Friday September 4th, 2015
Friday September 4th, 2015

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Dispatches from America

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As US college students return to class

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:06 am   /   Comments

*Fashion Entrepreneur, Mai Atafo, addressing UNILAG students during the "Take A Girl Child to Work" initiative organised by South African High Commission in partnership with MultiChoice Nigeria held at MultiChoice Head Office in Lagos.

LAST week, most university students returned to class for the commencement of the new academic year. Usually, the first week of class is a dreaded moment for university administrators at various levels, but most especially the department student advisers.

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Why I’ll vote for Donald Trump

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:30 pm   /   Comments

MR. You-are-fired Donald Trump is a man who has fired the imagination of the American public with his brand of unorthodox political campaigns. Initially written off as a nonentity, Trump has weathered all storms to remain fixed at the top of the Republican Party presidential race list.

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Global Soccer? Keep an eye on the USA

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:22 am   /   Comments

US midfielder Jermaine Jones (R) celebrates with teammates after scoring during a Group G football match between USA and Portugal at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 22, 2014. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN

A FEW years ago, discussions about international soccer would in no meaningful or convincing way include the United States. But, not anymore. Today, only someone who is both blind and deaf or simply unconcerned about what goes on in soccer circles will pretend that the United States is not a factor to watch.

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Hillary remains the person to beat

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:53 am   /   Comments

Hillary

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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Republicans line up for battle

  /   in Dispatches from America 1:20 am   /   Comments

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

THIS week, U.S. Republican Party presidential aspirants will officially flag off their campaign for the White House. They will do so in the first of a series of presidential debates that kick off on Thursday (August 6).

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Obama’s recurring nightmare

  /   in Dispatches from America 1:10 am   /   Comments

US President Barack Obama gestures while giving a speech during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the United Nations Compound in Nairobi on July 25, 2015. The sixth annual summit will highlight investment, innovation and entrepreneurship in sub-Saharan Africa. AFP PHOTO

YOU wouldn’t be off the mark to conclude that President Barack Obama’s greatest nightmare is what to do to preserve his signature law, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), from being overturned by Republican legislators with their majority in Congress; or that he dreads losing momentum in the economic near-miracle he has achieved in America; or how to ensure that a fellow Democrat succeeds him in office. None of these is true.

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As Buhari visits Obama

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:34 am   /   Comments

File: US President Barack Obama speaks with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, July 20, 2015. Obama welcomes Nigeria's freshly elected president after the country's first ever democratic transition. AFP

A DECADES-long friend in Lagos was furious when President Buhari’s visit to the United States popped up in our discussion. She was too peeved to see any positive thing about the state visit.

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Trump trumps, irks Republican Party

  /   in Dispatches from America 1:17 am   /   Comments

trump

DONALD John Trump is rich, a billionaire, and he brags about his immense wealth. If you listen to how he flaunts his wealth and positions himself as the epitome of the American energy, industry and go-get-it mentality, you’ll be forgiven if you mistakenly classify him as the richest man in America, if not the entire world.

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1st 100 days in office

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:42 am   /   Comments

Meal out: Obama said his plastic problems occurred at a restaurant during the U.N. General Assembly last month, which is the same time he visited Estela.

Americans have a variety of political traditions. Each presidential election cycle, as is happening now, some of these traditions are replayed as the system makes its way towards meeting a crucial part of its democratic destiny and objective.

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Now, Mary can marry Maria anywhere in US

  /   in Dispatches from America 8:41 pm   /   Comments

Gay-Marriage

SAME-SEX marriages in the US are not a novelty. What is new is that last week, the U.S. Supreme Court affixed a stamp of legitimacy on such marriages anywhere in the country. Now, Mary can marry Maria, from New York to California, and from Arizona to Montana. In the same vein, James can take his lovely Jeremiah to a marriage registry anywhere in the United States and have a marriage official pronounce both men husband and wife, and they will be so recognized in the eyes of the law.

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US Church massacre: The Apartheid connection

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:43 am   /   Comments

Dylann Roof- 21 year old Charleston church shooter who killed 8 worshippers and the pastor

By Uche Onyebadi No one could have imagined that the ghost of “apartheid” would resurrect and become a factor in discussions about Dylann Roof, the young man who last week picked up his gun and, driven by bone-deep hatred for black people, murdered nine of them in the house of God in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Acting Black, but White

  /   in Dispatches from America, News 2:09 am   /   Comments

RachelDolezal

Acting White is a derogatory verbal weapon in the African American community. The term is used against African Americans who, by their demeanour and actions, tend to mimic white modes of behaviour.

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Can America wage peace?

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:46 am   /   Comments

PANAMA-AMERICAS-SUMMIT CUBA -US-OBAMA-CASTRO

Americans are so used to their country being at war that one of the questions creeping up in the race for the 2016 presidential election is: Can America wage peace?

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America’s war against Fifa

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:04 am   /   Comments

Top left to right: Rafael Esquivel, Jose Maria Marin, Eduardo Li, and Eugenio Figueredo. Bottom left to right: Nicolas Leoz, Jack Warner, Jeffrey Webb, and Julio Rocha. The eight men are among nine football officials indicted on corruption charges the United States Justice department confirmed on May 27, 2015.

When you think about international soccer, the United States of America hardly crosses your mind. If there is a 4th world in global soccer, the U.S. may even be classified in that group.

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Bush on Iraqi war

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:34 am   /   Comments

George Bush; commenced war on Terror

Bush and Iraqi war? This suggestion brings back memories of the first and second U.S. wars in Iraq. Presidents George Herbert Walker Bush and George Walker Bush, the father and son duo of presidents of the United States at different times, launched blistering and expensive wars in Iraq.

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‘Frozen embryo’ battle grips America

  /   in Dispatches from America 3:07 am   /   Comments

Nick and Sofia

This story is about a “frozen embryo” battle in a U.S. law court. It has two main characters.

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Pregnancy rights victory for women

  /   in Dispatches from America 1:32 am   /   Comments

CLABAR-WOMEN

By Uche Onyebadi FROM the outside, you would think that when it comes to all sorts of basic human rights, the United States has it all covered. But, that is not the case. From time to time, some issues arise in the country to expose the underbelly of a country that globally crusades for human

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Lynch escapes Senate lynching

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:17 am   /   Comments

Loretta Elizabeth Lynch

By Uche Onyebadi FOR over five months, dyed-in-the-wool conservatives in the U.S. Senate lay in an ambush for Loretta Elizabeth Lynch, waiting and looking for the best opportunity to legislatively lynch her. Practically all of them had no qualms about scuttling her desire to be the next attorney general of the United States. The issue

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Row over Governor Rauner

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:26 am   /   Comments

Bruce Rauner

YOU may not have heard of a man called Bruce Rauner. Well, there isn’t anything so exceptional about him that he should command international attention. He is the current elected governor of the state of Illinois in the U.S., and he assumed office in January this year. Governor Rauner is a Republican who campaigned on the values of cleaning up the bad governance Illinois has been associated with in past years

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Finally, Hillary Clinton joins the race

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:43 am   /   Comments

Hillary

FOR a long time, Hillary Rodham Clinton stood by the sidelines and let political pundits stretch their imagination about when she will formally declare her intention to run for the U.S. presidency.

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Moral victory for Jonathan; an acclaim for Nigeria

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:22 am   /   Comments

THERE was an undercurrent of you can’t pull it off in a number of newspaper headlines in U.S. press as Nigerians went to the polls to elect their president. Three examples will suffice, two of which were published on March 28. The Washington Post proclaimed that “The Nigerian presidential vote is extended amid glitches and fears of violence.” The Los Angeles Times published a story that was laced with some cynicism. Its intro stated that “After widespread failures of a new electronic voter ID system aimed at preventing ballot-rigging, Nigerian election officials extended voting through Sunday in a tightly contested presidential race that some worry will prove a prelude to violence.” And, an Associated Press story (March 29) informed the world that “Nigerians continue voting Sunday, after technical hitches and despite some extremist violence.”

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Road rage in America

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:49 am   /   Comments

road-rage

Road Rage is an international phenomenon. If you have driven a car for any reasonable length of time, you may have encountered this form of rage on a number of occasions. It all begins when the person controlling the other car drives aggressively, leaving you in some form of danger. You honk your horn, and the other person responds in kind. Then, the altercation ensues.

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Letter to Iran, affront to White House

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:44 am   /   Comments

President Barack Obama of the United States

IN a space of one week, U.S. Republican law makers in Congress acted most disrespectfully to President Barack Obama in particular, and the White House in general. First, it was Speaker John Boehner’s undiplomatic snub when he unilaterally invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress, without the courtesy of informing the White House about the invitation.

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Celebrating ‘Bloody Sunday’ in America

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:02 am   /   Comments

US President Barack Obama (4L), First Lady Michelle Obama (2L), former US President George W. Bush (2R), Laura Bush (3R), and US Representative John Lewis (3L), Democrat of Georgia and one of the original marchers, lead a walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery civil rights marches in Selma, Alabama, March 7, 2015. US President Barack Obama rallied a new generation of Americans to the spirit of the civil rights struggle, warning their march for freedom "is not yet finished." In a forceful speech in Selma, Alabama on the 50th anniversary of the brutal repression of a peaceful protest, America's first black president denounced new attempts to restrict voting rights. AFP PHOTO

BARACK Obama was just about three years old when the police in Selma, Alabama, unleashed unprecedented brutality on a group of “Negroes” marching across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, to assert their rights as human beings and demanded to be treated as full American citizens.

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Politicking with National Security

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:36 am   /   Comments

HOMELAND

THE primary outcome of the 9/11 attack in the U.S. by terrorists affiliated to al-Qaeda is the intensification of measures to keep Americans safe and secure. Since then, a number of security breaches have occurred, but the country has been relentlessly putting other measures in place to guarantee the safety of her citizens. The call from people in charge of keeping America secure is that the task is something that should involve everyone, because when the terrorists strike, they do not discriminate in the choice of their targets.

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Rudy Giuliani gets nasty with Obama

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:40 am   /   Comments

Rudy Giuliani

JUDGING by the energy Republicans deployed to opening up a number of battlefields against President Obama last week, you might have mistaken the entire scenario for an indication that the president had managed to convince Americans to give him a chance to run for a third term in office. They attacked from all angles, reenacting their plans and vituperations that did not deter Americans from voting twice to confirm Obama as their president.

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Suicide among brave hearts

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:07 am   /   Comments

war

YOUR idea of a war veteran might well be that of a fairly old man, an old soldier, retired, with friends and family around him, gleefully telling and re-telling gripping tales about escapades at the battlefield. You might be right. But, that picture of a war veteran might not match a typical, modern war veteran in the United States.

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Journalism as Tribulation

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:56 am   /   Comments

*Some of the newly acquired gunboats to tackle kidnapping, piracy

YOU may not have heard about an American journalist known as Brian Williams. If so, Wikipedia has this brief introduction: “Brian Douglas Williams is an American journalist who is the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news programme of the NBC television network, a position he assumed on December 2, 2004.”

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Power show in Washington D.C.

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:36 am   /   Comments

*Obama

As I began to write this piece, Americans were feverishly expecting the giant clash of football titans in Arizona. It was the 49th SuperBowl competition, the ultimate forum to determine the true champions of American football. Two teams, the Seattle Seahawks (my favourite and defending champions) were about to slug it out with the New England Patriots, a team that has been dogged with controversy over tampering with the footballs they used in the knockout match that earned them a place in the SuperBowl.

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Good governance isn’t by Goodluck

  /   in Dispatches from America 1:06 am   /   Comments

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan greets supporters at a ceremony in Abuja on November 11, 2014. Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on November 11 declared his bid for re-election, vowing to finally defeat Boko Haram whose rise in strength during his first term has threatened the country's sovereignty. The 56-year-old made the announcement to tens of thousands of supporters in the red, white and green of his ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at a carefully orchestrated ceremony including patriotic music, dancing, prayers and speeches. AFP PHOTO

By Uche Onyebadi LAST week, I watched with intense attention as President Obama presented his annual State of the Union address to the joint session of the U.S. Congress. He did so with a sense of accomplishment reserved for seasoned matadors. There he stood on the presidential podium, gleefully reeling off layers of his administration’s

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Like Romney, like Buhari?

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:31 am   /   Comments

MITT Romney has become a spectacle in U.S. politics. Twice he has made a bid for the coveted position of presidency, and twice have voters blocked his route to the White House. After the last attempt, Romney and his wife swore that running for the presidency was no longer on their political agenda. But of late, Romney has been crisscrossing the United States, waving the banner that indicates that he is once more serious about getting into the presidential race. Generally, American presidential elections do not bestow favours on previous losers in the same race. One of the exceptions was Richard Nixon who lost to J.F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential polls, but bounced back to become the 37th president of the United States from 1969 to 1974. He had to bow out in shame over the infamous Watergate scandal which showed that he had subverted the integrity of the presidency.

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2015 – A year for politics in US

  /   in Dispatches from America 12:56 am   /   Comments

*Obama

THERE is no denying the fact that 2014 was a year few Americans will be in a hurry to forget. It was a year in which the infamous Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) raised brutality to higher pedestals with the decapitation of innocent Americans and people of other nationalities in the name of religion and other banalities the group claims to represent.

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