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national emergency


President Donald Trump has announced he could declare a national emergency in order to build the Mexican border wall without the approval of Congress.

The announcement came after the president met senior Democrats, who refused his requests for funding.

The stand-off has seen President Trump withhold support for a bill to fully fund the government until he gets money for the border wall.

Donald Trump said he was prepared for the partial government shutdown – now in its third week – to last years.

Around 800,000 federal workers have been without pay since December 22.

President Trump’s aides and lawmakers will meet on January 5 in a fresh bid to resolve the impasse.

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The president initially gave a positive account of the 90-minute meeting at the White House, describing it as “very productive”.

However, when asked whether he had considered using emergency presidential powers to bypass congressional approval of funding, President Trump said he had.

He said: “I may do it. We can call a national emergency and build it very quickly. That’s another way of doing it.”

“I’m very proud of doing what I’m doing,” President Trump added.

“I don’t call it a shutdown, I call it doing what you have to do for the benefit and safety of our country.”

On January 4, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the meeting had been “contentious”, while Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said: “We told the president we needed the government open. He resisted.”

Democrats, who now hold the majority in the House, passed spending bills on January 3 to reopen the government, including $1.3 billion of border security funds until February 8.

However, the legislation cannot take effect unless it passes the Republican-controlled Senate, where leader Mitch McConnell said his party would not back any measure without President Trump’s support.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has declared the outbreak of Ebola “a national emergency” and approved more than $11 million to help contain it.

The move comes after the World Health Organization (WHO) said the spread of the virus in West Africa was an international health emergency.

WHO says 961 people have died from Ebola in West Africa this year, two of them in Nigeria.

The total number of cases stands at 1,779, the UN health agency said.

In a statement, President Goodluck Jonathan called on Nigerians to report any suspected Ebola cases to the nearest medical authorities.

Goodluck Jonathan also urged the public not to spread “false information about Ebola which can lead to mass hysteria”.

Nigeria has declared the outbreak of Ebola a national emergency

Nigeria has declared the outbreak of Ebola a national emergency

Nigeria became the fourth West African country involved in the outbreak when a dual US-Liberian citizen infected with Ebola arrived in Lagos after flying from Liberia via Togo on 20 July.

He died five days later and eight people who came into contact with him were also later diagnosed with Ebola. One of them, a nurse, died on Tuesday.

Nigeria’s state oil company said on Friday it had shut down one of its clinics in Lagos following a suspected case.

US health authorities said on Friday they were sending extra personnel and resources to Nigeria.

“We are starting to ramp up our staffing in Lagos,” US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention spokesman Tom Skinner told AFP news agency.

“We are really concerned about Lagos and the potential for spread there, given the fact that Lagos – and Nigeria for that matter – has never seen Ebola.”

International companies are also taking protective measures and the world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, says it has begun evacuating some workers at its iron ore mines in Liberia.

Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia have already declared national emergencies over the spread of the virus.

WHO said on Friday that 68 new cases and 29 deaths were reported over the course of two days this week.

They included 26 new cases in Sierra Leone and 38 in Liberia, but no new cases in Guinea, where the outbreak began.

The agency said a co-ordinated response was essential to reverse the spread of the virus.

“The possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious in view of the virulence of the virus,” WHO said after a meeting on Friday.

The Ebola virus was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1976. Experts say this outbreak is unusual because it started in Guinea, which has never before been affected, and is spreading to urban areas.

Two US citizens infected with Ebola while working in West Africa are currently being treated at a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Both have been treated with an experimental drug.

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