​Pitt wins Angelina Jolie in divorce case


An investigation into whether Brad Pitt was abusive toward his son on a private flight in September says the case has been closed with no finding of abuse by the actor, a source familiar with the inquiry said Wednesday.

The source, who was not authorised to speak publicly, told The Associated Press that the investigation was closed within the past few days.

Source: Vanguard

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​Obama to host Trump at White House


A triumphant Donald Trump heads to the White House Thursday for talks with President Barack Obama on securing a smooth transition of power and steading nerves after an election that shocked the world.

Anger over the Trump win spilled out on the streets of cities from New York to Los Angeles late Wednesday as chanting protesters lit bonfires and snarled traffic. In one case an orange-headed Trump head was burned in effigy.

Forty-eight hours after Trump’s upset win, the 70-year-old president-elect and Obama will meet in the Oval Office for what could be an awkward meeting as the president-elect looks ahead to the January 20 inauguration.

Trump has questioned whether Obama was born in the United States — a suggestion laden with deep racial overtones — and the Democratic commander-in-chief has described the celebrity businessman as “uniquely unqualified” to be president.

But the last day has seen efforts to bring this deeply divided country together after a brutal two-year battle for the White House that at times appeared more tribal than partisan.

Vanquished Democratic rival Hillary Clinton fought back the bitter disappointment of not becoming America’s first female president to urge Americans to give Trump a chance, at least from the outset.

“We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” she said in a concession speech.

Obama, addressing disconsolate staff in the White House Rose Garden, played down the extraordinary Trump win, painting it as democracy being its messy self.

“Sometimes you lose an argument,” he said, adding that all Americans would now be “rooting” for Trump’s success.

“We are Americans first. We’re patriots first. We all want what’s best for this country,” Obama said as staff wiped away tears and pondered whether his administration’s eight years of toil had come to naught.

In the battle for the soul of America, those who helped elect America’s first black president now appear to be in retreat.

Both Obama and Clinton issued a faint but definite warning that Trump must respect institutions and the rule of law if a modicum of goodwill is to hold.

In remarks that would once have seemed unthinkable, the president of the world’s foremost democracy and military power subtly urged his successor to respect the 240-year-old system of governance and its institutions.

“The country,” Obama said “needs a sense of unity, a sense of inclusion, a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law, and a respect for each other.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest demurred when asked whether Trump would respect the rule of law.

His tone “would seem to suggest that certain basic principles of our democracy are likely to be upheld.”

– Brave new world –

“Likely” is unlikely clear enough for Washington’s partners who see the entire global political order, which hinges on Washington’s moral and military leadership, as cast into doubt.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to take on the mantle of champion of liberal values and “leader of the free world,” an epithet usually reserved for American presidents.

She warned that “close cooperation” between the two countries must be based on shared democratic values, and reminded Trump of the global responsibility he carries.

“On the basis of these values, I offer close cooperation to the future president of the United States of America, Donald Trump.”

Europe, already beset by financial and social crises and internal divisions, now faces existential questions about its own security. Trump has questioned the US-led NATO’s key collective defense guarantee.

The leaders of America’s closest hemispheric partners, Canada and Mexico, quickly made clear their willingness to work with the new president, offering a message of continuity and stability with their giant neighbor.

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto reached out to the president-elect, agreeing to a meeting.

– ‘Redemption, not recrimination’ –

The Republican Party leadership, too, embraced their newfound champion.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, who had distanced himself from Trump in the final month of the campaign, pledged to “hit the ground running” and work with him on conservative legislation.

But Ryan also called for healing, saying the bitterly contested race must be followed by a period “of redemption, not a time of recrimination.”

Likewise, Trump called for national reconciliation after Clinton conceded defeat in a result that virtually no poll had dreamed of predicting.

He told a crowd of jubilant supporters early Wednesday in New York “it is time for America to bind the wounds of division” as he pledged to work with Democrats in office.

On Wednesday Trump huddled at Trump Tower in New York with a group of advisers, planning the transition to running the world’s largest economy when he takes office on January 20.

During a bitter campaign that tugged at America’s democratic fabric, the tycoon pledged to deport illegal immigrants, ban Muslims from the country and tear up free-trade deals.

Trump’s campaign message was embraced by a large section of America’s white majority, grown increasingly disgruntled by the scope of social and economic change under Obama.

But it was passionately rejected by Clinton supporters.

Thousands of protesters — in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Portland and other cities — rallied late Wednesday to express shock and anger over Trump’s election. They vowed to oppose divisive views they say helped the Republican billionaire win the White House.

In Washington, several hundred gathered in front of the White House for a candlelight vigil on a damp, chilly evening, criticizing what they called Trump’s racism, sexism and xenophobia, and carrying signs reading “We have a voice!” and “Education for all!”

Some of the most enthusiastic support for Trump came from far-right and nationalist politicians in Europe such as French opposition figure Marine Le Pen, Matteo Salvini of Italy’s Northern League and British euroskeptic Nigel Farage.

Russia’s autocratic leader Vladimir Putin said he wanted to rebuild “full-fledged relations” with the United States, as he warmly congratulated the president-elect.

Source: Vanguard

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​After stunning upset: How Trump’s victory’ll affect Nigeria – 


ABUJA—THE election of Mr. Donald Trump of the Republican Party as the 45th President of the United States of America, yesterday, provoked an avalanche of questions from local and foreign experts.

There were uncertainties over how his presidency will affect the country’s economy, crude oil price, Nigeria’s main revenue earner; her nationals in the US, aid to developing countries, including Nigeria and, of course, international politics.

Contrary to pre-election opinion awarding victory to the Democratic Party Candidate, Hillary Clinton, the President-elect secured 276 Electoral College votes against Clinton’s 218, to emerge victorious.

Demonstrators hold placards that read “No to racism, no to Trump” during a protest outside the US Embassy in London on November 9, 2016 against US President-elect Donald Trump after he was declared the winner of the US presidential election.

Political novice and former reality TV star Donald Trump has defeated Hillary Clinton to take the US presidency, stunning America and the world in an explosive upset fueled by a wave of grassroots anger. / AFP PHOTO

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump along with his wife Melania Trump (Center-R) greet people in the crowd after delivering his acceptance speech at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

Former Democratic US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks to supporters at the New Yorker after her defeat last night to Donald Trump on November 9, 2016 in New York. / AFP PHOTO
Trump’s victory elicited words of salutation from President Muhammadu Buhari, who said he looked forward to working with Trump, who would be sworn-in on January 20, 2017.

Other Nigerians, who spoke on Trump’s election, yesterday, included Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Aare Afe Babaloa, SAN; Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Ambassador Dapo Fafowora, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and Chief Guy Ikokwu, among others.

I look forward to working with Trump – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari,while congratulating Mr. Trump on his victory, yesterday, said he would work with the U.S. President-elect.

A statement by Presidential Spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates President-elect Donald Trump on his victory in the United States presidential election.

“President Buhari also congratulates American citizens on the outcome of the election, which was keenly observed by all true lovers of democracy and those who believe in the will of the people.

“The President looks forward to working together with President-elect Trump to strengthen the already established friendly relations between both countries, including cooperation on many shared foreign policy priorities, such as the fight against terrorism, peace and security, economic growth, democracy and good governance.

“As Mr Trump prepares to assume the position of the President of the United States, President Buhari extends his good wishes to him on the onerous task of leading the world’s strongest economy”, the statement added.

We’ll  work together — Saraki

In his own reaction, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki said yesterday that he will work with the President-Elect of the United States of America, USA, Mr. Donald Trump.

In a statement he personally signed, Saraki who congratulated Donald Trump over his victory, said: “I look forward to working with President-Elect Trump to continue the strong US-Nigeria relationship and to address our mutual interest in defeating global terror networks, rooting out corruption and strengthening the institutions of governance.”

“Mr. Trump’s years of being a private sector leader can be invaluable to Nigeria as we work to restructure and diversify our economy. It is important for the private sector here to have a larger role in expanding our economic base, creating jobs and fostering entrepreneurship. In these areas, I am sure he will be able to serve as a strong partner.”

Surprise, lesson for Nigeria – Ikokwu

Chief Guy Ikokwu said Trump’s victory took Nigeria and the rest of the world by surprise because, apart from being an outsider in the race, he is not a public servant, politician or among those in the corridors of power. “It shows that sovereignty belongs to the people and not public officials. Nigeria has a lesson to to learn.’’

To benefit from Trump’s presidency, he said Nigeria must strive for meritocracy, ensure job creation, diversify our economy, restructure the polity and give the zones fiscal autonomy so that “we will be able to make tremendous progress and end squalor.”

A lesson for Nigerians — Fafowora

Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, former Nigerian Ambassador to the UN, however, said Trump’s victory was a lesson to Nigerians and Africans to remain in and contribute to the development of their countries.

Fafowora said Africans needed to reduce their reliance on world economic powers, adding that “there is nothing in his background to suggest he has any durable interest in Africa. I think it is a lesson for Nigerians; people should stay here and make contributions in developing our country.

US may cut aid to developing nations

– Industrialist

An industrialist, Chief Tomi Akingbogun, said, yesterday, that there might be less foreign aid from the American government to developing nations like Nigeria, given Trump’s victory.

Speaking in Abuja, Akingbogun said with Trump’s triumph, developing nations in the world might witness less support from the new government in terms of grants, considering the conservative orientation of the Republicans.

He said the policies and programmes of the new government might not be favourable to Nigerians and other immigrants, based on the campaign speeches of the President-elect.

“America might play a lesser role in assisting developing countries by coming to the help of needy nations. That means we in Africa will be on our own; that means there might be less foreign aid from the new government. If that happens, it is an opportunity for Nigerians, who have become very successful in America to return home and support the rebuilding of the economy.”

He said Nigerians have contributed to the building of the American economy over the years, noting that it was time for them to return and help salvage the nation from recession.

It will affect Nigeria positively — Security expert

A security consultant, Ibrahim Garba, said Trump’s election will affect Nigerian professionals positively.

Decrying the attitude of Nigerians, who project the image of the country in bad light, he said Nigerians needed to change their business orientation to reflect positive ideas in the new era.

“This would affect Nigeria because things would be more competitive; Trump is a man who knows about your money; he does not throw money around. For you to do any business in America you have to be serious. From a business perspective, if Nigerians know what they are bringing to the table and it’s of value, Donald Trump will approve it.”

Trump: Victory for America’s ugly side

International relations experts have described the victory of U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, as a surprise that will bring uncertainty to international politics.

The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday, that Trump does not have experience and expertise in international affairs.

Bolaji Akinyemi, a professor of political science, described Trump’s victory as a worrisome development.

Professor Akinyemi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: “It brings uncertainty into international politics because the world now has to deal with a man, who is inexperienced, does not understand the complexities of international politics and has no respect for anyone who is not white or American. I think that is dangerous.”

Be prepared, says Gambari

Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, expressed optimism that U.S. laws and institutions would protect Nigerians and Africans in the U.S., stressing, however, that “clearly, we should be prepared.”

He also advised the leadership of Nigeria and Africa to promote policies in the interest of their citizens. Gambari said such interests would encourage development and reduce the flow of African citizens to western countries.

“As Africans, we have survived slavery, colonialism and apartheid. I think the strength of the African people will enable us to survive any negative consequences arising from this result.”

OPEC’s job has just got tougher – Yergin

Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. oil historian, Daniel Yergin, said OPEC’s job of trying to prop up oil prices just got harder with the election of Trump.

Yergin told the media that the 14-country oil producing cartel may have to battle a sourer outlook for the global economy and weaker demand for crude.

He said: “Buckle up your seat belts for a more turbulent and uncertain global economy ahead.”

Yergin, who is also Vice Chairman of IHS Markit Think Tank, said “the outcome of the U.S. election has added to the challenges of oil exporters because it will lead to weaker economic growth in an already fragile global economy. And that means additional pressure on oil demand.”

Oil prices fell almost four per cent early, yesterday, but recovered slightly to trade at around $46 per barrel later in the day.

Stock market falls by N65 billion

Trump’s election appeared to have had immediate impact in Nigeria as transactions in the Nigerian Stock market declined further, with investors losing another N65bn at the close of trading, yesterday.

The development tallied with trading results from other advanced markets that reacted negatively to the results of the US presidential election.

Though the equities market has been on a downward trend in the past three weeks, some market operators argued that the losses were as a result of the outcome of the election.

At the end of trading session, the market capitalisation declined from N9.076 trillion to N9.011 trillion, representing 0.76 per cent decline.

Also, the All Share Index, ASI, slumped by 0.76 per cent to close at 26,173.69 from 26,364.27 points. Sectoral analysis showed that the Oil and Gas sector closed the day higher to top gainers’ chart with a gain of 0.1 per cent on account of price appreciation in Oando Plc, which returned 0.9 per cent. Conversely, the financial services sector trailed with a negative daily return of 2.5 per cent, on account of sell-offs in companies like Access Bank Plc, which fell by 4.6 per cent, Guaranty Trust Bank (-3.5 per cent) and Zenith International Bank Plc 2.8 per cent.. The consumer goods sector followed with a loss of 0.3 per cent underscored by profit-booking in PZ Cusson Plc which fell by 8.4 per cent, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc five per cent and Nascon Allied Industries Plc 4.9 per cent, while the industrial goods sector traded flat.

According to analysts at United Capital Plc, sentiment is expected to remain mixed in today’s trading session, “albeit with a bearish undertone as bullish triggers remain scarce.”

Source: Vanguard

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In USA Police responding to reports officers shot in Baton Rouge

Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are responding to reports that multiple officers have been shot, news outlet USA Today said, citing local television stations.

The southern city was the scene of a deadly encounter between a black man and white policemen, which the U.S. Department of Justice is currently investigating.

Earlier this month, a gunman in Dallas fatally shot five police officers at a protest over the Baton Rouge killing and a separate police shooting in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

You will recall that Civil rights leaders

Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton joined hundreds of mourners in Louisiana on Friday to remember a black man killed last week by white policemen, one of two deadly encounters that led to protests against racial bias in law enforcement.

As heavy rain fell outside, a steady stream of people filed into an activity center at Baton Rouge’s Southern University to view the body of 37-year-old Alton Sterling, whose open casket was surrounded by flowers and photographs.

The visitation was held at the center to accommodate the large crowd that turned out to pay their respects to the father of five known as “Big Alton.” Police shot him at a close quarters on July 5 as he sold CDs outside a convenience store, an incident that was recorded on a cellphone.

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  • Source: Pulse

​Donald Trump, US Presidential aspirant nears end of VP search


Republican Donald Trump neared the end of his vice presidential search on Thursday, with Indiana Governor Mike Pence and former U.S. House Speaker

Newt Gingrich appearing as the front-runners on the eve of Trump’s announcement of his pick.

The presumptive Republican presidential nominee tweeted on Wednesday night that he would announce his choice on Friday at 11 a.m. (1500 GMT) in Manhattan.

Sources familiar with campaign operations cautioned that while Pence and Gingrich were finalists, Trump could always have a last-minute change of heart and choose someone else from his short list.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 53, a former rival to Trump in the presidential race, is also high on the list of potential running mates and provides the kind of counterpunch to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton that Republicans like.

Trump is preparing for next week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where he will be formally nominated as the party’s presidential candidate for the Nov. 8 election.

Pence, 57, a former congressman, is seen as a safe choice, not too flashy but popular among conservatives with Midwestern appeal.

Gingrich, 73, is a close adviser to Trump with a wealth of ideas and deep experience in the legislative process from his time as speaker of the House of Representatives in the 1990s.

A source close to the campaign said Trump appeared to be leaning toward Pence but could easily change his mind.

In what has been an unusually public process, Trump, 70, sat down on Wednesday with both Pence and Gingrich separately in Indianapolis.

He also met with a fourth potential No. 2, U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, 69, of Alabama, who has been one of Trump’s closest advisers

The New York businessman had dinner with Pence on Tuesday night after they appeared together at a rally. Trump, joined by daughter Ivanka and sons Donald Jr. and Eric Trump, had breakfast with Pence and his wife, Karen, on Wednesday at the governor’s residence in Indianapolis.

Trump adviser Ed Brookover told CNN that Trump “first and foremost” wants a running mate that he has good chemistry with and someone who can help him govern best.

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  • Source: Pulse

​In USA Police release video showing shooting of unarmed white man


The Fresno, California police department released body camera videos on Wednesday showing two officers fatally shooting an unarmed white man amid renewed scrutiny across the United States over the use of force by police.

Dylan Noble was shot and killed on June 25 during a traffic stop by two unidentified police officers who thought the 19-year-old was armed, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer told a news conference.

The release of the videos comes as police are under sharp scrutiny across the country over numerous high-profile police killings of unarmed black people, sparking widespread and sometimes destructive protests.

Dyer said the decision to release them was based on public concern over how police handled the incident, which has sparked protests. “I am calling for calm in our community,” he said.

The video footage show Noble getting out of a pick-up truck during a traffic stop and then failing to comply with officers commands several times.

During the incident, Noble said that he “hated his life” and held his right hand behind his back. Officers also saw Noble reach into his glove box and grasp something, Dyer said.

Noble repeatedly put his right hand behind his back and into his waistband as he walked toward and away from officers who had their weapons drawn toward him, the video showed.

One of the officers told investigators that “he thought Noble was either taunting him or was practicing pulling out a gun,” said Dyer, who noted it was later determined that Noble was unarmed.

An officer twice shot Noble, who fell to the ground. He then fired a third round at Noble as he was reaching again under his shirt and into his waistband. A second officer shot Noble when he again reached into his waistband, the video showed.

“Some of this video will answer many of the questions that are out there in this community,” Dyer said.

“However, I also believe this video is going to raise questions just as those questions exist in my mind as well.”

Dyer said questions remain as to whether the last two shots that were fired by police when Noble was lying on the ground were necessary. A criminal and an internal affairs investigation are ongoing.

Noble’s mother has filed a wrongful-death claim against the department, local media reported.

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​Aisha Buhari, US clears President’s wife in alleged fraud case


The acting Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General, Lagos, Frank Sellin, said the government has no information to provide on the fraud allegation.

The United States government has said it has no information on the alleged criminal offence committed in the country by Aisha Buhari, the President’s wife.

Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose had in June alleged that Mrs Buhari was wanted in the US » for her role in the $185 million Halliburton scandal.

Responding to a Punch enquiry on the matter, the acting Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate General, Lagos, Frank Sellin, said the government has no information to provide on the fraud allegation.

“Thank you for the inquiry. We have no information to provide on this matter,”

Sellin said.

Fayose, in his reaction to the freezing of his Zenith Bank accounts by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Governor alleged that Buhari’s wife wired $170,000 to Williams Jefferson, a US congressman American who was also indicted in the case.

Fayose had said: “Even the President cannot claim to be an angel. The estate he built in Abuja is known to us. His wife was indicted in the Halliburton scandal. When that American, Jefferson, was being sentenced, the President’s wife was mentioned as having wired $170,000 to Jefferson. Her name was on page 25 of the sentencing of Jefferson. We can serialise the judgment for people to see and read.”

However, a former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Lamorde, has since dismissed Fayose’s claims, saying the Aisha Buhari mentioned in the scandal is not the President’s wife, but someone else entirely.

“I can tell you authoritatively that the Aisha Buhari named in that case is not President Buhari’s wife, It is another Aisha Buhari entirely,” he said.

Lamorde was the director of operations at the EFCC at the time the Halliburton scandal was on. Buhari removed him as the chairman of the anti-graft agency in December 2015.