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Jury hears closing remarks in Donald Trump civil rape case



lawyer for a writer accusing Donald Trump of rape in a civil trial urged a jury to hold the ex-president liable for the alleged assault. 

“No one, not even a former president, is above the law,” said Ms Carroll’s lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, on Monday.

In closing remarks in New York, Mr Trump’s legal team accused E Jean Carroll of “bringing a false claim”.

Ms Carroll alleges Mr Trump raped her in a New York department store in the mid-1990s, which he denies.

The nine-member jury are due to begin deliberations on Tuesday morning in the civil rape and defamation trial against the former president after they receive instructions from US District Judge Lewis Kaplan, who is not related to lawyer Ms Kaplan.

The jury has been hearing arguments over the last two weeks in a Manhattan federal court.

In their closing statement, Ms Carroll’s attorneys focused on previous remarks Mr Trump has made about women.

Ms Kaplan pointed to Mr Trump’s controversial remarks in a 2005 Access Hollywood tape, which emerged publicly in 2016.

Referring to the comments, she said: “He kissed [women] without consent, he grabbed them, he did not wait.”

She argued the remarks had been a “playbook” for how he treated Ms Carroll and other women. 

Ms Kaplan also said “self-blame” had kept Ms Carroll from going to the police for decades.

In his closing statement, Mr Trump’s lawyer Joe Tacopina focused on seeking to cast doubt on the details of Ms Carroll’s story, which he at one point called “a work of fiction”. 

He questioned why Ms Carroll could not specify the date of the assault, arguing that stripped Mr Trump of the chance to provide an alibi. 

It was “not a coincidence” none of the witnesses Ms Carroll had called could provide an exact date, he argued.

He also raised questions about the scene of the alleged assault, calling it “unbelievable” it could have occurred in a popular department store without any employees to witness it. 

Mr Tacopina argued the story had been “ripped from the pages of Law and Order SVU”, referring to a 2012 episode of the popular crime show in which a woman was raped in the lingerie department of a Bergdorf Goodman store.

Ms Carroll has acknowledged her alleged assault occurred in the same place as the episode, which was released before she came forward with her allegation in 2019, but she said that was a coincidence. 

“What’s the likelihood of that?” Mr Tacopina asked.

The former president did not appear at the trial in person but instead was present in a video of an October deposition played for the court.

“It’s the most ridiculous, disgusting story,” Mr Trump said in the video. “It’s just made up.”

Ms Carroll, 79, has accused Mr Trump, 76, of attacking her in 1995 or 1996, and then defaming her by denying it happened.

Jurors in the trial heard days of graphic testimony. Ms Carroll told jurors she had been left “unable to ever have a romantic life again” after the alleged attack.

A former columnist for Elle magazine, Ms Carroll was able to bring the civil case against Mr Trump after New York passed the Adult Survivors Act in 2022.

The act allowed a one-year period for victims to file sexual assault lawsuits in the state over claims that would have normally exceeded statute limitations.

Credit: The BBC

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Gov’t to restrict importation of rice, ‘yemuadie’ and other products



The government is set to lay before Parliament today, November 21, a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) seeking to restrict the importation of selected strategic products into the country.

The items, numbering over 20, will include rice, tripe (popularly called “yemuadie” in Ghana), and diapers.

The government said the move is part of efforts to enhance local production.

Speaking during a press briefing in Parliament, the Minister of Trade and Industry, K.T Hammond said, “Stomach of animals, bladder and the chunk of intestines (yemuadie), the country had had to put in an amount of about $164 million towards the importation of these items. We are taking steps to ensure that in terms of rice, there’s no poverty of rice in the country.”

He emphasized, “By these restrictions, we are not going to ensure that there’s no food in the country at all; that is not the point at all. There have to be some efforts by the government to ensure that we go back to Acheampong’s operation feed yourself. There are about 22 items on the list, one of them, I think, is diapers.”

He announced the introduction of the Ghana Standards Authority Regulations 2023, which also seeks to streamline the manufacturing of cement to ensure competitive pricing.

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Mahama doesn’t understand 24hr economy; don’t vote for him – Bawumia



Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia says former President John Dramani Mahama does not understand the 24-hour economy policy he is proposing.

According to the Vice President, that policy is already being implemented in the country, as hospitals, fuel companies, among others, operate a 24-hour system.

Dr. Bawumia, therefore, urged Ghanaians to ignore Mahama during the 2024 polls since he has nothing new to offer and vote for the New Patriotic Party.

“John Mahama says he has a new idea. What is the idea? He says he wants a 24-hour economy. He doesn’t even understand that policy. Today in Ghana, our hospitals work 24 hours, our electricity company works 24 hours, our water company works 24 hours, our fuel stations work 24 hours, and many chop bars work 24 hours. Today because of digitalisation, you can transfer money 24 hours, you can receive money 24 hours… So he doesn’t understand his own policy. It doesn’t make sense.”

“So I want you to vote for me in 2024 because I will bring a new vision, I will bring a new policy. Mahama is the past, Dr Bawumia is the future. If John Mahama was there, we would say we have a dumsor economy, you can’t have a 24-hour economy in dumsor. So, you want to vote for Dr Bawumia in 2024, we will take the country to new heights,” Dr Bawumia stated.

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Bagbin rebukes IMF over alleged pressure to pass some bills under certificate of urgency



The Speaker of Parliament, Alban Bagbin, has accused the International Monetary Fund (IMF) of pressuring the House to pass a number of bills under a certificate of urgency.

Mr. Bagbin cited bills such as the Affirmative Action Bill, which is allegedly being pushed by the IMF as part of the conditionality for the balance of the $3 billion credit facility for Ghana.

Speaking at the Speaker’s Breakfast Meeting on Monday, Alban Bagbin insisted that the House will not be coerced by the IMF to pass the bill.

“Even in this budget, you can see the arm of the IMF in a lot of provisions in the budget. A critical bill like the Affirmative Action Gender Equality Bill has come to Parliament under a certificate of urgency. Please, it won’t happen; we won’t pass it under a certificate of urgency.”

“There are critical stakeholders we must consult and make sure we go together. We will not be dictated by the IMF; that one, you can be assured. This is a very critical bill that the IMF should know that we need the buy-in of the stakeholders to be able to implement it,” Alban Bagbin said.

The Affirmative Action Bill, when passed into law, would seek to expunge the historically low representation of women in decision-making spaces and promote democracy and development through all-inclusive participation.

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