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Trump: ‘Scary and difficult time for young men’ in US

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Media captionTrump: “Somebody could accuse you of something and you’re automatically guilty.”

President Donald Trump has told reporters it is a “difficult” and “scary” time for young men in the US.

Mr Trump’s remarks came as he reiterated his support for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who is battling sexual misconduct claims by several women.

A vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh has been delayed as the FBI investigates the claims, which he denies.

Mr Trump said he believed the Senate would approve the judge.

His appointment would be expected to tilt America’s top court in favour of conservatives for years to come.

What did President Trump say?

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said: “My whole life I’ve heard, ‘you’re innocent until proven guilty’, but now you’re guilty until proven innocent. That’s a very, very difficult standard.

“It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.”

The president said he was waiting to see what would come out of the FBI investigation into his top court pick, and he did not want to “interrupt” anything.

At a rally later in Southaven, Mississippi, Mr Trump mocked last week’s Senate testimony by Prof Christine Blasey Ford, who says Judge Kavanaugh, 53, assaulted her when they were teenagers

The audience laughed as he said: “Thirty-six years ago this happened: I had one beer! Well, you think it was…? Nope! It was one beer.

“Oh, good. How’d you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where was the place? I don’t remember.

“How many years ago was it? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know! I don’t know! What neighbourhood was it in? I don’t know.

“Where’s the house? I don’t know! Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? I don’t know! But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember. And a man’s life is in tatters.”

Mr Trump then criticised those who he accused of manipulating the accusers for political reasons.

“They want to destroy people,” he said. “These are really evil people.”

The crowd chanted: “We want Kavanaugh! We want Kavanaugh!”

The president has come to the defence of young (presumably white, presumably privileged) men, innocent or guilty, who suddenly find their reputations and livelihood threatened a year after the #MeToo whirlwind first swept on to the scene.

In a nation where young black men are incarcerated at a rate five times those of their white counterparts, the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” in criminal proceedings may ring hollow.

For the rest of the nation, however – particularly the wealthy and well-connected – it has been central to the American concept of justice and due process.

Those guarantees are proving to be scant protection now, however, when it’s the court of public opinion, the court of the mass media, the court of American culture at large that are rendering their verdicts.

Judge Kavanaugh’s critics have been quick to point out that his nomination process is more akin to a job interview, where the worst that can happen is he doesn’t get a promotion to the most powerful court in the nation.

But is it just a promotion at play? Judge Kavanaugh’s defenders counter that the accusations against him risk making the man a professional and social pariah.

He has been disavowed by students and faculty of his alma mater, and his Harvard Law School teaching job has been terminated. If his nomination fails, he may still be a judge – but he will be always be the accused judge.

The court of public opinion may not send people to prison, but – as the president notes – its verdicts come with their own sharp bite.

What’s latest with FBI investigation?

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday only senators will see the FBI’s report on its investigation.

Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans want the FBI inquiry over this week.

Meanwhile, a lawyer for Prof Ford said they had yet to be contacted by investigators, five days after the inquiry was launched.

“It’s inconceivable that the FBI could conduct a thorough investigation of Dr Ford’s allegations without interviewing her,” her legal team wrote in a letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

Republicans accuse Democrats of seeking to delay a vote until after the mid-term elections, in the hope they will win control of Congress and derail Judge Kavanaugh’s appointment.

But Democrats say they should not be rushed into a vote and the FBI should be allowed more time to investigate all allegations against the nominee.

What’s the political reaction?

Top judiciary committee Democrat Dianne Feinstein said Friday would be too soon to vote on the nomination, as Republicans are thought to be planning.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who has fiercely championed the nominee, said the president should put Judge Kavanaugh forward again if the Senate fails to confirm him.

Senator Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who helped spur the FBI inquiry, criticised the judge for “sharp and partisan” remarks in his own Senate testimony last week.

“That concerns me,” Mr Flake said at an event in Washington on Tuesday. “We can’t have this on the court.”

It is not clear how Mr Flake will vote, but Republicans narrowly control the Senate by 51-49 and can only afford one defection.

In his recent testimony, Judge Kavanaugh portrayed the allegations against him as a smear plot “on behalf of the Clintons”.

Appearing at the same event as Mr Flake on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton scorned the nominee’s claim.

Judge Kavanaugh denies the claims of three women:

  • Psychology lecturer Prof Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to come forward, says he tried to remove her clothing, pinned her to a bed and covered her mouth at a house party in 1982, when she was 15 and he was 17
  • Deborah Ramirez, a student at Yale at the same time as him, says he exposed himself to her during a college drinking game
  • Julie Swetnick says she went to house parties attended by him in the early 1980s, where she said he and his friends had tried to “spike” girls’ drinks

 

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Breaking News:Yoruba Freedom Fighter, Sunday Igboho Arrested in Cotonou

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Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has been arrested in Cotonou, Benin Republic by security operatives in the West African country.

Igboho was arrested Monday night after fleeing Nigeria to evade arrest by Nigeria’s secret police.

A source privy to his departure from Nigeria said he had perfected plans to secretly escape from Nigeria through Cotonou and was heading to Germany.

He was, however, nabbed by security operatives in the neighboring country.

Speaking with SaharaReporters, a source privy to the incident, said, “Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou. He was arrested about an hour ago.

“He was supposed to travel to Germany through Cotonou this night. He wanted to leave Africa through Cotonou. He was arrested by security operatives in Cotonou.

“They are planning to bring him back to Nigeria.”

Recall that the Department of State Services had declared Igboho wanted after its operatives carried out a bloody midnight raid on his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

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Popular Nigerian Singer, Sound Sultan dies at 44

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Singer, Olanrewaju Fasasi aka Sound Sultan, has died. A statement released by his family says he died on July 11 after a long battle with throat cancer.

The singer is survived by his wife and three children.

 

The statement reads;

“It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Multi-talented veteran singer, rapper, songwriter, Onlanrewaju Fasasi a.k.a Sound Sultan.

Too sad! Singer, Sound Sultan, dies at 44

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#EndSARS: Court strikes out suit against Sam Adeyemi, Davido, Falz, BurnaBoy, Aisha Yesufu and others

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Justice Bello Jawu of a High Court sitting in Abuja has struck out a suit filed by one Kenechukwu Okeke, a human rights activist, against Davido, Aisha Yesufu, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, and 47 other celebrities and activists over their activities during the October 2020 #EndSARS protests.

The judge in a ruling delivered on Friday, July 2, also restrained the Nigeria Police Force and Okeke from taking any steps to prosecute the individuals for their role played during the #EndSARS protest.

Okeke had in November 2020 filed criminal proceedings before a magistrate court in Abuja against the 50 persons over claims they promoted the October 2020 #EndSARS protests.

In the suit, he alleged that the defendants acted in a manner “with intent to assist in the promotion of an unlawful assembly under the guise or composition of #EndSARS

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