Wednesday, January 20, 2021


Rapper Raja Kumari happy to represent India at Biden's inaugural galas

NEW DELHI: Grammy-nominated Indian-American rapper Raja Kumari feels proud to represent India at the the AAPI Inaugural Ball: Breaking Barriers, and says she is looking forward to a less divided, more united America.

'Letters to Kamala' pour in, Harris says they 'fuel' her with hope

NEW YORK: "I have been waiting for a girl vice president since...forever," girl scout Amelia Phillips tells Kamala Harris, in a handwritten note. Another child has drawn a dog, in red ink, "to keep you company", yet another has sketched Harris standing in front of the Capitol, the scene of the deadly attack by a pro-Trump mob on January 6.

Blinken indicates US to continue backing India against China incursions

NEW YORK: Anthony Blinken, who is President-elect Joe Biden's nominee to be the secretary of state has indicated that the US would continue to back India against challenges to its sovereignty from China and work with it in the fight against terrorism.

No US administration can ignore Pakistan: FM Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Ahead of a change in the US administration, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that the country cannot be ignored and strongly believes that no administration can ignore the country.

Joe Biden's to-do list on Day One of Presidency

NEW YORK: Day One of Joe Biden's presidency will kick off with a rash of executive orders. Covid-19 will overshadow everything else for the first 100 days but subsumed within will be efforts to push forward quick fixes on immigration, healthcare and a battered economy.

Hong Kong's unemployment rate hits 16-yr high

HONG-KONG: Hong Kong's unemployment rate hit a 16-year high in the period between October-December 2020 as the fourth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic further compounded the city's labour market situation, official data revealed on Tuesday.

In saga of immigration, Indians travel from exclusion to Vice Presidency

NEW YORK: The first Indian recorded to have reached the shores of the US is a man from Madras (now Chennai), the area from where the family of Shyamala Gopalan, mother of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, hails.

Biden spokesperson dismisses Trump's plan to lift travel curbs

WASHINGTON: US President-elect Joe Biden's spokesperson has dismissed outgoing President Donald Trump's plan to lift travel restrictions on much of Europe and Brazil starting from January 26.

Pak Army recovers American mountaineer's body near K2

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army has recovered the body of an American climber near K2, the second highest peak of the world, making the second death of a foreign mountaineer in the area in less than a week, the media reported on Tuesday.

Afghan President, NATO chief discuss peace talks

KABUL: Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a phone conversation during which they discussed the peace talks between the Kabul government and the Taliban, an official statement said here on Tuesday.

India conquer Gabba fortress, clinch Border-Gavaskar Trophy

BRISBANE: "I think a drawn series will be worse than the loss a couple of years ago," former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said on Monday. However, the Indian team on Tuesday went one step further as they came out with one of the best Day Five batting performances to beat Australia by three wickets in the fourth and final Test at The Gabba, thereby winning the four-match Border-Gavaskar series 2-1.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate ahead of inauguration

WASHINGTON:  Ahead of her inauguration as the 49th Vice President of the US on Wednesday, Kamala Harris has formally resigned from the Senate.

Woman trying to 'sell Pelosi's laptop to Russians' arrested

WASHINGTON: A woman who according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) stole House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's laptop during the January 6 Capitol riots and tried to sell it to Russians, has been arrested.

Fearful Washington hunkers down; fire disrupts inauguration rehearsal

NEW YORK: The Capitol area of Washington hunkering down under a pall of fear was put in a lockdown on Monday when a fire broke out in a camp of homeless people near the site of Wednesday's inauguration of Joe Biden as president and Kamala Harris as vice president.

Canada to lift Boeing 737 MAX flight ban

OTTAWA: The Canadian government has decided to allow the globally grounded Boeing 737 MAX aircraft fleet to fly again in the country's airspace starting from Wednesday, the Transport Ministry announced in a statement.

Kamala Harris resigns from Senate ahead of inauguration

WASHINGTON: Ahead of her inauguration as the 49th Vice President of the US on Wednesday, Kamala Harris has formally resigned from the Senate.
After she takes over as Vice President, Harris will preside over the upper chamber of Congress, Xinhua news agency.

Afghan-Taliban negotiators meet after delay

KABUL: Negotiators representing the Afghan government and the Taliban militant group met in Doha and discussed the agenda of the second round of peace talks, a top official said.

Lahore police launches probe into '279 unnatural deaths'

LAHORE: Police in Lahore have launched an investigation into "279 unnatural deaths" in 2020, a first-of-its-kind initiative, a media report said on Monday.
The Dawn news report said "the police have shifted the pending inquiries into 279 unnatural deaths from operations wing to the investigation".

Stranded crew of seized PIA plane to return

ISLAMABAD: Eighteen crew members of a Pakistan International Airlines flight which was seized by Malaysian authorities over the non-payment of aircraft lease dues, are expected to arrive in Islamabad on Monday, a media report said.

PETA India organises vegan celebration in Kamala Harris' ancestral village

CHENNAI: Residents of Thulasendrapuram village in Tamil Nadu are enjoying a vegan celebration ahead of Kamala Harris' inauguration as the next US Vice President on Wednesday.

Profile: Biden elected to heal nation tortured by great divide

NEW YORK: Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr, becomes the American President after being elected as the last hope of his Democratic Party to lead and heal the nation tortured by the great ideological divide with his reconciliatory touch.

Australia unlikely to fully re-open borders in 2021

CANBERRA: Brendan Murphy, Secretary of the Australian Department of Health, revealed on Monday that it was unlikely that the country's borders will fully re-open in 2021.

Trump joins tiny club of Inauguration Day absentees

NEW YORK: Outgoing US President Donald Trump joins a select club of American Presidents who will sit out their successors inauguration but within that cohort, he will be alone in his attempt to incite a violent mob to storm the US Capitol and the only American President ever to be impeached twice.
Back in 1801, John Adams boarded a stagecoach and rode out of Washington, D.C. hours before Thomas Jefferson was to be sworn in as the country's third president. Adams did not attend.

Virgin Orbit's rocket deploys 10 NASA payloads via air launch

SAN FRANCISCO: In a historic feat challenging SpaceX CEO Elon Musk, Virgin Orbit which is the sister company of billionaire Sir Richard Branson's space tourism outfit Virgin Galactic, on Monday successfully sent its LauncherOne rocket into space via air launch, and not through a traditional one from a launch pad on Earth.

Chinese mainland reports 109 Covid-19 cases

BEIJING: The Chinese mainland has reported 109 new confirmed Covid-19 cases, of which 93 were locally transmitted and 16 arrived from outside the mainland, the National Health Commission said on Monday.

Biden names Indian-American Uzra Zeya as Under Secy at State Dept

WASHINGTON: US President-elect Joe Biden has named Uzra Zeya, an Indian-American diplomat who quit her State Department job in protest against the outgoing administration's alleged racial and sexist bias, as his Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights.

2 IS militants killed, 6 arrested in Iraq

BAGHDAD: Iraqi security forces killed two Islamic State (IS) terrorists and arrested six others from across the country, the military said.
An army force, backed by Iraqi aircraft, attacked an IS hideout near the town of al-Garma in Fallujah, some 50 km west of the capital Baghdad, leaving two IS militants dead, Xinhua news agency quoted commander of Anbar's Operations Command Nasir al-Ghannam as saying in a statement on Saturday.

UK invites PM Modi for G7 summit

NEW DELHI/LONDON: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited by his UK counterpart Boris Johnson to attend the G7 summit in the UK as a guest in June this year.

The Turbulent Presidency: 13 books on the Trump era

NEW DELHI: Donald Trump began and served his term as US President amid controversy, polarisation and general ignorance. He is set to leave office under the shadow of an unprecedented second impeachment, with the country reeling under a devastating pandemic, its society bitterly divided and its international credibility at its lowest ebb. What do we make of it?

Biden releases plan for first 10 days to 'unTrump' US

NEW YORK: US President-elect Joe Biden has announced a masterplan for his first 10 days in office to "un-Trump" the country and focus on the battle against Covid-19, the economy and immigration.

Kamala's Way' charts an engaging journey from California to Washington

NEW DELHI: Just how did the daughter of two immigrants in segregated California became one of this countrys most effective power players? Through the human touch, by turning defeat into victory and most of all, by doing things her way, a timely biography of Kamala Harris, the US Vice President-elect says.

Facebook bans ads for weapon accessories before Biden event

SAN FRANCISCO: Facebook has announced to ban ads that promote weapon accessories and protective equipment in the US at least through January 22, as the country prepares for the Inauguration Day on January 20.

Bill Gates is America's biggest farmland owner

SAN FRANCISCO:  Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates owns the largest chunk of private farmland in the US across 18 states, a new report has revealed. Bill and Melinda Gates amassed 242,000 acres of land in the US, with the largest holdings in Louisiana (69,071 acres), Arkansas (47,927 acres) and Nebraska (20,588 acres), according to The Land report.

China slams US media silence over Pfizer vax deaths in Norway

NEW DELHI: China has slammed the US media for its silence over the deaths of 23 Norwegian elderly patients who were vaccinated with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Twenty-three elderly Norwegian people died after receiving Pfizer vaccines and the country has launched a detailed investigation into the fatalities that have shocked the world.

India offers disaster relief training, capacity building to Nepal

NEW DELHI: India is ready to provide humanitarian assistance and disaster relief training and capacity building to Nepal as both countries make attempts to improve strained bilateral relations.

Man asks Trump for pardon after storming Capitol

WASHINGTON: A man who had his face painted blue and red and donned a fur hat with horns while storming the US Capitol building in Washington D.C. on January 6, has asked outgoing President Donald Trump to pardon him.

Pak schools to reopen from Jan 18

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood on Friday confirmed that grades 9-12 will resume from January 18 as planned, while primary classes will reopen nationwide from February 1.

Pakistan International Airlines plane seized in Malaysia

ISLAMABAD: Malaysian authorities on Friday seized a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane at the Kuala Lumpur Airport over the non-payment of aircraft lease dues, a media report said.

New Mexico declares state of emergency due to riot threat

SANTE FE: Michelle Lujan Grisham, Governor of the US state of New Mexico, has declared a state of emergency due to the ongoing and pervasive threat of riots and insurrection in the wake of the January 6 Capitol violence in Washington D.C., a local media report said.

35 killed in massive Indonesia earthquake

JAKARTA: At least 35 people were killed after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake rocked Indonesia's West Sulawesi province on Friday, the National Disaster Management Agency said.
Nine people died in Majene district, and 26 others in Mamuju district, bringing the total death toll to 35," said the West Sulawesi Provincial Disaster Management Agency's head Darno Majid.