WARRI, Nigeria (AP) — The governor of one state in southern Nigeria says he’s ready to help Nigerians returning from Libya where they were abused by human traffickers.
Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki said Thursday that he wants to help reintegrate those coming home who are destitute.
The Nigerian government has helped citizens fly back after video footage aired on CNN showed African migrants being sold for labor in what many have called a modern-day slave auction.
The leader of one local non-governmental organization says they hope to train the returnees to work in commercial agriculture among other fields.
Returnees have told horrific stories of abuse, including torture and starvation. Those who were abused in Libya had sought to cross the Mediterranean in search of a better life in Europe.
CAIRO (AP) — A well-known Egyptian politician living in the United Arab Emirates who has declared himself a candidate in the 2018 presidential elections says his host country is blocking his departure.
The UAE is denying the allegation and says Ahmed Shafiq is free to travel. The Qatar-based satellite network Al-Jazeera broadcast a video with Shafiq saying that Emirati officials prevented him from leaving to return to Egypt in the coming days, just hours after he announced his candidacy on Wednesday night.
Shafiq says: “I was surprised to be prevented from leaving the United Arab Emirates for reasons I do not understand.”
However, UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash tweeted in response that the “United Arab Emirates confirms there is no obstacle,” to Shafiq’s leaving.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s tweets of anti-Muslim videos (all times local):
President Donald Trump says in a tweet that British Prime Minister Theresa May should focus not on him but “on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom.”
Trump’s comment comes amid criticism, including from May’s office, of his decision Wednesday morning to retweet a string of inflammatory videos from a fringe British political group purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.
May’s office said it was “wrong” for the president to have done so.
Trump’s tweet uses the wrong handle to address May.
But he’s telling her: “We are doing just fine!”
President Donald Trump is stoking the same anti-Islam sentiments he fanned on the campaign trail.
On Wednesday, Trump retweeted a string of inflammatory videos from a fringe British political group purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.
The tweets drew a sharp condemnation from British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office, which said it was “wrong for the president to have done this.”
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump was simply promoting border security and suggested that verifying the content was not a top concern.
Trump made anti-Muslim comments one hallmark of his Republican presidential campaign and has previously retweeted inflammatory posts from controversial Twitter accounts including some with apparent ties to white nationalist groups. As president, he has sought to ban travel to the U.S. from a number of majority-Muslim countries.
A White House spokesman is defending President Donald Trump’s retweets of videos purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims, saying, “It’s never the wrong time to talk about security and safety for the American people.”
Raj Shah spoke to reporters Wednesday aboard Air Force One as Trump travels to Missouri.
The retweets of videos from a fringe British political group have drawn swift condemnation from civil rights groups as well as a spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Shah says Trump has long raised security and immigration issues in speeches and tweets. He argues that the videos are nothing different.
Shah says “The president is the president of all Americans.” He says the tweets “were about national security and protecting” Americans.
British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokesman says President Donald Trump was wrong to share anti-Muslim videos tweeted by a U.K. far-right leader.
Trump retweeted three videos posted by Jayda Fransen, deputy leader of Britain First. Fransen has been convicted of a hate crime in Britain and currently faces more charges.
May’s spokesman, James Slack, said Britain First seeks to divide communities through its use of “hateful narratives which peddle lies and stoke tensions.” He said “it is wrong for the president to have done this.”
But May’s office said an invitation for Trump to pay a state visit to Britain was not being withdrawn. Opposition politicians are calling for the visit to be canceled after the far-right retweets.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders is defending President Donald Trump’s posting of videos purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims, saying he wants to “promote strong borders and strong national security.”
Sanders said Wednesday that she was not sure how Trump found the videos, which he retweeted from the leader of an extreme far-right British group.
Asked if the president had a responsibility to verify the content, Sanders said: “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about.”
She says she had not discussed with the president how it could impact his relationship with British Prime Minister Theresa May.
British opposition politicians are demanding the government revoke an invitation to U.S. President Donald Trump after he retweeted videos posted by a leader of extreme far-right group Britain First.
On Wednesday, Trump retweeted three videos from the account of the group’s deputy leader, Jayda Fransen, purporting to show violence by Muslims.
Fransen has a conviction for religiously aggravated harassment and currently faces charges of harassment and hate speech.
Opposition Labour Party lawmaker David Lammy tweeted: “@realDonaldTrump you are not welcome in my country and my city.” Another Labour legislator, Chuka Umunna, said an invitation to Trump to visit the U.K. “should be withdrawn.”
Prime Minister Theresa May announced in January that Trump had accepted an invitation for a state visit to Britain, though no date has been set.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is condemning President Donald Trump for retweeting inflammatory videos purporting to show violence being committed by Muslims.
The group’s executive director, Nihad Awad, says in a statement that Trump is “clearly telling members of his base that they should hate Islam and Muslims.”
Awad says Trump’s posts “amount to incitement to violence against American Muslims.” Awad is calling on political and religious leaders to condemn Trump’s tweets.
Awad says that on Twitter, the council has recorded 3,296 anti-Muslim incidents this year. He says “we haven’t heard a peep from you. Some president.”
Trump retweeted the videos from a far-right British politician.
President Donald Trump is retweeting a series of anti-Muslim videos posted by a far-right British politician.
Trump sent the Twitter messages Wednesday morning. The videos were first posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First.
The descriptions read: “VIDEO: Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to death!” and “VIDEO: Muslim Destroys a Statue of Virgin Mary!” and “VIDEO: Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!”
After Trump retweeted the videos, Fransen quickly responded on Twitter, saying: “DONALD TRUMP HIMSELF HAS RETWEETED THESE VIDEOS AND HAS AROUND 44 MILLION FOLLOWERS! GOD BLESS YOU TRUMP! GOD BLESS AMERICA!”
Trump has sought to ban immigrants from certain Muslim-majority nations.
NEW YORK (AP) — Snapchat is separating what friends share and what media organizations publish in an attempt to appeal to a broader range of users.
Users will now see two separate feeds. Before, the visual-messaging app was mixing posts from friends, publishers, celebrities and others, much the way Twitter, Facebook and other rivals continue to do.
Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel took a jab at rivals, writing that social media “fueled ‘fake news'” because of this content mixing.
“After all, how many times have you shared something you’ve never bothered to read?” Spiegel wrote on Axios.
Snapchat has not been gaining enough users, especially beyond its core of younger people. Instead, rival services have managed to copy Snapchat’s most popular features and make them available to a broader audience. This includes Stories, a way to show photo and video snippets that disappear after 24 hours; Snapchat pioneered it, while Facebook’s Instagram popularized it.
With growth stagnant, parent company Snap’s stock is down sharply since its initial public offering earlier this year. Snap hinted at changes three weeks ago, but didn’t provide details then.
Beyond separating feeds, Snapchat will now order posts using a formula to try to appeal to users’ likes, instead of listing them chronologically. Facebook has long done that; Twitter and Instagram followed more recently.
Even so, Spiegel seems determined to set Snapchat apart from its bigger rivals. When users open Snapchat, for instance, they will still see the app’s camera first.
“Snapchat began as an escape from social media, where people could send photos and videos to their friends without the pressure of likes, comments, and permanence,” Spiegel wrote.
CAIRO (AP) — A former Egyptian prime minister living in the United Arab Emirates says he will return to his country to contest the 2018 presidential elections.
Ahmed Shafiq, a former air force general who briefly headed a government after longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak was ousted in a 2011 uprising, says in a video posted to YouTube Wednesday that he was “honored” to present himself for the next four-year term.
Shafiq lost by a narrow margin to the Islamist Mohammed Morsi in Egypt’s first free election in 2012. He then fled the country and has since dodged several corruption allegations.
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has yet to formally declare his candidacy, although he won the last election by an overwhelming majority in a vote independent observers said did not meet international standards for a free election. Another candidate, a rights lawyer, says he intends to run but has alleged harassment by the authorities.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a critical Senate vote on his tax overhaul and a crush of December deadlines, President Donald Trump is instead putting the spotlight on a volatile collection of extraneous topics — anti-Muslim videos, Pocahontas, NFL players who kneel during the national anthem and his multiplying disputes with the news media.
Trump’s Twitter timeline on Wednesday was rife with tangents: He retweeted a series of videos posted by British politician Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of the far-right group Britain First. Reacting to NBC’s firing of Matt Lauer, the president re-aired his longstanding grievances with mainstream media outlets, suggesting that “NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News.”
He also tweeted about his call with Chinese President Xi Jinping and plans for additional sanctions on North Korea.
But the president’s extraneous tweets and quips have diverted attention from Trump’s agenda at a time of maximum consequence for his tax proposal and with a series of looming budget deadlines and other priorities in Congress. Wednesday’s tweets came hours before Trump was departing for Missouri to rally support for his tax plan in the Senate.
While it was far from the first time that Trump’s tweets and broadsides have been used to deflect attention, they nonetheless offered fresh evidence of the president’s tendency to latch on to particular cultural touchstones and refuse to let them go.
The president has been mocking Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas” since last year’s presidential campaign and he reignited the feud with a passing comment during a White House ceremony on Monday honoring Native Americans.
He’s been fanning the NFL-anthem issue throughout the fall football season. And he continues to bash political opponents like Democratic congressional leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as tax-hiking pushovers who are unwilling to bolster law enforcement, the military or the nation’s borders.
Hours before a scheduled White House meeting Tuesday with the two Democrats and Republican congressional leaders, Trump slammed Schumer and Pelosi on immigration, crime and taxes, adding, “I don’t see a deal!” The two Democrats abruptly pulled out of the meeting, prompting Trump to leave empty seats for them on either side of him in the Roosevelt Room alongside Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Trump’s broadsides may seem random but they serve the president well on another front, by energizing his core supporters with darts that are sure to delight.
Even as the White House is searching for the votes to push a major tax package through the Senate, the president and his allies are itching for a fight with Warren, a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and vocal Trump critic.
Trump has long mocked Warren’s claims about being part Native American, which first surfaced during her 2012 Senate race against Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Even in a country that has grown more diverse with each passing decade, the president has brushed aside criticism that the term is a racial slur.
Warren said following a protest outside the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau on Tuesday that Trump “seems to think that that’s somehow going to shut me up,” and prevent her from “talking about the tax bill that would favor giant corporations instead of working families.”
“He’s wrong. It’s not going to make any difference,” Warren said.
But Trump’s allies welcome the comparisons to Warren, a liberal icon in a party grappling with a leadership vacuum and still searching for the best way to counter the president.
“It’s about her not telling the truth and the extent to which she wants to engage in a debate on this, please keep going,” said former Trump campaign aide Barry Bennett.
“The more the conversation is him vs. her or the progressive Bernie Sanders wing of the party, it makes him look even better, because frankly there are a lot of Americans in between the coasts who are scared to death of progressive values,” Bennett said.
Trump’s focus on his Republican base has been magnified in his fresh dispute with Schumer and Pelosi. Long gone are the days when the president mused about cutting deals with his Democratic counterparts “Chuck and Nancy.”
His tweet about them on Tuesday helped allay concerns among some Republicans that he might use the meeting to negotiate with Democrats — without significant GOP input — on a budget deal or to protect immigrants who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children and whose protected status is set to lapse next year.
Trump’s allies dismiss the notion that the president’s focus on side issues is an unwelcome distraction during a week in which the administration hopes to clear a big hurdle on taxes and give the president a major legislative achievement before the 2018 midterm elections after frustrating setbacks on health care. The president was making the case for the tax cuts during a speech Wednesday in St. Charles, Missouri.
“There’s no option for failure here. If they don’t hang together, they’re going to hang separately in 2018,” said Stephen Moore, a fellow at the conservative-oriented Heritage Foundation who advised the Trump campaign. “There’s no room for failure here. They have to deliver.”
On Twitter follow Ken Thomas at @KThomasDC.