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Supreme Court asks if farm laws can be paused

New Delhi: Indian minister for agriculture Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday wrote an emotional letter to farmers who are protesting against Centre’s new farm laws, saying misunderstanding has been created and the reforms were in the interests of farmers.
‘Please trust that these reforms done in the interests of farmers will form the foundation of a new chapter in Indian agriculture and will make the country’s farmers more independent, empower them,” Tomar said in the letter.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court said it will not interfere with the farmers’ protest against three farm laws. “We’re of the view at this stage that the farmers’ protest should be allowed to continue without impediment and without any breach of peace either by the protesters or police,” the Supreme Court said.

Earlier Thursday, the apex court suggested the idea of putting on hold the contentious farm laws to enable negotiations with agitating farmers which was opposed by the Centre saying agriculturists would then not come forward for the talks.

Farmers who have been staging protests on Delhi’s borders for the past 22 days, supported the Supreme Court’s remarks and said that if the government retreats two steps, so will the farmers.

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Latest News US Election Special

Protests and looting in Philly after police shoot Black man with knife

Philadelphia: Protesters took to the streets and bands of looters broke into businesses for a second night Tuesday after officers in Philadelphia shot and killed a Black man who was holding a knife in an encounter that city officials say raises questions.

One group marched peacefully for much of the night, chanting Walter Wallace Jr.’s name and saying, “Whose streets? Our streets.” But the protest turned violent near a police precinct when the large crowd encountered a handful of officers. Several people in the crowd threw rocks, light bulbs, or bricks at the police. One officer was injured, according to a CNN crew at the scene.

There was looting by other groups of people in another part of the city, according to a police tweet and video from a CNN affiliate’s helicopter.

Aerial pictures from affiliate KYW showed people looting a Foot Locker and others emerging from a Walmart with televisions and other items.

 

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International

Some Republicans are bucking Trump

By SATimes Team

Washington: Republican Senator Mitt Romney has become one the few Republicans to publicly say “Black Lives Matter”.  On Sunday, wearing a mask he marched with the Evanglicals at a  protest along Pennsylvania Avenue in the Capital demanding justice for African-American George Floyd.

And former US Secretary of State Colin Powell has become the first Republican to endorse Democratic candidate Joe Biden for this year’s presidential election, while adding that incumbent President Donald Trump has drifted away from the Constitution.

Powell, a longtime Republican who served under President George W. Bush and also as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN on Sunday that the President has not been an “effective leader”. “Every American citizen has to sit down and think (it) through… Use your common sense. Say, ‘Is this good for my country?’”

A New York Times reports that even President George W Bush is not going to vote for Trump this November.  

And last week the Republican senator Lisa Murkowski admitted she was “struggling” with whether to support Trump’s re-election.

On June 3, General Mattis issued a statement to The Atlantic in which he criticized Trump and his policies. He berated the President for advocating military action to “dominate” the protests in the country.

Mattis wrote that Trump is “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people” and that America is “witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership”.

This does not mean that voices of dissent from party leaders will translate to the Republican grassroots, where Trump retains overwhelming support. But some critics of the president believe his responses to both the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide anti-race protests leave him uniquely exposed.

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International Latest News USA

AARP supports ending Racial Injustice and Disparities

Washington: AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins released the following statement on Thursday: 

“As we witness the protests over racial injustice and face the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, we believe our nation desperately needs healing. The incidents of racial violence and COVID-19’s disproportionate impact on people of color are not random, but instead are the result of inequality due to a lack of social, economic, and political opportunities. Discrimination of any kind corrodes our communities and our society from the inside out. 

“AARP today continues to be guided by the promise that our founder, Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus, made over 60 years ago: ‘What we do, we do for all.’ Through our advocacy, programs, and services, we fight against discrimination, advocate for access to health care, and work to improve the lives of all people, especially those most vulnerable. As we consider this moment in time, it’s clear this work is more important than ever. During these difficult days, AARP will use its voice, resources, and trust in our brand to continue our fight for what is right so all people can live a life of dignity regardless of race, age, or income.”                                                    

AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins
AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins

About AARP
AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 and older to choose how they live as they age. With a nationwide presence and nearly 38 million members, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families: health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. AARP also produces the nation’s largest circulation publications: AARP The Magazine and AARP Bulletin. To learn more, visit 
www.aarp.org or follow @AARP and @AARPadvocates on social media.

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thesatime | The Southasian times
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International Latest News USA

After more officers charged, George Floyd protests turn peaceful

Washington: The ninth straight evening of protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody kicked off on a calmer note in many parts of the United States on Wednesday — a fragile peace that officials hoped would hold.

In New York City, a curfew started at 8 p.m. for the second night in a row after it yielded less looting, vandalism and violence in the nation’s most populous city on Tuesday compared to Monday night, NBC New York reported.

Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., hundreds of protesters took a knee in front of a wall of law enforcement officers and National Guard members near the White House. Some protesters played music and handed out water in a stark contrast to scenes from earlier in the week, when, witnesses said, tear gas and smoke were used to disperse demonstrators.

The mostly tranquil gatherings came hours after more charges were handed down in Floyd’s death. A murder charge against Derek Chauvin, the Minneapolis police officer seen in a video digging his knee into Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes as Floyd pleaded for his life, was elevated to second-degree from third-degree. And the three other officers who were present while Floyd was on the ground were charged Wednesday with aiding and abetting murder. All four officers were fired after Floyd’s death.

Amid the protests which have dislodged coronavirus from news headline in America, President Trump has posed as a strongman, an upholder of  ‘law and order’, criticizing state governors, sometimes justifiably, of their inability to keep the unrest under check, and prevent looting and mayhem. Some of his own party leaders have said that his approach is not unhelpful under the circumstances, he should have shown more empathy to the inequities the black communities still faces.

Trump’s threat to send in the military to quell violent protests has created some tension with top military figures. Defense Secretary Mare Esper said the military option should be used in extreme cases.   Former  Defense Secretary James Mattis, in fact, tore into Trump, for his handling of the protests.  

In New York, Gov. Cuomo called the NYPD’s top cop to apologize for saying police officers “were ineffective” in tamping down widespread looting during protests over the death of George Floyd, NYPD Chief Terence Monahan said Wednesday.

Gov. Cuomo reached out late Tuesday to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea to apologize, Monahan said during a TV  interview.

“I know he called the commissioner directly to

During his daily press briefing Tuesday, Cuomo bashed how the cops handled massive looting in Midtown and the Bronx the night before.

The New York Times  is reporting that many states are considering legislation to implement police reforms in the wake of the protests over Floyd’s death.

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International

It us up to the blacks to lift themselves

By Basab Dasgupta

Is there any hope of an end to this black/white racial tension in this country in my lifetime? I see some hope based on what I see in people like the conservative black journalist/activist Candace Owens.

Ms. Owens views are simple and easy to understand. She believes that blacks should not dwell in the past especially since the young blacks today have no experience and no idea about the mistreatment their forefathers had endured. They should be thankful for all the opportunities they have at their disposal and move on to build prosperous lives. They should not feel animosity towards white people with the mistaken belief that they are still viewed as slaves.

According to Ms. Owens solution would come from what she calls a “civil war” of ideology within the black community itself. This is a profound statement. Solution cannot come from some outside external effort by white folks such as desegregation or welfare program or equal opportunity policy. She points out that the blacks have the opportunity to live a wonderful life in the most prosperous country in the world.

Her views were embraced by the black music superstar Kanye West. Mr. West was immediately chastised and ridiculed by the liberals and most of the black community but he did not back down. He created a storm of controversy by saying that 400 years of slavery “sounds more like a choice”. In other words, the blacks seem to prefer to present themselves as victims instead of making an effort to change their lives.  Unfortunately, most black celebrities continue to fuel the fire of racism-induced hatred.

Ms. Owens practices what she preaches. She lives in an upscale community in Connecticut, has a white boyfriend and is highly educated. If more prominent black celebrities spread similar messages that might signal a new beginning.

 

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Latest News New York

The Center Will Not Hold

By Kyle Singh

We are at an inflection point. 

The ruthless killing of yet another innocent African American has put the country on the edge. It has pushed people to anger and shock. It has made people cry and made people riot. It has made people stand with peace for an event that goes against the very fiber of this nation. At the same time it is clear that George Floyd’s death can be seen as a spark for a deeper conversation that has been long overdue. 

The protesters are first and foremost demanding justice. They are demanding that the blind lady of the law balances her scales accordingly. This should be the first priority, and rightfully so. If four civilians committed a crime of this magnitude, they would be locked up immediately. The fact that our institutions, especially those that protect the law, can somehow get away from the implementation of the law is alarming. It violates our principles as Americans. This is independent of Floyd’s race. At the same time, we all know that his race plays a role. We all know too well that had Floyd been of a different race, the situation may have ended up a lot differently. 

This is not something that takes much explaining to the average American. Yet, most of us have not had a full analysis of our  own biases. We all have them. It is a part of human nature. But I truly believe that a revitalization of our institutions, through legislation and constitutional amendments, can only come into fruition if we first undertake this task as people. We must sit down with ourselves and identify the way our biases manifest themselves in everyday life. Do we maintain the dignity of other peoples in our daily interactions with them? Do we truly see them as the same. This exercise must be done between all races and in relation to the cross interactions we observe between people from all walks of life. We must be honest with ourselves and be cautious of such dealings.

On the legislative front, for example, there are also practical systemic changes we can fight for. Officer Derek Chauvin, who killed Floyd,  had 18 prior complaints to his name. There is absolutely no justification for him being on the streets. Three justified and proven complaints should be more than enough to terminate any cop. Moreover, we should strive for a police force which is representative, geographically, of the communities that they serve. These are just a few of the pragmatic legislative goals we can strive for. 

We must also not ignore the deep inequities that have been manifested within the African American community itself. We must begin with the principle that each person has the potential to do incredible things. We should maintain the liberties of each person regardless of race, and advocate for their dignity. This means that we should advocate for equality of opportunity within such marginalized communities. Too often, governmental action has taken its toll on the African American community. Why do we have the case in which so many African American children, with just as much potential as the rest of the country, are subjected to poor schooling. This is because of the Government’s long track record of imposing inefficiencies in the quality of schooling based on the income of a particular neighborhood. There must be a better way. A way in which we can restore their freedom and standing in our society. 

The looting and rioting that have taken hold cannot be part of the solution. Such actions drown out the message I have articulated. If we wish to see the kind of deep intrinsic change we are fighting for, we must proceed with peace and patience. It is the only way. There is clear consensus on this. People’s lives are being destroyed. They have spent years building up their businesses. Those violent protesters should not take away from the cause. They do this in their selfishness. 

This brings me to the question of what we must do as a people. How we must respond. We must also adopt introspection as it pertains to our demographic. Our response to this, as Indian Americans, has remained the same as it has in the past. We can look at the precedent and easily point out our shortcomings. Many of us, and our parents, came here with little. We came here energized, inspired by the idea of this country. The idea that hard work, grit, and perseverance could lead to a life of prosperity. We believed in this cause, leaving everything we had in the country we once called home. That promise of equal opportunity. That promise of freedom and the American dream that has been fulfilled for so many of us should fire us up to rise up to the inequities we see in the African American community, as they have played out, and within other marginalized groups. We tend to be averse to risk as a people. It is time to take action. It is time to make the kind of change people can feel every single day. In some sense, we should treat these groups as our own, for it is likely that we have felt the inequities they are articulating at some point in our lives. We must only accept a nation in which our city upon the shining hill is accessible and open to us all.

kyle singh
thesatime | The Southasian times

Kyle Singh is a rising senior at Columbia University and considering run for local office in Long Island in the coming cycle.

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Latest News USA

Biden berates ‘narcissist’ Trump, sees fundraising surge

Washington: Mounting one of his most scathing attacks against Donald Trump, former US Vice President Joe Biden said the President’s narcissism has become more important than the nation’s well-being.

“He thinks division helps him,” Biden said in a speech at Philadelphia’s City Hall.

Bashing Trump’s handling of the protests and riots in the country following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a police officer, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee said: “the American people can be forgiven for believing that the president is more interested in power than in principle, more interested in serving the passions of his base than the needs of the people in his care.”

Biden’s comments came after police used tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters near the White House so that Trump, after finishing a speech during which he threatened to send in the military to quell the escalating chaos, could visit the St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he stood for a photo op.

Taking further digs at Trump for brandishing the Bible outside St John’s Church, Biden said the US President could have “learned something” from it rather than posing with it.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s campaign for president is seeing a surge in fundraising in the wake of George Floyd’s death, particularly as President Trump comes under scrutiny for his response to protests across the country. 

Biden supporters and bundlers have seen a massive uptick in new contributions and donor commitments since the protests began last week, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Fundraisers said that they have each helped to raise between $200,000 and more than $1 million over the past week. In some cases, bundlers say they are raising money at a much faster clip than they had in similar lengths of time before. Some are seeing individual fundraising highs compared with the same points in time in previous election cycles. 

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told CNBC that a virtual fundraiser he scheduled for next week was  expected to raise $500,000. Now, it is likely to bring in over $1 million. 

Part of these fundraising efforts could show up in Biden’s next Federal Election Commission filing, which will show how much the campaign brought in last month. The filing deadline for all campaigns’ May fundraising totals is June 20. Biden and the Democratic National Committee combined to raise just over $60 million in April. Trump and the Republican National Committee brought in a touch more than $61 million over that same period of time. 

Biden is ahead of Trump in most national polls; a RealClearPolitics polling average shows him with a nearly 6-point lead. 

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International Latest News USA

‘I am the law and order President’

“Thank you very much. My fellow Americans, my first and highest duty as President is to defend the great country and the American people. I swore an oath to uphold the laws of our nation, and that is exactly what I will do. All Americans are rightly sickened and revolted by the brutal death of George Floyd. My administration is fully committed that for George and his family, justice will be served. He will not have died in vain.

But we cannot allow the righteous prize and peaceful protesters to be drowned out by an angry mob. The biggest victims of the rioting are peace loving citizens in our poorest communities, and as they are President, I will fight to keep them safe. I will fight to protect you. I am your President of law and order and an ally of all peaceful protesters.

But in recent days, our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, or, arsonists, looters, criminals, rider rioters, Antifa and others. A number of state and local governors have failed to take necessary action to safeguard their residence. Innocent people have been savagely beaten like the young man in Dallas, Texas, who was left dying on the street. Where the woman in upstate New York, viciously attacked by dangerous thugs. Small business owners have seen their dreams utterly destroyed. New York’s finest have been hit in the face with bricks. Brave nurses who have battled the virus are afraid to leave their homes. A police precinct has been overrun here in the nation’s capital, the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II memorial have been vandalized. One of our most historic churches was set ablaze. A federal officer in California, an African American enforcement hero was shot and killed.

These are not acts of peaceful protest. These are acts of domestic terror. The destruction of innocent life and the spilling of innocent blood is offense to humanity and a crime against god. America needs creation, not destruction. Cooperation, not contempt, security, not anarchy. Healing the hatred, justice, not chaos. This is our mission, and we will succeed 100%. We will succeed. Our country always wins. That is why I am taking immediate presidential action to stop the violence and restore security and safety in America. I am immobilizing all federal resources, civilian and military to stop the rioting and looting, to end the destruction and arson, and to protect the rights of law-abiding Americans, including your second amendment rights. Therefore, the following measures are going into effect immediately.

First, we are entering the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country. We will end it now. Today, I have strongly recommended to every governor to deploy the National Guard in sufficient numbers that we dominate the streets. Mayors and governors, both established and overwhelming law enforcement presence until the violence has been quelled. If the city or state refuses to take the actions that are necessary to defend the life and property of their residence, then I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.

I am also taking swift and decisive action to protect our great capital, Washington, DC. What happened in the city last night was a total disgrace. As we speak, I am dispatching thousands and thousands of heavily armed soldiers, military personnel, and law enforcement officers to stop the rioting, looting, vandalism, assaults, and the wanton destruction of property. We are putting everybody on warning on a 7:00 curfew that will be strictly enforced. Those who threaten innocent life and property will be arrested, detained, and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I want the organizers of this terror to be on notice that you will face severe criminal penalties and lengthy sentences in jail. This includes Antifa and others who were leading instigators of this violence. One law and order, and that is what it is, one law.

We have one, beautiful law. And once that is restored and fully restored, we will help you, we will help your business, and we will help your family. America is founded on the rule of law. It is the foundation of our prosperity, our freedom and our very way of life, but where there is no law, there is no opportunity. Where there is no justice, there is no liberty, where there is no safety, there is no future. We must never give in to anger or hatred. If malice or violence rains, then none of us is free. I take these actions today with firm resolve and with a true and passionate love for our country. By far our greatest days lie ahead.”

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