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ANALYSIS: Trump’s angry, fearful closing argument to voters – National




The U.S. economy is booming.

Some 250,000 jobs were created in October, unemployment is holding at just 3.7 per cent, and wages grew at the fastest pace since 2009.

So why isn’t President Trump talking about that?

“It’s the economy, stupid!” was once the phrase that guided American political campaigns.

Instead, Trump has decided that he’d rather sell a message of fear and loathing.

READ MORE: Trump calls migrant caravan an ‘invasion,’ says U.S. won’t release asylum seekers at border

His closing argument to voters is a full-on assault on immigration, with racially-fueled rhetoric aimed at stoking anxiety among his white working-class base.

“An army,” “an invasion,” full of “many gang members,” and “unknown Middle Easterners” is on its way to the U.S., according to Trump, in the form of a caravan of migrants from Central America.

For the record, that caravan is made up of many women and children — people who say they are fleeing violence, crime and political persecution.

WATCH BELOW: U.S. President Donald Trump labels the migrant caravan heading towards the U.S. as an “invasion”

Even though those migrants are currently in Mexico, and are still 1,400 kilometres away from the U.S. border, Trump claims the threat is so great, he needs to send up to 15,000 troops to the border immediately.

That’s a larger deployment of U.S. troops than the current war in Afghanistan. Pentagon documents leaked to Newsweek show that even senior military officials believe the mission is a waste of taxpayer dollars.

At the same time, the president has launched an attack on birthright citizenship, a principle, protected in the U.S. Constitution, that says any person born on American soil is automatically a citizen.

“We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in, has a baby, and that baby is essentially a citizen of the United States,” Trump told Axios, in a blatantly false claim. Canada and nearly 30 other countries offer birthright citizenship, too.

READ MORE: Our map of the migrant caravan began, and why people are fleeing these countries

Trump now says he has the power to strip birthright citizenship from the constitution with a simple executive order, which seems legally dubious, but has opened up a debate about the issue in the final days of the campaign.

All of this is by design.

Trump wants the midterms to be about immigration, because it’s the one issue that gets Republicans all fired up.

Global News saw that firsthand in rural Wisconsin, where voters overwhelmingly viewed the caravan with deep concern.

READ MORE: On the eve of the midterms, America’s heartland is as divided as ever

“[Trump’s] got a great instinct for what works with his kind of folks, and that’s all he’s interested in,” explains political analyst Charlie Cook.

In other words, the president knows fear will drive his base to the polls. After all, divisive, racially-charged language carried him to the White House in the first place.

That does not make the president’s strategy any less painful, or harmful.

The final weeks of the campaign have been marred by the massacre of worshipers in a Pittsburgh synagogue, and a wave of bombs mailed to Trump’s most vocal critics.

In response, the president has been blamed for what is seen as hostile political climate of his own creation.

WATCH BELOW: Record number of women running for U.S. congress

Which brings us back to Tuesday’s vote.

While Trump has focused on the issue of immigration, Democrats have struggled to find one single theme that resonates with their supporters.

They may not need to worry about that, according to Cook.

“No offence, Democrats, this election isn’t about you,” he says, “It’s all about him.”

You see, just as Trump knows how to motivate his own supporters, he’s also driving his opponents to turn out in droves.

Both Republicans and Democrats have seen an unusual surge in voter enthusiasm with 65 per cent of those surveyed reporting a “high interest” in the midterm elections.

It seems fear works for both sides.

Jackson Proskow is Washington Bureau Chief for Global National.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali



Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

Contrary to the expectations of the people, the leadership of the Episcopal Conference of Mali (CEM) has termed the Tuesday, August 18 military coup in the West African nation as “regrettable” and “a big failure for our democracy” and called for a change of mentality if the country has to put an end to coups.

In an interview with ACI Africa Wednesday, August 19, made available to RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA, the President of CEM, Bishop Jonas Dembélé said that the governance challenges the country is facing can be managed through dialogue.

“The military coup that led to the ousting of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta is regrettable because we are in a state of law and democracy. This is the second time that Mali has had a military coup as a result of the way in which the country is governed. It is a big failure for our democracy even if there were reasons for it,” Bishop Dembélé told ACI Africa.

“It is true that our country has serious challenges including bad governance, the poor management of the economy, corruption, insecurity and so on,” Bishop Dembélé said and probed, “Why is it that we Malians have not managed to engage in dialogue to be able to discuss these problems and face up to these challenges responsibly?”

“Our leaders, our people lack transparency, they hate those who speak the truth and advocate for good governance. This mentality must change for our country to move on,” the Prelate told ACI Africa August 19.

Bishop Dembélé who is a frontline member of RECOWA-CERAO urged the military officials “to ensure a return to democracy as promised but most especially ensuring the new leadership of the country put the people first and tackle the security challenges facing the nation.”

Asked about the role of the Church in the current crisis, the 57-year-old Prelate noted, “For us the Catholic Church in Mali, our role is to preach peace; our role is to preach dialogue. We shall continue in this path of dialogue for peace just like Cardinal Jean Zerbo and some religious leaders initiated.”

“In a state of law, power is not in the hands of certain individuals but to the people. The anger of our people led to this crisis, but we must work for peace and reconciliation in Mali,” Bishop Dembélé said.

He continued in recollections, “The Bishops in Mali have always issued messages before every election in our country sounding the alert and inviting the government to organize transparent elections, ensure good governance and better management of resources.”
“But it seems our messages are never taken into consideration that is why we find ourselves in this situation today,” the Local Ordinary of Kayes Diocese told ACI Africa and added, “If the opinion of the Episcopal Conference of Mali is needed to mediate in bringing back stability and peace in the country, then we are ready.”

As a way forward, the Bishop urged the people of God in Mali to “seek the path to conversion” and to accept dialogue in the spirit of truth and honesty.
“We all want change in our

country, but this change can only be possible if individually we seek the path to conversion. It is for Malians be they Muslims or Christians or members of traditional religion, to do an examination of conscience and accept personal and community conversion in order to engage in sincere dialogue,” he said.

The Malian Prelate added, “Now there is this coup d’état to demand change we really wonder where change should come from. As long as we don’t change our behavior, our mentality, we will always have a repeat of the current situation.”

On Tuesday, August 18, President Keita announced his resignation and dissolved parliament hours after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, Aljazeera reported.
“For seven years, I have with great joy and happiness tried to put this country on its feet. If today some people from the armed forces have decided to end it by their intervention, do I have a choice? I should submit to it because I do not want any blood to be shed,” President Keita said August 18 during the televised address to the nation.

Rev. Fr. George Nwachukwu

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Harris accepts VP nomination



Harris accepts VP nomination

Senator Kamala Harris formally accepted the Democratic nomination for vice president on Wednesday following a scathing speech by former President Barack Obama, who said the fate of the nation” depends entirely on the outcome of this election.”

Both Mr. Obama and Harris stressed the importance of voting, with Harris saying “we’re all in this fight together.” Harris sounded an optimistic note by highlighting her personal history and the promise of America, saying she was “so inspired by a new generation.”

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be not easy,” she said. “We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. We will speak truths. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.” She called Mr. Trump a “predator” in a speech that came after Mr. Obama issued his most forceful rebuke of his successor to date, saying Mr. Trump “hasn’t grown into the job because he can’t.”

“This president and those in power — those who benefit from keeping things the way they are — they are counting on your cynicism,” Mr. Obama said. “They know they can’t win you over with their policies. So they’re hoping to make it as hard as possible for you to vote, and to convince you that your vote doesn’t matter.

That’s how they win. That’s how they get to keep making decisions that affect your life, and the lives of the people you love. That’s how the economy will keep getting skewed to the wealthy and well-connected, how our health systems will let more people fall through the cracks. That’s how a democracy withers, until it’s no democracy at all.”

Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton, speaking earlier in the night, both said they had hoped Mr. Trump would rise to the occasion. But they both stressed what they called his failures while in office, with Mr. Obama saying Mr. Trump has shown “no interest in treating the presidency as anything but one more reality show that he can use to get the attention he craves.”

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Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself



Mali coup leaders vow to hold elections as history repeats itself

The Malian soldiers who forced President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita to resign in a coup promised early Wednesday to organize new elections after their takeover was swiftly condemned by the international community.

In a statement carried overnight on state broadcaster ORTM, the mutinous soldiers who staged Tuesday’s military coup identified themselves as the National Committee for the Salvation of the People led by Colonel Major Ismael Wagué.

“With you, standing as one, we can restore this country to its former greatness,” Wagué said, announcing that borders were closed and that a curfew was going into effect from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m

The news of Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-government demonstrators in the capital, Bamako, and alarm by former colonial ruler France and other allies and foreign nations.

The U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed meeting Wednesday August 19, 2020 afternoon to discuss the unfolding situation in Mali, where the U.N. has a 15,600-strong peacekeeping mission. Keita, who was democratically elected in a 2013 landslide and re-elected five years later, still had three years left in his term.

But his popularity had plummeted, and demonstrators began taking to the streets calling for his ouster in June.

West African regional bloc ECOWAS had sent mediators to try and negotiate a unity government but those talks fell apart when it became clear that the protesters would not accept less than Keita’s resignation.

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