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Biden says he would support Congress in enshrining abortion rights into law if necessary – National

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Biden says he would support Congress in enshrining abortion rights into law if necessary National

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Joe Biden would support Congress enshrining abortion rights into federal law “should it become necessary,” his presidential campaign said Tuesday, following several other Democratic candidates in promising to take that step if elected president.

The hot-button issue has shot to the forefront of the Democratic primary following a spate of new Republican-backed state laws curbing access to abortion. With all the two dozen Democratic White House hopefuls supportive of abortion rights, the debate in the party has centered on how aggressive they should be if the Supreme Court were to eventually overturn legalized abortion nationwide.


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Biden released a video on Tuesday blasting the GOP-backed state laws as “pernicious” and “wrong.” He stopped short in the video of endorsing congressional action and offered no specifics on how he would defend Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that is now potentially threatened with new legal challenges.

Asked by The Associated Press whether Biden believed the high court decision should be codified in law, the campaign initially pointed to the video, then later added that the former vice president would support legislation “should it become necessary.” A campaign aide then clarified that Biden would support action immediately, regardless of whether the Supreme Court overturned Roe.

The campaign’s responses highlight what Biden, a devout Roman Catholic, once called his “middle of the road” approach on abortion. As a young senator, he expressed reservations that the Supreme Court “went too far” in its abortion decision. Since then, he’s joined the mainstream of the Democratic Party in defending Roe, though as a senator he sometimes voted with abortion-rights foes on bills related to late-term terminations.

WATCH: Protesters march in Alabama to denounce abortion ban





As a moderate figure in a party whose loudest factions often embrace more doctrinaire positions, Biden is already walking a tightrope in the Democratic Party. And his evolving statements on abortion over his four decades in politics could give an opening to rivals who have seized on the Republican push to overturn Roe as a way to affirm their commitment to abortion rights.

Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts endorsed new federal laws safeguarding women’s right to a legal abortion after Alabama passed a statute that amounts to an outright abortion ban. Sen. Kamala Harris of California also has supported the codification of Roe on the campaign trail, and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont told the AP on Tuesday that he backs federal lawmaking on abortion rights.


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Several of the senators visited the steps of the Supreme Court on Tuesday for one of hundreds of nationwide rallies organized by activist groups to protest state-level abortion restrictions. Gillibrand urged an energetic crowd of more than 100 people to “organize, advocate and vote” in order to ensure abortion rights are protected.

Biden did not attend such a rally Tuesday, instead releasing the video as he was in Orlando, Florida, for a campaign fundraiser.

“What this is all about is trying to get an appeal to the Supreme Court in the hope that the conservative justice the president has in fact put on the court will vote to overrule Roe v. Wade, the law of the land,” Biden said. “It’s wrong. It’s pernicious. And we have to stop it.”

WATCH: ‘Vote him out’: Planned Parenthood targets Trump, Kavanaugh at abortion rights protest





Biden has long had to navigate the complicated politics of abortion.

Referencing his faith, he’s noted often that he believes his church’s teachings that abortion is morally wrong but added that shouldn’t dictate public policy.

“I refuse to impose my religious beliefs on other people,” he said in his Tuesday email to supporters.


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As a young senator when Roe was first decided, Biden worried that the decision “went too far,” a quote that was resurrected and redistributed on social media earlier this year. He later became a staunch defender of the high court decision.

“I’ve stuck to my middle-of-the-road position on abortion for more than 30 years,” he wrote in his 2007 book “Promises to Keep.” ″I still vote against partial birth abortion and federal funding, and I’d like to make it easier for scared young mothers to choose not to have an abortion, but I will also vote against a constitutional amendment that strips a woman of her right to make her own choice.”

WATCH: Bernie Sanders says banning abortion will ‘quite literally kill women’





He was referring in part to his decades of support for the Hyde Amendment, which has forbidden government insurance programs from covering abortion. He was captured on video in recent weeks telling an activist he no longer supports the Hyde Amendment.



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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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