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Musings From Abroad

Everybody would be very poor because of me if….Trump



US President Donald Trump has responded to speculation that he might be impeached by warning that any such move would damage the economy.

In an interview with Fox & Friends, he said the market would crash and “everybody would be very poor”.

He was speaking after Michael Cohen, his ex-lawyer, pleaded guilty to violating election laws and said he had been directed to do so by Trump.

Mr Trump has rarely spoken about the prospect of being impeached.

Correspondents say it is unlikely Trump’s opponents would try to impeach him before November’s mid-term elections.

“I don’t know how you can impeach somebody who’s done a great job,” Trump told Fox and Friends.

“I tell you what, if I ever got impeached, I think the market would crash, I think everybody would be very poor.”

Pointing to his head, he said: “Because without this thinking, you would see numbers that you wouldn’t believe in reverse.”

Cohen says he handled hush money payments to two women during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Read Also: US police say they found 11 starving children ‘looking like Third World refugees’

The two women, thought to be porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal, both claimed they had affairs with Trump.

Under oath, Cohen said he had paid the money “at the direction” of Mr Trump, “for the principal purpose of influencing the election”.

However, Trump insisted the two payments had not broken election campaign rules.

He said that the payments had come from him personally, not from the campaign, but he had not known about them until “later on”.

In July, Cohen released audio tapes of him and Trump allegedly discussing one of the payments before the election.

The president also accused Cohen of making up stories to receive a lighter sentence.

He added: “And by the way, he pled to two counts that aren’t a crime, which nobody understands.

The hush money payments were not reported to the Federal Election Commission during the campaign.

The question is whether the payments were made to protect Trump’s personal reputation or to protect his image as a presidential candidate.

Under US election rules, any payments made with the aim of influencing a vote must be reported.

Musings From Abroad

British PM, Sunak meets Rwanda’s Kagame to ‘correct’ controversial migrant deal 



British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak is sticking to his words to keep pressing for a migrant deal with Rwanda despite recent major legal setbacks for the arrangement. He met Rwandan President, Paul Kagame on Friday for a discussion on the subject.

Sunak is currently finalising his response to a block on the policy in the Supreme Court in London. His government has maintained that it is working on a new treaty with Rwanda, as well as a new domestic legislation, following a verdict that declared the policy unlawful last month.

When reporters questioned Sunak about his conversation with Kagame during the COP28 climate conference in Dubai, he replied that while he was “confident” in his government’s proposals, the two leaders wanted to ensure that the plan’s details were correct.

“We’re finalising the arrangements we have with them. It was good to check in with him on that and reiterate… our commitment to making the partnership work,” Sunak said at a press conference.

“Paul and I have forged a very strong relationship over this issue. He’s keen to work very constructively with us.”

Last year, Britain announced its plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda at 169,000 pounds ($215,035) per person. The cost of deporting each person to Rwanda would include an average payment to Rwanda of 105,000 pounds for holding each asylum seeker, 22,000 pounds for travel and accompanying, and 18,000 pounds for processing and legal charges.

Concerns over illegal migrants from Africa and the Middle East have been on the front burner in Europe in recent years. As of June 2023, a record 45,000 people had crossed the English Channel in small boats. Like Britain, Italy is also facing growing pressure from migrants crossing the Mediterranean, with a surge in arrivals this year compared to 2022. Almost 150,000 people have landed in Italy so far in 2023, against around 10,200 in the same period last year.

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Musings From Abroad

Zambia’s Hichilema meets Macron, Xuexiang at COP28



Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema engaged in bilateral discussions with President Emmanuel Macron of France and Ding Xuexiang, the Executive Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, on the sidelines of the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28).

Hichilema commended Macron for his country’s continued support and underscored the importance of nurturing the growing ties between the two nations.

“We appreciate the support that France has provided to Zambia over the years, and we look forward to strengthening our partnership for the benefit of our countries and peoples,” President Hichilema stated.

In a separate meeting with Chinese Vice Premier, Ding Xuexiang, Hichilema acknowledged and appreciated President Xi Jinping’s warm reception during his recent state visit to China.

The leaders stressed through the discussions how Zambia and China had it had an “all-weather friendship” since Zambia gained its independence in 1964. The conversations also revolved around developing this friendship even more and looking into new opportunities for collaboration.

“We are committed to building on the solid foundation of our bilateral relations with China for the benefit of both our nations. The talks with Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang were productive and reflect our mutual desire for continued growth and collaboration,” President Hichilema stated.

Hichilema’s meeting with Macron and Xuexiang is symbolic, as his country remains at the centre of a debt-restructuring effort, with France and China being co-chairs of its creditor committee. Meanwhile, it is not clear if discussions between the leaders included the debt situation.

In terms of debt restructuring, Zambia has had a busy year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) authorised a staff-level agreement with the country on the second review of its Extended Credit Facility last month, subject to IMF board approval, following the rejection of its bond deal with foreign holders by its official creditors. This opened up an additional $184 million.

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