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Nearly 10,000 Olympic volunteers quit over pandemic

Tokyo: Around 10,000 volunteers for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics have quit, partly due concern over coronavirus infections, Japanese organisers said.

“There is no doubt that one of the reasons is the concern over coronavirus infections,” organising committee chief executive Toshiro Muto told reporters in Tokyo.

Olympic organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have pledged to stage safe Games through a strict hygiene protocol. But despite all the assurances, doubts and worries persist, reports DPA.

Volunteers, who make up the largest group of participants, don’t know whether they will be tested, let alone vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“There is zero information about that,” Barbara Holthus, deputy director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo, said in an interview. She has signed up as a volunteer for the Olympics.

Another reason pointed out by the organisers for the withdrawal of so many volunteers is the Games’ postponement by a year, now set to start on July 23.

Around 1,000 volunteers have also withdrawn in protest against the sexist comments by former organising committee president Yoshiro Mori, who resigned following the scandal.

The 10,000 withdrawals are from the 80,000 volunteers for the competition sites, but organisers say they don’t expect any problems because of that due to the absence of foreign fans.

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Latest News USA

Nikki Haley, other Republicans ask US to boycott 2022 Winter Olympics in China

Accusing China of “horrific” human rights abuses, some top Republican leaders, including Indian-American politician Nikki Haley, have demanded that the US boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. They called on the International Olympic Committee to select a new site for the event. Beijing is scheduled to host the Winter Olympics from February 4 to 20, 2022.

“The White House, however, said that no decision has been taken yet on the demands of the leaders. It is no secret that China wants to use the Winter Olympics as part of its “massive communist propaganda campaign,” Haley, a former US ambassador to the UN, said on Friday as she launched a campaign to demand President Joe Biden, a Democrat, announce a boycott of the games.

“We cannot sit back and watch China use the Olympics to cover up its horrific human rights abuses,” the Republican leader said. 

Senator Rick Scott in a letter to President Biden has requested a meeting to discuss the “horrific human rights atrocities” occurring across China and called for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to select a new site for the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Haley said that “we need to stand up to China, and we need to do it now. That’s why I’m asking you to join me and sign our petition calling on President Biden to boycott the 2022 Winter Olympics in China”.

If America participates in the Olympic Games in Beijing, the “Chinese Communist Party will claim it as further proof of China’s good global standing and world leadership,” she said.

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Latest News USA

IOC appoints new officials

The Indian Overseas Congress, USA, has appointed six new Secretaries and a Chapter President to strengthen the organization. IOC, USA has been taking various steps to reinforce and augment the organization to meet its obligations and responsibilities, particularly to its membership and the Indian-American community.

The six new Secretaries are: Nikhil Thagadur,  Rajan Padavathil,  Hirenkumar M. Patel, Rajdeep Singh Sandhu, Gurinderpal Singh, and Anurag Gawande. Amey Duduskar was appointed new Chapter President of Maharashtra Chapter.

Congratulating the appointees, the Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress Department of AICC, Dr. Sam Pitroda, wished them success in their new undertakings and advised them to visualize and seek solutions to problems and obstacles in using modern technology while bearing in mind the new needs of the post Covid-19 world. IOC Vice Chairman George Abraham, felicitated the appointees and emphasized the importance of their IT knowledge and experience and impressed upon them to use it to its maximum.

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Latest News USA

IOC, USA condemns Hathras rape and murder

Indian Overseas Congress, USA has condemned the horrific rape and murder of Manisha Valmiki of Hathras, Uttar Pradesh. “The barbarity and the bestiality involved in the killing show the depraved and criminal mindsets of those who perpetrated such heinous acts against a Dalit woman who is from the lowest rung of India’s caste system. The ghastly way this woman was raped and murdered has indeed shaken the nation to its core and terrorized the people of conscience across the world,” it said in a press release.  

“Mr. Yogi Adityanath, the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, it is your party which is in power. Given your supremacy within the party in U.P. and the centralized control you exercise, you more than anyone else have to be held responsible for this terrifying state of affairs,” said George Abraham, Vice-Chairman of the Indian Overseas Congress, USA.  

“while you have ordered an inquiry, Mr. Chief Minister, you haven’t taken any steps to cure this rape culture in your state or shown any resolve to change the social, political, and administrative conditions under which such anti-Dalit hatred is bred,” said Mohinder Singh Gilzian, President of the Indian Overseas Congress, USA. “Your continuing inaction in this regard will gain you the title as the Chief administrator of the notorious Rape State in India,” Gilzian added.

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Latest News USA

IOC asks US lawmakers to investigate Facebook’s meddling in Indian elections

By The SATimes News Service

New YorkThe Indian Overseas Congress, USA has written to the Chairmen of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and House Committee on Foreign Affairs and the members of the members of the India Caucus to investigate Facebook’s meddling in the Indian electoral politics in favor of BJP, a Hindu nationalist party currently in power. The letter expresses serious concern over Facebook’s election-year interference, content bias, and the selective suppression of Indian citizens’ free expression.

The letter was triggered by a report in the Wallstreet Journal that detailed how Ankhi Das, a top executive in charge of the content, instructed her colleagues and said, “punishing violations by politicians from @narendramodi party would damage the company’s business prospects in the country.”

“India is the largest market for FACEBOOK and FACEBOOK owned WhatsApp in terms of the number of users, and therefore these companies have a huge responsibility in managing the content without religious bias and bigotry. However, FACEBOOK and WhatsApp have chosen the side of those that incite violence and encourage instability that has led to the destruction of lives and property” the letter further added.

The letter went on to say that “We recognize that India is an important partner in the region for the United States strategically and economically. But the actions of FACEBOOK and WhatsApp are undermining the democratic institutions and threatening the religious minorities.” 

The organization is actively seeking a congressional investigation into the abuses by Facebook and has formally requested that “we respectfully request you to hold Congressional hearings on FACEBOOK’s efforts which undermine the values of liberal democracies in countries like India, drastically altering its political discourse like it has in the US and elsewhere.”

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India Latest News

Indian Overseas Congress, USA condoles death of Pranab Mukherjee

Indian Overseas Congress, USA, expressed its deep sorrow and sincere condolences on the demise of one of the most admired leaders in India, former President Pranab Mukherjee. “He was a quintessential congressman, formidable leader, and a great parliamentarian,’ said George Abraham, Vice-Chairman of the IOC, USA. NRIs across the globe will fondly remember his contribution to the country in various capacities as a political leader, Minister of important portfolios, sharp troubleshooter, and statesman with an independent mindset who adorned the office of the Presidency. We also pay tribute to the pivotal role he has played in passing the Indo-US civil nuclear treaty despite the coalition partners’ threats,” Abraham added.

“He was a strong leader who has served the country with dedication and determination,” said Mohinder Singh Gilzian, President of the IOC, USA. “His contribution to opening up the NRI investment window was a pioneering act that changed India’s image as a destination of foreign funds. We also cherish the memories of his presence at the Overseas Congress conference here in New York in 2007,” Gilzian added.

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