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Joe Biden to deliver crucial speech at DNC: Live updates | News

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  • Democrats moved on Tuesday to nominate former Vice President Joe Biden as their presidential candidate to take on United States President Donald Trump in the November 3 election. Tonight will give Biden his first opportunity to address the nation as a presidential candidate in a formal speech.
  • The speech will be a test for Biden, who is well known for his straight-talk gaffes. However, some have noted that Biden’s speaking abilities have faltered in recent years, with some critics raising questions about his mental acuity. Trump has already started calling the former vice president “Sleepy Joe”.
  • Biden’s big night comes as the US economy continues to struggle, with unemployment rising amid the coronavirus pandemic. Observers have noted that the convention thus far has been lofty in its criticisms of Trump and hopeful rhetoric, but relatively light on policy proposals. Some hope to hear concrete solutions from the presidential nominee.
  • A range of other Democratic party figures is slated to speak on the final night of the Democratic National Convention (DNC), with former presidential candidates Mayor Pete Buttigieg, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and billionaire media mogul Mike Bloomberg to feature prominently. 

Here are the latest updates: 

Thursday, August 20 

23:42 GMT – AOC calls out Democrats for challenging progressives in primaries 

New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a figurehead of the burgeoning progressive movement within the Democratic Party, tweeted a challenge to Democrats after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced she would endorse a moderate challenger to the progressive Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. 

Pelosi will endorse Joe Kennedy, a relative of former President John F Kennedy, to challenge Markey.  

Progressive challengers have made gains in the wake of Senator Bernie Sanders’s two presidential campaigns in 2016 and 2020. Often, they have done so by challenging unpopular, moderate Democrats in safe seats. 

These challenges have gone without support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), which works to elect Democrats to Congress and usually blacklists its associates from working to unseat Democrats in good standing. 

“So”, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted to the DCCC, “when can we expect you to reverse your blacklist policy against primary orgs?”   

The challenge comes amid talks of a feud between the progressive wing – which observers say has been noticeably absent from the DNC – and the moderate wing, headed by Biden. 

23:24 GMT – Pelosi says the election depends on Wisconsin 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a stark reminder to Wisconsin Democrats on Thursday about the importance the Midwestern battleground state plays in the presidential election less than 11 weeks away.

Wisconsin did not get the national attention it hoped for when the Democratic convention – originally planned for the state’s biggest city, Milwaukee – was moved online due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

The Democrats’ previous nominee, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, did not visit the state during the 2016 campaign, though Trump visited several times. Trump’s victory by razor-thin margins there helped in the US Electoral College, which guaranteed him the presidency in spite of losing the popular vote. 

After Trump’s narrow victory of fewer than 23,000 votes in the state in 2016 – and with polls showing another close race this year – Democrats are pledging not to downplay the importance of Wisconsin in Biden’s efforts to defeat Trump.

Read more here

22:02 GMT – Steve Bannon, architect of Trump’s 2016 victory, arrested for fraud

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon, an architect of Trump’s 2016 election victory, was arrested on a yacht and pleaded not guilty on Thursday after being charged with defrauding donors in a scheme to help build the president’s signature wall along the US-Mexico border.

The indictment claims the “scheme” was related to an online crowdfunding campaign that claims to have raised more than $25m to build a wall along the southern border of the US, a signature policy proposal from Trump. 

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon speaks during a political meeting in Rome, Italy, on March 21, 2019 [Ettore Ferrari/Efe/EPA]

As a top adviser to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign who later served as White House chief strategist, Bannon helped articulate the right-wing populism and fierce opposition to immigration that have helped define Trump’s three and a half years in office.

21:45 GMT – Unemployment ticks up as coronavirus continues in the US 

The number of workers in the US who are filing for state unemployment benefits climbed back above one million last week, signalling that businesses continue to lay off workers as the economy struggles to climb out of the deep recessionary hole caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Some 1.1 million Americans filed initial jobless claims with states in the week ending August 15, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday. That is 135,000 more than the previous week, when the number fell below one million for the first time since March.

A man walks past a retail store that is going out of business due to the coronavirus pandemic in Winnetka, Ill., Tuesday, June 23, 2020. More than 1.4 million laid-off Americans applied for unemployme

A man walks past a retail store that is going out of business due to the coronavirus pandemic in Illinois. Unemployment numbers are evidence of the devastation the coronavirus outbreak has unleashed on the US economy [Nam Y Huh/AP Photo]

For the millions of Americans collecting unemployment, times are only getting tougher. The $600 federal weekly top-up to state benefits expired last month. Trump issued an executive order for a replacement $300-a-week federal top-up bankrolled by the government’s disaster relief fund, but only half of states so far have said that they will be applying for that additional aid. 

The state of the economy was always a strength for Trump, but it is turning into a liability. Read more here.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies





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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