Biden Under Pressure To Address Sexual Assault Allegation

emocratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks about the coronavirus outbreak, at the Hotel Du Pont March 12, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)


Presidential hopeful Joe Biden said Wednesday he has a proud history of campaigning against sexual violence, as he faces mounting pressure to respond to an assault allegation made by a former aide.

The presumptive Democratic nominee has been accused by Tara Reade of assaulting her in 1993, when she was a 29-year-old staff assistant in the office of Biden, then a US senator from Delaware.

Biden’s campaign has denied the claims, but he himself has not responded directly to the allegations by Reade, now 56.

However he touted his record of supporting abuse victims when asked a question about military prosecutions for felonies including rape at a virtual town hall late Wednesday.

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“As you know, I wrote and championed the Violence Against Women Act, transformed how this country gets justice and support to survivors and led the ‘It’s On Us’ campaign to fight sexual assault on campuses. As VP, I fought to provide a special victims counsel for sexual assault cases in the military,” the 77-year-old said.

He promised that “all options are on the table” when it came to assaults in the military.

Biden spoke as the furor surrounding the claim by Reade continues to grow, despite a statement issued by his campaign on April 13 which said the incident “absolutely did not happen.”

The claim has drowned out other news about Biden, such as his search for a running mate, who he has pledged will be a woman.

President Donald Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale has flooded his Twitter feed with mocking references to Reade’s allegation, ignoring the string of accusations made by women against his own candidate.

More than a dozen women have accused the real estate mogul of sexual misconduct including rape before he became president.

Biden has not been asked directly about Reade’s allegation in either the interviews he has given from his Delaware home, where he has been confined because of the coronavirus pandemic, or various online campaign events.

‘Everything shattered’

According to Reade, the assault took place in August 1993 in a hallway on Capitol Hill.

“We were alone, and it was the strangest thing,” Reade said in a late March interview on the Katie Halper Show podcast. “There was no, like, exchange, really, he just had me up against the wall.

“His hands were on me and underneath my clothes and, yeah, he went, he went down my skirt but then up inside it and he penetrated me with his fingers,” she said.

“He was kissing me at the same time,” she said.

Reade said she pulled away and Biden allegedly said: “Come on man, I heard you liked me.”

“For me everything shattered at that moment,” Reade said.

Reade has since recounted her story to other media outlets, and filed an incident report with the Washington police in early April — seen by AFP — in which she did not name Biden.

“This is an inactive case,” a police spokesman told AFP when asked about the status of the matter.

Reade told the right-leaning Washington Examiner that she had filed the report to show she was serious and establish a paper trail.

Other women have accused Biden of touching them inappropriately in the past, and Reade’s initial claims were similar — less severe than her most recent allegations.

The New York Times reported that it had interviewed Reade on multiple occasions, along with her friends and others who worked for Biden in the early 1990s.

According to the Times, no former Biden staffers corroborated her account, and a pattern of misconduct was not uncovered.

A friend said Reade had told her about the alleged assault at the time. A second friend said Reade told her in 2008 of a traumatic experience while working in Biden’s office.

Reade said she had also related the incident to her brother.

The allegations have led some supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders, who dropped out of the Democratic race and endorsed Biden, to call on the former vice president to end his White House bid.

“Out of respect for survivors and for the good of the country, he should withdraw from the race,” said Claire Sandberg, the former national organizing director of the Sanders campaign.

Bollywood Mourns Another Star As Rishi Kapoor Dies At 67

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 13, 2016 Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor pays his respects at the Sikh Golden Temple in Amritsar. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP)


Bollywood mourned a second loss in as many days as celebrated actor Rishi Kapoor, whose career spanned half a century, died Thursday aged 67 after a prolonged struggle with cancer.

His death came as a severe blow to the Hindi movie industry and film lovers, who were already reeling from the passing Wednesday of Irrfan Khan, one of the country’s most feted actors, aged 53.

“Our dear Rishi Kapoor passed away peacefully… today after a two-year battle with leukemia,” his family said in a statement.

Fellow actor Amitabh Bachchan was among the first to mourn his death, tweeting: “I am destroyed”.

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Born September 4, 1952, into the prolific Kapoor dynasty — which has produced four generations of actors including his son, Ranbir — he made his debut in the 1970’s epic “Mera Naam Joker” (“My Name is Joker”).

He received India’s National Award for best child actor for his performance in the film, which his father Raj produced, directed and starred in.

But it was his later persona as a romantic lead that won him legions of fans, who flocked to cinemas to see him sing, dance and charm his way into their hearts in films such as the 1973 superhit “Bobby”, and the 1977 comedy “Amar Akbar Anthony”.

As Kapoor grew older, the romantic roles ceased, allowing him the opportunity to display greater versatility.

He terrified audiences as a human trafficker in 2012’s “Agneepath” (“Path of Fire”) and won applause for his portrayal of a cantankerous porn-watching grandfather in 2016’s “Kapoor & Sons”.

After being diagnosed with cancer in 2018 he sought treatment in New York, but was looking to resume work shortly with plans to film a remake of the 2015 Hollywood film “The Intern”.

He was forced to return to hospital this month, where, his family said, “the doctors and medical staff… said he kept them entertained to the last”.

London Attack: British Police Identify Suspect

Police Commence Investigation Into Mysterious Family Disappearance In FranceThe Police in London have identified a man, Khalid Masood, as the suspect who carried out the attack in Westminster.

According to reports, 52-year-old Masood used a number of aliases said to be known to the Police.

The Police said the suspect’s birth name was Adrian Russell Ajao, adding that two more “significant arrests” have been made in the West Midlands and the North-West.

Those who died in the attack on Wednesday include a Police Constable, Keith Palmer; Aysha Frade and a U.S. tourist, Kurt Cochran.

A 75-year-old man, Leslie Rhodes, also died on Thursday evening.

The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Scott Family Releases Video Footage of North Carolina Shooting

Keith Scott, North carolina, Video FootageAn unsettling video showing the moment North Carolina police shot a black man, Keith Scott has been released by his family.

The footage was obtained by NBC News amid conflicting reports about whether a gun was found at the scene of the shooting.

In the video, his wife can be heard pleading with officers not to shoot her husband.

Rakeiya Scott can be heard telling her husband to get out of his car, as Charlotte police surround him.

Mrs Scott told the officers “he doesn’t have a gun. He has a TBI (traumatic brain injury). He just took his medicine”.

“Don’t shoot him, don’t shoot him” as police appear to converge on a white pick-up truck in the parking lot

Family lawyers have previously said Mr. Scott suffered head trauma in a car accident in 2015.

Activists and the Scott family have pressed city officials to release bodycam or dashcam footage of the fatal encounter.

The killing of Scott, 43, sparked three nights of fiery protests and violent clashes between protesters and law enforcement.

A curfew was imposed to prevent a third night of violence over the death of Keith Scott.

Protesters had smashed storefront windows, looted businesses and thrown objects at the police, prompting officials to declare a state of emergency and the city’s mayor to enact the curfew.

However, a largely peaceful protest still took place early on Friday, amid a strong police presence, as they chose not to enforce the curfew prompted by the previous two nights of riots.

Tulsa Shooting

U.S. officials say a police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black motorist in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has been charged with manslaughter on Thursday.

Officer Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher, 40, last week, while he was standing next to his broken-down car.

Court papers filed by Tulsa County said the officer escalated the situation and overreacted, while lawyers confirmed that if convicted, she faces at least four years in prison.

Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler told reporters that although she was charged, she was presumed innocent until a judge determined otherwise.

North Carolina Protest: 9 Injured, 44 Arrested In Second Night Of Charlotte

north carolinaAt least nine people were injured and 44 people were arrested during a second night of violent protests in Charlotte, North Carolina, the city’s police chief said on Thursday, following the fatal police shooting of a black man.

One man remained in critical condition after being shot late Wednesday, said Kerr Putney, the chief of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police. Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-bang grenades to disperse demonstrators who looted stores and threw rocks, bottles and fireworks.

Officials initially said that the Wednesday victim was shot by a civilian, but on Thursday Putney acknowledged some claims he was shot by a law enforcement officer.

“We’re here to seek the truth, so we’re investigating that to find the truth, the absolute truth as best as the evidence can show us,” Putney said.

Four police officers suffered non-life threatening injuries, city officials said.

The latest trouble erupted after a peaceful rally earlier in the evening by protesters who reject the official account of how Keith Scott, 43, was gunned down by a black police officer in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Tuesday afternoon.

The killing was the latest in a long series of controversial fatal police shootings of black men across the United States, sparking more than two years of protests asserting racial bias and excessive force by police and giving rise to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Scott’s killing marked the 214th incident of a black person by police this year, according to Mapping Police Violence, an anti-police violence group created out of the protest movement. There is no national-level government data on police shootings.

Authorities say Scott was wielding a handgun and was shot after refusing commands to drop it. His family and a witness say he was holding a book, not a firearm, when he was killed.

Millions of Naira Lost In Sawmill Inferno

kaduna fireTragedy struck in the early hours of Thursday morning as fire gutted parts of the Ketu Sawmill in Lagos South West Nigeria.

Although no life was lost in the inferno, but machinery worth millions of naira were destroyed in the fire.

It is believed that excessive current from the circuit breakers may be the cause of the fire, which has been put under control by men of the Lagos State Fire Service.

Police Cancel Social Gatherings During Sallah In Kaduna

police CheckpointsThe Kaduna State Police Command has cancelled all forms of social gathering at public places such as recreation centres and amusement parks during the Eid-el Fitr celebrations in the state.

This followed a security alert by the state security outfit, code-named ‘Operation Yaki’, that the state might be attacked on Sallah day by terror group, known as ‘Surasuka’ or ‘Masushara’.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Umar Shehu, announced this in a statement he issued to journalists on Thursday.

He said that places for fun seekers such as the Gamji Gate Amusement Park, Galaxy Park and others would be closed down during the celebration.

He also disclosed that the State Police Command had deployed both conventional and mobile policemen, as well as undercover operatives to man and monitor vulnerable points, with a view to ensuring tight security across the state.

Mr Shehu warned residents against accommodating or harboring strange fellows, as the Boko Haram terror group had changed their tactics of attacks.

The Police Commissioner urged parents and guardians to be vigilant, monitor and warn their children and not allow them to be used by mischief makers.

He reiterated that the ban on commercial motorcycles popularly called ‘okada’, as well as street begging and hawking were still in force, all in the bid to ensure that Kaduna residents have a crime and violence free Eid-El Fitr celebration.

Similarly, the Emir of Zazzau, who is also the Chairman of Kaduna State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Shehu Idris, has cancelled the traditional Durbar that usually takes place during the Sallah, citing insecurity as reason for the cancellation.

EFCC Arraigns Nigeria’s Former Head Of Service

efccThe Former Head of Service of the Federation, Mr Steve Oronsaye, is to appear before Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court Abuja, to answer charges of corruption, bordering on 1.2 billion Naira fraud.

Mr Orosaye on Thursday returned to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s custody ahead of Monday’s arraignment.

He had earlier been arrested on Wednesday by the anti-graft agency but granted an administrative bail after several hours of questioning.

He was thereafter asked to return the following day to be formally charged to court.

The former top civil servant was appointed the Head of Service of the Federation in 2009 and is alleged to have been involved in bogus contract award between 2009 and 2010

Southerners Leave Kaduna Ahead of Election

kaduna Nigerians particularly southerners living in Kaduna State and other parts of the north are migrating to their villages in anticipation of post election violence.

This is despite the pleas by Igbo leaders and Ohanaeze Ndigbo to Igbos in other parts of the country, especially the North, to vote where they live.

Channels Television visited some motor parks in the state capital, reported that many families prefer to travel to their home towns ahead of the election, in anticipation of election violence.

Some of those interviewed, gave reasons for their traveling to fear of an outbreak of election violence, as witnessed in 2011, while others claimed they are traveling ahead of the Easter Celebration.

Some of the passengers who were seen at the motor park said, they would stay until after the elections before returning to the North, adding that they abandoned their businesses for fear of crisis.

Commuters are traveling along with mattresses and other household items, signalling that they may likely stay for quite some time before returning to their bases.

In 2011, many people in the state were killed including non indigenes during the post election violence in Northern Nigeria.

While assuring residents of adequate security during the general elections, the Kaduna state commissioner of Police, Umar Shehu, called on people not to panic. The Commissioner said that the fear is unfounded, noting that such movement will only be necessary if they were going home to cast their votes in the elections.

Mr. Shehu, also warned of a restriction order starting from Thursday evening, adding that all exit and entry points into the state will be blocked by security agencies ahead of the election.

The Kaduna state chapter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has however faulted the Police commissioner’s restriction of movement order, saying that it is illegal and unconstitutional to bar people from moving around freely more than 48 hours to the election.

Meanwhile, the Kaduna state office of the Independent National Electoral Commission(INEC) has received all non-sensitive and sensitive materials in preparation for the election. The materials were brought to the state amidst tight security.

The state Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Mr Husseni Mahuta who briefed journalists in his office, said adequate arrangement has been put in place to ensure a hitch free election, while it is still distributing Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) that are already in its custody.

Sanusi Promises To Improve National Teams’ Preparations For Tournament

sanusiThe newly appointed General Secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, has promised to improve Nigeria’s national teams’ preparations for international competitions.

Dr. Sanusi stressed that adequate preparations would help the team perform better in major tournaments.

The NFF General Secretary also pledged to do his best to attract meaningful sponsorship that would help the development of grassroots football.

Dr. Sanusi took over from Barrister Musa Amadu, after he resigned from his position on Thursday.

The Executive Committee of the NFF announced the appointment of Dr. Sanusi, as the new General Secretary of  the NFF, after Barrister Musa Amadu submitted his resignation.

#BringBackOurGirls: Protesters Reschedule Visit To Presidential Villa

protestersNigerians calling for the rescue of  the schoolgirls abducted in Chibok, Borno State have rescheduled their visit to the Presidential Villa to Thursday, for a wider participation.

Speaking with Channels Television after one of their daily meetings in Abuja, a member of the group, Hadiza Usman, said that the aim of the protest to the Presidential Villa was to find out what the Federal Government was doing to rescue the girls.

“We have written a letter to Mr. President, we are hopeful that he will grant us audience because we believe as citizens, our president should listen to us when we ask for audience.

“We are waiting for his response, if he fails to respond, we intend to go to the Presidential Villa and demand that we see our President, our demand is to bring back our girls now and alive,” she said.

She added that the group remained resolute in mounting pressure on those in authority to ensure the release of the girls.