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How possible successors stack up if Japan PM Abe resigns | News

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Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, Shinzo Abe, could be set to resign, national broadcaster NHK said on Friday, saying he wanted to avert problems for the government from a worsening health condition.

Abe has battled ulcerative colitis, a chronic disease, for years. If Abe resigned, he would probably stay on until formally replaced, which requires the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to pick a new leader to be formally elected in Parliament.

Here are the details of some likely candidates to take the helm of the world’s third-largest economy.

Taro Aso

Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Taro Aso wearing a face mask attends a budget committee meeting at the lower house of Parliament in Tokyo, Japan [File: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images]

Minister of Finance Taro Aso, 79, who also doubles as deputy prime minister, has been a core member of Abe’s administration. Without a clear consensus on who should succeed Abe, LDP legislators could elect Aso as a temporary leader if Abe resigns.

In 2008, Aso was elected LDP leader and hence, prime minister, in hopes that he could revive the long-dominant party’s fortunes. Instead, the LDP was removed in an historic election defeat in 2009, languishing in the opposition for the next three years.

The grandson of a former prime minister, Aso mixes policy experience with a fondness for manga comics and a tendency towards gaffes. 

Shigeru Ishiba

Japan's ex-defence minister Shigeru Ishiba delivers a speech during a meeting on the LDP party leader election at the party's headquarters in Tokyo

Japan’s ex-Minister of Defense Shigeru Ishiba delivers a speech during a meeting on the party leader election of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) at their headquarters in Tokyo [File: Toru Hanai/Reuters]

A hawkish former defence minister and rare LDP critic of Abe, Shigeru Ishiba, 63, regularly tops surveys of legislators whom voters want to see as the next prime minister, but is less popular with the party’s legislators.

The soft-spoken security maven has also held portfolios for agriculture and reviving local economies.

He defeated Abe in the first round of a party presidential election in 2012, thanks to strong grassroots support, but lost in the second round when only members of Parliament could vote. Then, in a 2018 party leadership poll, Ishiba lost heavily to Abe.

He has criticised the Bank of Japan’s ultra-low interest rates for hurting regional banks and called for higher public works spending to remedy growing inequality.

Fumio Kishida

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party policy chief Fumio Kishida smiles as he speaks with the media after Japan's lower house election at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo

Japan’s governing Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) policy chief at the time, Fumio Kishida smiles as he adresses the media after Japan’s 2017 lower house election at the LDP headquarters in Tokyo [File: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters]

Fumio Kishida, 63, served as foreign minister under Abe from 2012 to 2017, but diplomacy remained mainly in the prime minister’s grip.

The low-key legislator from Hiroshima has been widely seen as Abe’s preferred successor but ranks low in voter surveys.

Kishida hails from one of the party’s more dovish factions and is seen as less eager to revise the post-war constitution’s pacifist Article 9 than Abe, for whom it is a cherished goal.

The BOJ’s hyper-easy monetary policy “cannot go on forever”, Kishida has said.

Taro Kono

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Reshuffles Cabinet

Japan’s Minister of Defense Taro Kono speaks during a news conference at the prime minister’s official residence in Tokyo [File: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images]

Minister for Defense Taro Kono, 56, has a reputation of being a maverick but has toed the line on key Abe policies, including a stern stance in a feud with South Korea over wartime history.

Educated at Georgetown University and a fluent English speaker, he previously served as foreign minister and minister for administrative reform.

He has differentiated his conservative stances from those of his father, former chief cabinet secretary Yohei Kono, who authored a landmark 1993 apology to “comfort women”, a euphemism for women forced to work in Japan’s wartime military brothels.

Yoshihide Suga

Japan's top government spokesman Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo

Japan’s top government spokesman Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga speaks during an interview with Reuters in Tokyo, Japan [Issei Kato/Reuters]

Yoshihide Suga, 71, a self-made politician and loyal lieutenant since Abe’s troubled term as prime minister in 2006 and 2007, was among a band of allies who pushed Abe to run again for the top post in 2012.

Back in office, Abe tapped Suga as chief cabinet secretary, acting as top government spokesman, coordinating policies and keeping bureaucrats in line.

Talk of Suga as a contender bubbled up in April 2019 after he unveiled the new imperial era name, Reiwa, for use on Japanese calendars after the enthronement of the new emperor.

Suga’s clout was dented somewhat by scandals that toppled two cabinet ministers close to him last October.

Shinjiro Koizumi

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Addresses Lawmakers On Postponed Tokyo Olympics

Japan’s environment minister Shinjiro Koizumi wearing a face mask attends an ordinary session at the upper house of Parliament in Tokyo [File: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images]

The name of Shinjiro Koizumi, 39, now environment minister and the son of charismatic former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, is often floated as a future prime minister, but many consider him too young.

He shares some of Abe’s conservative views and has paid his respects at Tokyo’s controversial Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead.

Koizumi has projected a reforming image on the basis of efforts to cut Japan’s backing for coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, but has typically taken care not to offend party elders.

Katsunobu Kato, Yasutoshi Nishimura

Japan's Health, Labour and Welfare Minister Kato attends a news conference at PM Abe's official residence in Tokyo

Japan’s Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Katsunobu Kato attends a news conference at Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s official residence in Tokyo [File: Issei Kato/Reuters]

As health minister, Katsunobu Kato, 64, was in the limelight in the early days of Japan’s coronavirus outbreak but then economy minister Yasutoshi Nishimura, 57, a former trade official, emerged as point person on virus policy.

In 2015, Kato, a father of four, was handed the portfolio for boosting Japan’s rock-bottom birthrate, a task that met little success. He is a former official of the finance ministry.

Seiko Noda

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets the 'China-Japan Friendship' female parliament members delegation in Beijing

Seiko Noda speaks to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (not pictured) at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China [File: How Hwee Young/Pool via Reuters]

Seiko Noda, 59, has made no secret of her desire to become Japan’s first woman prime minister. An Abe critic, the former internal affairs minister, who also held the portfolio for women’s empowerment, fell short of backing to join the race for party leader in 2018.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million

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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

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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.



Source – observer.ug

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News

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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”.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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