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Pence claims US victory over coronavirus, condemns racial unrest | News

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Vice President Mike Pence headlined the third night of a virtual Republican National Convention with a patriotic call for the re-election of President Donald Trump who he said had set the United States on “a path of freedom and opportunity”.

Backed by the red-white-and-blue symbolism of the American flag, Pence spoke at Fort McHenry which withstood a naval bombardment by the British Navy in 1814 and inspired the words of the US national anthem, “O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave…”

“If you look through the fog of these challenging times you will see our flag is still there,” Pence told a Republican audience in remarks on the coronavirus pandemic and civil unrest sweeping the country.

For the first time in the Republican convention, which concludes on Thursday with President Trump’s acceptance speech, Pence offered the core argument Trump and his Republican Party are making for his re-election; that the US economy was soaring before the pandemic and Trump is succeeding in controlling the outbreak and getting the economy moving again.

“The coronavirus struck from China,” Pence said, repeating a line Trump uses to cast blame for the outbreak on China because the novel coronavirus was first discovered in the central city of Wuhan.

“The president took unprecedented action and suspended all travel from China,” Pence said, exaggerating the president’s action.

Trump’s travel restrictions to China announced on January 31 were only partial and did not apply to Americans going back and forth.

Coronavirus crisis

Pence touted the White House’s partnership “with private industry to reinvent testing and produce supplies across the country including producing 100,000 ventilators in 100 days.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump greet the crowd after Vice President Mike Pence acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican vice presidential nominee at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

The US now conducts thousands of tests a day and has delivered “billions of pieces of personal protective equipment”, Pence said, although hospitals and public health officials continue to report constraints in testing and shortages of equipment.

The administration built field hospitals and mobilised military medical personnel and signed an economic rescue package that saved 50 million jobs, he claimed.

“We are on track to have the world’s first, safe and effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of this year,” Pence said, praising the heroism of American health care workers and emergency responders.

“Thanks to the courage and compassion of the American people, we are slowing the spread, we’re protecting the vulnerable, and we’re saving lives, and we’re opening up America.”

Pence was the first speaker at the largely virtual Republican convention to directly address the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 180,000 people in the US, devastated much of the economy and put more than 30 million people out of work. First Lady, Melania Trump, on Tuesday expressed her sympathy for the families of those who had died.

Pence took note of Hurricane Laura’s landfall on the Gulf coast of Louisiana and Texas and said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was prepared to assist people displaced by the Category 4 storm that was packing a catastrophic sea water surge of 15 to 20 feet.

Unrest in Kenosha

Pence condemned “the violence and chaos engulfing cities across this country.”

“The violence must stop whether in Minneapolis, Portland, or Kenosha too,” he said.

The convention has been overshadowed by civil unrest and riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where two people protesting against the police shooting of a Black man were allegedly killed by a white teenager who sympathised with police. Trump has sided with police over protesters since the unrest began in May.

An incendiary device goes off in front of a Kenosha Country Sheriff Vehicle as demonstrators take part in a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, U.

An incendiary device goes off in front of a Kenosha Country Sheriff Vehicle as demonstrators take part in a protest following the police shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, August 25, 2020. [Brendan McDermid/Reuters]

Police arrested a 17-year-old, Kyle Rittenhouse from nearby Antioch, Illinois and charged him with homicide on Wednesday. A Kenosha County sheriff said Rittenhouse may have been part of a vigilante group that intended to protect property from protesters.

Several African American speakers voiced Trump’s appeal to Black voters and cited Trump’s support for federal funding for historically black colleges, tax advantages for urban opportunity zones, and bipartisan criminal justice reform legislation passed by Congress.

“Donald Trump is offering real and lasting change and unprecedented opportunity to rise, a country that embraces the spirit of the civil rights movement of the Sixties, a place where people are judged by the content of their talents and abilities , not by the colour of their skin,” said Clarence Henderson, a civil rights activist who participated in a lunch-counter sit-in in 1960.

Clarence Henderson speaks to Republican convention

Clarence Henderson, a participant in the 1960 Woolworth lunch counter sit-in civil rights protests in Greensboro, North Carolina, speaks during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, U.S. August 26, 2020. [Republican National Convention/Handout via Reuters]

Three nights of destructive protests in Kenosha had been sparked by the shooting of Jacob Blake, a Black man, who was paralysed below the waist and has undergone surgery.

Blake, who was unarmed, was shot multiple times in the back at close range by an officer who was holding onto Blake’s shirt as he tried to lean into his vehicle. Police said they later found a knife on the driver-side floor of Blake’s car.

The officer who shot Blake was identified by Wisconsin state authorities as Rusten Sheskey, a white man who has been working at the Kenosha Police Department for seven years.

Sports boycott

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers called out the National Guard on Monday after protesters set cars on fire, smashed windows and clashed with police in riot gear.

Trump and Republican speakers in the convention programme have sought to characterise the protests against police shootings that have swept the US since May as riots by a dangerous, violent mob encouraged by Democrats.

Trump tweeted on Wednesday morning that he was sending more National Guard troops and federal agents to impose “law and order”.

“From Seattle and Portland to Washington and New York, Democrat-run cities across this country are being overrun by violent mobs,” claimed South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem at the opening of the Republican convention on Wednesday night.

“The violence is rampant. There’s looting, chaos, destruction, and murder. People that can afford to flee have fled. But the people that can’t – good, hard-working Americans – are left to fend for themselves,” Noem said.

Republican US Senator Marsha Blackburn, who represents the state of Tennessee, said Democrats want to defund “our military, our police, even ICE” and “take away their tools to keep us safe”.

“Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and their radical allies try to destroy these heroes, because if there are not heroes to inspire us – government can control us,” Blackburn said.

Michael McHale, NAPO president

Michael McHale, the president of the National Association of Police Organizations, said, “Joe Biden has turned his candidacy over to the far-left, anti-law-enforcement radicals.” [Republican National Convention/Handout via Reuters]

But outrage over the shooting of Blake spread on Wednesday to the National Basketball Association when members of the Milwaukee Bucks team decided to boycott a scheduled playoff game against the Orlando Magic.

Los Angeles Lakers star player LeBron James tweeted “WE DEMAND CHANGE. SICK OF IT”

The NBA announced it would postpone three playoff games on Wednesday to a later date.

The boycott triggered more game cancellations by the WNBA and Major League Baseball in a widening political shutdown of sports events.





Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Year of the Overcomer-Prophet Elvis Mbonye

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The eagerly awaited first fellowship of controversial Prophet Elvis Mbonye left viewers shocked as he declined to issue his now famous prophecies citing a refusal to settle for the new normal. In an on online service watched by thousands, the Prophet said him prophesying would “ be a concession to gathering online, rather than physically” further stating that it is not the will of God that church should meet online!

The Covid-19 SOPs given by the government and Ministry of Health have heavily impacted gatherings and as a result, ministries with large congregations have resorted to online services. The prophet however insists that this is a ploy to diminish the influence of the Kingdom of God.

He however proceeded to give the Prophetic Word of the year , saying “This is the year of the Overcomers” amidst cheers from those present. He also stated that this would not be a “gloomy” year, probably meaning that this would be a good year. Given that many of his prophecies have actually come to pass, should we pay more attention to him? We eagerly await the prophecies this year.

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Kabuleta blasts Media over “COFIT” reporting in new rant.

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Presidential hopeful Joseph Kiiza Kabuleta has expressed dissatisfaction with the media over what he says was”alarmist reporting” over the Covid-19 pandemic which he calls “COFIT” a term we believe is a wordplay between covid and profit, a view held by many that claims that the disease was exaggerated to maximize funding and corruption. Kabuleta has come to be known for his straight shooting style and admirable command of facts and policy, even being touted as the “smartest candidate” in the race.here is the full statement:

MEDIA AND THE COFIT ENTERPRISE

By Joseph Kabuleta

“Don’t look at where you fell, but where you slipped”
AFRICAN PROVERB

We know where the media fell. They fell when they were caught in the crossfire between opposition politicians and trigger-happy security hitmen; when they were unfairly targeted as they went about their noble duty of covering this explosive elective season. Sadly, some journalists are nursing wounds; others weren’t so lucky.
But it’s important for us to understand where they slipped.

If someone is sitting by the roadside sipping on his brew and he sees a gang of people sprinting past him, as if for their lives, it’s understandable if he impulsively joins without asking questions. But if after nine months he is still sprinting, and has still not asked any questions, then there’s something terribly wrong with him.

When we first went into lockdown in March, it was probably the best course of action because we didn’t know the full extent of the Cofit threat. But in the first 90 days, it was clear to all and sundry that it was never going to rank among Uganda’s top health challenges. And that’s not my opinion.

The Daily Monitor on July 15th quoted Dr Baterana Byarugaba, the Mulago Hospital Executive Director, describing the Cofit strain in the country as a mild form of flu which does not require hospital admission since it can be treated at home or in lower health facilities.
“l told Ugandans right from the beginning that the type of coronavirus we expect in Uganda is the mild one. It can be treated at health centre II, III, IV or the district hospital,” the top Medic said.

I read the story with glorious delight supposing that finally common sense, (or should I say science sense) would inform our decisions as a nation. But it’s difficult to know where science stops and politics starts. It’s become clear over the months that Cofit is not just a virus that causes respiratory problems, it’s a lot more than that; it’s a weapon in the hands of politicians that gives them power beyond their wildest dreams. In America, for instance, Democrat Congressman Jim Clyburn said Cofit is a “tremendous opportunity to restructure things to fit our (leftist) vision” while actress and activist Jane Fonda said that Cofit was “God’s gift to the left.”

Our media could have taken the side of poor Ugandans by showing the immense suffering and death from preventable sicknesses that resulted from the harsh Cofit measures; they could have highlighted the plight of businesses permanently closed and workers rendered redundant and sent back to villages. They could have wondered why truck drivers were testing negative in Kenya and positive in Uganda, or wondered why Cofit deaths only started after Prophet Museveni showed us a macabre lineup of coffins in his address, or why every celebrity who dies since then is ruled as Cofit (no autopsy required)

They could have told us that according to Worldometer, Cofit has a 0.28% mortality rate (or a 99.72 survival rate) and that it doesn’t rank anywhere in the Top 10 of Uganda’s health challenges; they could have told us that a child dies of malaria every two minutes (and Uganda accounts for 3% of the world’s malaria fatalities), which means that more Ugandans die from mosquitoes in ten days than Cofit has (allegedly) killed in the nine months it’s been on our lips.

Ugandans (especially of my age) have lived through real pandemics. As a young man growing up in the early 90s, nobody had to remind me that AIDS was real. Goodness me, I knew it was! And I didn’t need police to force me to wear protection, I knew the consequences. The fact that we are constantly being reminded that ‘Cofit is real’ tells a story of its own.

The media could have asked why Uganda, with one of the lowest Cofit cases or deaths, still holds on to a 9:00pm curfew when Kenya moved to 11:00pm in September, as did South Africa and several countries. The media could have told us that Malawi, Burundi, Tanzania and, recently, Ghana all held successful elections with full blown campaigns in 2020, and we aren’t hearing people dropping dead from Cofit in any of those countries. May be they should have tried to find out if people are dropping dead in Tanzania which altogether ignored all Cofit measures and went on to acquire middle-income status while Ugandans were still in lockdown.

They could have told us about the asymptomatic Cofit patients who were filmed dancing the night away in hospital wards, or of people suffering from other diseases who dare not go to hospital because they fear to be given a fake Cofit label and held for two weeks against their will.

The media could have told us that Cofit deaths across the world have been grossly inflated. Minnesota lawmakers say Cofit deaths could have been inflated by 40% after examining death certificates (according to The Washington Examiner) while Fox News reported that in Colorado 45% of Cofit corpses “were also found to have bullet wounds”.

They could have told us that 22 European countries, all of which had tens of thousands of Cofit deaths, opened their schools in the fall, and there has not been any reported spikes in cases as a result. They could have told us that more people have been killed by security men enforcing Cofit measures than by the virus itself.

Well, they could have…but they didn’t. And that’s where they slipped.

Instead they chose to go down the path of alarmist reporting and in so doing became, inadvertently or otherwise, enablers of Uganda’s trillion-shilling Cofit enterprise. Like Squealer in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, the media used flowery language to drum up fear by keeping people’s eyes transfixed on swelling numbers while the thieves carried their loot and stashed it away, and loan money was distributed among family members or used in regime prolongation.

The recent joint television news bulletin, and the adverts that followed, were the peak of hysterical reporting. “Zuukuka Tusaanawo” (wake up, we are perishing) screamed an advert featuring top media personalities. What a load of……(fill in appropriate word).

Remember, all the tyranny we have witnessed in this season has been done in the name of Cofit, and such sensationalist reporting justifies it; it gives dictators like Museveni the perfect pseudo-moralistic cover to unleash their most despotic fantasies while actually pretending that it’s for the good of the people. Unfortunately, the terror has now spread to the very media people whose hyperbole enabled it in the first place. There is such a thing as the law of cause and consequence, after all.

Instead of the media walking out of pressers and threatening to boycott government functions, let them threaten to stop all Cofit reporting. Museveni himself would come running with chocolate in hand.

If the president extended curfew by just two hours, for instance, he will have put as many as 200,000 Ugandans back to work especially in the hotel, restaurant and entertainment industries; but he doesn’t care, and sadly neither do many middleclass Ugandans who suppose that it’s their moral obligation as responsible citizens of the Global Village to fret over Cofit just because their ‘fellow citizens’ in Europe and America are doing so. Of course they can afford to do that because their corporate jobs have, for the most part, insulated them from the devastation of the government-instituted Cofit measures. They can enjoy working at home, beer in hand, as they listen to CNN and BBC and still expect the full complement of their salaries at the month end, and that makes them feel every bit like ‘their brothers’ overseas.

Such aspirational conformists are more likely to be offended by my stance on Cofit because they haven’t traversed crook and creek of this country and seen the damage reigned on this fragile society; not by the virus, but by the measures supposedly instituted to mitigate it.

You see, perhaps the most enduring damage this regime has done to our society is creating a three-part hierarchy of class and needs. At the zenith are a handful of connected ‘1986 generation’ and their families who feel entitled to all power and wealth. Beneath is a small (and shrinking) middleclass, and at the bottom of the pyramid is a mass of peasants. Every society, to various degrees, is ordered in the same fashion, but what makes Uganda unique is that the megalomaniacs at the top don’t give a nickel about the plight of the middleclass and the middleclass in turn don’t care a bit about the quandary of the peasant. The charlatans at the top will impose punitive taxes on the middleclass, then dip into NSSF coffers at a whim to share out their savings, and no one can stop them.

And the middleclass Ugandan, armed with his medical insurance, and safe in the knowledge that his wife is unlikely to die in child birth (20 Ugandans do EVERY DAY), and his children are very unlikely to die of malaria (20 do EVERY DAY), or from malnutrition (thousands do every year), will go around trumpeting Cofit because it’s more relevant to his status than malnutrition or malaria.

I could just as easily go down that path. I could also close my eyes to mothers failing to get breast milk because they can only afford half a meal a day (black tea with a piece of cassava), and the malnourished babies that emerge as a result; I could close my eyes to the teenage girls that were given out in marriage because schools closed, or those given out to meet family needs; I could ignore the fact that our president is opening 5-star markets in cities which have 1-star referral hospitals; I could also choose to look the other way and enjoy my middleclass lifestyle, but as an aspiring leader, I cannot.

As a leader, my aspiration is to remove the privileged/entitled class, to expand the middleclass (and their income), and to shrink the peasantry; but mostly to blur the lines that separate each category.
It doesn’t bode well for our country if the average Corporate Ugandan knows more about racism in America than about extreme poverty in Teso or Busoga because that disqualifies him/her from the solution to those local problems.

And finally, I have come to the realization that the biggest pandemic afflicting our country is poverty and the virus that causes it is called M7-1986. Vaccination against it is January 14

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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