Presidential debate: Rules to change after Trump-Biden spat
The commission that oversees US presidential debates says it will change the format to ensure the re..
The commission that oversees US presidential debates says it will change the format to ensure the remaining two encounters between Donald Trump and Joe Biden are more orderly.
One new measure could be to cut the microphones if the candidates try to interrupt each other, US media report.
The announcement follows Tuesday's ill-tempered debate that descended into squabbling, bickering and insults.
President Trump's team has already criticised the commission's plans.
The tone and tactics of the first presidential debate were criticised across the US and around the world.
The fallout, however, has also been dominated by remarks Mr Trump made about a far-right group called the Proud Boys.
On Wednesday he sought to clarify his comments but his critics maintain he has refused to condemn white supremacists.
What are the plans for the next debates?
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) said in a statement that the debate "made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues".
"The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly," it said.
"The commission is grateful to [moderator] Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night's debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates."
President Trump constantly interrupted Mr Biden, leading to a series of chaotic exchanges in which both men talked over each other.
Mr Trump questioned Mr Biden's intelligence and Mr Biden called President Trump a clown, telling him to be quiet and saying: "Will you shut up, man?"
CBS News, citing an informed source, said the commission would spend the next 48 hours drawing up new guidelines and rules for the second debate.
Controlling the candidates' microphones is at the top of the list, CBS said, in order to prevent them interrupting the moderator or each other.
Both campaign teams will be informed of the rules but they will not be subject to negotiation, the source added.
The commission is a nonpartisan body that has organised presidential election debates since 1988.
What's the reaction?
Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh, who had described Tuesday's night's chaotic scenes as a "free exchange of ideas", criticised the plans.
"They are only doing this because their guy got pummelled last night," he said.
"President Trump was the dominant force and now Joe Biden is trying to work the refs. They shouldn't be moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game."
Kate Bedingfield, deputy manager for Mr Biden's campaign, said the former vice-president would participate "under whatever set of rules the commission develops to try to contain Donald Trump's behaviour".
"The president will have to choose between responding to voters about questions for which he has offered no answers in this campaign – or repeating last night's unhinged meltdown," she said.
While one snap poll on the debate gave Mr Biden a slight edge, other opinion polls suggest 90% of Americans have already made up their mind how to vote for and the debate may well have made little difference.
The next debate is scheduled to take place on 15 October in Miami, Florida.
What did Mr Trump say about Proud Boys?
During the debate, moderator Chris Wallace asked whether the president would condemn white supremacists and tell them to stand down during protests.
When Mr Trump asked who it was he was being told to condemn, Mr Biden twice said "Proud Boys", referring to a far-right, anti-immigrant, all-male group with a history of violence against left-wing opponents.
The president said: "Proud Boys – stand back and stand by. But I'll tell you what… somebody's got to do something about antifa [anti-fascist activists] and the left because this is not a right-wing problem."
Proud Boys members called his "stand by" remark "historic" and an endorsement.
Mr Biden said Mr Trump had "refused to disavow white supremacists".
On Wednesday Mr Trump appeared to try to walk baRead More – Source
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Pakistan floods: Desperation and displacement in Sindh province
The Prime Minister of Pakistan has said the “magnitude of the calamity” is bigger than expected, after visiting flood-hit areas.
Shehbaz Sharif was speaking from Sindh province – which has had nearly eight times its average August rainfall.
The floods have killed nearly 1,000 people across Pakistan since June, while thousands have been displaced – and millions more affected.
As the BBC drove through Sindh, there were displaced people in every village.
The full scale of the devastation in the province is yet to be fully understood – but the people described it as the worst disaster they’ve survived.
Floods are not uncommon in Pakistan, but people here said these rains were different – more than anything that’s ever been seen. One local official called them “floods of biblical proportions”.
Near the city of Larkana, thousands of mud homes have sunk under water. For miles all that’s visible is treetops. Where the water level is slightly lower, thatched roofs creep out from underneath the water.
In one village, the people are desperate for food. In another, many children have developed waterborne diseases.
When a mobile truck pulled over, scores of people immediately ran towards it. Children carrying other children made their way to the long queue.
One 12-year-old girl said she and her baby sister had not eaten for a day.
“No food has come here, but my sister is sick, she has been vomiting,” the girl said. “I hope they can help.”
The desperation was evident in every community. People ran towards car windows to ask for help – anything.
On one of the main streets out of the city of Sukkur, hundreds of people have settled.
Many of them walked from remote villages, and were told that help is easier to get in the urban areas. But there’s not much difference here.
On Friday, PM Sharif said 33 million people had been hit by the floods – about 15% of the country’s population.
He said the losses caused by floods this season were comparable to those during the floods of 2010-11, said to be the worst on record. The country has appealed for more international aid.
In Sindh, it’s not that local authorities are not trying, but they admit that they are out of their depth.
The provincial government says this is a “climate change catastrophe” and that the people of Pakistan, especially in the poorer communities, have been the worst affected.
The solutions will not be quick – acres of land are waterlogged and the water is not receding fast enough for any rebuilding to take place here.
There’s not much to do for the people but to wait – wait for the rains to stop, wait for the water to go down, wait for more resources to be allocated to these kinds of communities.
In the meantime, life continues to be difficult.
Read from: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-62699886
Burkina Faso military says it has seized power
The military in Burkina Faso says it has seized power and overthrown President Roch Kaboré.
The announcement was made on state television by an army officer, who cited the deteriorating security situation for the military takeover.
Mr Kaboré had faced growing discontent over his failure to stem an Islamist insurgency.
His whereabouts are unclear, but the officer said that all those detained were in a secure location.
The coup comes a day after troops seized barracks, and gunshots were heard in the capital, Ouagadougou.
Earlier, the ruling People’s Movement for Progress (PMP) party said that both Mr Kaboré and a government minister had survived an assassination attempt.
On Sunday, mutinying troops demanded the sacking of military chiefs and more resources to fight militants linked to the Islamic State (IS) group and al-Qaeda.
The army statement said Mr Kaboré had failed to unite the nation and to deal effectively with the security crisis which “threatens the very foundations of our nation”.
The statement was issued in the name of a group not heard of previously, the Patriotic Movement for Safeguard and Restoration or MPSR, its French acronym.
Although read out by another officer, the statement was signed by Lt-Col Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who is believed to be the coup leader and a senior commander with years of experience fighting the Islamist militants.
The statement said that parliament and the government had been dissolved, and the constitution suspended, but promised a “return to constitutional order” within a “reasonable time”.
The military also announced the closure of Burkina Faso’s borders.
UN chief António Guterres condemned the coup and called on the military to “ensure the protection and the physical integrity” of Mr Kaboré.
The African Union and regional bloc, Ecowas, have also condemned the forceful takeover of power, with Ecowas saying it holds the soldiers responsible for the deposed president’s well-being.
Earlier, the news of his detention was received with cheers and celebrations in Ouagadougou, reports the BBC’s senior Africa correspondent Anne Soy.
Earlier video footage from the capital appeared to show armoured vehicles – reportedly used by the presidency – peppered with bullet holes and abandoned in the street.
Mobile internet services have been disrupted, though fixed-line internet and domestic wi-fi are working.
Mr Kaboré has not been seen in public since the crisis began, but two posts appeared on his Twitter account before the officer announced he had been toppled.
The later one called on those who had taken up arms to lay them down “in the higher interest of the nation”. Earlier, Mr Kaboré congratulated the national football team on their win in an Africa Cup of Nations match.
It is unclear who posted the tweets.
Some security sources say the president and other government ministers are being held at the Sangoulé Lamizana barracks in the capital.
On Sunday, hundreds of people came out in support of the soldiers and some of them set fire to the ruling party’s headquarters.
The coup comes a week after 11 soldiers were arrested for allegedly plotting to overthrow Mr Kaboré.
But discontent has been growing in Burkina Faso over the government’s failure to defeat an Islamist insurgency in the country since 2015.
That escalated in November, when 53 people, mainly members of the security forces, were killed by suspected jihadists. And on Saturday, a banned rally to protest against the government’s perceived failure led to dozens of arrests.
Mutinying soldiers made several demands, including: the removal of the army’s chief of staff and the head of the intelligence service; more troops to be deployed to the front line; and better conditions for the wounded and soldiers’ families.
Similar troubles in neighbouring Mali led to a military coup in May 2021 – one that was broadly welcomed by the public.
Burkina Faso is now the third West African country to witness a military takeover in recent years. Guinea and Mali have had sanctions imposed on them by Ecowas to press them to return to constitutional order.
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