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Trudeau warns against attacks on media in Remembrance Day speech seemingly aimed at Trump – National

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A series of international leaders used a global commemoration of the end of the First World War to warn about the risk politicians who call themselves nationalists pose to a fragile peace, in a message aimed at the American president.

What started with the French president saying that nationalist leaders threaten to erase a nation’s moral values by putting their own interests first regardless of the effects on others, ended with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau saying voters will turn for easy answers and scapegoats

WATCH: On First World War armistice centenary, Macron warns of nationalism in speech as Trump looks on






U.S. President Donald Trump in recent weeks described himself as a nationalist and has frequently sparred with the media, whom he has labelled as “fake news” and the enemy of the people – both of which were on display last week in a free-wheeling press conference after the U.S. midterm elections.

Speaking at a peace forum organized by French President Emmanuel Macron, Trudeau said attacks on the press are part of a concerted political effort to maintain power and staunch any criticism.

“Attacks on the media are not just about getting your preferred political candidate elected, for example, they are about increasing the level of cynicism that citizens have towards all authorities, towards all of the institutions that are there to protect us as citizens,” Trudeau said to a crowd of about 150 people.

WATCH: Why some Canadians spent Remembrance Day in Paris






“When people feel their institutions can’t protect them, they look for easy answers in populism, in nationalism, in closing borders, in shutting down trade, in xenophobia.”

Macron, Trudeau and other leaders came to Paris hoping to use the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War to renew calls to quash festering tensions across the globe.

Macron warned how fragile peace can be in an age where the tensions that gave rise to four years of bloody battle, costing millions of lives, appear to be festering again. He told the assembled masses that the “traces of this war never went away.”

WATCH: President Trump delivers Veterans Day speech at cemetery outside Paris






He urged the leaders present to promise their peoples that the resurgent “old demons” would not be able to return, sowing “chaos and death.”

Though Trump sat mostly stone-faced as he listened to Macron’s words, he had left by the time Trudeau began to speak.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in an opening speech at the peace forum, spoke about how lack of communication and an unwillingness to compromise can have dire consequences for countries.

“There is a general sense and desire among many countries, including Canada to do whatever is possible to sustain the institutions of the international order and practical, multilateral co-operation. And so you see that in Canada, you see that in Germany,” said Roland Paris, Trudeau’s former foreign adviser.


READ MORE:
The forgotten Muslim soldiers who fought in First World War trenches for the Allies

“Macron (is) essentially making that point: that we can sustain co-operation, we must sustain co-operation.”

Trudeau, who is on a 10-day trip across Europe and Asia, will come face-to-face with three of the nations sowing tension: Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Trudeau sat beside Putin and the pair briefly chatted at the opening session of Macron’s peace summit on Sunday. Trudeau acknowledged the Russian people’s sacrifices through the two World Wars and said it was important to have Russian representation in Paris to talk about peace, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Earlier in the weekend, Trudeau spoke with Trump at a dinner Macron organized on Friday night – although government officials wouldn’t say the exact topic of conversation.


READ MORE:
As Canadians mark Remembrance Day, world leaders warned of ‘old demons’ rising again

Trudeau has had to navigate the mercurial American president, and talked pointedly about him on Sunday afternoon, but never mentioned Trump by name, as he is prone to do.

Trump did not shake Trudeau’s hand when he arrived with wife Melania at the iconic Arc de Triomphe for the Nov. 11 ceremony. Neither Trump nor Putin walked a bit of the Champs-Elysee with other leaders after church bells rang out as the hour turned to 11 a.m. local time, marking the moment the guns fell silent across Europe a century ago.

France’s ambassador to Canada described the peace forum as a way to amplify the voices of non-governmental organizations and prod political leaders present to commit to Macron’s call for peace.

“If you’re not backed up by the highest political authority, nothing will happen,” Kareen Rispal said in an interview Friday.

“You have to get the real commitment from the political leaders.”

WATCH: World leaders arrive in France ahead of Remembrance Day






Rispal also said Trudeau’s appearance at the Arc de Triomphe ceremony would be a reminder of Canada’s contributions during the war, which aren’t always recognized in Europe.

Some 650,000 Canadians and Newfoundlanders served in the First World War, and more than 66,000 of them lost their lives. About 172,000 more were injured.

Others served behind the front lines, working with locals to aid the war effort.

“We as French, we as Europeans – I think we don’t value enough the effort made by the Canadians,” Rispal said in an interview Friday.



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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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