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US Election 2016: Clinton Camp Blasts FBI

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  • US Election 2016: Clinton Camp Blasts FBI 

The Clinton campaign has blasted FBI Director James Comey for “blatant double standards” over the new inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s email use.

The comments came after US media reports that Mr Comey had urged against publicly accusing Russia of interfering in the US election, including alleged email hacking.

Mr Comey’s concern about releasing the information was due to the proximity to the election, reports say.

The FBI declined to comment to the BBC.

The statement that Mr Comey reportedly declined to sign off on was released by the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on 7 October.

“The US intelligence community is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organisations… these thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process,” it said.

Mr Comey agreed with the statement but was against making it public before the election, according to US media.

There have been allegations that Russian hackers have targeted the Democrats in an effort to skew the election in favour of Donald Trump.

“It is impossible to view this as anything less than a blatant double standard,” Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook said. He also called on Mr Comey to “immediately explain this incongruence and apply the same standard to Donald Trump’s associates as he has applied to Hillary Clinton’s.”

Mr Comey has faced a fierce backlash for announcing on Friday, just 11 days before the presidential election, that the FBI is investigating new emails that may be linked to its probe into Mrs Clinton’s private email server.

It emerged in March 2015 that Mrs Clinton had been breaking federal rules by operating a private email server while she was secretary of state from 2009-13.

Her lawyers combed through the server and provided the State Department with 30,000 work-related emails, but her campaign deleted another 33,000 messages, saying they were personal in nature.

Mr Comey concluded in July that Mrs Clinton had been “extremely careless” in handling classified information, but there were no grounds for any charges.

But on Friday, he told Congress he had learned of fresh emails which might be “pertinent” to its previous inquiry and renewed the FBI probe.

The latest emails were found in a separate investigation into allegations that former congressman Anthony Weiner sent illicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina. Mr Weiner is married to one of Mrs Clinton’s closest aides, Huma Abedin.

The FBI has reportedly obtained a warrant to search the cache of emails belonging to Ms Abedin, which are believed to have been found on her estranged husband’s laptop.

There are reportedly 650,000 emails to search through on the laptop, but it is unclear who sent or received the emails or what they were about.

On Monday, Mr Trump said the FBI was going to find a “motherlode” of missing emails and he hoped the Democratic candidate’s 33,000 deleted messages could now be recovered.

Mrs Clinton later told a rally she had nothing to hide.

Mr Comey and Attorney General Loretta Lynch have said they are working quickly to sift through the newly discovered emails.

Earlier, a spokesman for President Barack Obama said the president did not suspect Mr Comey of trying to secretly influence the election through his announcement on Friday of the inquiry and the White House would neither defend nor criticise the FBI decision.

Josh Earnest said Mr Comey was “a man of integrity, a man of character, a man of principle and he has a very difficult job”.

Democrats have angrily demanded that the embattled Mr Comey rapidly make public what the agency knows about the new email trove.

On Sunday, Democratic leader in the US Senate Harry Reid accused Mr Comey of violating an act which bars officials from influencing an election by revealing the bureau was investigating emails possibly linked to Mrs Clinton.

BBC

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.

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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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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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