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

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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.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Another blow as Judge throws out Kiggundu’s lawyer Muwema

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When court sat on Friday to hear the Kiggundu’s application to stop independent audit, he did not have a written application, and Justice Henry Adonyo instead ordered the plaintiff’s lawyer Fred Muwema to go make a written application seeking court to dismiss the audit and return to court on September 30 for a hearing of the application. But this adds more pressure on Kiggundu who is choking with the loans.

On 31 August, the judge ordered the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Uganda (ICPAU) to carry out and independent audit into the accounts of the businessman and financial statements exchanged between the two parties, and present a report to court.

When asked by journalists why he has filed for an application seeking dismissal of the audit, Fred Muwema had this to say. “We are saying that let the validity and legality of those credit facilities (loans) be decided first before you can audit” He said.

The ruling on the application of the main suit to determine whether the businessman owes loan arrears to the bank is set for 5th October 2020, after which a date for hearing of the case will be set.

Background

Hamis Kiggundu through his companies Ham enterprises and Kiggs International (U) ltd sued DTB branches in Kenya and Uganda for deducting money from his accounts something which the bank contends and said they only acted as per the loan agreement of deducting 30% from Kiggundu’s accounts to recover the credit facilities rendered to him between February 2011 and September 2016

But Court documents filed by the bank in their defense shows that Kiggundu, between February 2011 and September 2016, was granted various credit facilities by the said DTB Banks.

First, via Ham Enterprises Limited, Kiggundu obtained a loan of $6,663,453 and another Sh2.5bn from the DTB (U) to finance his projects in the real estate business.

Later, according to New Vision, he got a facility worth $4.5m through Kiggs International (U) Limited from DTB (K) and mortgaged his properties, which include Plot 328 located at Kawuku on Block 248 Kyadondo, three plots that include 36, 37 and 38 on Folio 1533 Victoria Crescent II situated in Kyadondo and land on Makerere Hill Road on LRV 3716 Folio 10 Plot 923 Block 9.

Documents show that as of January 21, 2020, Kiggundu was in default on payment obligations of $6.298m on the loan facility of $6.663m, as well as sh2.885b on the demand overdraft facility of sh1.5b and the temporary demand overdraft facility of sh1b.

The banks say that Kiggundu was in default on the payment of another $3.662m out of a total loan facility of $4m and another $458,604 on a loan facility of $500,000, as of January 21, 2020.

The DTB consequently served him with a demand notice to either pay up or lose the assets that he submitted as collateral security. The bank threatened to attach a plot on Makerere Hill Road and other prime commercial properties.

Analysts says that Kiggundu’s lawyer is playing delaying tactics aimed at stopping the independent audit as ordered by the court earlier. Kiggundu had wanted court to believe his own audit of loan transactions, but that would amount to injustice to the banks that gave him money-DTB Uganda and DTB Kenya.

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Minister Rukutana charged with attempted murder, remanded

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The state minister for Labour, Gender and Economic Development Mwesigwa Rukutana has been remanded to Kyamugorani prison in Mbarara district.

Rukutana appeared before Ntungamo Grade One magistrate Nazifah Namayanja this afternoon from where he was charged with seven offences related to attempted murder, assault, malicious damage, and threatening violence.

Rukutana was captured in a video that went viral on social media showing him grabbing a gun from one of his bodyguards and started shooting at a vehicle belonging to supporters of his political rival Naome Kabasharira. At the time of the incident, Rukutana had just lost the Rushenyi country NRM flag to Kabasharira.

The prosecution alleges that on September 5, 2020, at Kagugu village in Ntungamo district, Rukutana and others still at large assaulted Julius Niwamanya and threatened to kill or injure him together with three others. The others are Stuart Kamukama, Dan Rwibirungi, and Moses Kamukama. 

It is also alleged that Rukutana also willfully and unlawfully damaged a motor vehicle registration number UAR 840X Toyota Rav 4 type which belongs to Moses Muhumuza.

According to the Judiciary public relations officer, Jameson Karemani, Rukutana has not taken a plea of these charges against him since they can only be tried by the chief magistrate who was not in court today.

As a result, the magistrate decided to send him to Kyamugorani, awaiting his return to court on Tuesday.      





Source – observer.ug

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Lira district headquarters closed over COVID-19

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Lira district headquarters have been closed after one staff tested positive for COVID-19 last week. 

On Monday morning, district staff were blocked at the gate with only the deputy chief administrative officer, his secretary and the receptionist allowed access to their offices. 

Paul Samuel Mbiiwa, the deputy chief administrative officer says that only heads of department will be allowed at the headquarters while the rest will work from home. He adds that the restriction will help to curb the spread of the virus.

“You see corona is not a joke. We have taken a step at fighting it and that is why you are seeing the staff outside. Even in my office here I do not want people to come if there is anything we can discuss on the phone.”

Francis Okello Olwa, a senior community development officer who doubles as the district spokesperson says that the entire district offices will be fumigated and closed for two days.

Health authorities in the district are planning to take samples from all the staff because they could have interacted with the one who tested positive. Currently, there are 19 COVID-19 patients under treatment at Lira regional referral hospital.     

On Sunday four health workers at the hospital tested positive for COVID-19. Dr Patrick Odongo, a senior medical officer at the hospital also succumbed to the virus.  





Source – observer.ug

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