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Trump takes fight against Harris to North Carolina rally

The Trump campaign has insisted it is prepared for Harris' candidacy

Published by Samiullah Farid

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Washington: Donald Trump has so far watched from the sidelines as Vice President Kamala Harris galvanized and re-energized Democrats by stepping in to replace President Joe Biden as candidate. On Wednesday, Trump gets back in the game.

The Republican presidential nominee, is due to hold his first campaign rally since Harris emerged as his near-certain Democratic foe. The former president will appear at an event in Charlotte, North Carolina, a state that will be an important battleground in the Nov. 5 election.

The Trump campaign has insisted it is prepared for Harris' candidacy, arguing she serves as a proxy for Biden on the economic and immigration policies that contributed to his sinking popularity with voters.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll completed on Tuesday showed Harris with a marginal two-percentage-point lead over Trump, 44% to 42%. Other recent national polls have shown Trump with an advantage.

Biden, who came back to Washington after isolating at his home in Delaware with COVID, will address the nation from the Oval Office on Wednesday night to explain his decision to drop out after a disastrous June debate with Trump raised questions about his ability to win the election, or to serve another four years if he succeeded.

On Tuesday, Trump took the unusual step of speaking to reporters on a conference call to underscore his campaign's line of attack on the border, saying Harris was partially responsible for a record flow of migrants.

Biden put Harris in charge of working with countries in Central America to help stem the tide of migration, but she was not made responsible for border security.

“She's a radical left person, and this country doesn't want a radical left person to destroy it,” Trump said on the call. “She wants open borders. She wants things that nobody wants.”

BROADER MAP

Harris campaign chair Jen O'Malley Dillon said in a memo made public on Wednesday that Democrats would aim to compete in the swing states of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada, opening up a map that in the final weeks of Biden's campaign had appeared to be more focused on the Midwest.

"This race is more fluid now – the vice president is well-known but less well-known than both Trump and President Biden, particularly among Dem-leaning constituencies," O'Malley Dillon wrote.

Harris heads to Indianapolis on Wednesday to speak at an event hosted by the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, which was founded at Howard University, the historically Black college she attended. She hopes to tap sororities' multi-generational network of Black women to deliver strong voter turnout for Democrats in November.

Harris held an energetic first rally as the likely nominee on Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which last week hosted the Republican National Convention. She assailed Trump and said he would take the nation "backward."

"Do we want to live in a country of freedom, compassion and rule of law, or a country of chaos, fear and hate?" she asked the crowd.

Harris ticked through a list of liberal priorities, saying that if elected she would act to expand abortion access, make it easier for workers to join unions and address gun violence, drawing a sharp contrast with Trump.

Democrats will formally nominate their new ticket at next month’s convention in Chicago after an Aug. 7 virtual vote. Roy Cooper, North Carolina's Democratic governor, is considered to be on the short list to serve as Harris’ running mate.

Harris and her campaign have worked at breakneck pace to consolidate support among Democrats in Congress and delegates across the country. Candidates who could have been potential rivals for the nomination have fallen in line and endorsed her.

Trump, coming off a triumphant week in which his party unified around his presidential bid after a failed assassination attempt two weekends ago, has had to watch as Biden's sudden departure from the race dramatically shifted the narrative and sparked a surge of attention toward Harris at his expense.

The Harris campaign on Wednesday said it has raised $126 million since Sunday, with 64% of donors making their first contribution of the 2024 campaign.

(Curtsy Reuters)

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Bangladesh factories, banks reopen as curfew is eased after protests taper off

Rush-hour traffic returned to the capital Dhaka and broadband internet was largely restored

Published by Samiullah Farid

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Dhaka: Factories, offices and banks reopened in Bangladesh on Wednesday after a nationwide curfew enforced by the army was eased and relative calm prevailed following days of deadly violence.

Rush-hour traffic returned to the capital Dhaka and broadband internet was largely restored, although social media continued to be suspended after student-led protests turned violent last week.

Almost 150 people were killed as security forces cracked down on gatherings against quotas in government jobs that were reinstated by a high court order last month during an unemployment crisis. The quotas included reservations for families of fighters in the 1971 independence war.

But students paused their protests on Sunday when the Supreme Court agreed to scrap most quotas and ruled that 93% of jobs should be open to competition.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government eased the curfew it had imposed four days ago to contain the violence that spread across the country.

"For now, all social media will remain shut," Zunaid Ahmed Palak, a junior technology minister, told reporters.

People may have to wait until Sunday or Monday to get mobile internet, he said.

As curfew eased, the garment and textiles industries, which supply to major Western brands, began reopening factories.

"All our factories are open today. Everything is going smoothly," said S.M. Mannan, president of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association.

The stock exchange opened too, as well as banks, after remaining shut the past two days.

Dhaka residents were out on the streets, some making their way to offices as buses also began running in some places.

News websites, which had stopped updating since Friday, were back online.

Data from hospitals showed at least 147 people have been killed and police said they have arrested nearly 3,000 for violence and arson.

The government said curfew restrictions would be relaxed for seven hours on Thursday too, and offices

STUDENT DEMANDS
Analysts say the student action has given fresh impetus to Hasina's critics - who accuse her of authoritarianism - months after she won a fourth-straight term in power in January in an election boycotted by the main opposition party.

"The informal federation of government critics appears deeper and wider than before the election, which presents a serious challenge to the ruling party," said Geoffrey Macdonald at the United States Institute of Peace.

Hasina, 76, is the daughter of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh, who led the country's movement for independence from Pakistan.

The earlier 56% job quotas included a 30% reservation for families of the independence fighters, which critics said favoured supporters of Hasina's Awami League.

Hasina's government had scrapped the quotas in 2018 but a high court ruling reinstated the them last month, which the government appealed in the Supreme Court.

The quotas left fewer than half of state jobs open on merit amid an unemployment crisis, particularly in the private sector, making government sector jobs with their regular wage hikes and perks especially prized.

Hasina has blamed her political opponents for the violence and her government said on Tuesday it would heed the Supreme Court ruling.

The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has denied any involvement in the violence and accused Hasina of cracking down on free speech and dissent, charges denied by her government.

Students have made four demands to the government with a deadline of Thursday, including the restoration of internet, withdrawal of police from campuses, lifting the curfew and reopening universities shut since Wednesday. Students groups have not said what they plan to do if the demands are not met.

(Curtsy Reuters)

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Rana Sanaullah lauds UNESCO's role in sports education

The Prime Minister's Advisor on Inter Provincial Coordination calls for supporting international efforts focused on sports for peace and development and building a bright future for coming generations

Published by Hussnain Bhutta

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Islamabad: Prime Minister's Advisor on Inter Provincial Coordination Rana Sanaullah Khan on Wednesday called for supporting international efforts focused on sports for peace and development and building a bright future for coming generations.

He said this during his visit to UNESCO headquarters in Paris on Wednesday, while attending the opening ceremony of the Paris 2024 Olympics and represented Pakistan at the ´Change the Game' Ministerial Forum.

The Advisor also participated in the discussion focused on 'Leveraging Quality Physical Education and Sport for Sustainable Social Legacies.'

He appreciated UNESCO for organizing this high-level forum in the run-up to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

Rana Sanaullah said the mega sports events, like Olympics, act as a unifying force in bringing together the entire world in healthy competition - where all of us are winners.

He said physical education and sports provide productive pathways for individuals as well as societies to build resilience and skills, such as leadership, communication, team-building, and critical thinking.  He acknowledged that sports also teach discipline, develop friendship across borders and play a positive role in promoting mutual understanding, celebrating cultural diversity, and enhancing physical and mental health of youth.

The Advisor said UNESCO has a central role to play in this field and can assist Member States through its capacity building programs on physical education and sports.

 

 

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