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Kenyan Opposition Calls for Strike Over Election Standoff

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  • Kenyan Opposition Calls for Strike Over Election Standoff

Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga told his supporters not to report for work on Monday to protest the East African nation’s disputed election in which President Uhuru Kenyatta won a second term.

Odinga, the presidential candidate for a five-party coalition known as the National Super Alliance, said he’d make an announcement on Tuesday about his next move.

“Tomorrow, there’s no going to work,” Odinga told chanting supporters Sunday in Kibera, a poor neighborhood in the capital, Nairobi. James Orengo, an opposition senator, said at the rally that the alliance is considering calling for mass action, without elaborating.

Kenyatta was declared the winner late Friday of the Aug. 8 vote that the national electoral commission said was free and fair. Nasa, as the opposition coalition is known, said the commission’s computer system was hacked to rig the results and warned that its supporters would rise up in response.

Kenya’s police denied the opposition’s claim that 100 people were killed in post-election violence and also rejected a Kenya National Commission on Human Rights’ statement saying 24 people died. The police said six “criminals” had been shot dead in the past two days, while officers are investigating two other killings by unknown perpetrators. The police are prepared to “protect lives and property from violent rioters,” it said.

Election Violence

Kenyan elections have routinely been marred by violence since the country became a multiparty democracy in 1991. At least 1,100 people died in the wake of a disputed 2007 vote that Odinga lost to Mwai Kibaki, and about 350,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

Protracted turmoil could derail an economy that’s grown an average of 5.7 percent a year since Kenyatta took power in 2013, and threaten its reputation as a top African investment and tourist destination. The country is the world’s largest exporter of black tea and a regional hub for companies including Google Inc. and General Electric Co.

Presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu in a statement on Sunday said Kenya’s police won’t tolerate breaches of the peace and it was time to “get back to work and move Kenya forward.”

Protesters spilled onto the streets of several of Nairobi’s slums, including the southwestern areas of Kibera and Kawangware, soon after the election outcome was announced, setting dwellings alight and looting shops, as police used teargas to disperse them. There were also protests in Kisumu, an opposition stronghold.

Calm, Peaceful

Fred Matiang’i, the acting interior secretary, said on Saturday that apart from the flareups in Kibera and Kisumu, the country remained calm and peaceful.

Three civil-rights groups contradicted Matiang’i, saying they had received reports that excessive force had been used to break up post-election protests in at least 12 areas.

The security forces’ actions have “led to the loss of lives and destruction of property,” the Coalition for Constitution Implementation Kenya, the Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders Kenya and Bunge la Mwananchi said by email. “We call on the international community and other stakeholders to intervene to stop the situation from deteriorating further and to stem further injuries and loss of lives.”

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said in a statement it had established that 17 people died in Nairobi in post-election violence, and seven more had been killed in other towns. Medecins Sans Frontieres, a medical charity, said on its Twitter account its teams across Kenya treated 64 injured people, 11 of them with gunshot wounds.

Kenyatta, 55, won about 54 percent of the vote, while Odinga, 72, garnered almost 45 percent, tallies released by the Independent Electoral & Boundaries Commission showed. The opposition said the commission flouted counting procedures and failed to provide documents to back up its totals.

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

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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