Democrat Kamala Harris ends 2020 White House bid

Kamala Harris, 55, was the only African-American woman seeking the Democratic presidential nomination. (Reuters)
Updated 03 December 2019

Democrat Kamala Harris ends 2020 White House bid

  • Harris was bumped to sixth spot out of 16 candidates after billionaire former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg recently threw his hat in the ring
  • She also challenged Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden head on in the party’s first presidential debate, a move that proved a strategic mistake

WASHINGTON: Democrat Kamala Harris announced Tuesday she is ending her 2020 White House bid following a period of campaign turmoil and disappointing fundraising that saw her fail to break out of a crowded field.
“I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life,” the senator from California told supporters in an email.
“My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue.”
Harris, 55, was the only African-American woman seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
She rocketed toward the top of the field with a promising campaign launch in January, but saw her prospects slide in recent months as she struggled to define her positions on various domestic issues including health care.
Harris is one of the biggest names to date to drop out of the race, along with former congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas and New York mayor Bill de Blasio.
After stagnating in fifth place in the polls, with about 3.4 percent support, she was bumped to sixth spot out of 16 candidates after billionaire former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg recently threw his hat in the presidential contest.
“I’m not a billionaire. I can’t fund my own campaign,” she wrote to supporters. “As the campaign has gone on, it’s become harder and harder to raise the money we need to compete.”
It was a biting and unveiled swat at some of her rivals, including Bloomberg and billionaire activist Tom Steyer, and a telling revelation about the piles of cash a candidate needs to mount a viable campaign in today’s overheated political environment.
Harris has been one the fiercest critics of Donald Trump among the 2020 candidates, directly attacking the embattled president and repeatedly calling for his impeachment.
She also challenged Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden head on in the party’s first presidential debate, a move that proved a strategic mistake as her support slid while Biden’s largely held steady.
Harris quickly received accolades from other candidates on Twitter after her premature exit from the race.
“Her campaign broke barriers and did it with joy. Love you, sister,” said fellow Senator Cory Booker, the other black candidate in the 2020 race.
Harris was the third candidate to drop out in recent days, along with low-polling Democrats Montana Governor Steve Bullock and former congressman Joe Sestak.


Afghan study offer draws Pakistani students

Updated 26 min 47 sec ago

Afghan study offer draws Pakistani students

  • Medicine gets top marks among 150 scholarship hopefuls

PESHAWAR: About 150 students from northwestern Pakistan traveled to Afghanistan this month to take part in tests that could win them Afghan government scholarships for higher education, particularly in medicine.  

The Afghan government pays for 104 scholarships for Pakistanis every year, the Afghan consulate in Peshawar said. 

“Medical education is expensive in Pakistan, so we decided to pursue education in Afghanistan,“ Sana Gul told Arab News.

Gul was among 150 young Pakistanis who left for Kabul last Saturday to attend the scholarship tests.

The group included 11 female students who want to study medicine. 

Gul said that the Pakistanis are hoping that security will improve in Afghanistan, and that peace talks between the Taliban and the Kabul government in Qatar will end with a power-sharing deal.

“We believe the peace process will end with good news, so we are traveling to Kabul,” said Gul, who is accompanied by her sister, Spogami. Both have passed 12th-grade exams.

Their father, Farman Khan, a teacher in the Mardan district, said that his daughters made the decision to go to Afghanistan. 

“We allowed them to decide for themselves and we will stand by them,” he said, adding that he believes the region is now safe “for those who seek education.” 

Arshad Mehsud from South Waziristan also traveled to Afghanistan for the scholarship test in the hope of studying medicine.

“There is no doctor in my village,” he said. “So after completing this degree, I will come back to serve the people of Waziristan.”