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“I like acting like no one has me captured.” Why McCain fenced off Trump even in death

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It’s no longer news that late Senator John McCain does not want incumbent President Donald Trump anywhere near his burial rites.

The deep resentment goes way back and SlamReportsAfrica drives down memory lane to relieve what may have prompted the quarrel that lingered till McCain’s death.

New York Times provides some insight.

When Senator John McCain of Arizona returned to Washington with a fresh scar from brain surgery, it was widely seen as a dramatic effort to help Republicans overturn Obamacare.

President Trump had criticized Mr. McCain in the past and derided his military service, saying in 2015 of the former Vietnam prisoner of war, “I like people who weren’t captured.”

But in late July 2017, Mr. Trump welcomed him back to Washington. “So great that John McCain is coming back to vote. Brave – American hero! Thank you John,” he said.

Little did Mr. Trump know that the Arizona senator would help drive the stake through legislation that sought to realize the Republicans’ seven-year dream of finally dismantling Obamacare, handing the president an embarrassing legislative setback.

He was joined in his vote by two fellow Republicans, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, and 48 Democrats who defeated the slimmed-down repeal bill early Friday.

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

Mr. McCain left his intentions secret until the end, then cast his vote in a dramatic fashion, walking to the middle of the floor, holding his arm out and then giving a thumbs-down.

Audible gasps and muffled applause could be heard on the Senate floor. Outside a crowd of opponents of the Republican plan roared. The Republican senator offered a short explanation of his vote.

McCain leaving the Capitol asked why he voted NO: “I thought it was the right thing to do.”

After the vote, his office released a statement that he still wanted to see a repeal of Obamacare, while saying that the proposed legislation did nothing to offer more affordable health care to Americans. He called for a new legislative effort, with input from Democrats and Republicans.

The turn of events was the latest in the tumultuous relationship between the president and the Arizona senator, who has also been a thorn in Mr. Trump’s side by pushing for an aggressive stance toward Russia and on other foreign policy issues. After Thursday night’s vote, President Trump criticized the three Republicans who voted against the health care bill in a late-night tweet.

“3 Republicans and 48 Democrats let the American people down. As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal. Watch!”

On Twitter, defenders of Obamacare saw Mr. McCain’s vote as sweet retribution for Mr. Trump’s past disparagement of him.

McCain to Trump tonight: “I like acting like no one has me captured.”

The late Senator had taken great pride in the role he played in the course of America’s intervention in Vietnam. Military service, he believed, was the ultimate price to pay in defense of one’s country, and could hardly comprehend why an American leader would make light of it.

By fencing off Trump, McCain may have wished that the incumbent President earned no political capital from his demise.

Musings From Abroad

Swiss firm, ABB, gets $4.3 million fine over bribery case in South Africa

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Judicial authority in Switzerland has fined engineering and technology group ABB, the sum of 4 million Swiss francs ($4.3 million) in connection with a bribery case in South Africa.

According to the country’s Attorney General, the fine on ABB is for “not having taken all necessary and reasonable organisational provisions in order to prevent bribery payments to foreign officials in South Africa”.

The group was found guilty of improper payments and other compliance issues at the Kusile power station after a wide-scale investigation into state corruption concluded in June 2022.

Earlier in the week, ABB and South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) agreed that the company will pay reparations for its involvement in state corruption.

According to a statement by the NPA, the company agreed to pay 2.5 billion rands ($144.51 million) in punitive reparations to South Africa within 60 days from the first day of December.

The reparation is in addition to 1.6 billion rand ($92.48 million)the company paid back to South African state power utility Eskom in 2020.

The Central Europe country has been fingered in lots of corruption cases involving African countries.

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Musings From Abroad

United States: Appeal court rejects President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

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President Joe Biden’s plan to cancel student loan debt has suffered a new setback as a federal appeals court on Wednesday refused to support it.

A three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit in Wednesday’s brief order declined to put Pittman’s ruling on hold while the administration appealed his decision, but the court directed that the appeal be heard on an expedited basis.

The court declined to put on hold a Texas judge’s ruling that said President Biden’s move was unlawful.

President Biden had requested to pause a judge’s Nov. 10 order vacating the $400 billion student debt relief program in a lawsuit pursued by a conservative advocacy group.

President Joe Biden announced plans earlier this year to cancel $10,000 of student loan debt for borrowers who qualify and extend the federal student loan payment pause until the end of the year.

As of the fourth quarter of 2021, the average federal student loan debt balance in the United States was $37,787 while the total average balance (including private loan debt) may be as high as $40,780.

The US Department of Education had already approved requests from 16 million to about 26 million Americans that applied for student loan forgiveness.

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