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Biden holds campaign rally in Philadelphia as Democratic rivals prepare to take him on – National

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Biden holds campaign rally in Philadelphia as Democratic rivals prepare to take him on National

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Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday will hold a presidential-style rally intended to make his march toward becoming the Democrat to take on President Donald Trump seem inevitable, even as rivals search for ways to slow him down.

Since entering the race last month, Biden, 76, has largely ignored the other 23 contenders in the Democratic field, instead training his fire on Republican Trump.

WATCH: Trump demeans Democratic candidates for 2020 race





Trump, in turn, has regularly knocked Biden, making the 2020 presidential contest sometimes feel like a general election more than a year before the vote takes place.

Biden’s outdoor rally in Philadelphia, where he has established his campaign headquarters, illustrates the importance of Pennsylvania to Democratic hopes next year. Trump narrowly won the state over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

After Biden leaves, Trump will hold an event of his own on Monday in the northeast part of the state.

In his remarks, Biden will attempt to reach out to Republicans and independent voters as well as Democrats by striking a moderate tone.

WATCH: Biden says Canada got caught up in trade war with China





“Some say Democrats don’t want to hear about unity. That they are angry, and the angrier you are, the better,” Biden will say, according to excerpts of his address released in advance. “That’s what they are saying to have to do to win the Democratic nomination. Well, I don’t believe it.”

And as he has done during his campaign, he will directly confront Trump.

“If the American people want a president to add to our division, to lead with a clenched fist, closed hand and a hard heart, to demonize the opponents and spew hatred – they don’t need me,” Biden is expected to say. “They already have a president who does just that.”

Biden will not have the luxury of shrugging off the rest of the Democratic field much longer. While opinion polls show him with a substantial lead, other candidates have begun targeting him.

WATCH: Joe Biden says Attorney General William Barr should resign





An emerging antagonist has been U.S Senator Kamala Harris, who this week mocked calls by Biden supporters that she join him on the Democratic ticket as vice president. Harris said it should be the other way around.

“I think that Joe Biden would be a great running mate,” Harris told reporters. “As vice president, he’s proven that he knows how to do the job.”

Biden, a U.S. senator for 30 years and a two-term vice president under Barack Obama, has argued he is best positioned to take on Trump next year.

The remark by Harris underscored the tension that runs through the Democratic Party as its activist wing grapples with the notion of nominating a moderate white male such as Biden rather than a progressive woman such as U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren or person of color like Harris.

MIDDLE OF THE ROAD?

Democratic nominating contests begin next February, giving the dynamics of the race plenty of time to shift. But Biden has opened up a more than 20-point lead over his nearest rival, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, in several public opinion polls.

In New Hampshire this week, Harris took issue with Biden’s assertion that a sweeping 1994 crime bill Biden backed in Congress did not lead to mass incarceration of prisoners.

African-Americans, a key voter demographic for both Biden and Harris, have been particularly critical of the legislation, saying it devastated black communities.

Warren has criticized Biden’s support of the credit card industry while a senator. Sanders has blasted Biden’s past support of the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Iraq War.


READ MORE:
Joe Biden says he’s open to breaking up Facebook

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is not running for president but holds influence over young progressive voters, appeared this week to criticize Biden after Reuters reported that he likely would advance a plan to tackle climate change less sweeping than Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘Green New Deal.’

Biden pushed back at Ocasio-Cortez, saying he has never been “middle of the road” on the climate issue.

“There are very loud voices on the very new progressive side of the agenda, and I think it’s useful,” Biden said in New Hampshire. “I think they’re good. They’re smart people, and they should be able to be making their case.”



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FOREIGN NEWS

Catholic Bishops react to military coup in Mali

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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
RECOWACERAO NEWS AGENCY, RECONA

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Harris accepts VP nomination

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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

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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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