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  • Trump tries to quell Republican revolt

    President Donald Trump hit back at critics within his own party Wednesday, painting them as outliers in what is otherwise a "love fest" between him and Republican lawmakers.

    A day after Republican senators Jeff Flake and Bob Corker described Trump as having a "flagrant disregard" for truth and decency and of "debasing" the nation, the combative president shot back.

    Trying to forestall a broader party backlash, Trump tweeted that Flake and Corker were resigning because they had "zero chance of being elected," and insisted his meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill a day earlier had been a resounding success.

    "The meeting with Republican Senators yesterday, outside of Flake and Corker, was a love fest with standing ovations and great ideas for USA!" he continued.

    Trump's allies cheered Flake's departure as an unbridled victory for their effort to take over the party and a "monumental win for the entire Trump movement."

    It "should serve as another warning shot to the failed Republican establishment that backed Flake and others like them that their time is up," said Andy Surabian, a former Trump White House advisor.

    Still, while the departure of the two senators may ultimately play to Trump's advantage, both will remain in Congress for more than a year and will be less likely to fall in line behind the White House on key votes.

    - No room for defections -

    Trump had already faced a difficult task of mustering 51 votes to pass tax cuts, an effort that appears to be the glue holding the party together.

    There are currently 52 Republican senators, so more than one defection would hamper reform efforts, unless Democrats can be brought on board.

    It is also far from clear that more hardline Republican candidates can beat Democrats in places like Flake's native Arizona, where Trump campaigned hard in 2016 yet won by less than four percentage points.

    GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File / Ralph FresoArizona Republican Jeff Flake unleashed a fierce broadside at President Donald Trump as he delivered a resignation speech on the Senate floor

    Many Republicans see Trump's presidency as the best way to enact long-standing goals like tax reform and cutting the size of government, and the White House has worked hard to keep the rank and file focused on those targets amid rolling scandals and failed attempts to pass legislation.

    "Working hard on the biggest tax cut in U.S. history. Great support from so many sides. Big winners will be the middle class, business & JOBS," Trump also tweeted Wednesday.

    "I'll tell you what, honestly, the Republicans are very, very well united," he said.

    The White House points to the president's solid approval ratings among Republican voters as evidence that his brand of politics should dominate the party.

    According to an Economist/YouGov Poll, 84 percent of Republican voters approve of the way Trump is handling his job as president.

    - 'Not a watershed' -

    Against that backdrop many Republicans privately express grave misgivings about Trump's behavior in office, but remain publicly supportive.

    "Parties always have their disagreements. Look no further than Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party. That's just part of party politics," Senator Steve Daines told AFP.

    GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / WIN MCNAMEESenator Bob Corker has publicly aired disagreements with Trump, a fellow Republican, but the feud has reached a new level

    Political science professor Larry Sabato said Flake's attack on Trump was a "beating" for the president, but is "not going to be a watershed."

    "I always tell people JFK's book 'Profiles in Courage' was a very slim volume."

    Yet there is no doubt that Flake and Corker's comments have exposed a simmering battle for the soul of the Republican party.

    Establishment conservatives -- who have managed since 2007 to co-opt waves of populist and nationalist party insurgents -- have struggled to retain control since Trump's election.

    Senator Marco Rubio admitted the party "is going through a moment of realignment internally."

    He cited "an internal debate about what the party is going to be about, what it's going to represent in the years to come. So is the Democratic Party. And by the way, so is every institution in America."

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  • Zimbabwe reporter held over 'Grace Mugabe underwear' story

    A Zimbabwean journalist has been detained over a story alleging that used underwear had been distributed to ruling Zanu-PF supporters on First Lady Grace Mugabe's behalf, his lawyers say.

    NewsDay reporter Kenneth Nyangani was likely to face "criminal defamation" charges, the lawyers added.

    Zanu-PF MP Esau Mupfumi distributed the underwear, and said Mrs Mugabe had donated it, the newspaper reported.

    There has been no official comment on Mr Nyangani's arrest.

    It was unclear clear whether the complainant was the MP or the first lady, NewsDay reported.

    Police in the eastern city of Mutare detained Mr Nyangani on Monday evening for "allegedly writing and publishing a story over the donation of some used undergarments" by President Robert Mugabe's wife, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said in a statement.

    The privately-owned newspaper had earlier reported that Mr Mupfumi had handed out clothes at the weekend to Zanu-PF supporters in the Mutare area.

    "I met the First Lady Grace Mugabe and I was given these clothes so that I can give you. I have briefs for you and I am told that most of your briefs are not in good shape, please come and collect your allocations today," Mr Mupfumi was quoted as saying.

    "We have night dresses, sandals and clothes, come and take, this is from your First Lady Grace Mugabe," he added.

    Worsening economic conditions in Zimbabwe are forcing many people to buy second-hand clothing, the AFP news agency reports.

    It says such items include used underwear from Western countries which is chiefly imported from Mozambique.

    Mrs Mugabe, the president's second wife, attracted widespread media attention in August when she was accused of attacking a model at a hotel in South Africa where her sons were staying.

    She has denied any wrongdoing.

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  • Le Sénégal est devenue la première nation africaine de football

    Le Sénégal est devenue la première nation africaine de football, d'après le nouveau classement Fifa. Ayant engrangé 755 points, les “Lions” ont relégué en deuxième position les “éléphants” de Côte d'ivoire, qui ont obtenu 738 points, soit le même score que la Tunisie, classée troisième.

    L’Argentine, avec 1 634 points, domine le classement FIFA. Elle est suivie du Brésil et de l’Allemagne.

    Interrogé par la Rfm, le directeur technique national (Dtn), Mayacine Mar, salue les "nombreux efforts" faits par les autorités en charge du football national pour stabiliser ce secteur.

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  • 26 Togolese arrested in Ghana for staging illegal protest

    Twenty-six Togolese nationals have been arrested in Ghana for organising a protest in the capital Accra without notifying the authorities.

    The protesters were arrested on Saturday after converging at a park in solidarity with Togolese opposition supporters demanding the resignation of Faure Gnassingbe and the reinstatement of Togo’s 1992 constitution.

    The Ghana police spokesperson Afia Tenge told local media that their convergence without notification was a clear breach of the public order act.

    “Two of their leaders and a number of them were arrested. We have about 26 of them and we are waiting for Monday to put these persons before the law court,” she said.

    Two of their leaders and a number of them were arrested. We have about 26 of them and we are waiting for Monday to put these persons before the law court.

    Ghana is reported to have registered 513 Togolese asylum seekers who fled from the chaos into border towns including Chereponi, Zabzugu and Bunkpurugu-Yunyuo in northern Ghana.

    Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway told local media Citi FM that consultations are ongoing with the Togolese government on the crisis in the country.

    Togo faced a series of opposition demonstrations since August in demand for the resignation of President Faure Gnassingbe and the reinstatement of the 1992 constitution.

    The intended peaceful demonstrations resulted in the killing of at least 16 people after clashes with security forces who fired tear gas and live bullets to disperse the protesters.

    The opposition are also calling for a two five-year term limit for presidents as well as a two-round voting system.

    A bill was tabled before parliament by the cabinet during the early September round of demonstrations to reinstate the term limits which were struck out by the father of Faure Gnassingbe before his death.

    The opposition rejected the draft bill to modify Article 59 of the constitution which has maintained the exclusion of the clause that says “no one can serve more than two terms”.

    They believe it is a ploy to allow Faure, who is serving his third term, to attempt a fourth in 2020.

    The government banned weekday demonstrations yet the protesters defied the ban and stormed the streets last week resulting in further clashes.

    The six-party opposition coalition (CAP 2015) and the Pan-African National Party (PNP) have called for another series of demonstrations on November 7, 8 and 9 – which are weekdays – despite the ban on weekday protests.

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  • Trump calls for death penalty for NY attacker

    President Donald Trump called Thursday for the man charged over the New York truck attack to be executed, as a picture emerged of an Islamic State group sympathizer radicalized after struggling with life in America.

    Trump had said he was considering sending Sayfullo Saipov, 29, to the military's notorious Guantanamo Bay detention center, but backed off the idea in a blast of early morning tweets calling for the death penalty.

    "Would love to send the NYC terrorist to Guantanamo but statistically that process takes much longer than going through the Federal system," Trump tweeted.

    "There is also something appropriate about keeping him in the home of the horrible crime he committed. Should move fast. DEATH PENALTY!"

    Saipov appeared in a New York courtroom Wednesday on terrorism charges one day after he allegedly drove a rented pickup truck down a mile-long stretch of bike path in Manhattan, where children and their parents were preparing to celebrate Halloween.

    Eight people were killed, five of them friends from Argentina celebrating 30 years since their high school graduation.

    Twelve other people were wounded in the worst attack in New York since the September 11, 2001 Al-Qaeda hijackings. It ended when police shot Saipov in the abdomen.

    AFP / Jewel SAMADThe Home Depot pickup truck used in the attack

    Federal prosecutors have announced two charges so far: provision of material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, and violence and destruction of motor vehicles.

    The maximum punishment is life imprisonment, but attorneys could potentially seek the death penalty. A capital punishment case would be extremely rare in New York.

    The charging document said Saipov, an Uber driver and father-of-three who emigrated in 2010, confessed to acting in the name of IS and "felt good about what he had done," even demanding to hang an IS flag in his hospital room.

    He first planned an attack in the United States a year ago, before settling two months ago on a vehicle strike, choosing Halloween deliberately in a bid to kill as many people as possible, the complaint alleged.

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