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Biden to announce first cabinet appointments Tuesday

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US President-elect Joe Biden will name his first cabinet picks on Tuesday, his chief of staff said, even as Donald Trump clung to unsubstantiated claims of fraud despite growing dissent from within his own party.
Biden has pushed ahead with preparations to assume the presidency on January 20, regardless of Trump’s bid to undo the results of the November vote.
“You are going to see the first of the president-elect’s cabinet picks on Tuesday,” Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.
Several US news organizations, including Bloomberg and The New York Times, reported that the president-elect will nominate seasoned diplomat and long-time aide Antony Blinken as secretary of state.
Biden also said last week he had already decided his pick for the key position of Treasury Secretary.
US media also widely reported he will name Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who served as assistant secretary of state for Africa under President Barack Obama, as his UN ambassador.
A growing number of Republicans have either recognized Biden’s victory or at least urged the General Services Administration — the usually low-profile agency that manages the federal bureaucracy — to release federal funds for the Biden transition.
With Trump refusing to acknowledge the election outcome, Biden and his top aides have been denied briefings on sensitive domestic and foreign policy issues — most urgently the coronavirus pandemic battering the country.
Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who in 2016 advised the Trump transition, said on ABC that the president’s legal team was a “national embarrassment.”
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, another prominent Republican, told CNN that Trump was making the country look like a “banana republic,” later tweeting the president should “stop golfing and concede.”
Trump has golfed on every weekend day since the election, though he took part virtually in the conference of the G20 leading economies this weekend — skipping a Saturday session on the pandemic.
And even Representative Devin Nunes, an ardent Trump loyalist, conceded backhandedly on Fox News that Biden had “run a successful campaign from a basement.”
Trump again tweeted on Sunday about “massive numbers of fraudulent ballots,” a claim dismissed by a long list of judges in several states.
Appearances by Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani have drawn mockery, as have claims by another former member of his legal team, Sidney Powell.
Powell has alleged baseless conspiracy theories involving a possible hack of the election, earning her widespread derision but also praise from some of Trump’s most ardent supporters.
Giuliani announced Sunday that Powell had been dropped from the team.
Trump’s latest legal setback came Saturday, when Pennsylvania judge Matthew Brann threw out the president’s fraud claims in a scathing judgment.
Pennsylvania was a must-win state, and flipped to Biden after backing Trump in 2016.
Brann’s ruling paved the way for Pennsylvania to certify Biden’s victory in the state.
Biden won the state-by-state Electoral College votes that ultimately decide who takes the White House by 306 to 232.
The Electoral College is due to formally vote on December 14 before state certification.
State certification of popular vote results in presidential elections is usually routine.
But Trump’s refusal to concede has raised concerns that he could cause long-term damage to public trust in the voting system that underlies US democracy.
The judgment in Pennsylvania came hours after Republicans also requested a delay in certification in Michigan, another battleground state won by Biden.

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Kanu not in court, case adjourned till Oct 21

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Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, will remain in detention till October 21, 2021.
He was due to be in court on Monday but the Federal Government did not arraign him.
Kanu, who was reportedly arrested in Kenya last month, has been in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday adjourned the case till October 21, 2021, over the failure of the Federal Government to arraign him.

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Insecurity made FG to retain DIGs, AIGs, says minister

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The Federal Government on Monday explained why it retained some Deputy Inspectors-General of Police and Assistant Inspectors-General of Police after the appointment of Usman Baba Alkali as Inspector-General of Police.
Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, said the high level of insecurity made the government to retain the senior police officers.
He stated this during the decoration of 24 newly promoted Commissioners of Police to AIGs.
No senior police officer with the rank of AIG or DIG went on compulsory leave when Baba was appointed IGP.
Dingyadi stressed that was the first time of such development in recent history of the Nigerian Police Force.
He said, “The government deliberately took this position to have many hands in the force. With this action, the Police Force has retained experienced professionals that would contribute towards sustaining the relative peace of the country.”
The minister added that the criteria for the appointment of the new AIGs were purely on merit, professional conduct, and individual performance, urging the newly appointed AIGs to redouble their efforts to curb insecurity.
He reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Salaries and Wages Commission to come out with new salary structure.
He said, “To whom much is given, much is expected. Officers should re-double their effort in the fight against insecurity which had bedeviled the country today. A lot is expected of you in contributing your quota towards the sustainability of peace and unity in the country.”

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Four more Kaduna school students escape from bandits captivity

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Three students of Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna, have escaped from their captors.
They escaped from the camp on Monday where they were kept since July 19, 2021.
An aunt to one of the students, who craved anonymity confirmed this on Monday.
According to her, the teenagers had spent five days roaming inside the forest before they finally met another herder who directed them out of the forest.
It was also gathered that one of the escaped students who could recall his father’s phone number borrowed a phone to call home before his father went to pick them up.
“The children were found around Kasuwar Magani on Sunday evening hours after 28 students of the school were released by the bandits. It was the school management that called my in-law to inform us,” she said.
Two other students had escaped from the camps before they were recovered by the police.

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