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Trump flays US intelligence over Russian hacking, briefing delayed

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Incoming U.S. President Donald Trump has expressed dissatisfaction at the delayed briefing by the intelligence agencies on Russia’s involvement in the hacking that might have compromised the U.S. Nov. 8, 2016 presidential election.
 Trump, who took to twitter to express his displeasure, said the delay was “very strange”.
“The ‘Intelligence’ briefing on so-called ‘Russian hacking’ was delayed until Friday, perhaps more time needed to build a case.
“Very strange!” Trump said on Twitter, reports  the correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
The President-elect, who is due to be sworn-in on Jan. 20 as the 45th U.S. President, also said that he would address a press conference on Jan. 11, a day after outgoing President Barack Obama is expected to have delivered his valedictory speech.
“I will be having a general news conference on JANUARY ELEVENTH in N.Y.C. Thank you,” the President-in-waiting said.
NAN recalls that Trump had said on Sunday that he knew “things that other people don’t know” about the Russian hacking.
Fox News on Tuesday also aired an interview with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks who denied that the Russians were the source of the avalanche of emails stolen from the computers of top US Democrats in the run up to the Nov.  8 election.
Trump had promised that he would release his own information “on Tuesday or Wednesday” this week.
Speaking outside his Palm Beach, Florida club, Mar-a-Lago during the New Year party, Trump who expressed lingering skepticism about intelligence assessments of Russian interference in the election, cast his declarations of doubt as an effort to seek the truth.
“I just want them to be sure because it’s a pretty serious charge,” Trump said of the intelligence agencies, according to reports.
“If you look at the weapons of mass destruction, that was a disaster, and they were wrong,” he added, referring to intelligence cited by the George W. Bush administration to support its march to war in 2003.
“So I want them to be sure. I think it’s unfair if they don’t know.
“And I know a lot about hacking. And hacking is a very hard thing to prove. So it could be somebody else. And I also know things that other people don’t know, and so they cannot be sure of the situation.”
When asked what he knew that others did not, Trump demurred, saying only: “You’ll find out on Tuesday or Wednesday”.
The incoming president, who does not use email, also advised people to avoid computers when dealing with delicate material.
“It’s very important, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way, because I’ll tell you what, no computer is safe,” Trump warned.
“I don’t care what they say, no computer is safe.
“I have a boy who’s 10 years old; he can do anything with a computer. You want something to really go without detection, write it out and have it sent by courier.”
On Thursday  Obama ordered a set of retaliatory measures against Russia over the election hacking, including expelling 35 Russian diplomats and shuttingredients down of two estates that it claimed had been used for intelligence-gathering.
The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, declined to respond in kind to the measures, a gesture that Trump appeared to view favourably.
The president-elect praised Putin’s action on Twitter and criticised media coverage that had been harsh about Russia.
Trump, who has sought a warmer relationship with Putin, has repeatedly scoffed at the notion that Russia was behind the hacking, a stance at odds with members of his own party.
At one point, the incoming president declared that the hacking might  have been the work of “someone sitting on their bed weighing 400 pounds”.

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UN wants Africa to prepare for effect of climate change

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UN wants Africa to prepare for effect of climate Change

UN wants Africa to prepare for effect of climate Change


The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has called on international community to evolve measures to prepare the African continent for the ravages of climate change.

Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, Director of UNDP’s Africa Bureau, who made the call at the 24th Conference of Parties (COP24) climate conference, in Katowice, Poland, said preparing Africa for the reality of climate change “cannot be an afterthought.”

Eziakonwa said: “Taking reactive approaches to food security and disaster recovery costs the people of Africa billions of dollars in lost GDP, and syphons off government resources that should be dedicated to education, social programmes, healthcare, business development and employment”.

According to a new report launched by the UNDP, Africa is at a “tipping point” as global warming increases, and urgent action needs to be taken across the continent now to mitigate risks and safeguard a decade of social and economic gains.

For two weeks, the COP24 has brought together thousands of climate action decision-makers, advocates and activists, with one key objective: adopting global guidelines for the 197 parties of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

At the Paris Agreement, countries committed to limiting global warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade – and as close as possible to 1.5 degrees centigrade – above pre-industrial levels.

Ahunna noted that in spite of major structural inequalities, nations across the continent have achieved “impressive economic, political and social growth in recent decades.”

She, however, argued that “climate change, droughts, floods, changing rainfall patterns and conflict have the potential to unravel efforts to reduce hunger and achieve the goals outlined in the Paris Agreement, and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

The UNDP study shows that, should the world fail to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees centigrade, families will find it hard to feed themselves, and the risk of famine and increased poverty will rise along with temperatures.

Higher levels of poverty would further limit the capacity of communities to manage climate-related risks, according to the report.

The report warned that failure to mitigate climate-related risks could translate into more risky migration patterns, serious epidemics such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak across West Africa, and greater political instability.

Drawing on years of data from projects geared to enabling communities to adapt to a changing climate and build resilience, the report shows that as emissions continue going up, support for climate adaptation initiatives must be increased urgently and accelerated across the continent, especially across the 34 African least developed countries.

However, measures to enable communities to adapt to the changing climate is a costly matter that would require creative financial mechanisms and substantial engagement with the private sector to meet.

It would also require developed nations to make good on their 2015 Paris Agreement commitments to dedicate $100 billion annually to supporting climate action in developing nations.

The report analyses a number of noteworthy successes in climate change adaptation in Africa over the past decade, including projects aimed at improving food security in Benin, Mali, Niger and Sudan.

It also analysed supporting governments in having improved climate information and early warning systems to save lives from fast-acting storms; and empowering women to be effective climate action champions.

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Ukraine demands release of seized ships, crew from Russia

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Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Valerii Aleksandruk

Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Valerii Aleksandruk

The Ukrainian authority has protested Russian’s armed attack and capturing of its navy ships “Berdyansk” Nikopol and the tug boat `Yana Kapu’ as well as injuring of the crew members.

Ukrainian Ambassador to Nigeria Dr Valerii Aleksandruk who said this in a statement in Abuja said the country demanded for immediate release of the seized vessels and crew members.

Aleksandruk said Russian forces opened fire on a group of Ukraine ships in the Black Sea off the coast of the Crimean Peninsula late on Nov. 25th.

The envoy said the country also protested striking of two warships and wounding of two crew members before seizing the vessels along with a Ukrainian Navy tugboat.

He said that the attack on Ukrainian ships was carried out during a sea crossing from the port of Odessa to the port of Mariupol.

“The attack, in accordance with the provisions of all effective multilateral and bilateral international treaties and navigation rules, is nothing but another act of armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine

“It is against Article 2 of the Charter of the United Nations and the provisions of UN General Assembly Resolution 29/3314 of 14 December 1974 on the definition of aggression.

“Russia has de facto expanded its military aggression against Ukraine to the sea.

“Kremlin’s criminal regime has today once again demonstrated that it won’t stop its aggressive policy and is ready for any acts of aggression against the Ukrainian state,” he said.

According to him, Ukraine also requested for urgent medical assistance to the wounded and to ensure their immediate safe return home.

“Ukraine also demands to return the captured navy ships and to compensate for the damage caused.

“It is Kremlin’s regime who bears full responsibility for further aggravation of the situation in the Azov and Black Seas and for undermining the peaceful settlement of the Russian-Ukrainian armed conflict.

“Ukraine urges its allies and partners to take all necessary measures to deter the aggressor, by applying new and strengthening existing sanctions

“Ukraine also urges its allies to provide military assistance to protect its territorial integrity and sovereignty within the internationally recognised borders,” he said

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CNN sues White House for barring reporter

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CNN sued Donald Trump’s administration on Tuesday, alleging the White House violated journalist Jim Acosta’s rights under the constitution by revoking his press credentials following a heated exchange with the US president.

“The wrongful revocation of these credentials violates CNN and Acosta’s First Amendment rights of freedom of the press, and their Fifth Amendment rights to due process,” the news network said in a statement announcing the lawsuit. “We have asked this court for an immediate restraining order requiring the pass be returned to Jim, and will seek permanent relief as part of this process.”

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