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Obama aims criticism at Trump in eulogy for civil rights leader | News

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Former US President Barack Obama launched his sharpest attack to date on President Donald Trump on Thursday, condemning the use of federal agents against protesters and attempts at voter suppression in the United States.

“Today we witness with our own eyes, police officers kneeling on the necks of Black Americans,” Obama said in a fiery eulogy at the emotional funeral service in Atlanta of civil rights leader John Lewis.

“We can witness our federal government sending agents to use tear gas and batons against peaceful demonstrators,” the former president said.

Obama did not mention Trump by name, but he was clearly referencing moves by the Republican president, who used troops to clear protesters from Lafayette Square outside the White House and sent federal agents to put down demonstrations in Portland, Oregon.

Obama took a jab at alleged Republican attempts to suppress the minority vote and Trump’s repeated attacks on mail-in voting less than 100 days ahead of the November contest against Democrat Joe Biden.

“Even as we sit here, there are those in power who are doing their darndest to discourage people from voting by closing polling locations and targeting minorities and students with restrictive ID laws and attacking our voting rights with surgical precision, even undermining the postal service in the run-up to an election that’s going to be dependent on mail-in ballots so people don’t get sick,” he said.

US President Donald Trump walks past a building defaced with graffiti in Lafayette Park near the White House while US Secret Service agents and a White House photographer follow him to St John’s Church, where Trump posed for photographs after riot police had violently cleared peaceful protesters from the park; Washington, DC, June 1, 2020 [File: Tom Brenner/Reuters]

Paying tribute to Lewis, who died on July 17 at the age of 80, Obama said the congressman’s lifelong fight for African-Americans’ civil rights had paved the way for him to become the US’s first Black president.

Lewis, a 17-term Democratic congressman from Georgia, did “everything he could to preserve this democracy and as long as we have breath in our bodies, we have to continue his cause”, Obama said.

“As long as young people are protesting in the streets hoping real change takes hold, I’m hopeful,” he said.

“But we can’t casually abandon them at the ballot box. Not when few elections have been as urgent on so many levels as this one.”

Lewis’s funeral service was also attended by former presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Former president Jimmy Carter, 95, was unable to attend but sent a letter that was read out to the mourners in the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr served as pastor in the 1960s.

George W. Bush speaks at John Lewis service

Former US President George W Bush speaks during the funeral of late Congressman John Lewis, a pioneer of the civil rights movement at Ebeneezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, on July 30, 2020 [Alyssa Pointer/Pool via Reuters]

“His enormous contributions will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come,” Carter wrote.

Bush, a Republican, said he had his “differences” with Lewis, a Democratic stalwart, but “we live in a better and nobler country today because of John Lewis”.

“He believed in humanity and he believed in America,” Bush said.

In his tribute, Clinton referenced a column that Lewis wrote to be published in The New York Times on the day of his funeral service. 

“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe,” Lewis wrote. “So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.”

“It is so fitting that on the day of his service he leaves us our marching orders,” Clinton said. “I suggest we salute, suit up and march on.”

Before Thursday’s funeral, Lewis’s body lay in state at the US Capitol, a rarely bestowed honour, so Americans could pay their final respects.

Obama eulogy for John Lewis

Obama and former presidents Bush and Clinton addressed the service during the funeral of late US Congressman John Lewis [Alyssa Pointer/Pool via Reuters]

On Sunday, a lone caisson carried Lewis’s body across the Alabama bridge, where in 1965 a policeman fractured his skull during a protest that helped forge his reputation as a fearless civil rights leader. 

Lewis’s death came in a year during which “Black Lives Matter” protests against police brutality have brought thousands onto US streets, underscoring the still-raw depths of the country’s racial history. 

Lewis grew up in the Alabama city of Troy. His parents were sharecroppers, and he once worked in a cotton field. While attending segregated schools, Lewis was inspired by the peaceful protests of civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr.

John Lewis beaten civil rights march 1965

State troopers swing billy clubs to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Alabama in 1965. John Lewis, in the foreground being beaten by a state trooperwas chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. A future US Congressman, he sustained a fractured skull [File: AP Photo]





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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

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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

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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

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

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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

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