Las Vegas, Oct 21 (AP/UNB) — Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke of working class struggles and said President Donald Trump is shredding American values as the Democrat rallied union members in Las Vegas to support Jacky Rosen and other Nevada Democrats.
Rosen, a freshman congresswoman from the Las Vegas-area, is challenging incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and the race is seen as one of Democrats' best chances to flip a seat this November.
Heller is the only Republican senator seeking re-election in a state Democrat Hillary Clinton won in 2016. He's a former Trump critic who has become an ally of the president and rallied with him in the northern, rural Nevada city of Elko Saturday.
In Las Vegas, Biden criticized Trump for his approach to Russia and President Vladimir Putin, his equivocating on white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, and his immigration policies, including the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border
American values, "are being shredded," Biden said. "They're being shredded by a president who is all about himself. It's all about Donald."
The crowd was dominated by members of the powerful, heavily immigrant Culinary Workers Union Local 226. The union represents about 57,000 housekeepers, bartenders, bellmen and other workers in the city's casino-hotels and has been credited with giving Democrats key wins in the state in 2016.
Democrats are counting on Latino mobilization driven by the union this year to avoid a repeat of the 2014 elections, when Democratic turnout in Nevada faltered.
Trump in Elko later scoffed at the idea of a "blue wave" of heavy Democratic turnout this November and mocked the smaller crowd at Biden's event.
Culinary Union spokeswoman Bethany Khan said later Saturday organizers checked in more than 500 people for the Las Vegas rally, including some who filled in overflow areas away from the stage.
The rally outside the union hall north of the Las Vegas Strip included appearances from comedian Billy Eichner and a mariachi band and came as two weeks of early voting kicked off in the state.
Former President Barack Obama, who won Nevada during the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, will be visiting the battleground state Monday with a get-out-the-vote rally in Las Vegas.
Biden also touted the candidacy of other Democrats, including Steve Sisolak, the powerful chairman of the county commission overseeing the Las Vegas Strip who is running for governor, and Susie Lee and Steven Horsford, who are seeking seats to Nevada's 3rd and 4th Congressional Districts, both of which are considered swing seats.
"This election is literally bigger than politics. It's bigger than politics," Biden said. "No matter how old or young you are, you have never participated in an election that is as consequential as this election national and locally."
Biden, who has said he won't decide until at least next year whether he'll seek the presidency in 2020, has been keeping a presence in early voting states like Nevada.
He's scheduled to return Dec. 1 to speak to a fundraiser for the law school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
Dhaka, Oct 20 (UNB) – BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Saturday called upon the government to come to the straight path to find out an acceptable way for holding the next general election in a fair and credible manner.
“We would like to tell the government you please come to the straight path and release our leader Khaleda Zia, hold talks with her and all other opposition parties to find out a way for holding a fair election,” he said.
The BNP leader came up with the call while speaking at a discussion arranged by Jatiya Ganotantrik Party (Jagpa) at Dhaka Reporters’ Unity (DRU) demanding BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s release from jail, and annulment of the Digital Security Act.
He said there is no alternative to engaging in talks for ensuring people’s welfare and peace and building a democratic and prosperous Bangladesh.
Or else, the BNP leader warned, the government will have to shoulder all the responsibilities for the emerging situation.
Fakhrul said the country’s people have got united as they want a change in power through a credible election. “The next election must be held in a neutral manner with the participation of all parties. Or else, no election will be acceptable.”
He called upon all parties, including the left ones, to get united to ensure a change in power and restoration of democracy.
The BNP leader said the nation is now facing another crisis as the current Election Commission has already got divided. “The Election Commission has itself got divided. The crisis in the Commission is also the crisis of the state.”
Referring to media reports, he said, “An Election Commissioner said he presented some proposals for a fair election, but those were not considered. Another Commissioner said the proposals are unconstitutional. This remarks exposed the Commission has got divided.”
Fakhrul said the government is making various rules and regulations to hold another lopsided election like 2014 one by the Election Commission.
He said the Election Commission cannot hold a unilateral election to put a particular party in power. “If they do it, they’ll violate their oaths and the Constitution. It’ll undoubtedly be a crime of sedition.”
The BNP leader said they have long been saying that the current Election Commission has no capability to work independently as it fully depends on the government and its officials. “The way the EC secretary speaks, it seems he is the Chief Election Commissioner while the Chief Election Commissioner’s statements give an impression that he is the most hapless person.”
He said there is very little difference between Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad and CEC KM Nurul Huda as he frequently changes his stances. “How will a fair election be possible under such a Commission?”
Dhaka, Oct 20 (UNB) – BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed on Saturday said their party will repeal the 'Digital Security Act' and approved the 'Broadcast Bill' within seven days, if it is voted to power, to ensure press freedom.
“These two laws have been enacted so that our newspapers and media can’t present news independently. Their (journalists’) hand and legs are tied and their voice gagged while the freedom of speech is snatched through the laws,” he said.
Speaking at a human chain programme, the BNP leader further said, “I would like to say these two laws will be revoked within seven days if we return to power.”
Jatiyatabadi Mohila Dal arranged the programme in front of the Jatiya Press Club demanding the withdrawal of ‘dictated’ verdicts against BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman in August-21 grenade attack cases.
On Monday, the cabinet approved in principle the draft Broadcast Bill 2018.Under the bill, if anyone broadcasts false or confusing information in a discussion programme or anything against the spirit and principles of the Liberation War or against the state policy, he or she will face a maximum jail term of three years or a fine of Tk 5 crore, or both.
Earlier on October 8, President Abdul Hamid signed the Digital Security Bill turning it into a law.
Moudud, a BNP standing committee member, said the entire nation is now united under the banner of Jatiya Oikyafront as it was formed as per the desires of people of all walks of life.
He said the ruling party leaders’ unguarded comments against the Jatiya Oikyafront have demonstrated that BNP's decision of forging the unity is right one.
“We’ll intensify our unity further and ensure our leader (Khaleda’s) release and force the government to hold the election under a neutral administration through it,” he said.
The BNP leader warned the government that it will not be allowed to hold another unilateral election like that the 2014 one.
He criticised the government for denying Oikyafront permission to hold its maiden rally in Sylhet on October 23. “A party (Jatiya Party) is holding a rally today (Saturday) with much enthusiasm without any obstruction. They allow all, except us, to hold rallies as it’s a fascist and autocratic regime. It fears people and doesn’t believe in the rule of law.”
Claiming that Tarique was convicted in August-21 cases ‘unlawfully’ out of political vengeance, Moudud said people do not accept such ‘dictated’ verdicts.
He said Tarique will appeal in the High Court against the verdicts once he returns home. “He’ll prove wrong the verdicts given against him. I believe he’ll be acquitted from the High Court through the appeal.”
Dhaka, Oct 20 (UNB) –Unveiling his party’s 18-point goal to ensure good governance in the country, Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad on Saturday urged the government to ensure a proper atmosphere for holding a free and fair election.
Addressing the party’s grand rally at Suhrawardy Udyan, he also voiced his concern over holding the election.
The party’s 18-point goal includes forming provincial government, bringing a change to the election system, introduce a full and organised upazila system and an independent judiciary and others.
“We are concerned whether the election will be held as a party has declared their seven-point demand which is not possible to fulfill at the present situation. But we will take part in the election and we want a congenial atmosphere for a free and fair election,” said Ershad.
Urging the party leaders and activists to take preparations, he announced that his party will contest the elections from all the 300 constituencies.
“I clearly want to say that we want to contest the polls from 300 seats. We, Jatiya Party, always tske part in elections. We are also ready to take part in the national election this time”
Ershad asked the party leaders to give a list of candidates for nomination as the candidates will be finalised by this month.
“The upcoming election might be the last one for me. I scarified myself for the country and the nation,” he said.
Dhaka, Oct 20 (UNB) - Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina returned home early Saturday wrapping up her four-day visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the invitation of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
A VVIP flight of Biman Bangladesh Airlines carrying the Prime Minister and her entourage landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport at 1:22 am.
The Prime Minister went to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday on the four-day bilateral visit at the invitation of Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, also the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.
During her stay in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Hasina had separate meetings with the Saudi King, and Saudi Crown Prince and Deputy Prime Minister Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz in Riyadh on Wednesday.
She performed holy ‘Umrah’ in Makkah on Thursday and offered ziarat at the Rawza Mubarak of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) at Masjid Al-Nabawi in Madinah on Wednesday night.
Besides, the Prime Minister had a meeting with the Saudi business community, including leaders of the Council of Saudi Chamber (CSC) and Riyadh Chamber of Commerce, at Riyadh on Wednesday when five memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed between the two countries.
Sheikh Hasina also opened the Chancery Complex of Bangladesh Embassy constructed on its own land at the Diplomatic Quarters in Riyadh on Wednesday and laid the foundation stone of the Chancery Building of Bangladesh Consulate in Jeddah on Thursday.