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Democratic primary race heats up as Joe Biden announces campaign – National



Democratic primary race heats up as Joe Biden announces campaign National


As she campaigned through Iowa this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts didn’t hesitate to jab the newest contender in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary: Joe Biden.

“Our disagreement is a matter of public record,” Warren said, referring to Biden’s past support of a massive bankruptcy overhaul. “Joe Biden was on the side of the credit card companies.”

The early days of the 2020 Democratic primary have been defined by order, amicable disagreement and an overwhelming focus on defeating President Donald Trump.

No more.

Joe Biden officially announces 2020 U.S. presidential run

Biden’s campaign launch on Thursday ushered in a new phase in the nominating contest. With the field largely set, the leading candidates have begun to turn on one another, raising the prospect of an ugly fight for the future of the party that could have lasting consequences for Democrats’ quest to reclaim the White House.

Progressive groups aligned with Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont took aim at Biden, portraying him as out of step with today’s Democratic Party. They railed against his connections to big corporations, his past support for a “grand bargain” that would have cut Social Security and Medicare, and his support for a 1994 crime bill that disproportionately hurt minorities.

WATCH: Joe Biden announces 2020 U.S. presidential run

“For numerous reasons, Joe Biden is the least electable Democrat that we could possibly nominate,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the liberal group known as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has long supported Warren’s presidential ambitions. “We’re in a new moment. This is not Joe Biden’s moment.”

Sanders’ campaign manager slapped at the former vice-president in a fundraising message titled “Joe Biden.”

“Not only are we taking on a political and corporate establishment that will do and spend whatever it takes to stop us, but we are running against a record number of candidates at the same time,” Faiz Shakir wrote. He added: “There are a lot of candidates in this race right now. But there is only one Bernie Sanders.”

Biden’s political platform expected to be extension of Obama’s

Biden’s campaign said Friday it raised $6.3 million in the first 24 hours since announcing, narrowly besting Sanders’ first-day haul.

Desperate to deny Trump a second term, Democrats can ill afford any lasting divisions that could depress turnout come November 2020.

The early infighting has already caught the attention of party leaders like Democratic National Committee member Robert Zimmerman, of New York, who helped raise money for former President Barack Obama and Biden in years past.

WATCH: Trump says he’s a ‘young, vibrant man’ when asked if a president can be ‘too old’

“The No. 1 issue that I’ve seen across the country is Democrats staying focused on beating Donald Trump. I demand that Democrats remain positive with each other,” Zimmerman said. “Any Democrat who tries to build their message by maligning or attacking personally their opponent is going to disqualify themselves.”

Yet the battle lines are quickly hardening. With emboldened liberals on one side, pro-Biden establishment leaders in Congress and labour unions are lining up on the other.

Bernie Sanders was asked about white terrorism. He name-dropped MLK Jr. — and was booed

Biden, who served in the Senate for nearly four decades, won immediate endorsements from Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware and Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama, while Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California had already declared her support. None of the other 2020 contenders has the endorsement of more than one U.S. senator.

The largest firefighters union in the country, the International Association of Firefighters, was also preparing to endorse Biden. Group leaders have said they would be “investing” heavily in his campaign.

WATCH: Bernie Sanders gets boos for name dropping MLK Jr.

Biden himself took an indirect swipe at his Democratic competitors earlier in the month as he defended his liberal bona fides: “The definition of ‘progressive’ now seems to be changing. And that is, Are you a socialist?” he said. Sanders, who is Biden’s closest competitor in recent polls, describes himself as a democratic socialist.

The establishment support lining up behind Biden could embolden his critics on the left.

Prominent black Democrats seized on the 1994 crime bill, which Biden helped craft and is now blamed for creating an environment of mass incarceration that disproportionately hurt people of colour.

Democratic presidential hopefuls out in full sprint ahead of 2020 election

“So ? JoeBiden you were the author of the 94 Crime Bill, it’s champion, and #1 cheerleader,” tweeted Bakari Sellers, a former South Carolina state Democratic elected official and prominent African American voice on television. “This bill has led to mass incarceration and specifically targeted black and brown people. What are your plans to unravel the damage you helped to cause?”

Of course, there’s time for Biden to win over the critics. Primary voting begins in roughly nine months, and the general election isn’t until November 2020.

Some of Biden’s liberal attackers indicated they would support him over Trump should Biden win the nomination. In a nod to his opponents, he also hired former Sanders’ aide, Symone Sanders, to serve as a senior campaign strategist.

WATCH: Biden says he asked Obama ‘not to endorse’ him, says Democratic nominee should win on ‘own merit’

Biden and his wife “are a class act,” tweeted Symone Sanders, who isn’t related to Bernie Sanders. “Over the course of this campaign, Vice-President Biden is going to make his case to the American (people). He won’t always be perfect, but I believe he will get it right.”


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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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