- 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.”
China Urges U.N. States Not to Attend Xinjiang Event Next Week
China has urged United Nations member states not to attend an event planned next week by Germany, the United States and Britain on the repression of Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang, according to a note seen by Reuters on Friday.
“It is a politically-motivated event,” China’s U.N. mission wrote in the note, dated Thursday. “We request your mission NOT to participate in this anti-China event.”
China charged that the organizers of the event, which also include several other European states along with Australia and Canada, use “human rights issues as a political tool to interfere in China’s internal affairs like Xinjiang, to create division and turbulence and disrupt China’s development.”
“They are obsessed with provoking confrontation with China,” the note said, adding that “the provocative event can only lead to more confrontation.”
The Chinese mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The ambassadors of the United States, Germany and Britain are due to address the virtual U.N. event on Wednesday, along with Human Rights Watch Executive Director Ken Roth and Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard.
The aim of the event is to “discuss how the U.N. system, member states and civil society can support and advocate for the human rights of members of ethnic Turkic communities in Xinjiang,” according to an invitation.
Western states and rights groups have accused authorities in Xinjiang of detaining and torturing Uyghurs in camps, which the United States has described as genocide. In January, Washington banned the import of cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang over allegations of forced labor.
Beijing denies the accusations and describes the camps as vocational training centers to combat religious extremism.
“Beijing has been trying for years to bully governments into silence but that strategy has failed miserably, as more and states step forward to voice horror and revulsion at China’s crimes against Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslims,” Human Rights Watch U.N. director Louis Charbonneau said on Friday.
Lawmakers Tensed Over Possible Boko Haram Attack On National Assembly
Lawmakers have been notified of a possible attack by Boko Haram insurgents on the National Assembly complex and other public buildings in Abuja, The media gathered.
Several members of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, confirmed to Punch correspondent that they had been notified of the imminent attack by the terrorist group.
One of them, who is from a state in the South-West, said his presence would henceforth be limited on the premises.
“That is the security alert I saw today. I’m already moving out of here. I’ll only be around when there is a major reason to do so. Nowhere is safe in the country anymore,” he said.
Already the notice of the impending attack has been made available to the lawmakers.
The notice, a copy of which our correspondent obtained, was sent to the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, other principal officers and all members of the House.
The ‘security alert’, dated May 4, 2021, was issued by the Chairman of the House Committee on Internal Security, National Assembly, Mr. Usman Shiddi.
It was titled ‘Re: planned insurgent attacks on VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja.’
The alert read, “I refer to the above subject of which a copy of the intelligence report from the Force Intelligence Bureau of the Nigeria Police Force in the National Assembly Complex has been made available to my office.
“The report indicates planned insurgent attacks by some elements of Boko Haram on some VIP locations, government facilities and assets in Abuja, including the National Assembly complex.
“In view of the above intelligence, I have considered it paramount to advise that all members should, henceforth, use the presidential gate for ingress and egress.
“This is to avoid the unforeseen congestions that are sometimes encountered at the main gates since such congestions could easily be the targets for these insurgent elements.
“Security agencies are, however, actively on top of the issue to unravel and to contain the intended menace. Accept the assurances of my highest regards, please.”
Security has been beefed up in and around the complex since Thursday last week.
For the first time, security operatives on that day checked vehicles entering the premises, causing traffic congestion especially at the third (and last) gate, a process that has continued to date.
Before now, the security operatives were only after the identities of drivers and passengers to confirm that they were staff members, legislative aides, journalists, or persons working in private businesses in the complex.
The media correspondent observed that soldiers joined the regular sergeants-at-arms and men of the Nigeria Police Force, Department of State Services, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Federal Road Safety Corps that manned the gates.
Recall that the Governor of Niger State, Sani Bello, had on April 26, 2021, raised the alarm over Boko Haram terrorists taking over a part of the state, hoisting their flag in Kaure village from where they had made incursions into more than 50 villages.
Bello said Abuja was not safe, with Boko Haram’s presence in Kaure – a two-hour journey from the Federal Capital Territory.
He said, “I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger State. Here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here.”
The same day, Gbajabiamila had met with the President, Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, in company with the Majority Leader, Alhassan Ado-Doguwa.
On the next day, the House held a long executive (closed-door) session to discuss the rising spate of insecurity across Nigeria, calling on Buhari to declare a state of emergency on security.
At the secret session that lasted over three hours, the lawmakers unanimously adopted a series of resolutions, one of which was that “the Federal Government should ensure the protection of national infrastructure and assets, particularly the Shiroro and Kainji Dams in Niger State.”
Lagos State Plans To Launch 500 Small New Buses Next Week
The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has promised to introduce 500 small new buses to the state by next week Thursday in a bid to provide alternatives to local motorcycles.
The Governor said this in a speech on Wednesday to mark the opening ceremony of the Lagos Architect Forum. The forum themed, ‘The City of Lagos: The Next Twenty Five Years’ was organised by the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Lagos chapter, at the Expo Hall of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
The 4-day forum which will run till Saturday had in attendance other dignitaries including the Oniru of Iru Land, HRM Oba Abdulwasiu Omogbolahan Lawal; the Lagos State Chairman of the NIA, Arc. David Majekodunmi; SA to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Aramide Adeyoye; and the President-elect of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Arc. Enyi Ben-Eboh.
In his speech, the governor noted the progress made in the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda and his vision for the Lagos master plan to ensure that Lagos becomes ‘Africa’s model megacity’ by 2050. Acknowledging the challenges in the transport sector, the Governor gave assurances on improving the various modes of transport including the roads, waterways and rail lines.
“For the waterways, we’re currently building 16 jetties and terminals. About seven of them should be ready before the end of the year; we have some that are already currently being used.
“All of them will not look as nice as the one at Falomo, but we want all of them to be comfortable. We have a fleet of almost 20 boats now each carrying 50, 60, 40 passengers. We want people to use the waterways which is why we’re investing in them,” Sanwo-Olu said.
On road and rail transport, Sanwo-Olu said the state would soon begin to operate 100 new high-capacity buses, with plans to launch 500 LASTMA small buses by next week Wednesday or Thursday as alternatives to okadas that don’t have enough passenger space. He also promised that one of either the blue or red rail lines will become operational by next year.
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