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The Obamas Meet The Trumps

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  • The Obamas Meet The Trumps

The Obamas and the Trumps met in Washington on Thursday, just a day after Trump’s unexpected defeat of Hillary Clinton. At the 90 minute meeting between  President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump in the White House Oval Office, with no aides present, both leaders set aside the rancour that dominated the campaign season.

Obama, who vigorously campaigned for his fellow Democrat to succeed him, had repeatedly called Trump unfit for the president’s office, while the Republican candidate had often denounced Obama’s tenure as a “disaster.”

Michelle Obama also met privately with Trump’s wife, Melania, in the White House residence.

 Michelle Obama, who herself was a caustic critic of Trump during several campaign appearances for Clinton, showed Melania Trump the famous Truman Balcony as well as the state floor of the White House. The two women discussed raising children at the White House, Earnest said.

In separate post-election remarks on Wednesday Obama and Trump appeared to seek to help the country heal from a bitterly divisive campaign season, and that tone continued into the White House meeting on Thursday.

Seated next to Obama after their talks, Trump told reporters: “We really discussed a lot of situations, some wonderful, some difficulties.” He said Obama explained “some of the great things that have been achieved,” but did not elaborate.

“It was a great honour being with you and I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future,” Trump said, with a tone of deference.

After Trump left the White House and travelled to Capitol Hill for meetings with Republican congressional leaders, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, “The meeting might have been at least a little less awkward than some might have expected.”

Obama said he and Trump, a real estate magnate who has never held political office, discussed a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and details related to the transition period.

Obama offered assistance to the New York businessman over the next couple months, and urged the country to unite to face its challenges.

“We now are going to want to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds,” Obama said at the end of the meeting.

Their relaxed, cordial demeanour in front of the cameras was in stark contrast to the months of harsh rhetoric during the campaign.

Trump used Obama as a punching bag during his campaign speeches, repeatedly attacking the president’s policies from healthcare to an Iran nuclear deal. Both Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attacked Trump as temperamentally unfit for the White House and dangerously unprepared to have access to U.S. nuclear codes.

Both Obama and Trump sought to change the bitter election tone right after Trump’s unexpected election victory.

On Wednesday, Obama said that despite his major differences with Trump, he would follow the lead of former Republican President George W. Bush in 2008 and ensure a smooth handover to Trump.

Asked at a White House briefing on Thursday whether the meeting had eased any of the concerns about Trump that Obama expressed during the campaign, Earnest said, “The president was never in a position to choose a successor. The American people chose his successor.”

In a possible early pivot by Trump, controversial campaign proposals, including his call to ban Muslims from entering the United States, have been removed from the president-elect’s campaign website.

It was not clear whether this meant he no longer intended to pursue such proposals.

As the current president and next president huddled, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough was seen walking near the Rose Garden with Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who like Trump is also a real estate developer, and other aides.

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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