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Michelle Obama: Trump put my family at risk

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Michelle Obama: Memoir Becoming, out on Tuesday

Michelle Obama: Memoir Becoming, out on Tuesday

Former US first lady Michelle Obama says she can “never forgive” Donald Trump for questioning her husband’s American citizenship, saying the president and other “birthers” put her family at risk, in her hotly anticipated new memoir.

Obama also says she was surprised that so many American women voted for the “misogynist” Trump over Hillary Clinton, “an exceptionally qualified female candidate,” in the 2016 election.

The book, “Becoming,” hits stores on Tuesday.

Obama, 54, will head out on a multi-city arena tour to promote the memoir, with celebrity friends like Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon tapped to moderate the events.

It is one of the most awaited books about US politics in years, and Obama does not mince words about her husband’s successor — and his involvement in promoting the idea that Barack Obama was born abroad.

“The whole [birther] thing was crazy and mean-spirited, of course, its underlying bigotry and xenophobia hardly concealed,” she writes, in excerpts of the book published by ABC News and The Washington Post.

“But it was also dangerous, deliberately meant to stir up the wingnuts and kooks,” she adds.

“What if someone with an unstable mind loaded a gun and drove to Washington? What if that person went looking for our girls?

“Donald Trump, with his loud and reckless innuendos, was putting my family’s safety at risk. And for this I’d never forgive him.”

Obama also said her body “buzzed with fury” after hearing the “Access Hollywood” tape on which Trump bragged about being able to grab women with impunity.

Trump did not waste time in responding.

“Michelle Obama got paid a lot of money to write a book and they always insist you come up with controversy. I’ll give you some back,” he told reporters at the White House before heading on a trip to France.

“I’ll never forgive him for what he did to our United States military by not funding it properly. (…) What he did to our military made this country unsafe.”

In the book, America’s first black first lady goes beyond politics, digging deep into some personal issues from a miscarriage to using in-vitro fertilisation to conceive her daughters to marriage counselling.

“I felt lost and alone, and I felt like I failed because I didn’t know how common miscarriages were because we don’t talk about them,” Obama told ABC News in an interview.

“We sit in our own pain, thinking that somehow we’re broken.”

Fertility treatments allowed her to conceive daughters Malia, now 20, and Sasha, 17.

“It turns out that even two committed go-getters with a deep love and robust work ethic can’t will themselves into being pregnant,” she writes.

“We had to do IVF,” she told ABC, in excerpts of an interview that will air in full on Sunday.

She revisits the thrill of her romance with Barack, which began when she was his advisor at a Chicago law firm, describing it as a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.”

But she admits the couple on occasion turned to counselling, where they “learned how to talk out” problems.

Upon Trump’s election, the Obamas faded from the spotlight for a time, retreating to their mansion in an upscale area of the US capital and refraining from overtly political statements.

That silence has now passed, with the former president campaigning actively for Democratic candidates in the run-up to the midterm elections and the former first lady speaking at get-out-the-vote rallies.

Michelle Obama will have more opportunity to speak out as her book tour, which begins in her hometown Chicago, rolls on to New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Boston and other cities.

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NABDA Set To Develop Sustainable Value Chain For Gum Arabic-DG

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BY SARAUNIYA G USMAN, ABUJA

The National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) says the agency is poised to use biotechnology tools in developing
a sustainable value chain for improved productivity of gum Arabic in the country.

The acting Director-General of NABDA,Prof. Alex Akpa,said this at the 1st National Gum Arabic Biosciences and Biotechnology Stakeholders Session on Monday in Abuja.

The theme of the session is “Sustainable Exploitation of Gum Arabic for Socio-economic Development of Nigeria’’ which has in attendance, experts from
different fields as genomics, phylogeny, agronomy and related areas.

According to him, the goal of the session is to aggregate the perspectives and research results of experts in the fields on the best approach to carry out
the exploration and exploitation for gum Arabic for socio-economic development.

He said that “potentially, gum Arabic is an export crop that can add value to various sectors of Nigeria’s economy, most especially in the food
industry, biomedicine and afforestation, thereby contributing to national Gross Domestic Products (GDP).

“Gum Arabic is one of the most important crops in the mitigation of climate, hence the priority need for its massive cultivation in strategic areas of the country at the time in our history.

“NABDA is positioned to lead the use of biotechnological tools in developing a sustainable value chain of the crop for improved productivity.

“Specifically, shortening the maturity age of the crop, massive production of the seedling using tissue culture, enhancing the quality of the product
at molecular level, phylogenetic studies, among others, shall be our priorities.’’

Akpa said that the engagement was expected to lead to the development of actionable work plans on the crop to the benefit of the nation at large.

The acting Director, Agricultural Biotechnology Department, NABDA, Dr Nasiru Ibrahim,said that the meeting was to get all those involved in one way or the other in the field to make impactful inputs that would lead to sustainable research and development of the crop.

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Buhari speaks on INEC, elections, as details of meeting with EU observers emerge

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday, in Abuja told the European Union Observer Mission (EOM) to Nigeria’s elections starting in February, that he was impressed by the preparations made by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and was optimistic that the electoral body would deliver on its mandate of a credible poll.

Receiving the EOM, led by the Chief Observer and member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena, at the State House, the President said he had listened earlier in the day, to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, when he briefed the National Council of State.

He said, “I am happy and impressed with the briefing he gave. I hope that the confidence he exuded and the intellect he brought to bear on the Report will be justified at the end of the day.”

The President told the EU delegation that Nigeria had grown its electoral system incrementally, getting better, year after year.

“Having participated in elections four times in the past, I would say that since 2015, technology has helped the credibility of our elections,” he said.

Buhari said that Nigeria with over 250 cultural groups across religions and ethnic groups, with each group canvassing for identity and primacy in the affairs of the nation, “patriotism demands that we identify the nation’s best interest and go with it.”

He stressed that the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, administration had the good sense of identifying the national interest to include security, peace and stability, improved economy, jobs creation and the campaign against corruption, noting that the party was not wrong in 2015, and is not wrong going into the election this year with the same issues in its campaigns.

The President thanked the delegation for taking interest in Nigeria’s elections, and in the affairs of the nation generally.

The EOM team, accompanied by Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head, European Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that the EU had observed every election in Nigeria since 1999, and had come here again for the next one, following an invitation by INEC.

The delegation promised impartiality and neutrality in the monitoring of the elections.

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Housemaid exposed her boss for allegedly trying to use her for ritual

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A housemaid, Mary Mulembe reported her madam a business woman named Bridget Banda and a single mother of one to the police of ritual activities after she overheard her over the phone planning to sacrifice her life and a fellow worker.

Officers later followed up the issue yesterday morning and got the woman arrested after shocking the police with some fetish items found at her residence in Kabulonga area of Lusaka, Zambia. Believed to be used for rituals.

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