Obama warns ‘the fate of the world’ at risk if Trump wins

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

BARACK Obama has warned Amer­ica that the the “fate of the world” is at risk if Don­ald Trump is elected pres­i­dent and pub­licly crit­i­cised the FBI.

In his strong­est intervention yet in the US pres­i­den­tial elec­tion, Obama re­buked James Comey for the de­ci­sion to an­nounce, just days be­fore the elec­tion, that new Clin­ton­linked emails were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

Obama said the FBI should not “op­er­ate on in­nu­endo” in an veiled crit­i­cism of Comey’s han­dling of the an­nounce­ment. “I do think there is a norm that when there are in­ves­ti­ga­tions we don’t op­er­ate on in­nu­endo, we don’t op­er­ate on in­com­plete in­for­ma­tion, we don’t op­er­ate on leaks,” he said. “We op­er­ate based on con­crete de­ci­sions that are made.”

Com­ment­ing for the first time about the re­newed Clin­ton email scan­dal, Obama de­fended his sec­re­tary of state after the FBI an­nounce­ment on Fri­day that new emails had been found on a lap­top be­long­ing to An­thony Weiner, the es­tranged hus­band of Mrs Clin­ton’s top aide Huma Abe­din, as part of a sep­a­rate in­ves­ti­ga­tion into his al­leged “sex­ting” with an un­der­age girl.

He said, when tak­ing the un­usual step about dis­cussing the FBI’s de­ci­sions, that he had “made a very de­lib­er­ate ef­fort to make sure that I don’t look like I’m med­dling in what are sup­posed to be in­de­pen­dent pro­cesses for mak­ing these as­sess­ments”.

None­the­less, he im­me­di­ately sug­gested Clin­ton was in­no­cent of wrong­do­ing. “I trust her. I know her. And I wouldn’t be sup­port­ing her if I didn’t have ab­so­lute con­fi­dence in her in­tegrity and her in­ter­est in mak­ing sure that young peo­ple have a bet­ter fu­ture.”

He of­fered an en­thu­si­as­tic de­fence of Clin­ton’s char­ac­ter, say­ing she made an “hon­est mis­take” in us­ing a pri­vate email server as sec­re­tary of state.

In a barn­storm­ing ad­dress in North Carolina on Wed­nes­day night — a state he won in 2008 but that is in the bal­ance for Clin­ton — Obama gave a dire warn­ing of a Trump pres­i­dency.

“I hate to put pres­sure on you but the fate of the Re­pub­lic rests in your hands. The fate of the world is tee­ter­ing,” he told vot­ers in Chapel Hill.

He la­belled Trump “tem­per­a­men­tally un­fit to be com­man­der in chief ” and that we “have to stop think­ing that his be­hav­iour is nor­mal”.

Trump tol­er­ated racists, threat­ened the press, “stiffed small busi­nesses” and “bragged about get­ting away with sex­ual as­sault”, Obama said. “This should not be a con­tro­ver­sial opin­ion. Over time, crazy [has be­come] nor­malised.

“If you dis­re­spect women be­fore you’re in of­fice, you will dis­re­spect women while you’re in of­fice. If you ac­cept the sup­port of Klan mem­bers,” Obama con­tin­ued, “then you will tol­er­ate that sup­port when you’re in of­fice.”

Trump told Amer­i­cans who cast their bal­lots for Clin­ton be­fore the lat­est email scan­dal emerged that it may not be too late to change their vote.

Early vot­ing was un­der­way in 37 states be­fore the FBI an­nounce­ment, which threw her cam­paign into chaos and led to her poll num­bers plum­met­ing.

Most of the more than 15 mil­lion votes cast be­fore the an­nounce­ment are fi­nal, but seven US states ac­tu­ally al­low vot­ers to amend their bal­lots. “Now that you see that Hil­lary was a big mis­take, change your vote to MAKE AMER­ICA GREAT AGAIN!” he wrote.

Wis­con­sin vot­ers can cast up to three bal­lots, and mul­ti­ple peo­ple in Win­nebago County had al­ready changed their votes ac­cord­ing to Sue Ert­mer, the county clerk. “I don’t be­lieve they even have to give a rea­son. They could go to the clerk and say that they ba­si­cally need to cast a dif­fer­ent bal­lot,” she told WBAY.

A voter could change their mind again on Elec­tion Day, turn­ing up at a polling sta­tion to nul­lify their se­cond bal­lot, and re­ceive a third.

Michi­gan and Penn­syl­va­nia, key bat­tle­ground states, do not al­low early vot­ing but res­i­dents who have cast ab­sen­tee bal­lots could change their choice in per­son on Elec­tion Day it­self.

The Trump cam­paign an­nounced on Wed­nes­day it had raised $100 mil­lion in Oc­to­ber from “small-dol­lar” donors. His cam­paign an­nounced that the to­tal was gar­nered from 1.6 mil­lion small-dol­lar do­na­tions, a term tra­di­tion­ally used to de­scribe con­tri­bu­tions of less than $250. Trump has faced a sig­nif­i­cant fundrais­ing deficit com­pared with his Demo­cratic ri­val. In the first 19 days of Oc­to­ber, Trump raised about $30 mil­lion, com­pared with Clin­ton’s $53 mil­lion.

Mean­while, a black church in Mis­sis­sippi has been burned and spray-painted with “Vote Trump” on an out­side wall, ac­cord­ing to US au­thor­i­ties.

Fire Chief Ruben Brown said that fire­fight­ers found flames and smoke pour­ing from the sanc­tu­ary of the Hopewell MB Church just after 9PM on Tues­day.

This is so heart­break­ing. Not so much for the mes­sage on the build­ing, but this is a church that’s been around for so long in the com­mu­nity.

Brown said the sanc­tu­ary sus­tained heavy dam­age, in­clud­ing in the kitchen and pas­tor’s of­fice. He said in­ves­ti­ga­tors do not know yet if it is a case of ar­son.

In a state­ment, the FBI’s of­fice in Jack­son, the state cap­i­tal, said it was work­ing “with our lo­cal, state and fed­eral law en­force­ment part­ners to de­ter­mine if any civil rights crimes were com­mit­ted”. There were no re­ports of in­juries. The mayor of Greenville, Er­rick Sim­mons, de­scribed the in­ci­dent as a “hate­ful and cow­ardly act”.

He said lo­cal of­fi­cials con­sider the fire a hate crime be­cause of the po­lit­i­cal mes­sage he be­lieves was in­tended to in­ter­fere with wor­ship and in­tim­i­date vot­ers.

“The act that hap­pened left our hearts bro­ken,” Pas­tor Carolyn Hud­son told a news con­fer­ence, not­ing that the church has a 111-year his­tory. — Al Jazeera

As many as 239 peo­ple are feared dead in two ship­wrecks off the coast of Libya, ac­cord­ing to the United Na­tions refugee agency. Car­lota Sami, a spokes­woman for UNHCR’s based in Rome, said yes­ter­day that the in­for­ma­tion was con­firmed by sur­vivors brought ashore on the Ital­ian is­land of Lampe­dusa in the Mediter­ranean Sea. As new res­cue op­er­a­tions on­go­ing in the Mediter­ranean, sur­vivors are telling us about 2 new ship­wrecks. Sami said that 31 sur­vivors of two ship­wrecks who ar­rived to Lampe­dusa yes­ter­day re­ported that their boats cap­sized in heavy seas. They said 29 peo­ple sur­vived the first wreck, and about 120 peo­ple had gone miss­ing. In a sep­a­rate op­er­a­tion, two women found swim­ming at sea told res­cuers that an­other 120 peo­ple had died in that wreck. At least 4 220 peo­ple have died try­ing to cross the Mediter­ranean this year, the high­est death toll on record. — EPA

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