mr. Trump might rather keep flying his own, well-appointed 757.

The current Air Force One, with its white and blue design recognizable around the globe, is based on a 747 design, and is aging. There are actually two physical planes, each of which bear the famous call sign only when the president is aboard. The Air Force designates them: VC-25A.

They were commissioned by President Ronald Reagan and delivered during the term of his successor, George Bush. The new plane, which the Defense Department had hoped to deliver to the White House by 2023, would have been more powerful, able to travel farther and be more technologically advanced.

But given Mr. Trump’s tweet, it’s unclear when — or whether — AF1 will get an upgrade.

INTERVIEW: Buhari should invite Trump to Nigeria – American Policy Expert

Jennifer Cooke is a director of the Africa Program at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, CSIS.

An expert on Nigerian and African affairs, Ms. Cooke manages a range of projects on political, economic, and security dynamics in Africa, providing research and analysis to U.S. policymakers, members of Congress, and the U.S. military, as well as the broader public.

She spoke to Ladi Olorunyomi, the head of the PREMIUM TIMES Washington Bureau, on the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President-elect and his possible plans for Nigeria and Africa.

PT: During the campaign, it seems like there was no mention of Africa at all. Going forward now, what should Africa expect from the Trump administration?

Cooke: Just as an aside, the one issue that did come up was Benghazi and that was pointed out as a failure of Clinton. I think it’s very hard to predict right now what the Trump foreign policy is going to look like. He’s never expressed any interest in Africa as a business opportunity or as a political pitch. I just think he has pretty much zero knowledge of the continent in terms of the current issues and things that are happening. That said, we don’t know who he will put in place as the Secretary of State, that is one thing. The other is that, the presidents change but there is a massive bureaucracy that kind of continues on, the State Department, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, PEPFAR, all of those are institutions now that will carry forward. Now leadership change may seem toxic for tenure in some ways, I think people were very dubious about what President [George W.] Bush might do in Africa and he ended up having a very good record. We don’t know what Trump’s interests are because we have no idea what his foreign policy looks like but there is this major bureaucracy, the State Department, USAID and various institutions. There is the Defense Department interest in, kind of, an expanding military presence within Africa to fight violent extremism and then finally, on a positive note, there has been fairly strong bi-partisan support in Congress for African initiatives, whether it’s on peacekeeping, whether it’s Power Africa, Electrify Africa, AGOA. There has been a coalition within Congress that is not Republican or Democratic that has kind of sustained interest and funding for Africa. My expectation is that the security interest will be the one thing that captures the President’s attention if at all, there are some other factors that may mean a dramatic change in African policy.

PT: One of the anxieties in Nigeria now about the Trump presidency is about MNJTF, the coalition that is fighting Boko Haram which the U.S. has been very supportive of. Trump said something about decreasing the U.S. footprint in security affairs around the world, so there is this anxiety about what he will do about Boko Haram.

Cooke: That’s interesting because my fear will be the flip side of that. A number of his leading appointments have been military officials and he will be advised by them on U.S. ongoing engagement. There are some things the president does not turn on a dime, that is one thing. The second is that in global terms, U.S. support for counter-terrorism in the Sahel and northern Nigeria is keener compared to the footprints elsewhere in the world. That would not be the first place, I think, that things will shake out. You might say, disentangle from places like the South Sudan but MNJTF is kind of one of the smaller U.S. military commitments. My concern is that he would look at security issues in Nigeria and the Sahel through a strictly military lens. I think it is going to be very important to convince him and to convince the advisers around him that Boko Haram and groups like it cannot be dealt with through solely military means. That’s why governance, economic development, job creation, those are the things, they are harder to do, they take a long time but those are the things that ultimately turn the tide. And that’s my worry, that they won’t see the need for a more comprehensive approach to ultimately defeat terrorists, whether in Nigeria or elsewhere.

PT: Do you think President Buhari should invite President Trump to visit Nigeria?

Cooke: I absolutely think he should, I don’t know whether he will though, or whether he will go. I think the more exposure President Trump can get to different parts of the world, to different perspectives than the purely commercial view he’s got will be very important. But I just can’t imagine that Africa will be very high on his priority list.

PT:  And around Africa, there is also the fear that the Trump administration might decide to tamper with AGOA given what he said about trade deals during the campaign.

Cooke: Yes, but he can’t just overturn a law, that would have to have a strong congressional support. Where he might be harder is on a place like South Africa, I don’t know if you followed the whole chicken business [South African restriction on chicken import from the United States] …

PT: Yes, I did …

Cooke: I think there, he might be less willing to cut a place like South Africa a slack, because in some ways, South Africa was giving Europe, Brazil and China better opportunities than it was giving to the United States. So he might press for harder terms when issues come up but he can’t just reverse a law that is in place, and not without strong congressional support.

PT: So we just have to wait and see …

Cooke: Nobody knows what it is going to look like, yes you have to wait and see. You can only judge from the things he’s done and the things he’s said so far. But then President Bush surprised us on Africa …

PT: Yes, but Bush had political experience and good intentions …

Cooke: … and people around him.

PT: … yes, Trump seems to have just began building his coalition, his team.

Cooke: … and the people he is picking are not strong policy pundits …

PT: … that is the fear, Nigeria is at a very delicate position now. The kind of support Nigeria needs from the United States now is not some kind of reversal or hotchpotch policy, we need something integrated, wholesome and solid.

Cooke: The one good thing about Africa not getting that much attention from the President is that the State Department, USAID and the African Command would kind of keep doing what they are doing under the radar. If Africa were a huge priority for the President, then we might see some big changes. But it’s kind of so low that those bureaucracies, those institutions and those engagements that are going on now will likely just carry on in a lot of ways.

Suspense builds over Trump secretary of state search

Donald Trump on Monday spent another day sequestered in cabinet-building talks as international suspense grew over who he will pick for secretary of state having already defied diplomatic protocol and provoked China.

The president-elect has so far named 12 members of his team — chiefly defense, health, treasury and commerce secretaries, attorney general, CIA director and ambassador to the United Nations — rolling out appointments well ahead of schedule compared to previous incoming US administrations.

He spends most of his time shut away in Trump Tower, his Manhattan skyscraper, requiring an unprecedented police presence in the heart of the city for which New York on Monday sent the US government a bill for $35 million.

Vice president-elect Mike Pence told reporters that Monday’s meetings had resulted in decisions that would be made public in the days ahead.

“Another productive day on the transition,” he said. “Looking forward to more announcements later this week and historic momentum of this transition will continue. We had decisions today that will be made public in the days ahead.”

The world is keenly awaiting what will be Trump’s most prestigious appointment — America’s next top diplomat — scrutinizing the process for clues as to the direction US policy will take after the Republican is sworn in on January 20.

Names bandied about for weeks include former Trump critic Mitt Romney, onetime CIA director David Petraeus, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker or even former UN ambassador John Bolton.

Now added to a growing list of reported names are some with less experience, some with top drawer credentials and others thought to more closely represent Trump’s vision of an “America first” policy.

Among them are Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, whom Trump meets Tuesday, Barack Obama’s former ambassador to China Jon Huntsman and California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who agrees with Trump’s call for closer ties with Russia.

Retired admiral James Stavridis, former NATO commander and current dean of The Fletcher School at Tufts University, is also scheduled to meet the 70-year-old billionaire Thursday at the request of the transition team.

– Provocative tweets –

Emphasizing the uncertainty, outgoing Secretary of State John Kerry warned in Germany that “anxieties” are sweeping Western democracies given Trump’s campaign vows to rip up pacts such as the Iran nuclear deal.

Trump’s latest appointment was that of former rival and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson as secretary of housing and urban development on Monday. The transition said additional cabinet selections are likely this week.

Trump has sent mixed signals to China, America’s largest trading partner. Beijing has already protested to Washington after Trump took a phone call with the president of Taiwan — the first such call in around four decades.

The defiant president-elect followed up with a series of provocative tweets directed at Beijing on Sunday, accusing China of expansionism and of fiddling the exchange rate.

But China’s response to the tweet storm was muted, suggesting that Beijing may still be scrambling to work out what the outburst could mean for US relations.

On Tuesday, Trump is scheduled to meet Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, who has close ties to China’s president and is reportedly a candidate to become ambassador to Beijing.

China regards self-ruling Taiwan as part of its own territory awaiting reunification under Beijing’s rule, and any US move implying support for the island’s independence is gravely offensive to Beijing.

– Taiwan ‘leverage’ –

The Washington Post reported that the protocol-breaking telephone call was months in the planning and showed that the Trump team is urging a tough opening line with China, quoting people involved in or briefed on the talks.

Huntsman, a former governor of Utah, told The New York Times that Trump was likely to see Taiwan as a “useful leverage point” with China.

Asked about the call, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it had been “hard to determine” what Trump’s purpose had been.

In New York on Monday, the incoming Republican president met his most high-profile Democrat to date since the election: former Bill Clinton vice president turned environmental campaigner Al Gore, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

“It was a sincere search for areas of common ground,” Gore told reporters in the latest sign that the president-elect might rethink his hardline campaign promises on the environment.

“I found it an extremely interesting conversation and to be continued,” Gore added, calling the meeting “lengthy and very productive.”

Trump first suggested he might be willing to support global accords on climate change last month, telling The New York Times he had “an open mind” after repeatedly promising to tear up international climate agreements.

Judge orders Michigan officials to begin U.S. election recount on Monday

Election officials in the U.S. state of Michigan have been ordered by a federal judge to begin massive hand recount of the nearly five million ballots cast in the presidential election.


U.S. District Judge, Mark Goldsmith, on Monday, issued a ruling instructing state authorities to start the recount at noon (1700 GMT) in order to meet a Dec. 13 deadline to certify the vote.


The ruling marked a win for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who has led quixotic recount efforts in Michigan and two other industrial Midwestern states, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.


The left-wing candidate, who won 1 per cent of the vote nationally, has claimed that some voting machines used in states were vulnerable to hacking and could have been manipulated.


Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton had been expected to win to the three states but lost to Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 8 election.


Flipping them from Trump to Clinton would swing enough electoral votes to change the outcome of the Nov. 8 elections.

Wole Soyinka to hold private funeral on Trump’s inauguration day

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, on Monday said he will hold a private funeral on January 20 when United States, U.S, President-elect, Donald Trump, is due to be inaugurated as President.


Speaking in Lagos, the revered playwright however stated that the funeral is to mourn the death of Nigeria’s common sense, and not to mourn with U.S citizens.


“Our common sense is totally lost. I am embarrassed sometimes that I occupy the same nation space with some people,” he said.

Recall that the Nobel laureate who had said he would destroy his Green Card  should Trump be elected as President, on Thursday last week confirmed that he had carried out his earlier pronouncement.

Trump Picks Ben Carson For HUD Secretary

Dr. Ben Carson will be nominated as the next secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Trump transition team announced Monday.

“I am thrilled to nominate Dr. Ben Carson as our next Secretary of the US Department of Housing and Urban Development,” President-elect Donald Trump said in a statement.
“Ben Carson has a brilliant mind and is passionate about strengthening communities and families within those communities. We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up.”
The secretary of housing and urban development oversees federal public housing programs and helps formulate policy on homelessness and housing discrimination. As is the case with all cabinet secretaries, Carson needs to be confirmed by the Senate.
Carson had signaled he would be named to the job Wednesday afternoon, posting on Facebook that an announcement about his forthcoming role in the administration was forthcoming.
“After serious discussions with the Trump transition team, I feel that I can make a significant contribution particularly to making our inner cities great for everyone,” he wrote. “We have much work to do in strengthening every aspect of our nation and ensuring that both our physical infrastructure and our spiritual infrastructure is solid.”
Trump praised Carson as a “greatly talented person” in a tweet two weeks ago when he announced he was considering Carson for the HUD position.
“I am seriously considering Dr. Ben Carson as the head of HUD. I’ve gotten to know him well — he’s a greatly talented person who loves people!” Trump tweeted.
Read More: CNN

Trump Picks Twitter Fight With China

US President-elect Donald Trump fired a Twitter broadside at China on Sunday, accusing the Asian giant of currency manipulation and military expansionism in the South China Sea.

The taunt came two days after Trump risked offending Beijing by accepting a call from the Taiwanese president, and heralded the prospect of a trade battle between the world’s largest economies.

China was a frequent target of Trump’s during his presidential campaign and, as he prepares to take office next month, every sign points to his taking an aggressive line with Beijing.

“Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency (making it hard for our companies to compete), heavily tax our products going into their country (the US doesn’t tax them) or to build a massive military complex in the middle of the South China Sea?” he demanded, adding: “I don’t think so!”

China is the United States’ largest trading partner, but America ran a $366 billion deficit with Beijing in goods and services in 2015, up 6.6 percent on the year before.

US politicians often accuse China of artificially depressing its currency, the renminbi, in order to boost its exports — its value has fallen by around 15 percent in the past two-and-half years.

Trump has vowed to formally declare China a “currency manipulator” on the first day of his presidency, which would oblige the US Treasury to open negotiations with Beijing on allowing the renminbi to rise.

With China holding about a trillion dollars in US government debt, Washington would have little leverage in such talks, but the declaration would harm ties and boost the prospect of a trade war.

China charges an average 15.6 percent tariff on US agricultural imports and nine percent on other goods, according to the World Trade Organization.

Read More:

Trump Will Soon Understand Weighty Role – Putin

President Vladimir Putin in an interview aired Sunday called US President-elect Donald

Trump intelligent and predicted he would quickly grasp his new level of responsibility and act accordingly.

“Since he managed to achieve success in business, that shows he is a clever person,” the Russian strongman said in an interview with NTV television that has already aired in the country’s far east, quoted by TASS news agency.

“If he’s clever, that means he will fully and quite quickly grasp a different level of responsibility.”

Putin said that Russia “expects that he will act precisely on this basis.”

The Kremlin said last month that the two men agreed, in their first phone call after Trump’s election win in November, on the need to “normalise” Russia-US relations.

Putin on Thursday reiterated Moscow’s readiness to work with Trump’s administration once the president-elect takes office in January.

“It is important to normalise and start to develop bilateral relations on an equal and mutually-beneficial basis,” Putin said in his annual state of the nation address.

Trump has praised Putin’s leadership and said he looks forward to “a strong and enduring relationship with Russia.”

During the US election campaign, Putin praised him for appealing effectively to disenchanted American electors.

“He represents the views of a significant part of society in the United States that is tired of those elites who have been in power for decades,” he said in October.

“He just represents the interests of such ordinary people, and he presents himself as an ordinary guy who criticises those who have already been in power for decades.”

Nigerians in U.S. celebrate Trump’s appointment of Bayo Ogunlesi

The Nigerian community in U.S. has lauded the appointment of Bayo Ogunlesi by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump into his Economic Advisory Team, saying it could signal a positive trend for Africa.

The Nigerians told the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria in New York, that Mr. Ogunlesi has been an excellent ambassador for Africa and Nigeria in particular.

Michael Adeniyi, former President of a Nigerian U.S.-based group, the Organisation for the Advancement of Nigerians Inc., told NAN that “Bayo Ogunlesi is an excellent and extraordinary Nigerian.

“He is very humble, brilliant and outstanding in every way you can think of.

“He has achieved outstanding success in Wall Street and he’s a proud ambassador of Africa, which he started in Kings College.

“For him to be appointed into Trump’s Economic Advisory Team is a honour to Africa and especially to Nigeria. He will add value to the Trump’s team and he’s worthy of celebrating.

“Prior to his appointment, Bayo Ogunlesi has been a pride of Africa; he reached the pinnacle of his career in Walls Street through his company which he built from the scratch. He is a round peg in a round hole.”

Another Nigerian, Yetunde Odugbesan-Omede, a professor of Global Affairs and Political Science at Rutgers University and Farmingdale State College, said Mr. Ogunlesi has all it takes to contribute to a positive American economic outlook.

“Mr. Ogunlesi has an impressive background and will be able to add his perspective and vast knowledge on how to move America forward that will yield positive economic outcomes.”

Ms. Odugbesan-Omede, however, said it was too early to say if the appointment would have any impact on Nigeria.

“It is too early to determine or come to a conclusion at this moment on whether Mr Ogunlesi’s role will have any impact on Nigeria’s foreign and economic policy.

“I hope that Mr. Ogunlesi will provide guidance on improving both economic and political U.S.-Nigeria relations,” Mr. Odugbesan-Omede said.

The spokesperson for the Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN, Pastor Akinremi Bolaji, said Ogunlesi’s appointment was a positive development for Nigeria and Africa.

“I am not speaking for the Nigerian diplomatic community because I am not in the position to do so; it for the Embassy in Washington to do.

“Speaking as a Nigerian, it is a good indication and positive development for Africa and Nigeria that we are among the best brains everywhere.

“It is also to show you that one in every five Blacks is a Nigerian. It is a good indication for our economic and foreign policy.

“It also shows that Africa and Nigeria have good ambassadors everywhere. Ogunlesi has to see himself as a representative of the Black race as the only Black man that made the list by further distinguishing himself.

“I advise him to use his opportunity well and he should bring together people of integrity who will not smear his integrity.”

Mr. Bolaji said the younger generation has a lot to learn from his distinction, adding “journalists have a lot to do to tell us how he was able to weather the storm and got recognised worldwide.

“It also shows that the best economic brains are scattered everywhere in Nigeria. We have the Dangotes in the North, Jim Ovias and Tony Elumelus in the East and South-South and Otedola in the West, and now Ogunlesi.

“If we put our house together, we have people all over the world and at home who have all it takes for us to succeed,” Mr. Bolaji said.

Mr. Ogunlesi, who is the chairman of Global Infrastructure Partners, a private equity firm and one of Fortune 500 companies, was named a member of an economic advisory forum to Mr. Trump.

The 63-year-old Nigerian is the only African face in the 16-man team.

“President-elect Donald J. Trump today announced that he is establishing the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum,” said a press release from Blackstone published by Business Insider.

The Forum, which is composed of some of America’s most highly respected and successful business leaders, will be called upon to meet with the president frequently to share their specific experience and knowledge as the president implements his plan to bring back jobs and ‘Make America Great Again’.

China Lodges Protest After Trump Call With Taiwan President

China lodged a diplomatic protest on Saturday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, but blamed the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own for the “petty” move.

The 10-minute telephone call with Taiwan’s leadership was the first by a U.S. president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of “one China”.

China’s Foreign Ministry said it had lodged “stern representations” with what it called the “relevant U.S. side”, urging the careful handling of the Taiwan issue to avoid any unnecessary disturbances in ties.

“The one China principle is the political basis of the China-U.S. relationship,” it said.

The wording implied the protest had gone to the Trump camp, but the ministry provided no explanation.

Speaking earlier, hours after Friday’s telephone call, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointedly blamed Taiwan for the exchange, rather than Trump, a billionaire businessman with little foreign policy experience.

“This is just the Taiwan side engaging in a petty action, and cannot change the ‘one China’ structure already formed by the international community,” Wang said at an academic forum in Beijing, China’s Foreign Ministry quoted him as saying.

“I believe that it won’t change the longstanding ‘one China’ policy of the United States government.”

In comments at the same forum, Wang noted how quickly President Xi Jinping and Trump had spoken by telephone after Trump’s victory, and that Trump had praised China as a great country.

Wang said that exchange had sent “a very positive signal about the future development of Sino-U.S. relations”, according to the ministry’s website. Taiwan was not mentioned in that call, according to an official Chinese transcript.

China’s Taiwan Affairs Office also called the conversation a “petty” move by Taiwan that does not change the island’s status as part of China. Beijing is resolute in opposing independence for Taiwan, it added.

Trump said on Twitter that Tsai had initiated the call he had with the Taiwan president. “The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!” he said.

Credit: reuters

Women are better than men, says Trump.

Donald Trump, president-elect of the US, says women are generally better than men.


He made the comment in Cincinnati, Ohio, during a post-election rally tagged ‘Thank you tour 2016?.


“Hate to tell you men, generally speaking, they are better than you are,” he said.



“Now If I had said it the other way round I’d be in big trouble.”


Trump made negative comments about women during his presidential campaign.


According to Huffington Post, Trump said 16 gross stuff about women while running for the highest office in America.


At a rally in September, Trump said women are crazy, hormonal and biologically unfit to hold positions of power referring to Hillary Clinton.

Trump Picks “Mad Dog” James Mattis For US Secretary Of Defense

US President-elect Donald Trump has announced that retired Marine General James Mattis, an outspoken critic of the Iran nuclear agreement, will serve as his secretary of defense.

“We are going to appoint ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis as our secretary of defense. But we’re not announcing it until Monday so don’t tell anybody,” Trump told a rally on Thursday in Cincinnati, the first stop on a post-election “thank-you tour.”

“They say he’s the closest thing to Gen. George Patton that we have and it’s about time,” he added.

Mattis, 66, served more than four decades in the Marine Corps. The retired four-star general, known as “Mad Dog” and the “Warrior Monk,” had been involved in several key military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In November 2001, he led Marines that carried out a raid in helicopters on Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, giving the US military a new foothold against Taliban militants after the October 2001 American-led invasion of the country.

In 2003, Mattis commanded a division of Marines during the Iraq war, and in 2004 he led Marines in bloody street fighting in the city of Fallujah.

Like Trump, Mattis is also an opponent of the Iran nuclear agreement, which was reached last year between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany. Under the deal, Tehran agreed to limit some aspects of its nuclear program in exchange for removal of sanctions.

Read More: presstv

Trump acknowledges African-Americans’ support, pledges to unite America

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has acknowledged the contributions of the African-Americans to his election, saying they gave him the highest votes they had ever given a Republican nominee in recent times.

Trump, at a “Thank you tour” of Ohio, said the African-Americans had nothing to lose in his presidency, a correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

“Remember when I was making speeches, I said what a hell do you (African-Americans) have to lose?

“The African-American community was so great to me in this election; they were so great to me; amazing!

“I couldn’t believe it that I saw them in their large numbers and every week, ‘boom, boom, boom’.

“And I got up added up to a number that’s higher than all of the Republican candidates for years and it was great!,” he said.

While addressing the cheering crowd, the president-elect again pledged to unite Americans, noting the divisive presidential campaigns between him and Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“We are not going to be divided for long, I have always brought people together; I know you find that hard to believe.

“But we are going to bring our country together, we will come together and we will get the job done properly,” he pledged.

Trump, who lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College, said: “we won a landslide, we won big”, condemning prejudice and hatred that had arisen from his election.

“We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all of its forms; we denounce all of the hatred and we forcefully reject the language of exclusion and separation.

“We are going to come together; we have no choice, we have to and it is better,” the president-elect said.

Trump, who used the tour to roll out his plans in office, promised to fulfil his campaign promises.

He re-emphasised that he would repeal and replace the “Obamacare”.

The president-elect also pledged to reduce taxes for companies and the working class saying, “we’re going to massively lower taxes and make America the best place to do business”.

Trump promised to usher in a new industrial revolution saying, “we’re going to bring jobs back to Americans” and “we’re going to have a simple rule: buy America and hire America”.

“On defence, we will begin a major national effort to rebuild our badly battered military.

“We have no choice; we want a strong military and we don’t have to use them, although we will destroy ISIS,” he said”

The president-elect also pledged to reform America’s foreign policy, saying “we will stop overthrowing regimes and stop changing governments; our goal is to promote peace in the world.

Trump also said that “we will finally end illegal migration; we will construct great walls at our borders” to keep out criminal cartels and drug traffickers from entering the country.

“We will ask Congress to reform our visa and immigration programmes to protect jobs and wages for American workers”.

He said “we don’t want another Nice, we don’t want another Orlando and we don’t like what is happening in Germany. We don’t want refugees, we already have enough problems”.

The president-elect, however, said the change was not going to be easy but urged Americans to “be the agent of good and positive change for our country”.

NAN reports that Trump had earlier at Indiana, where he commenced the tour, said the tour was a “thank you” one to the American people, especially, the battleground states at the election.

Wole Soyinka finally destroys Green Card.

Nigerian Nobel prize-winning author, Wole Soyinka claimed on Thursday that he has already destroyed his US residency green card.


Soyinka said he would throw away his green card and depart the country if the Republican Presidential aspirant to the last month’s election, Donald Trump wins.


Afterwards, he had vowed to destroy the green card on Trump’s swearing in day, to protest against the Republican billionaire’s campaign speeches.


But he has now told Journalists in South Africa that, “I have already done it, I have disengaged (from the United States). I have done what I said I would do.


“I had a horror of what is to come with Trump… I threw away the (green) card, and I have relocated, and I’m back to where I have always been.”

Trump to severe business ties, focus on U.S. presidency.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has said that he would separate himself from his business and focus on governance when sworn-in as President.


The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mr. Trump disclosed this in a series of tweet, amid rising concerns on conflicts between his business and the presidency.


“I will be holding a major news conference in New York City with my children on Dec. 15 to discuss the fact that I will be leaving my great business in total.


“This is in order to fully focus on running the country in order to ‘Make America Great Again!


“While I am not mandated to do this under the law, I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.


“Hence, legal documents are being crafted which take me completely out of business operations.


“The Presidency is a far more important task!” the president-elect said.


NAN reports that Trump reportedly has interests in no fewer than 500 businesses currently.

US hate crime continues to ‘surge’ after Trump win.

A prominent US civil rights group says it has identified almost 900 incidents of harassment following Donald Trump’s win in the US presidential election.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC) is calling on Trump to “act strongly to squelch harassment”.

They also urge Trump to “reach out to the communities he’s injured”.

The comments come as the group releases two reports into the aftermath of the businessman’s win.

Along with representatives of teachers’ unions and other civil rights groups, the SPLC outlines how they say Trump’s rhetoric and actions have affected US society.

The SPLC has been monitoring social media and news reports, and an online form that they have created for Americans to self-report hateful incidents.

“Mr Trump should take responsibility for what’s occurring, forcefully reject hate and bigotry,” the organisation said.

In their report, Ten Days After, they report finding hundreds of cases of attacks against minorities – including instances of violence and intimidation – some of which they directly link to the surprise Trump victory on 8 November.

“An awful lot of these crimes are directly linked to the Trump campaign in the sense that graffiti was left or words were shouted that directly invoked Trump,” Senior SPLC fellow Mark Potok told the BBC.

Meanwhile, President-elect Trump is expected to pick former Goldman Sachs executive Steve Mnuchin to be treasury secretary, US media suggest.

Mnuchin, who was Trump’s campaign finance chairman and has no government experience, could be named on Wednesday, according to reports.

On Tuesday, Trump picked Tom Price as health secretary and Elaine Chao as transportation secretary.

He is still weighing his options in filling the posts of state and defence.

Mnuchin amassed a fortune over 17 years at Goldman Sachs investment bank, before founding a movie production company that was behind such box office hits as the X-Men franchise and American Sniper.

Trump Vows To ‘Remove’ Himself From His Business

Donald Trump promised Wednesday to ‘remove’ himself from his businesses and said he will announce details in two weeks about how he’ll avoid conflicts of interest when he is president.

Trump used his favorite method of communicating with the public — Twitter — to announce plans for a “major news conference” on Dec. 15 to discuss plans to leave the Trump Organization.

His adult children, whom he has said he will put in charge of the company, will be a part of the news conference.

Trump owns or has a position in more than 500 companies, according to a CNN analysis. That includes about 150 that have done business in at least 25 foreign countries, including Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

There have been growing questions about the potential conflicts of interest posed by Trump’s continued business interests and his role as president. A poll by CNN found that 6 in 10 Americans believe Trump is not doing enough to address conflicts of interest.

His tweets said he is not mandated to leave his business by law, but that “I feel it is visually important, as President, to in no way have a conflict of interest with my various businesses.”

Trump also said he is doing so “in order to fully focus on running the country in order to make America great again.” Legal documents are being crafted which take him completely out of business operations, he claimed. “The Presidency is a far more important task!”

Read More: CNN

Romney, potential US secretary of state, praises Trump.

Republican Mitt Romney made an impassioned statement in support of President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday in attempt to erase doubts about him among Trump supporters and remain in contention for US secretary of state.

Romney, a fierce critic of Trump during the Republican presidential primary battle, stopped short of an outright apology but his intention to wipe the slate clean was clear.

The former Massachusetts governor, who was the Republican presidential nominee in 2012 and lost, praised Trump for a “message of inclusion and bringing people together” since his Nov. 8 victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Noting the appointments Trump has made to fill key cabinet positions for his administration and his desire for greater unity among Americans, Romney said that “all of those things combined give me increasing hope that President-elect Trump is the very man who can lead us” to a better future.

Romney made his remarks after a lengthy meal with Trump and Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus at a posh French restaurant at a Trump hotel in Manhattan.

Since Trump began to seriously consider Romney as a potential secretary of state, some on Trump’s team have voiced doubts about bringing in a former critic and rallied around their preferred candidate, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a long-time Trump friend and loyalist.

Leading this effort in an unusually public way has been senior Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway, who told a round of television interviews on Sunday that Trump supporters would feel “betrayed” if Romney was picked.

New York Republican Congressman Chris Collins, another Trump loyalist, recently called Romney a “self-serving egomaniac”.

“I’m all for party unity, but I’m not sure that we have to pay for that with the secretary of state position,” Conway said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We don’t even know if Mitt Romney voted for Donald Trump,” he said.

Trump, however, has kept Romney in contention for the secretary of state position, and a Republican source close to the transition effort said Priebus has been pushing for Romney behind the scenes.

“I had a wonderful evening with President-elect Trump,” Romney said in remarks to reporters after the dinner. “We had another discussion about affairs throughout the world and these discussions I’ve had with him have been enlightening, and interesting, and engaging. I’ve enjoyed them very, very much.”

Trump is also considering US Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Corker met Trump at Trump Tower earlier on Tuesday and told reporters afterward that Trump “needs to choose someone that he’s very comfortable with and he knows there’s going be no daylight between him and them”.

“The world needs to know that the secretary of state is someone who speaks fully for the president and again, that’s a decision he’s going to have to make,” Corker said.

Burn American Flag, Go To Jail; Trump Warns

The President-elect of the United States, Donald Trump, has warned that anybody who burns American flag may lose citizenship or go to jail.

He posted this on his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

“Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!,” he said.

Credit: dailytrust

Trump accuses Clinton of reneging on concession speech.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has accused former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton of reneging on her concession speech certifying the results of the Nov. 28 presidential election.

Mr. Trump, in a series of tweets on the recount, condemned Mrs. Clinton’s support to the votes recount efforts by Green Party nominee Jill Stein for Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Ms. Stein has raised over $6 million crowd-funding in hopes of securing a recount in the three key states won by Mr. Trump in the Nov. 8 presidential poll.

“The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore!

“Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in,” he said.

Mr. Trump recalled Mrs. Clinton’s reaction when he hinted at the third and last presidential debate that he would keep Americans guessing over whether he would accept the election outcome.

“That is horrifying. That is not the way our democracy works; been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections.

“We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on during a general election.

“I, for one, am appalled that somebody that is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position,” he quoted Mrs. Clinton as saying.

Mr. Trump said Mrs. Clinton also, at a campaign rally, slammed him, saying: “He said something truly horrifying … he refused to say that he would respect the results of this election.

“That is a direct threat to our democracy”.

The president-elect further quoted Mrs. Clinton’s concession speech where she urged her supporters to accept the result of the election.

“We have to accept the results and look to the future, Donald Trump is going to be our President.

“We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” he quoted Mrs. Clinton as saying.

Trump said in the votes recount efforts in the three states, money and time would be wasted.

“So much time and money will be spent – same result! Sad”.

Mr. Trump, who trails Mrs. Clinton with about two million popular votes, claimed that he won the popular votes, alleging that millions of people voted illegally.

“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally

“It would have been much easier for me to win the so-called popular vote than the Electoral College in that I would only campaign in three or four states instead of the 15 states that I visited.

“I would have won even more easily and convincingly (but smaller states are forgotten)!”

He also alleged voter fraud in favour of Mrs. Clinton in other states, which were not reported.

“Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!”

Clinton’s lead over Trump now over 2 million popular votes.

Hillary Clinton’s margin in the popular vote against President-elect Donald Trump has surpassed two million, furthering the record for a candidate who lost in the Electoral College.

Hillary Clinton’s national popular vote lead over President-elect Donald Trump has now exceeded two million votes, according to an ongoing count by the Cook Political Report on Wednesday.

Clinton’s vote total is 64,223,986 (48.1 per cent of the vote), while Trump’s is 62,206,395 (46.6 per cent), a difference of 2,017,591 votes.

Clinton’s margin in the popular vote against Trump’s as additional votes have been counted in the presidential election, furthered the record for a candidate who lost in the Electoral College.

Much of that lead was generated by California, where Clinton had 3.7 million more votes than Trump in the last totals reported in the state on Tuesday evening.

The Democratic vote was not distributed well enough across the country, however, Trump carried most of the states and prevailed in the Electoral College.

It is the fifth time the winner of the popular vote has lost the election.

The same thing happened in 2000, when then Democratic nominee Al Gore won the popular vote by nearly 544,000 but lost to former president George W. Bush on electoral votes.

This year, Clinton scored large tallies in states like California but Mr Trump won most of the so-called swing states, which ultimately decide the outcome of elections.

The Electoral College system favours candidates who win by a small margin in lots of states over ones that win by a landslide in just a few.

A group of academics, lawyers and data experts are also trying to persuade the Clinton’s team to join their efforts to investigate the results in three states to check if there was foreign computer hacking that manipulated the outcome.

They are curious on why Clinton performed worse in counties that relied on electronic voting machines compared to paper ballots and optical scanners.

The Green Party’s Presidential Candidate, Jill Stein, is also raising funds to request a recount in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, all won by Trump.

Some Democrats have called for an end to the Electoral College but the U.S. Constitution authorised it and smaller states would likely block its abolition.

Trump, who once called Electoral College a “disaster”, said a popular vote-only system would force candidates to campaign only in bigger states like California, Texas, Florida, and New York.

“I think the popular vote would have been easier in a true sense because you would go to a few places.

“I think that’s the genius of the Electoral College. I was never a fan of the Electoral College until now,” Trump told The New York Times on Tuesday.

Brexit, Trump: Africa and the Newly Re-Ordered World, By Majeed Dahiru

As the world begins to adjust to a newly re-ordered world, Africans cannot and should not continue to lament over the new realities confronting us. A re-ordered Pan-Africanism is nigh to effectively confront the enormous challenges that may predictably emerge from the current realities.

The world is set to undergo fundamental changes, first with Brexit and second, and most importantly, with a Donald Trump at the White House in quick succession. Throughout the Western world, populism and nationalism is on the rise, evident in these two historic but unexpected events. If the world was set on the edge by Trump’s candidacy, the world is shocked and in some cases devastated by his emergence as the president of the United States, the most powerful nation on planet earth. Between Brexit and Trump’s election is a common thread of nationalism, with the question of immigration at the core. The realities of a newly re-ordered world are soon to manifest. A new world in which the developed economies of the West Europe and the United States are going to compete squarely with the emerging economic miracles of south East Asia for global wealth, resources and markets, by pulling out of or re-negotiating several trade deals that are considered unfavourable. A new world in which less charity in the form of aids and grants will flow from the rich countries of the West to the least of the less developing countries on the African continent.


The re-ordered new world will be characterised by more of realist and less of moralist foreign policies by powerful and leading member nations of the international community. Under the current reality, every job matters in Western Europe and America, with their citizens willing to do them, leaving fewer opportunities for millions of economic refugees out of Africa and South America. National interests will be negotiated under the frame of bilateral arrangements, rather than through multilateral approaches, for maximum benefit.


The shock and disappointment expressed by the world over Trump’s election came about as a result of a complete detachment from the realities of the lives of the average American. Most people were subjective in their assessments of the two leading contenders of the latest US presidentioal polls from their comfort zones and viewed issues through the prism of racial, geographic and religious sentiments. They were unable look beyond what they were seeing and objectively assess the candidates and what they stood for, by putting themselves in the shoes of the average American citizen, particularly the majority White working class, which forms about eighty percent of the total population.

Nigeria, as the most populous Black nation on earth, is naturally positioned to champion a re-ordered pan-Africanism. The reasons for the existence of a modern state should be more economic than political… Nigeria should begin to move towards this progressive path because our choices are limited if we must survive in a newly re-ordered world.

As a person with zero public service experience, Donald Trump’s messages represented a deeper and larger truth which were often high on rhetoric but low on facts and figures. His opponents focused more on the method of his delivery but ignored his core message to their detriment. With a multi-billion dollar campaign fund, Hillary Clinton’s media strategist deliberately distorted Trump’s every message and statement by taking them out of their realistic context, while also widely propagating these through the leading local and international mass media, which contributed greatly in misleading the world in underestimating the GOP nominee and generally regarded him as unfit to lead America, and concluded that he was unelectable.


This strategy greatly obscured the realities on the ground in God’s own country. The deeper and larger truth about the American situation as espoused by Donald Trump was understood by the masses. Trump struck the right cord in the minds of his countrymen on the danger posed to the free world by radical Islam, an issue that Hillary Clinton treated with political correctness to the silent consternation of millions of her country folks. Trump was on point on the economy and the fact that America was losing ground to the other emerging economic powers of South East Asia. The massive trade deficit, put at over $350 billion in favour of China, massive job losses as a result of unfavourable trade deals and practices and a widening budget deficit of $587 billion because of excessive government spending on issues like Obamacare, has combined to make America an unprofitable enterprise.


On the world stage, America has lost its leading role in international relations and diplomacy to Russia, particularly in the Middle East and continental Europe. On immigration, the developed world is not willing anymore to bear the burden of the inadequacies of continental Africa and its deficient system which has earned it the notoriety as the largest producer of economic refugees in the world. The world was not alone in this shock. Hillary, her backers and supporters, were so bewildered that her concession speech was not only conditional, her supporters took to the streets in protests in a manner that fits her own description of Trump’s supporters – “deplorable”. It was like telling a lie and believing it. They were protesting a time tried, tested and trusted Electoral College system that produces an elected American president. Heads of government of leading democracies, like the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, India, and South Africa etc. are not elected by popular votes. They are elected primarily as members of parliament by their respective constituencies, subsequently elected to lead their political party in the parliament, and if in majority, head the government.

The new pan-African thinking should cease to be “how Europe underdeveloped Africa” but become “how Africans are under-developing Africa”. Africans should begin to transform their countries from mere assemblages of ethnic groups, whose existence are more for political convenience, into formidable nation states whose existence should be more for economic reasons, without which Africa may not live in the re-ordered world…

As the world begins to adjust to a newly re-ordered world, Africans cannot and should not continue to lament over the new realities confronting us. A re-ordered Pan-Africanism is nigh to effectively confront the enormous challenges that may predictably emerge from the current realities. The cardinal objectives of the newly ordered Pan-Africanism will be: Africans taking full responsibilities for their actions, leading to successes or failures, past and present. Africans must stop blaming everyone else but themselves for the darkness that envelopes the larger part of the continent. Africans should begin to accept shared responsibility for the trans-Atlantic slave trade because the enterprise was a partnership between European slave merchants and African slave raiders. Africans should admit and acknowledge the good sides of colonialism, particularly the introduction of the invaluable Western education and maximise the benefit to annul its negative consequences.


The continuous blame on colonialism for the plight of Africans after fifty years of independence in many countries has fostered a lethargic mentality which has led to a defeatist approach to life and continuous relish in self-pity as consolation. Every nation on earth was colonised at one point or the other in its developmental history. The problem with the colonial experience of sub-Saharan Africa was that it occurred very late and ended very early. The new pan-African thinking should cease to be “how Europe underdeveloped Africa” but become “how Africans are under-developing Africa”. Africans should begin to transform their countries from mere assemblages of ethnic groups, whose existence are more for political convenience, into formidable nation states whose existence should be more for economic reasons, without which Africa may not live in the re-ordered world but will merely exist on the fringes to be continuously exploited. Africans will never be truly respected anywhere in the world until the darkness that is the African continent is lit up and cured of destitution.

Nigeria, as the most populous Black nation on earth, is naturally positioned to champion a re-ordered pan-Africanism. The reasons for the existence of a modern state should be more economic than political. Modern states are supposed to be successful business entities, run profitably. The success and profitability of a nation state is determined by a combination of factors which includes but are not limited to; a freely elected government and entrenched rule of law with independent and functioning institutions of state, high quality human resources, a developmental immigration policy, and realistic and sometimes predatory foreign policy driven primarily by economic advantage. Nigeria should begin to move towards this progressive path because our choices are limited if we must survive in a newly re-ordered world.


Majeed Dahiru, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja and can be reached through

Mexican Cement Company Offers To Help Trump Build His “Big, Beautiful, Powerful” Border Wall

A Mexican cement maker is ready to lend its services to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to build the wall he wants to erect on the southern border of the United States to curb immigration.

“We can’t be choosy,” Enrique Escalante, Chief Executive Officer of Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua (GCC) said in an interview. “We’re an important producer in that area and we have to respect our clients on both sides of the border.”

Based in Chihuahua, a large northern state bordering Texas and New Mexico, GCC is one of the biggest construction materials companies in Mexico. It generates around 70 percent of its sales in the United States, where it also has three plants.

Escalante said Trump’s plans to invest in energy and infrastructure in the United States augured well for the firm.

“For the business we’re in, Trump is a candidate that does favor the industry quite a bit,” Escalante said.

Luckily for Trump, and Grupo Cementos, the National Enquirer has already drawn up “construction plans & blueprints.”

Read More:



I’ll Build a Fence, Rather Than a Wall – Trump

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has softened his initial immigration threat to build a wall along the United States border line with Mexico.

Speaking with New York Times on Tuesday, Trump said he might have to build a fence, rather than a wall, in some areas of the U.S.- Mexican border to stop illegal immigration.

This is contrary to one of his signature campaign promises on immigration where he promised to build a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico.
Trump also for the first time did not sound so optimistic about investigating and prosecuting his rival at the polls, Hillary Clinton.

“I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t. She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways,” he told reporters, editors and other newspaper officials at the Times headquarters in Manhattan.

Recall that during his campaign, Trump never missed to stress how he would prosecute Clinton for her family’s charitable foundation or her use of a private email server while she was U.S. secretary of state.

The U.S. President-Elect is also reconsidering his threat to back out of the International Climate Change Deal saying he was now keeping an ‘open mind’.

He in an interview that he thinks there is “some connectivity” between human activity and global warming, despite previously describing climate change as a hoax.

Recall that Trump had been quoted as seeking the fastest way to withdraw the United States from the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.

But speaking on Tuesday, Trump said “I’m looking at it very closely. I have an open mind to it.” U.S. withdrawal from the pact, agreed to by almost 200 countries, would set back international efforts to limit rising temperatures that have been linked to the extinctions of animals and plants, heat waves, floods and rising sea levels.

Trump also said that he was thinking about climate change and American competitiveness and “how much it will cost our companies,” he said.

Two people advising Trump’s transition team on energy and environment issues said they were caught off guard by his remarks.

A shift on global warming is the latest sign Trump might be backing away from some of his campaign rhetoric as life in the Oval Office approaches, Reuters reports.

Trump Announces South Carolina Gov Nikki Haley UN Ambassador

US President-elect Donald Trump has announced South Carolina Governor,  Nikki Haley, as UN ambassador.

Haley, 44, a rising star in the Republican Party and a daughter of Indian immigrants, has led South Carolina since 2011. She is Trump’s first female appointee to a Cabinet-level post, and she would be taking on a position that requires intense diplomatic and navigational skills in an often-frustrating international bureaucracy.

In 2015, Haley drew national praise and attention for her response to a mass shooting at an African-American church in Charleston, when she called for the Confederate battle flag to be removed from the grounds of the state capitol. “By removing a symbol that divides us, we can move forward as a state in harmony and we can honor the nine blessed souls who are in heaven,” she said, while acknowledging that some saw the flag as a symbol of tradition.

During the Republican presidential primary, Haley was sharply critical of Trump’s policies, especially his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States, which she called “un-American.” Haley’s parents are members of the Sikh faith, but she’s a Christian and attends a Methodist church.

Haley endorsed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio ahead of the South Carolina primary, and campaigned with him vigorously throughout the state, which he lost by 10 percentage points to Trump. And when she delivered the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, Haley urged the party to reject the “angriest voices” — a line widely seen as aimed at Trump.

Trump punched back, tweeting: “The people of South Carolina are embarrassed by Nikki Haley!”

“Bless your heart,” she responded.

Haley met with Trump late last week, however, and afterwards described him as “a friend and supporter before he ran for president.”

She explained her criticism of Trump as truth-telling, not an irrevocable breach: “When I see something I am uncomfortable with, I say it. When we met, it was friends who had known each other before.”


Read more:

Trump’s Victory – A Verdict On Political Correctness By Dr. Ijabla Raymond

How did a man with no political experience defy America’s establishments and all the seasoned pollsters, pundits, journalists, political analysts and politicians to become America’s 45th President? How did he, despite the disgusting things he said about women, Muslims and Latinos, beat Mrs. Hillary Clinton in the race for the White House? There are all kinds of theories, but the one I wish to respond to is the one that states Mr. Donald Trump won because of he votes of stupid, racist Americans.


Let me declare straight away I am no Trump supporter. Neither am I Clinton’s. Trump’s campaign pledges violate many of the principles I believe in such as gender equality, climate change, and LGBTQ rights. My interest is purely analytical.


Calling everyone who voted for Trump a racist or a bigot shows a lack of understanding of the issues that matter to a large section of the American people such as uncontrolled immigration, jihadist terrorism, the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries like Mexico and China. It presumes nearly half of all Americans do not know what is good for them. Only those that swallow every news on media such as CNN and FOX could speak like that. It is silly to suggest the people who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008, and then in 2012, have suddenly become racists in 2016. I do not doubt that many racists voted for Trump but so do many respectable Americans. Resentment against the establishment develops when citizens feel unable to freely express themselves (for fear of being called racists, sexist, bigots or Islamophobes) and constrained to adopt the politically-correct language.


In my view, Mr. Trump’s victory, just like Brexit, is a vote against the establishment and a verdict on political correctness and the stifling, if not the outright censorship, of discussions on the issues that matter to ordinary people.


I do not believe Trump is going to be the monster everybody is scared of. He could not have become a successful billionaire by being divisive and making stupid decisions. The fact he was bankrupt four times and a billionaire today proves his sagacity. It indicates he is an excellent delegator and team leader, and that he has a remarkable ability to manage people and resources. The fact he beat other smart candidates to become the president-elect suggests he is not the stupid buffoon the media made out he was. And there is the sanctimonious brigade that calls him a serial adulterer and divorcee. Personally, I do not care who the president sleeps with, but I care whether or not they are competent.


If Americans desire a president who is a saint, they should consider persuading the pope to run in U.S presidential election. I do not believe Trump is going to build a wall, imprison Clinton or stop Muslims from coming to America. I think he was speaking in a rhetorical language and my feeling is that most of his followers understood this. The U.S has strong institutions, and the President does not rule by himself. He has the two houses of Congress to balance out his powers. If Trump manages to execute those pledges then the problem goes beyond him – it is Americans because every society deserves the kind of leaders it gets.
As an African, I care about America’s foreign policy in Africa.


Historically, this has been meddlesome and exploitative. President Barack Obama gave a great speech in Kenya and lectured our leaders on corruption, the rule of law, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and goodness knows they needed to hear it. But he along with Cameron and Sarkozy are responsible for the mess in Libya. Their actions resulted in the collapse of the Libyan state and enabled Boko Haram to acquire sophisticated weapons which were smuggled across the Sahara desert.


The lack of leadership in Libya has emboldened thousands of Nigerians (but also citizens of other West African states) to cross the Sahara desert to Libya. Many of them have drowned while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. The Obama administration reportedly refused to recognize Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. There is also the contentious issue of its refusal to sell arms to the Nigerian government. While I do not exonerate our leaders from blame it is naive to think American (and Western) foreign policy has (have) no bearing on where our continent is today. I am not convinced Clinton has a more favorable policy towards Africa than Obama. In any case, many analysts describe her as a hawk and as someone who is likely to intervene in the affairs of other countries and possibly involve America in more wars.


Trump has signaled a willingness to cooperate with Russia, and I think this is good for the world. Personally, I think Putin has shown better understanding and judgment in Libya and Syria than Obama and his Western allies. Who exactly are the “moderate rebels” that Obama and his Western allies are arming to overthrow a democratically elected government in Syria? How do they know Syrians will not end up in a worse situation if they eliminate Mr. Assad? Look at what happened in Libya and Iraq when their leaders were deposed and killed. I believe jihadist terrorism is the greatest threat to global peace in the 21st century. It is very good for world peace for Russia and America to cooperate rather than continuing to fight their Cold War. I believe they could very easily defeat ISIS and end the Syrian civil war immediately if they cooperated and fought on the same rather than on opposite sides as is presently the case.


I cannot end without expressing my deep distrust of the military-industrial complex. How has ISIS managed to arm itself and finance its operations for three years? You mean we can land robots on comets and send a man to outer space, but we cannot work out who is moving around large amounts of money and arms in the Middle East? Things are not quite as they first seem to appear.


So, why did the mainstream media fail to predict a Trump win? How did they become so out of touch with their constituency without even knowing it? The reason is because they were blinded by partisanship (perhaps inspired by a collective will to stop the man who promised to pull down the establishments). Or they were in denial and saw only what they wanted to see. Americans saw through the partisanship which only deepened their distrust of the establishments and increased their resolve to elect the man who promised to tear it all down. Without a doubt, this was a vote against the establishment (which Clinton represented).


To conclude, his pronouncements so far lead me to think Trump might be a pragmatist. He has indicated he will be “modifying,” not canceling, Obamacare. He has reportedly said he would honor Obama’s Iran nuclear deal and that same-sex marriage is a “settled law.” If Trump is willing to back-pedal and undo some of his toxic rhetorics, that is good. Intransigence is a bigger crime in my eyes. Whatever one’s view of the election we can agree on it undeniably portrays the beauty of democracy. In four years, Americans can vote out Trump and elect a new leader if they so wish.


Ijabla is a medical doctor and a humanist. He writes from the U.K.
Twitter: @ijabijay

US Election: Donald Trump won due to prayers of Igbos – Biafran pastors.

Biafra Clergy Movement, BCM, under the umbrella of Biafra Independent Movement, BIM, says the President elect of the United States of America, USA, Donald Trump won his election due to the prayers of Ndigbos, stressing that their prayers stopped Hillary Clinton.


Speaking in Nnewi, Anambra State during a prayer session, BIM’s Director of Religion for the South Senatorial zone, Apostle Akunne Chukwuemeka who cited the Book of Exodus chapter 9 verse 1, said the prayer summit was to congratulate Trump on his electoral victory and asked Pharaoh to allow Igbos actualise Biafra.


Chukwuemeka maintained that there is nothing the Nigerian government could do to stop the actualization of Biafra.

He said, “As God directed Moses to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go, so had the Nigerian government been directed to let the Biafrans go, adding, the election of Trump as the next American President was a prayer answered for Biafrans.


“Since Mr Trump is our choice, who will say no to Muslim colonization. It was the prayers of the Biafrans that stopped Hilary Clinton from winning the Presidential election”.


Trump, a Republican had few weeks ago emerged the President of the fiercely contested US Presidential election against all odds and predictions that were made against him.

Why Melania Trump, Son Won’t Be Moving Into The White House

Wife of US President-elect, and future First Lady, Ms. Melania Trump will not be moving to the White House after Donald Trump’s inauguration in January.

The 46-year-old wife and their 10-year-old son, Barron are staying put at the family’s Trump Tower penthouse so that Barron can continue attending his Upper West Side private school, according to The New York Times.

“Melania is extremely close to Barron, and they have become closer during the campaign,” said a source close to Trump’s transition team. “The campaign has been difficult for Barron, and she is really hoping to keep disruption to a minimum.”

Another source said Melania Trump will travel to the White House as needed, but that her primary focus is on Barron.

“Melania is very supportive of her husband and is fully on board of doing everything that’s needed as first lady,” said the second source familiar with the Trump transition.

That source said also that there is a possibility that Melania and Barron may move to the White House at the end of the school year, but no plans are in place.

“She is really devoted to Barron,” said a source close to the family, adding that Melania has not relied on nannies to raise the child and is frequently seen picking the fourth-grader up from his prep school, where tuition is north of $40,000.

TB Joshua: Prayers of Americans reversed my prophecy on Clinton. [Video]

Founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, Prophet T.B. Joshua, has further clarified on his controversial prophesy regarding who would win last November 8 Presidential election in the US.
In a latest video on his church’s Facebook page, TB Joshua Ministries, Joshua explained that following his prophesy before the election, some concerned Americans went into deep prayers and fastings, which prompted God to hearken to their voice, thereby reversing Hillary Clinton’s win.
Watch Video Below:

Obama defends free trade at Asia-Pacific summit rattled by Trump

US President Barack Obama on Sunday defended free trade as fellow Asia-Pacific leaders vowed to fight protectionism after Donald Trump’s shock election victory sparked fears for the future of global commerce.

Trump’s triumph in this month’s US presidential poll has raised concerns that years of rolling back trade barriers could be reversed after the populist billionaire vowed to tear up a series of key deals.

His victory overshadowed a summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group held in Peru this week where leaders, including Obama, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, found themselves under fierce pressure to defend free trade.

Globalization and trade deals have been increasingly blamed in Europe and America for sending jobs abroad and eroding living standards, concerns reflected in both the election of Trump and Britain’s “Brexit” vote in June to leave the European Union.

At the APEC gathering there was particular concern about the future of a major US-backed accord — the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which Trump has vowed to kill off — and that China was positioning itself to forge ahead with its own trade deals and fill a vacuum left by any American withdrawal.

But after the summit closed on Sunday, Obama said that the 12-nation trans-Pacific deal, a key part of his much-vaunted “pivot” to Asia, was far from dead and those involved still wanted to move forward with the United States.

The president also insisted trade was positive as long as it was carried out in the right way and sought to answer rising concerns about globalization, conceding that “historic gains in prosperity” had not been evenly distributed.

“That can reverberate through our politics,” he said.

“That’s why I firmly believe one of our greatest challenges in the years ahead across our nations and within them will be to make sure that the benefits of the global economy are shared by more people.”

And he sent a message to a world that is increasingly wary of globalization: “The answer is to do trade right.”

– ‘Fight protectionism’ –

Obama’s concerns about growing inequality were echoed by other leaders at the gathering, with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong saying steps must be taken to ensure that “no groups in society are left behind.”

“Only then can we push ahead with trade and economic cooperation,” he said.

APEC’s 21 members from either side of the Pacific offered their own staunch defense of free trade as the annual summit ended, pledging to “fight against all forms of protectionism.”

In addition the group vowed to refrain from competitive devaluation of their currencies, after Trump repeatedly accused China of keeping the yuan undervalued to boost exports and threatened to declare Beijing a currency manipulator.

But analysts were not convinced by the APEC statement, with senior analyst Jeffrey Halley at forex broker Oanda saying it sounded like “empty rhetoric.”

“Most participants have very different definitions of what constitutes open markets and protectionism,” he said.

While Obama sought to be upbeat about the TPP’s prospects, some experts say Trump’s attacks on the agreement — which he called a “terrible deal” — and his Republican allies’ control of Congress mean it is dead in the water.

Other observers have suggested that the deal-making real estate mogul may seek to negotiate changes to the agreement once he takes office in January, and then claim a victory if a new version is passed.

A failure of the TPP would likely be welcomed by China, which was excluded from the deal and saw it as an attempt by the US to increase its clout in Beijing’s backyard.

As the summit concluded Sunday, Chinese foreign ministry official Tan Jian took a veiled swipe at America, saying that countries “should not politicize free trade arrangements.”

Trump’s victory and the potential demise of the TPP means that even longtime US allies may soon be turning to Beijing in a region hungry for trade.

President Xi set himself up as the anti-Trump at this week’s summit, defending open markets and pushing two rival agreements — an APEC-wide deal and a 16-member accord that excludes the US.

I’ll break tradition if Trump threatens core American values – Obama

US President Barack Obama has said he may speak out after leaving office if he feels his successor Donald Trump is threatening core American values.

By convention, former presidents tend to leave the political fray and avoid commenting on their successors, but speaking at a news conference at the Apec summit in Lima, Peru, Obama said he intended to assist Trump and give him time to outline his vision.

He said that, as a private citizen, he might speak out on certain issues.

“I want to be respectful of the office and give the president-elect an opportunity to put forward his platform and his arguments without somebody popping off,” Obama said.

But, he added, if an issue “goes to core questions about our values and our ideals, and if I think that it’s necessary or helpful for me to defend those ideals, then I’ll examine it when it comes”.

The president described himself as an “American citizen who cares deeply about our country”.

Speaking at a news conference to mark the end of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit, Obama reiterated that he would extend to Trump’s incoming administration the same professional courtesy shown to his team by his predecessor George W Bush.

Bush has refrained since leaving office from commenting on Obama’s presidency. “I don’t think it does any good,” he told CNN in 2013, after Obama was elected for a second time.

“It’s a hard job. He’s got plenty on his agenda. It’s difficult. A former president doesn’t need to make it any harder. Other presidents have taken different decisions; that’s mine.”

Bush’s stance falls in line with tradition. US presidents tend to avoid criticising predecessors or successors. Obama was clear that he would not weigh in on Trump’s decisions while he is still in office, but his suggestion that, as a private citizen, he would seek to defend “core values” comes amid mounting concern among civil rights groups and others about Trump’s political appointments.

The president-elect’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, was previously the head of Breitbart, a website which has been accused of promoting racism and anti-Semitism. And Trump’s national security adviser, General Michael Flynn, has previously likened Islam to a “cancer” spreading through the US.

Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was rejected from becoming a federal judge in 1986 because of alleged racist remarks.

Obama said he believed that the intense responsibility of the presidency would force Trump to moderate some of the more extreme policy positions he advocated during his campaign.

Asked about the failure of the Democratic party’s campaign under Hillary Clinton, Obama was critical of what he described as the “micro-targeting” of “particular, discrete groups”, rather than an effort to reach out to the entire country.

Mrs Clinton has been criticised for focusing her energy on certain demographics, including Latinos and women, who were believed to support her, at the expense of a more inclusive campaign.

That approach “is not going to win you the broad mandate that you need”, Obama said, adding that the party needed a “smarter message”.

Donald Trump set to meet the Queen on state visit.

The Queen is reportedly set to invite Donald Trump to Windsor Castle on an official state visit to the UK.

According to several newspapers, senior government officials are said to be drawing up plans for the visit as early as next year, as they ponder how to cement the “special relationship”.

The President-elect reportedly told Prime Minister Theresa May during a phone call last week that his late Scottish mother was a “big fan” of the Queen, according to the Sunday Times.

Mrs May could use the state visit to curry his favour, the newspaper added.

The move would also allow Mrs May to swat away claims that UKIP acting leader Nigel Farage has closer links to the tycoon, which have been dismissed by Downing Street.

A spokeswoman for No 10 said: “No visit has been organised but the Prime Minister is looking forward to welcoming the president-elect to the UK when he chooses to visit.”

Mrs May has been invited to visit Mr Trump at the earliest possible opportunity and she is expected to travel to the US after he is inaugurated on 20 January.

But a state visit by Mr Trump to the UK would allow her to roll out the red carpet and offer a meeting with the Queen.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “State visits and other meetings with overseas heads of state are organised on the advice of the Government.”

The reports came as Mrs May faced fresh calls to deliver what will be seen as a “hard Brexit” from a group of 60 Conservative MPs including prominent former cabinet ministers.

Michael Gove, Iain Duncan Smith, John Whittingdale and Theresa Villiers urged the PM to pull Britain out of the European single market and the customs union.

They claimed getting out of the single market free trade zone was crucial for the UK to become free of Brussels regulations.

Eleven Labour, DUP and UKIP MPs also reportedly backed the call.

A Government spokeswoman insisted there were “no binary choices” in the UK’s future trading relationship with the EU and that the Government would pursue a bespoke deal rather than an “off the shelf” solution.

She added: “That’s why the Government is painstakingly analysing the challenges and opportunities for all the different sectors of our economy.

“The Prime Minister has been clear that she wants UK companies to have the maximum freedom to trade with and operate in the single market – and to let European businesses do the same here.”

Trump’s pledge to kill Obamacare, faces reality check.

With his shock victory in the race for the White House, President-elect Donald Trump at last, is in position to deliver on one of his most strident campaign promises: to repeal Obamacare.

With fellow Republicans in control of the US Congress, Trump has the means and ostensibly a mandate from his party to gut the law. But he may find the reality is more challenging.

Exit polls suggest Trump rode to victory in no small part on the support of those battleground state voters who strongly disliked President Barrack Obama’s sweeping health care reforms, especially given rising costs.

However, after Trump met President Barack Obama last week he seemed to backpedal on his intentions.

Candidate Trump vowed to “completely repeal” the Affordable Care Act and describing it as a “total disaster.”

But after his win, President-elect Trump said he hoped to preserve two of the most popular features: allowing children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, and forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

– ‘Death spiral’ –

The latter element is popular even with Republican lawmakers who have attempted on scores of occasions to repeal Obama’s landmark health reform. Trump told the television newsmagazine “60 Minutes” it was “very much something we’re going to try and keep.”

Yet analysts say keeping those features will be difficult if not impossible if Trump’s reform abolishes another key part of Obamacare, the so-called “individual mandate.” That is the requirement that Americans carry health coverage regardless of whether they are sick or healthy.

To cover the cost of providing coverage for sicker patients, health insurers depend on the revenue they get from the healthy enrollees that Obamacare required to buy in.

If that requirement is eliminated, “that’s basically going to cause a death spiral,” Sandy Ahn, a research professor at Georgetown’s Health Policy Institute, told AFP.

As insurers lose income from departing healthy consumers, they will raise premiums, putting coverage out of reach for many.
“The health care markets will look like they did before the Affordable Care Act,” said Ahn.

In fact, problems getting enough healthy young people to sign up for insurance has already contributed to rising premiums. The administration late last month announced that costs will jump by an average of 25 percent next year.

Individual US states already have experience with this dilemma. When Kentucky attempted in the 1990s to guarantee coverage without instituting an individual mandate, it saw 43 of 45 insurance companies flee its market over seven years. Similar outcomes occurred in New York and New Jersey.

Already there are signs that a “Trump effect” is roiling the health care market. In just the day after Trump’s victory, enrollments in the Obamacare individual marketplace surged to 100,000, the government said.

By early next year, providers will have to settle on premium rates but they currently do not know whether the public subsidies that help low-income consumers will exist by then.

Two days after Trump’s victory, America’s Health Insurance Plans, an industry lobby, warned against “sudden disruptions” that could jeopardise “continuous coverage.”

Some in the resurgent GOP may fear a backlash.

“Clearly, we don’t want to do any harm to people already in the system,” Mississippi Republican Senator Roger Wicker told Bloomberg last week.

Since Obamacare took effect, 20 million people gained health coverage, pushing the level of the uninsured below 10 percent, an historic low. And one survey found more than 80 percent of whose who gained coverage are happy with their plans.

Disappointing the base

The Congressional Budget Office estimated about 22 million people would have lost their coverage, with a large share being children and the poor, had congressional Republicans succeeded in repealing Obamacare early this year.

Trump’s softening stance also may cause him problems among supporters.

Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute and a critic of Obamacare, warned Trump risks alienating his most ardent supporters if he fails go through with a full repeal, including eliminating the ban on denying insurance to those with pre-existing conditions.

“That’s going to be a big problem not only for President Trump but also for a lot of congressional Republicans,” he told AFP.

“President Trump could be starting his administration by signalling that he’s no different from anyone else.”

Representatives for Trump and for Paul Ryan, the Republican leader in the House of Representatives, did not respond to requests for comment.

AFP: Donald Trump may appoint daughter as ambassador to Japan

There are concerns in diplomatic circle that the American president-elect, Donald Trump, may appoint his daughter, Ivanka, as ambassador to Japan

Photos of US President-elect Donald Trump’s landmark first talks with a foreign leader show his daughter Ivanka was present, underscoring the family’s influence as he readies to take power.

In the meeting with Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the mogul’s Trump Plaza residence, Ivanka — a model-turned-business executive — was seen seated as the group conversed in the opulent reception room.

Media were shut out of the gathering in Manhattan, but images released by the Japanese government also showed Ivanka and her husband, real estate developer and publisher Jared Kushner, standing and chatting with Abe.

Ivanka and Kushner, both 35, have emerged as key advisers to Trump, who shocked the world by beating Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November 8 election.

World leaders have scrambled to establish ties with Trump but Abe was the first to see him in person since the vote which has provoked anxiety over US foreign policy and its commitment to security in Asia.

Abe told reporters afterwards that the encounter convinced him the US president-elect was someone “in whom I can have great confidence”.

“We were able to have a very candid talk over a substantial amount of time. We held it in a very warm atmosphere,” he said. “Without confidence between the two nations, our alliance would never function in the future.”

Also seen standing in one of the photos, amidst the gilt and chandeliers of Trump’s skyscraper, was former general Michael Flynn, who has reportedly been offered the post of national security adviser.

But the presence of Ivanka, in a black-and-white dress and high heels, drew attention in protocol-conscious Japan, particularly after the tabloid press reported Trump planned to appoint her as US ambassador to Tokyo.

“It’s quite unusual to see a family member attending the first encounter between two leaders even if it’s informal,” said Yoshinobu Yamamoto, a professor at the University of Niigata Prefecture,

“It indicates that she would be playing some important role in the Trump administration,” he added.

“But it’s no surprise to see her there as she has already been involved in politics. Anyway, that’s the Trump way.”

Ivanka Trump is a key player in her father’s business empire and has her own fashion label and jewellery line, and active Twitter and Instagram accounts that nourish her brand.

The Tokyo Sports newspaper carried an article headlined “Trump daughter-blonde beauty Ms Ivanka the next ambassador to Japan!?” on its website last Saturday.

It cited unidentified overseas media as having reported before the vote that Trump had secret plans to appoint her ambassador, replacing current envoy Caroline Kennedy who is the daughter of assassinated US president John F. Kennedy.

“I don’t think the possibility that Ivanka would be an ambassador to Japan is zero, but it’s too early to say,” said Yamamoto.

Japan’s Abe heads for New York for first talks with Trump

Japan’s premier Shinzo Abe headed to New York Thursday for talks with Donald Trump, the first leader to meet with the president-elect whose campaign pledges provoked anxiety over US foreign policy.

The brash billionaire is set to receive Abe at his Trump Tower headquarters on Thursday evening, in an encounter that will be closely watched for hints on long-standing security pacts that he has called into question.

“I’m honoured to meet with President-elect Trump ahead of other world leaders,” Abe told reporters. “I’d like to discuss with President Trump our dreams for the future.”

Trump’s blithe comment during the campaign that the US might be “better off” with nuclear-armed Asian allies has thrown into question the US security umbrella over Japan and South Korea.

His later disavowal of the remarks has done little to restore confidence in Washington as the lone superpower ready to face down a rising China and a capricious North Korea.

Trump has also talked about yanking thousands of troops from the region unless Tokyo and Seoul pay more of their hosting costs, despite the opportunity that would present to China and its ambitions for regional supremacy.

“The Japan-US alliance is the cornerstone of Japan’s diplomacy and security,” Abe said before departing. “The alliance works only when there is trust.”

“I’d like to build trust with Mr Trump and work together hand in hand for the peace and prosperity of the world.”

– Scramble for access –

Dozens of leaders including China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin have spoken with Trump by phone since his shock November 8 election victory.

The New York Times said offices of foreign leaders were blindly dialling in to Trump Tower as they scrambled to get the future president on the phone, prompting a denial and an insistence the transition is proceeding smoothly.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was only the second to get through, in a call set up by sports legend Greg Norman who is golfing buddies with Trump, it emerged Thursday.

The unconventional candidate has also stoked concerns in Europe — where the NATO alliance underwrites regional security — by warmly embracing Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And he has also vowed to block the vast Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free trade deal, which has been championed by Abe and US President Barack Obama.

“I hope to share the importance of the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” Abe said before departing for the US ahead of the APEC summit of 21 Pacific Rim economies in Peru, where leaders will defend the tenets of free trade.

The 12-nation TPP has been a key component of Obama’s “pivot to Asia” and envisaged as a counterweight to China’s expanding economic influence.

Abe told parliament this week that a collapse of the pact could shift momentum toward a rival trade deal promoted by China.

Despite the faultlines, the Trump camp made positive noises ahead of the meeting with Abe.

It “shows Mr Trump’s commitment to the relationship” with Japan, Republican Devin Nunes, a member of the presidential transition team, told reporters after talks with an Abe aide in Washington to prepare for the meeting.

Nunes called Japan “one of our most important, longest allies”, Kyodo News reported.

CEO of US cybersecurity Firm Resigns After Trump Threat

The CEO of a cybersecurity firm in San Diego has resigned after posting on his now-deleted Facebook page threatening comments about President-elect Donald Trump.

Matt Harrigan, who founded PacketSled, stepped down on Tuesday after his online postings prompted a backlash and calls for a probe.

The company said that it had accepted Harrigan’s resignation after he admitted to posting the online comments on election night November 8 as the shock outcome of the vote became clear.

“Once we were made aware of these comments, we immediately reported the information to the Secret Service and will cooperate fully with any inquiries,” the company said in a statement.

Harrigan in his expletive-laden online rant wrote that he would be “getting a sniper rifle and perching myself where it counts.”

He added, apparently addressing Trump: “Find a bedroom in the whitehouse (sic) that suits you (expletive). I’ll find you.”

He later apologized in a Twitter message saying his comments were a “flawed joke” taken out of context and that he had no “malicious intention” toward Trump.

Hillary Clinton admits she wanted to ‘curl up’ after election loss.

Hillary Clinton has opened up about her election defeat to Donald Trump and admitted she wanted to “curl up”.

She told a children’s charity in Washington that the last seven days have not been easy.

“There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do was just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again,” the Democrat said.

In a speech at the annual gala of the Children’s Defence Fund, she also addressed the difficulty of the loss for her supporters.

She urged them to persevere and encouraged her backers to “never, ever give up”.

“I know this isn’t easy,” Mrs Clinton told the audience.

“I know that over the past week a lot of people have asked themselves whether America is the country we thought it was.

“But please listen to me when I say this: America is worth it.

“It’s up to each and every one of us to keep working to make America better and stronger and fairer.

“We need you. America needs your energy.”

It was Mrs Clinton’s first public appearance since her emotional concession speech in New York last Wednesday.

She has blamed her defeat on the FBI’s decision to re-examine her use of a private email server during her time as US Secretary of State.

Mrs Clinton led in almost every poll before America voted Donald Trump as president.

US senator pushes to abolish electoral college after Trump win.

A California senator introduced legislation Tuesday to rid the United States of its electoral college, the system that allowed Donald Trump to win the presidency despite Hillary Clinton’s lead of nearly one million votes.

The measure comes amid calls for reform following last Tuesday’s presidential upset, but is a long-shot.

“This is the only office in the land where you can get more votes and still lose the presidency,” said Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer, who introduced the measure.

The US Constitution specifies that the electoral college ultimately decides the presidential election, not the popular vote.

Each US state is given a number of electors, which corresponds to the size of the state’s population.

In 48 of 50 states, rules require all of a state’s electors to cast their votes for whichever candidate wins the popular vote there, in a winner-take-all system.

Under these rules, the winner of the electoral college vote does not always correspond to the candidate who won the country’s popular vote.

“The electoral college is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately. Every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts,” Boxer said.

Although Clinton received nearly 800,000 more votes than Trump, according to the latest partial results, she lost in the electoral college.

The electoral vote is at 290 for Trump and 232 for Clinton, although one state has yet to be called. No matter its turnout, they do not have enough electors to bring Clinton a win.

More than 4.3 million people have signed a petition on the website asking the college’s 538 electors to elect Clinton on December 19, when their votes will be officially counted.

But because 26 states legally mandate that electors vote according to the rules and it is almost unprecedented for the remaining states’ electors to disobey, there is little possibility of a Clinton presidency.

Clinton’s popular vote performance brings to mind the 2000 election, when Democrat Al Gore lost the White House despite taking 48.4 percent of the popular vote to George W. Bush’s 47.9 percent.

Hundreds of Constitutional amendments have been proposed over the decades concerning the electoral college, but none has succeeded.

Amending the Constitution requires the agreement of two-thirds of Congress and ratification by three-quarters of the states.

Trump himself had strongly criticized the electoral college in 2012 calling it a “disaster.” On Tuesday, however, he changed his tune.

“The Electoral College is actually genius in that it brings all states, including the smaller ones, into play. Campaigning is much different!” Trump tweeted.

Professor who predicted Trump win, says he will be impeached.

The man dubbed “Prediction Professor” for accurately calling every presidential election since 1984, including the 2016 election, now forecasts the impeachment of President-elect Donald Trump.


“There’s a very good chance that Donald Trump could face impeachment,” Allan Lichtman told Erin Burnett on “Erin Burnett OutFront.”


Lichtman, a political historian who teaches at the American University in Washington, says he uses his own system of 13 true of false statements to judge whether the incumbent party will retain the White House. However, when it came to his bold prediction of a Trump impeachment, he told Burnett it’s based on his instinct.


“First of all, throughout his life he has played fast and loose with the law,” Lichtman said. “He has run an illegal charity in New York state. He has made an illegal campaign contribution through that charity. He has used the charity to settle personal business debts. He faces a RICO lawsuit.”


Burnett pushed back at Lichtman’s claim, noting his allegations have not been proven in a court of law and went on to ask why he thought Trump could be impeached when Republicans hold both the House and Senate, reports CNN.


“The Republicans are nervous about Donald Trump,” Lichtman said. “He is a loose canon. Nobody knows what he really believes or really where he stands. He can’t be controlled. The Republicans would vastly prefer to have Mike Pence, an absolutely predictable down-the-pipe conservative Republican.”

Ukraine’s Poroshenko appeals to Trump for support in phone call.

Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko asked Donald Trump for support against “Russian aggression” during a congratulatory telephone conversation with the US president-elect on Tuesday.


Trump’s shock election victory has been met with trepidation in Kiev because of the outspoken reality TV star’s praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his apparent indifference to the Western coalition against Moscow.


The billionaire businessman suggested earlier this year the US could accept Russia’s annexation of Crimea if it led to improved relations between the two nations, which are bitterly at odds over Syria.


Poroshenko congratulated Trump on his victory and said he wished “to work together with his administration to further strengthen the strategic partnership between Ukraine and the United States”, according to a statement by the Ukrainian presidency.


He also “underlined the necessity of strong support from Washington in the fight against Russian aggression and the implementation of crucial reforms” in Ukraine.


The two men agreed to organise “a bilateral meeting”, the statement said, without giving further details.


The US election outcome had sparked fears in the ex-Soviet republic after Trump was accused several times by his Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton of being Putin’s “puppet”.


Earlier this week, Poroshenko said he had “no doubt” that Trump would refuse to recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea.


Putin and Trump spoke on the phone on Monday evening for the first time since the US vote, agreeing on the need to normalise ties between Washington and Moscow, the Kremlin said.


After Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula in March 2014, which saw US-Russia relations dip to their worst since the Cold War, Washington imposed heavy economic sanctions on Russia.


Russia also has been accused by Washington of supporting pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, which the Kremlin denies.

Twitter suspends major alt-right accounts.

Twitter this week suspended several prominent accounts linked to the alt-right movement, the fringe white nationalist group that helped propel President-elect Donald Trump to the White House. As USA Today reports, the site suspended the accounts on Tuesday, the same day it announced a long-awaited measure to combat abuse on its platform.


Among the users suspended this week is Richard Spencer, head of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank that, according to its website, is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United State.” Spencer’s personal verified account was suspended, as were those of the National Policy Institute and his magazine, Radix Journal. Other suspended alt-right Twitter users include Paul Town, Pax Dickinson, Ricky Vaughn and John Rivers.


In an interview with The Daily Caller, Spencer described Twitter’s move as “corporate Stalinism.” “Twitter is trying to airbrush the alt-right out of existence,” he told the website. “They’re clearly afraid. They will fail!”


In a YouTube video posted online Tuesday, he said that online “execution squads” were targeting the alt-right, comparing it, curiously, to Adolf Hitler’s purge of Nazi leaders in 1934.


Twitter declined to comment on the suspensions in a statement to USA Today, citing “privacy and security reasons.”


The site has come under increased pressure in recent years to crack down on abuse and trolling among its users, and its failure to do so reportedly thwarted potential acquisition bids from Disney and Salesforce. On Tuesday, Twitter announced a new feature that allows users to mute keywords, phrases, emoji, user names, and hashtags.


The alt-right movement has flourished on both Facebook and Twitter, despite complaints over the group’s hateful rhetoric and abuse.


A study from George Washington University in September found that although Twitter has effectively cracked down on accounts linked to ISIS, white nationalists and neo-Nazis have continued to thrive on the platform “with relative impunity.”


In July, Twitter banned notorious troll Milo Yiannopoulos after he encouraged his followers to tweet racist messages to Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones, though before Tuesday, the site had never suspended alt-right accounts en masse.


The suspensions also come after Trump’s controversial decision to appoint Steve Bannon as chief strategist in his administration.


Bannon, the executive chairman of the right-wing site Breitbart News, served as Trump’s campaign CEO and has openly espoused racist and anti-Semitic views in the past.


His appointment to a top White House post has raised serious concerns over the influence he may wield over the Trump administration.

Obama to outline vision of democracy in a Trump world.

US President Barack Obama will Wednesday sketch out his vision of democracy at a time of mounting global populism, seeking to soothe European allies anxious over a Donald Trump presidency.

On the second day of a European farewell tour, Obama will build on a topic he outlined on Tuesday — the “frustration and anger” of an electorate that feels it has been left behind by rapid globalisation.

“The lesson I draw — and I think people can draw a lot of lessons but maybe one that cuts across countries — is we have to deal with issues like inequality,” said Obama.

The 55-year-old Obama has chosen the “cradle of democracy” Greece to deliver a speech addressing the uncertainties that have led to the rise of populists like Trump.

Trump was able to tap into “a suspicion of globalisation, a desire to rein in its excesses, a suspicion of elites and governing institutions,” Obama noted.

Obama’s visit to Europe — his last foreign trip as American leader — has been all about reassuring traditional allies worried about Trump’s campaign rhetoric.

Trump welcomed Britain’s shock vote in June to leave the European Union and has cast doubts on the NATO alliance that has guaranteed relative peace on the continent for decades.

However, Obama was at pains to stress that Europe — and NATO — would remain the cornerstone of US foreign policy.

The US-led NATO grouping is “absolutely vital” to US interests and a strong, unified Europe was good for America and the world, Obama said in comments aimed at reassuring old partners.

“We know what happens when Europeans start dividing themselves up… the 20th century was a bloodbath,” he said pointedly.

Obama was expected to visit the Acropolis ahead of his much-anticipated speech before heading to Germany to visit Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom he has described as “probably … my closest international partner these last eight years”.

During his time in Berlin, he will also huddle with the leaders of Britain, France and Italy, as European leaders desperately seek clues to future US policy in a Trump world.

– ‘Extraordinary compassion’ –

While Obama has generally been welcomed in Greece, some demonstrators hit the streets to protest against his visit.

Some 2,500 people brandishing banners denouncing US “imperialism” and calling Obama “non grata”, or not welcome, were turned away by police firing tear gas and stun grenades as they tried to breach barriers and head toward the city centre.

Many Greeks are suspicious of the United States after it helped install a repressive seven-year dictatorship in the country in the 1960s, and trade unions, leftist and anarchist parties denounce US involvement in wars in the Middle East.

Several hundred of the protesters appeared to be from Greece’s vocal anarchist movement, police told AFP.

On the first day of his visit, Obama also touched on issues that have shaken Greek society — a dramatic influx of migrants fleeing war and poverty and a crippling financial crisis.

He lauded the Greek people’s “extraordinary compassion” to hundreds of thousands of people arriving during Europe’s worst migrant crisis since World War II.

He also pledged support for Greece’s economy, as Greek leaders seek a fresh US pledge to help alleviate the country’s enormous public debt, a measure actively sought by the International Monetary Fund but opposed by leading European lender Germany.

“In my message to the rest of Europe I will continue to emphasise our view that austerity alone cannot deliver prosperity,” Obama told Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

History teacher suspended for comparing Trump to Hitler.

A history teacher in America, identified as Frank Navarro, has been asked to go home after he compared US president-elect, Donald Trump to Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler, while teaching his students after the election at the Mountain View High School, Bay Area, California.


According to the New York Daily News, the 65 year old Navarro, was suspended during the school hours after the school administrative team got a complaint email from one of the students’ parents about the statements he made in the class the previousThursday.


Navarro, who has taught at the school for over forty years, told the newspaper that it feels the school’s administration was trying to squash freedom of expression.


According to him, “This feels like we’re trying to squash free speech, everything I talk about is factually based.


“They can go and check it out. It’s not propaganda or bias if it’s based on hard facts, I had a short lesson paralleling Hitler with Trump when Hitler was running from 1930 to 1933.


“Hitler said he would make Germany great again, and Trump said he would make America great again.”

Merkel, With Nod To Trump, Warns Against Protectionism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Tuesday for globalization to be framed in multilateral agreements rather than see countries adopt protectionist measures, in a thinly veiled warning to U.S. President-elect Donald Trump.

In his campaign, Trump argued that international trade agreements had hurt U.S. workers and the country’s competitiveness. He has promised to “get tough” with China and withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, which is still not finalized.

Merkel, having last week offered to work with Trump on the basis of democratic values, used a speech to set out the case for strengthening international cooperation in the field of trade and avoiding a slide into protectionism.

“We are at the moment in a situation in the European Union, in our country and worldwide where there is an argument about how we want to shape globalization,” Merkel told a meeting of Germany’s BDA employers association.

“Globalization is happening. We can arrange it such that we strengthen multilateral instruments … or such that we seal ourselves off and become protectionist.”

“I am pleased that you, like me, are convinced that we must fashion globalization in a multilateral way,” added Merkel.

She said she would make globalization a theme for debate during Germany’s presidency of the G20 next year.

Merkel was the driving force in Europe behind the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), an ambitious trade deal between the European Union and United States).

That agreement, still in the negotiation phase, seems sure to die under Trump, whose protectionist promises, should they become reality, would hit few countries harder than Germany, whose economic strength depends heavily on the openness of the global trading system.

Read More: reuters

Soyinka Will Not Face Charges if He Destroys His Green Card — U.S. Immigration Lawyers

The United States government will not bring any civil or criminal charges against Nobel laureate, Wole Soyinka, if he eventually destroys his American green card as openly threatened, U.S. immigration experts told newsmen.

In fact, Mr. Soyinka will still be able to visit the United States at any time he desires even after destroying his green card before the public glare, the lawyers said.

Immigration attorneys, Isaac Falusi and Samuel Adewusi, said in separate interviews with PREMIUM TIMES that the controversies surrounding the decision of the professor are inconsequential in the U.S.

Mr. Falusi, an expert in immigration and international trade law, said Mr. Soyinka would have merely exercised his free speech by destroying his green card.

“Destroying a green card is an expression of free speech which no one will ever be penalised for in America,” Mr. Falusi said. “Being a resident in America is a voluntary thing.”
“The government gave him the green card because he was qualified when he applied for it,” Mr. Falusi said.

The lawyer said the U.S. Homeland Security, which handles such documents, may not even be aware of the controversy and even if it were, it still won’t mean an action will be taken.
“If he has made a public show of destroying his card, that doesn’t mean the Homeland Security is aware of it,” Mr. Falusi said. “ But even if they were, he will still be able to easily obtain another green card because his name is still on the computer as a valid American resident.”

There have been reports that Mr. Soyinka faces a jail term should he destroy his green card.
The professor first stated a fortnight ago that he would destroy his green card if Donald Trump was elected president.

“The moment they announce his [Trump’s] victory, I will cut my green card myself and start packing up,” Mr. Soyinka told a gathering at Oxford University in what appeared like a casual observation about the tone of the American campaign at the time.

Mr. Trump won the election on June 8, prompting immediate demand and mockery from Nigerians.
He hit back at critics in a 4,000-word essay on Saturday, describing them as noisome creatures and nattering nitwits. He, however, reassured that he will still go ahead to ahead as planned, but only on his own terms.

But if he really wants to cut his access to the U.S., then he will need to do more than shred his residency card, Mr. Adewusi said.

Mr. Adewusi, Chairman of the Board of Trustee of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation in the Americas, further stated that “in order to destroy your green card you have to go to a consulate near you, especially if you’re outside the United States.”

“At the consulate, you must request for and fill a document called Form I-407. It is a long process but only after you complete before you could boldly say that you have destroyed your access to enter America.”

Mr. Adewusi echoed Mr. Falusi’s position that Mr. Soyinka’s action is strictly an exercise of his free speech.

“It’s more of a free speech the same way people burn flags and their passports. No one will penalise him for anything,” Mr. Adewusi said.


Carry out spiritual cleansing of White House before you move in – IPOB tells Trump

The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has advised the President elect of the United States of America, USA, Donald Trump to rededicate America back to God if he wants to succeed.


This was as the secessionist group claimed that the outgoing President, Barack Obama had deviated from American godly way.


IPOB, in a statement by its spokesperson, Emma Powerful also advised the US President-elect carry out spiritual cleansing of the White House before moving in after his swearing in on January 20. 2017.


The statement reads, “We are giving that as an advice to the US President elect Mr.Trump because it has become very necessary because of the romance of the current occupant of the American seat of power with the Islamisation agenda around the world.


“The incumbent President Obama chose to depart from the core values of America, a country founded on God to pursue the total islamisation agenda against the Christian communities and against the wish of Americans.


“We the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra want to advise American President-elect , Donald Trump to first bring powerful men of God to cleanse the White House before parking in if he wants to succeed and make sure his government brings back the face of God Almighty to America again.


“He should rededicate America to God Almighty if he truly wants to make America great again. Obama administration has defiled White House. God is unhappy with the US because Obama has forsaken the godly principles of the founding fathers of America who preached for the face of God Almighty in everything America does. Even America wrote: IN GOD WE TRUST in their currency and other important things in America. That is a sign to prove that America is a God’s own nation.


“We will not be surprised if he (Obama) may have dedicated White House to strange gods. This is why God rejected him and his candidate, Hillary Clinton because God wants to restore the lost glory of America.”


Trump, a Republican had emerged the 43rd President after a fiercely contested US Presidential election against all odds and predictions against him.