Trump Asked To Back Claim Of Phone Tap

Trump Asked To Back Claim Of Phone TapU.S. President, Donald Trump, has been asked to provide evidence to support his allegation that his predecessor ordered his phones to be tapped during the election campaign.

Republican Senator Ben Sasse, who made the call, described the allegation against former President Barack Obama as “serious”.

However, President Trump who has been facing intense scrutiny over alleged Russian interference in support of his election campaign has supplied no details to back his words.

Mr Obama’s spokesman, Kelvin Lewis, insisted that the former President never “ordered surveillance of any U.S. citizen”.

Lewis said neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any citizen.

Under the U.S. law, wire-tapping can only be approved if there is probable cause to believe that the target of the surveillance is an agent of a foreign power.

Donald Trump Attacks US Intelligence Over Russia Hacking

Donald Trump Attacks US Intelligence Over Russia HackingUS President-elect, Donald Trump has made a fresh assault on America’s intelligence community.

He said on Twitter that an intelligence briefing he was due to receive on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election – which is said to have benefited Mr Trump – had been delayed.

It said: “The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case. Very strange!”

But US intelligence officials insisted there had been no delay in the briefing schedule.

Several US agencies including the FBI and the CIA believe Russia directed hacks against the Democratic Party and the campaign of its presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, releasing embarrassing information through WikiLeaks and other outlets to help Mr Trump win the election.

The hacking resulted in Barack Obama expelling 35 Russian diplomats as part of a raft of new sanctions.

“All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions,” Mr Obama said, claiming the extent of data theft and cyber-attacks uncovered “could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian government”.

US Expels Russian Diplomats Over Alleged Election Intrusion

Russian Diplomats, Barack Obama, AmericaThe United States government has expelled 35 Russian diplomats as punishment for alleged interference into its presidential election.

The US also vowed to close two Russian compounds used for intelligence-gathering, in Maryland and New York, as part of a raft of punitive measures.

President Barack Obama had vowed action against Russia amid US allegations it directed hacks against Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party’s campaign.

Russia, however, denied any involvement in the November 8 elections, which saw Mr Donal Trump emerge the US President-elect.

Mr Trump had also dismissed the claims and described it as “ridiculous”.

Obama Officials Work Against Time To Wrap Banking Rules

obama-officialsU.S. officials are striving to put finishing touches on a slew of banking rules before President Barack Obama leaves office and hands regulatory power to Donald Trump who has vowed to rewrite the existing financial rule book.

President-elect Trump will take over on Jan. 20 and his fellow Republicans will have control of Congress and government agencies, allowing the new administration to block or roll back many of the last-minute changes.

But by completing far-advanced work on some banking standards in the next 10 weeks, Obama officials would raising the chances that some elements of the regulatory framework will survive.

Some rules are meant to flesh out the Dodd Frank Act of 2010 designed to prevent the next global financial crisis. Trump campaigned on a pledge to scrap the law but now he says only some provisions must go to lighten the regulatory burden.

The Federal Reserve is working on rules to govern matters such as executive pay, market stability and what investments Wall Street may hold.

Last month, Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Mary Jo White said her agency would “in the near term” finish a rule on one thorny issue: how mutual funds manage derivatives.

The SEC and bank regulators have also for years struggled to finalize a rule that would tie more banker pay to the long-term health of their firms rather than short-term performance of Wall Street firms.

With only about 40 working days until the handover, it is not clear which, if any, of those standards will get across the finishing line.

“Just look at the calendar,” said Tom Quaadman of the Chamber of Commerce. “These are intricate rules and there’s not much time.”

The executive pay rule exemplifies the challenge.

Six federal agencies have a say on the compensation standard meant as part of Dodd Frank and a final draft has not yet been offered, industry officials told Reuters.

It would be nearly impossible to circulate a final rule and get the agencies to endorse it while still satisfying standards for clearing such paperwork, several lobbyists who have opposed the rule said.

Banking regulators declined to comment on when the compensation rule might be complete

Trump Gives Indication He Will Be Picking Cabinet Members Soon

Donald trumpUS President-elect, Mr Donald Trump, says he will soon be making ‘very important decision’ on persons that will be in his cabinet.

Mr Trump announced the plan on Friday in a tweet on his Twitter handle.

“Busy day planned in New York. Will soon be making some very important decisions on the people who will be running our government,” the tweet read.

Being a businessman, political analysts are predicting that his cabinet may have a large number of persons in the business world.

‘Rebuild Nation’s Infrastructure’

He had in his victory speech said he would get to work immediately, giving indication that the cabinet would be set up soon enough.

Mr Trump highlighted plans to rebuild the nation’s infrastructure, saying “it will become by the way second to none.

“We will put many of our people to work as we rebuild it.

“We will embark upon a project of national growth and I will harness the creative talent of our people and we will call upon the best and brightest to leverage on their tremendous talent for the benefit of all.

“We have a great economic plan. We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time, we will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us”.

The tweet on decision to choose his cabinet soon came after he made a comment about protests that had broken up in some cities after his victory.

He said the ‘professional protesters’ were incited by the media, a statement that showed his perception about the American media.

He had during campaigns said that the media were corrupt.

Nine hours after the tweet, he wrote again, this time, saying: “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!”.

The President-elect had met with President Barack Obama on Thursday to begin the transition process that will end 70 days from now.

After the meeting Obama and Trump told reporters that they have discussed a myriad of issues, with the President assuring Mr Trump that he will ensure that the transition will be a smooth one that will guarantee his success.

UK, U.S. Bond Remains Special Despite Brexit – Obama

Barack Obama, Brexit, UK, U.S.President Barack Obama says the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom will not change following the Brexit vote.

President Obama made the statement in his reaction to UK’s vote to leave the European Union on Friday.

He noted that the referendum, characterised by a fierce populist debate on issues, including immigration and the economy, addressed ongoing changes and challenges that were raised by globalisation.

Obama spoke with British Prime Minister, David Cameron and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, saying the EU would remain a vital U.S. partner.

He said the U.S. respected the decision reached in the UK in which nearly 52% voted to leave while 48% preferred to stay.

In his reaction, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, said Mr Cameron’s resignation “is a demonstration of courage by a democratic leader who respects the will of the people, even if he didn’t agree with their decision“.

UK Prime Minister, David Cameron
UK Prime Minister, David Cameron

The President who made this known in a statement on Friday, emphasised that by “putting the will of the people before his political future, the Prime Minister proved himself to be a selfless leader with respect for democracy and voter sovereignty”.

Consequent to the Brexit vote, the EU has given indication that the first meeting of the UK vote will hold on Wednesday, June 29.

UN Urges America To Adopt Robust Gun Regulation

Gun RegulationThe UN human rights office on Tuesday (June 14) urged the leadership in the United States of America to live up to its obligations to protect its citizens from the “horrifyingly commonplace but preventable violent attacks that are the direct result of insufficient gun control.”

This is in the aftermath of the mass killing of 49 people by a gunman in a gay nightclub in Florida.

The Quoting the High Commissioner (HC), Spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Rupert Colville, said in a press conference, “It is hard to find a rational justification that explains the ease with which people can buy firearms, including assault rifles, in spite of prior criminal backgrounds, drug use, histories of domestic violence and mental illness, or direct contact with extremists – both domestic and foreign.”

He said “how many more mass killings of school-children, of co-workers, of African-American churchgoers — how many more individual shootings of talented musicians like Christina Grimmie, or politicians like Gabrielle Giffords, will it take before the United States adopts robust gun regulation? Why should any civilian anywhere be able to acquire an assault rifle or other high-powered weapons designed to kill lots of people?”

A new UN human rights report on the civilian acquisition, possession and use of firearms highlights the “devastating impact” of gun violence on a host of human rights, including the rights to life, security, education, health, an adequate standard of living and participation in cultural life.

Colville said, “The protection of human rights must be central to the development of laws and regulations regarding the availability, transfer and use of firearms.

“UN and regional human rights experts have long recommended that firearm control measures must include adequate background check systems, the periodic review of licenses, clear gun removal policies when intervening in domestic violence cases, mandatory training, and the criminalization of illegal sale of firearms, among other measures.”

According to the High Commissioner, “Examples from many countries clearly show that a legal framework to control the acquisition and use of firearms has led to a dramatic reduction in violent crime.

“In the United States, however, there are hundreds of millions of guns in circulation, and every year thousands of people are killed or injured by them.”

He added that it was “particularly reprehensible – indeed dangerous – that this terrible event is already being utilized to promote homophobic and Islamophobic sentiments.

He urged everyone in the United States “to ensure that the human rights, and consequently the security, of all are strengthened in the aftermath of this horrendous incident.”

President Buhari Condemns Terrorist Attack In Florida

buhari-sadPresident Muhammadu Buhari has condemned Sunday’s terrorist attack on the Pulse Night Club, Orlando, Florida, describing it as ‘‘criminal’’ and ‘‘cowardly’’. 

In a letter to the Ambassador of the United States in Nigeria, James Entwistle, President Buhari conveyed Nigeria’s heartfelt sympathy to President Barrack Obama and the people of United States of America.

The President also assured the United States of Nigeria’s continued support and cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

‘‘President Buhari extends his most sincere condolences to the families, relatives and friends of the victims.

‘‘The President condemns such criminal, cowardly attack, wherever it might occur, as an attack on all decent, democratic, peaceful people.

“Every terrorist attack only strengthens Nigeria’s resolve to stand shoulder to shoulder with the United States and other countries in the frontline of the war on terror,’’ the letter, which was signed by the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari read.

President Buhari also called ‘‘on all peace-loving nations to commit themselves whole-heartedly to multilateral cooperation and collaborative actions aimed at eradicating the scourge of international terrorism.’’

Various Americans on Monday made statements in connection to the killings that took place in Orlando, central Florida in the United States.

A rampage had occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub, with at least 50 people killed and 53 more wounded.

In his White House briefing, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.Orlando Shooting

He described the incident as the ‘worst mass shooting in U.S. history’ and ordered that the American flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.

Obama, Biden Others React To Orlando Killings

Barack Obama, Joe Biden, OrlandoVarious Americans on Monday made statements in connection to the killings that took place in Orlando, central Florida in the United States.

A rampage had occurred on Sunday at a gay nightclub, with at least 50 people killed and 53 more wounded.

In his White House briefing, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.Orlando Shooting

He described the incident as the ‘worst mass shooting in U.S. history’ and ordered that the American flags be lowered to half-staff to honor the victims of the attack.

In a statement by his spokesman, Vice President Joe Biden “offered his prayers for all those killed and injured in the shooting and sends his condolences to all the families and loved ones of the victims”.

“Grudge In His Heart”

US presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, on her part said the attack was a tragedy that required a serious response.

Also reacting to the shooting was the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus who issued a statement saying they were “horrified by the tragic shooting”.

Seddique Mateen, the father of the attacker, Omar Mateen, said he did not know that his son had a “grudge in his heart”.

Omar was shot dead by the police.

Mr Mateen said he did not understand why his son carried out the shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

He had earlier said his son was angered after seeing two men kissing in Miami.

According to the BBC, in a statement posted online and addressed to people in his native Afghanistan, Seddique Mateen said his son was “a very good boy”, who had a wife and a child.

“I don’t know what caused it,” he said. “I never figured out that he had a grudge in his heart….I am grief-stricken.”

50 Dead In Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Orlando ShootingPolice have confirmed that 50 people were killed and 53 others injured in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida in the United States.

Reports suggested that the gunman called 911 before the shooting and claimed to have sworn his allegiance to the Islamic State.

However, Police authorities believed that the killings were most likely ideologically motivated.

In his reaction, President Barack Obama said Americans were bonded in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”, after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.

The gunman, named by officials as Omar Mateen, of Afghan descent, was said to have come from the town of Port St. Lucie.

Police disclosed that he was not on a terrorism watch list, but was being investigated for an unrelated criminal act.

In the meantime, a state of emergency has been declared across the city of Orlando to allow law enforcement officials to focus on investigation of the incident termed ‘the worst mass shooting in US’ history.

US Lawmakers To Ask Obama To Withhold Abacha Loot For Boko Haram Victims

US, Abacha loot, Boko HaramThe United States’ lawmakers may soon vote on a bill that will allow President Barack Obama and his government to set aside all or part of the Abacha loot recovered in the US for victims of the Boko Haram insurgency.

According to online newspaper, the bill was sponsored on Thursday by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee, who represents the 18th District of Texas.

Ms. Jackson-Lee was one of 10 people, who spoke at the congressional hearing on the condition of the missing Chibok girls since they were kidnapped over two years ago.

The congresswoman, who was on a fact-finding visit to Nigeria, a few weeks after the school girls were kidnapped, said the bill was inspired by the difficulty being faced by the families of the missing girls.

She added that the motive behind the sponsor of the ‘H.R. 528’, which she titled ‘Victims of Terror Protection Act’ was to create a relief fund for them and other victims of insurgency.

“When we were in Nigeria two years ago, families were still in pain, they are still in limbo.

“Boko Haram has killed Muslims, Christians and others. They’ve killed and burned mosques and churches, (as well as) homes and schools,” she said.

Buhari To Reaffirm Nigeria’s Right To Use Nuclear Energy For Development

Muhammadu Buhari On Nuclear Energy President Muhammadu Buhari will leave Abuja for Washington DC on Wednesday, to reaffirm Nigeria’s right to use nuclear energy for development.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said in a statement on Tuesday that the Commander-in-Chief would join President Barack Obama and about 60 other world leaders and heads of international organisations at the 4th Nuclear Security Summit which opens at the United States’ capital on Thursday.

At plenary sessions of the summit which is dedicated to reinforcing international commitment to the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, President Buhari would insist that while Nigeria continues to sustain that commitment, world powers must respect the right of other countries to the peaceful use of nuclear energy for development purposes.

The President would also reaffirm Nigeria’s stance that international efforts to ensure greater security of nuclear materials should maintain a balance between nuclear non-proliferation obligations and the indisputable right of Nigeria and other countries to harness nuclear energy and technology for socio-economic development.

“It will be recalled that at a meeting with him in Abuja earlier this month, President Buhari told the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mr Yukiya Amano, that the Federal Government will welcome greater support from the agency for Nigeria’s aspiration to begin the generation of electricity with nuclear energy.

“While in Washington DC for the Nuclear Security Summit, the President and his delegation which includes Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Bauchi State, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, the National Security Adviser, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd.) and the Director-General of Nigeria’s Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Professor Lawrence Anikwe Dim, will also hold bilateral meetings with other participating Heads of Government and high-ranking United States Government officials,” the statement read.

President Buhari would depart Washington DC for Abuja on Sunday.