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Neil Young blasts Trump as ‘unfit’ after California fire destroys Canadian’s home – National




Canadian singer Neil Young attacked U.S. President Donald Trump as an “unfit leader” and climate-change denier on Sunday, after California’s raging wildfires wiped out the rocker’s home in Malibu.

Desperate search for California wildfire victims continues as death toll reaches 31

Young accused Trump of ignoring climate change and playing politics with the wildfires in California, where 31 people have been killed, 150,000 have been displaced and more than 1,040 square kilometres have been scorched by massive wildfires.

“It really is time for a reckoning with this unfit leader,” Young wrote in a blog post on his website Sunday.

“California is vulnerable — not because of poor forest management as DT (our so-called president) would have us think,” Young wrote.

“We are vulnerable because of Climate Change; the extreme weather events and our extended drought is part of it.”

The rocker accused Trump of denying climate change and ignoring scientific evidence in favour of “his own, convenient opinion.”

Young appeared to be responding to a series of tweets Trump issued over the weekend, in which the president blamed “forest management” for the deadly blazes.

Trump threatened on Saturday to stop providing financial help to California if the state did not remedy its “gross mismanagement of the forests.”

Young accused Trump of ignoring the scientific evidence around climate change.

“Firefighters have never seen anything like this in their lives,” Young wrote.

“We love California. We are not ill-prepared. We are up against something bigger than we have ever seen.”

Young has openly criticized Trump in the past, including last week, when he complained about the president using his song Rockin’ in the Free World at appearances.

“Legally, he has the right to, however it goes against my wishes,” Young wrote on Instagram.

The singer turned 73 on Monday.

WATCH BELOW: At least 31 dead in raging California wildfires

Young is one of several celebrities and tens of thousands of people who have been forced from their homes by major wildfires in California.

The Woolsey Fire has burned at least 177 homes and killed two people in Southern California. The flames have stretched from the northwest corner of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley to the Malibu coast, where many celebrities live.

Scottish actor Gerard Butler returned to his Malibu home on Sunday to find it reduced to ashes and a few naked steel beams. Butler shared photos and video of the destruction on social media, where he thanked firefighters for their efforts and urged people to donate to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

WATCH BELOW: Gerard Butler’s Malibu home destroyed by Woolsey Fire

Lady Gaga, Martin Sheen, Kim Kardashian West, Alyssa Milano, Shannen Doherty, Guillermo del Toro, Rainn Wilson and Miley Cyrus were among the thousands of people evacuated from the affluent Malibu area. Mobile-home dwellers were also evacuated from communities in the nearby mountains. Some evacuation orders were lifted on Sunday.

Celebrities evacuate their Malibu homes, praise firefighters as wildfires tear through

Cyrus says her home was destroyed but her partner, actor Liam Hemsworth, made it out safely with her pets.

“My house no longer stands but the memories shared with family & friends stand strong,” she tweeted.

Singer Robin Thicke, son of Canadian Alan Thicke, shared footage of his family’s escape from the fire on Saturday. He later announced that his home was destroyed in the fire.

More than 6,700 buildings have been destroyed in the Camp Fire and the Ranch Fire in Northern California, officials said.

Firefighters say the town of Paradise has been destroyed. Twenty-nine people were killed by fast-moving, windblown flames that swept over the community of 27,000 late last week.

“This is truly a tragedy that all Californians can understand and respond to,” Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown told reporters on Sunday. “It’s a time to pull together and work through these tragedies.”

Incendiary photos show the damage in Paradise, a town that a California wildfire ‘destroyed’

Brown has declared a state of emergency and requested aid from the Trump administration. He said federal and state governments must do more to improve their forest management policies, but the larger cause of the fires is climate change.

“Those who deny that are definitely contributing to the tragedies that we’re now witnessing, and will continue to witness in the coming years,” Brown said.

WATCH BELOW: California governor says climate change contributed to wildfires

California just elected another Democratic governor and several Democrats to Congress.

The wildfires have largely affected national forests that are under the control of the federal government, which Trump oversees.

Trump has a history of blaming California’s state’s government and environmental regulations for wildfires.

He claimed without evidence in August that California was diverting water into the ocean instead of using it to fight fires.

“California wildfires are being magnified & made so much worse by the bad environmental laws which aren’t allowing massive amounts of readily available water to be properly utilized,” Trump tweeted on Aug. 6. “It is being diverted into the Pacific Ocean. Must also tree clear to stop fire from spreading!”

“We have plenty of water,” CalFire Chief Scott McLean told Reuters in August, in response to the president’s tweet.

California’s seasonal Santa Ana winds are fanning the flames of California’s latest wildfire crisis. The winds are common in autumn and have a long history of fanning destructive wildfires.

With files from the Associated Press and Reuters

© 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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