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Seven women on Joe Biden’s shortlist of potential vice presidents | USA News



With the November 3 general election in the United States less than 100 days away, presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden is under increasing pressure to select a running mate for his challenge to incumbent President Donald Trump. In his most recent comments on the topic, he pledged to name his choice at some point in “early August”.

During the final debate just before the coronavirus took over the headlines and airwaves, Biden committed to choosing a woman and he has held fast to that promise since. Consequently, the list of Biden’s potential running mates is exclusively women.

Biden was already under pressure from Democrats to have a woman of colour on the ticket because of the outsized role that Black voters played in his road to the nomination during the primaries. The recent reckoning over racism and inequality – roiling the nation following the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white police officer in Minneapolis – has only added to that pressure.

Selecting a running mate is a critical decision for any presidential candidate, but it is an especially critical calculation for the 77-year-old Biden, who if elected would become the oldest American president in history. The decision carries additional weight amid the coronavirus pandemic, which, beyond its high human toll, has devastated the US economy to an extent that will be felt well into the first term of the next president and beyond.

Below are five of the women Biden is widely reported to be considering.

1. Kamala Harris 

Kamala Harris speaking during the fifth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season [Saul Loeb/AFP]

A Senator from California, Harris is a former rival who endorsed Biden and began campaigning for him after she ended her bid in December. She has been at the centre of vice-presidential speculation since. Harris, 55, was elected California attorney general in 2010 and has been a rising star in the Democratic Party. A daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, she could help rally Black voters, a crucial Democratic voting bloc, behind Biden.

2. Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks to reporters, after announcing she has formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., Dec

Elizabeth Warren speaking to reporters after announcing she had formed an exploratory committee to run for president in 2020, outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US [Brian Snyder/Reuters]

Warren, 70, who also vied for her party’s nomination during the primaries, is a Massachusetts Senator and an academic who specialised in bankruptcy and commercial law. Her policy proposals are much more progressive than Biden’s. Picking her as his running mate might help sway some of the more liberal voters in the Democratic party in his favour.

3. Val Demings

Val Demings

Representative Val Demings questioning constitutional scholars during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the impeachment of US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC [Drew Angerer/Pool via Reuters] 

The African American congresswoman from Florida rose to national prominence after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose her as one of seven Democrats to serve as a manager in the impeachment proceedings against Trump. Before coming to Congress, she worked her way up through the ranks of the Orlando, Florida police department to become its first female chief. Demings, 63, was first elected to office in 2016. The fact that she hails from a state deemed critical in November helps, but her background in law enforcement may not please some who have been critical of Biden’s track record on criminal justice.

4. Michelle Lujan Grisham

Michelle Luhan Grisham

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, signs a gun control measure in February 2020 [File: Morgan Lee/AP Photo] 

The New Mexico governor is another unknown nationally but hails from a family prominent in New Mexico politics. Luhan Grisham, 60, served three terms in the House before being elected governor in 2018 and is also one of the highest-ranking Latina elected officials in the US. In the past, she has been a strong supporter of abortion rights, committed her state to push for lower greenhouse gas emissions, and, as a congresswoman, called for a higher minimum wage and restrictions on the sale of semi-automatic rifles.

5. Susan Rice

Susan Rice

Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice takes part in a discussion on global leadership at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee [File: Mark Humphrey/AP Photo]

Susan Rice worked closely with Biden during his time as vice president, and has emerged as a favourite among some former Obama administration officials and is personally close to the former president. She has never held elected office but has extensive foreign policy experience, including as US ambassador to the United Nations. She’s also been an outspoken critic of the administration of Trump since leaving the White House and considered running for the US Senate in Maine.

Rice has long been a target of Republicans, including for statements she made blaming the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya on protests spawned by an internet video. Republicans have also accused her of spying on Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, though records declassified by the Trump administration show no evidence of Rice improperly accessing any information.

6. Representative Karen Bass

US Representative Karen Bass

Representative Karen Bass questions US Attorney General William Barr during a House Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, DC. [Chip Somodevilla/Pool via Reuters]

A late addition to Biden’s shortlist, Bass, a congresswoman from Southern California and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, would add a progressive voice to the ticket.

Bass has an extensive background in police reform efforts and has spearheaded the legislative response in the House to the killing of George Floyd. But at 66, she may not offer the prospect of generational transition that Biden wants to show.

7. Senator Tammy Duckworth

Tammy Duckworth

Democratic US Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois at the Capitol in Washington, DC. [File: Cliff Owen/AP Photo]

Duckworth, 52, has a compelling personal story and would help bolster the campaign’s national security credentials.

The senator from Illinois is a combat veteran who lost her legs when her helicopter was shot down in Iraq in 2004. She went on to become the first woman with a disability and the first Thai-American elected to US Congress. Duckworth, however, has not been on the forefront of civil justice issues like Harris, Bass and others on Biden’s list.

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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