Jul 19, 2018 Last Updated 10:40 AM, Jul 19, 2018
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Grammy Award-winning rapper Nelly has been released from jail without charges pending an investigation of rape allegations, police in Washington state said.

Nelly, 42, was arrested early Saturday in Auburn, Washington, after a woman accused him of raping her in his tour bus.

Police said Nelly -- born Cornell Haynes Jr. -- had been booked for investigation of second-degree rape and released from custody.

Nelly has vehemently denied the charges.

"I am beyond shocked that I have been targeted with this false allegation," he said on Twitter. "I am completely innocent. I am confident that once the facts are looked at, it will be very clear that I am the victim of a false allegation."

The sexual assault allegedly took place on the tour bus hours after Nelly had performed at the White River Amphitheater just east of Auburn.

Nelly's lawyer also denied the charges

"(Nelly) is the victim of a completely fabricated allegation," his attorney Scott Rosenblum told AFP in a statement.

"Our initial investigation clearly establishes this allegation is devoid of credibility and is motivated by greed and vindictiveness.

"I am confident, once this scurrilous accusation is thoroughly investigated, there will be no charges," he added.

Nelly has received 12 Grammy nominations and won three Grammy awards, including for best rap solo performance in 2003.

Pressure is beginning to build for the government of Malawi to come out clearly on the whereabouts of President Peter Mutharika.

Mutharika left the country on September 15th to attend the 72nd United Nations General Assembly.

The UNGA conference started on September 19th to 22nd in New York.

Some world leaders, like President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe and Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, have returned to their respective countries.

George Mnesa, leader of the Malawi Forum for Unity and Development- MAFUNDE, is of the view that Malawians should always be informed about the whereabouts of the president, regardless of whether he is conducting government or private business.

“The government is being very arrogant by not letting people know because this is not the first time that we have such a scenario.

Most leader that were there have returned to their countries, there is nothing wrong in coming clean and telling the people that he is on holiday,” Mnesa added.

In Mnesa’s view, silence brews speculation, so there is a need for government to inform the people of the president’s whereabouts.

Also weighing in his views, Executive Director of the Youth and Society Charles Kajoloweka, said people are mostly speculating because there is no transparency.

“If we were able to mobilise ourselves and demand accountability, this would have easily been prevented.

But they are doing this because they know that Malawians will let it go, just like they always do,” Kajoloweka added.

When contacted by Capital FM, minister of Information Nicholas Dausi said he needed more time to consult as he did not want to speculate.

 Last year, a similar situation led to wild speculation over Mutharika’s health, as he stayed away for almost a month.

The government officials also kept Malawians in the dark on what was keeping Mutharika abroad then.

The United States Government has announced its decision to increase Malawi’s Tariff Rate Quota for sugar exports.

According to the US Ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer, the US has made the decision in a bid to assist Malawi in increasing its exports.

She adds that the US remains committed to increasing trade between the two countries.

The development means that local sugar producers Illovo Sugar Malawi Limited, is expected to work on increasing production to meet the increased demand.

“Malawi exported $10.7 million worth of sugar to the United States in 2016, an increase of 25% from 2015. 

This quota increase for fiscal year 2017 could mean an additional $4 million worth of Malawian sugar exports to the United States. 

The United States remains committed to increasing trade between the United States and Malawi,” said Ambassador Palmer.

Currently the country’s sugar export quota stands at 10.5 thousand Metric Ton Raw Value (MTRV) which has been increased with an extra 4 MTRV.

Malawi exports sugar to several countries in the EU, the US and within the African region.

Responding to the development, Illovo Malawi Board Chairperson Gavin Dalgleish expressed pleasure with the news, adding that they are ready to supply to the US.

In the year 2016, the country exported sugar worth $10.7 Million.

Sugar is Malawi’s third largest export to the United States, following tobacco and tea.  Other significant exports include coffee, macadamia nuts, and apparel. 

Since 2013, sugar exports from Malawi to the United States have more than tripled, accounting for 14% of Malawi’s total exports to the United States.

Malawi exported $75.6 million worth of goods to the United States in 2016, while it imported $46.6 million from the United States.

After Trevor Noah criticized the NRA for its silence regarding the fatal police shooting of Philando Castile, the Daily Show host turned to his own experience as a black man living in the United States.

Castile was shot last July during a traffic stop by a Minnesota police officer who was last week acquitted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting.

Prior to his death, Castile was stopped by police dozens of times. Centering on this fact, Noah shared that he has frequently been stopped by police in the roughly five years he has lived in the U.S.

"I lived on the west coast for two and a half years; I've lived on the east coast now for two and a half years. In that time, I sh-t you not, I have been stopped by police maybe, I would say, going on at least 8 to 10 times," he said.

"It's the truth. I've been stopped a sh-t-ton of times," he continued, noting that he has been stopped by police in a number of vehicles. "I've been stopped in a Tesla. A Tesla, people. I don't know what silent crime you think I'm on my way to commit."

Noah said he has "just accepted it," and always reacts to being stopped in the same way. When Noah gets pulled over by a police officer, he throws his arms out his window.

"It looks so stupid when you see me," he joked. "I just throw my arms out the window. I would rather have the cop go, 'You're weird,' and then we go from there. I'm like, 'All right, cool but you saw where my hands are."

19 Malawians have been selected to be a part of this year’s Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) Washington Fellowship.

The 19 which are mainly youth leaders from across the country will represent Malawi at this year’s six-week leadership development program to be held at university campuses in the United States.

According to a statement that Capital FM has seen, US ambassador to Malawi Virginia Palmer disclosed that the cohort will be in the states from this month up to next month.

Palmer adds that the group will hone their skills as they represent a bright future for the country.

The knowledge they gain during their program will be used to develop Malawi.

YALI was launched in 2010 by former US President Barack Obama with the aim of investing in the next generation of Africa leaders by empowering them with knowledge and skills.

33 young Malawian leaders have participated since the program began in 2014.

8 people attended in 2015, with 16 last year, they were among 1000 other’s from across the Africa.

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