Tag Archives: Donald Trump

COVID-19: UK PM, Boris Johnson spent night in intensive care as case worsen.


Mr Johnson, 55, is “in very good hands”, said Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who is standing in for the PM and chaired the government’s daily meeting.

World leaders have sent messages to Mr Johnson wishing him well.


It comes as Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove became the latest politician to go into quarantine.

Mr Gove said he was self-isolating at home, after a family member showed mild symptoms. He is not suffering any symptoms and will work from home.


He was moved as a precaution so he could be close to a ventilator – which takes over the body’s breathing process, NobleReporters learnt

Mr Gove said: “The prime minister’s not on a ventilator. He has received oxygen support.”


If there is any change in his condition “No 10 will ensure the country is updated”, Mr Gove added.

As the first secretary of state, Mr Raab is the minister designated to stand in for Mr Johnson if he is unwell and unable to work.


Mr Raab said earlier there was an “incredibly strong team spirit” behind the prime minister and that he and his colleagues were making sure they implemented plans Mr Johnson had instructed them to deliver “as soon as possible”.

Mr Johnson is the first major world leader to have announced he had the virus
Some politicians have called for greater clarity on what Mr Raab’s role as deputy entails, including Tory MP Tobias Ellwood who asked for details “as to where responsibility for UK national security decisions now lies”.


Lord Heseltine, who served as deputy prime minister under John Major, said it will be a “very difficult personal position” for Mr Raab, who “will be tested by the loneliness of the job”.

“He will be surrounded by lots of people who know what Boris Johnson said, believe Boris will be quickly back and have their own personal agendas anyway,” he said.


Former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said the government will “continue to work” as decisions are made collectively by the cabinet.

He also sounded a warning to people who have broken social distancing guidelines, saying: “I hope people who may have wandered out the other day and decided they can sit around having barbecues will really think about this carefully and recognise this is serious.


“If the most powerful man in Britain can come down with this, so can you”.

Mr Johnson was initially taken to hospital for tests after announcing 11 days ago that he had the coronavirus. His symptoms included a high temperature and a cough.


Earlier on Monday, he tweeted he was in “good spirits”.

Mr Gove is the latest cabinet minister to self-isolate, after Mr Johnson, Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Scottish secretary Alister Jack.


The government’s chief medical adviser Prof Chris Whitty and the PM’s adviser Dominic Cummings also spent time self-isolating after showing symptoms.

The Queen has been kept informed about Mr Johnson’s health, Buckingham Palace said. She also issued a message thanking healthcare workers for their “selfless commitment and diligence” to mark World Health Day.


It comes as the number of coronavirus hospital deaths in the UK reached 5,373 – an increase of 439 in a day.

The Department of Health and Social Care said there were now 51,608 confirmed coronavirus cases.


Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics have been released, showing the majority of coronavirus deaths are happening in hospitals but some are in hospices and care homes.

Among those who have sent messages to Mr Johnson was Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, who described it as “terribly sad news”.


“All the country’s thoughts are with the prime minister and his family during this incredibly difficult time,” he added.

Meanwhile, Russia’s Vladimir Putin wished Mr Johnson a speedy recovery, saying he was “convinced that your energy, optimism and sense of humour will help you overcome the disease”.


US President Donald Trump said Americans “are all praying for his recovery”, describing Mr Johnson as “a very good friend of mine and a friend to our nation” who is “strong” and “doesn’t give up”.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said his thoughts were with the prime minister and his pregnant partner, Carrie Symonds, and that Mr Johnson would “come out of this even stronger”.

On Saturday, Ms Symonds said she had spent a week in bed with the main symptoms. She said she had not been tested for the virus.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “sending [Mr Johnson] every good wish”, while Northern Ireland’s First Minister Arlene Foster added she was “praying for a full and speedy recovery”.


#Newsworthy…

38,296 US citizens evacuated from 77 countries including Nigeria, Ghana, others.


The United States has so far evacuated 38,296 citizens from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin Republic, and 75 other countries on account of the coronavirus pandemic.

The citizens were airlifted in 330 flights coordinated by the US Department of State.


The emergency evacuation commenced on January 29, 2020, according to the coronavirus repatriation statistics published on http://www.state.gov, updated on Friday.

This is happening as Nigeria directed its foreign missions to compile a list of stranded Nigerian nationals who wished to come back home.


The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that “the financial implications will be borne by the prospective evacuees, who will be compulsorily quarantined when they return.”

The repatriation report said the US government had evacuated 369 citizens in three flights from Nigeria while 1,070 US nationals were evacuated from Ghana in five flights and 825 from Senegal in four flights.


The US had also airlifted 109 Americans from Burkina Faso; 524 from Cameroon; 866 from China; 400 from Cyprus; 2,770 in 23 flights from Ecuador; 1,686 in 29 flights from the Dominican Republic; 2,406 in 15 flights from El Salvador and 3,014 in 18 flights from Guatemala.

The report said, “The Department of State is rising to meet the historic challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, every day, all over the world. The US Government has no higher priority than the protection of American citizens.


“The Department of State has coordinated the repatriation of 38,296 Americans from 78 countries since January 29, 2020. On April 2, approximately 140 US citizens and residents were repatriated from Colombia.”

Meanwhile, no fewer than 188 Europeans were evacuated from Nigeria on Friday through the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

The flight was operated by a Boeing 777 aircraft owned by Austrian Airlines, a subsidiary of the Lufthansa Group.

Amongst those on the flight were Germans and Austrians.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: United States set to evacuate citizens in Nigeria.


The US government has revealed plans to evacuate its citizens in Nigeria despite airport closures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The US Embassy and Consulate in Nigeria made this known on Friday evening through a notice titled ‘Health Alert: US Mission in Nigeria.’


In the notice, the American citizens in Nigeria were advised to be in Abuja and Lagos “as soon as possible” to join arranged flights back to the US. They also advised nationals who are not in Abuja and Lagos to work with local airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available.

It stated: “At present, there are no scheduled flights to the United States. However, we are actively exploring options and attempting to secure flights despite global airport closures and travel restrictions.


“We will email US citizens immediately once we have flight details, routes, and costs.

“US citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to travel to Abuja or Lagos as soon as possible.


“The Embassy and Consulate are unable to assist with lodging, food, or transportation costs, and some hotels have closed or are closing.

“To disseminate important information and alerts for US Citizens including possible evacuation flights, the State Department uses the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program as its primary messaging system.

US Citizens in Nigeria who want to be informed about emergency flights and receive other alerts should enroll in STEP immediately.”

US currently has more confirmed cases of coronavirus than any other country, with more than 86,000 positive tests.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Trump want citizens to return to work.


A chilling debate is unfolding in the virus-racked United States as President Donald Trump, desperate to reanimate his country’s paralyzed economy, considers scaling back its COVID-19 defences and sending people back to work in a matter of weeks — just as the pandemic appears poised to erupt on American soil.

Meanwhile, from the other side of the world’s longest undefended border, now stridently defended against vacationers and bargain-hunters, Canada watches, and waits.


Trump’s thinking, which now seems bent on making the April 12 Easter weekend a celebratory victory party, is on a collision course with the best advice of public health experts, including the World Health Organization, which warned Tuesday that the U.S., with more than 50,000 active cases, could well be the outbreak’s next major focal point.

“I’m hopeful to have Americans working again by that Easter, that beautiful Easter day,” Trump told a briefing at the White House, before adding an important caveat: “Rest assured, every decision we make is grounded solely in the health, safety and well-being of our citizens.”


It’s a medical crisis, not a financial crisis, he added.

“Our country wants to be open, our people want it to be open, and they’re raring to go. I think it’s one of the reasons we’re going to have a tremendous bounce-back. I think it’s going to go very quickly.”


Trump’s optimism, combined with an earnest effort on Capitol Hill by Democrats and Republicans alike to reach an agreement on a proposed $2-trillion U.S. stimulus package, cheered investors for the first time in weeks, adding more than 1,500 points to the Dow Jones index.

Graphs illustrating the spread of the virus, however, were going in the same direction: on Monday, there were more than 10,000 new cases in the U.S., with 140 deaths, while the global total was closing in on 400,000 cases.


In Ottawa, his own self-isolation period winding down without evidence of illness, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau clung to diplomatic language when asked about the disconnect between the state of the U.S. outbreak and the evolving messaging out of the White House.

For now, the mutual ban on non-essential travel between the two countries will suffice to protect Canadians, Trudeau said.


And Canada will continue to follow science-based advice, which means no end soon to the requirements of social distancing: stringent and frequent hand-washing, staying home, avoiding groups of people and steering two metres clear of everyone.

Despite signs of accelerating pandemic, Trump wants Americans back to work


But the prime minister also made it clear that Canada is watching closely.

“We are braced for a broad range of scenarios,” he said. “As the situation evolves, we will be ready to shift our posture with that.”


In Ontario alone, 65 per cent of the province’s 588 confirmed cases were infected through recent travel, and 29 per cent of those in the U.S., including New York, Colorado, California, Florida and Nevada, said Dr. Barbara Yaffe, the province’s associate chief medical officer of health.

“With the influx of people coming back from the States, snowbirds and other people, it’s something that we’re watching,” Yaffe said. “We’re reiterating the advice we give to every international traveller returning, which is stay at home as much as you can. Self-quarantine for 14 days. Don’t go out.”


In New York, currently the largest viral hot zone in the U.S. with more than 25,000 active cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo painted a bleak picture of the coming days and weeks, billing his state’s worsening plight as a window into America’s future.

The infection rate in New York has doubled in the last three days, said Cuomo, who urged the White House to keep working on finding a strategy that would resuscitate the U.S. economy without jeopardizing efforts to contain the outbreak.


“No American is going to say, ‘Accelerate the economy at the cost of human life,’” he said. “Job 1 has to be save lives. That has to be the priority.”

Trump, however, has a famously binary way of seeing the world.

“He’s not a rheostat,” said former Canadian ambassador Bruce Heyman. “He’s just an on-off switch.”


If the U.S. had a better grasp of the nation’s true health, including not only who is sick but who has recovered from the illness, it would be better able to control its response, Heyman said — isolating those known to be sick while reintegrating others back into the workforce and selectively reopening businesses.

But a chronic shortage of tests, now compounded by a hospital system that is already past capacity, has made that all but impossible.


“The challenge is, we don’t have that information, and so we can’t implement that very effectively right now,” Heyman said. “When you lack information, I think you have to take the most conservative path.”

Trump has never explicitly suggested otherwise. Indeed, his tweet Tuesday promised to watch over American seniors “protectively and lovingly.” But some of his recent remarks — comparing the outbreak to flu season or the number of deaths on the country’s highways, for instance — have prompted questions about whether he grasps the potential human toll.


“We have a very active flu season; more active than most. It’s looking like it’s heading to 50,000 or more deaths,” he said Monday.

“And you look at automobile accidents, which are far greater than any numbers we’re talking about. That doesn’t mean we’re going to tell everybody, ‘No more driving of cars.’ So we have to do things to get our country open.”

Speaking from the Rose Garden, he made much the same argument Tuesday during a Fox News town hall as he promised to reassess the situation in two weeks.

“We’ll assess at that time and we’ll give it some more time if we need a little more time, but we need to open this country up,” he said. “We have to go back to work, much sooner than people thought.”


#Newsworthy…

U.S president announce why tax payments may be delayed.


On Tuesday, the White House announced some details on how taxpayers will be able to defer any tax payments they might have.

“If you owe a payment to the IRS, you can defer up to $1 million as an individual,” said Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, adding that the payments would be “interest free and penalty free for 90 days.”

“All you have to do is file your taxes; you’ll automatically not get charged interest in penalties,” Mnuchin said during a coronavirus briefing with President Trump looking on.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Trump reveals what his judgement would be for infected Americans.


Donald Trump wants to send cash to Americans suffering from the coronavirus crisis immediately he said at the White House Tuesday.

‘The payroll tax holiday would get money to people over the next six to eight months. We’re looking to send checks to Americans immediately,’ explained Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in the press briefing room. ‘Americans needs cash now and the president wants to give cash now.’


‘And I mean now – in the next two weeks,’ Mnuchin added. Precise details weren’t announced at the press conference.

Mnuchin said he was previewing the plan with Capitol Hill Republicans and would reveal more later, but he suggested the amount could be more than $1,000. There would also be some income cut-offs. ‘You don’t need to send people who make a million dollars a year checks,’ he said.


Trump said of his administration’s stimulus plans: ‘We’re going big.’

The economy has spiraled since the coronavirus outbreak reached American shores. In Ohio alone, unemployment claims went from 6,500 last week to 45,000 this week, according to numbers given to reporters by Sen. Rob Portman’s office.


After his meeting with Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Mnuchin floated that the White House wanted to se $1 trillion injected into the American economy.

Mnuchin said this would be a combination of loans and ‘direct checks,’ like the ones he described at the White House earlier.


Beyond giving cash to Americans, Mnuchin said tax payments can also be deferred for 90 days.

After meeting with Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that he planned to have the Senate vote on a bill that was passed in the House on Saturday, which had been a collaboration between the White House and House Democrats.


The cash handouts would come as part of a third bill passed to deal with coronavirus’ effects on the American economy – one that would be worked out between the White House and Senate Republicans first.

Senate Democrats then would be brought into the fold, McConnell explained.


The White House sped up its embrace of a universal basic income-like stimulus after economic adviser Larry Kudlow told DailyMail.com Monday the administration ‘might’ get behind new proposals to give cash to American households.

Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney on Monday announced that he was for a plan to give American workers $1,000 each month during the outbreak.

‘We also urgently need to build on this legislation with additional action to help families and small businesses meet their short-term financial obligations, ease the financial burden on students entering the workforce, and protect health workers on the front lines and their patients by improving telehealth services,’ the Utah senator said in a statement, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

‘I will be pushing these measures as Senate discussions continue about an additional relief package,’ he added


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Trump test Negative – White House.


President Donald Trump has tested negative for coronavirus, the White House has announced.

The news comes just hours after Trump revealed during a Saturday press briefing at the White House that he took the test on Friday amid concerns about his exposure to several people who have been infected for the virus.


“Last night after an in-depth discussion with the President regarding COVID-19 testing, he elected to proceed,” according to the statement about the results released by press secretary Stephanie Grisham with Trump’s permission. “One week after having dinner with the Brazilian delegation in Mar-a-Lago, the President remains symptom-free. I have been in daily contact with the CDC and White House Coronavirus Task Force, and we are encouraging the implementation of all their best practices for exposure reduction and transmission mitigation.”


Trump’s decision to take the test comes after he said he was concerned about his close contact with the press secretary for Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Brazil’s chargé d’affaires in Washington who both tested positive for coronavirus days after they met with Trump at Mar-a-Lago in Florida.

The US has more than 2,826 confirmed cases, with 58 deaths from coronavirus.

President Trump has since declared a national state of emergency to release $50bn (£40bn) to fight the spread of the virus, while the UK and Ireland have also been added to the already existing European travel restrictions.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Trump declares Sunday ‘National Day Of Prayer’.


US President Donald Trump has declared Sunday, March 15, 2020, as a ‘National Day of Prayer’ to seek God’s face and strength in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The POTUS encouraged all citizens of the United States to pray, believing that the nation and by extension, the world, would overcome the ravaging COVID-19.


He said, “It is my great honour to declare Sunday, March 15th as a National Day of Prayer. We are a country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these.

“No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily prevail.”

The 73-year-old president also said he had taken a Coronavirus test and that results were expected in a day or two.

Fifty-one Americans have died from the novel coronavirus, according to a tally by John Hopkins University, as the pandemic has claimed more than 5,700 lives in some 137 countries.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Trump include UK, Ireland in Europe Ban.


The Trump administration has announced it would extend its current travel ban to include the UK and Ireland beginning next week Monday

The White House had previously declared a travel ban to Europe alone, but due to the rapid spread of Coronavirus, the U.K. and Ireland have been included.


Speaking at the White House press briefing on Saturday morning, Vice President Mike Pence confirmed that all travel from the United Kingdom and Ireland has been suspended, effective midnight on Monday.

The same exclusions that are a part of the already existing European travel restrictions will also apply to the UK and Ireland, Pence said.

“We continue to implement the President’s vision, as you know, it’s been a brisk few days,” Pence said, noting how the U.S. implemented a state of emergency on Friday.

Globally, the coronavirus has infected more than 132,000 people, with over 1,300 of them in the U.S., where officials say at least 38 people have died from the virus.


#Newsworthy…

(When you think it’s over) – U.S launches air raids in Iraq.

…after deadly rocket attack.


The United States has launched a series of air raids in Iraq against several locations of an Iran-backed militia that it blamed for an earlier rocket attack that killed and wounded US and British troops.

Among the facilities attacked late on Thursday was an airport under construction in the holy city of Karbala, an Iraqi airport official confirmed.


Iraq’s military said in a statement that the US air raids hit four locations in the country.

In a statement, the Pentagon said the US conducted “defensive precision strikes” against Kataib Hezbollah facilities across Iraq.


“These weapons-storage facilities include facilities that housed weapons used to target US and coalition troops,” it said.

Separately, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab described the air raids as a “proportionate” response to the rocket attack south of the capital, Baghdad that killed two US troops and a British soldier.


“UK forces are in Iraq with coalition partners to help the country counter terrorist activity and anyone seeking to harm them can expect a strong response,” Raab said in a statement.

NobleReporters, heard that aside from Kataib Hezbollah, other militia groups under the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) were also hit south of Iraq’s capital as well as in Babylon and Karbala.


So far, there have been injuries reported following the attacks, but no confirmation on fatalities, she said.

A US official told The Associated Press news agency news agency that the raids were a joint operation with the British. The officials spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.


Earlier on Thursday, US President Donald Trump gave the Pentagon the authority to respond after a rocket barrage killed two US troops and a British soldier, again raising tensions with Iran after the two countries came to the brink of war earlier this year.

Washington had blamed Kataib Hezbollah for a strike in December that killed a US contractor, leading to a cycle of tit-for-tat confrontations that culminated in the January 3 US assassination of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani and a retaliatory Iranian missile attack that left more than 100 US troops with brain injuries.


In the latest rocket attack, responsibility for which has not been claimed, some 14 US-led coalition personnel were also wounded, including US , British, Polish and others. Private industry contractors were among the wounded.

Following the retaliatory attack, Iran warned Trump against taking “dangerous actions”.


“Instead of dangerous actions and baseless accusations, Mr Trump should reconsider the presence and behaviour of his troops in the area,” foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi said in a statement.

N.Rs learnt it remains to be seen how the militia groups will respond to the retaliatory strikes, but added that the latest attacks are likely to once again ignite calls in Iraq for the expulsion of US troops.

She noted that the Popular Mobilisation Forces commanders have already come out to condemn the latest raids “as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.”

Kataib Hezbollah was one of the Iraqi militia groups that helped defeat the ISIL (ISIS) group.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Trump places 30-day travel ban on flights heading from Europe.


All flights from the United States to Europe, with the exception of UK and Ireland, have been banned for 30 days over Coronavirus fears. President Donald Trump made the shock announcement on Thursday as the spiralling coronavirus pandemic has sparked unprecedented lockdowns, widespread panic and another financial market meltdown.

Trump’s unexpected move in a primetime TV address from the Oval Office pummelled stock markets, as traders fretted about the economic impact of the outbreak that is on a seemingly relentless march across the planet.


The World Health Organization also sounded another global alarm bell on Wednesday, officially classifying as a pandemic the virus that has infected more than 124,000 people with 4,500 deaths, according to a tally. N.Rs

“This is the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history,” Trump said, after the president had been criticised for his response so far.

Trump’s ban affects travellers from Europe — but not Britain — as the continent grapples with a burgeoning crisis.

Hardest-hit country Italy on Wednesday clocked more than 2,300 new cases over the previous 24 hours and infections in Spain jumped by a quarter to more than 2,100.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Buhari releases N620m to fight virus.


The Federal government has released N620 million for the fight against coronavirus.

Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, in a statement released on Friday March 6th, said the approval and release of the funds by President Buhari was based on emergency.

She said the first tranche of N364 million was earlier released, making a total of N984 million released to tackle the spread of the virus in the country.


“The approval by President Muhammadu Buhari for the release of funds to tackle COVID-19 was an emergency and the process of releasing the fund was also an emergency as it was an unexpected expenditure,” the statement read.

“However, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning had released the first tranche of N364 million sometime ago and the process of releasing the second tranche has been concluded with the release of N620 million this morning, bringing total release to N984 million.

President Muhammadu Buhari

“Responding to a media enquiry yesterday, the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, promised that the second tranche of the needed fund would be released today, which has been done, keeping to the promise.” she said

Nigeria recorded its first case of the virus on February 24th.


#Newsworthy…

COVID-19: Donald Trump Signs $8.3bn Aid Bill.


US President Donald Trump has signed an $8.3bn (£6.4bn) emergency bill to help fight the deadly coronavirus which is causing tension all over the world.
With confirmed cases reaching 233 – in addition to 14 deaths – Mr Trump urged calm, adding: “It’ll go away.”

The White House has faced criticism for its response, and has acknowledged the US does not have enough test kits to meet rising demand.


Results are being awaited of tests on passengers on board a cruise ship being held off San Francisco, California.

United State President, Donald Trump

Dozens of passengers were tested on Thursday after a passenger died and at least four others became infected on a previous voyage by the ship, the Grand Princess.

More than 100,000 coronavirus cases have been confirmed worldwide and over 3,400 deaths, according to data collated by Johns Hopkins University. The majority of cases and deaths are in China, where the virus first emerged in December.


#Newsworthy…

Trump should be considered No.1 public enemy – Mark Ruffalo

Trump should be considered world’s number one public enemy, says ‘Avengers’ star


Mark Ruffalo, US actor-cum-producer, says the world should consider President Donald Trump a “public enemy number one” for his stance on climate change.

Before now, there’s been heated criticism against Trump for his continued denial of the urgency of climate change in the US, having made many claims countering widely held opinions on the matter.


Speaking with Sky News, Ruffalo faulted Trump’s climate change stance while making an analogy with ‘Dark Waters’, his 2019 legal thriller movie, which addressed chemical pollution.

‘Dark Waters’ detailed how a company repeatedly denied dispelling toxic waste that contaminated natural environments and inhabitants for decades in the pollution that later crossed the world.


According to Ruffalo, who made reference to PFOA, an industrial pollutant, more action hasn’t been taken to protect people from toxic waste — despite efforts from his likes in the industry.

“The world should consider my president as public enemy number one at this point. What we do in the next 10 years will be crucial to the future of the planet. And this is only going to become more evident,” he said.

“This class of chemicals is still unregulated, even though the biggest health study in human history — 70 thousand people — was done on this chemical. It’s the most studied chemical in the history of chemicals.

“It’s definitively linked to seven different major diseases including testicular cancer and kidney cancer. But we still don’t have any regulations because we didn’t know what was happening.”


PFOA, also known as perfluorooctanoic acid, is used in stain-resistant products like carpets and fabrics, nonstick cookware, and other products that resist heat, oil, stains, grease, and water.

The chemical, which can remain in the body for years, is said to cause increased cholesterol; harm to a developing fetus or breastfeeding infant while affecting the immune system as well as the liver.

Comparing PFOA to the fossil fuel industry, Ruffalo alleged that the latter has been “hiding climate change” while pointing an accusing finger at food systems and pharmaceuticals.

“It’s the same story over and over again. We’re being harmed so someone else can make a s**t load of money. And what the movie says is, it’s up to us,” he added.

“We can’t rely on the politicians. We can’t rely on the regulatory system. We can’t rely on the companies. They’re not going to self-regulate.”

Rufallo, who began acting in the early 1990s, gained global recognition for his role as Bruce Banner (Hulk) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero films like ‘The Avengers’ (2012), ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ (2015), ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (2017), ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2018), and ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019).


#Newsworthy…

Pastor Beg Trump To Save Nigerians


Senior Pastor Adewale Giwa of Awaiting The Second Coming Of Jesus Christ Ministry released a three-page letter to the President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, asking him to save Nigeria from President Muhammadu Buhari and Boko Haram.


The open letter is a response to the Boko Haram rehabilitation agency bill being sponsored at the National Assembly. The pastor alleged that Boko Haram has enriched some people by the millions paid by the Nigerian government as ransom.

He added that it is no longer news that terrorism has become a lucrative business under the leadership of Buhari, as according to him ”repentant Boko Haram members” are being treated like kings by the federal government.


“These terrorist members are being tagged” Repentant Boko Haram Members”, and the Federal Government is now treating them like kings,” he said.

“I want to first commend Mr. President for fulfilling the promises he made to the great people of America. I could recall that Your Excellency promised to protect the citizens of this country during the election campaigns, and you are doing just that. Not only this, the economy of this great nation under your leadership has improved tremendously.


“I had served both the United States Department and the United Nations as a foreign journalist, and I can boldly describe President Trump as a God-fearing politician. It is important to add my voice to the security challenges currently facing Nigeria, the most populous among African nations.

“Having said this, the good people of Nigeria, especially Christians have continued to pray for God’s intervention against terrorism in Nigeria, but it seems that the more we pray the more the activities of the deadly group, known as Boko Haram persist due to inability of the government under President Muhammadu Buhari to do the needful.


“Sir, Nigeria has been ravaged by terrorist activities which has made the country unsafe for Nigerians and foreigners. Founded by late Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the terrorist group was later hijacked by one Abubakar Shekau in 2009. When the group first formed, its actions were nonviolent. Their main goal was to purify Islam in Northern Nigeria.

“In 2015, the group aligned with the Islamic State of Iraq. Boko Haram has since killed thousands of people in Nigeria, and the group continues to kill on a daily basis. Instead of President Buhari to use proactive measures to defeat the deadly group, rather, his administration continues to negotiate with Boko Haram.


“Boko Haram is enriching itself via the millions of dollars thus far paid to it by the Nigerian government in the form of ransom payments. It is no longer news that terrorism has become a lucrative business under the leadership of Mr. Buhari. The approach of the Nigerian government in handling the issue of Boko Haram with levity has further given the group power to continue with its nefarious activities,” Giwa’s letter made available to media read

He said that Nigerians were now living in fear of Boko Haram and other terrorist groups like ISIS, the Taliban, AI- Qaeda and Miyetti Allah, known as ‘Herdsmen’.


“Presently, the Nigerian Senate under the leadership of President Buhari’s Political Party, APC, is proposing to establish an agency that could further take good care of them. A few weeks into the new year, precisely on January 19, the Islamic group released a video of a child who looked to be around 10 years old executing a Christian man in Borno, Nigeria. As if it was not enough, a few days later, on January 22, a Nigerian Pastor, Rev. Lawan Andimi, was beheaded by Boko Haram Militants.

“Boko Haram has split into two main factions. One faction remains aligned with Abubakar Shekau and appears to be centered in the Sambisa forest near Maiduguri, Borno State’s regional capital, and extends into Cameroon.


“The other, often referred to as the Islamic State West Africa Province, ISWAP, was until recently commanded by Mohammed Yusuf’s son, Abu Musab al-Barnawi and officially sanctioned by the Islamic State.

“ISWAP reportedly commands up to 5,000 fighters, three times that of Shekau’s faction, and its operations are centered around Lake Chad. The evidence suggests that Boko Haram has recently focused more of its attacks on state targets. In 2015, three-quarters of Boko Haram attacks targeted civilians, according to data from the Nigeria Security Tracker.


“Today, Boko Haram appears to be on the rise again as it continues to kill the innocent Nigerians consistently. The group’s resilience, in particular the effectiveness of its attacks against security forces, has taken a toll on morale and rattled the Nigerian government. In 2018, Boko Haram killed 459 members of Nigeria’s state security forces, exceeding its previous total of 450 in 2014. Through November 2019, it caused more than 750 state casualties.

“Between January and February 23 this year, Boko Haram has killed more than 200 people in the Northeast of Nigeria. In the past five years, more than five thousand Nigerian Christians have been killed for their faith. There is another extremist group operating across the states in Nigeria that is just as deadly as Boko Haram. Every day, hundreds of Nigerian Christians are being assaulted, tortured and killed by Fulani extremists.


“One could have thought that President Buhari, being a former General in the army could be able to defeat these groups, but all he keeps promising Nigeria is to exercise patience while Boko Haram continues to kill the people of Nigeria. February 19 this year makes Leah Sharibu two years in Boko Haram captivity. The 16-year old girl was abducted, along with 109 others by Boko Haram in February 2018.

“Leah Sharibu was attending class with her colleagues at the Government Girls Science and Technical School in Dapchi, Yobe State, Nigeria when the Islamic terrorists stormed the place and whisked them away. In the process, five of the girls died. 105 students were taken away, including Leah. After paying the ransom, the group released 104 students while Leah remains captive. She is being held captive for refusing to renounce her Christian faith in exchange for freedom.


“The Scripture says in Proverbs 17:13 that,” Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house,”. President Buhari’s government is rewarding evil for good and the group continues to kill innocent Nigerians.

“Mr. President, it is now glaring that Nigeria’s situation has gone beyond prayers, but all we need now is to cry out for help since our government has failed us. It is evident that Boko Haram has overpowered Buhari and his security personnel. We can no longer fold our arms and watch our people being killed. The deadly group has grown wings under the administration of Mr. Buhari.

“The citizens of Nigeria can no longer sleep with their eyes closed. This development has informed some regions in Nigeria to establish their security outfits, yet the situation is getting out of hand.

“Sir, I write to beg you on behalf of the good people of Nigeria to save us from these terrorist groups. America remains a great nation to solicit help from in this difficult situation that we are experiencing in Nigeria. I hope that Your Excellency will do everything possible to rescue the good citizens of Nigeria from Boko Haram and other terrorist groups that have taken over Nigeria,” he wrote.


#Newsworthy…

U.S Economy: Trump, Obama fights on Twitter. (Who deserves credit?)


President Donald Trump berated his predecessor, Barack Obama, as each sought credit Monday for the booming U.S. economy.

The robust U.S. economy – including the low 3.6% unemployment – is a central talking point for Trump on the campaign trail.


However, Obama appeared to take a subtle dig with a tweet earlier Monday marking the 11th anniversary of the 2009 economic stimulus.

“Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history,” Obama posted on Twitter.


Trump blasted back, accusing Obama of doing a ‘con job’.

“Did you hear the latest con job? President Obama is now trying to take credit for the Economic Boom taking place under the Trump Administration. He had the WEAKEST recovery since the Great Depression, despite Zero Fed Rate & MASSIVE quantitative easing. NOW, best jobs numbers….”


As USA Today reported, Democrats responded by praising Obama’s tweet and arguing that Trump is reaping the benefits of the work his predecessor did.

Republicans, however, accused Obama of seeking credit for Trump’s policies, an argument Trump echoed later.


“He had the WEAKEST recovery since the Great Depression, despite Zero Fed Rate & MASSIVE quantitative easing. NOW, best jobs numbers,” Trump posted of Obama.

Trump has argued that his emphasis on reducing regulations and the 2017 tax bill has spurred economic growth


Democrats noted that unemployment and stock prices began increasing under the Obama years as they bounced back from the Great Recession, a trend that continued into Trump’s presidency. Trump loyalists pointed out that the unemployment rate is at its lowest point in decades while the stock market has been hitting record highs.

“With an economy this good, it’s no wonder Barack Obama is trying to take credit,” Scalise said. “But I believe the saying is: ‘You didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.’ @realDonaldTrump made that happen.”

Barrack Obama

Donald Trump

Who do you think deserve the credits?


#Newsworthy…

West Wing: Trump running crime syndicate – Former prosecutor


Pressure is building on Attorney General Bill Barr to resign after thousands of former Department of Justice officials and members of the Federal Judges’ Association expressed concern about his conduct.


By Monday, more than 2,000 former DOJ employees from both the Republican and Democratic parties had signed a letter demanding that Barr resign, while the Federal Judges’ Association had agreed to convene an emergency meeting to discuss the attorney general’s behavior.

Their concerns center on Barr’s handling of the Roger Stone case. Stone—a long-time adviser to President Donald Trump and a veteran GOP operative—is due to be sentenced later this month for crimes uncovered during the investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.


Last week, prosecutors recommended a jail term of seven to nine years for Stone. But after Trump condemned the proposal, the DOJ said it would issue a more lenient sentencing memo. The four prosecutors that worked on the Stone case subsequently resigned in protest.

Though Barr publicly complained about the president’s tweets on the issue, critics have accused the attorney general of undermining the rule of law to protect the president and his allies.


The open letter signed by former DOJ staff claims that Barr “openly and repeatedly flouted” the principle of equal justice under the rule of law.

The letter also warned it was “unheard of for the Department’s top leaders to overrule line prosecutors, who are following established policies, in order to give preferential treatment to a close associate of the President, as Attorney General Barr did in the Stone case.”


John Flannery—a former federal prosecutor—was among those who signed the letter. He told MSNBC Monday that Barr “has no business in that job” and called on DOJ officials to “do the job right.” He described Barr as the president’s “consigliere” and said Trump is the “chief criminal who’s running a crime syndicate out of the West Wing.”

Other former attorneys reacted to the open letter and the Federal Judges’ Association meeting on Twitter. Harry Litman, for example, said the U.S. is now in “full on crisis mode,” describing recent developments as “mind-blowing.”


Former Associate White House Counsel Ian Bassin noted, “Our institutions are sounding alarms,” while former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah said the open letter was a “extraordinary bi-partisan show of unity.”

Former U.S. attorney Barb McQuade—now a law professor at the University of Michigan Law School—said she was among those who signed the open letter, warning, “Even the appearance of partisanship has no place in the fair administration of justice.”

Laurence Tribe—a legal scholar at Harvard Law School who advised President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign—described the Federal Judges’ Association meeting regarding Barr as “rolling thunder.”

“One stuffed goose named Barr is cooked,” he added. “2000 DOJ alumni he can ignore. 1000 federal judges? That’s an altogether different kettle of fish.”


#Newsworthy…

Reasons Donald Trump was acquitted – Pelosi open up

…slammed Republican senators


Donal Trump wasn’t acquitted of the impeachment charges against him because he didn’t have a proper trial with witnesses, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at the Munich Security Conference in Germany, Pelosi said the president is “not vindicated” despite Republican senators voting against removing Trump from office.

“You can’t have an acquittal unless you have a trial and you can’t have a trial without witnesses and documents,” Pelosi told Amanpour. “So he can say he was acquitted, and the headlines can say acquitted but he’s impeached forever, branded with that and not vindicated.”


The White House has been contacted for comment.

Pelosi also slammed Republican senators for not having the “courage” to vote guilty on the impeachment charges against Trump, despite some acknowledging that the president’s actions on Ukraine weren’t right.


But she praised Mitt Romney, the sole Republican senator who voted to convict on one of two articles of impeachment. “God bless him,” Pelosi said.

Pelosi also defended her decision to rip up her copy of Trump’s State of the Union speech moments after his address ended last Tuesday.


Democrats celebrated the viral moment, but Republicans accused her of metaphorically “ripping up” Trump’s accomplishments and guests.

Pelosi told CNN that it “wasn’t a planned thing,” but she decided to do something to “get attention” after realizing during the address that “almost every page had something in it that was objectionable.”


She said: “One of my disappointments is the fact that with all that we have done legislatively, whether it’s equal pay for equal work, raising the minimum wage, gun violence protection, issues that relate to our children, the list goes on.

“We had very little press on it. It seems if you want to get press, you have to get attention. I thought, well, let’s get attention on the fact that what he said here today was not true.”

Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump

Immediately after the State of the Union, Pelosi said that she tore up the speech “because it was the courteous thing to do considering the alternative” and branded it “a manifesto of mistruths.”

The White House tweeted a response to the incident, criticizing Pelosi’s actions. “Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member’s reunion with his family. That’s her legacy,” the White House said.


#Newsworthy…

U.S election: Could it be Bernie Sanders?


Bernie Sanders is firmly the front-runner in the race to become the Democratic challenger to Republican President Donald Trump, fresh from a victory this week in the second state-by-state contest. His support is fervent but is his party, let alone the country, ready to embrace such an unusual candidate?

Bernie Sanders likes to call his presidential campaign a revolution, but these days it feels more like a touring rock concert.


The Vermont senator may seem like an unlikely front-man for bands like Vampire Weekend and The Strokes, but both have served as his warm-up acts, playing at recent campaign rallies.

But the thousands of fans in packed arenas reserve their loudest cheers for the scruffy-haired 78-year-old candidate with a clipped Brooklyn accent.


After nearly a year marathon of rallies, meetings, debates and ground-laying, the Sanders campaign is now entering a sprint of near-nonstop activity that will carry it through dozens of states across the country – an impressive test of endurance for a man who just months ago was hospitalised for a heart attack.

“Bernie Sanders is the only candidate that has given me the courage to believe that we cannot only demand bold, radical change, but that it’s actually very attainable,” said Aletha Shapiro, who travelled to New Hampshire from Long Island, New York, to help the Sanders campaign.


“If the people stick together, we can actually put power back in the hands of the people.”

The end result of all this effort was a split decision in Iowa, as former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg claimed the most delegates to the Democratic National Convention even though Sanders won a few thousand more votes.


In New Hampshire, Sanders finished narrowly ahead of Buttigieg again, with the two tied in the state’s delegate count.

That didn’t stop Sanders from claiming victory both in Iowa and New Hampshire on Tuesday night, however, and looking ahead to a showdown with Trump in November.


A simple guide to US primaries and caucuses
How Bernie Sanders always beats the odds
“The reason we won tonight in New Hampshire, we won last week in Iowa, is because of the hard work of so many volunteers,” he said. “Let me say tonight that this victory here is the beginning of the end for Donald Trump.”

The crowd, packed into a college gymnasium, responded with deafening applause, as though the volume of their cheers could will their beloved candidate to more victories in the days ahead.


“It was electric,” said Scott Sandvik, a music teacher from Boston. “I really think it was a release of tension after a nail-biter of an election.”

If the Sanders “revolution” does take hold – an outsider campaign pitted as much against the Democratic Party’s establishment as it is the incumbent president – New Hampshire could very well be seen as where it all began.


But the campaign still has a long road ahead.

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Another shot at the prize
Four years ago, Sanders also followed a tight result in Iowa with a victory in New Hampshire. That contest was actually more decisive – a 20-point win over Hillary Clinton, who was considered the prohibitive favourite entering the race.


Sanders’ 2016 New Hampshire triumph, however, was a springboard into an empty pool.

He followed his win in the overwhelmingly white New England state with a narrow loss in Nevada and a drubbing in South Carolina, where the Democratic voting population is majority black. Although there were a few bright spots after that – victories in Michigan and Wisconsin – Clinton spent the next few months pulling away from Sanders in the nomination race.


Now Sanders is back, hoping history doesn’t repeat itself. Facing a more crowded field, he appears to be in a much better position, as the nomination fight becomes a state-by-state slog on a battleground that stretches the breadth of the nation.

There is no Clinton machine waiting to do battle against the Sanders insurgency this time around. Instead, the Vermont senator heads out of New Hampshire along with a ragtag mix of candidates all scrambling for a foothold.


Joe Biden, the apparent front-runner through much of 2019, is grievously wounded by poor showings in in the first two contests. Elizabeth Warren, the other candidate appealing to the liberal wing of the Democratic Party, has finished behind Sanders twice now and shows no signs gaining any ground.

Meanwhile, the continued presence of Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar among the moderates of the party ensures middle-of-the road and establishment Democrats will remain divided.

Buttigieg has money, but a thin resume and doubts about his appeal to the more diverse rank-and-file of the Democratic Party. Klobuchar is counting on media coverage of her late surge in New Hampshire to make up for depleted campaign coffers and a virtually non-existent national organisation.

Presentational white space

Who is Bernie Sanders?
Sanders had his first political victory in Burlington, Vermont, where he toppled the reigning six-term Democrat in 1981 for the mayoral seat by a margin of just 10 votes
Despite efforts by establishment Democrats to thwart his early career, Sanders served four terms as mayor before being elected to the US House of Representatives in 1990 – the first independent politician in four decades to do so
He won his current senate seat in 2007 and is currently in his third term
Sanders has an older brother, Larry, who lives in the UK and is currently the health and social care spokesman for the Green Party

How Bernie Sanders always beat the odds

Meanwhile, Sanders has risen in national polls as Biden falters. He boasts a veteran campaign structure that has basically been up and running since 2015, and a donor and volunteer network that spans the nation.

His $25m (£19m) fundraising haul in January alone will ensure he has more than enough resources to compete in every state on the crowded March primary calendar.

He has been officially or unofficially supported by figures from Labour MP Diane Abbott to YouTube star Joe Rogan. On Friday, he picked up another endorsement, from New York mayor and erstwhile 2020 candidate Bill de Blasio.

If Bernie Sanders isn’t the Democratic front-runner at this point, the word has little meaning. He’s far from a lock for the nomination, but his path ahead appears to be the clearest of any of his competitors.

On Tuesday night, Sanders essentially said as much.

“The reason I believe we are going to win is because we have an unprecedented grass-roots movement from coast to coast of millions of people,” he said. “The reason that we are going to win is that we are putting together an unprecedented multi-generational, multi-racial movement.”

History is certainly on Sanders’ side. Putting the Iowa popular-vote result in his column means the Vermont senator joins Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004, both eventual nominees, as the only non-incumbents to win there and New Hampshire. In fact, no candidate has finished outside the top two in New Hampshire and gone on to the nomination.

“I think the people of the United States will unite around his message supporting the true hard working people of this country,” said Tomas Amadeo of Hooksett, New Hampshire, echoing the optimism of many at the New Hampshire Sanders rally.

“He can resonate with people of all ages.”

The current disposition of the Sanders campaign has his supporters hoping for the best, however, a big chunk of the Democratic establishment and moderates in the party are fearing the worst.

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Incoming fire
Last Friday, in the spin room before the Democratic candidate debate in Manchester, senior Sanders campaign adviser Jeff Weaver was clear-eyed about what’s in store for his candidate, as a Democratic establishment that views Sanders as a meddlesome and disruptive outsider prepares to fight back.

“There’s always a target on his back,” he said of Sanders. “They won’t stop until they’re beaten. Well, we’re ready for it.”

In Iowa, Sanders was the subject of negative television advertisements from both the left and the right. The conservative Club for Growth aired a spot that painted the Vermont senator as an extremist – and said that his health was suspect after his heart attack last fall.

A pro-Israel Democratic group ran an advert featuring Iowa voters saying Sanders couldn’t beat Trump.

“It is no secret that our campaign is taking on the political establishment and the big-money interests who are now running negative ads against us in Iowa,” Sanders said in response. “The billionaire class is getting nervous, and they should.”

There’s reason to believe Sanders’ political-jujitsu strategy could be effective.

In 2016, as the Republican establishment finally acknowledged the threat that Donald Trump’s candidacy posed, its scions – including 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney – began to speak out. Their attacks only made Trump stronger, however, as he painted them as the “swamp’s” last-gasp efforts to stop him.

“The establishment has never taken Sanders seriously, and now that they’re having to they’re going to attack him,” said Caleb Gates, a Sanders supporter from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, who joined Sanders at a volunteer organisation event the day before the Iowa Caucuses.

“But I think that will only increase his appeal to a lot of people, especially those who are not politically active.”

In New Hampshire, Biden and Buttigieg hit at Sanders directly, both warning he was too extreme to be the party’s nominee and that his ideological views were too rigid.

Buttigieg accused Sanders of “dividing people with the politics that says, ‘If you don’t go all the way to the edge, it doesn’t count’, a politics that says, ‘It’s my way of the highway’.”

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What are his key campaign promises?
“Medicare for All” single-payer health system
Eliminate medical and student loan debt
Free public colleges, universities, trade schools
Green New Deal
Wealth tax
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The wildcard
Time and again, it’s the “electability” criticism that is used as a cudgel against Sanders, a self-described Democratic Socialist.

One recent poll indicated that more than half of Americans would not vote for a “socialist” president. Trump, at his rallies, regularly promises to his cheering support that “American will never be a socialist nation”.

The “conventional” view of a Sanders candidacy can be summed up in in a tweet by Sean Trende, an elections analyst with the website RealClear Politics.

“Bernie Sanders is a complete wildcard,” he wrote. “He could win by 10 points or lose by 20.”

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A blunter take by a Sanders critic was offered by the New York Magazine’s Jonathan Chait in a column that particularly irked the Sanders faithful.

“No party nomination, with the possible exception of Barry Goldwater in 1964, has put forth a presidential nominee with the level of downside risk exposure as a Sanders-led ticket would bring,” he wrote. “To nominate Sanders would be insane.”

When the stakes are so high – defeating Trump has been a central focus of Democrats since the day he was elected in 2016 – why, they ask, would the party choose a candidate so far away from the comfortable middle of American politics?

Moderate members of Congress, in particular, have expressed apprehension about sharing a ticket with the independent-minded Vermont senator who only joined the Democratic Party to run for president.

Dean Phillips, a newly elected congressman from Minnesota who has endorsed Klobuchar, told CNN that Sanders could have a “disastrous” effect on congressional races in November, jeopardising the majority Democrats won in the 435-seat chamber in 2018..

“There are probably are probably 25 to 30 seats that absolutely would be impacted directly by having a self-avowed socialist at the top of the ticket,” he said. “He’s not a Democrat, you know, and that’s something that I wish was better understood.”

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Redefining ‘electability’
The Sanders campaign clearly realises that winning the “electability” debate is essential to securing the party’s 2020 nomination. It’s why they hand out “Sanders beats Trump” stickers at their campaign events and chanted the refrain at his New Hampshire victory celebration.

They’re quick to cite head-to-head polling that shows little significant difference between a Sanders-Trump matchup and one between Trump and Biden, the candidate frequently offered as the safe and electable option. A recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll had Biden on top 50-44, while Sanders led Trump 49-45 – a statistically insignificant difference.

They also argue that the entire debate about electability is framed incorrectly. American politics, they say, isn’t a battle for the middle, it’s a battle of ideas and a battle for authenticity.

“What we did last time was nominate someone who was down the middle and another Washington person who wasn’t going to change anything,” said Pat Miguel Tomaino of Boston. “There are people hurting in this country who bought a lot of fake change from Donald Trump, and now we’re all suffering for it.”

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Media caption‘We voted for Obama, then Trump’
Tomaino, who volunteered for Sanders in New Hampshire, added that the economic collapse of 2008 destroyed the trust many Americans have in the current economic and political order, and unless the Democratic Party acknowledges this and adjust to the new reality, it’s going to lose to Trump again.

“We have no illusion about elites coming to save us or tinkering around a little bit for a better technocratic way of ordering an elitist system where just 1% benefit,” he said.

“We know that Bernie Sanders doesn’t want any of that. We know he has our back, and we have his.”

To pull this off, however, the Sanders campaign has to successfully identify and turn out voters who have sat out past elections. They’re counting on the younger voters who polls show overwhelmingly back Sanders for the nomination, as well other disaffected Americans who have been marginalised by the system.

In Iowa, at least, the results were not encouraging. Although young voters made up a larger share of caucus participants, the total numbers were down from 2008, when Barack Obama’s first campaign was electrifying many Democrats.

New Hampshire’s numbers were better, but early indications are the higher turnout was in part due to moderate and independent voters showing up to support Klobuchar and Buttigieg.


“I’ve always believed strongly that our case for winning this nomination and also beating Trump is that we can expand the base,” said Faiz Shakir, the Sanders campaign manager.

“We have the most ambitious and difficult path to winning this nomination because it requires by, by its nature, that people will be brought into this process.”

He added that he thought the campaign had laid the groundwork for increased turnout in the states ahead, but there is reason the whole party should be concerned.


“We’ve got much more work to do,” he said.

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Take a closer look at the other candidates
Banner showing some 2020 Democratic presidential candidates


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New states, new troubles
As the focus turns to Nevada, which holds its caucus a week from Saturday, Sanders is facing criticism from a different direction. The state’s powerful culinary union is circulating literature suggesting Sanders’s plan for replacing private health insurance with a government-run programme will abolish their union-negotiated plans.

The union then released a statement saying that Sanders supporters, upon learning of the union’s criticism, had “viciously” attacked the organisation.

Already Sanders’ Democratic opponents, sensing a vulnerability in Nevada, are positioning themselves as defenders of union healthcare plans.

“Let’s be clear: attacks on the union are unacceptable,” Klobuchar wrote in a tweet. “I come from a family of proud union members and I know when unions are strong, America is strong”

Four years ago Nevada was the staging ground for Clinton’s counterattack, as she won over union support in Las Vegas hotels and restaurants – even without an outright endorsement.

If Sanders stumbles in Nevada again, the momentum he gained over the past two weeks could be lost, opening the door for one of the candidates he beat in New Hampshire – or for another, unexpected candidate who looms on the horizon in the weeks ahead.

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Enter the billionaire
After Iowa and New Hampshire, the outcome of the race may uncertain, but it has at least followed a somewhat predictable course. The field is narrowing as candidates struggle at the ballot box or run out of money. The hardiest campaigns have moved on to the later battlegrounds.

That may all head out the window soon.

There hasn’t been a presidential candidate quite like Michael Bloomberg.

The New York multi-billionaire is sitting out the first four Democratic nomination contests, and instead using his vast resources to campaign in later states, which award the lion’s share of delegates to the Democratic national convention, where the party’s standard-bearer will ultimately be decided.

The Democratic 2020 race – in five charts
How Bloomberg could shake up 2020 race
The Bloomberg challenge presents one additional, unprecedented hurdle Sanders must clear if he wants to be the party’s nominee – a circumstance not lost on the senator’s team.

“He’s standing there waiting on Super Tuesday to try to block us if some if these other people can’t,” said Weaver of the Sanders campaign. “So, this race has got a long way to go and the ruling class in this country will do whatever it takes to stop Bernie Sanders.”

Sanders’s supporters have been even more blunt.

“It’s not subtle at all what Michael Bloomberg is doing,” says Tomas Armadeo of Hookset, New Hampshire. “It’s very egregious how he’s buying and funding his own way into this election. And I think people are going to see that.”

Not everyone considers Bloomberg’s presence as a threat, however.

“Bloomberg’s a perfect foil for Bernie because Bernie has been railing against the billionaire class for decades,” said Gates of Cedar Rapids. “And the chances of running against an actual billionaire, I think that plays right into his strengths.”

That may be easy to say at this point, but if Bloomberg does become a serious obstacle for Sanders – and if he either denies the Vermont senator a majority of the delegates at the convention or becomes the nominee himself – there could be hell to pay from the Sanders faithful.

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent millions campaigning

Outside a Sanders canvassing rally in Newton, a tiny town in central Iowa, campaign volunteer Krissy Haglund hands out leaflets and says Bloomberg is a “test for the American people”.

“I think it’s a test to see if they’re willing to believe that money should be out of politics.”

Four years ago Haglund, a physician from Minneapolis, Minnesota, said the American people missed the “gift” that Sanders was offering them. And when presented with the choice between Clinton and Trump, she opted to vote for the Green Party’s Jill Stein.

This time around, she’s not sure she’d be able to support anyone but Sanders.

“I feel as though Bernie is in a class by himself and none of the other candidates are even close,” she said. “And I think if he doesn’t get it, it will be because of politics and not that he hasn’t earned it in the numbers or from the American people.”

And if it’s Bloomberg, she’s definitely looking elsewhere.


#Newsworthy…

Impeachment trial: Witness reported my ‘Perfect’ calls wrongly – Trump


President Donald Trump on Saturday defended his decision to fire an army officer who gave damning evidence against him during the impeachment probe.

Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted Friday out of the White House, where he worked on the National Security Council as an expert on Ukraine. His lawyer called the move an act of revenge by the president, two days after he was acquitted by the Senate.


“Fake News @CNN & MSDNC keep talking about ‘Lt. Col.’ Vindman as though I should think only how wonderful he was,” Trump tweeted, apparently referring to news outlet MSNBC.

“Actually, I don’t know him, never spoke to him, or met him (I don’t believe!) but, he was very insubordinate, reported contents of my ‘perfect’ calls incorrectly.”


“In other words, ‘OUT’.”

Vindman was present during a now-famous July 25 phone call during which Trump asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to open an investigation into his political rival Joe Biden.


House Democrats who impeached Trump on allegations of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress argued that the call was part of a concerted effort to coerce a weak foreign ally at war with Russia into helping him cheat in November’s presidential election.

Subpoenaed by Congress to testify at the House impeachment hearings, the Ukrainian-born Vindman, who received a Purple Heart for wounds suffered in Iraq, said Trump’s actions were “improper.”


That testimony helped build the case leading to Trump becoming only the third president ever impeached by Congress.

Vindman’s lawyer David Pressman on Saturday called Trump’s tweet “a series of obviously false statements concerning Lieutenant Colonel Vindman.”


“They conflict with the clear personnel record and the entirety of the impeachment record of which the President is well aware,” he said in a statement to US media.

“While the most powerful man in the world continues his campaign of intimidation, while too many entrusted with political office continue to remain silent, Lieutenant Colonel Vindman continues his service to our country as a decorated, active duty member of our military.”


On Friday, Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union and who also testified against Trump, said he was being recalled immediately.

Democratic Senator Jack Reed, the ranking member of the Senate Armed Forces Committee, on Saturday slammed Trump’s “personal insecurities and vindictiveness.”

U.S President, Donald Trump

“By firing Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and Ambassador Sondland like this, the Trump Administration signaled it won’t tolerate people who tell the truth,” he said in a statement.

“This is a dangerous moment for our democracy and the non-partisan institutions charged with defending it and upholding the law.”


#Newsworthy…

Revenge: Donald Trump fires EU Ambassador, Others


In a move that has been dubbed the White House ‘Friday Night Massacre’ by political commentators, US President Donald Trump has sacked EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, National Security council member Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and Vindman’s twin brother Yevgeny Vindman, a National Security Council attorney for their involvements during the impeachment inquiry, just days after he was acquitted by the US Senate on charges of Abuse of office and Obstruction of congress.

Trump fires EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Alexander Vindman & his twin brother as revenge for testifying against him during impeachment inquiry


War hero Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman and his twin Yevgeny Vindman were sacked and escorted from the White House on Friday while Sondland, who is Ambassador to the EU, released a statement Friday night saying he has been removed from his job ‘effective’ immediately’

All three men played major roles in the House of Reps impeachment inquiry against Trump and it is expected that Senator Mitt Romney will be Trump’s next target after he was the only Republican who voted to remove the Commander-in-Chief from office during a Senate vote on Wednesday.


Vindman’s attorney, David Pressman, released a statement about his client’s firing.

‘Today, Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman was escorted out of the White House where he has dutifully served his country and his President’.


‘He does so having spoken publicly once, and only pursuant to a subpoena from the United States Congress.’ ‘There is no question in the mind of any American why this man’s job is over, why this country now has one less soldier serving it at the White House,’

“LTC Vindman was asked to leave for telling the truth. His honour, his commitment to right, frightened the powerful.

“The truth has cost LTC Alexander Vindman his job, his career, and his privacy.

“The most powerful man in the world – buoyed by the silent, the pliable, and the complicit – has decided to exact revenge.”


Trump fires EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Alexander Vindman & his twin brother as revenge for testifying against him during impeachment inquiry

Sondland also confirmed that he is being recalled from his post in a statement he released on Friday February 7. His statement read;


”I was advised today that the president intends to recall me effective immediately’.
‘I am grateful to President Trump for having given me the opportunity to serve, to Secretary Pompeo for his consistent support, and to the exceptional and dedicated professionals at the U.S. Mission to the European Union.

‘I am proud of our accomplishments. Our work here has been the highlight of my career.’

Donald Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr tweeted about the sack on Friday night saying, ‘Allow me a moment to thank—and this may be a bit of a surprise—Adam Schiff. Were it not for his crack investigation skills, @realDonaldTrump might have had a tougher time unearthing who all needed to be fired. Thanks, Adam #FullOfSchiff’.

Vindman who was awarded a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq after being wounded in an IED attack and still carries shrapnel from the attack in his body, was on the July 25 phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, and testifying in November during the impeachment inquiry said;


‘I was concerned by the call. I did not think it was proper to demand that a foreign government investigate a U.S. citizen, and I was worried about the implications for the U.S. Government’s support of Ukraine. I realized that if Ukraine pursued an investigation into the Bidens and Burisma, it would likely be interpreted as a partisan play which would undoubtedly result in Ukraine losing the bipartisan support it has thus far maintained. This would all undermine U.S. national security,’ he told House investigators.

Trump fires EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Alexander Vindman & his twin brother as revenge for testifying against him during impeachment inquiry

Earlier on Friday, Trump admitted he was not happy with Vindman while speaking to reporters.

‘I’m not happy with him. Am I supposed to be happy with him? I’m not,’


#Newsworthy…