Connect with us

Mix

Bob Dole, war hero, longtime US senator, presidential candidate, dies at 98

Published

on

Bob Dole, war hero, longtime US senator and presidential candidate.

Bob Dole, who overcame grievous World War Two combat wounds to become a pre-eminent figure in US politics as a longtime Republican senator from Kansas and his party’s unsuccessful 1996 presidential nominee, died on Sunday. He was 98.

Dole, known for a wit that ranged from self-deprecating to caustic, died in his sleep, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation said. Dole announced in February that he had been diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and would begin treatment.

“America has lost one of its heroes; our family has lost its rock,” Dole’s family said in a statement. “He embodied the integrity, humor, compassion and unbounded work ethic of the wide open plains of his youth. He was a powerful voice for pragmatic conservatism.”

Dole sought the presidency three times https://www.reuters.com/world/us/facts-about-late-former-senator-bob-dol… and was the Republican Party’s nominee in 1996 but lost to Democratic incumbent Bill Clinton. Dole was his party’s vice presidential nominee in 1976 on a ticket headed by incumbent President Gerald Ford but they lost to Democrat Jimmy Carter and his running mate Walter Mondale.

Dole, known for referring to himself in the third person, made a classic American journey from the poverty of the Great Depression of the 1930s, through World War Two battlefields to the corridors of power with a stoic Midwestern dignity.

He represented Kansas in Congress for 35 years: 1961 to 1969 in the House of Representatives and 1969 to 1996 in the Senate. Dole helped shepherd Republican President Ronald Reagan’s legislative agenda as Senate majority leader in the 1980s and spearheaded important legislation of his own.

Dole, who lost the use of his right arm from a war wound, was an advocate for the disabled and worked to shore up the finances of the Social Security retirement program. Dole was instrumental in passage of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act prohibiting discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public accommodations and transportation.

He also was a key figure behind building a memorial honoring Americans who served in World War Two on Washington’s National Mall, now a popular tourist stop.

President Joe Biden fondly recalled his visit to Dole in February at the Watergate complex in Washington where he lived.

“We picked up right where we left off, as though it were only yesterday that we were sharing a laugh in the Senate dining room or debating the great issues of the day, often against each other, on the Senate floor,” Biden said in a statement.

“Though we often disagreed, he never hesitated to work with me or other Democrats when it mattered most,” Biden said in a statement, a contrast to today’s bitter partisanship that has made it hard for the major parties to cooperate on legislation.

Former President Donald Trump called Dole “an American war hero.” In a statement, Trump added, “the Republican Party was made stronger by his service.”

Dole, who described himself as “a Trumper” in support of the former president, in July voiced impatience with Trump’s ongoing allegation that the 2020 election had been stolen from him because of massive voter fraud — a claim that has been rejected by several court challenges and Trump’s own Justice Department.

“He lost the election, and I regret that he did,” Dole told USA Today’s Susan Page. “I’m sort of Trumped out,” he added.

“When I think of the greatest generation, I think of Senator Bob Dole — a man who dedicated his life to serving our country. Rest In Peace, my friend,” Senator Mitt Romney, a former Republican presidential candidate, wrote on Twitter.

American flags were ordered to fly at half-staff at the White House, the US Capitol and other federal buildings.

1996 ELECTION

“To those who believe that I am too combative, I say if I am combative, it is for love of country,” Dole said in his speech accepting his party’s 1996 presidential nomination. .”.. And to those who believe that I live and breathe compromise, I say that in politics honorable compromise is no sin. It is what protects us from absolutism and intolerance.”

Dole defeated rivals including conservative commentator Pat Buchanan to secure the nomination. At age 73, he found himself facing Clinton, 50 at the time, a charismatic embodiment of the postwar baby boom who already had weathered charges of adultery and military draft evasion.

Dole subtly raised Clinton’s past by saying: “If something happened along the route and you had to leave your children with Bob Dole or Bill Clinton, I think you’d probably leave them with Bob Dole.”

Clinton defeated Dole, capturing 49 percent of the popular vote to Dole’s 41 percent and third-party challenger Ross Perot’s 8 percent. Dole won 19 of the 50 states, losing the state-by-state Electoral College by a 379-159 count.

Clinton in 1997 awarded Dole the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Dole in 2018 received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor Congress can bestow.

On Capitol Hill, Dole was a pragmatic conservative and an effective legislator liked by Democrats as well as Republicans for his ability to build coalitions and pass broadly acceptable laws. He was Senate majority leader from 1985 to 1987 and then again from 1995 to 1996, and was Senate minority leader from 1987 to 1995.

Dole acquired a reputation for sometimes lashing out at rivals and assumed the role of “hatchet man” as Ford’s running mate in 1976.

In a 1976 debate with Mondale, Dole declared: “If we added up the killed and wounded in Democrat wars in this century, it would be about 1.6 million Americans, enough to fill the city of Detroit.” Trying to recoup from that statement, Dole displayed a flash of humor, saying, “They told me to go for the jugular, so I did — mine.”

When he sought the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, Dole snapped at Vice President George H.W. Bush, saying, “Stop lying about my record.” Bush won the nomination and the presidency. Dole attended Bush’s 2018 funeral service at the US Capitol Rotunda, standing up from his wheelchair with the help of an aide and raising his left hand for a final salute.

Dole also sought the 1980 Republican presidential nomination eventually won by Reagan.

Dole’s wife, Elizabeth, served as Republican senator from North Carolina from 2003 to 2009, and as Bush’s secretary of labor and Reagan’s secretary of transportation.

WAR HERO

Robert Joseph Dole was born on July 22, 1923, one of four children of a grain elevator manager and a traveling saleswoman in Russell, Kansas.

As a US Army lieutenant in World War Two, he led an assault on a German machine-gun nest in Italy. A shell wrecked his right shoulder, paralyzed his right arm, broke vertebrae, riddled his body with shrapnel and cost him a kidney. ​Decorated for heroism, Dole spent 39 months in hospitals before returning to civilian life.

Dole attended law school, unable to write but getting through with the help of his first wife, Phyllis, who transcribed class lectures he recorded. Dole had one daughter, Robin, from his first marriage.

Dole became involved in the 2016 Republican presidential campaign by endorsing Jeb Bush and joining his campaign. After Bush dropped out, Dole endorsed eventual winner Donald Trump. Former Dole adviser Paul Manafort served as Trump’s campaign chairman. In 2017, Dole praised Trump for having “immensely helped restore our position as leader of the free world.

Mix

Finland’s PM says young female government has been target of hate speech

Published

on

By

Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Prime Minister Sanna Marin of Finland says she and her fellow young female ministers have been targeted with extensive hate speech for their gender and appearance while in office.

“We can see that when you are young and female the hate speech that we are facing is often sexualized,” Marin told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday, a little more than two years into her term as Finland’s state leader.

Marin, 36, became the world’s youngest serving government leader in December 2019 when she was sworn in as prime minister, and originally all five party leaders in her center-left coalition government were female.

Marin, who has more than 540,000 followers on Instagram around the world, said she doesn’t allow the hate speech to affect her decisions but she is concerned about social media becoming more hurtful.

“I worry about so many others and this is why we want to make sure that we are not tolerating this kind of behavior.”

Marin made national and international headlines in December when she decided not to cut her night out short after finding out she had been exposed to COVID-19 the day before. Four days later Marin apologized saying she should have acted differently.

Finland’s young prime minister clubbing during a pandemic became the topic of memes around the world, some of which were humorous and others insulting.

Some opponents have attacked her for appearing on the covers of some of the world’s largest fashion magazines and for being often spotted out with popsingers and social media influencers in Helsinki.

“I am who I am, a 36-year-old mother and a young person who has friends and a social life,” she said.

Marin, who enjoys cleaning her own premises and going for 20-km (12-mile) runs outdoors, said she wants to bring a human side to high-level political leadership and show other young adults that young people can lead too.

In December, the minister in charge of Finland’s COVID response, Krista Kiuru, announced she is expecting a baby due in March, making her the fifth minister in Marin’s government to have a child and take parental leave while in office.

“Globally the image of a leader is still very masculine…, and there are few decision-makers from a younger generation,” Marin said, stressing she wanted to change that.

A report by the NATO Strategic Communications Center last February found that female Finnish politicians are subject to gendered abuse on Twitter, much of which came from clusters of right-wing accounts and did not seem highly coordinated.

Continue Reading

Mix

Reunited 74 years after India-Pakistan split, brothers hope to spend rest of life together

Published

on

By

When British India was partitioned into two independent states in August 1947, Sikka Khan’s father and elder brother, Sadiq, left Phulewala village — which became the Indian part of Punjab — and returned to their paternal village of Bogran, which became part of Pakistan.

Just two years old at the time, Sikka was too young to go and stayed behind in India with his mother. The family was to be reunited soon. The parents only wanted to wait until it was safe for the toddler to travel.

But the promise of being together again was cut short by violence and communal rioting that marred one of the biggest forced migrations in history. Following the partition, about 15 million Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs swapped countries in a political upheaval that cost more than a million lives.

Sikka and Sadiq lost their father, mother — who committed suicide when she found out about her husband’s death — and the bond that was only restored last week.

“I told you we would meet again,” Sikka, 76, said through tears, as he embraced his 84-year-old brother when they met in Kartarpur, Pakistan on Jan. 10.

Kartarpur is a border city where Pakistan, in late 2019, opened a visa-free crossing to allow Indian Sikh pilgrims access to one of the holiest sites of their religion, Gurdwara Darbar Sahib, which after the partition, the site found itself on the Pakistani side of the border.

The brothers’ reunion did not last long, as each of them had to return to their countries. For the past seven decades, India-Pakistan cross-border visits have been limited by tensions and conflict.

“It was an emotional moment for us, and I could not believe that I was meeting my brother and his family,” Sikka said in Phulewala village, where he has remained since 1947.

“Life has given me the opportunity to reunite with my brother and I don’t want to live without him,” he said. “I need the company of my brother more than ever before. I want to live the rest of my life with my elder brother.”

They got in touch in 2019, when Pakistani YouTuber Nasir Dhillon visited Bogran village, where Sadiq still lives, and heard his story. He shared the footage on social media and soon received a message from Jagsir Singh, a doctor in Phulewala, who connected him to Sikka.

The YouTuber and the doctor helped the brothers meet virtually.

“The brothers for the first time saw each other over a video call two years ago,” Singh said. “Since then, they have remained in touch with each other through WhatsApp.”

They have been talking to each other at least 15 minutes every day, but it took them two years to meet in person as even the visa-free Kartarpur corridor was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic until late last year.

“The opening of the Kartarpur corridor in November last year allowed us the opportunity to organize the meeting between the brothers,” Singh said.

When he arrived in Kartarpur, Sikka, who does not have his own family, was accompanied by a dozen villagers from Phulewala.

“For me, my village has been family,” he said, as he chatted with Sadiq through a video call. “Now I want to go to Pakistan and live with my elder brother for some time. I hope the Pakistani government gives me a visa.”

Sadiq, too, wants to visit his brother.

“I want to meet Sikka in his village,” he said during the video call with his brother. “We want to live together and make up for the time we have lost.”

Continue Reading

Mix

Meta removes Iran-based fake accounts targeting Instagram users in Scotland

Published

on

By

Facebook parent Meta Platforms removed a network of fake accounts that originated in Iran and targeted Instagram users in Scotland with content supporting Scottish independence, the company’s investigators said on Thursday.

The network used fake accounts to pose as locals in England and Scotland, posting photos and memes about current events and criticism of the United Kingdom’s government, Meta said.

The accounts posted commentary about Scottish independence and organized their content around common hashtags promoting the cause, though they at times misspelled them, the company said. The accounts also posted about football and UK cities, likely to make the fictitious personas seem more authentic.

The network used photos of media personalities and celebrities from the UK and Iran as well as profile pictures likely created through AI techniques, Meta said.

In a referendum on Scottish independence in 2014, Scots voted 55 percent-45 percent to remain in the United Kingdom, but both Brexit and the British government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis have bolstered support for independence among Scots and demands for a second vote.

Meta said its investigation found links to individuals in Iraq, including people with a background in teaching English as a foreign language.

It said the operation had some connections with a small Iran-based network it previously removed in December 2020, which mostly targeted Arabic, French and English-speaking audiences using fake accounts, but did not provide further details on who might be behind the activity.

“We’ve seen a range of operations coming from Iran over the last few years,” said Ben Nimmo, Meta’s global threat intelligence lead for influence operations, in a press briefing. “It’s not a monolithic environment.”

The social media company said it had removed eight Facebook accounts and 126 Instagram accounts as part of this network in December for violating its rules against coordinated inauthentic behavior.

Continue Reading

Trending