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Trump blisters Biden in divisive speech aimed at Republicans | News



President Donald Trump criticised his Democratic rival, Joe Biden, as “weak” and drew sharp divisions between what Republicans envision for the United States and what he said Democrats advocate, as he rounded up his party’s national convention and staked his claim for a second term in office.

“Our opponents believe America is a depraved nation. We want our sons and daughters to know the truth; America is the most exceptional nation in the history of the world,” Trump said in remarks to a live audience at the White House.

In the midst of a pandemic that is still ravaging the US, Trump defied public health guidelines to assemble an audience of 2,000 guests who largely did not maintain physical distancing or wear masks at an event staged on the South Lawn of the White House.

To their applause, Trump claimed his signature accomplishments in four years; building the wall on the southwest US border, ending undocumented immigration, lowering medicine prices, renegotiating trade deals, cutting taxes and creating jobs.

Trump asserted success in combating the coronavirus and he attacked Biden in hyperbolic terms for his plans to raise taxes, switch the US to clean energy, reform US immigration laws, and tackle the coronavirus.

“Joe Biden’s plan is not a solution to the virus. It is a surrender to the virus,” Trump said.

Biden is “a Trojan horse for socialism” who would “demolish the suburbs” and “confiscate your guns”, Trump claimed.

Biden “promised to end national security travel bans from Jihadist nations”, Trump said, a reference to his own controversial ban on travel to the US from a number of predominately Muslim countries.

Biden would abolish cash bail “releasing 400,000 criminals” into US neighbourhoods, and pave the way for the “radical left” to “defund police departments”, he said. The claim is a distortion of Biden’s latest proposal to reform the US bail system, which discriminates against poor people by holding them in jail.

In a 70-minute speech, Trump directed his most bombastic rhetoric at condemning the civil unrest and racial protests embroiling the country. “There is violence and danger in the streets,” Trump said.

“If the Democrat Party wants to stand with anarchists, agitators, rioters, looters and flag burners, that is up to them. But I, as your president, will not be a part of it. The Republican Party will remain the voice of the patriotic heroes who keep America safe and salute the American flag.”

White House Senior Adviser Ivanka Trump introduces her father President Donald Trump to deliver his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee on the final night of the Republican National Convention [Kevin Lamarque/Reuters]

The latest civil unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin and elsewhere in the US was a key focus of Republican speakers on Thursday. They argued vehemently that riots in US cities run by Democrats foreshadow a lawless future for the nation if Trump is not re-elected.

Keith Whittington, professor of politics at Princeton University, said Trump was trying to shift blame for the pandemic and the protests to others, a challenging political task but one that could yield gains as his re-election campaign kicks into gear over the next 10 weeks.

“The Trump administration is tied-up in some of the policy responses to the economy and the pandemic such that he cannot very easily distance himself from that and say this is somebody else’s fault,” Whittington said. 

But, “in the context of the rioting in the cities, he has a little bit more credibility in being able to say other government officials have primary responsibility for this, they have not been doing a good enough job,” Whittington told Al Jazeera.

Trump White House backdrop RNC speech

Trump delivers his acceptance speech as the 2020 Republican presidential nominee during the final event of the Republican National Convention [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

Not a Racist

Several Republican speakers in Thursday’s largely virtual convention programme defended Trump’s hostile approach towards the Black Lives Matter protests.

“President Trump does not dabble in identity politics,” said Ben Carson, Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

“He wants everyone to succeed and believes in the adage, ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. Many on the other side love to incite division by claiming that President Trump is a racist,” Carson said.

“They could not be more wrong.”

Ann Dorn, the widow of Dave Dorn, a retired St Louis police officer and security guard who was killed by looters during protests in June, gave a heartfelt tribute to her late husband.

“Looters were ransacking the shop. They shot and killed Dave in cold blood and livestreamed the execution and his last moments on earth,” Dorn recalled.

“How did we get to this point where so many young people are so callous and indifferent towards human life? This isn’t a video game where you can commit mayhem and then hit reset,” she said.

“Democrats have walked away from us,” said Patrick Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association of New York City.

“You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America. You can have four more years of President Trump. Or you can have no safety, no justice, no peace.”

Former New York City Mayor and Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani warned Democrats would do to the nation what they have already done to New York if Biden is elected.

“Murders, shootings and violent crime are increasing at percentages unheard of in the past,” Giuliani said.

Rudy Giuliani at Repub convention

Rudy Giuliani, former New York City mayor and personal attorney to President Donald Trump, speaks during the largely virtual 2020 Republican National Convention broadcast from Washington, DC, August 27, 2020 [Republican National Convention/Handout via Reuters]

Protesters nearby

Outside the White House grounds on Thursday night, protesters gathered on “Black Lives Matter plaza” near Lafayette Park. Air horns could be heard briefly blaring in the background of Trump’s speech.

Demonstrators unfurled a flag that said, “Trump Lies All the Time” and skirmished with a small group of Trump supporters before being separated by police, according to reports.

Many had travelled to Washington, DC, to participate in Friday’s scheduled ‘March on Washington’ for racial justice; an event that is expected to draw thousands.

Earlier in the day, Biden criticised Trump’s rhetorical attacks on protesters and said Trump was encouraging racial divisions in the US to help his re-election campaign. Biden pinned responsibility for the unrest on Trump, the incumbent.

“He views this as a political benefit to him. He’s rooting for more violence,” Biden said on MSNBC, a liberal-leaning television news outlet.

“He’s encouraging this. He’s not diminishing it at all. This is his America now,” Biden said.

Kamala Harris speaks

Democratic US vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris delivers a campaign speech in Washington, US, August 27, 2020, hours ahead of the conclusion of the Republican National Convention [Jonathan Ernst/Reuters]

In a speech on Thursday, hours before Trump’s address, Democratic vice-presidential nominee Kamala Harris offered a scathing critique of Trump’s performance in office. 

Trump has shown “a reckless disregard for the wellbeing of the American people” in failing to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, Harris said.

“Donald Trump froze. He was scared. He was petty and vindictive,” she said of the president’s early response to the outbreak in the US.

The Republican convention’s final night was capped with a flourish of fireworks that spelled out “Trump 2020” over the Washington monument on the National Mall, the long grassy park that stretches from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.

Opera singer Christopher Macchio sang Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and Franz Schubert’s Ave Maria from the balcony of the White House residence to Trump and his family gathered on the stage in front of the audience, giving the evening a classical finish.

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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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