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Trump threatened to primary GOP lawmakers who favor the bipartisan infrastructure plan

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17 Republicans just voted to advance it, including Mitch McConnell.

  • President Trump threatened primary challengers to any Republicans who support the bipartisan infrastructure deal.
  • The former president has railed against negotiations in recent days, warning Republicans to abandon the talks.
  • But in a Wednesday vote, 17 Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to advance the $1 trillion package in the Senate.

Former President Donald Trump left no words unspoken in his most direct attempt yet to tank President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure deal.

The GOP frontman threatened “lots of primaries” ahead for any Republican lawmakers who cooperate with Democrats to get the bipartisan deal passed.

His statement was released after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced he would vote to advance the measure and preceded the procedural vote in the Senate on Wednesday. Seventeen Republicans joined all 50 Democrats to advance the bipartisan legislation, in a major test for the bill.

The vote came hours after a group of 10 Republican and Democratic negotiators announced they struck a deal with the White House on infrastructure, which included a new agreement of $550 billion in spending and $30 billion in cuts.

Trump, who tried throughout his presidency to pass his own infrastructure bill, has railed against negotiations in recent days, telling Republican lawmakers to skip the talks – not, it seems, because of any specific issues with the content of the bill, but because passage of the bill would be “a victory for the Biden administration and Democrats and…heavily used in the 2022 election.”

“Don’t do it Republicans – Patriots will never forget!” he wrote. “If this deal happens, lots of primaries will be coming your way.”

The threat comes as the former president has already endorsed primary challengers to try and unseat Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio.

Despite his defeat at the ballot box in November 2020, Trump maintains massive power in the Republican party and has been making a show of handing out endorsements – or rejection. Most recently, however, on Tuesday, a Trump-backed candidate in Texas lost in a congressional special election.

Wednesday’s vote to advance the bill in the Senate precedes a final vote on the legislation coming sometime in the next week or two. Democrats are also preparing a reconciliation package that would pass the Senate without Republican support.

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Court Jails Footballer, 1 Other Over Cybercrime

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Justice Sikiru Oyinloye of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin has sentenced one-year imprisonment on one of the players of Ibrafix Football Club, Ilorin, Bamidele Saoban, for offences bordering on love scam.

Bamidele, 25, was jailed alongside one Adaraloye Ezekiel for similar offence.

The duo were prosecuted on separate charges by the Ilorin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The defendants pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them.

Following their pleas, counsel to the EFCC, Rashidat Alao, led witnesses in evidence to review the facts of the cases.

The witnesses narrated how actionable intelligence led to the arrest of Bamidele and Adaraloye, telling the court that the duo specialised in “Yahoo-Yahoo business”.

Alao urged the court to convict the defendants since there was no contrary evidence to disprove the prosecution’s claims against them.

Delivering his judgment, Justice Oyinloye said the court was convinced that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt .

The judge sentenced Bamidele to a term of one year imprisonment with option of fine of N150,000 and Adaraloye to six months Imprisonment with option of fine of N250,000.

Culled from the Leadership News Nigeria

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Wife of Abia Governor visits lady allegedly raped by Policemen, assures of justice

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The Wife of the Governor of Abia State, Mrs Nkechi Ikpeazu has visited the student of Abia State Polytechnic, Aba, whose alleged rape by policemen attached to the Rapid Response Squad in Aba sparked off protests by students of the institution today and assured that her Foundation, Vicar Hope, will foot her medical bills as well as ensure justice is done in the matter.

Mrs Ikpeazu who had earlier called and spoken with the victim, was represented by Dr Suzzy Nwachukwu, a medical personnel attached to the Office of the Wife of the Governor, in the visit to the medical facility where the victim was receiving treatment in Aba, condemned the action of perpetrators of the heinous crime and vowed to ensure that the matter was not swept under the carpet.

Mrs Ikpeazu further directed that the lady be moved to another medical facility within the state for better care and warned those who are still allegedly threatening her to prepare for the full weight of the law.

Meanwhile the state government has called on the commissioner of police, Mrs Janet Agbede to expeditiously investigate allegations of harassment of students and other citizens by security agents in the state. This was disclosed to newsmen by the Commisisoner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, who informed that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed the police authorities to ensure full investigation and prosecution of officers who are engaged in harassing law abiding citizens to serve as deterrent to others.

According to him, Governor Ikpeazu is actively monitoring the situation with the alleged harassment and rape of Abiapoly students with a view to ensuring the protection of all law abiding citizens.

Culled from the Sun News Nigeria

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North Korea Says It Successfully Tested Long-Range Missiles

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea says it successfully test fired what it described as newly developed long-range cruise missiles over the weekend, its first known testing activity in months, underscoring how it continues to expand its military capabilities amid a stalemate in nuclear negotiations with the United States.

The Korean Central News Agency said Monday the cruise missiles, which had been under development for two years, successfully hit targets 1,500 kilometers (932 miles) away during flight tests on Saturday and Sunday.

The North hailed its new missiles as a “strategic weapon of great significance” that meets leader Kim Jong Un’s call to strengthen the country’s military might, implying that they were being developed with an intent to arm them with nuclear warheads.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said the military was analyzing the North Korean launches based on U.S. and South Korean intelligence.

Kim during a congress of the ruling Workers’ Party in January doubled down on his pledge to bolster his nuclear deterrent in the face of U.S. sanctions and pressure and issued a long wish list of new sophisticated assets, including longer-range intercontinental ballistic missiles, nuclear-powered submarines, spy satellites and tactical nuclear weapons. Kim also said then that his national defense scientists were developing “intermediate-range cruise missiles with the most powerful warheads in the world.”

North Korea’s weapons tests are meant to build a nuclear and missile program that can stand up to what it claims as U.S. and South Korean hostility, but they are also considered by outside analysts as ways to make its political demands clear to leaders in Washington and Seoul.

The North’s resumption of testing activity is likely an attempt at pressuring the Biden administration over the diplomatic freeze after Kim failed to leverage his arsenal for economic benefits during the the presidency of Donald Trump.

North Korea ended a yearlong pause in ballistic tests in March by firing two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea, continuing a tradition of testing new U.S. administrations with weapons demonstrations aimed at measuring Washington’s response and wresting concessions.

But there hadn’t been any known test launches for months after that as Kim focused national efforts on fending off the coronavirus and salvaging his economy.

KCNA said the missiles tested over the weekend traveled for 126 minutes “along an oval and pattern-8 flight orbits” above North Korean land and waters before hitting their targets.

“The test launches showed that the technical indices such as the thrust power of the newly developed turbine-blast engine, the missiles’ navigation control and the end guided hit accuracy by the combined guided mode met the requirements of designs. In all, the efficiency and practicality of the weapon system operation was confirmed to be excellent,” it said.

It appeared that Kim wasn’t in attendance to observe the tests. KCNA said Kim’s top military official, Pak Jong Chon, observed the test-firings and called for the country’s defense scientists to go “all out to increase” the North’s military capabilities.

Kim’s powerful sister last month hinted that North Korea was ready to resume weapons testing while issuing a statement berating the United States and South Korea for continuing their joint military exercises, which she said was the “most vivid expression of U.S. hostile policy.”

She then said the North would boost its pre-emptive strike capabilities while another senior official threatened unspecified countermeasures that would leave the allies facing a “security crisis.”

The allies say the drills are defensive in nature, but they have canceled or downsized them in recent years to create space for diplomacy or in response to COVID-19.

Talks between the United States and North Korea have stalled since the collapse of a summit between Trump and Kim in 2019, when the Americans rejected the North’s demand for major sanctions relief in exchange for a partial surrender of its nuclear capabilities. Kim’s government has so far rejected the Biden administration’s overtures for dialogue, demanding that Washington abandon its “hostile” policies first.

The latest tests came after Kim threw an unusual parade in capital Pyongyang last week that was a marked departure from past militaristic displays, showcasing anti-virus workers in hazmat suits and civil defense organizations involved in industrial work and rebuilding communities destroyed by floods instead of missiles and other provocative weaponry.

Experts said that the parade was focused on domestic unity as Kim now faces perhaps his toughest test with North Korea wrestling with U.S.-led economic sanctions over its nuclear weapons, pandemic border closures that are causing further strain to its broken economy, and food shortages worsened by floods in recent summers.

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