US’ reputation rebounds with Biden in WH

Washington: America’s reputation on the global stage appears to have significantly rebounded since Trump left office and Joe Biden became the commander in chief, according to a Pew Research Center survey released last week.

As Biden went to Europe to repair relations with America’s allies, the poll found that several countries in the region like the current president more than the former. A median of 75 percent of respondents in 12 countries expressed confidence in Biden, compared with 17 percent for Trump last year.

In the UK, for example, 64 percent of those surveyed said they view the U.S. favorably, up from just 41 percent under Trump.

Similar favorability improvements of 25 percentage points or more were found in France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

Of the 16,254 people in 16 countries surveyed in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region between March and May, more than 60 percent in each country said they have confidence in Biden to “do the right thing in world affairs.”

Pew conducted the survey in countries  including Australia, Belgium, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan.

The study found, however, that many still view the U.S. as a “somewhat reliable partner.” No more than 20 percent of respondents in any one country said the U.S. is a “very reliable partner.” Reliability is highest in the Netherlands, where 80 percent say the U.S. is somewhat or very reliable. Seventy-five percent of respondents in Australia and Japan both said the U.S. is somewhat or very reliable. But 44 percent in Taiwan and 43 percent in Greece said the U.S. is not very or not at all reliable, the survey found.

However, attitudes toward the U.S. still vary in different countries. For example, only about 50 percent of people in Singapore and Australia have a favorable opinion of the U.S., and only 42 percent of New Zealanders like the U.S., according to the survey. Favorability in Taiwan is down slightly from 68 percent to 61 percent, compared to a 2019 Pew survey.

However, a median of only 50 percent of respondents said in the Pew survey that they believe American democracy is working well.

The survey noted, however, that attitudes toward the U.S. ebb and flow as administrations change.

Pew noted that when former President Barack Obama took office in 2009, favorability increased compared to George W. Bush’s administration. Similarly, when Trump entered the White House in 2017, favorability saw a sharp decline. For instance, a median of 34 percent of those surveyed across 12 nations had a favorable overall opinion of the U.S. last year, the survey found. Now, a median of 62 percent of nations hold the U.S. in glowing regard.

A photograph of an old couple kissing through screens and masks in a Covid ward is the most poignant among the pandemic pictures shot by AP’s chief photographer in Spain, Emilio Morenatti, that won a Pulitzer. (Photo courtesy AP)
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Latest News New York

Indian-American Geeta Anand named Dean of Berkeley Journalism

New York: Veteran Indian-origin journalist Geeta Anand has been appointed Dean of the University of California Berkeley (UCB) Graduate School of Journalism.

UCB Chancellor Carol Christ and Provost A Paul Alivisatos said that after a national search, Interim Dean Anand has been appointed Dean effective immediately.

“I am humbled, honored and excited to serve as your next dean of Berkeley Journalism. To team up with you to build the support systems in our school that I know from my own experience are essential to succeed and to lead,” Anand said in a statement.

An esteemed Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist specializing in narrative writing and investigative reporting, Anand began teaching at Berkeley in 2018 and was appointed as interim Dean earlier this year. She also serves as director of the Investigative Reporting Program, noted the UCB press release.

The journalist began her career covering local government in Vermont before going on to become the city hall bureau chief for the Boston Globe, and later serving as a foreign correspondent in India for The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Anand is the author of the non-fiction book ‘The Cure’. She was a key member of the team of reporters that won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for their coverage of the history and consequences of corporate scandals in America. 

Among her other honors, Anand is also the recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting, and the Danny Pearl Award for Outstanding International Investigative Reporting.

“I have succeeded beyond my wildest imagination because so many people reached down to lift me up. When I was frustrated, beaten down and made to feel less than for being born a woman, for being Indian, for possessing an accent, there were reporters and editors who took it upon themselves to fight for my story to run on Page One, push for me to get promoted on the grounds of merit, insist I be hired at UC Berkeley as a full professor with tenure—and most recently, encourage me to raise my hand for consideration as dean,” Anand said.

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New York

Satish Tripathi and Sid Mukherjee in NYS commission on economic recovery

New York: Pulitzer Prize-winning Indian-American physician Sid Mukherjee and compatriot higher education leader Satish Tripathi have been named by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo among members of a commission that will focus on plans to jumpstart the state’s economy badly hit by the COVID19 pandemic.

Cuomo on Sunday announced that the state’s Blue-Ribbon Commission, chaired by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, will also focus on improving telehealth and broadband access using new, innovative technologies.

The 15-member commission will include Mukherjee, Tripathi and other eminent leaders namely Chair of Rockefeller Foundation Richard Parsons, Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and President of Cornell University Martha Pollack and IBM Chair Ginny Rommety.

India-born Mukherjee is a hematologist and oncologist and an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011 for ‘The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.’

Tripathi is the President of University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Tripathi graduated from Banaras Hindu University and holds three master’s degrees – one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and Banaras Hindu University.

According to his profile on the university website, Tripathi is a leader in the national higher education community and serves on the board of directors for the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU).

Cuomo had tapped Schmidt to head the commission that will look into how the state’s economy can recover, taking into account lessons learnt from COVID19 pandemic. “How does that Eric Schmidt commission come up with new ideas that we can jump start to grow the economy? That is what the next chapter is going to be about. It is going to be about the government working with the private sector, with businesses to jumpstart the economy, to stimulate it, to get some big projects going that get the business sector engaged and confident and believing once again.”

“How do you improve the mass transit system? How about new technology for education? How about new telemedicine? We talk about a new health care system that can do testing and tracing and has surge capacity and hospital beds. Let’s build that new public health system and let the government get ahead of it and let the government lead the way,” Cuomo said.

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