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South African Billionaire Apologises After Telling Trump ‘Africa Loves You’

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A South African billionaire businessman has apologised for telling United States President Donald Trump that “Africa loves you” during the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.

A video of Patrice Motsepe’s remarks to Trump went viral on social media and sparked outrage from people who disagreed with Motsepe and lambasted him for speaking on Africans’ behalf.

In the video, Motsepe can be heard telling Trump during a group dinner that “Africa loves America. Africa loves you. It is very, very important. We want America to do well. We want you to do well. The success of America is the success of the rest of the world.”

In response to Motsepe’s introduction, Trump said: “You’ve done a great job, thank you very much.” Motsepe, the first black African on the Forbes billionaires list and brother-in-law of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, was attending a dinner of business leaders from around the world including FIFA president Gianni Infantino, the CEOs of Siemens and Saudi Aramco and the Ivory Coast-born CEO of Credit Suisse, Tidjane Thiam.

Motsepe’s comments drew criticism even among some South African cabinet ministers, with Finance Minister Tito Mboweni saying the billionaire’s views did not represent those of the government. KwaZulu-Natal province premier Sihle Zikalala was more blunt, saying Trump was not a friend of the ruling African National Congress party and that South Africa had nothing to benefit from the U.S. president.

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Trump has been criticized for his comments about Africa, including one comparing African nations to a dirty latrine, which led to widespread anger from Africans and even heads of state.

In a statement released Tuesday, Motsepe said the debate over his remarks had exposed him to different views.

“I have a duty to listen to these differing views and would like to apologize. I do not have the right to speak on behalf of anybody except myself,” he said.

Motsepe said his remarks were partly aimed at encouraging discussions between the Trump administration and African political leaders amid “increasing feedback from certain American political and business leaders that South Africa and some African countries are anti-America and its political leadership.”

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Al-Qaeda Confirms Death Of AQAP Leader Qasim Al-Raymi

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Al-Qaeda has confirmed the death of Qasim al-Raymi, the leader of Islamist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the Site Intelligence Group reported on Sunday.

US President Donald Trump announced earlier this month that the United States had killed al-Raymi in a counterterrorism operation in Yemen.

The United States regards AQAP as one of the deadliest branches of the al Qaeda network founded by Osama bin Laden.

Reuters

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JUST IN: Israel Confirms Its First Case Of Coronavirus

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The virus was confirmed in a citizen who flew home from Japan earlier this week after being quarantined on the stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess.

“One of the passengers who returned home from the cruise ship in Japan tested positive in a checkup by the health ministry’s central laboratory,” a ministry statement said.

The statement added that the other dozen Israeli passengers who had flown home had all tested negative.

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BREAKING: Two Test Positive For Coronavirus In Iran

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Two people in Iran tested positive Wednesday for the deadly new coronavirus, the health ministry said in the Islamic republic’s first cases of the disease.

Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, said the cases were detected in the holy city of Qom, south of the Iranian capital.

“In the past two days, some suspect cases of the new coronavirus were observed in Qom city,” he said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.

“Teams were dispatched after receiving the reports, and based on the existing protocols the suspect cases were isolated and tested,” said Jahanpour.

“Out of the samples sent, a laboratory tested two of them as positive for coronavirus just minutes ago and some of the other samples were type B influenza.”

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The health ministry spokesman said additional tests were being done on the two cases and final results would be announced “as soon as possible”.

The new coronavirus epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people in China and infected more than 74,000. It has spread to at least two dozen countries.

The United Arab Emirates was the first country in the Middle East to report cases of coronavirus last month.

AFP

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