With the United States authorities, reportedly asking its citizens still residing in Russia to leave immediately, there are fears that an escalation might be imminent in the faceoff between Washington and Moscow, which has progressively ebbed since last year’s invasion of Ukraine by the latter.
The State Department, gave the advisory against the backdrop of “irrational and arbitrary detentions and harassment of Americans abroad,” urging citizens, scheduling to travel to Russia to postpone the plan.
“U.S. citizens residing or travelling in Russia should depart immediately. Exercise increased caution due to the risk of wrongful detentions. Do not travel to Russia due to the unpredictable consequences of the unprovoked full-scale invasion of Ukraine by Russian military forces, the potential for harassment and the singling out of U.S. citizens for detention by Russian government security officials, the arbitrary enforcement of local law, limited flights into and out of Russia, the Embassy’s limited ability to assist U.S. citizens in Russia, and the possibility of terrorism,” an alert from the authorities, stated.
Washington has been at the front of leading much of the global outrage and support of the Ukrainian side to confront Russia, its main opponent in world politics, sending weapons and money in an effort to defeat the invasion outside attempts to mobilise a groundswell of global condemnation at regional and global level including the United Nations.
However, while most countries in Europe and some other parts of the world have teamed up with the global super power, countries like China, Iran and India, have not been forthcoming, but instead been seen, in the main as giving tacit support to Russia.
At the level of the UN, it has been impossible to get a global condemnation due to the absence of a consensus with the super powers in the security council, while many others at the less influential General Assembly, have either bluntly refused to condemn Moscow, or at the best, remained neutral.
In most of Europe, priced assets of Russian people, including businessmen, designated as oligarchs, and identified as friends and allies to the government and Russian President, Vladmir Putin, had either been seized or their owners were forced to relinquish them, such as the Chelsea Football Club in the UK, previously owned by Russian billionaire businessman, Roman Abromovic, identified in this category.
Trump to US judge: You’re Democrat’s stooge, you can’t stop me
There seemed no letup in the interpretation Donald Trump, former President of the United State (POTUS), currently making a comeback bid to the White House is giving to his ongoing trial at court in New York, one of the several he is presently facing since he left government about three years ago, following his defeat by incumbent, Joe Biden.
Trump, who is sure to emerge the candidate of the Republican Party in next year’s presidential election, all but accused Arthur Engoron the New York judge handling his civil fraud case of fronting for the Democratic Party to stop him from returning as President, by “issuing fraudulent rulings,” in the same manner he equally took on Letitia James, New York State Attorney General (AG), who instituted the case as a “political hack.”
But both Engoron and James promptly pushed back by brushing the allegation, demanding that the former President was playing to the gallery and address the matter in question, insisting that the facts of the matter in issue spoke for themselves and therefore could not be ensconced in theatrics.
Reports say that though Trump, the first President in more than 100 years to stand a court trial, since the appearance of Theodore Roosevelt, in a 1915 libel suit, might not be going to prison, he and his sons, could lose control over the family’s vast business empire as the case in question centred on them cooking the books to raise the profile of the company to obtain bank loans.
“He called me a fraud and he did not know anything about me. This is political witchhunt,” Trump was quoted as saying of Engoron during the trial, with the judge, in reply, asking him to address the matter directed at him by simply answering the questions, adding: “This is not a political rally. Please, just answer the questions, no speeches.”
Engoron, even cautioned Christopher Kise, lawyer to the former President, who had an American flag on the lapel of his dark-blue suit to control him, as he continued in his confrontational attitude, as he called the trial “very unfair and crazy” adding that it was brought by Democrats “coming after me from 15 different sides,” reports say.
Regarding the trial itself, where his Don Jr. his eldest son and Eric and other executives of the Trump Organisation are being accused of exaggerating the value of their real estate assets by billions of dollars to obtain more favorable bank loans and insurance terms, the former POTUS pooh-poohed the allegation describing company’s claims in the financial statement as very conservative.
“They were not really documents that the banks paid much attention to. The value of the Trump brand was not taken into account in the valuations of my assets. I became President because of my brand,” Trump told Kevin Wallace, a lawyer for the New York Attorney General’s office, who was interrogating him under oath.
Trump said to have repeatedly attacked James, as “racist,” also referred to Engoron, as “unhinged” and a “Trump-hating radical left, Democrat operative,” comments, said to have earned $15,000 in fines from Engoron for violating a partial gag order imposed after he bashed the judge’s clerk on social media.
On his part, James, who seemed to have preempted the former President’s combatic posture, was quoted as telling reporters that he had “consistently misrepresented and inflated the value of his assets,” adding: “Before he takes the stand, I am certain that he will engage in name-calling and taunts and race-baiting and call this a witch hunt. But at the end of the day, the only thing that matters are the facts and the numbers. And numbers, my friends, don’t lie.”
The current case is one in the many of legal battles the former POTUS, who has been impeached twice by the US congress, but whose career was saved from the final death-knell by the skin of his teeth has maintained that they are all efforts by the Democrats led by Biden, to stop him from reclaiming the presidency, which he believed was fraudulently snatched from him in the 2020 election, he insists he won.
BREAKING: US Congress sacks McCarthy as Speaker, first time in 235-year history
Kevin McCarthy on Tuesday, made history by becoming the first shortest on the job of Speaker of the US House of Representatives after he lost the top position, said to be the second in the line of presidency after the Vice President in hierarchy, 10 months after he was elected.
McCarthy a far-right politician, who rode to the job on the back of his unflinching support and hitherto cozy relationship with Donald Trump, former President, replaced Nancy Pelosi to become the 55th Speaker in the world’s most powerful democracy on January 7, 2023.
He had earlier, on November 8 beaten Marisa Wood in the US general election for the California district 20 to return to the House, before being picked the Speaker, after the Republicans gained a narrow majority over the Democrats to oust Pelosi.
That job, he lost on Tuesday, October 3, no thanks to the turn of events in his party, which turned against him in a shock vote, the first time a Speaker, who represents the legislature, would be so ousted in the history of the country.
Unlike Nigeria where the Vice President and the Senate President, come next in ranking, the Speaker is recognised in an order hierarchy and in an arrangement where the office of the Senate President is occupied by the Vice President, whose position appears only ceremonial and could vote in the congress only when there is a tie.
“Young Gun,” only to get battered by his party’s shifting political currents.
McCarthy, had regained the confident of Trump, when he visited the ex-POTUS in his home in Florida, for reconciliation, after joining other lawmakers in the US to condemn his role in the January 6, 2021 protest at the Capitol, which some put down as a riot or even as a coup.
The action had earned Trump the second impeachment after that of 2019, by the Pelosi-led House, only for a more damning consequence to fail at the Senate, then in the firm control of the Republicans, which voted no, to kill an attempt to remove him from office, though he effectively joined the ranks of Andrew Johnson, who was served the bitter pill in 1868 and Bill Clinton 1998, the two previous Presidents to be impeached.
Hard-line Republicans, who accused him of making too many concessions on spending cuts with President Joe Biden, a Democrat, with whom he cut a last-minute deal in May this year, by backtracking in the extension of the national debt limit saga, which prevented what could have been a calamitous US debt default incident, finally ended his topsy-turvy tenure on Tuesday.
The last straw that nailed him, after the series of accusations from the hardliners who felt he was dealing with the Biden government and Democrats in general with kid-gloves, was when the hardliners berated him last week for helping to avert a government shutdown against the wishes of Trump, said to have favoured forcing massive spending cuts and bringing down the country’s $31-trillion-plus debt burden.
McCarthy’s ouster took the call for a change in the House leadership by Matt Gaetz, a Trump loyalist to engineer, taking advantage of the change only one member to make such a call, indicating that the camp had had enough of the lawmaker, who called himself an “optimist.”
It is not yet known if the Republicans would return him to power, since the son of a fire-fighter and grandson of a cattle rancher, is eligible to run for the position again, especially with his knack for networking among his colleagues, which got him the job in the first place, but it could be a warning, assuming the politician, who started out from the state assembly, who was first elected to Congress, returns, to actually brace up and do the needful by becoming less amenable to the Democrats, especially in the run for the Presidency next year, where Trump is standing again.
Government declares three days of mourning after Islamic militants wipe out 49 civilians
At least 49 civilians have been reported killed by Islamist militants, after an attack on a river boat in north-eastern Mali, the interim government says, after another attack on an army camp, where 15 soldiers, were also killed in an exchange that also saw to the death of more than 50 of the militants.
December 1, 2023 6:29 am
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