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Five things to watch for on Republican convention’s second night | News



The Republican National Convention enters its second night of virtual programming on Tuesday with a long list of speakers who will praise President Donald Trump’s record in office and advocate for a second term. Personal testimonials from family including First Lady Melania Trump and a pro-Israel foreign policy pitch from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are on tap.

Pompeo to speak from Jerusalem

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to speak about how Trump’s “America First” foreign policy has made the world safer, with a focus on Trump’s support for Israel.

As president, Trump abandoned the US-led nuclear arms agreement with Iran that had been negotiated by former Secretary of State John Kerry and has escalated tensions with Iran through economic sanctions and military threats.

Trump unilaterally decided to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, recognised Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and cut off US humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Authority. Trump has repeatedly offered his political backing to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Trump’s moves have drawn support from Israelis and American Jews, as well as Christian evangelicals – whose votes Trump needs to win re-election. At the same time, however, the Middle East has experienced wars resulting in two of the worst humanitarian disasters ever in Syria and Yemen.

It is unusual for a secretary of state, the US’s top diplomat, to engage in domestic politics during the presidential nominating conventions of the major parties.

US law prohibits federal officials, except the president and vice president, from using government resources to advocate for any political candidate seeking election.

Former Secretaries of State Republican Condoleeza Rice, Democrats Hillary Clinton and John Kerry avoided their party’s conventions in 2008, 2012 and 2016.

The State Department said Pompeo will be acting in his personal capacity and that the speech did not involve government resources.

First Lady Melania Trump

Mrs Trump will step into the spotlight Tuesday night during the virtual Republican National Convention to argue for a second term for her husband, President Donald Trump [J Scott Applewhite/AP Photo]

First Lady Melania Trump will give what an aide said would be an “uplifting and positive” speech advocating for her husband’s re-election to a second four-year term.

The first lady, who has campaigned against online bullying and advocated for child safety on the internet, will talk about what she hopes to do in the next four years and reflect on her favourite moments so far.

Mrs Trump was criticised in 2016 for her Republican convention speech which drew heavily from a speech former First Lady Michelle Obama had given.

Tonight will be one of the longer speeches delivered by the first lady, and aides hope it comes across as an authentic message from her heart to the American people.

She will appear from the Rose Garden, an historic space on the White House grounds where presidents including her husband often make public appearances. It will be the first time the White House has been used as a backdrop for a political convention speech.

White House Rose Garden

The White House Rose Garden was redone by Melania Trump in the spirit of its original 1962 design, and will serve as a backdrop for her convention speech [Susan Walsh/AP Photo] 

Tiffany Trump, Eric Trump

Two of the president’s five children will appear on the Republican convention programme on Tuesday night to speak about their father.

Tiffany Trump is the president’s daughter from his second marriage from 1993 to 1999 to actress Marla Maples. Ms Trump is a socialite and Instagram influencer with 1.2 million followers. She graduated with a Juris Doctorate from the Georgetown University Law Center in May.

Eric Trump is the third child from President Trump’s first marriage to Ivana Trump from 1977 to 1992. Eric with his brother Donald Trump Jr, has been running the family business as executive vice president of the Trump Organization.

Most recently, Eric Trump has been in the news for refusing to comply with a subpoena from New York’s attorney general who is investigating whether President Trump fraudulently manipulated property values to obtain financing.

Trump’s economic record

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow will deliver remarks about how Trump purportedly created the greatest boom in US history through tax cuts and deregulation – at least until the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Managing the economy is one of the few strengths Trump has with voters but the “China virus”, as Kudlow is likely to say, has changed things. Republicans now are forced to argue to American voters they were better off in January than they were three years prior and will be again if Trump is re-elected.

Kudlow can be expected to point to the nine million jobs that have been recovered during the reopening of the US economy from the shutdown caused by the pandemic. And he, like the president, will laud the high-flying US stock market which has hit all-time highs in key indicators.

There is trouble ahead. Millions remain unemployed and with new stimulus spending, corporate support and unemployment benefits the US faces new rounds of job losses and a growing eviction crisis.

Law and Order, Black votes

Daniel Cameron

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks during a roundtable discussion with President Donald Trump and law enforcement officials, Monday, June 8, 2020, at the White House in Washington [Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]

Among the 23 speakers Republicans have lined up for Tuesday’s convention programme is Daniel Jay Cameron, the first Black man to be elected Attorney General of Kentucky.

As the state’s top law enforcement officer Cameron can be expected to speak to Trump’s “law and order” stance against the Black Lives Matter protests that continue to rage in the US against police killings.

Cameron is likely to also share his personal life story as an African American as part of Trump’s appeal to Black voters and the Republican Party’s effort to use the convention to try to reframe the dialogue around skin colour and racism in the US.

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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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