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Remarks about Women and their bodies emerging from a Presidential Candidate were “cruel, frightening, and it hurts,” says Michelle Obama

Obama did not mention the name Donald Trump during a rousing and highly emotional campaign speech for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire

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First lady Michelle Obama speaks during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Manchester, New Hampshire, Oct. 13, 2016. VOA

October 14, 2016: First lady Michelle Obama said on Thursday that remarks about women and their bodies emerging from one of the presidential candidates were “cruel, frightening, and it hurts.”

Obama did not mention the name Donald Trump during a rousing and highly emotional campaign speech for Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. But she was clearly referring to fresh allegations from four women who say Trump groped and forced kisses on them.

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“This is not normal, This is not politics as usual,” Obama said. “This is disgraceful. It is intolerable. And it doesn’t matter what party you belong to — Democrat, Republican, independent — no woman deserves to be treated this way. None of us deserves this kind of abuse. … This has got to stop right now.”

Young women listen to first lady Michelle Obama speak during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Manchester, N.H., Oct. 13, 2016. VOA
Young women listen to first lady Michelle Obama speak during a campaign rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in Manchester, N.H., Oct. 13, 2016. VOA

The first lady said she was not just concerned about “a powerful individual speaking freely and openly about sexually predatory behaviour” and how that affects young girls and boys. She said the entire world looks toward the United States as a model for women’s rights and education.

Moral authority

“But if we have a president who routinely degrades women, who brags about sexually assaulting women, then how can we maintain our moral authority in the world?” Obama asked. “How can we continue to be a beacon of freedom and justice and human dignity?”

Trump was just as forceful in defending himself against allegations made by women in The New York Times, The Palm Beach (Florida) Post, and PeopleMagazine that he had groped them. He called their stories “totally, absolutely false.”

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“These claims are all fabricated. They’re pure fiction and outright lies,” Trump told supporters Thursday in Florida. “These events never, ever happened, and the people who said them fully understand.”

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. VOA
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the South Florida Fairgrounds and Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., Oct. 13, 2016. VOA

Trump said that he had “substantial evidence to dispute” the claims and that he would make it public at an “appropriate time very soon.”

Trump said Hillary and former President Bill Clinton know “very well” the stories are false. He called the U.S. media a “political special interest” allied with the Clintons in an effort to destroy his bid for the White House.

He demanded that the Times retract its story and threatened to sue the newspaper. An attorney for the Times said it stood by the story and welcomed the chance to meet Trump in court.

Clinton’s response

Hillary Clinton’s only response to the newest Trump allegations was to recommend that people watch Michelle Obama’s speech, saying the first lady made a “compelling and strong case about the stakes in the election.”

Seventy-four year-old Jessica Leeds told the Times that she sat next to Trump on an airline flight more than 30 years ago. She alleged Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt before she fled to another seat in the back of the plane.

“He was like an octopus,” Leeds said. “His hands were everywhere.” She said she saw Trump two years later at a charity event and that he started insulting her.

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Another woman, Rachel Crooks, described her 2005 encounter with Trump, telling the Times that she met him for the first time outside an elevator in his Manhattan building and that he almost immediately started kissing her on the mouth.

Mindy McGillivray talked about her meeting with Trump to The Palm Beach Post, saying he grabbed her rear end backstage after a show at his Mar-a-Lago resort, where she was assisting a photographer.

Supporters of Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, Oct. 11, 2016. VOA
Supporters of Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump recite the Pledge of Allegiance at a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, Oct. 11, 2016. VOA

Reporter’s account

People Magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff talked about interviewing Trump and his then-pregnant wife, Melania, at Mar-a-Lago in 2005 when he took her into a room and “pushed me against the wall and forced his tongue down my throat.”

Stoynoff said Trump told her they were going to have an affair.

McGillivray and Leeds said they both shouted at their television sets during last Sunday’s Trump-Clinton debate when they heard him deny ever forcing himself on women.

Trump was answering a question about a leaked 2005 videotape in which he bragged that he could grope women because he is a “star.” He dismissed the remarks as “locker-room banter,” but he apologized and said he hated what he had said.

The allegations against Trump may have wrecked his presidential hopes.

RealClearPolitics, a political website, said Clinton nationally now had a 6 percentage-point lead over Trump with the election less than a month away.

Many fellow Republicans have seemingly conceded the White House to Clinton and are now focused on maintaining control of Congress. (VOA)

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US to begin Jerusalem Embassy move preparations: Tillerson

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Photo: wikimedia commons

Washington, Dec 7. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has stated that the State Department will “immediately” act on President Donald Trump’s order and start preparations to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Earlier on Wednesday, Trump announced in a televised speech that he officially recognises Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and instructed the State Department to relocate the US embassy to the city, reports Xinhua news agency. (Read: Trump to Announce US Recognition of Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, Move Embassy)

Tillerson, who is on a Europe visit, said in a statement on Wednesday night that the US has consulted with “many friends, partners and allies” about the relocation ahead of Trump’s decision.

Though hailed by Israel, Trump’s announcement immediately drew strong opposition and widespread criticism from Arab and European countries that such a move would inflame tensions and fuel violence in the Middle East.

Tillerson said that the US had taken measures to protect Americans in the region.

“The safety of Americans is the State Department’s highest priority, and in concert with other federal agencies, we’ve implemented robust security plans to protect the safety of Americans in affected regions.”

Trump’s announcement marked a dramatic departure from his predecessors’ foreign policy.

Although the US Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 which required the relocation of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, former Presidents, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, consistently renewed a presidential waiver to delay the relocation out of consideration for national security interests.

The status of Jerusalem, revered by Muslims as the third holiest site in Islam and the holiest site by Jews, lies at the core of the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians.

The international community does not recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and no foreign countries have their embassies in the city.(IANS)

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Sulabh International unveils World’s biggest Toilet Pot model

The NGO gave 95 new household toilets to the residents of the village.

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Sulabh launched biggest pot toilet models
Sulabh International in working towards improving sanitation. Wikimedia Commons

Sulabh International on Sunday launched the “world’s biggest” toilet pot model in Haryana’s Marora village — popularly known as ‘Trump village’ — on the occasion of World Toilet Day.

As per a release by the non-profit, the mega Indian-style pot, made of iron, fibre, wood and plaster of Paris, measuring 20×10 feet, was unveiled to create awareness about the use of toilets in the village dedicated to US President Donald Trump.

Sanitation expert and founder of Sulabh International, Bindeshwar Pathak, also dedicated 95 new household toilets to the residents of the village.

“This large pot replica will be shifted to Delhi’s Sulabh Toilet Museum,” the release quoted Pathak as saying.

He said the idea behind naming a village after Trump was to highlight the issue of sanitation and cleanliness globally.

Puneet Ahluwalia, a member of the ruling Republican Party in the US, said that such an initiative would go a long way to motivate masses towards cleanliness and safe sanitation. (IANS)

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Exposed! Paradise Papers reveal Tax-haven Secrets of the Super-rich! Even Queen Elizabeth II hasn’t been spared!

The publication of this investigation for which more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years comes at a time of growing global income inequality.

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paradise papers
Paradise Papers expose tax haven secrets of ultra-wealthy, including Queen Elizabeth. The details come from a leak of 13.4 million files that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive - and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth. VOA

London, November 6, 2017 : A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy including Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate secretly invest vast amounts of cash in different offshore tax havens, media reports said on Monday.

The details come from a leak of 13.4 million files in the Paradise Papers on Sunday that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive – and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth.

The material which has come from two offshore service providers and the company registries of 19 tax havens was obtained by the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) with 100 other media organisations including the Guardian, the BBC and The New York Times.

Some of the revelations in the Paradise Papers include millions of pounds from Queen Elizabeth II’s private estate that has been invested in a Cayman Islands fund and some of her money that went to a retailer accused of exploiting poor families and vulnerable people.

Paradise Papers detail extensive offshore dealings by US President Donald Trump’s cabinet members advisers and donors including substantial payments from a firm co-owned by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law to the shipping group of the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross.

The leak shows how social media giants Twitter and Facebook received millions in investments that can be traced back to Russian state financial institutions along with aggressive tax avoidance by multinational corporations including Nike and Apple.

It also includes information about a tax-avoiding Cayman Islands trust managed by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s chief wealth manager.

The leak also includes how some of the biggest names in the film and TV industries protect their wealth with an array of offshore schemes and the complex offshore webs used by two Russian billionaires to buy stakes in Arsenal and Everton football clubs.

The disclosures will put pressure on world leaders including Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May who have both pledged to curb aggressive tax avoidance schemes.

The publication of this investigation for which more than 380 journalists have spent a year combing through data that stretches back 70 years comes at a time of growing global income inequality.

Offshore finance is about a place outside of one’s own nation’s regulations to which companies or individuals can reroute money assets or profits to take advantage of lower taxes reports the BBC.

These jurisdictions are known as tax havens to the layman or the more stately offshore financial centres (OFCs) to the industry. They are generally stable secretive and reliable often small islands but not exclusively so and can vary on how rigorously they carry out checks on wrongdoing. (IANS)