Connect with us

News

US AG Barr tells Congress violent US protests must be stopped | News

Published

on


United States Attorney General William Barr on Tuesday defended the harsh tactics of federal law enforcement against anti-racism protests in US cities and denied accusations he intervened in criminal cases to help President Donald Trump’s allies.

“These peaceful protests in many places are being hijacked by a very hardcore group of instigators, violent instigators,” Barr said in his first appearance before the US House of Representatives since taking office in February 2019.

“They become violent and the primary direction of violence is to injure police. Police casualties far exceed anything on the civilian side,” Barr said.

Federal law enforcement officers block off a street after clearing protesters from the area during a demonstration against police violence and racial inequality in Portland, Oregon [Caitlin Ochs/Reuters]

In a contentious five-hour hearing, Barr depicted protests at a federal courthouse in Portland, the 26th largest US city, as a siege. Demonstrators gather nightly in an escalating standoff with federal agents barricaded inside to defend the building from attempts to set it on fire, Barr said.

Attackers in Portland mix with political protesters, aim lasers at the eyes of US officers defending the courthouse, fire steel projectiles using slingshots, and – dressed in black – swarm officers attempting to make arrests, Barr told the House Committee on the Judiciary on Tuesday.

“The rioters have come equipped for a fight, armed with powerful slingshots, tasers, sledgehammers, saws, knives, rifles and explosive devices,” Barr said.

Democrats accused Barr of condoning unconstitutional arrests of peaceful protesters who have been exercising their rights to speak out against police killings of unarmed Black men and women. 

Black activist Portland

Black activist Myke Tavarres speaks to the crowd during a protest against racial inequality and police violence in Portland, Oregon [Caitlin Ochs/Reuters]

“Most of the protests have been peaceful. You know that,” said Representative Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a Democrat. “You are just using language for political purposes.”

Democrats said that by escalating confrontations between federal officers and protesters, Barr is helping Trump divide the nation ahead of November’s election.

Demonstrations in Portland and elsewhere in the US began in May after the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody. The Portland protests continued through June.

Beginning in early July, despite opposition from local authorities, federal officers from US agencies deployed in tactical gear to Portland, where they began pulling people off the streets into unmarked vans and interrogating them.

Barr told the House panel the violence in Portland is fomented by left-wing, “antifa” or antifascist groups and would “metastasize” to other US cities if the federal government does not take a stand. Barr said he does not believe there is “systematic racism” in most police departments across the US even though Blacks are killed by police at a disproportionate rate.

William Barr gestures

US Attorney General William Barr testifies during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC [Chip Somodevilla/Pool via Reuters]

“You seem to have a difficult time understanding systematic racism and institutional racism that has plagued so many,” said Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democrat who is Black.

Barr and Trump have announced plans to send additional federal law enforcement forces to other US cities. The Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General is investigating the confrontations between federal forces and protesters.

Democrats, who control a majority in the US House of Representatives, accused the Republican attorney general of improperly using his position as the top US law enforcement official to help Trump politically.

“You have aided and abetted the worst failings of the president,” said Representative Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic chairman of the Judiciary Committee.

“Again and again, you personally have interfered with ongoing criminal investigations to protect the president and his allies from the consequences of their actions,” Nadler said.

Jerry Nadler chairs Barr hearing

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, a Democrat, participates in a House Judiciary Committee hearing with US Attorney General William Barr in Washington, DC [Chip Somodevilla/Pool via Reuters]

Barr intervened in the sentencing of Trump associate Roger Stone, who was convicted of lying to investigators and intimidating a witness. 

A longtime friend of Trump, Stone had coordinated the release of hacked Democratic emails with WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign, according the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump commuted Stone’s sentence on July 10 so that he would not serve prison time.

Barr intervened in the sentencing of Michael Flynn, a former US military officer who served as a national security adviser to Trump. Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in the Mueller investigation about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to the US. A Barr aide moved to dismiss the charges.

Testifying under penalty of perjury, Barr told the House panel that Trump “has not attempted to interfere in these decisions” although the president’s tweets have signalled Trump’s interests.

“On the contrary, he has told me from the start, that he expects me to exercise my independent judgement to make whatever call I think is right,” Barr said.

Barr sided in Tuesday’s hearing with repeated Republican assertions that the previous administration of President Barack Obama had improperly spied on members of the Trump campaign and transition team.

A DOJ Inspector General’s report in 2019 rejected allegations that Obama officials had spied on the Trump campaign, but found violations of rules in FBI requests for secret warrants.

“Spying, that one word, that’s why they are after you,” Representative Jim Jordan, a Republican, told Barr at the start of the hearing.

William Barr stumped

US Attorney General William Barr told the House Judiciary Committee that President Trump has not sought to influence the outcomes of criminal cases brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against Trump’s associates [Chip Somodevilla/Pool via Reuters]

Barr has ordered an investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation by US Attorney John Durham in Connecticut and a separate investigation by US Attorney John Bash in Texas of Obama administration officials’ requests for secret foreign surveillance.

Neither inquiry has yielded any charges to date.

In June, Barr removed the top US prosecutor in New York City, Geoffrey Berman, who was investigating Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Berman has described steps by Barr leading to Berman’s firing as “irregular”.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

News

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

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

News

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

Published

on

By


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.



Source – observer.ug

Continue Reading

News

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

Published

on

By


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”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

Trending