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WASHINGTON, 21 September 2020 (NYTIMES): A US court has temporarily blocked the Trump administration's ban on downloads and other functions of the Chinese-owned social media app WeChat.

The administration had announced it would curtail the use of the multi-purpose app in the United States from Sunday. It claimed the Chinese government could misuse customer data compiled by the app.

US WeChat users filed a motion against the ban with a federal court in San Francisco.

In issuing the preliminary injunction on Saturday, the court said WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many users in Chinese-speaking and Chinese-American communities.

It said there are no viable substitute platforms or apps available

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WASHINGTON, 18 September 2020, (TON): President Trump on Thursday said he would create a commission to promote "patriotic education" and announced the creation of a grant to develop a "pro-American curriculum." The move is largely political — a reaction to a growing push by some academics for schools to teach an American history that better acknowledges slavery and systemic racism.

In the speech, President Trump claimed "twisted web of lies" being taught in US classrooms about systemic racism in America, calling it "a form of child abuse."  He said, "Teaching this horrible doctrine to our children is a form of child abuse, the truest sense." He clarified, “For many years now, the radicals have mistaken Americans' silence for weakness. They're wrong. There is no more powerful force than a parent's love for their children. And patriotic moms and dads are going to demand that their children are no longer fed hateful lies about this country."

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WASHINGTON,23 August 2020, TON: Presidential candidate and his Vice President, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have greeted Hindu community on “Ganesh Chaturthi” and expressed hope for a new beginning. Biden tweeted, "To everyone celebrating the Hindu festival of Ganesh Chaturthi in the US, India, and around the world, may you overcome all obstacles, be blessed with wisdom, and find a path toward new beginnings." But Indian in US and back home are not happy and much concerned. Many people fail to understand the question on the lips of every second Indian, “Harris is Indian while Sonia Gandhi an Italian?” Sonia Gandhi is President of Indian National Congress and rumors have spread that she is considering resigning. Is this India’s internal affair or have something to do with forthcoming elections in United States relating to Joe Biden and Kamala Haris? Joe Biden has moved two steps forward by declaring “Will back India against threats on border”. Is this a “Trojan Horse” and repetition of  1813 Charter Act provisions which removed the ban on missionary activity and establishment of a Churches in India. 

President Donald Trump is a strong candidate for White House in the 3 November 2020 presidential elections in the United States. In the last week of June 2020, White House Deputy Press Secretary Ms Sarah Matthews in a statement to media said, "President Trump is incredibly grateful for the widespread support he has received from the people of India and from millions of Indian-Americans across the United States." It is now an open secret that traditionally Indian -America vote is for the Democratic Party but quickly the Indians and Pakistan origin are switching towards Republicans and President Donald Trump. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Trump have understanding the the investments in each other countries and in addition, India has become an important US’ multilateral partner around the world.

To counter, President Trump growing popularity in Pakistan and India, US forthcoming election rival, Joe Biden has played his Indian card to choose Ms Kamala Harris, a Senator having Indian origin background from mother side and married to a Jewish Los Angeles lawyer as his vice President to divide Indian votes. Ms Kamala Harris a fine lady made a good dent in President Trump popularity but not in the minds of those who were already in President Trump’s camp, forming 55% of total Indian-American votes. Other reports say Trump has 50% and not 55%. Interestingly, Joe Biden’s move has been supported by Indian National Congress Party back in India where former President of the Indian National Congress Rahul Gandhi tweeted on 29 April 2020, “I'm dismayed by the "unfollowing" of our President & PM by the White House. I urge the Ministry of External Affairs to take note.” 

Fair and transparent elections are much desired but as thing are being unfolded there are some quite suspicious thing coming up, which no one will like to share at present. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is much upset over nomination of Ms Kamala Harris as she claims to be of Indian origin of Christian-Jewish faith. Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement, “the government would not make any statement on the development, as it could be seen as interference in the US’ internal politics.” If we recall, PM Modi quoted US President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan Abki baar Trump Sarkar” in his speech. New Delhi is worried because Kamala Harris has remained a tough critic of India’s internal policies under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. She was quoted to have repeatedly said, “We’ve to remind the Kashmiris that they’re not alone in the world”. 

Bharatiya Janta Party, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and other like minded groups, in recently different formal and public meetings were much perturbed as President Trump never interfered in their religion and regarded Hinduism as religion of peace but Joe Biden and Ms Kamala Harris were reportedly targeting mass conversions of faith. This might be apprehensions of the Hindu religious groups and common Hindu, who struggled to get rid of European occupation which costed tens of thousand conversions from Hindus to Christianity.  Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam had also tweeted on the announcement, calling it a “moment of pride for Indians, especially for the people of Tamil Nadu”, as Ms. Harris’s mother belonged to Chennai. 

It is on record that after meeting the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi in January 2015, US President Barack Obama urged India not to stray from its constitutional commitment to allow people to freely "profess, practice and propagate" religion. Eric Metaxas in his show recently said that Kamala Harris has “no core values” and is only driven by ambition and power and also said she is an “evil protean figure”. President Trump tweeted last December, “have a Radical Left nonbeliever, who wants to take your religion & your guns, than Donald Trump as your President. No President has done more for the Evangelical community, and it’s not even close. You’ll not get anything from those Dems on stage. I won’t be reading ET again!” One wonders American withdrawal from Afghanistan has already been announced by President Trump but what Joe Biden announcement means about American presence in India, “Will back India against threats on border”.

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WASHINGTON, 16 August 2020, TON: Ms Kamala Harris has been nominated as Joe Biden’s vice-presidential running mate in the upcoming US presidential elections, becoming the first African-Tamil woman to be nominated for national office. New Delhi seems much upset over the nomination of Kamala Harris as Vice President who claims to be of Indian origion of Christain-Jewish faith. In her memoir, Ms Kamala Harris writes how she would visit Tamil Nadu almost every year. Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement, “the government would not make any statement on the development, as it could be seen as interference in the US’s internal politics.” If we recall, PM Modi quoted US President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan “Abki baar Trump sarkar” in his speech. New Dehli is worried because Kamala Harris has remained a tough critic of India’s internal policies under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir. She was quoted to have repeatedly said, “We’ve to remind the Kashmiris that they’re not alone in the world”.

Interestingly, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam had also tweeted on the announcement, calling it a “moment of pride for Indians, especially for the people of Tamil Nadu”, as Ms. Harris’s mother belonged to Chennai. Jamaican Foreign Minister Kamina Smith had wished Ms. Harris on her “historic selection” in a tweet.

Over a century and a quarter ago Swami Vivekananda delivered a speech at the first World’s Parliament of Religions where he said, “ I am proud to belong to a religion which has taught the world both tolerance and universal acceptance. We believe not only in universal toleration, but we accept all religions as true. I am proud to belong to a nation which has sheltered the persecuted and the refugees of all religions and all nations of the earth. I am proud to tell you that we have gathered in our bosom the purest remnant of the Israelites, who came to Southern India and took refuge with us in the very year in which their holy temple was shat­tered to pieces by Roman tyranny”.

Kamala Devi Harris was born on 20 October 1964, and raised in San Francisco’s East Bay where she attended public schools, attended African churches and lived in predominantly African American communities. She is also married to Jewish Los Angeles lawyer Douglas Emhoff.

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WASHINGTON, 28 July 2020, TON:  The United States has doubled its allocation to American firm Moderna, around US $1 billion to expedite development of a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The final stage of clinical trials has already started from Monday.

The Moderna biotechnology company has confirmed about the latest development on Monday. Moderna representative said that in the Phase clinical trial of a potential vaccine is to include 30,000 participants who will be given a 100-microgram dose of the vaccine, while the rest will be given a placebo.

Moderna, which has been working with US health authorities, said it expects to be able to produce 500 million doses a year -- and potentially up to 1 billion -- starting in 2021.

Meanwhile, last week, the American-German BioNTech/Pfizer pharmaceutical alliance announced that the US government had committed $1.95 billion to procure 100 million doses of its eventual vaccine.

 

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WASHINGTON, 20 July 2020, TON: The Trump administration has warned that he wants fair and transparent upcoming White House election and the acceptance of the results would depend on transparency. He said, faked results are being aired just like these were done in 2016. He said, “First of all, I’m not losing because those are fake polls. He added, “They were fake in 2016 and now they’re even more fake.”

President Trump has rightly contended that a series of polls that show his popularity eroding and Biden holding an advantage are faulty. The fact cannot be denied that major media house intentionally did not air views of Republican voters and were underrepresented in such surveys.

As per the Trump followers and the many American taxpayers, beside Trump own dynamic leadership qualities, he is surrounded by experienced and effective leaders to guide his decisions.  They were of the opinion that Trump is likely to win the elections this time too.

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Biden says "Note my words" Trump will try to delay the vote in November. Trump has called it "make-up propaganda."

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WASHINGTON, 28 April 2020, TON: US military delegation as a part of the Pentagon’s military engagement strategy on Tuesday, met an Afghan faction known as Afghan Taliban leaders in Doha in an undisclosed location. The visit was aimed to “Reduce Violence”. Spokesman for the US military, Sonny Leggett could not be approached for comments. If we recall, NATO commander of US origin in Afghanistan, Austin Miller met with representatives of Afghan faction Taliban’s political office in Doha on 10 April, to discuss the reduction of violence. 

In the past Afghan Taliban published video footage claiming to show a house bombarded by US forces in Badakhshan Province on 10 April. Its authenticity could not be independently verified at that time but after the publication of report by UN Secretary General's special representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA the report supports Taliban claims. The UN Report says that during timeframe; 1st January and 31st March 2020, Afghan government forces and international troops caused more child casualties than anti-government armed groups.

 

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WASHINGTON, 27 April 2020, TON: The US Army has moved its combatants for a news role to confront threats in the Sahel. In the recent decision from Pentagon, the US personnel and helicopters available for casualty evacuation flights and medical aid in Africa would end mission. But this withdrawal would be redeployed in Sahel region including Niger to join local combat forces to defeat rebels. According to a report US has deployed Bell 214ST and H225 Super Puma helicopters for new joint combat role with the regional forces in Niger.

If we recall back in 2017, the US forces carried out similar operations against Boko Haram.  US Commander in Niger claimed that their fight is against mix of Islamic State and Al Qaida fighters in tri-border region of Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

The decision was taken after last month Diffa Operation on border with Nigeria in which a number of residents in the border area were killed on the suspicion of links with extremists. 

 

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Donald Trump tweet on Wednesday that called on US Navy " If Iranian gunboats harass us then we're gonna destroy their ships".

 The U.S. Navy says an Iranian gunboat with High Speed Crossed front of a US Coast Guard cutter.

 

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WASHINGTON, 4 April 2020, TON: The United States of America has agreed in principle to relax sanctions imposed on Iran to allow the country fight COVID-19 related import, said a Pentagon official on the condition of anonymity. It may come as surprise but independent reports speaks that Washington has already provided aid and material to Iran to fight Corona virus.

The senior official having remained deployed in Baghdad, Iraq said Pentagon feels that it is time to engage Tehran if it agrees to new terms and conditions.

US sanctions has disallowed world’s companies and individuals from carrying out even lawful trade with Iranian companies. Reportedly, China and Moscow are supplying medicine to Iran.

In the past, President Donald Trump administration’s refused to halt its economic war on Iran saying it is against US’s national interests.

 

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KARACHI, 3 April 2020, TON: US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice Wells said, “We welcome Pakistan’s decision to appeal the verdict,” after the Home Department of Pakistan’s Sindh Province issued an order against Sindh High Court’s decision that Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh will remain at least for another 90 days on the grounds of “public safety.” Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh was acquitted from the charges of murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002.

The ruling came on 3 April 2020, a day after the High Court of Sindh Province overturned conviction of death sentence on the grounds of Daniel Pearl ‘s murder due to lack of evidence. Criticizing the High Court’s decision, Alice Wells on 2 April said, "The overturning of the convictions for Daniel Pearl's murder is an affront to victims of terrorism everywhere." 

The order said, “The government of Sindh has sufficient reason that Ahmed Omar Sheikh and Fahad Nasim Ahmed, Syed Salman Saqib, Sheikh Muhammad Adil be arrested and detained for a period of three months from the date of arrest (April 2, 2020).” It is important to mention here that the latest High Court decision awarded the accused 7 years imprisonment, however, all the accused, especially Ahmed Omar Sheikh is in prison since 20022 and has already spent 18 years in prison.

Defense lawyer Khawja Naveed said that decision of the Court in converting death sentence for murder to seven years in prison for kidnapping has been viewed by international media-freedom watchdogs as a "denial of justice."

The provincial Prosecutor-General, Faiz Shah said that he intended to appeal the ruling, however, under Article 185 of Constitution of Pakistan, Sindh Government has no right to file an appeal exercising Appellate Jurisdiction of Supreme Court unless leave to appeal is filed as the decision of Sindh High Court has neither reversed an order of acquittal of  accused persons and sentenced him to death or to transportation for life or imprisonment for life nor the revision has enhanced a sentence.

It is important to recall, in January 2011, a report released by the Pearl Project at Georgetown University following an investigation into his death claimed that the wrong men were convicted for Pearl's murder.

 

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