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Why Nikki Haley urges Republican voters to hold off on supporting Donald Trump



 GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley urged Republican voters to hold off on supporting former President Donald Trump until they know if he’s going to be convicted in any of the four criminal trials pending against him.

“I think the American people deserve to know what the situation is going to be,” Haley said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” Former President Donald Trump currently faces four sets of criminal charges, two federal cases and state-level cases in Georgia and New York.

But Haley on Sunday went beyond targeting Trump over his sweeping indictments. Seeking to upset the former president in the South Carolina Republican primary on Feb. 24, Haley also said Trump should not be trying to block a congressional border bill. Instead, the former South Carolina governor told CNN a new border security plan should be passed as soon as possible.

Haley also used the interview to clarify recent comments she made about states and seceding, telling CNN that no state has the right to leave the country.

Haley on Sunday warned that, as Republican voters select their 2024 nominee to potentially face off against President Joe Biden, “For the next year, (Trump is) going to be sitting a courtroom.”

“I think it speaks for itself that he’s saying he’s going to be spending more time in a courtroom than he’s going to be spending on the campaign trail. We’ve got a country in disarray and a world on fire.”

Haley spoke on CNN days after a federal judge announced the indefinite delay of a March 4 scheduled trial in which Trump is accused of trying to steal the 2020 election from Biden. The trial is being delayed because Trump’s pre-trial appeals are taking up so much time.

Trump also faces three other criminal trials: A hush money case in New York state, a classified documents case in Florida and another election fraud case in the state of Georgia.

Trials in those cases are proposed for March, May and August, but pre-trial maneuvering could delay any or all of them.

Meanwhile, sandwiched between those potential trial datesthe Republican nominating convention starts July 15 in Milwaukee.

Trump in recent weeks has pushed House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La. and other Republican leaders to kill a long-awaited bipartisan border security bill by arguing that Biden already has the power to stop illegal crossings.

But the former president’s critics have argued that Trump simply wants to stop lawmakers from working with Biden on major border legislation ahead of the election.

Haley, for example, told CNN on Sunday that said Trump “is absolutely playing politics” with the border.

“He shouldn’t be getting involved telling Republicans that wait until the election because we don’t want this to help Biden win. We can’t wait one more day.”

Trump allies immediately hit back at Haley following her interview.

“Nikki Haley reeks of desperation,” Trump campaign spokesman Steven Cheung said, adding “it’s clear she knows she has no shot” and “is now auditioning for a cable news contract when her 15 minutes are over.”

Haley faced her own criticism on Sunday, too. The former United Nations ambassador sought to clean up recent comments she made suggesting that states – specifically Texas – could secede from the Union, an issue that helped trigger the Civil War.

In a recent radio interview, Haley said that “if Texas decides they want to do that, they can do that.” She said “if that whole state says, ‘We don’t want to be part of America anymore,’ I mean, that’s their decision to make.”

She also added: “Let’s talk about what’s reality. Texas isn’t going to secede.”

But Haley this week told CNN said she was referencing comments made during her 2010 campaign for South Carolina governor, and that she did not mean to express support for secession and the country breaking apart.

“The Constitution doesn’t allow for that,” Haley said.

She said lawmakers should understand the frustration that some state officials feel over the authority of the federal government, citing Texas and its treatment of the U.S.-Mexico border as a prime example.

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House Republicans vote to hold Garland in contempt over Biden interview audio



House Republicans on Wednesday afternoon passed a resolution to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress for refusing to turn over audio of President Joe Biden’s interview with special counsel Robert Hur on his handling of classified documents.

The final vote was 216 to 207. Rep. David Joyce of Ohio was the only Republican who voted against the contempt resolution.

Speaker Mike Johnson called the outcome “a significant step in maintaining the integrity of our oversight processes and responsibilities.”

“It is up to Congress – not the Executive Branch – to determine what materials it needs to conduct its own investigations, and there are consequences for refusing to comply with lawful Congressional subpoenas,” Johnson said in a statement.

MORE: Biden asserts executive privilege over audio of interview with special counsel Hur

Garland, in response, said it was “deeply disappointing that this House of Representatives has turned a serious congressional authority into a partisan weapon.”

“Today’s vote disregards the constitutional separation of powers, the Justice Department’s need to protect its investigations, and the substantial amount of information we have provided to the Committees,” Garland said in a statement. “I will always stand up for this Department, its employees, and its vital mission to defend our democracy.”

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Answers demanded after Nigeria’s disappointing 2026 FIFA World Cup outing



Nigeria’s sports ministry has demanded an explanation for the country’s poor 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign, labelling it “unacceptable” after a 2-1 defeat by Benin left the Super Eagles winless from their opening four games.

Following draws with Lesotho, Zimbabwe and South Africa, Monday’s result means Nigeria sit fifth in Group C with three points from a possible 12.

Only the group winners are guaranteed a place at the World Cup finals, which will be jointly hosted by the USA, Canada, and Mexico.

“Our supporters are passionate and devoted,” senator John Owan Enoh, minister of sports development, said in a statement.

“They deserve an explanation for why our national team has not been performing to the expected standards since after the last Africa Cup of Nations.

“The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) must provide a comprehensive technical report explaining the reasons behind this poor showing and give cause why there mustn’t be consequences.

“The recent results are unacceptable.”

Nigeria failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, losing on away goals to Ghana in the play-offs, but did reach the final of this year’s Nations Cup under former boss Jose Peseiro, losing to hosts Ivory Coast.

Finidi George was appointed as Peseiro’s replacement in April but failed to lift the team’s performances against South Africa and Benin.

The Super Eagles have failed to win any of their past seven World Cup qualifiers dating back to November 2021 – a time when Gernot Rohr, now coach of Benin, was in charge.

The game against Benin, which was played in neutral Ivory Coast, got off to an inauspicious start for Nigeria when the the wrong national anthem was played.

Two weeks ago, President Bola Tinubu made a controversial decision to revert to the nation’s former anthem, but organisers in Abidjan clearly missed the memo.

The NFF expressed its displeasure at the mistake and threatened not to take the field for the second period until the correct anthem was played.

Raphael Onyedika had put the Super Eagles ahead after 27 minutes but goals from Jodel Dossou and Steve Mounie gave Benin the advantage at the break.

Having returned to Nigeria on Tuesday, the team put out a statement on social media, admitting they were “unhappy about the way the two games panned out” and promising to “fight hard till the end” of the qualifying campaign.

One factor in the squad’s underperformance could be the absence of star striker Victor Osimhen, who has missed all four Group C games so far with injury.

Yet, even without the reigning African Footballer of the Year, the Nigeria squad boasts enough attacking talent to have found the net more than four times in as many outings.

African World Cup qualifiers are set to resume in March next year, with 2025 Nations Cup qualifiers scheduled to be held in September, October and November.

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Council Member Abbie Kamin Honored by Greater Houston LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce



Greater Houston LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce is honoring City of Houston Council Member Abbie Kamin with the Chamber Champion Award at the fourth annual Pride In Business Celebration & Awards Luncheon, which recognizes the contributions made by Chamber members, Impact Partners, and other key stakeholders in building a more diverse and inclusive business community. The awards spotlight deserving companies and individuals and showcase their impactful work to support the LGBTQ+ community.

Council Member Abbie Kamin received the Chamber Champion Award, a designation earned by a strong advocate for the Chamber committed to advancing prosperity for our LGBTQ+ community.  “I’ve had the privilege to work alongside the Chamber and see firsthand the incredible partnerships they foster for our LGBTQIA+ community and businesses. I am extremely moved by this award and what it represents.” said Council Member Kamin. “Business is the backbone of our thriving city and can make a difference when it comes to fighting back against the unacceptable discrimination and bigotry our LGBTQIA+ community is facing. I will always stand with our LGBTQIA+ businesses and families, and thank the Chamber for this prestigious honor.”

“Council Member Kamin has been a longtime advocate and champion for the LGBTQ+ community. She is a partner with the Chamber on the Show Your Pride campaign and supported the Chamber’s efforts to make Houston the first city in Texas to recognize LGBTQ+ owned businesses in City of Houston contracting,” said Tammi Wallace, Co-Founder, President & CEO, Greater Houston LGBTQ+ Chamber of Commerce.  “In 2022, she created the Families with Pride festival to celebrate love, inclusivity, and all families, and she was recognized as the Ally Grand Marshal for the Pride Parade in 2021. It’s for these reasons and more that the Chamber is proud to recognize her as an outstanding champion and ally of the LGBTQ+ community.”

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