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U.S. Presidential Debate: What You Missed

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U.S. Presidential Debate
  • U.S. Presidential Debate: What You Missed

Donald J. Trump refused to say on Wednesday night that he would accept the results of the presidential election, rejecting American political norms and growing pressure from his own party by claiming that the political process is extensively rigged against him.

Mr. Trump said he would decide only on Nov. 8 whether to respect the election returns. He accused the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the media of conspiring in Mrs. Clinton’s favor, and brushed off a reminder from Chris Wallace, the debate moderator, that the peaceful transfer of power is “one of the prides of this country.”

Hillary Clinton called Mr. Trump’s answer “horrifying,” and accused him of “talking down our democracy” out of frustration with his flagging campaign.

The exchange was the closest thing to a climactic moment in which Mrs. Clinton aggressively branded Mr. Trump as a dangerous candidate, calling him a “puppet” of Vladimir V. Putin of Russia and urging voters not to entrust him with nuclear weapons.

Mr. Trump’s broad criticism of the democratic system overshadowed his own insistent efforts to put Mrs. Clinton on the defensive over her record at the State Department and her status as a political insider. And he did little to address the multiplying accusations of sexual harassment and assault against him, asserting falsely that those charges had largely been discredited.

Here are the highlights:

• Asked if he would accept the results of the election, Mr. Trump — who has repeatedly predicted a “rigged” system could doom him — refused to commit. “I will look at it at the time,” he said, before suggesting without evidence that wide-scale voter fraud and a media conspiracy could affect the outcome. Mrs. Clinton called these remarks “horrifying.” She noted that Mr. Trump had a long history of claiming that forces were aligned against him, recalling his complaint when he did not receive an Emmy award for his television show, among other gripes. “Should have gotten it,” Mr. Trump said.

• The moderator cited estimates that both candidates’ plans would increase the national debt. Mr. Trump rejected that analysis, saying he could “create tremendous jobs” and construct “an economic machine” to power growth. Mrs. Clinton likewise said she would “not add a penny to the national debt.” Asked next about entitlement spending, Mr. Trump switched to a discussion of the Affordable Care Act, which he said he wanted to repeal. When Mrs. Clinton tweaked her opponent for evading taxes, Mr. Trump interjected: “Such a nasty woman,” he said.

• Mrs. Clinton, speaking about her support for some gun control measures, said she saw “no conflict between saving people’s lives and defending the Second Amendment.” She added that the National Rifle Association was running “millions of dollars of ads against me.” Mr. Trump said he was unsure if Mrs. Clinton had referenced the group’s support for him “in a sarcastic manner,” but that he was “very proud” of it.

• Asked about the role of the Supreme Court, Mrs. Clinton said she expected the court to “represent all of us,” citing the importance of marriage equality and abortion rights. She added that she hoped that “the Senate would do its job and confirm the nominee that President Obama has sent to them.” Mr. Trump, answering the same question, said, “The Supreme Court, that’s what it’s all about,” before suggesting Mrs. Clinton would hope to steer the court away from adherence to the Second Amendment.

• Mrs. Clinton focused attention on Mr. Trump’s past comments that, if abortion were outlawed, there should be “some form of punishment” for the women involved. After Mrs. Clinton was pressed on her support for late-term abortions under certain circumstances — she cited the health of prospective mothers — Mr. Trump said he thought it was “terrible.” “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother,” he said.

• Mr. Trump held forth on his signature issue — immigration — suggesting that the heroin crisis in some pockets of the country owed to insufficient border security. “We have to have strong borders,” he said, adding, “We have some bad hombres.” Mrs. Clinton said that while her immigration plan “of course includes border security,” she did not want to see “the deportation force that Donald has talked about.”

• Mrs. Clinton suggested Mr. Trump was a hypocrite on the issue of immigration, saying he had “used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower.” When the moderator, Chris Wallace, quoted from a paid Clinton speech — citing an excerpt revealed by WikiLeaks in which she said she dreamed of “open trade and open borders” — Mrs. Clinton said she was “talking about energy.”

• Mrs. Clinton said a more pressing issue from the leaked documents was the specter of the Russian government engaging in “espionage against Americans,” suggesting that Russian President Vladimir V. Putin has a “clear favorite in this race.” “That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders,” Mr. Trump said, adding, “I don’t know Putin.” Mrs. Clinton said Mr. Putin would prefer “a puppet as president of the United States.” Mr. Trump shot back, “You’re the puppet.”

• After Mr. Trump said Mr. Putin had “outsmarted and outplayed” Mrs. Clinton on the international stage, Mrs. Clinton moved to cast Mr. Trump as too unstable to be president, saying he had been distressingly cavalier about the use of nuclear weapons. “Wrong,” Mr. Trump interjected, reprising an interruption from the first debate.

• As the discussion turned to the economy, Mrs. Clinton said Mr. Trump’s plans amounted to “trickle-down economics on steroids.” Mr. Trump, after taking credit for more active participation from international trade partners — “all the sudden they’re paying,” he said — suggested he would produce national prosperity by renegotiating trade deals.

• After Mrs. Clinton said President Obama did not get the credit he deserved for improving economic conditions since taking office, she allowed that Americans were “standing, but we’re not yet running.” Mr. Trump, placing blame for many Americans’ financial struggles on trade policy under Bill Clinton, said the country was “stagnant.” Mrs. Clinton accused Mr. Trump of crying “crocodile tears” about the American work force despite using Chinese steel on construction projects.

• Addressing the many accusations of sexual assault against him, Mr. Trump said, “I don’t know those people,” calling the accounts “totally false.” “I didn’t even apologize to my wife, who’s sitting right here, because I didn’t do anything,” he said, accusing Mrs. Clinton of stoking the claims. Mrs. Clinton seized on Mr. Trump’s recent insinuations that he could not have assaulted some of the women because they were not attractive enough. “Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger,” she said. “I don’t think there’s a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”

• When Mr. Trump sought to pivot to a discussion of Mrs. Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton accused him of dodging responsibility for his own actions. “He never apologizes or says he’s sorry for anything,” she said, noting his insults of a Gold Star family, a reporter with a physical disability and a judge with Mexican heritage, among others. “It’s not one thing, this is a pattern,” she said.

• Mr. Trump accused Mrs. Clinton of misdeeds at the Clinton Foundation, asking her to return donations from countries with a record of human rights abuses. Mrs. Clinton said she would be “happy to compare what we do with the Trump Foundation,” recalling the use of Trump Foundation funds to purchase a large portrait of its namesake. “Who does that?” she asked. When Mr. Trump said the foundation’s money was dedicated to charitable giving, Mrs. Clinton noted that his claims were impossible to verify because he had not released his tax returns.

• After Mr. Trump accused Mrs. Clinton of helping to destabilize the Middle East, citing her vote for the Iraq war, among other decisions, Mrs. Clinton reminded voters that Mr. Trump had expressed support for the invasion. “Google, ‘Donald Trump Iraq,’” she said. Mr. Trump repeatedly cut in to say, “Wrong.”

• The candidates sparred over refugee policy, with Mr. Trump predicting security crises if Mrs. Clinton were elected. “This is going to be the great Trojan horse,” Mr. Trump said, discussing Syrian refugees. “Lots of luck, Hillary.” Mrs. Clinton said she would not allow anyone into the country without appropriate vetting but added, “I am not going to slam the door on women and children.”

• Offered a chance to give closing remarks, the candidates hewed closely to their campaign trail messages. Mrs. Clinton spoke about improving the lives of families, saying she hoped Americans would “give me a chance to serve as your president.” Mr. Trump began, “She’s raising the money from the people she wants to control. Doesn’t work that way.” He said he would “make America great,” touching on what he called a “depleted military” and urban conditions where “you get shot walking to the store.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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FG Declares June 12 Public Holiday for Democracy Day Celebration

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The Federal Government has declared Wednesday, June 12, a public holiday in commemoration of this year’s Democracy Day celebration.

The announcement was made in a statement signed by Aishetu Ndayako, the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Interior, on behalf of Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, the Minister of Interior.

The statement urged Nigerians to reflect on the struggles and sacrifices of the nation’s founding fathers and to ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secure, peaceful, and indivisible entity.

“As we mark another Democracy Day in the history of our dear country, let us all reflect on the efforts of our founding fathers and ensure that Nigeria remains a united, secured, peaceful, and indivisible entity,” the statement read.

A Historic Shift

The designation of June 12 as Democracy Day dates back to June 7, 2018, when former President Muhammadu Buhari announced that the day would henceforth be celebrated as Democracy Day.

Prior to this declaration, Democracy Day was observed on May 29, the date marking the inauguration of the Fourth Republic in 1999.

President Buhari’s decision was rooted in the historical significance of June 12, 1993, the day of what is widely regarded as Nigeria’s freest and fairest presidential election.

Despite the election’s annulment by the then-military government, Buhari emphasized that the democratic credentials of the process should be honored.

Honoring a Legacy

To further commemorate the significance of June 12, Buhari posthumously awarded Chief Moshood Abiola, the presumed winner of the annulled 1993 election, with the nation’s highest honor, Grand Commander of the Federal Republic (GCFR).

The statement from the Ministry of Interior also highlighted President Bola Tinubu’s commitment to implementing positive reforms aimed at reviving Nigeria’s economy and enhancing national security.

A Call for Unity

The Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, called on all citizens and friends of Nigeria to appreciate the progress that has been made in the country’s democratic journey and to look forward to a brighter future.

“As we celebrate Democracy Day, we must appreciate the progress that has been made and remain hopeful for a better future for Nigeria’s democracy,” the minister said.

This year’s Democracy Day comes at a crucial time as Nigeria continues to navigate economic challenges and security concerns. The public holiday on June 12 provides an opportunity for Nigerians to reflect on the importance of democracy and the ongoing efforts to strengthen the nation’s democratic institutions.

As the nation prepares to observe the public holiday, there is a sense of anticipation and hope that the values of democracy will continue to guide Nigeria towards a prosperous and harmonious future.

The government’s declaration serves as a reminder of the enduring legacy of June 12 and the importance of upholding democratic principles.

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Guilty on All 34 Counts: Trump Convicted in Hush Money Case

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In a historic and unprecedented legal decision, former President Donald Trump was found guilty on all 34 counts in his “hush money” trial, making him the first former U.S. president to be convicted of a crime.

The verdict was delivered by a jury of 12 New Yorkers on Wednesday, concluding a six-week trial in Manhattan.

The charges against Trump centered around falsifying business records to cover up a $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

The jury found Trump guilty on all counts, concluding that he authorized a scheme to falsify checks and related documents to keep the alleged affair from becoming public knowledge.

Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office presented evidence showing that the conspiracy to cover up the payment began during Trump’s 2016 campaign and continued into his first year in the White House.

They argued that Trump, along with his associates, created false records to mislead voters and conceal the payment.

Trump, who has consistently denied having any sexual encounter with Daniels, responded angrily to the verdict. Speaking to reporters outside the courtroom, he called the trial “a disgrace” and accused the judge of bias.

“This was a rigged trial by a conflicted judge who was corrupt,” Trump stated.

He vowed to continue fighting the verdict, saying, “The real verdict is going to be Nov. 5 by the people, and they know what happened here and everybody knows what happened here. We’ll fight to the end.”

The conviction comes at a critical time for Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president in the 2024 election. Despite the conviction, there is no constitutional barrier preventing him from running for office again.

Legal experts note that the Constitution’s requirements for presidential candidates—being at least 35 years old, a natural-born citizen, and a U.S. resident for 14 years—do not include any disqualification for being a convicted felon.

Judge Juan Merchan has scheduled Trump’s sentencing for July 11. The defense has until June 13 to submit any motions, with the prosecution required to respond by June 27.

Trump’s legal team indicated they would prefer a sentencing date in mid to late July.

Trump’s conviction adds to the already intense political climate as the nation prepares for the 2024 elections. The trial has drawn significant media attention and public scrutiny, reflecting deep divisions within American society.

The trial highlighted broader issues regarding campaign finance and the use of hush money in politics. It also raises questions about the integrity of presidential candidates and the lengths to which they might go to protect their public image.

As the legal and political ramifications of this verdict unfold, Trump’s conviction on all 34 counts marks a significant chapter in U.S. history.

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President Tinubu to Inaugurate Newly Paved Roads to Apapa, Tin Can Ports

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President Bola Tinubu is set to inaugurate the newly constructed paved roads leading to the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos on Saturday.

This development is anticipated to bring significant relief to port users and operators who have endured years of hardship due to the previously dilapidated roads and severe traffic congestion in the area.

The commissioning of these roads marks a major milestone in the government’s efforts to improve infrastructure and boost economic activities around the nation’s busiest ports.

The newly paved roads are expected to enhance the flow of goods and services, reduce operational costs for businesses, and alleviate the chronic traffic bottlenecks that have plagued the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas.

President Tinubu, who is scheduled to arrive in Lagos on Saturday morning, will perform the inauguration as his first assignment of the day.

The ceremony signifies a commitment to addressing the infrastructural challenges that have long hindered the efficiency of Nigeria’s maritime sector.

Mohammed Koko, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), highlighted the importance of this project earlier this year.

He emphasized the NPA’s “zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to the free flow of traffic” and reiterated the agency’s dedication to improving port operations.

“Our zero tolerance for all forms of impediments to free flow of traffic is no fluke,” Koko said, noting that the rehabilitation efforts are aimed at consolidating gains achieved first in Apapa and now extending to Tin Can.

In January 2024, President Tinubu directed the Federal Ministry of Works to urgently and comprehensively repair the access roads to the Lagos Port Complex and Tin-Can Island Port Complex.

The Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, echoed the urgency of this directive, pointing out that the poor condition of the port access roads had significantly increased internal logistics costs for importers and exporters.

“The dilapidated port access roads increase the cost of internal logistics for importers and exporters,” Oyetola noted.

The improved road infrastructure is expected to curb the exodus of businesses from the Apapa and Tin Can Island areas, which had been driven away by the severe logistical challenges.

The restoration of these critical routes is also anticipated to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness in international trade by facilitating smoother and more efficient port operations.

Following the inauguration of the port access roads, President Tinubu is also scheduled to flag off the Lagos to Calabar coastal road project at Victoria Island in Lagos.

Also, he will virtually inaugurate the newly rehabilitated 3rd Mainland Bridge, further underscoring his administration’s commitment to revitalizing Nigeria’s infrastructure.

The series of inaugurations and project launches underscore a broader strategy to enhance connectivity, reduce operational bottlenecks, and stimulate economic growth through improved infrastructure.

The completion of the Apapa and Tin Can Island port roads is a pivotal step in this direction, promising a new era of efficiency and productivity for Nigeria’s maritime sector.

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