Thursday, May 28, 2020




Trump signs executive order to punish Twitter and Facebook

Twitter, Facebook
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Trump move could scrap or weaken law that protects social media companies

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump said he will introduce legislation that may scrap or weaken a law that has protected internet companies, including Twitter and Facebook, in an extraordinary attempt to regulate social media platforms where he has been criticized.

The proposed legislation is part of an executive order Trump signed on Thursday afternoon. Trump had attacked Twitter for tagging his tweets about unsubstantiated claims of fraud about mail-in voting with a warning prompting readers to fact-check the posts.

Trump wants to “remove or change” a provision of a law known as section 230 that shields social media companies from liability for content posted by their users.

Trump directs AG to boost enforcement of state laws on social media companies
If Trump kicks out Twitter, there's always Germany
Trump said U.S. Attorney General William Barr will begin drafting legislation “immediately” to regulate social media companies.

On Wednesday, Reuters reported the White House’s plan to modify Section 230 based on a copy of a draft executive order that experts said was unlikely to survive legal scrutiny. The final version of the order released on Thursday had no major changes except the proposal for a federal legislation.

“What I think we can say is we’re going to regulate it,” Trump said before the signing of the order.

“I’ve been called by Democrats that want to do this, so I think you could possibly have a bipartisan situation,” said Republican Trump, who is running for re-election in November.

Twitter did not comment on the executive order. A Google spokeswoman said “undermining Section 230 in this way would hurt America’s economy and its global leadership on internet freedom.”

A Facebook spokesman said repealing or limiting the provision will restrict more speech online and encourage platforms to censor anything that might offend anyone.

Trump’s remarks and the order, as written, attempts to circumvent Congress and the courts in directing changes to long-established interpretations of Section 230. It represents his latest attempt to use the tools of the presidency to force private companies to change policies that he believes are not favorable to him.

U.S. President Donald Trump holds up a front page of the New York Post as he speaks to reporters while he signing an executive order on social media companies in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., May 28, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
“In terms of presidential efforts to limit critical commentary about themselves, I think one would have to go back to the Sedition Act of 1798 - which made it illegal to say false things about the president and certain other public officials - to find an attack supposedly rooted in law by a president on any entity which comments or prints comments about public issues and public people,” said First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams.

Others like Jack Balkin, a Yale University constitutional law professor said “The president is trying to frighten, coerce, scare, cajole social media companies to leave him alone and not do what Twitter has just done to him.”

Twitter’s shares ended over 4 percent down on Thursday. Facebook ended down 1.6 percent and Google parent Alphabet Inc finished slightly up.

Trump, who uses Twitter virtually every day to promote his policies and insult his opponents, has long claimed without evidence that the site is biased in favor of Democrats. He and his supporters have leveled the same unsubstantiated charges against Facebook, which Trump’s presidential campaign uses heavily as an advertising vehicle.

On Thursday, Trump said there is nothing he would rather do than get rid of his Twitter account but he had to keep it in order to circumvent the press and get his version of events to millions of followers.

The protections of Section 230 have often been under fire for different reasons from lawmakers including Big Tech critic Senator Josh Hawley. Critics argue that they give internet companies a free pass on things like hate speech and content that supports terror organizations.

Social media companies have been under pressure from many quarters, both in the United States and other countries, to better control misinformation and harmful content on their services.

Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey said on the company’s website late Wednesday that the president’s tweets “may mislead people into thinking they don’t need to register to get a ballot. Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves.”

On Wednesday evening, Twitter continued to add fact-checking labels and ‘manipulated media’ labels on hundreds of tweets.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Trump’s planned order “outrageous” and a “distraction” from the coronavirus crisis.

Steve DelBianco, president of NetChoice, a trade group that counts Twitter, Facebook and Google among its members, said the executive order “is trampling the First Amendment by threatening the fundamental free speech rights of social media platforms.”

Under the order, the Commerce Department has 60 days to petition the FCC to adopt new rules and then the agency will review the petition. It could take anywhere from 12 to 24 months for the FCC to propose and adopt final rules.

Federal spending on online advertising will also be reviewed by U.S. government agencies to ensure there are no speech restrictions by a company.

UGANDA: Government to lose Shs21 billion worth of tourism taxes

Grounded: The tourism sub sect was almost grounded due to the effect of lockdowns across the globe. PHOTO BY EDGAR R BATTE 

MAY 28 2020

A new report has indicated that government is expected to lose a significant sum of tax revenue due to the Covid-19 crisis.
The report titled: Assessment of the economic impact of Covid-19 and interventions for tour operators in Uganda, notes that on average, government in 2019 had earned at least Shs112m from each tour company, translating into a combined sum of Shs34b.
However, this is expected to fall significantly with each tour operator, according to the report, in the foreseeable future expected to pay just 39 per cent of the Shs112m, which translates to about Shs13b.

The report, authored by Prof Celestine Katongole, a tourism planning and development expert, Mr Esau Atwongyeire, a certified leadership specialist and Ms Anna Grodzki, a tourism professional and head of Matoke Tours, sought to document the impact of Covid-19 on members of the Association of Uganda Tour Operators.

Key component
Tour operators are a key component in the tourism value chain with promotion and marketing roles that attract at least or more than 90 per cent of tourists in Uganda.
However, the sector has been adversely affected by Covid-19, which has incapacitated operations of the entire value chain.
According to available data, tourism, during the 2018/19 financial year, contributed about 7.7 per cent to gross domestic product resulting from growth of tourism arrivals of about 7.4 per cent.

The growth saw earnings from the sector increase to $1.92b and pushed jobs in the sector to about 667,600.
However, the outbreak of Covid-19 has significantly affected the sector and according to the report, players, especially tour operators, will not be able to meet at least 61 per cent of tax obligations, which means that government will lose close to Shs21b in tax revenue.
Beyond this, the report notes, other sectors will lose income due to reduced operation capacity by a number of tourism players.
For instance, according to the report, electricity consumption is expected to fall by 27.1 per cent, which will see a loss of at least Shs558m due to electricity distributors.

Water demand is expected to drop by 17.3 per cent, translating into third party loss of Shs152m, while consumption of telecom services is expected to fall by 43 per cent.
Job losses and salary cuts have already been registered in the sector with at least 90 per cent of employees affected.
The report notes that whereas over 60 per cent of companies in the sector are still paying their employees, about 40.6 per cent had already effected salary cuts.
Most temporary and contractual staff, the report notes, have been laid off and it was not immediately clear if they will be reinstated.

The reported noted that government and other stakeholders must work on a well-structured provision of small, well-targeted, non-refundable grants to allow operators in the sector recover from current shocks.
At least, according to the report, about Shs35b will be needed in grants to cater for operational costs, especially salaries and wages and rent, among others.
The report also notes that government, through Uganda Development Bank, must put in place a credit line of about $22m that will enable operators to access credit facilities of about 5 to 10 interest to enable them to buy tourism-related equipment.

Ugandan farmer kidnapped from garden, taken to Rwanda

MARTHA LEAH NANGALAMA - Now this story sounds like Kunta Kinte. I think it is in the book series or films called ROOTS. Kunta Kinte was in the palm plantation of his family minding his own business, digging, weeding and harvesting and POOF! Someone grabbed him, chained him up and sold him into slavery.  Here comes Uganda and Rwanda. These jokes are getting too stale. At least just go to war and we will be okay with it. After all, both of you put our 2 countries through decades of war and you think that you grab one lone farmer and we will be scared running to hide under our beds like little boys? Mtcheeeewww!!

Uganda-Rwanda border
May 28, 2020

Written by URN for THE OBSERVER

A Ugandan farmer, Obed Nicholas Tugumisirize alias Kacucu has been kidnapped from his garden in Kitojo village, Katuna town council at the Uganda-Rwanda border.

Kacucu has been missing since Monday, and his kidnappers allegedly disappeared with him to the other side of Rwanda. His family members have already reported a case of a missing person at Katuna police station. They say that he was kidnapped while in the garden together with his wife and children.

Katuna town council chairman Nelson Nshangabasheija suspects that the suspected kidnappers could be Rwandan security officers. Kigezi Region Police spokesperson Elly Maate says that the police have initiated inquiries to establish the victim’s whereabouts.

This is not the first incident involving Ugandan farmers and Rwandan authorities. In April 2019, three farmers; Susan Rwanjungu and Junensia Bazongoza, all residents of Mushenyi village and Jovia Ruvungafu, a resident of Nyinarushengye village in Katuna town council were arrested by heavily armed Rwandan soldiers while digging in their gardens and taken into Rwanda.

The Uganda-Rwanda border has been closed since February 2019 following a diplomatic row between the two countries. The spat started after Rwandan officials including President Paul Kagame accused Uganda authorities of abducting its nationals and locking them up in un-gazetted areas as well as hosting, sponsoring and facilitating dissidents.

Talks to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries stalled following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. This week, 38 Rwandan nationals who crossed into Uganda via Kalangal for fishing activities were forcefully quarantined at Buvuma college school as they wait for their coronavirus test results.

UGANDA: USA offers each vulnerable Ugandan adult Shs 100,000 per month

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USA offers each vulnerable Ugandan adult Shs 100,000 per month
May 28, 2020

Written by URN for THE OBSERVER

Vulnerable Ugandans are set to get paid between Shs 100,000 and Shs 240,000 per adult per month for the next three months.

The money will be provided by the United States Mission in Uganda from the US Agency for International Development which awarded an additional $10 million (about Shs 37.8 billion) funding this week to GiveDirectly, a global NGO specialized in delivering digital cash transfers.

Chris Krafft, the Head of the US Mission in Uganda says the money will support tens of thousands of vulnerable Ugandans who will receive direct cash grants of $25 (about Shs 100,000) a month per adult in the most affected communities over a period of three months.

This is based on the fact that as government imposed lockdowns to limit the spread of COVID-19, many families were suddenly unable to continue earning a living.

According to the GiveDirectily website, each selected household will receive $60–75 in total, spread over 1–3 payments. The transfer size of between Shs 100,000 and Shs 240,000 per select Ugandan is based on analysis of household consumption and minimum expenditure needs.

The first payments were sent out in April 2020.

"As many people are reduced to eating meagre rations and face the threat of starvation due to the impact of COVID-19 and necessary restrictions, the monthly cash grant will help them meet their basic needs,” Krafft explained.

The additional funding follows an earlier contribution of $15 million (about Shs 56 billion) to Uganda’s COVID-19 response. The money is supporting the salaries of additional personnel as well as critical equipment, helping to upgrade health centres with electronic data systems across the nation, and expanding laboratory capacity so that more testing can be done.

Krafft added that they have also contributed funding to enhance children protection, to support refugees and their host communities, and to monitor human rights abuses occurring as a result of the pandemic.

The United States secretary of state Mike Pompeo recently announced that America made a commitment of an additional $162 million for the global COVID-19 response bringing the total contribution to-date to more than $1 billion since the coronavirus outbreak began. Krafft says that it’s from this commitment that Uganda is getting additional funding of $10 million.

Last week, Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda told parliament that the National COVID-19 Fund has received donations worth Shs 28 billion since its establishment, in response to the needs occasioned by an outbreak of coronavirus disease.

The donations he said, included cash, assorted food items, medical supplies, vehicles and other non-food items. The fund targets to raise Shs 170 billion.

Philly Lutaaya - 'Naalikwagadde'

Philly Lutaaya - 'Naalikwagadde'

Taken from the album 'Born In Africa'

UGANDA: Why do we forget easily?

I think I am going to stop reading bullshit from Uganda. All their news is written in broken English anyway (99.38%). This has been ruining my IMPECABLE English as taught to me by Sister Cephas (but we used to call her Capuis though. We were young and stupid).

Reading Uganda thinks can make one become DUMB.

Can you people believe that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched our future woman MP Fool Figure.

Kyatandika kyiti. Over a year ago, President YoweriKaguta Museveni got his Minister of Tourism campaign for FULL FIGA and the campaign was sold off as Miss Curvy.
.....nebilala, nabalala. I think, I will add on.

Moncton, Uganda
Bududa, Canada