Yul Edochie begs Nigerians to learn from Donald Trump

 

Yul Edochie

Popular actor turned politician, Yul Edochie, a son to veteran actor, Pete Edochie, has said he strongly believes that if Nigerians can come together to fix the country’s problem, then just like President Donald Trump is proud of his country, the United States, someday, Nigerians too can boast of being proud citizens of their own country.

According to Yul, who suddenly dropped his presidential ambition recently after allegedly making due considerations and consultations with concerned parties, Trump’s pride in the United States should be a wake-up call for Nigerians to find a solution to the problems continually crippling the nation’s progress.

“Trump is being proud about his country; it should be a wake call for Africans and Nigerians”, he wrote on his Instagram page.

“Let’s fix our own country. The beautiful countries we want to run to were fixed by men and women who didn’t run away to other countries. Someday we will also be proud about our own country too.”

Why the Turkish lira keeps falling

1-Million-Turkish-Lira-Note

Turkey’s central bank took action Monday to free up cash for banks as the country grapples with a currency crisis sparked by concerns over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s economic policies and a trade and diplomatic dispute with the United States.

The Turkish lira has nosedived over the past week, accelerating a months-long decline, and tumbled another 7 percent on Monday as the central bank’s measures failed to restore market confidence.

Investors are worried about a confluence of factors: the country’s reliance on foreign loans that may stop flowing as interest rates rise in other economies, like the U.S.; Erdogan’s insistence that the central bank not raise interest rates, as most independent analysts say it should; and a spat with the U.S. that has led to sanctions and the fear of greater isolation from longtime allies in the West.

The uncertainty pushed down world stock markets and briefly caused a sharp drop in the currencies of other emerging countries, like South Africa and India, amid concerns that investors might see similar problems in their economies.

The lira hit a record low of 7.23 per dollar late Sunday after Erdogan remained defiant in his economic policies and the standoff against the United States, a NATO ally.

“Turkey is faced with an economic siege,” Erdogan said Monday, in the latest of a series of speeches. “We are taking the necessary steps against these attacks and will continue to do so.”

He has threatened to seek new alliances — a veiled hint at closer ties with Russia — and warned of drastic measures if businesses withdraw foreign currency from banks. Erdogan also ruled out the possibility of higher interest rates, as they can slow economic growth. But independent analysts say higher rates are needed urgently to stabilize the currency and Erdogan’s hard line is one of the reasons investors are worrying.

Erdogan won a second term in office in June under a new system of government that gives him sweeping powers. He has used his new power to put pressure on the central bank to not raise rates. On Monday, the central bank announced a series of measures to “provide all the liquidity the banks need” — but offered no hint of a rate increase.

The moves are meant to grease the financial system, ease worries about trouble at banks and keep them providing loans to people and businesses. In times of high uncertainty, banks tend to shy away from lending to each other. A so-called credit crunch, a lack of daily liquidity, can cause a bank to collapse.

Simon Derrick, chief currency strategist at BNY Mellon, said the central bank’s measures are unlikely to be enough. In the absence of a decisive rate increase, he said, “it is…hard to look at these announcements as being anything more than temporary calming measures, rather than solutions to the problems at hand.”

The lira has now dropped some 45 percent this year. Part of the concerns about Turkey are the same as other emerging markets. As interest rates rise in the U.S., investors pull their money out of countries that had enjoyed strong economic growth but are perceived as somewhat riskier.

Turkey’s situation is among the most precarious among emerging markets because so much of its growth was fueled with debt in foreign currencies. That makes the currency drop so much more painful as it will increase the cost of servicing debt for Turkish companies and banks and could lead to bankruptcies.

So far, the impact on developed economies has been relatively contained. Stocks have fallen modestly in the U.S. and Europe since last week, but analysts do not see a big risk of financial turmoil. A few European banks have business there that could lead to losses, but that is not expected to pose a systemic danger to the region, AP reported.

Among the most important things investors are watching out for is whether Turkey, in an effort to stymie the outflow of capital from the country, puts limits on money flows. Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s finance chief — and Erdogan’s son-in-law — said Sunday that the government had no plans to seize foreign currency deposits or convert deposits to the Turkish lira. He said it had readied an “action plan,” without elaborating.

The country’s economic trouble has been heightened by a dispute with the U.S. that has centered on the continued detention of an American pastor who is on trial for espionage and terror-related charges. The U.S. has responded by slapping financial sanctions on two ministers and later doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Monday that the United States would not achieve aims by exerting pressure and imposing sanctions on Turkey. Addressing a conference in Ankara gathering Turkish ambassadors, he called on Washington to “remain loyal to ties based on traditional friendship and NATO alliance” with Turkey.

Meanwhile, Turkey moved to take legal action against hundreds of social media accounts it accused of provoking the lira’s plunge.

The Interior Ministry said it initiated legal investigations against 346 social media accounts “which posted content provoking the dollar exchange rate.” It did not provide information on the accounts but said they aimed to “manipulate the dollar rate and form negative perceptions” concerning the Turkish economy.

The Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s office announced it had begun investigating “those who had taken actions which threatened economic stability.” The Capital Markets Board of Turkey issued a similar warning to those who spread “lies, false or misleading information, news or analysis.”

China prepares for war with the US

Xi Jinping and Donald Trump

China’s military announced on Sunday that it had dispatched warships to challenge two United States Navy vessels that sailed through waters in the South China Sea that China claims as its own.

The Chinese confronted the American ships and warned them to leave, the Ministry of National Defense said in a statement posted on its website, but other details of the encounter were not immediately clear.

The American vessels — the Higgins, a destroyer, and the Antietam, a cruiser — passed within 12 nautical miles of the Paracel Islands, an archipelago in the northern part of the disputed waters of the South China Sea off the coast of Vietnam.

The chief spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, Senior Col. Wu Qian, said that the United States “gravely violated Chinese sovereignty.”

The high-seas confrontation, while not unprecedented, came as tensions have been rising between the United States and China on a number of fronts, from trade to the on-again-off-again talks with North Korea over its nuclear program.

In recent months, China has appeared more determined to defend its claims in the South China Sea, reinforcing and arming its bases in the Paracel Islands and farther south in the Spratly Islands, even though the various islands, reefs, shoals and other outcroppings are also claimed by Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan and others.

On May 18 China announced that it had for the first time landed its H-6K strategic bomber on an outpost in the Paracels, Woody Island. Earlier in the month the United States also formally protested the deployment of missiles and radar equipment on three artificial islands China has built in the Spratly Islands.

American officials accused Beijing of breaking a promise the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, made in 2015 when he said China did not intend to militarize the disputed territories. In retaliation for the deployment, the Pentagon last week rescinded an invitation for China to participate in a multinational naval exercise this summer near Hawaii.

The two American warships involved on Sunday were carrying out maneuvers known as “freedom of navigation operations.” The operations, which the Obama administration curtailed somewhat but which picked up again under President Trump, are intended to exercise what the United States says are its rights under international law.

The two ships passed within 12 miles of four islands — Tree, Lincoln, Triton and Woody — according to an American defense official.

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Image: Satellite photo of the Paracel Islands

A spokesman for the United States Seventh Fleet, Cmdr. Clay Doss, did not discuss the details of the Chinese challenge but said that in 2017, American warships conducted similar operations in the waters of 22 different countries, including allies of the United States.

The operations “are not about any one country,” he said in a statement, “nor are they about making political statements.”

China, whose claims on the islands in the Paracel and Spratly Islands are not recognized, argues that passage within 12 nautical miles constitutes a violation of the country’s territory under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In April, Chinese ships and aircraft challenged three vessels of the Australian Navy as they traveled to port calls in Vietnam.

“The United States naval vessels Antietam and Higgins entered without Chinese government permission into territorial waters” around the islands, which China calls the Xisha Islands, Colonel Wu said in the statement.

China’s military, he said, would be “firm and unwavering in its determination to strengthen sea and air operational preparedness construction” on the islands.

Israel has a right to defend its territories, the U.S. says

Tel Aviv and Damascus no longer have a peace treaty, but their differences have been a cause for repeated attacks which the United States say, permits both governments, particularly Israel, to defend its rights and territorial integrity.

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Earlier on 10 February, media reports confirmed the Israeli army announced one of its helicopters had downed an Iranian drone and struck Iranian targets in Syria, prompting return fire from the Syrian air defense systems. During the attack, one Israeli pilot was forced to eject from his plane shortly before the F-16 fighter jet came crashing.

However, a pro-Assad military alliance in Syria said in a statement that Israeli claim about Iranian drone entering its aerospace is a fabricated lie, but the IDF, during its retaliatory attacks, targeted a drone base in Syria, which was used in fighting the Daesh terrorist group.

Iran squashed the rumors from Israel, saying the claims on downing an Iranian drone flying over Israel and its involvement in attacking an Israeli jet were “ridiculous.”

In the ensuing war of words, Israel in its turn said it is not interested in escalating the situation in Syria, but stressed that “airstrikes on the territory of this country are of defensive nature.”

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Images the downed Israeli F-16 Fighter Jet

Prior to that incident, exactly on 7 February, an Israeli military aircraft had reportedly launched several missiles at a target located in the Damascus province of Syria.

During one of the latest bombings which took place in January, the Syrian military said it thwarted three Israeli missile attacks on Damascus countryside, and the government warned its Israeli counterpart about the possible risks posed by such attacks.

However, Israel has boldly conducted “provoked” airstrikes in Syria, and according to Netanyahu’s army, the act was forced by an “act of aggression from Iran” after an Iranian drone flew into the disputed Israel-occupied Golan Heights last night.

Pentagon’s spokesman Adrian Rankine-Galloway said, “Israel is our [US] closest security partner in the region and we [US] fully support Israel’s inherent right to defend itself against threats to its territory and its people.”

Adrian emphasized that America was not part of the attack.

“The US Department of Defense did not participate in this military operation,” he said, referring to the Israeli latest attacks on what its military said were Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria, including Syrian air defense systems.

“We share the concerns of many throughout the region that Iran’s destabilizing activities threaten international peace and security,” Adrian continued, “and we seek greater international resolve in countering Iran’s malign activities.”

How Bank of America’s retro banking is paying off

Heritage isn’t just about history, Bank of America would love to admit, having started the first nationally licensed credit card program which was previously referred to as BankAmericard. The innovation attracted rapid and widespread adoption; growth and increased sales followed, and sooner than expected, the program was eventually renamed Visa after gaining global acceptance.

Bank of America has, under the leadership of its founder A. P. Giannini, played an invaluable role in transforming the United States. It not only brought a new meaning to general banking but honorably financed important public/private works around California in its early years.

California has been the nation’s symbol of hope and inspiration thanks to some remarkable deals handled by Bank of America.

Giannini was born in 1870 in San Jose. He started a business career as a 12-year-old working for his stepfather who traded fruits, produce and dairy products. His parents were immigrants.

The young man traveled a lot in California and had special interest in networking. He worked directly with small-scale traders, farmers and peddlers, all of who helped him develop a lifelong respect for the working class.

It wasn’t until 17 October 1904, after resigning from the board of a San Francisco bank over its policy of ignoring working-class customers, that Giannini opened Bank of Italy.

The private bank was later renamed Bank of America in a remodeled saloon.

Giannini had loyal and hardworking employees who went door-to-door, marketing their business and products to workers, immigrants, and others disrespectfully ignored by other banks.

Following its actions during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire which destroyed lives and property, Bank of America gained transformation from a new bank to a revered institution. It swung into action after it realized that people needed immediate assistance so, an outdoor desk [a wooden plant atop two barrels] was assembled to serve as an outpost where loans were offered to people without collateral.

Giannini knew people needed to rebuild although they had no money. He perfectly understood the roles banks could play in touching people’s lives and the man dedicated himself to it. This act endeared him to banking.

Although Nations Bank, a Charlotte-based bank acquired Bank of America in 1998, the name was retained except its headquarters which moved to North Carolina.

Three years after the acquisition, Bank of America ranked as one of the world’s largest corporations with an estimated revenue of nearly $53 billion. A profit of $6.8 billion was also reported.

As Fortune magazine rightly explained, no sooner had Brian Moynihan taken the helm of Bank of America at the start of 2010, than the giant lender suffered great losses. Mostly affected was it mortgage portfolio.

From the start, Moynihan championed a highly conservative strategy of growing with today’s customers instead of courting risky new ones. The idea was to attract more business from the folks who already banked mainly with BofA, and let go the customers who got their mortgage, and deposited their paychecks, at the cross-town competitor.

If revenues grew with the overall economy, costs remained flat, and BofA avoided the steep credit losses that plagued it in the past––specifically by sticking with those reliable customers. Moynihan claimed, it could become a money machine. Essentially, he advocated a return the 1950s style, bedrock banking that had been highly successful prior to the financial crisis, and he said, could rise again.

Judging from the third quarter results that Moynihan announced on October 13, what he calls “responsible growth” is finally succeeding, and could be on the cusp of succeeding in a spectacular fashion. Here are key takeaways from the financials and earnings call.

IT’S ALL ABOUT OPERATING LEVERAGE

Moynihan is a demon on expenses. He’s shrunk the branch network, lowered headcount, and promoted digital banking that’s radically lowered the cost of every day transactions. From Q3 2016 to Q3 2017, total expenses dropped by 2.2% to $13.1 billion. Revenues rose just 1% because of a decline in trading, but because costs fell and expense for bad loans improved, BofA’s net income jumped 12%. That combination of moderate revenue growth, few bad loans, and falling costs provides what Moynihan most prizes, “operating leverage” that propels earnings far faster than revenues.

THE CONSUMER BANK POINTS THE WAY

BofA’s biggest business is consumer banking, comprising its branch network and credit card franchise. Its principal strength is its gigantic, low cost base of deposits, cash primarily sitting in checking accounts. On average, BofA pays just 0.04% on each dollar of those funds; it’s those “sticky,” incredibly cheap balances that attracts its biggest shareholder: Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway. Both the deposit base and the loan portfolio are now growing briskly, generating big operating leverage. In the third quarter, revenues showed year over year growth of 9.2%, and costs dropped 2%, driving pre-tax income almost 14% higher.

Rising interest rates are poised to swell the consumer bank’s profits. BofA reckons that every 1 point increase in short-term rates drives an extra $3.2 billion in pre-tax income. So look for revenues to keep waxing, and for operating leverage to get stronger as Moynihan fulfills his pledge to drive down costs well into next year, then hold the expense line steady thereafter as loans and interest income keep growing.

IT STILL ISN’T FIRST IN CLASS

For the first three quarters of 2017, BofA earned $15.7 billion. On an annualized basis, that $21billion is getting close to the performance that Moynihan predicted in 2011—albeit many years late. But BofA is still trailing its two main rivals, Wells Fargo and JP Morgan Chase. Despite a downtick in Q3, Wells’ quarterly earnings have outpaced BofA’s. And for the first nine months of the year, JP Morgan booked net profits of $20.3 billion 29% more than BofA.

Hence, BofA still has plenty of catching up to do. What’s impressive is how far it’s already come, and the potential of deploying an incredibly low cost deposit base––think of manufacturer with minimal cost-of-goods-sold––in a time of rising loans and rates.

In fact, BofA recently reached a milestone even its fans couldn’t have predicted. Its $271 billion market cap narrowly exceeds that of Wells Fargo, which held a seemingly insurmountable lead just eighteen months ago. Wells championed a go-go sales strategy that backfired, BofA just kept plodding. Moynihan is proving that building an old-fashioned plodder––updated for the digital age––is the way to go.

Man spends a year in U.S. Church to avoid Deportation and finally walks free

A Mexican who crossed the United States borders without proper paperwork in 1997 has finally walked free. He lived in a Philadelphia church for nearly a year to avoid deportation to his country.

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Image shows Garcia and his family at the Philadelphia church.

Javier Flores Garcia left the Arch Street Methodist Church on Wednesday (Oct. 11), and was surrounded by his family members who celebrated the “pardon.”

Garcia had been caught and deported several times but he showed resilience in his desire to live and work in the U.S.

According to an AP report, Garcia was stabbed in 2004 and he co-operated with police to apprehend the culprit. The action granted him eligibility for a special type of visa for people who help police.

Garcia’s attorney says his client has been granted deferred action, which allows him to live and work in the country.

The Mexican took sanctuary in the church last November, when he was to report for deportation. He says he plans to stay in Philadelphia.

“Interestingly he is looking to stay here because he cooperated with police. Go figure. The rules and motivations of the government are a bit confused here,” a commenter wrote about the pardon.

“On one hand is the desire to deport at all costs (because Judge Dredd spake “The Law is the Law”), on the other is the desire to encourage people, even illegal aliens to cooperate in the apprehension of violent criminals.”

Another netizen who raised an objection to the help offered by the church in Philadelphia said, “No church should be a haven against accountability to the law. Churches who knowingly provide support to help people avoid accountability to the law should be held accountable.”

Airliners slammed for exploiting Irma Evacuees with unfair Price Hikes

Some greedy airliners operating in the United States have been criticized for hiking prices as Florida residents seek escape from Category 5 Hurricane Irma.

A reporter with Fox News tweeted that United Airlines ticket has skyrocketed to as much as $6,300 for trips between Miami and Atlanta.

 

John Roberts’ tweet bemoaned the unfair price hike which regrettably comes at a time the world is offering help to affected residents around the location. The cost of those flights in an economy class would have been far less than 50 percent at other times of the year.

While south Florida coast was bracing up for the catastrophe, storm-related looting have been widely reported, and airlines are obviously the top players.

As Mediait reported, desperate Floridans are taking small loans and many car owners are auctioning off their cars to raise the outrageous amount they require to leave on time.

Roberts warned about the exploitation from airliners saying, “Looking to fly out of Hurricane Irma’s path on @United? Be prepared to mortgage the house.” 

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Another tweet from a Twitter user @LeighDow shows Delta Air is also guilty of the reported “looting.” The airliner’s fare shot up from $547 to an ear-tingling $3,200 for a journey of about 16 hours between MIA and PHX.

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Florida governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency, and the mayor of Miami-Dade county has advised residents to leave as soon as possible.

Price hiking during a state of emergency like Hurricane Irma is “technically illegal in Florida,” Mediait argued, adding that airlines are able to work around the law because they are regulated by federal entities — not states.

Having discovered the loopholes, airliners always find ways to exploit such natural disasters to dramatically increase flight costs.

Only Jet Blue and American Air was reported to have maintained minimal prices. According a Yahoo News report,  the former set a max cost of $159 for all flights leaving Florida.

However, the cost of operation and an obvious lack of passengers seem to be a reason behind the outrageous price hikes.

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@AmericanAir now capping pre-tax fares at $99 for direct flights out of Florida, airline tells @ABC – @wtlloyd7

US Military instructed to shoot down Kim Jong Un’s Missiles; Hawaii Test confirms America’s Readiness

The United States military has received President Donald Trump’s backing to shoot down North Korean missiles.

According to a report from The Associated Press (AP), America is ready to destroy any Kim Jong Un’s missile flying within its continent or anywhere around Guam and Hawaii.

The report comes after South Korea speculated another missile launch from Pyongyang on 9 September.

Kim Jong Un’s military detonated a thermonuclear weapon last Sunday, a reckless act which attracted huge criticisms from world leaders who are divided on the use of economic, political or military might to destroy the dictator’s nuclear armament efforts.

A group of selected security officials at the Pentagon reportedly received orders from Mr. Trump in the aftermath of DPRK’s threats last August, sources close to the president’s national security team told Newsmax.

“The threat of firing Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM) over Japan and toward Guam, an important U.S. territory, provoked President Donald Trump,” a source knows about the presidential orders confirmed.

After last weekend’s successful test, the communist regime claimed its newest nuclear device can be attached on advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles to reach any target around the world.

Intelligence experts from South Korea said last week that DPRK was moving an ICBM in an apparent preparation for another test launch over the northern Pacific and possibly Japan.

Another national security source also confirmed to Newsmax that Mr. President has taken into consideration the need to shot down any missile launched over Japan or South Korea.

Late last August, Mr. Trump warned the North that their continued threats of an attack would be counteracted “with fire and fury like the world has never seen.”

The president added that “things will happen to them like they never thought possible.” He also threatened unequivocally that U.S. forces were “locked and loaded.”

Speaking on Kim Jong Un’s recent provocations, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said: “This is a clear exercise of self-defense, and there’s no question we should do it.”

Bolton was in support of a preempted attack from the US, saying that all U.S. allies in the region, including South Korea and Japan, “are in jeopardy.” In his opinion, Trump’s government must take bold steps to protect them under treaty obligations.

If the U.S. military does act on President Trump’s orders to shoot down a missile, this would be achieved through different U.S. anti-ballistic programs under the aegis of the Missile Defense Agency.

Among a list of war programs is the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD), which is said to be 26-year-old and capable of destroying incoming missiles through “hit to kill” interceptors. Its kinetic energy, according to an intelligence expert, explodes the missile on impact.

“It’s called stopping a bullet with a bullet,” the security expert said.

On 29 August, the North made real its threat by launching a missile from Pyongyang. The device was later described as an “ultramodern rocket system” — an intermediate range missile, and the young dictator isn’t done with his experiments yet.

The missile flew over Japanese territory and landed in the Pacific, but world leaders carefully managed Kim’s threatening move.

“There is general consensus in the White House and the Pentagon that North Korea is quite close to the ‘red zone’ and that the U.S. must act soon or lose the upper hand,” a US security official said.

In the aftermath of DPRK’s provocations, the US military carried a test-run by shooting down a ballistic missile off the coast of Hawaii.

 

The technology appears locked and loaded as Mr. President rightly said.

American Teenager tells Cops he bought his Tiger Cub on the Streets of Mexico

An American teenager is facing up to 20 years in prison for smuggling a Bengal tiger into the United States.

The California resident who was arraigned on Thursday told a judge that he bought his ferocious pet on the streets of Tijuana in Mexico, an infamous location where several endangered animals were spotted earlier this year.

Border patrol officials testified that Luis Eudoro Valencia was caught with the animal on Wednesday.

Image taken Aug. 23, 2017 was released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The picture shows an agent holding a male tiger cub which they confiscated at the U.S. border crossing at Otay Mesa southeast of downtown San Diego early Wednesday.

In co-operation with the San Diego Zoo, officials from U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service took custody of the cub and are jointly taking care of it.

Valencia, an American citizen, had carefully hidden the angry cub on the floor of a car traveling from Mexico to California on that day.

Speaking at a court trial, the suspect who lives in Perris, confessed to buying the Bengal tiger for $300.

The unidentified seller was described as someone he met in the Mexican border area with a giant tiger on a leash.

Valencia, an 18-year-old with a driver’s licence, was caught with the dangerous pet during an inspection at San Diego’s Otay Mesa border crossing, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said.

A similar incident occurred earlier in January this year when police in Mexico were informed of a man walking with a full-sized tiger on a dog leash in Tijuana, the location where Valencia bought his cub.

Following the tip-off from residents, Mexican authorities discovered that the man’s four-month-old tiger had been living together with his children at a private home. The animal was seized.

In April, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Mexican officials seized a nine-month-old Bengal tiger in Tijuana after the cub fell from a third-floor terrace onto a neighbor’s patio.

After the seizure, officials said the tiger was in good health despite falling from such height.

Mexican drug lords are notorious for keeping big cats as pets.

However, the government 2015 enactment which prohibited such “luxuries” has seen drug bosses trying to sell off or discard those exotic animals.

All species of tigers are protected under the Endangered Species Act.

Importing an endangered species into the United States requires a permit from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and a declaration filed with the agency.

Prosecutors say Valencia committed a serious offense for lacking both declaration documents and an official permit to own such animals.

He was released on a $10,000 bond and ordered to appear for a preliminary hearing on September 5 at San Diego’s federal court.

US has no intention to stay in Syria – State Department

The US State Department has confirmed in an official statement that it has no ‘interests’ in staying back after crushing Daesh in Syria.

The department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Friday that there’s no intention to stay in the country after ISIS is defeated, denying a report that US forces will remain there for decades.

In her words, “Our overall mission is to defeat [Daesh], whether it’s in Iraq or in Syria. That is our intent – to defeat [Daesh] and not do anything more than that.”

Nauert’s statements at a press briefing was a response to a Syrian Democratic Force (SDF) spokesman who claimed that Donald Trump’s government remain in Syria long after Daesh is gone.

“We want Syria governed by Syrians, not by the United States, not by any other forces, but by Syrians,” she added.

The US has supported the PKK/PYD – considered by Turkey as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organisation along with several other Arab militia groups under the umbrella of the SDF, long vexing Ankara.

The US views the SDF as a “reliable partner” in its fight against Daesh and continues to provide it with arms and equipment against strong objections by Turkey.

Heather Nauert, 47, is an American journalist. She has been the US State Department’s spokesperson since April 2017.

She co-hosted Fox & Friends and Fox & Friends First.

Nauert previously worked with ABC News as a correspondent. She has a master’s degree in Journalism (Columbia University). The mother-of-two is married to Scott Norby, an investment banker who works at Goldman Sachs.

Venezuela Crisis: US instructs its Embassy to get rid of Refugee Families within its Walls

As protests in Venezuela deepens, the United States has ordered families who had taken refuge at its embassy to leave.

The standing order was issued on Thursday.

Venezuela, an oil-rich South American country, has recently witnessed civil unrest ahead of its upcoming votes which political analysts believe will provide a platform to end democracy.

The protests were against President Nicolas Maduro’s political plan to carry out votes to institute an all new powerful Constituent Assembly on Sunday.

This legislative powerhouse will have the power to rewrite Venezuela’s constitution and dissolve any existing legislature controlled by the opposition. Maduro’s plan has also been criticized as the president’s idea aimed at hijacking governmental powers and cementing his long-time hold on it.

In its efforts to curb Maduro’s increasing powers, the United States on Wednesday imposed sanctions against 13 current and former officials for “corruption, undermining democracy, and participating in repression.”

Over five persons have died in the protests.

According to a report from Reuters, Jorge Millan, an opposition member of the parliament, said the plot to mount roadblocks at strategic points across the nation on Friday will not change.

“The Takeover of Venezuela” will serve as the slogan against Maduro’s unpopular leftist government.

“We’re going to keep fighting, we’re not leaving the streets,” Millan told reporters at a press briefing.

The US government warned that sanctions against Venezuela may become necessary if Maduro’s government proceeds with the vote to institute an over-riding legislative body.

Apart from the instructions to all families taking refuse at the US embassy building, the US State Department has ordered all Americans in its payroll to consider a voluntary departure from it location is Caracas.

The Venezuelan government imposed a ban against protests between Friday and Tuesday, and the restriction is expected to spark more violence around the country.

Movements have been restricted as citizens and residents now stay indoors to avoid falling victims, and people are stocking food supplies ahead of an expected scarcity and price hike.

Over 110 persons have died since the crisis started in April; nationwide strikes have also been a recurring event since agitations increased within the country.

However, the citizens are divided in their opinions regarding the sit-at-home method.

“I am not in support of Maduro’s government, and I agree that all hands must be on deck if we are to survive this mess,” said Ramon Alvarez, a 45-year-old barber at his shop in Barinas, but I depend on my work as the only source of livelihood. My family will starve if I join in the protests.”

U.S. Presidential Nominee: ‘I Wouldn’t Have Killed Osama bin Laden.’

Image: Osama bin Laden

A United States presidential aspirant from the Green Party says it wasn’t right that Osama bin Laden was assassinated by the U.S. Navy Seals, adding she would have let him live, if she were the president.

Bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs in Pakistan on May 2, 2011.

As the political campaigns heat up America with Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump at the front seat, Green Party representative Jill Stein says the raid on Osama that was ordered by President Obama and backed by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, has done more harm than good.

“I think assassinations . . . they’re against international law to start with and to that effect, I think I would not have assassinated Osama bin Laden but would have captured him and brought him to trial,” Stein told The Des Moines Register in a weekend interview.

The political aspirant also slammed Clinton and Donald Trump as “warmongers.”

In her opinion, “the 9/11 attacks ‘provided a pretext for the wrong wars, which have only gotten us into more trouble,'” the New York Post reported.

Stein made the statements while campaigning in a front of 150 people at the Iowa state Capitol on Sunday.

Image shows Jill Stein at a political rally.

Muslim Woman In The U.S. Fired From Work For Violating Instructions Against Wearing Hijabs.

In a case of alleged discrimination in the United States, a young Muslim woman was fired from her job at a dental clinic for wearing a hijab because her employer wanted to keep a “neutral environment” in office.

The image portrayed in the picture is for explanatory purposes.

Najaf Khan, who was hired as a dental assistant at Fair Oaks Dental Care in Fairfax County, Virginia, said she was fired from the new job because she wore a Muslim head scarf to work.

As part of her spiritual journey:

“I was really upset. The day that it happened, I was devastated,” Ms. Khan told NBC Washington. She did not wear the hijab for her interview or on the first two days of employment.

On the third day, she chose to wear it because Ms. Khan felt that she would stay at the job and wearing it was part of her spiritual journey.

Employer asked her to take it off:

At work that day, she said the owner of Fair Oaks Dental Care, Dr. Chuck Joo, told her to take off the hijab.

Dr. Joo told her that they wanted to keep a “neutral environment” in office. The employer asked her to remove it because the Islamic headscarf would offend patients and he wanted to keep religion out of the office.

Ms. Khan said Dr. Joo gave her an ultimatum — she could continue wearing the scarf and be fired or work without it.

But she held on to it:

“When I said that I would not compromise my religion for that, he held the door open for me and I walked out,” Ms. Khan said.

Dr. Joo was quoted as saying that open displays of religion are not allowed at his business because he wants to keep it neutral. If his employees want to wear a hat, it must be a surgical hat for sanitary reasons, Dr. Joo said.

Reacting to the case, the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) said, “No employee should face termination because of his or her faith or religious practices. We call on Fair Oaks Dental Care to reinstate the Muslim employee and to offer her reasonable religious accommodation as mandated by law.”

But she may not return to her job:

Ms. Khan said she would likely refuse an offer to return to the dental office.

“I was astonished because he [boss] had been saying I had been doing so well. I received an email Friday morning [July 29] saying how much positive enthusiasm I was bringing into the dental office,” she told Fox News.