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Kamala Harris sees US at ‘inflexion point’ in upcoming | News

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The Democratic Party has made history by nominating Kamala Harris as its vice presidential candidate, as an array of party leaders laid out their case for Joe Biden to be the next president of the United States and urged people to organise and vote.

Democrats must defeat President Donald Trump in the November election or face a chaotic, destructive future amid a deadly pandemic and a rising climate crisis, Harris and a parade of Democrats including women, immigrants and young people warned on the third night of the virtual Democratic National Convention.

“We’re at an inflexion point,” Harris said in her acceptance speech on Wednesday in a direct attack on Trump.

“Right now we have a president who turns our tragedies into political weapons,” Harris said. “Constant chaos leaves us adrift. The incompetence makes us feel afraid. The callousness makes us feel alone. It’s a lot. And here’s the thing – we can do better and deserve so much more,” Harris said.

“We must elect a president who will bring something different, something better, and do the important work – a president who will bring all of us together – Black, white, Latino, Asian, Indigenous – to achieve the future we collectively want,” Harris said.

The daughter of Indian and Jamaican immigrants, Harris is the first woman of colour to be nominated as a candidate for vice president by a major US party – Republican or Democrat. Harris’s remarks capped a night of appearances by big-name Democratic politicians in support of Biden’s candidacy.

Harris spoke passionately about the strength of her late mother Shyamala who conveyed values of activism to her and she testified about her love of family.

“She came across as really genuine. There was a warmth to it that counterbalances her image as a tough person,” Courtney Burns, an associate professor of political science at Bucknell University, told Al Jazeera.

Harris’s selection as vice president “showed diversity and connection”, Burns said.

Party stars make the case for Biden

Former President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate Senator Elizabeth Warren and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared by satellite feed on the penultimate night of the virtual convention.

“Tonight, I am asking you to believe in Joe and Kamala’s ability to lead this country out of dark times and build it back better,” Obama said in a speech that recounted his time in the White House with Biden as his number two.

Barack Obama spoke in graphic terms about the US civil rights movement that paved the way for him to become the first Black president [Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters]

“Over eight years, Joe was the last one in the room whenever I faced a big decision. He made me a better president. He’s got the character and the experience to make us a better country,” Obama said, lauding Biden’s humility and resilience.

Obama warned darkly that the Trump administration “has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win” and he urged Democrats to organise and vote in the election.

“What we do echoes through the generations,” Obama said.

In an email to reporters, Trump’s re-election campaign said Biden and Harris are leading “the most far-left presidential ticket in American history” and are “total failures”.

COVID-19 concerns

Among Democrats’ concerns ahead of the November polls, there has been a new outcry as a Trump-appointee has taken steps that could slow down the US Postal Service at a time when millions of voters could attempt to cast ballots by mail to avoid potential exposure to COVID-19.

The US is struggling with the coronavirus outbreak that has infected more than 5.5 million Americans and killed more than 173,000 – a higher toll than in any other country. Democrats say Trump failed to lead an effective response. 

“There’s a lot of heartbreak in America right now – and the truth is, many things were broken before the pandemic,” said former Democratic presidential candidate Clinton who lost her 2016 bid to be the first woman president.

Hillary Clinton speaks to Dem convention

Former Democratic presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Democrats to vote for Biden-Harris in the upcoming 2020 election [Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters]

“For four years, people have said to me, ‘I didn’t realize how dangerous he was.’ ‘I wish I could go back and do it over.’ Or worse, ‘I should have voted’,” Clinton said, urging Biden supporters to commit to voting.

“This can’t be another woulda-coulda-shoulda election,” Clinton said. “No matter what, vote. Vote like our lives and livelihoods are on the line, because they are.”

Array of reforms

Biden and the Democrats are promising to bring a range of new policies on gun control, immigration reform, clean energy to address climate change and racial and economic justice.

Silvia Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant in North Carolina, appeared by video feed during the virtual convention with her daughters Jessica, who is a Dreamer, and Lucy.

Sanchez crossed the Rio Grande river into the US holding one of her daughters, who has spina bifida, a life-threatening birth defect, above the water. Today, they are battling for citizenship and healthcare.

Silvia Sanchez undocumented immigrant

Silvia Sanchez, an undocumented immigrant in North Carolina, with her daughters Jessica, who is a Dreamer, and Lucy, speaks of the family’s battle for citizenship and healthcare [Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters]

Hearing the voices of women leaders was a persistent theme in Wednesday night’s proceedings.

House Speaker Pelosi led the impeachment charge against Trump and has been on the receiving end of his insults.

“As Speaker, I’ve seen first-hand Donald Trump’s disrespect for facts, for working families – and for women in particular – disrespect written into his policies toward our health and our rights, not just his conduct,” Pelosi said. 

“But we know what he doesn’t – that when women succeed, America succeeds,” Pelosi said.

Nancy Pelosi at Dem convention

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi listed the legislative reforms passed in the past two years by Democrats in the US House of Representatives that have been blocked by Republicans in the US Senate and President Trump [Democratic National Convention/Pool via Reuters]

Wednesday’s event also featured stars from the world of entertainment, with actor Kerry Washington hosting and teenage pop sensation Billie Eilish performing her new single, My Future, for the first time.

“Donald Trump is destroying our country and everything we care about. We need leaders who will solve problems like climate change and COVID, not deny them, leaders who will fight against systemic racism and inequality,” Eilish said, urging people to vote in November’s poll.

Democrats are nearing the climax of a four-day national convention designed to appeal to a broad coalition of Americans on a centre-left political spectrum with an added pitch to some Republicans who are unhappy with Trump’s unconventional conduct.

Democrats formally nominated Biden, to be their presidential candidate on Tuesday in a first-ever video roll call vote of delegates. Biden will give his acceptance speech on Thursday.



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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