Connect with us

News

US House passes bill to send $25bn to Postal Service, block cuts | USA News

Published

on


The Democratic-led US House of Representatives voted on Saturday to provide the cash-strapped Postal Service with $25bn and to block policy changes that have stirred concerns about mail-in voting in advance of the November 3 election.

The chamber passed the emergency bill, dubbed the “Delivering for America Act”, on Saturday during a rare Saturday session called by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the congressional August recess. The bill passed 257 to 150. 

Twenty-six Republicans broke party ranks and voted for the bill.

The legislation would undo any recent changes to operations that may slow the Postal Service’s mail delivery, provide an infusion of cash for the agency to deal with the extra workload during the election and the continuing coronavirus outbreak, and require all ballots be treated as first-class mail. 

It would also prevent Postmaster General Louis DeJoy from making any operational changes to the agency until after next January or the end of the coronavirus health emergency, whichever comes later.  

The bill is unlikely to be taken up in the Republican-controlled Senate and the White House Office of Management and Budget said it strongly opposes the measure and would recommend President Donald Trump veto it. 

Trump has repeatedly denounced mail-in voting, which is expected to surge due to the coronavirus pandemic, as a possible source of fraud, despite a dearth of evidence supporting that claim.

Democrats, meanwhile, have accused Trump of trying to undermine the Postal Service for political gain and DeJoy, a Trump donor who was selected to the position by a board of governors appointed by Trump, of making financial cuts and policy changes that will slow the delivery of mail-in ballots.

Last week, the Postal Service reportedly warned 46 of the 50 US states, as well as the District of Columbia, that mail-in ballots may not arrive in time under the states’ current deadlines for sending the ballots. 

DeJoy has since suspended the financial cuts and assured a Senate committee on Friday that the Postal Service would deliver ballots “securely and on time”, however, he said he would not restore the already-made cuts to mailboxes and sorting equipment.

Day-long debate 

Democrats cast themselves in Saturday’s debate as defenders of a public that relies on the Postal Service for vital deliveries including prescription drugs.

“The American people do not want anyone messing with the Post Office. They certainly do not want it to be politicised. They just want their mail, they want their medicines and they want their mail-in ballots delivered in a timely way. And that is exactly what our bill does,” said Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney, who authored the legislation. 

Maloney also released internal Postal Service documents that showed more dramatic declines in deliveries arriving on time than legislators had previously been told.

Republicans, meanwhile, countered that complaints about mail delivery disruptions were overblown, and no emergency funding is currently needed.

“Do we need that money? Absolutely, no,” said Representative Tom Cole. “It’s a silly, silly bill.” 

In a memo to House Republicans, party leaders derided the legislation as a postal “conspiracy theory” act.

While the bill is expected to languish in the Senate, Republican leader Mitch McConnell is eyeing a $10bn postal rescue as part of the next COVID-19 relief package. While Trump has said he wants to block emergency funding for the agency, the White House has said it would be open to more postal funding as part of a broader bill.

The Postal Service has been struggling financially under a decline in mail volume, COVID-19-related costs and a rare and cumbersome congressional requirement to fund in advance its retiree healthcare benefits. 

Some have called for the agency to be run more like a private company, while defenders say the agency is a public service that should not be run as a money-making endeavour.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies



Source – www.aljazeera.com

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Britain’s unequal troop commemorations due to ‘pervasive racism’ | Racism News

Published

on

By


Inquiry by Commonwealth War Graves Commission finds Black and Asian troops who fought for Empire were not properly memorialised.

As many as 350,000 Black and Asian service personnel who died fighting for the British Empire might not have been commemorated in the same way as their white comrades because of “pervasive racism”, a report has concluded.

The inquiry commissioned by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC), in its report released on Thursday, says that between 45,000 and 54,000 individuals of predominantly Asian, Middle Eastern and African origin who died during World War I were commemorated “unequally”.

“A further 116,000 casualties [predominantly, but not exclusively, East African and Egyptian personnel] but potentially as many as 350,000, were not commemorated by name or possibly not commemorated at all,” the report said.

The CWGC works to commemorate those from Commonwealth forces who were killed in the two world wars and to ensure all those killed are remembered in the same way, with their name engraved either on a headstone over an identified grave or on a memorial to the missing.

It issued an apology in the wake of the inquiry’s findings.

“The events of a century ago were wrong then and are wrong now,” said Claire Horton, head of the CWGC. “We recognise the wrongs of the past and are deeply sorry and will be acting immediately to correct them.”

‘Watershed moment’

The CWGC commissioned the report in December 2019 after Unremembered, an investigative television documentary presented by opposition Labour Party MP and shadow justice secretary David Lammy.

The Unremembered investigation found that Africans killed in World War I had not been treated equally and revealed an example of a British governor saying: “The average native of the Gold Coast would not understand or appreciate a headstone.”

It also uncovered how African soldiers’ graves were abandoned in Tanzania, while European officers’ resting places continued to be maintained.

According to Thursday’s report, another officer, who later worked for the CWGC’s predecessor – the Imperial War Graves Commission, had said: “Most of the natives who died are of a semi-savage nature”, and concluded that erecting headstones would be a waste of public money.

The inquiry said decisions that led to the failure to commemorate the dead properly – or even at all – was the result of a lack of information, errors inherited from other organisations, and the opinions of colonial administrators.

“Underpinning all these decisions, however, were the entrenched prejudices, preconceptions and pervasive racism of contemporary imperial attitudes,” the report concluded.

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of Defence Ben Wallace was expected to address Parliament about the findings later on Thursday.

Lammy hailed the report as a “watershed moment”.

“No apology can ever make up for the indignity suffered by the Unremembered,” he tweeted.

“However, this apology does offer the opportunity for us as a nation to work through this ugly part of our history – and properly pay our respects to every soldier who has sacrificed their life for us … The arc of history is long but it bends towards the truth.”





Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

News

OPINION: Leave Katikkiro Alone Until the Person Who Appointed Him Thinks Otherwise

Published

on

By


By Dr Roy Mayega

One of the ‘Prima Facie’ principles of Medical Ethics is ‘Autonomy’. Autonomy includes confidentiality and privacy. Confidentiality means non-disclosure unless permitted by the patient.

Privacy means “having control over the extent, timing and circumstances of sharing oneself with others.” You cannot for instance, as a practitioner, order the patient to immediately dress down in the public area and to bend over so that you stick your fingers up their rectum when everyone is watching.

You need to give them ample time to organize themselves; to do the necessary ‘local’ preparations before they feel comfortable to be undressed; and to get a sufficiently private space.

One of the biggest dilemmas faced by a person who has received a diagnosis of a chronic disease is when, how much, and to whom to disclose. It’s not a simple pedestrian matter: It’s a real hassle – the publics always stigmatize everyone with a chronic disease however moderate it is.

The time it takes for people to process their medical situation and to decide to expose themselves varies widely between individuals and is based on the type of disease, their personality, sensitivities, the medical information they have, their values, their prognosis, and the desire to protect others close to them. Some people want to ‘wait and see’.

Being ‘Prima Facie’, ethical principles are inherently binding, unless they clash with another ethical principle in which case there is an ethical dilemma to be re-solved. There is no ethical dilemma here! Ethics is not freaking morals – leave your self-righteousness to yourself. Ethics is not freaking gut feelings; and neither is ethics about culture. Beliefs and morals die, ethics doesn’t.

I have seen many social media idlers blaming the Katikkiro for ‘not taking the pedestal several months ago to describe what was wrong with the Kabaka.

The Katikkiro cannot unilaterally issue a communique without the freaking permission of his boss! And none of the idlers has any evidence to show that his boss told him to announce and he categorically refused – don’t be publicly silly.

Secondly, people have no right to deny a diagnosis of ‘Allergies’ on the basis of pedestrian medicine. Patients are not examined in videos and diagnoses are not validated by rumors. Doctors are much more sophisticated than that.

Let his physicians be the ones to dissent, or let the Kabaka’s wife declare that what was said was wrong.

Severe allergic reactions and autoimmune diseases can be severe enough to cause anything, independently in their own right, without having to collaborate with social media witchery.

It’s so funny how social media has suddenly caused an upshot in ‘male rumor-mongers’ and ‘cyber-sorcerers’.

Leave the Katikkiro alone, until the person who appointed him thinks otherwise. The person who appointed him has never been devoid of grey-matter.

Good thing is that all of you will one day grow older and experience your own chronic diseases – then we will see if you can willingly stick out your private ‘parts’ in public whenever the publics demand so. Some of you cannot even tolerate a routine prostate exam and you are here asking others to undress?

Read: Questions Abound About Kabaka Mutebi’s Health

The post OPINION: Leave Katikkiro Alone Until the Person Who Appointed Him Thinks Otherwise first appeared on ChimpReports.



Source – chimpreports.com

Continue Reading

News

India Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan dies of COVID-19 | India News

Published

on

By


Ninety-six-year-old Khan, who authored more than 200 books including a two-volume commentary on the Holy Quran, died on Tuesday.

Indian Islamic scholar and peace activist Maulana Wahiduddin Khan has died in the capital New Delhi after contracting novel coronavirus, his family members announced on Tuesday.

Ninety-six-year-old Khan was recently admitted to a hospital in New Delhi after testing positive for COVID-19.

“The great Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan breathed his last, late this evening. Doctors failed to revive his sinking heart. Pray for his maghfirat [penitence] and high station in Paradise. Amin,” Zafarul Islam, Khan’s eldest son, tweeted on Tuesday.

The author of more than 200 books, Khan has been honoured with several awards. This year, he was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India’s second-highest civilian honour.

Born in Azamgarh, India, in 1925, Khan has been internationally recognised for his contributions to world peace.

In 2009, Georgetown University in Washington, DC’s list of 500 Most Influential Muslims of 2009 named him “Islam’s spiritual ambassador to the world”.

In 2001, he established the Centre for Peace and Spirituality to promote and reinforce a culture of peace. Khan went on a 15-day Shanti Yatra (peace march) through the western Maharashtra state in the wake of the demolition of the 16th-century Babri Mosque by Hindu hardliners in the state of Uttar Pradesh in 1992.

He also wrote a two-volume commentary on the Holy Quran.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was “saddened” by the news of Khan’s loss.

“He will be remembered for his insightful knowledge on matters of theology and spirituality. He was also passionate about community service and social empowerment. Condolences to his family and countless well-wishers. RIP,” Modi wrote on Twitter.

Indian President Ram Nath Kovind said he was “deeply grieved” by the demise of Khan, saying: “Maulana Wahiduddin made significant contributions to peace, harmony and reforms in the society. My deepest condolences to his family and well-wishers.”





Source – www.aljazeera.com

Continue Reading

Trending