Thursday, 18 January 2018

USA & CANADA (175)

Latest News

What Trump’s presidency means for Africa – Okonjo-Iweala

Saturday, 21 January 2017 08:46 Written by

Nigeria’s former Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that newly-installed president of the United States of America, Donald Trump, will allow Africa decide its own destiny.

Okonjo-Iweala was speaking with the BBC, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.


She stated that there was every possibility that Africa was not Trump’s priority.

“There are two schools of thoughts, but one very interesting one, to which I subscribe is that; maybe Africa is not top of the agenda for the incoming government, therefore, that could really provide a chance for Africa to craft its own narratives,” she said.

“To make it known that African countries are really much more interested in taking charge of their own destiny and trying to find ways to do it.

“Look, people in developing countries are not just sitting, waiting for people to bring aid, we now have a changing dynamics, particularly with our young people.


“If you look at the millenials, they are asking a different question; they want to know how they can really use what is here to catalyse the change that is needed to make developing countries, who are already contributing quite substantially to global growth to do even more.

“There are also those who are a little bit worried, that the continent may not get the attention it needs on the global stage.

“And say what you may, if you look at 2030, 2050, Africa cannot be left behind, because the implication for the rest of the world are just too enormous. In terms of the demographics, the potential market it presents”, she noted.

On climate change, Okonjo-Iweala said: “Nobody will like to see America walk away from this very important global issue, but at the same time, you look at what other kinds of leadership would also step forward.


“The private sector could take the lead in this; I am saying that we need not despair, the private sector realises that this is important and here to stay, and they have to do something about it.”

Trump was sworn in as the 45th US president on Friday.

Nigerian US Army Officer Who Came to His Hometown for Xmas, abducted and killed

Monday, 16 January 2017 10:27 Written by
A US-based Nigerian man who is an American Army officer has been murdered in cold blood by gunmen after he was abducted in his hometown in Imo State.
According to a Facebook user, Lilian Ndiukwu, who posted some photos and shared a heartbreaking story on social media, a Nigerian U.S Army veteran who came back home for Christmas after he finished building his mansion in his hometown, was abducted and killed in Imo State.
Below is how she narrated the story;
"What a wicked world…. who has done this to My BIG BRO? A USA veteran who just came back this Xmas after building his beautiful house (mansion) in the village not knowing that the enemies has an evil plan against him.
"They abducted and shot him dead yesterday night. I Can’t believe this, can someone wake me up from this nightmare? Who did this to u Bro?	  </div> <div class=

Five People Shot Dead In Florida Airport by Gunman

Saturday, 07 January 2017 13:12 Written by

Five people have been shot dead by a gunman at Fort Lauderdale airport in Florida, say officials.

It happened at the baggage claim area in Terminal 2, just before 1300 local time (1800 GMT), the airport confirmed. Five people were killed, 13 injured and one person was in custody, said police and local officials.

Hundreds of people were standing on the tarmac outside the terminal as dozens of police cars and ambulances rushed to the scene.

One of the first reports of the incident came from former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, who said in a tweet: “I’m at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Shots have been fired. Everyone is running.”

A witness told MSNBC that the gunman was a “slender man’ who was wearing a Star Wars T-shirt. The gunman, who appeared to be in his 20s, did not speak and was shot by police as he attempted to reload, John Schlicher said.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson told US media that the gunman has been identified as Esteban Santiago, but that has not been confirmed by law enforcement.

A witness told NBC News the gunman was shot by police less than a minute after the shooting began.

“He was gunned down by police,” Mark Lea from Minneapolis told the network. “It was absolutely surreal.”

“People were scared and frantically running to avoid being shot. People were tripping over each other. They were trying to make a fast exit out of the door.”

Florida Governor Rick Scott is travelling to the airport to be briefed by police. President-elect Donald Trump tweeted that he is “monitoring the terrible situation in Florida” and that he has spoken to the Florida governor.

“Thoughts and prayers for all. Stay safe!” he added.



Trump’s immigration policies will pick up where Obama’s left off

Wednesday, 04 January 2017 03:22 Written by

In 2017, the Trump administration will likely continue and expand the Obama administration’s focus on removing immigrants convicted of crimes. Whether Trump will break ground for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico is far less certain.

Ramping up immigration enforcement by focusing on the criminal justice pipeline for removals has proven to be an efficient strategy. Immigrants in jail are not hard to find. And, removing criminals raises far fewer civil rights concerns than, for example, locating and removing laborers through the use of workplace raids.

Immigrants with criminal arrest records and convictions have few political allies and defenders. Resistance to their removal has not been as great as resistance to removing other groups of immigrants, such as undocumented college students.

That may explain why Donald Trump began his presidential campaign by claiming that Mexico was sending criminals to the United States, and promising to deport them en masse.

To increase crime-based removals, the Trump administration will probably seek greater state and local assistance in federal immigration enforcement. Under President Obama, these efforts led to the removal of a disproportionate number of Latino immigrants. My scholarship sheds light on how Trump’s immigration proposals may similarly affect Latinos.

‘Latino removal system’

President Obama’s administration prioritized removing immigrants who had been convicted of crimes. However, the U.S. criminal justice system is notorious for producing racially disparate results. African-Americans and Latinos continue to be disproportionately criminalized and incarcerated as they have throughout U.S. history, as described in Michelle Alexander’s powerful book “The New Jim Crow.”

As a result, the U.S. immigrant removal system yields similarly unequal results.

While Obama advocated for protection of immigrants who arrived as children, he also earned the name ‘Deporter in Chief.’ AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The Obama administration created programs that allowed state criminal justice systems to directly feed immigrants into the federal immigration removal system. That, in turn, made it possible for his administration to set removal records. In some years as many as 400,000 people were removed. During the eight years of his presidency, more than 2.5 million noncitizens were deported – more than during any other U.S. presidency.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement data show that, in fiscal year 2016, crime-based removals represented more than 90 percent of the noncitizens removed from the interior of the United States.

Under a program called Secure Communities, state and local law enforcement agencies shared arrest information with federal immigration authorities, and detained immigrant criminal offenders. Criminal offenders were then taken into custody by federal immigration authorities. In November 2014, the Obama administration replaced Secure Communities with the Priority Enforcement Program, which was somewhat narrower in scope.

Today, more than 95 percent of removals in the United States are of Latino noncitizens, despite the fact that the total immigrant population in the United States is much more diverse. Latino immigrants comprise only about 50 percent of lawful immigrants, and around 70 percent of undocumented ones. Because removals are so heavily skewed toward Latinos, some refer to the modern U.S. removal system as the “Latino removal system.”

Mandating state and local assistance

Trump is likely to encounter the same resistance that Obama did in working with state and local governments on immigration enforcement.

The Trump administration may seek to mandate state and local assistance in federal immigration enforcement. To do so, it might challenge “sanctuary cities,” as Donald Trump has done rhetorically. However, there is no firm definition of what sanctuary cities are – only the suggestion that they are not fully cooperating in enforcing immigration laws. Trump has threatened to defund such cities, a step that would seemingly require congressional authorization.

If Congress were to pass such legislation, state and local governments may be able to challenge it as infringing on the constitutionally protected authority of the states.

Needless to say, any challenge to sanctuary cities is likely to meet formidable resistance from some quarters. The California legislature already has been preparing a game plan for a showdown with the Trump administration on immigration enforcement. For example, legislators have proposed legislation that would limit information sharing with the federal government about immigrants.

Some state and local law enforcement leaders worry that immigrants lose trust in local police when they are perceived to be deeply involved in federal immigration enforcement. Loss of trust, in turn, can reduce the willingness of immigrants to help authorities combat crime. This concerns local police who say they need the cooperation of all people in the community, including lawful and undocumented immigrants, in reporting crime and aiding criminal prosecutions.

To that end, the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order 40 limits police inquiry into the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses and suspects. The idea is to separate criminal law enforcement from federal immigration enforcement. Such separation is consistent with the Supreme Court’s finding in Arizona v. United States in 2012 that the federal government has the authority to admit and remove immigrants. And, ordinary law enforcement primarily is handled by local law enforcement agencies.

The new administration will also need to grapple with how local police involvement in immigration enforcement impacts the civil rights of Latinos. Such impacts are real. This year, a federal court found the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona, in the guise of assisting federal immigration enforcement, had engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination.

These civil rights abuses show the potential costs of state and local law enforcement assistance in federal immigration enforcement efforts. The same risks will exist for the new Trump administration in 2017.



  Dean and Professor of Public Interest Law and Chicana/o Studies, University of California, Davis

CREDIT LINK:<img src="" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" />

The article was originally published on The Conversation ( and is republished with permission granted to


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U.S. Expels 35 Russian Diplomats, Closes Two Compounds as Feud Aggravates

Friday, 30 December 2016 13:35 Written by
The U.S has sanctioned Russia over alleged interference of Russian hackers in the recently concluded election to give Donald Trump an edge.
President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking U.S. political groups in the 2016 presidential election.
The measures, taken during the last days of Obama's presidency, mark a new post-Cold War low in U.S.-Russian ties and set up a potential flashpoint between incoming President-elect Donald Trump and fellow Republicans in Congress over how to deal with Moscow.
Obama, a Democrat, had promised consequences after U.S. intelligence officials blamed Russia for hacks intended to influence the 2016 election. Officials pointed the finger directly at Russian President Vladimir Putin for personally directing the efforts and primarily targeting Democrats, who put pressure on Obama to respond.
"These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian government, and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior," Obama said in a statement from Hawaii, where he is on vacation.
"All Americans should be alarmed by Russia’s actions," he said.
It was not clear whether Trump, who has repeatedly praised Putin and nominated people seen as friendly toward Moscow to senior administration posts, would seek to roll back the measures once he takes office on Jan. 20.
Trump has brushed aside allegations from the CIA and other intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the cyber attacks. He said on Thursday he would meet with intelligence officials soon.
“It's time for our country to move on to bigger and better things," Trump said in a statement.
"Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation," he said, without mentioning Russia.
The Kremlin, which denounced the sanctions as unlawful and promised "adequate" retaliation, questioned whether Trump approved of the new sanctions. Moscow denies the hacking allegations.
U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia was behind hacks into Democratic Party organizations and operatives ahead of the Nov. 8 presidential election. U.S. intelligence officials say the Russian cyber attacks were aimed at helping Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers have voiced concern about Russia's actions, setting up a potential wall of opposition should Trump seek to overturn Obama's measures.

Plane engine explodes in the air

Monday, 29 August 2016 00:00 Written by

A Southwest Airlines flight from New Orleans to Orlando was forced to make an emergency landing when one of the engines failed, the airline said.

A woman who was on the plane with her husband and three children told CNN affiliate KOCO that the engine was right outside her window.

"It was just a big explosion. There was some smoke and then nothing," she told the Oklahoma City station . "I saw parts flapping in the wind."

The plane started shaking and breathing masks were deployed as the airliner descended.

None of the 99 passengers or five crew members was hurt, Southwest said.

The plane, Southwest Flight 3472, diverted to Pensacola when the crew declared an emergency, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Southwest described the engine trouble as a mechanical issue.

"(The crew) stayed professional. They were amazing," the woman, who was not identified, told KOCO. "I mean, we couldn't have had a better crew, and it was thanks to that pilot that we're all alive."

The woman said that once the plane seemed to stabilize, one of the pilots came into the cabin and told the passengers that the engine was lost.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are among the agencies investigating the incident.

According to the FAA, the airliner involved is a Boeing 737, which has two turbofan engines, one on each wing. (CNN)


2019 polls: Canada’s Conservative Party begs Nigerian politician for votes

Sunday, 28 August 2016 00:00 Written by
CANADA: A NIGERIAN, Mr. Shola Abdulazeez Agboola, has been invited by the Conservative Party of Canada to help it restructure and revitalised the party ahead of the 2019 federal elections.
The party, which lost majority of its Hose of Common seats in October last year elections to the Liberal Party, pleaded with the Nigerian-Canadian politician living in Manitoba Province, Canada, to do all within his ambit to widened its base in preparation for victory ahead of the next elections.
The Conservation Party (CP) Leader, Mr. Stephen Harper, who ruled as Prime Minister between 2006 and 2015, lost the Federal election to the incumbent Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, of the Liberal Party.
The CP made the plea in a letter sent to Agboola by the party’s newly elected President, Scott Lamb, who sought his inclusion at the federal level in the restructuring of the immediate past ruling party.
Lamb told Agboola, a member on the board of the CP, that he would be valuable in the party’s bid to return to power in four years from now.
 “This summer, I plan to travel across Canada to meet in person with top Conservative Party activists and organisers,” he told the Osun State born Nigerian.  “But my most immediate goal today is to reach out and team up directly with you and our other important Conservative supporters in Manitoba.”
The CP President also pleaded: “I need to know if I count on you to be my partner as we work to expand and strengthen the Conservative Party base in Manitoba in 2016 – and create an unstoppable force that will elect a new Conservative Government in 2019.”
“Let me tell you why I would be so grateful if you will tell me YES today by returning to me the special Pledge of Support I have enclosed in your name, Mr. Agboola,” Lamb, who is the first party President to hail from British Colombia, added.
While further wooing Agboola, the CP President said that his predecessor, John Walsh, had praised the Nigerian deep sense of dedication and many contributions he had given the party over the years.
Similarly, Lamb said that he was aware of overture from the CP’s Leader, Rona Ambrose, who contacted him since the party became the official opposition in the House of Commons.
Lamb further stressed that Agboola’s steady commitment to the party over the years gave him the conviction of his belief in the CP’s victory which depends on “large-based party organisation.”
While reacting to this development, a highly elated Agboola said: “Of course, I felt happy and honoured. It is quite a big deal for me to be recognized for what I have contributed to the system.
On being a Nigerian from Africa to serve on the CP board, Agboola, who is the National Liaison Officer of Oodua Progressive Union Canada Chapter, stressed: “It makes me feel so proud of what I have managed to accomplish as a Nigerian immigrant.
“The reason for being the only Black to serve on the board is that as you may have know, traditionally, most immigrants especially those from Africa tend to lean toward the Liberal Party, but because I know we share lots of Conservative values as Africans in terms of personal responsibility, free market, low tax, and strong family ties etc it does not take me long to realize I have a niche within the party,” he emphasised.
While speaking on the development, the President of Olumo Progressive Association Canada Inc. and the Public Relations Officer of Oodua Progressive Union Canada Chapter, Chief ‘Femi Shodunke, said that the recognition was a clear testimony of the profound abilities of Nigerians to showcase their skill and knowledge of the political terrain in any environment they found themselves.
“This is good news.  This is a great development to Nigeria, Africa and our people here in Canada, and a clear testimony and confirmation of our people’s prowess to excel in any area, particularly politics in a saner environment,” Shodunke, who is also the Publisher of Canada-based GatewayMail online newspaper, said. 

He added: “I am indeed glad on this recognition for our fellow Nigerian-Canada brother and I look forward to more political opportunities for our people, particularly to show our talents and contribute largely to the Canadian society.








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Two friends kill Professor over his will

Saturday, 27 August 2016 00:00 Written by

A professor, Ronald Bettig’s body was found in a quarry by Police, after he tragically fell 80 feet to his death. But Authorities have discovered that the professor was pushed by 32 year-old Danelle Geier and 39 year-old George Ishler, over his renewed will.

Authorities are saying that the two suspects killed Bettig for the benefits in the will. They originally had planned to drown Bettig during a trip to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware, but decided later on to kill him at Centre Country quarry. The suspects managed to get the professor at the quarry by telling him about a potential marijuana harvesting location.

They killed Professor Bettig because they thought he added them to his will, after he had renewed it recently. But they discovered he didn’t include them into it after killing him.



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