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Clinton Blames Trump, WikiLeaks After New Leaks

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The head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign team John Podesta slammed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Tuesday for helping Republican rival Donald Trump in the bitter White House race, while accusing Moscow of being behind the hack.

The anti-secrecy website has published thousands of emails from John Podesta’s personal Gmail account since Friday, allegedly obtained by Russian hackers.

While there have been no major damaging revelations, the massive leak does lift the veil on Team Clinton’s inner workings.

Podesta described the timing of the leak — released late Friday — as a “curious coincidence”, coming shortly after The Washington Post published a shock video of Donald Trump making lewd boasts about groping women in 2005.

The veteran political aide, who served in the Obama and Bill Clinton administrations, suggested that the release “was their countermove to try to take the public’s attention off the despicable things that Donald Trump said on that video.”

“Whether that was Mr Assange’s decision to try to help Mr Trump or whether there was some coordination involved, I have no way of knowing. I’m just saying, it’s an awfully curious coincidence that it happened virtually as soon as the water temperature was moving to a boil,” Podesta told journalists aboard a campaign plane traveling from Miami to New York.

Padesta added: “We can’t confirm the accuracy of those leaks, we know that the Russians might have passed on doctored documents.”

“I would say that the Russian interference in this election and their apparent attempt to influence it on behalf of Mr Trump should be of utmost concern to all Americans.”

‘Destruction of our country’

President Barack Obama’s administration on Friday formally accused the Russian government of directing cyber attacks on American political organizations to “interfere” with the election, and vowed to respond at an undisclosed time and place.

The assertion against Russia came with relations already frayed over NATO defenses and stalled efforts to end the bloody civil war in Syria.

Podesta also accused longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone of receiving “advance warning” about WikiLeaks’s plan to publish the hacked emails.

He slammed Trump for taking positions “more consistent with Russian foreign policy than US foreign policy”, pointing the Republican nominee’s hostility toward the NATO transatlantic alliance and his indulgence toward Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Meanwhile, Trump pounced on the hack, saying the leaked emails “make more clear than ever just how much is at stake in this election.”

“This election will determine whether we remain a free country, or we become a corrupt Banana Republic controlled by large donors and foreign governments,” he told supporters.

He added: “The election of Hillary Clinton would lead to the destruction of our country.”

The leaked emails show long exchanges between Hillary Clinton advisors on how just how much ideology was needed to satisfy the liberal wing of the Democratic Party on financial issues and on how to phrase a tweet concerning her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.

Podesta said he had received confirmation from the Federal Bureau of Investigation that agents are “investigating the criminal hack of my email.”

AFP

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

NHIS Moves To Recover N10B From Heritage Bank and N11B Trapped In The Federation Account

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NHIS Moves To Recover N10B From Heritage Bank and N11B Trapped In The Federation Account

The National Health Insurance Scheme is making efforts to recover some missing funds estimated at about N27bn, Prof. Mohammed Sambo, the Executive Secretary of the scheme revealed.

While expressing optimism that the NHIS Amendment Bill pending before the National Assembly for passage would change the face of health insurance in the country, he said a review of the NHIS Act would allow the agency to enroll more Nigerians.

Sambo stated these in the progress report of the NHIS which he presented after a management meeting in Kaduna.

Sambo said, “We have about N11bn trapped in the Federation Account since 2014. We have been meeting with the Minister of Finance to see how to get it back. Also, we have been pursuing another N10bn lodged in Heritage Bank and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been helping us to recover it.

“When there was COVID-19, N6bn was taken from the NHIS account without notice. So, we are working on recovering those resources and we have agreed at the level of management that a proportion of the money recovered will be put on strategic investment”.

The NHIS CEO also spoke on the progress made in improving the subscription for the insurance scheme, saying over 10 million Nigerians had now subscribed for it.

According to him, while about 10,269,996 enrolled into the scheme as of last Friday, the NHIS has been able to save money from its cost-saving reforms.

Sambo said, “The population of Nigerians that have enrolled in the health insurance scheme has risen to 10,269,996 from 6 million earlier reported by the National Demographic Health Survey”.

Sambo explained that as part of strategies to increase its subscriber base, NHIS has mapped the entire segments of the Nigerian population, including the Nigerian Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

The NHIS boss said: “We have mapped the population, and we are engaging the management of the NYSC to ensure that they are covered in the framework of the national health insurance scheme. You know that there was a presidential directive in the past that all NYSC members should be covered by the scheme, but due to budgetary constraints, it was not implemented”.

He stated that contrary to insinuation that NHIS has not been able to achieve much in terms of teaching universal health insurance for all in the last 20 years, “the major impediment is the law limiting its utilisation”.

Sambo said the best way to fund health insurance is by pooling resources through mass enrolling in the health insurance scheme at all levels.

The executive secretary said while appreciable progress is being made at the federal level, not much is happening in the state and local government areas in terms of enrolment into state health insurance scheme.

He disclosed that one of the recent decisions taken by the management is to ensure NHIS is fully automated to achieve seamless operations.

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COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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