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Fact-checking President Donald Trump’s false campaign claims | News



President Donald Trump kicked off the Republican National Convention with a 50-minute speech in Charlotte, North Carolina that was full of half-truths, exaggerated claims and outright falsehoods.

Here are five of the president’s latest suspect assertions as Trump campaigns for re-election in November:

Mail-in ballots

Claims: Democrats are trying to rig the 2020 election by sending out millions of mail-in ballots.

“With this whole 80 million mail-in ballots that they’re working on. Sending them out to people that didn’t ask for ’em. They didn’t ask. They just get them. And it’s not fair and it’s not right. And it’s not going to be possible to tabulate, in my opinion, it’s just my opinion. We have to be very, very careful. and you have to watch, every one of you, you have to watch,” Trump said in a speech opening the Republican National Convention on Monday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Fact: Voting by mail is already widely available in 30 US states governed by Republicans and Democrats. Safety concerns about the risk of coronavirus infection, especially for older voters and people with health conditions, are the impetus for greater use of mail ballots. There is no evidence that use of mail ballots, when properly handled using modern procedures, results in fraud. Further, there is effectively no distinction between voting by mail and “absentee” voting, which is common in all states.

Trump’s claim that Democrats are trying to steal the election by bulk mailing ballots to 80 million voters is false [Nati Harnik/AP Photo]

Pandemic response

Claim: Trump’s White House task force has done an “incredible job” battling the coronavirus.

“If we didn’t shut it down at that point, we would have had millions of people dead, millions of people. You see the numbers. The job that Mike Pence and the task force, and all of us together have done has been incredible, what we’ve done, what we’ve achieved,” Trump said on Monday.

Fact: Trump initially ignored and downplayed the risk of the coronavirus and did not shut down the US economy. It was US business leaders and state governors who first issued decisions to shut down. Trump subsequently urged early reopenings despite recommendations of public health authorities. The total US death toll exceeds 177,000, the highest in the world, and continues to climb as the infection resurges in what experts warn is close to a worst-case scenario.

Obama, Biden Spying on Trump

Claim: Obama, Biden “spied on my campaign” and got caught.

“I watched, President Obama last night and I watched him talking about everything and I had to put it out. I said, ‘yeah but he spied on my campaign and he got caught.’ You know that’s about as bad a thing as you can imagine. If that happened to another campaign on the other side, they would have 25 people in jail for many years already, many many years. It’s a disgrace,” Trump said in a campaign speech in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, on August 20.

Fact: Former President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden did not initiate or direct the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign, which several government reviews have concluded was fully justified. A bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee report confirms that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election with the goal of helping Trump get elected. Both the Senate investigation and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe found Trump welcomed Russia’s help and sought to coordinate with WikiLeaks through Roger Stone on the release of stolen Democratic emails, something Trump has denied.

DOJ IG Michael Horowitz

While Trump has long insisted his campaign was spied on, the US Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz informed Congress there’s no evidence the FBI spied on Trump’s campaign [File: Andrew Harnik/AP Photo]

Biden, Democrats are anti-religion

Claim: Democrats took the word “God” out of the US Pledge of Allegiance recited at the Democratic National Convention.

“I can promise you a few things. Number one, we will not be taking the word ‘God’ out of the Pledge of Allegiance, OK. Like they did a number of times at their caucuses so … they took the word ‘God’ out. I heard it. I was listening. I said, ‘Isn’t that strange.’ It was sort of weird. You’ve heard it all your life, right. Under God, under God,” Trump said in Charlotte.

Fact: Trump is facing an erosion of support among evangelical voters in the US and is distorting what happened at the Democratic National Convention in order to falsely portray Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and the Democratic Party as anti-religious. During each of the four nights of live streaming of the Democratic convention, the traditional Pledge of Allegiance was recited using the phrase “under God”. In two smaller assemblies of the Muslim Delegates and Allies and the LGBTQ Caucus, that were not part of the main programme, the phrase was left out. Some Americans who do not practise religion believe the pledge may be recited without reference to God. Joe Biden is a practising Catholic and attends church on Sundays regularly. 

Protecting Americans health insurance

Claim: Republicans are protecting American’s right to health insurance for pre-existing conditions.

“So, we protected your pre-existing conditions, very strongly protected pre-exist. And you don’t hear that, but we’ve very strongly protected your pre-existing conditions. So, we got rid of the horrible individual mandate which cost everybody a fortune. And we strongly protected, every Republican is sworn to protecting your pre-existing conditions. It’s very important. You won’t hear that. You won’t hear that from the fake news,” Trump said Monday.

Fact: This claim is false. Under Trump, Republican majorities in Congress repeatedly tried to repeal the Affordable Care Act passed during former President Barack Obama’s administration which prevents health insurance companies from refusing coverage for pre-existing conditions. The Trump Justice Department is challenging the constitutionality of the law, known as “Obamacare”, in federal court.

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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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