Former US president Barack Obama has accused President Donald Trump of inciting his supporters who stormed the US Capitol and violently clashed with police in an attempt to stop President-elect Joe Biden’s certification on Wednesday, January 6.
“History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation. But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise,” he said.
In the statement, he issued via his Twitter page, Obama also slammed Trump and his supporters’ baseless claims of election fraud, saying, “For two months now, a political party and it’s accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth — that this was not a particularly close election and that President-Elect Biden will be inaugurated on January 20.”
“Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo,” Obama said.
Read the former president’s full remarks below.
“History will rightly remember today’s violence at the Capitol, incited by a sitting president who has continued to baselessly lie about the outcome of a lawful election, as a moment of great dishonor and shame for our nation. But we’d be kidding ourselves if we treated it as a total surprise.
“For two months now, a political party and its accompanying media ecosystem has too often been unwilling to tell their followers the truth–that this was not a particularly close election and that President-elect Biden will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. Their fantasy narrative has spiraled further and further from reality, and it builds upon years of sown resentments. Now we’re seeing the consequences, whipped up into a violent crescendo.
“Right now, Republican leaders have a choice made clear in the desecrated chambers of democracy. They can continue down this road and keep stoking the rage fires, or they can choose reality and take the first steps toward extinguishing the flames. They can choose America.
“I’ve been heartened to see so many members of the president’s party speak up forcefully today. Their voices add to the examples of Republican state and local officials in states like Georgia who’ve refused to be intimidated and have discharged their duties honorably. We need more leaders like these–right now and in the days, weeks and months ahead as President-elect Biden works to restore a common purpose to our politics. It’s up to all of us as Americans, regardless of party, to support him in that goal.”
Idriss Deby’s son named Chad president
A son of Chad’s slain leader Idriss Deby Itno is to take over as president in place of his father, according to a charter released on Wednesday by the presidency.
It said General Mahamat Idriss Deby Itno, 37, who on Tuesday was named transitional leader as head of a military council following his father’s death, will “occupy the functions of the president of the republic” and also serve as head of the armed forces.
More details later…
Facebook unveils audio push, adds podcasts
Facebook on Monday said it is adding podcasts and “live audio rooms” in a push to get people talking and take on the fast-growing audio-based app Clubhouse.
“We think a lot of magic happens at the intersection of audio formats, as well as at the confluence of text, audio and video,” Facebook app chief Fidji Simo said in a blog post.
Facebook’s plan to weave audio offerings into the social network comes as it works to prevent losing users to Clubhouse.
Facebook has seen a steady rise in users opting for voice, from audio calls at the social network to leaving spoken messages using WhatsApp of Messenger.
The Silicon Valley titan is building new audio creation tools Simo described as “like having a sound studio in your pocket.”
The tools will let people create short-form Soundbites such as jokes, anecdotes, or spontaneous thoughts, according to Simo.
“While we’re big believers in the power of short-form audio, we also know that some stories and conversations deserve more airtime,” Simo said.
– People talking –
More than 170 million people are connected to Facebook pages centred on podcasts, and some 35 million users are members of podcast fan groups, but listening to one required leaving the social network.
“Within the next few months, you’ll be able to listen to podcasts directly on the Facebook app — both while using the app or when the app is backgrounded,” Simo said.
Facebook also planned to begin testing Live Audio Rooms, expected the feature to be available to all users by the middle of this year.
To make its audio offerings sustainable for the long term, Facebook is building in ways for people creating content to make money, according to Simo.
Creators hosting Live Audio Rooms will be able to get paid directly by fans, and Facebook plans to add the option to charge for access, Simo said.
Safety and privacy safeguards are also being added to audio features, according to the social network.
The news came a day after Clubhouse said it closed a new funding round as the popular live audio app struggles to scale up in response to demand. The latest round gives the startup a valuation of some $4 billion, according to sources.
Launched last year, the San Francisco-based platform is looking to establish itself as the standard-bearer for digital audio and has already inspired copycat products.
Facebook’s move is “a natural response to a competitive threat,” tech analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group.
“If you do nothing, you could become MySpace,” he added, referring to a pioneering social network that faded into oblivion after Facebook arrived.
Facebook’s pattern has been to either buy startups the pose potential threats or to copy features that are attracting users, the analyst noted.
While riding the hot trend in audio-centric online socializing is smart of Facebook, squashing Clubhouse could add to scrutiny it already faces from antitrust regulators, according to Enderle.
“When a competitor comes along providing your customers something that you aren’t, you don’t have a lot of choices in how to respond.”
Deby’s death’ll create vacuum in fight against Boko Haram, ISWAP -Buhari
The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Tuesday described death of President Idriss Deby of Chad as a big blow to the fight against Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State in West Africa Province.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘President Buhari: Idriss Deby was a gallant leader.’
Shehu quoted the President as saying that “the death of Deby will surely create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.”
He said Buhari is sad over Deby’s sudden and tragic death on the front line, fighting against rebel soldiers.
“I’m deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Deby on the battle front to defend the sovereignty of his country.
“The late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists,” he further quoted the President as saying.
According to the statement, Buhari described the late Chadian leader “as a friend of Nigeria who had enthusiastically lent his hand in our efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram terrorists that have posed grave security challenges not only for Nigeria, but also our African neighbours, particularly Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.”
While condoling with the people of Chad and their new leader, President Buhari called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.
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