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WASHINGTON, 1 December 2020, (TON):  Several Groups raised their concern about the UAE’s role in Libya, Yemen conflicts in attempt to halt $23bn in arms sales.

Twenty-nine arms control and human rights organisations have signed a letter opposing the sale of $23bn worth of missiles, fighter jets and drones to the United Arab Emirates and asking US Congress to block the deal.

“The hope is to stop these sales altogether,” said Seth Binder, advocacy officer at the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), who spearheaded the effort. “But if that is not possible in the short term, this sends an important signal to the incoming Biden administration that there is a diverse group of organizations that oppose delivery of these weapons.”

The White House notified Congress of the sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets to the UAE as part of a broader arms deal worth more than $23bn that lead to concerns among congressional Democrats.

Three US senators proposed legislation to halt the sale, which also includes drones from privately held General Atomics, Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s and missiles made by Raytheon, setting up a showdown with President Donald Trump just weeks before he is due to leave office.

The letter, which will be sent to legislators and the US State Department, said, “The planned arms sales to the UAE, a party to the conflicts in Yemen and Libya, would fuel continued civilian harm and further exacerbate these humanitarian crises.”

“The proposed sales violate long-standing provisions in the Foreign Assistance Act,” the letter said.

The UAE embassy in Washington told Reuters News Agency in a statement, “Aligned closely with US interests and values, the UAE’s highly capable military is a forceful deterrent to aggression and an effective response to violent extremism.”

A sale to UAE will take years to close and then only with sustained congressional approval as the deal has stirred controversy. US law covering major arms deals allows senators to force votes on resolutions of disapproval. However, to go into effect the resolutions must pass the Republican-led Senate, which rarely breaks with Trump. They also must pass the Democratic-led House of Representatives.

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WASHINGTON, 30 November 2020, (TON): The administration of US President Donald Trump is poised to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies.

The move would curb the companies’ access to investors in the US, escalating tensions with Beijing weeks before President-elect Joe Biden takes over the White House.

Reuters, a news agency reported earlier this month based on a document and sources that the Department of Defense (DoD) was planning to designate four more Chinese companies as being owned or controlled by the Chinese military, bringing the number of Chinese companies affected to 35.

It was not immediately clear when the new tranche would be published in the Federal Register. But the list comprises China Construction Technology Co Ltd and China International Engineering Consulting Corp, in addition to Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp (SMIC) and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC), according to the document and three sources.

The move, along with similar policies, is seen as an attempt by Trump to cement his tough-on-China legacy and to box incoming Biden into hardline positions on Beijing amid bipartisan anti-China sentiment in Congress.

Trump has banned the sale of key components such as computer chips to China’s Huawei. The world’s biggest maker of mobile telecommunications equipment and smartphones is under pressure from US trade curbs designed to choke off Huawei’s access to commercially available chips, accusing it of helping Beijing spy on its rivals.

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WASHINGTON, 16 November 2020, (TON): Violence erupted on the streets of downtown Washington on Saturday night, after thousands of protesters supporting US President Donald Trump held a protest rally to back claims of massive voter fraud and electoral malpractices during the presidential elections 2020.

The “Million MAGA March”, held a week after Democrat Joe Biden was declared by media as the winner of the November 3 election. The rally was peaceful and the only objective was to show to the authorities, the judiciary and international community the fraud election that took place in the US to declare Joe Biden as winner.  

Clashes erupted between Trump’s and Biden’s supporters on late night when peaceful Trump supported were attacked and manhandled to disrupt “Million MAGA March”.

A mass brawl broke out later at night just in the vicinity only some blocks away from the White House to fail the march to compel American judiciary to take action over fraud election 2020.          

 

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WASHINGTON, 11 November, 2020, (Media Report): NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine has no intention to continue in his current position even if asked by the Joe Biden administration, said a media report.

In an interview with Aerospace Daily, Bridenstine said a new chief of the US space agency under the new administration would be in the best interest of America’s space exploration program.

“The right question here is ‘What’s in the best interest of NASA as an agency, and what’s in the best interest of America’s exploration program?” Bridenstine was quoted as saying in the interview on Sunday.

“You need somebody who has a close relationship with the President of the U.S. … somebody trusted by the administration, including OMB (Office of Management and Budget), National Space Council, National Security Council. I think I would not be the right person for that in a new administration,” he said.

When President Donald Trump nominated the former Republican Congressman to lead NASA in 2017, many lawmakers opposed the idea of a politician heading the US space agency.

The Senate, however, confirmed him in April 2018, with lawmakers voting along party lines, The Verge reported.

Bridenstine’s unwillingness to continue under the Biden administration gains significance especially in the context of NASA’s ambitious goal of returning humans to Moon by 2024 under the Artemis program.

In the meantime, President Trump refuses to concede his defeat in the recent election. That could complicate the access that a Biden transition team gets to NASA and its facilities as the new administration prepares to take over.

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WASHINGTON, 11 November, 2020, (TON): The US State Department on Tuesday approved F-35 fighter jets sale to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced arms package with an estimated price tag of 23.37 billion US dollars including 50 Lockheed F-35 Lightning II jets worth 10.4 billion dollars as well as 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones worth 2.97 billion dollars, and 10 billion dollars of munitions. That could make the UAE the first first Gulf state to operate both fifth-generation stealth fighter and U.S.-built weaponized drones.

According to reports the F-35 deal between the US and the UAE was a part of the US-brokered agreement to normalize ties between the UAE and Israel, signed in September.

"The proposed sale will make the UAE even more capable and interoperable with US partners in a manner fully consistent with America's longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel's Qualitative Military Edge," said the statement.

Israel's Qualitative Military Edge refers to a US legal standard that US weapons furnished to Israel are "superior in capability" to those sold to its neighbours.

Israel initially baulked at the prospective sale but last year dropped its opposition after US guaranteed that Israeli military superiority would be preserved.

The White House notified Congress of the sale of 50 F-35 fighter jets to the UAE two weeks ago, leading to concerns among congressional Democrats.

A sale to UAE will take years to close and then only with sustained congressional approval as the deal has stirred controversy, particularly due to concerns that it erodes the U.S. guarantee of a “Qualitative Military Edge” for the F-35’s only current operator in the Middle East, Israel.

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BEIJING, 10 November, 2020, (TON): On Monday China declined to congratulate Joe Biden as the winner of the US presidential election, saying the outcome of the US elections 2020 should be determined according to the laws and procedures of country.

China has not yet come out with an official reaction to Biden and Kamala Harris' victory in the presidential election.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said: “We have noticed that Biden declared he is the winner of the election.”

He added “our understanding is that the outcome of the election will be determined in accordance with US laws and procedures."

China is among a handful of major countries including Russia and Mexico that have not congratulated the elected President Joe Biden.

Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede defeat to his Democratic challenger, Biden.

On the China-US relations who have touched a new low under Trump, Wang said: “We have always advocated that China and the US should step up communication and dialogue, manage differences on the basis of mutual respect, expand cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit and promote the sound and stable development of China-US relations”.

He, however, was more forthcoming on the victory of Kamala Harris as the first woman Vice President-elect.

Trump pushed aggressively on all aspects of US-China ties, including with his relentless trade war, challenging China military hold on the disputed South China Sea, its constant threats to Taiwan and branding corona virus as 'China virus' after it emerged from Wuhan in December last year.

Although the Democrat Joe Biden has won the election but President Trump has refused to honour forged results and has used his constitutional right to request for recounts of votes by challenging the Election 2020 results.

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RIYADH, 09 November 2020 (TON): President Trump refusal to honour forged election 2020 results and has use of hsi constitutional right to request for recounts of votes has put American politics in a limbo.  20th January 2021, is the date when the winner of election-2020 will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States but an atmosphere of uncertainty prevails. Analysts view that the American formula that was applied in Afghanistan works here in the present scenario, giving chance to Republican and Democrats to form a broad based government.

It has been reported that Saudi Arabia congratulated Joe Biden on Sunday over his victory in the U.S presidential election. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman congratulated Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on winning the election, state news agency SPA reported.

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WASHINGTON, 9 November 2020, (TON): The world leaders are actively waiting for the US’ election results and have so far restrained from officially congratulating the Joe Biden. Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, 56, launched a transition website, BuildBackBetter.com, and a Twitter feed, @Transition46.

 President Trump has refused to honour forged results and has used his constitutional right to request for recounts of votes. It is feared that American taxpayers will witness forgeries in this election which appears to a normal voter fair and transparent.

20th January 2021, is the date when the winner of election-2020 will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States but an atmosphere of uncertainty prevails. Republican lawmakers are waiting for the moment to emerge so that they may unfold their strategy.

First Lady Melania Trump also chipped in, tweeting: "The American people deserve fair elections. Every legal - not illegal - vote should be counted."

President Trump’s supporters have asked the American nation including opponents to remain united for the truth about fairness to be made public and wait for the official announcement of election 2020.

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WASHINGTON, 8 November 2020, (TON): Although it is being claimed the Democrat Joe Biden has won the election but President Trump is quite positive of his victory and has challenged the Election 2020 results. 

The President Trump’s challenge in the Supreme Court is reminder about the fraud in the election, which has been committed by US’ State institutions. Many of the opponents of President Trump think that it unlikely Trump will ever be successful in returning to the Oval Office even if his demands for recounts and vote disqualifications fail bear results.

No one deny the fact that there may be may cases of fraud as the ones surfaced on election-day where Republican voters attempted to vote twice, in Nevada and Pennsylvania. Similarly, in Georgia, a judge noted that 53 late-arriving ballots were intentionally mixed in votes for counting.

No doubt, there are and may be many more instances of clear violation of law, fraud like double voting and technology-engineering in the programing. Wherever, may be the result? The facts cannot be denied that many State institutions were also directly involved in negative rather black propaganda against President Trump that warrants either decision in favour of President Trump or at least a reelection.

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WASHINGTON, 07 November, 2020, (AP): Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has defeated President Trump, denying him a second term after a bitter campaign and dramatic, prolonged vote count in battleground states, AP report said.

The Associated Press (AP) news agency said on Saturday that Joe Biden is now projected to have 290 Electoral College votes, above the threshold needed to clinch the hard-fought United States presidential election.

The elected president- was projected to have surpassed the 270 electoral vote threshold after the AP called Pennsylvania in his favour. Shortly after that, AP also called Nevada for Biden.

With Biden’s projected win, Kamala Harris will be heading to the White House as his vice-president, the first female to hold the post in America's history. Just after media networks gave the elections to the Biden-Harris ticket, both took to twitter to thank the people of the United States.

Biden declared victory in a tweet, saying “America, I’m honored that you have chosen me to lead our great country. The work ahead of us will be hard, but I promise you this: I will be a President for all Americans — whether you voted for me or not. I will keep the faith that you have placed in me.”

Biden has already spent eight years as vice president to Barack Obama. His victory comes in his third run for the nation's highest office. On the other hand, Harris has been a Senator from California as well as the Attorney General of the state between 2011 and 2017.

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WASHINGTON, 07 November, 2020, (TON): With the race to 270 electoral votes still too close to call, Joe Biden pulled ahead in Wisconsin and Michigan while President Donald Trump maintained his leads in North Carolina and Georgia.

Biden held a 253-214 electoral vote advantage over Trump, with final vote counts in the other battleground states to determine the winner.

Biden remains on 253 Electoral College votes in the race to 270. He needs: Pennsylvania (20) or two of Arizona (11), Georgia (16), Nevada (6) and North Carolina (15)

Biden predicts victory as he leads over Trump as the race for the White House is coming down to who wins the few remaining battleground states.

Trump still convinced battle is 'not over' more than 72 hours after Election Day. He is on 214 and needs Pennsylvania and three of Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina to win or potentially tie.

Biden's campaign team is said to be feeling "elated" about developments, while Mr Trump's team has made unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.

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WASHINGTON, 06 November, 2020, (TON): The U.S. State Department has issued a notification to Congress, it plans to sell 18 sophisticated armed MQ-9B aerial drones to the United Arab Emirates in a deal worth as much as $2.9bn. The formal notification gives Congress 30 days to object to any sales.

The move came soon after last week’s notification of a potential sale of F-35 fighter jets to the oil-rich Gulf state and one of Washington’s closest Middle East allies. The sale would mark the first armed drone export since the Trump administration reinterpreted a cold War-era arms agreement among thirty four nations to permit USA defence contractors to sell more drones to allies.

According to a news agency Reuters the UAE has long shown interest in shopping for drones from the USA and would be among the primary customers in line after USA export policy revised this summer.

A $600m deal to sell four unarmed but weapons-ready MQ-9B SeaGuardian drones to Taiwan was the first to be formally announced to Congress on Tuesday.

The US Senate Foreign Relations and House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committee’s members have previously criticised the UAE’s role in civilian deaths in Yemen’s civil war. They can review and block weapons sales under an informal review process before the State Department sends its formal notification to the legislative branch.

The armed MQ-9B drones will also be equipped with maritime radar and may possibly be sent in 2024. The package notified to Congress is for 15 with an option for three additional drones. The UAE is also seeking a package of Boeing Co EA-18G Growlers, an electronic warfare version of the two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft that are capable of jamming radar and other advanced capabilities. Growlers are operated by the US and Australia.

The UAE has long expressed interest in acquiring the stealthy F-35 jets and was promised a chance to buy them in a side deal made when they agreed to normalise relations with Israel. The informal notification for 50 Lockheed Martin Co F-35 jets was made on October 29.

Any deal must satisfy decades of agreement with Israel that guarantees US weapons furnished to Israel are "superior in capability" to those sold to its neighbours.

During the Trump administration US weapons sale have amplified conflicts and heightened tensions among many countries. Between 2002 and 2019 American allies purchased $135 billion of weapons and non‐​allies purchased $75 billion of weapons.

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