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U.K. delays another Brexit vote as Theresa May’s fate hangs in the balance – National

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U.K. delays another Brexit vote as Theresa May’s fate hangs in the balance National

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British Prime Minister Theresa May was hunkered in 10 Downing St. with close allies on Thursday as she considered whether to give in to relentless pressure to resign, or fight on to save her Brexit plan and her premiership.

May was due to meet senior ministers to discuss her Brexit bill as plans to put it to a vote in Parliament were thrown into doubt.

READ MORE: Theresa May offers MPs new referendum vote — but only if they approve her Brexit deal

May’s fate looked sealed after the resignation late Wednesday of Cabinet minister Andrea Leadsom, who said she could not support the European Union withdrawal bill that May plans to introduce to Parliament.

Leadsom, as leader of the House of Commons, had been due to announce on Thursday when a vote on the bill would be held.

But Leadsom said she could not support May’s Brexit plan because it did not “deliver on the referendum result” that saw voters in 2016 opt to leave the EU.

READ MORE: Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage splattered by milkshake on EU campaign trail





“No one has wanted you to succeed more than I have, but I do now urge you to make the right decisions in the interests of the country, this government and our party,” Leadsom wrote in a resignation letter to May.

The government on Thursday delayed plans for the bill, which is May’s fourth and likely final attempt to secure Parliament’s backing for her Brexit blueprint.

May previously announced that it would be published on Friday and put to a vote during the week of June 3. But there was no mention of the bill on the parliamentary schedule for that week, published on Thursday.

Government whip Mark Spencer told lawmakers that “we will update the House on the publication and introduction of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill” when lawmakers return from an 11-day recess on June 4.


READ MORE:
‘Think crisis, think female’: Why Theresa May is a classic example of the glass cliff





Meanwhile, the number of Conservative lawmakers calling on May to resign was growing. The party’s legislators want May to agree on Friday that she will quit, triggering a Conservative leadership contest. If not, they are likely to try to topple her.

“I want her to give a timetable for when she will go,” said Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, treasurer of the committee that oversees Conservative leadership races.

He said that if she did not set a departure date there would be “overwhelming pressure” for a no-confidence vote in her.

WATCH: May’s Brexit gambit fails as her premiership fades 





If May quits as party leader she will likely remain as caretaker prime minister for several weeks while Conservative lawmakers and members vote to elect a successor.

May’s spokesman, James Slack, insisted she would still be in the post when U.S. President Donald Trump comes to Britain for a June 3-5 state visit.

“She looks forward to welcoming the president,” he said.

May became prime minister soon after the June 2016 EU membership referendum, and has spent her entire term in office trying to deliver on that decision.

READ MORE: ‘We need to end this uncertainty,’ Theresa May says as Brexit causes economic stress

She seemed close to success when she struck a divorce agreement with the EU late last year. But lawmakers have rejected it three times, and Britain’s long-scheduled departure date of March 29 passed with the country still in the bloc.

Many Conservatives blame May for the delay, and believe she is now an obstacle to Brexit. They want her replaced with a more ardent Brexiteer such as the former foreign secretary Boris Johnson.

May says another leader will not be able to strike a better deal with the EU. On Wednesday she urged lawmakers to support her Brexit bill, saying that if they reject it “all we have before us is division and deadlock.”

WATCH: May will put possibility of second Brexit referendum to parliament





If May stays on until next week, pressure is likely to increase when results come in from this week’s elections for the European Parliament, with Conservatives expect to receive a drubbing. Many British voters on both sides of the Brexit debate look set to use the election to the EU legislature to express displeasure over the political gridlock.

Opinion polls show strong support for the single-issue Brexit Party – largely from angry former Conservative voters – and for pro-EU parties including the Liberal Democrats and the Greens.

WATCH: Key moments that led to the Brexit issue





The election is being held on Thursday in Britain, but results won’t be announced until all 28 EU countries have finished voting late Sunday.

British newspapers on Thursday were unanimous in declaring that the end is nigh for May.

The Conservative-backing Daily Telegraph said in an editorial that “either Mrs. May must go as soon as humanly possible, or the Conservative Party must finally remove her.”

The Daily Mail, which has been supportive of May, said that “despite her valiant efforts to deliver an honourable Brexit, she has finally run out of road.”



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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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