Categories
USA

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)
Read More
Categories
Latest News USA

Trump demands $10 Trillion in reparations from China for COVID-19

Washington: Donald Trump returned to the GOP political scene Saturday with a speech at the North Carolina Republican Convention, where he called on China to pay “reparations” to the U.S. for coronavirusrelated damages.

“All nations should work together to present China a bill for a minimum of $10 trillion to compensate for the damage,” Trump said, adding that the figure was lower than it should be. “As a first step, all countries should collectively cancel any debt they owe to China as a down payment on reparations,” he said.

Trump said he also thought the U.S. should put a 100% tariff on any goods imported from China.

In a lengthy speech Saturday night, the former president echoed sentiments from Republicans on the Hill and went after infectious disease specialist Anthony Fauci for reversing his stance on the importance of wearing masks early in the pandemic.

“Fauci said powerfully at the beginning, no masks,” Trump chided Saturday. “Then he became a radical masker,” he said, adding that  “he’s been wrong on almost every issue.”

Trump also reiterated unproven claims regarding the integrity of the 2020 election – comments that resulted in his two-year ban from Facebook.

The former president claimed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “broke the law spending millions of dollars” on encouraging voting in Democratic-led areas in the country.

Read More
Categories
Latest News USA

House GOP expels anti-Trump crusader Cheney from leadership

Washington: House Republicans on Wednesday removed Rep. Liz Cheney of her party leadership role after she urged the party to reject former President Donald Trump as their leader.

Cheney, ahead of the voice vote to oust her, remained defiant, vowing to continue the fight against Trump even if the GOP rejects her.

“We cannot let the former president drag us backward and make us complicit in his efforts to unravel our democracy,” Cheney said during a closed-door GOP conference meeting, NBC News reported.

“Down that path lies our destruction, and potentially the destruction of our country,” she said. “If you want leaders who will enable and spread his destructive lies, I’m not your person, you have plenty of others to choose from. That will be their legacy.”

“But I promise you this, after today, I will be leading the fight to restore our party and our nation to conservative principles, to defeating socialism, to defending our republic, to making the GOP worthy again of being the party of Lincoln,” Cheney reportedly said.

The showdown came days after two other top-ranking House Republicans, Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Minority Whip Steve Scalise, said they were through with Cheney as House GOP conference chair.

They and Trump have endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik, a fourth-term New York congresswoman who gained national attention in 2019 for forcefully defending Trump during his first impeachment trial.

The push to swap the staunchly conservative and politically deep-rooted Cheney with the less-conservative, Trump-supporting Stefanik offers a stark example of the GOP’s shift toward a firm realignment behind the former president with the 2022 midterm congressional elections coming up.

Cheney, one of just 10 Republicans to vote to impeach Trump on the charge of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol, survived a prior attempt in February to oust her. At that time, the Wyoming Republican had the backing of her fellow House leaders.

To their chagrin, Cheney in the three months since has continued to bash Trump for spreading the lie that the 2020 election was rigged against him.

In doing so, Cheney, the No. 3 Republican in the House, set herself apart from nearly the rest of her conference, which in the wake of Trump’s loss has grown only more committed to preserving the ex-president’s status as its leader.

Read More
Categories
Business International Latest News Science & Tech

US agrees to remove Xiaomi from blacklist

San Francisco: The Joe Biden administration has agreed to remove Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi from the blacklist imposed by the earlier Donald Trump administration that designated it as a “Communist Chinese military company” and barred the firm from doing business with the US firms.

Xiaomi was added to a US military list of alleged Chinese military companies in January this year. The Chinese conglomerate had filed a lawsuit against the ban.

On Tuesday, the US Department of Defence agreed to remove Xiaomi from the blacklist. The news led to over 6.5 per cent rise in Xiaomi shares.

“The Parties have agreed upon a path forward that would resolve this litigation without the need for contested briefing,” read the court filing.

In March, a US court temporarily halted the ban on Xiaomi, saying the company was likely to win a full reversal and would “suffer irreparable harm in the form of serious reputational and unrecoverable economic injuries.”

Xiaomi and the US Department of Defence will now work on a “joint proposed order” on or before May 20 to be submitted to the court.

Xiaomi had earlier reiterated that it is “a widely held, publicly traded, independently managed corporation that offers consumer electronics products solely for civilian and commercial use”.

“We are committed to working with our global partners to let everyone in the world enjoy a better life through innovative technology,” a company spokesperson had said in a statement.

“The company confirms that it is not owned, controlled or affiliated with the Chinese military, and is not a ‘Communist Chinese Military Company’ defined under the NDAA. The company will take appropriate course of actions to protect the interests of the Company and its shareholders”.

In July 2020, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated Chinese telecom companies, Huawei and ZTE, as national security risks to America’s communications networks.

Read More
Categories
e-paper-stories Latest News

Push President Xi to share Nuclear Codes of this virus-ICBM to disarm it

Referencing his letter to then POTUS Donald Trump last April about the origin of WuhanVirus, and to President Joe Biden last month imploring him to punish China for its perfidy, Eminent Attorney RAVI BATRA in his Open Letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi states that his views have since evolved as even war will not stop this mutated-variant’s tsunami that is ravaging India from jumping to other nations. He implores PM Modi to use diplomacy to get President Xi to share Biowarfare Codes of this multistage-ICBM virus to disarm it. Then, more than Nobel Peace prizes,  prayers and blessings of humanity across India and the globe will follow for saving millions of people, who will otherwise continue to die.

Open Letter to Prime Minister Modi

.

May 6, 2021

H.E. Narendra Modi

Prime Minister of India

Re: “Open Letter” – in re as Covid19 Tsunami ravages India, the need for the “raw truth” of this lab-created biowarfare agent is now necessary to fabricate more-accurate vaccines that can disarm the ever-mutating strains of SARS-CoV2, which if not disarmed, this virulent ever-more deadly mutating-disease can eliminate humanity globally.

Honorable P.M. Modi:

As an un-conflicted American, having migrated from India at the age of seven, I spent four-plus years in Hong Kong and learned to love and admire the Chinese culture, although Confucius has gotten wiser as I have aged as a happy New Yorker. Your early leadership with a strong “Lockdown” of India was a global example of a government honoring its duty to protect the public health. Given the sudden Covid19-mutated strain’s  tsunami ravaging India, I write to you, because now, protecting and curing all the people across the world must be Job 1.

It is not a time for political advantage or even seeking compensatory damages, as it is now becoming clear that this lab-created virus can become an existential threat to humanity globally, and those who dream of building new empires will have nothing to dominate or rule over. Instead, India’s experience – a year after we were overwhelmed – speaks to a need for an international all-nations’ effort to disarm this biowarfare agent with President Xi’s help – using a form of Truth & Reconciliation Commission which grants legal immunity for “whole truth disclosure” – so scientists can get immediate access to all the creative knowledge, documents and lab variant-samples about this out-of-control PLA-Lab created weapon. This is much worse than a nuclear weapons threat, as it’s out of control, and its infection capability makes every person and animal on earth vulnerable, and rendering current vaccines potentially ineffective.

Disclaimer

As an open disclaimer, I see life thru an American Lens, given that human follies are well splashed across the pages of history, I am resoundingly certain of American Exceptionalism, structurally embedded in our founding Declaration and Constitution, with each American duty-bound to help “form a more perfect union” – not shaken, until our insurrection of January 6th.

That I successfully intervened, as requested by India, in the shameful auction of Mahatma Gandhi’s items in New York and had the items respectfully returned to India; successfully defended Krittika Biswas’ honor and won in every federal court and won the highest award for a false arrest and for a night in jail – an effort I was supported in by the now-late great Queens D.A. Judge Richard Brown, Rep. Gary Ackerman and, most effectively, by Senator Chuck Schumer; and, inter alia, successfully represented the Indian National Congress and the Hon. Sonia Gandhi in U.S. Federal courts regarding the painful “1984 Riots” and helped create a legal precedent, that India, like the United States with inter alia our unconstitutional Japanese-American Internment during WWII, has the right to fix her own mistakes without our meddling in her internal affairs. By so doing, I enhanced the bilateral relationship between our two great nations, which you later described in your pivotal Joint Address to Congress as “indivisible.” That exact relationship I have always seen as our “Joint Destiny,” given the pull and push of history: Indian tea starred in the 1773 Boston Tea Party, and Lord Cornwallis, after losing to General George Washington, upon arriving as Viceroy of India ordered 5,000 Indian men, women and children be put to death for his American loss, and proceeded to rule with an “Iron Fist.” A Fist that never unclasped, until Mahatma Gandhi. And, Dr. Ambedkar, Columbia Law-educated, authored India’s Constitution, deeply informed by ours from 1787.

During the last decade, my incredible wife, Ranju, then-chair of the Diwali Stamp Project, spent 7 years seeking a USPS Diwali Stamp, and got help from many, but none more than Rep. Carolyn Maloney, then-Amb. Hardeep Singh Puri, then-ASG Lakshmi Puri, Rep. Grace Meng, then-Rep. Eliot L. Engel, Rep. Greg Meeks, and inter alia, then India’s New York-based CG Dnyaneshwar M. Mulay who wrote the Official poem for the Diwali Stamp Project. Indeed, Ranju asked and received from you – your support for the Diwali Stamp during your UNGA visit – as she did and received from then-President Obama. Ranju’s achievement was immortal, as the Diwali Stamp successfully dedicated on October 5, 2016 was a USPS “Forever” stamp, and Ranju made personal history by selling over 170,000 stamps for Day One, beating Batman, and making the Diwali Stamp #1 in USPS history. Indeed, your 2016 Diwali Message contained a clip of that Stamp Dedication, which serves to enhance our bilateral relations forever. Indeed, the United Nations has celebrated that achievement with 24 nations coming together to honor Ranju, and now, Ranju, as chair of the Diwali Foundation USA, bestows Power of One awards, aka Oscars of Diplomacy, on exceptional world class diplomats who personify the highest ideals of the UN Charter and enhance global peace & security.

More recently, I was invited by then-Chairman Eliot L. Engel of House Foreign Affairs Committee to testify on October 22, 2019 regarding Kashmir, and inter alia, issued: an apology for advocating “restraint” after India’s  November 26th (akin to our 9/11); and India’s right to enact Section 370, and to restore normalcy as soon as public safety was secured. Indeed, on January 9, 2020, during our historic reception in the actual HFAC Room for strong US-India ties and celebrating Congress, your distinguished Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla, with now-Joint Secretary Sandeep Chakravorty in attendance, showed pictures of a 16-nations’ strong ambassadorial visit to Kashmir earlier that day – a fact I celebrated then and there in Congress, which included, Rep. Brad Sherman and Chairman Eliot L. Engel participating.

SARS-CoV2 aka Covid-19 aka Wuhan Virus – Case Cracked on April 14, 2020: Lab-Created

With that truncated disclaimer out of the way, and with God’s Grace, I and my family survived Covid19 on or about March 29, 2020. Treating this Virus as a cancer case that I needed to crack, and after learning biochemistry and epidemiology during an intense effort, I did so, and a year ago, on April 14, 2020, I wrote a 6-page “Open Letter” to then-President Trump, Speaker Pelosi and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (“OL”; copy enclosed, with uniform spelling of “Wuhan”), and for POTUS, emailed it to a former Marine: Deputy NSA Matt Pottinger at 8:31pm. In the OL, I had the science, the facts, and recommendations, including, bringing our “supply chains” home. The next day, April 15, 2020, about 1 p.m. the United States opened a preliminary investigation into inter alia the origin of SARS-CoV2 from PLA-run Wuhan Virology Lab, and the motives of CCP China in causing its global-spread without sounding a pandemic-alarm directly or thru the WHO. I remain grateful for the start of the April 15, 2020 “all hands on deck” Investigation. I have since written an Open Letter to President Joesph R. Biden Jr. on April 13, 2021 (copy enclosed).

It remains an open secret that my analysis was and is correct, and that this is a lab-created Frankenstein that transplanted the “Spike Glycoprotein(S)” (“Spike”) from Bats – a unique feature in bats, as they are either “cold” or “warm” blooded, and still, a warm Bat can procreate with a cold Bat due to the “Spike.” OL at 3. I called “Covid19,” aka “WuhanVirus,” a Trojan Horse, as its Spike feature does not cause our immune system to sound an alarm upon infection (and the T-cells remain asleep). Disturbingly, China has not turned over, to this day, the genome of Patient Zero who was admitted in Wuhan hospital on or about December 1, 2019, while a different protein string-virus was released on or about December 31, 2019 at the Wuhan Wet Market. The animal farms about a 1,000 miles away from Wuhan, did not experience a Covid19 outbreak, thereby decimating the WHO’s coddled-team’s report, after a 3-hour chaperoned visit to the Wuhan Virology lab, falsely asserting a zoonotic virus jump from animal to human. Natural viruses mutate to become safe and un-hurtful. This Virus is mutating serially, as if it was a multi-stage ICBM, becoming more and more dangerous as it continues to exist.

WHO dishonored its high fiduciary obligations, and did not promptly alert the leaders of every nation that a pandemic was afoot and ask to lockdown China. President Trump said we were fighting an invisible enemy. I disagree. The Virus is surely invisible, but this string of protein, despite its lab-based default programming, has no animus towards us and does not benefit by causing death and destruction – and by my last count, our needlessly dead far exceed our losses at Pearl Harbor.

Despite Truth-in-Labeling laws, China, run by 100 years’ celebrating CCP, has succeeded in blocking this Virus from being origin-labeled by deeming origin-labeling to be racist. But, it’s not a fight over labeling.

Only Solution: Disarm Covid19

I now write to you – as my views have changed and evolved – as even war will not stop this mutated-variant’s tsunami that is ravaging India from jumping to other nations, even as travel restrictions are imposed on India, as we have gotten earlier variants despite best efforts to block travel. Indeed, revisiting my prior conversation with China’s distinguished Foreign Minister Wang Yi suggests – that while I wanted a Little War in 2017 due to events in South China Sea, as in a stitch in time saves nine (a la nine dashes) – whereas he did not, as he clearly said. FM Wang, I believe, with President Xi’s change of heart, can be an asset for a new just and honorable peace for all: rejuvenate the world.

Diplomacy is always needed, even to arrange a surrender to end a war. Now, after India being ravaged by mutated-variants, with other nations to follow, this ICBM of a virus must be disarmed ASAP with Biowarfare Codes only China can share. It has been reported that President Xi, whom I consider to be at least as much an exceptional mastermind as Chairman Mao was, if not more, has asked his diplomatic corps to unsheathe their swords to be Wolf Warriors – a function or definition that defies diplomacy, even as it weaponizes it.

How to Disarm Covid19 – Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s TRC

I urge you, as the champion of India’s sovereignty and chief protector of her citizens’ public health and safety, as well as a vital member of the “Quad,” and SCO, run by a dear friend Dr. Vladimir Norov as its Secretary General, to change our geopolitical matrix from competitive, adversarial and crime and punishment, to a restorative formula from South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s Truth & Reconciliation Commission – so we can move forward collectively as a human family, and disarm this Virus of an ICBM.

South Africa was critical in MKG becoming a Mahatma. Perhaps, if you can get President Xi to share “nuclear codes” of this virus-ICBM to disarm it, more than Nobel Peace prizes will be awarded; prayers and blessings of humanity across India and the globe will follow for saving millions of people, who will otherwise continue to die from this ever-mutating Death Virus. India has a reputation throughout many millennia of being the land of peace. China is currently President of the UNSC, charged with enhancing global peace & security. If you can get President Xi to join you in peace-building the future, the “Rejuvenation” he seeks, will come with Confucius’ ultimate blessed wish: “May you live in boring times.”

Respectfully,

thesatime | The Southasian times

Ravi Batra

Read More
Categories
Latest News USA

Narendra Modi: An Indian American Perspective

An autocrat is a ruler who governs with absolute power. To be sure, neither Trump nor Modi has that kind of influence, but their characters offer some insight into what a democracy in autocratic transition might look like.

By Shivaji Sengupta

It’s probably a truism to say that anything one says about the current Indian prime minister tends to be controversial. This essay will be no exception.

To a majority of Indians who voted overwhelmingly for his party and, indeed, for him, he is a superhero. To a sizable minority, comprising many intellectuals, he is contemptible: “Gujarat ka lalla,” Arundhati Roy caricatures him in her last novel. Many Indian-Americans see him through Trump’s eyes, probably a direct consequence of the “Howdy Modi” reception given to him by  his admirers in this country in Texas in 2020.

To me, Narendra Modi comes off as a metaphysical conceit: widely different images, violently yoked together. Modi looks gentlemanly, even cerebral with beard and glasses; sensitive eyes; yet, when he speaks, he sounds rustic, blunt, a straight talker garbed in realpolitik. The quick, drastic political actions he has taken – Kashmir, demonetization, the Citizenship Act – speak of an autotelic man who doesn’t wait for external forces to move him. Everything he does politically is driven from inside.  The landslide victory gives him the freedom to do whatever he feels is right.

In 2019, more than 600 million people went to the polls and endorsed him and the BJP. For the first time since Nehru’s Congress Party has a party won such a decisive people’s mandate. It was the largest democratic election ever held anywhere. Thus, to many Americans Modi is, to quote Trump, an “exceptional leader” and a “very tough negotiator.” So he is to many Indian Americans who vote Republican.

Interestingly, Modi seen through the Republican lens highlights many of the characteristics people associate with Trump. The Atlantic writes, “Trump has a well-documented affinity for [Modi], and it’s not hard to see why. The pair share a number of similarities, including a nativist governing philosophy and a strongman appeal. Perhaps their greatest commonality, though, is their adherence to a familiar autocratic playbook, the likes of which have been adopted by other democratically elected leaders around the world.”

An autocrat is a ruler who governs with absolute power. To be sure, neither Trump nor Modi has that kind of influence, but their characters offer some insight into what a democracy in autocratic transition might look like. As the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies, their shared disregard for norms, disdain for dissent (from the media and elsewhere), and dedication to strengthening their own executive power at the expense of state institutions designed to curb it have made them emblematic of the democratic deterioration that has been taking place in some of the eastern European countries and in South America.

It’s the specter of autocracy, however, that concerns me most about Modi, both as an Indian American,, and an expatriate Indian. In democracy, autocratic rule happens gradually. In some countries, this tactic plays out in a sort of piecemeal way. For example, Trump’s bid to extend his presidential authority in the U.S. had steadily increased over time, from his attempts to defy Congress, and the Constitution over his hardline immigration policies, to withholding congressionally approved military aid to Ukraine, to his impeachment.  In every such case, Trump’s rationale was largely the same: to invoke presidential privilege or, in autocratic speak, to declare himself above the law.

S

Modi, despite possessing similar characteristics, is far more intelligent than his previous American counterpart. Also, He has an emphatic mandate than Trump had. But he also has an Amit Shah that Trump never had (Steve Bannon could have fulfilled that role, but his own ego would not allow him to accept Trump’s leadership like Mr. Shah has with Modi’s.) Shah sets the field; Modi plays. Moreover, because of Shah’s extremely successful propaganda, Modi’s autocratic decisions are cleverly disguised as the BJP’s collective decision made for India’s well-being. People believe so. Modi is simply seen as the elder statesman taking India forward.

But look at the laws the Indian Parliament has made. Unilaterally revoking the constitutionally enshrined autonomy of Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state; establishing new limits on Indian Citizenship laws that discriminate against Muslims; and by imposing crackdowns on protests, most notably in the recent nation-wide protests by farmers.

In short, whereas Donald Trump’s stabs at grabbing autocratic power was personal, even crude, without proper understanding of the Constitution, or without having shrewd, political advisers to guide him, Narendra Modi’s political experience and personal savvy make him look as a far more effective leader than Trump.

A dangerous aspect of modern autocracy is that its success invokes a growing appeal to populist and nationalist sentiment. This has been most pronounced in India through Modi’s efforts to transform the country from a secular democracy into a theocratic, nationalist one that dominates its minorities. Yet, despite the fundamental attack on India’s sacred secularism which, together with being the world’s largest democracy, has earned our former country world-wide respect, a majority of Indians do not seem to value secularism any more.

However, with the change in government here, Mr. Modi will not have a Trump on the sidelines to cheer him on. Already, our vice president, her Indian origin notwithstanding, has expressed sharp criticism of Modi’s human rights record. Many Indians – here and in India – have expressed their displeasure at Kamala Harris, but for an Indian American such as myself, India under Modi is in a precarious place.

If Modi and the BJP continue to dominate Indian politics the way they have been doing, I am afraid India will not be the India I knew.

 

Shivaji Sengupta is a retired Professor of English at Boricua College, New York City. He has a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia University and has been a regular contributor to The South Asian Times. He is a member of the Brookhaven Town Democratic Committee.

Read More

Categories
e-paper-stories Latest News

Biden believes Putin is a killer, would pay price for election meddling

Washington/Moscow: President Joe Biden has said that he believes Vladimir Putin is a killer with no soul — and vowed that the Russian leader soon “will pay a price” for interfering in the 2020 U.S. election and trying to boost the re-election chances of Donald Trump.

In an interview that aired Wednesday on Good Morning America, Biden said he warned Putin last month, in his first call to the Russian president after taking office, that he would retaliate if that meddling was confirmed.

On Tuesday, the U.S. National Intelligence Council released a report which concluded that Putin authorized intelligence assets to promote misinformation during the 2020 election cycle about Biden through U.S. media and people close to Trump.

“He will pay a price,” Biden said of Putin.

The Biden administration earlier this month imposed an array of sanctions on high-ranking Russian officials, who include Putin’s deputy chiefs of staff, for the poisoning and subsequent imprisonment of Alexey Navalny, a leader of the opposition to Putin.

Although Navalny survived his poisoning, a slew of Putin critics have been killed or died suspiciously.

When Biden was asked if he believes Putin is a killer, the president replied, “I do.”

Biden also confirmed prior reports that he personally told Putin in 2011, while serving as U.S. vice president, that Putin does not “have a soul.”

Biden’s strong words about his Russian counterpart stand in sharp contrast to Trump, who for years in office refused to criticize Putin for interfering in the 2016 election, or to even concede that it happened, as repeated investigations have found.

President Putin retorted on Thursday that it takes one to know one after Biden’s killer remark. Moscow has also recalled its US  ambassador for consultations a day after the Biden interview.

Russia is preparing to be hit by a new round of U.S. sanctions in the coming days over that alleged meddling as well as over an alleged hack.

Suggesting Biden was hypocritical in his remarks, Putin said that every state had to contend with “bloody events” and added Biden was accusing the Russian leader of something he was guilty of himself.

Shortly before Putin’s remarks, his spokesman said Biden’s comments showed he had no interest in fixing ties with Moscow, which are strained by everything from Syria to Ukraine to Russia’s jailing of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Biden was quick to extend a key nuclear arms pact with Russia after he took office in January. But his administration has said it will take a tougher line with Moscow than Washington did during Donald Trump’s term in office, and engage only when there is a tangible benefit for the United States.

Read More
Categories
coronavirus Latest News Travel

Those denied visa due to Trump ‘Muslim ban’ can reapply

In a bid to overturn Trump’s so-called Muslim ban, Joe Biden’s administration said applicants who were refused visas prior to Jan 20, 2020, must submit new applications and fees while those who were denied on or after Jan. 20, 2020, may seek reconsideration

Most US visa applicants who were denied because of former President Donald Trump’s travel ban on 13 mostly Muslim-majority and African countries can seek new decisions or submit new applications, the State Department said on Monday.

President Joe Biden overturned Trump’s so-called Muslim ban on Jan. 20, his first day in office, calling it “a stain on our national conscience” in his proclamation.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said applicants who were refused visas prior to Jan. 20, 2020, must submit new applications and pay a new application fee. Those who were denied on or after Jan. 20, 2020, may seek reconsideration without re-submitting their applications and do not have to pay additional fees, Price said.

Applicants selected in the diversity visa lottery prior to the current fiscal year are barred by US law from being issued visas if they have not gotten them already, he said. The diversity lottery aims to accept immigrants from countries that are not normally awarded many visas.

Since December 2017, after a revised version of the original travel ban was upheld by the US Supreme Court, some 40,000 people have been barred from entering the United States under the ban, according to State Department data.

During the Trump administration some countries were added and others dropped from the list. At the end of Trump’s presidency it comprised Myanmar, Eritrea, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Nigeria, North Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela and Yemen.

Read More
Categories
Latest News USA

Trump in NYC to check on his businesses as probes turn up heat: Report

New York: Donald Trump was in New York City early this week to get up to speed about the ins and outs of his beleaguered namesake company, The Trump Organization, as the former president and his business associates remain in the crosshairs of multiple state prosecutors, reported New York Daily News.

The Queens-born former New Yorker who was spotted arriving at Trump Tower in Midtown on Sunday night, has recently expressed interest in reengaging with the Trump Organization, and “a major part” of his Big Apple trip is about that, a source told the tabloid

“He’s quite curious about his businesses and his employees, his organization, and is eager to look under the hood,” the source said. “He’s not entirely sure of the role he will play, but he misses it, for sure.”

Trump, a full-time Florida resident, is expected to stay in the city until Tuesday.

Details about whom Trump is meeting with during the visit were not immediately known.

Trump retained ownership stake in the Trump Organization throughout his presidency, but delegated day-to-day management to his two oldest sons. The real estate and hospitality biz, which has been hard-hit financially by the pandemic, remains headquartered in Trump Tower, where the ex-president was expected to stay for the duration of his visit.

Trump’s trip comes as Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. and state Attorney General Letitia James are cranking up the heat in their respective investigations of the former president.

Vance, who’s investigating whether Trump and his company committed criminal insurance, bank and tax fraud by misrepresenting the value of assets, has directed his prosecutors to meet in person with Michael Cohen, the ex-president’s former personal lawyer, on Wednesday, a source familiar with the probe told The News.

Separately, Vance has put intense pressure on Allen Weisselberg, the Trump Organization’s longtime chief financial officer.

 

Read More