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What to expect on second day of Democratic National Convention | USA News



The second night of the virtual Democratic National Convention will promote the message of presidential leadership as Democrats seek to illustrate the sharp differences separating their candidate, Joe Biden, from the incumbent President Donald Trump. 

Biden’s wife, Jill – who is one of his closest political advisers, will close the list of notable speakers in Tuesday’s programme designed to showcase Biden’s life story while highlighting his collaborative leadership style, in contrast to Trump whom Democrats have cast as chaotic and ineffective. 

On Monday night, headliner former First Lady Michelle Obama criticised Trump for being “in over his head” and incapable of rising to meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout. 

Trump pushed back in a series of tweets on Tuesday morning defending his handling of the economy, and saying he would not “be here, in the beautiful White House, if it weren’t for the job done by your husband, Barack Obama…”.

He also claimed the country was more divided under the Obama administration. 

Biden ascended to the top of what was initially a very crowded field of Democratic presidential candidates through a steady and persistent strategy that positioned him as best able to take on Trump because of his experience and personal decency.

Democratic voters responded, and now Biden’s team is using this year’s unusual, COVID-19 constrained convention to reintroduce Biden to the nation and promote him as a better choice than Trump on the basis of character.

Most Americans know Biden from his eight-year service as vice president to former President Barack Obama, which helped define Biden’s collaborative leadership.

Fewer will remember Biden’s middle-class roots growing up in Delaware and the tragic beginning to his public life when his wife and daughter were killed in a car accident in 1972 weeks before he was sworn in as US senator at the age of 30.

Biden commuted to the Senate by train on Amtrak every day so he could be home for his boys Beau and Hunter who survived the crash. Biden’s son Beau followed in his father’s footsteps as a politician, but died in 2015 from a brain tumour.

He met his wife Jill in 1975, and they were married in 1977. She will give the closing remarks in tonight’s virtual convention programme. 

Other speakers who will touch on the Democrat’s leadership theme include former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State John Kerry, who ran for president in 2004 and is a close ally of Biden.

Kerry condemned Trump’s foreign policy in a phone call on Tuesday with reporters, telling them, “the world does not have a leader in the free world at this moment”, The Associated Press news agency reported. 

Former Secretary of State John Kerry arrives at a campaign event in support of Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden in North Liberty, Iowa, on February 1, 2020. Kerry slammed President Trump’s leadership failures in a call with reporters before his Tuesday convention speech.[File: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters]

Kerry faults Trump for pulling away from traditional European allies and failing to assert a cohesive foreign policy strategy, leaving US allies French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “casting about trying hard.”

Kerry was secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s second term and took the lead in negotiating a multi-lateral agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions which Trump unilaterally withdrew from in 2018.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a progressive first-term member of Congress who supported Bernie Sanders in the presidential primary contest, will make an appearance on behalf Biden on Tuesday, as part of the Democratic ticket’s effort to unify its progressive and establishment wings under one banner.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York is among the bright, young politicians that are seeking to define a progressive future for the Democratic Party [File: Andrew Kelly/Reuters]

Sanders threw his support behind Biden in the virtual convention on opening night on Monday. Ocasio-Cortez is a prominent member of a new class of progressive young legislators emerging in the Democratic Party.

Carter’s appearance among the Democratic luminaries marks his first showing at a presidential nominating convention in eight years. Carter, 95, and his wife, Rosalynn, will address attendees at a virtual gathering, convention organisers announced on Tuesday.

Jimmy Carter

Former US President Jimmy Carter attended the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado [File: Eric Thayer/Reuters]

Al Jazeera and news agencies

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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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