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Republicans prepare for Trump-heavy hybrid convention | US & Canada News



A hybrid four-day Republican National Convention is set to begin on Monday, in a part digital, part in-person event that will culminate in the official nomination of President Donald Trump as the party’s candidate. 

The convention was initially set to take place as a full-force gathering in Charlotte, North Carolina, but large portions were moved to Jacksonville, Florida in June after a dispute over coronavirus restrictions with North Carolina’s governor. 

In late July, the Florida portion of the convention was cancelled amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the state, and the party finally settled on a format that will mix in-person gatherings with live and pretaped programming that will make the case for four more years of Trump around the theme of “Honoring the Great American Story”.

Helping to pull off the multimedia event will reportedly be two former producers from the Trump’s former reality show, The Apprentice.

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Trump, always one to buck tradition, will figure prominently in the four days of events, which organisers say will feature everyday Americans who testify that Trump has changed their lives in positive ways. Historically, presumptive candidates maintain a relatively low profile until their final night acceptance of the nomination. 

The president is set to deliver that speech from the South Lawn of the White House, prompting a rebuke from some observers over his use of the presidential property for his campaign.

Speakers, including prominent Republican figures and individuals who have become party folk heroes in recent times, will make the case for Trump during the convention’s main programming from 8:30pm (00:30 GMT) to 11pm (03:00 GMT) each night. 

The convention comes a week after Democratic opponent Joe Biden wrapped up his party’s convention with a promise to end what he called a “chapter of American darkness”.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have in recent days sought to draw a contrast to that convention’s messaging, which the president derided as the “gloomiest” in history. They have promised to instead offer a more positive take on the country that celebrates America’s “greatness”. 

Pence has said the four-day convention will focus heavily on the economy, which had been strong before being devastated by the coronavirus pandemic, and law and order, amid weeks of Black Lives Matter protests that have persisted nightly in some cities. 

He added that Republicans will seek to portray the Democratic Party as being overtaken by the “radical left”. 

Themes of the convention

The convention will begin on Monday with an in-person roll call in Charlotte, in which 336 delegates – a far cry from the more than 2,400 who gathered for the 2016 convention – will officially cast their votes for Trump based on primary results in their respective states. The president faced little in the way of opposition during the primary season.

Event organisers and Trump campaign officials have said the convention will seek to portray the Republican party as the party of “real, hard-working Americans” and will focus on “the forgotten men and women of America”.

The four nightly themes are: “Land of Promise”, “Land of Opportunity”, “Land of Heroes”, and “Land of Greatness”.   

Expected rank-and-file speakers will also drive home Republican talking points for this election cycle, which include a condemnation of so-called “cancel culture” and the accusation that the Democratic party has disregarded radical elements within the continuing racial justice protest movement that have posed a threat to public safety. 

Donald Trump delivers his address during the final day of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio [File: Michael Reynolds/EPA]

Speakers include Nicholas Sandmann, a Kentucky Catholic high school student who sued a media organisation for not providing proper context to a confrontation he had with a Native American activist at an anti-abortion Right to Life march in Washington, DC in 2019; Mark and Patricia McCloskey, a couple who brandished guns at BLM marchers outside of their St Louis home; and Police Sergeant Ann Dorn, widow of retired police captain David Dorn who was killed during violent protests in St Louis.  

Trump’s family will also feature prominently during the events, with his daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany, and sons Trump Jr and Eric, as well as Eric’s wife Lara Trump, all slated to speak. 

First Lady Melania Trump, who came to the US as an immigrant from Slovenia and rarely opens up about her personal life, is expected to make remarks from the White House’s iconic Rose Garden on Tuesday.    

Meanwhile, Pence, who is important to bringing right-wing Christian voters to Trump’s banner, will give his speech accepting the party’s nomination in Baltimore on Wednesday. His wife, Karen Pence, will also speak.

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The lineup of Republican officials includes Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nunez, Senator Tim Scott – the chamber’s only Black Republican – and former Mayor of New York City, Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

Democratic response

The Democratic Party released figures on Friday that suggests it set a high bar for its event, raising $70 million during the four days and generating 122 million views on network and cable television as well as digital live streams. 

Republicans last week launched a multi-million-dollar digital advertising campaign that targeted sites where the Democratic convention was likely to be streamed.

Democrats are planning nightly counter-programming during the Republican convention that will include nightly videos highlighting what they view as Trump’s biggest failures, according to the Washington Post.

Top Democratic officials will also give speeches each day and the party will set up a “war room” to respond to what it says will likely be rampant misinformation during the Republican event, the newspaper reported.

Small groups of protesters have also already started taking to the streets of Charlotte in the nights leading up to the convention. The demonstrations in the city are expected to continue throughout the week.

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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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