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Trump begins rally blitz attacking media, stoking immigration fears – National




U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday kicked off his final campaign rally blitz before the midterm elections by accusing the media of sowing division and stoking fears about illegal immigration.

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Trump’s rally in Estero, just outside Fort Myers, was the first of 11 events he will hold across eight battlefield states over the next six days as he tries to bolster Republican turnout and counter Democratic enthusiasm heading into Election Day, which will determine whether the GOP retains control of Congress.

The president continued the grievance airing that has long been a fixture of his rallies, seizing on news reports about protests during his Tuesday visit to Pittsburgh, where he paid his respects to the 11 people killed at a synagogue in the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

He said any protests there were small and far away from him, and he called reporting to the contrary “fake and make-believe.”

WATCH: Trump continues attack on ‘fake news as the enemy of the people’

A small group of protesters was within earshot of Trump outside the synagogue, and hundreds more were kept blocks away by police. Some community leaders had asked Trump not to make the trip.

“The left-wing media doesn’t want to solve problems. They want to stoke resentment,” Trump claimed, adding: “It has to stop.”

At the rally, Trump also referenced a caravan of Central American migrants that is slowly making its way toward the U.S. border.

WATCH: ‘Far-left media…used tragedy to sow anger and division’: Trump on synagogue coverage

The president implored rallygoers to vote and painted a dark picture of the stakes, telling the crowd that if Democrats take control of Congress, they will raise taxes and open the country’s borders to illegal drugs and immigration, including the Central American migrants traveling through Mexico and seeking asylum in the U.S.

Democrats “want to bring caravan after caravan into our country,” he claimed, without offering evidence.

The president has been stoking fears that the nation is under attack from an onslaught of dangerous immigrants in the country illegally and said earlier Wednesday that the number of military troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border could reach 15,000, which would bring the military commitment on the border to roughly the same level as in war-torn Afghanistan.

WATCH: Trump congratulates law enforcement on response to synagogue shooting

Trump this week also threatened to end the constitutionally enshrined right of birthright citizenship via executive order and announced plans to erect tent cities to house asylum seekers — even as his administration has been discussing a dramatic executive overhaul of immigration policy that would bar those in the caravan from entering the U.S. completely.

“Under this policy, anyone who breaks into our country and has a child, the very next moment that child would be made a citizen for life. Great,” Trump told the crowd. “This policy has even created an entire industry of birth tourism — big business.”

The rally was the first of two this week in Florida, where Republican Gov. Rick Scott is challenging Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson for U.S. Senate and where Democrat Andrew Gillum and Republican Ron DeSantis are locked in a tight race to replace Scott as governor.

As Trump calls for death penalties, federal cases are ticking up

Both Scott and DeSantis joined the president at the rally, where Trump offered his enthusiastic endorsement.

“Rick Scott always delivers for the people of Florida,” Trump said as he introduced the governor.

Trump’s last-stretch rally lineup will include two rallies each in Indiana and Missouri, plus stops in a Pensacola, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, Montana and West Virginia.

While Trump is not on the ballot this time around, both Democratic and Republican strategists have reported that Trump’s rallies — the centerpiece of his unconventional and underestimated 2016 campaign — have been a boost for local candidates, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in free media and boosting Republicans in post-rally polls.

WATCH: Trump says U.S. steel industry was ‘dead as a door nail’ when he took office in 2017

By Election Day, Trump will have held 30 rallies since Labor Day, according to the White House. He’s been holding events in competitive House districts and in states with competitive senatorial and gubernatorial races.

Indeed, supporters in southwest Florida started to line up for Wednesday’s rally before dawn, and by late morning, about 3,000 people were already in line for the event scheduled to start at 7 p.m. on Halloween.

Several attendees wore costumes to mark the occasion — one in an Uncle Sam hat, another dressed as a Revolutionary War soldier, a third as Trump himself.

Trump threatens to send up to 15,000 troops at Mexico border over migrant caravan

Adam Botana, the president of Bay Water Exclusive Boat Club & Rentals, said he told his employees they were free to take the day off if they wanted to go to the rally. He said one took him up on the offer.

“It’s a piece of history,” he said, adding he would feel the same way about former President Barack Obama or former President Richard Nixon. “If they want to do that, we have no problem with it.”

More than 3.4 million people have already voted in Florida, surpassing the number who voted early or by mail four years ago. And most of those in attendance at the rally claimed to be among them, thrusting their hands into the air when Trump asked who in the crowd had already cast their ballots.

‘It’s your fault’: Protests greet Donald Trump as he visits Pittsburgh after synagogue shooting

History and recent polls suggest Republicans will lose a significant number of seats in the House. Democrats are facing an uphill battle to gain control of the Senate, with several vulnerable incumbents running in Republican-leaning states.

“I feel very good about the Senate,” Trump told ABC News in an interview before the rally. “And frankly I think we feel pretty good about the House.”


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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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