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Republicans tout inclusive vision for Donald Trump’s re-election | News



The US Republican Party put on a virtual convention programme on Tuesday painting a picture of President Donald Trump’s presidency as inclusive of women, family, immigrants, and Black Americans at a time of deep political division within the United States.

Under a repeating theme of restoring a promise of a better future for the nation’s children and grandchildren, Republicans from many walks of life and ethnicities – including Hispanics and Native Americans – advocated for Trump’s re-election.

Speakers touched on Trump’s positions on a range of issues from foreign policy to war in the Middle East, economics, abortion, the news media, Cuba, socialism, and immigration.

First Lady Melania Trump gave a 31-minute speech before a live audience of Republican legislators at the White House, in which she called for unity and civility among Americans who have been divided by race, politics and inequality under her husband’s presidency.

“We must remember that today we are all one community comprised of many races, religions and ethnicities,” Mrs Trump said.

“Our diverse and storied history is what makes our country strong, and yet we still have so much to learn from one another,” she said, calling on Americans to “take a moment, pause and look at things from all perspectives”.

The First Lady’s speech capped a two-and-a-half hour televised programme consisting of pre-recorded and live speeches staged at a mostly empty hall in Washington, DC, instead of Charlotte, North Carolina, where the convention was to have been held. She also offered sympathy to the thousands of Americans who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

The US is struggling to contain the coronavirus with more cases – closing in on six million – and deaths – some 178,518 – than any other country in the world.

Two of the president’s children, Tiffany Trump and Eric Trump, offered praise and affection for their father and advocated for his political agenda, even as others decried alleged nepotism against his rival, Joe Biden.

Eric Trump delivered a pre-recorded speech touting his father’s accomplishments in the White House to the virtual Republican National Convention broadcast [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

Controversially, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a short address to the Republican programme in which he outlined a series of claimed foreign policy accomplishments for Trump, including moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“The president moved the US Embassy to this very city of God, Jerusalem, the rightful capital of the Jewish homeland,” Pompeo said.

Foreign policy claims

US attempts to unilaterally designate Jerusalem as Israel’s capital have drawn widespread condemnation from across the world including the Arab League, Palestinians and European nations, which have reaffirmed long-standing commitments to a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Pompeo, who was on a diplomatic mission to Israel, addressed the Republican convention from the roof of the King David Hotel overlooking the Old City and Mount Zion.

Mike Pompeo speaks from Jerusalem Pompeo speaks by video feed from Jerusalem during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, DC [Republican National Convention/Handout via Reuters]

Pompeo cited Trump’s approval of a drone attack that killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January and claimed credit for the defeat of ISIL (ISIS) in Syria.

“The president exited the US from the disastrous nuclear deal with Iran and squeezed the ayatollah, Hezbollah and Hamas,” said Pompeo, who is thought to be eyeing a run for president in 2024.

Pompeo’s participation in the Republican event breached an American governing tradition that holds US diplomats above politics, and drew widespread criticism.

Pompeo’s speech “tethers him and his office to the domestic political interests of the president’s re-election,” said Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, in a blog post on Tuesday.

Trump’s secretary of state is “the most politicized in modern American history and arguably the worst,” Miller said.

Senator Rand Paul endorsed Trump’s pledge to end the US war in Afghanistan, begun in 2001 under then-President George W Bush after al-Qaeda attacked New York and Washington, DC.

“I’m supporting President Trump because he believes, as I do, that a strong America cannot fight endless wars. We must not continue to leave our blood and treasure in Middle East quagmires,” Paul said.

Paul recalled accompanying Trump to Dover Air Force Base to honour two soldiers whose remains were coming home from Afghanistan. More than 2,400 US servicemen and women have been killed in the conflict.

“I will never forget that night. I can tell you the president not only felt the pain of these families but is committed to ending this war,” Paul said.

The Trump administration has engaged in talks with Taliban leaders and committed in February to the withdrawal of 12,000 US troops from Afghanistan.

Economic crisis, racial division

Larry Kudlow, the White House economic adviser, sought to position Trump’s economic record as one of success until the pandemic forced a shutdown.

“It’s been a tough few months for all of us,” Kudlow said in taped remarks from Redding, Connecticut.
“We were enjoying the greatest economy our country had ever seen,” Kudlow said.

“Then the pandemic hit. It rocked us all back on our heels. But we’re Americans. We’re fighters. And so is our president,” he said.

In spite of unemployment data showing 30 million Americans still out of work and consumer confidence at a six-year low, Kudlow claimed the US economy is booming and poised for a rebound in the second half of the year.

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, the first Black person elected to statewide office in the state, spoke to the racial division and Black Lives Matter protests that have reshaped US politics in recent months.

Daniel Cameron speaks for Republican convention

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron delivers a live address to the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention from the Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

“Even as anarchists mindlessly tear up American cities while attacking police officers and innocent bystanders, we Republicans do recognise those who earnestly strive for peace, justice, and equality,” Cameron said.

“Whether you are the family of Breonna Taylor or David Dorn, these are the ideals that will heal our nation’s wounds,” he said.

Breonna Taylor was a 26-year-old Black woman who was killed by police in her home in Louisville, Kentucky. David Dorn was a 77-year-old retired police officer who was killed by looters during a protest in St Louis, Missouri.

Protests and civil unrest have hit more than 200 US cities in 30 states since George Floyd was killed by police who kneeled on his neck while he was handcuffed and held face down in the street in Minneapolis.

Trump a has adopted a “law and order” posture towards the protests which have at times devolved into looting, riots and violent skirmishes with police.

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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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