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    Dispatches from America

    ‘Birther’ Trump bites Cruz

    trump

    NEARLY four years ago when Donald Trump led a bitter “birther” campaign against Barack Obama who was then running for a second term of office, Republicans were his willing cheerleaders. Then, Trump tried to use the issue to launch his presidential campaign. The loquacious billionaire was all over the place, questioning Obama’s real place of birth, and coming up with bizarre theories about the president being of Kenyan origin. Trump even went as far as claiming that the birth certificate Obama put out online was fake. He promised Americans that he had set up a sort of hit-squad to produce Obama’s real birth certificate that will show that he was born in Kenya, a factor that will disqualify him from running for office.

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    US President Barack Obama speaks at the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly September 28, 2015 at the United Nations in New York. AFP PHOTO/DON EMMERT

    New Year in Fort Wayne

    MY family journeyed some 390 miles (about 630 kilometres) in roughly six hours to visit with and welcome 2016 in the company of my long-time friend, Tony Aduro, and his wonderful family in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Tony and I go way back to our days in Nairobi, Kenya, in the 1990s when we served as officers in the Association of Nigerians in Kenya. Fate brought us back together in the United States and we have kept in touch.

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    A composite photograph shows the 14 officially declared candidates for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Photograph: AP

    When democracy becomes an embarrassment

    LIKE everything in life, democracy has its downside, good and cherished as it produces the process that plays the midwife to a government that represents the will of the electorate. I stress the notion of process, for we oftentimes dwell on the outcome (the President, Senator, member of the House of Representatives, Mayor, etc.), not paying adequate attention to the fact that what matters in “democracy” in these examples is actually the process that confers some legitimacy on them as symbols and occupants of power and authority.

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    Pope Francis

    As Pope Francis visits the US

    IT is an unwritten expectation that whoever becomes pope includes the U.S. in his foreign trips early in his papacy. Pope Francis, the Argentine native, will uphold that tradition when he lands in the U.S. today. While here, he will address the United Nations General Assembly and a joint session of the United States Congress, and make other visits to Catholic schools in New York and attend public functions in Philadelphia.

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    Hillary

    Hillary remains the person to beat

    WHEN Republicans last week held their kitchen-table “debate” for candidates who did not make the top ten in the polls according to Fox News that hosted and televised the event, you would have thought the occasion was specifically designated as a bash-Hillary Clinton affair. Later the same night when the top ten candidates virtually traded insults among themselves, their common theme was how to mount a serious attack at Hillary Clinton’s bid for the US presidency.

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