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At UN, India vows to help produce virus vaccine for world

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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi pledged to help the world produce and deliver potential coronavirus vaccines while making no mention Saturday of the heavy toll the pandemic has taken on his own country, where the enormous population has suffered among the highest numbers of cases and deaths in the world. Modi's remarks to the U.N. General Assembly — pre-recorded because the gathering is virtual this year — also said nothing about growing tensions with neighboring Pakistan, whose prime minister, Imran Khan, devoted much of his speech Friday to assailing India, leading to a sharp exchange between the two countries' diplomats in the Assembly hall.


Source: news.yahoo.com

Reporter lost International Women of Courage award for criticising Trump

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* Jessikka Aro was to receive recognition in March 2019 * Senator says administration ‘sought to stifle dissent’The US state department “owes an apology” to a Finnish journalist who saw the International Women of Courage Award, bestowed in part for her work on Russia, taken away because she criticised Donald Trump on social media, a prominent senator said.“Secretary [of state Mike] Pompeo should have honored a courageous journalist willing to stand up to Kremlin propaganda,” said Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, about Jessikka Aro, an investigative reporter.“Instead, his department sought to stifle dissent to avoid upsetting a president who, day after day, tries to take pages out of [Vladimir] Putin’s playbook. The state department owes Ms Aro an apology.”Aro was due to receive the award in March 2019. Rescinding it, the state department insisted she had not been a finalist and blamed the confusion on a “regrettable error”.But Foreign Policy magazine reported that Aro was punished “after US officials went through [her] social media posts and found she had also frequently criticized President Donald Trump”.Menendez said the posts concerned “President Trump’s ‘fake news’ attacks on the media”. In one tweet, Aro said Trump and Putin’s summit in Helsinki in July 2018 meant “Finnish people can protest them both. Sweet”.On Friday, the state department Office of the Inspector General confirmed criticism of Trump caused Aro to lose the award.CNN quoted its report as saying: “Every person interviewed in connection with this matter acknowledged that had [the Office of Global Women’s Issues] not highlighted her social media posts as problematic, Ms Aro would have received the IWOC award.”According to the OIG, ambassador to Finland Robert Pence said that “although he appreciated Ms Aro’s work, the risk of embarrassment to the first lady [Melania Trump] and the department was too great to have her appear on stage at the awards ceremony.”In March last year, the ambassador, a Republican donor not related to vice-president Mike Pence, told the Senate committee he had not been “worried” by Aro’s posts. The then acting director of the Office of Global Women’s Issues said the posts had “not really” caused the withdrawal of the award.Menendez condemned the Trump administration for “misleading the public and Congress”.The state department did not immediately apologise.Aro told CNN: “In my heart I feel like an international woman of courage. That the Trump administration can’t take away from me.”


US colleges struggle to salvage semester amid outbreaks

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Colleges across the country are struggling to salvage the fall semester amid skyrocketing coronavirus cases, entire dorm complexes and frat houses under quarantine, and flaring tensions with local community leaders over the spread of the disease. Institutions across the nation saw spikes of thousands of cases days after opening their doors in the last month, driven by students socializing with little or no social distancing. School and community leaders have tried to rein in the virus by closing bars, suspending students, adding mask requirements, and toggling between in-person and online instruction as case numbers rise and fall.


Tags: Students, USA
Source: news.yahoo.com

Boris Johnson urges world leaders to unite against COVID-19.

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Saturday that the coronavirus pandemic has frayed the bonds between nations, and urged world leaders to unite against the “common foe” of COVID-19. Johnson, who made the remarks in a prerecorded speech to the United Nations General Assembly, said that, nine months into the pandemic, “the very notion of the international community looks tattered.” Johnson set out a plan for preventing another global pandemic, including a network of zoonotic research labs around the world to identify dangerous pathogens before they leap from animals to humans.


Source: news.yahoo.com

EU crisis: Germany and France risk euro meltdown with 'unsustainable' bailout demands

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THE EU could be on the brink of a major political and financial crisis for many members, according to a Brexit expert who revealed the options for the economic bloc to go with to avoid "massive financial consequences".

Source: feedproxy.google.com

Brink of war: China puts world on alert over Taiwan threats - 'Five minutes to midnight'

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BEIJING'S pathological fear and hatred for even "piecemeal democratisation" in its sphere of influence may "set the entire region on fire" with an attack on the democratic island of Taiwan being its first priority, according to an academic.

Source: feedproxy.google.com

Paris knifeman stabs two near Charlie Hebdo

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TERROR returned to the streets of Paris yesterday when two journalists were stabbed near the former offices of satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

Source: feedproxy.google.com

North Korea plot: Kim Jong-un's real motives for rare apology exposed

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KIM Jong un's rushed apology for the shooting of a South Korean official was strategically calculated, according to analysts.

Source: feedproxy.google.com

Gibraltar showdown: Royal Navy challenges ship as it steams into British waters

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THE Royal Navy has challenged a Spanish vessel after it strayed into British waters in the latest in a series of recent encroachments in around Gibraltar.

Tags: SPA
Source: feedproxy.google.com

The Quiet 2013 Lunch That Could Have Altered Supreme Court History

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When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined President Barack Obama for lunch in his private dining room in July 2013, the White House sought to keep the event quiet -- the meeting called for discretion.Obama had asked his White House counsel, Kathryn Ruemmler, to set up the lunch so he could build a closer rapport with the justice, according to two people briefed on the conversation. Treading cautiously, he did not directly bring up the subject of retirement to Ginsburg, at 80 the Supreme Court's oldest member and a two-time cancer patient.He did, however, raise the looming 2014 midterm elections and how Democrats might lose control of the Senate. Implicit in that conversation was the concern motivating his lunch invitation -- the possibility that if the Senate flipped, he would lose a chance to appoint a younger, liberal judge who could hold on to the seat for decades.But the effort did not work, just as an earlier attempt by Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., who was then Judiciary Committee chair, had failed. Ginsburg left Obama with the clear impression that she was committed to continuing her work on the court, according to those briefed.In an interview a year later, Ginsburg deflected questions about the purpose of the lunch. Pressed on what Obama might think about her potential retirement, she said only, "I think he would agree with me that it's a question for my own good judgment."With Ginsburg's death last week, Democrats are in a major political battle, as Republicans race to fill her seat and cement the court's conservative tilt.Obama clearly felt compelled to try to avoid just such a scenario, but the art of maneuvering justices off the court is politically delicate and psychologically complicated. They have lifetime appointments and enjoy tremendous power and status, which can be difficult to give up.Still, presidents throughout American history have strategized to influence the timing of justices' exits to suit various White House priorities.President Donald Trump's first White House counsel, Donald McGahn II, the primary architect of the administration's success in reshaping the judiciary, helped ease the way for Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement in 2018, which allowed Trump and a Republican-controlled Senate to lock down his seat for another generation.McGahn sought to make the justice comfortable with the process by which a successor would be chosen, according to people briefed on their conversations, by seeking his advice on potential picks for lower-court vacancies and recommending that Trump nominate one of his former clerks, Neil Gorsuch, to fill an earlier vacancy. (Brett Kavanaugh, who McGahn recommended to fill Kennedy's seat, was also one of his clerks.)Justices, however, often bristle at any impingement of politics or other pressures in their realm. Robert Bauer, who served as Obama's White House counsel for part of his first term, said he recalled no discussions then of having Obama try to nudge Ginsburg to step aside. Bauer said asking a judge -- any judge -- to retire was hypersensitive, recalling how in 2005 he wrote an opinion column calling for Congress to impose judicial term limits and require cameras in the courtroom, only to have Justice Sandra Day O'Connor blast his column in a speech on threats to judicial independence."The O'Connor episode reflects the sensitivity that justices can exhibit toward pressure from the outside about how the court runs," Bauer said, including showing "resistance to any questions about how long they serve." He added: "White Houses are typically mindful of all this."Resistance aside, Democrats outside the White House also strategized about how to raise the topic of retirement with Ginsburg. Several senior White House staff members say they heard word that Leahy had gingerly approached the subject with her several years before the Obama lunch.He was then chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which oversees Supreme Court nominations; he also had a warm relationship with Ginsburg, a bond forged over their shared enjoyment of opera and visits to the Kennedy Center. Asked through a spokesman for comment, Leahy did not respond.One of the former Obama administration staff members who heard discussion of the roundabout outreach by Leahy was Rob Nabors, who served in a series of White House policy and legislative affairs positions under Obama from 2009 to 2014. But Nabors said he recalled hearing that "it wasn't clear that the message was entirely transmitted effectively, or that it was received in the manner it was delivered."While Obama's own talk with the justice was tactful, changing conditions should have made his implicit agenda clear, according to the two people briefed about the meeting, who spoke only on condition of anonymity given the sensitivity of the topic. Democrats were worried about the prospect of losing the Senate. And the president had invited no other justices to lunch.But the failure of that conversation convinced the Obama team that it was pointless to try to talk to her of departure. The next summer, when another Supreme Court term closed without a retirement announcement from her, the administration did not try again.Neil Eggleston, who became White House counsel in April 2014, said that he did not remember anyone proposing that another attempt to ease Ginsburg toward resignation would do any good."I think it is largely not done," he said. "Suggesting that to a Supreme Court justice -- she is as smart as anyone; she doesn't need the president to tell her how old she is and what her timelines are."Given his previous tenure as chief counsel to the Judiciary Committee, Justice Stephen Breyer might have been a more pragmatic target of overtures. Walter Dellinger, a former solicitor general, mentioned to the White House counsel's office during the Obama administration a plan he conceived to motivate Breyer, a known Francophile, to start a next chapter."My suggestion was that the president have Breyer to lunch and say to him, 'I believe historians will someday say the three greatest American ambassadors to France were Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and Stephen G. Breyer,'" recalled Dellinger, who recently joined former Vice President Joe Biden's campaign team.Although it is not clear how, word of Dellinger's idea made its way to Breyer.Dellinger said that when he ran into Breyer at a holiday party not long after Trump was elected, the justice pulled him aside. "So Walter," he asked, "do you still want to ship me off to France?" Dellinger, who sensed the justice was ribbing him, responded, "Mr. Justice, I hear Paris isn't what it used to be."Dellinger added that he now thought Breyer was correct to resist the idea, saying "he has made a tremendous contribution in the ensuing years." Breyer's office declined to comment.In making that suggestion to lure Breyer with an ambassador position, Dellinger was harking back to similar ideas from Lyndon B. Johnson, a master strategist. Johnson lured Justice Arthur Goldberg, who he wanted to replace with his friend Abe Fortas, off the court by offering him the role of ambassador to the United Nations, saying that he would have tremendous power in negotiating the end of the Vietnam War.Goldberg never did have that authority and regretted his decision. "I asked Goldberg, why did you leave the bench?" said Laura Kalman, professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He answered her in one word: "Vanity."Johnson also played on the paternal pride of the Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark, by appointing his son, Ramsey Clark, attorney general in March 1967. Johnson, who wanted to replace Clark with Thurgood Marshall, played up the notion that his continued presence on the court while his son ran the Justice Department created a conflict of interest, and Clark stepped down that June.But presidents cannot force justices to leave the court. Franklin Roosevelt floated a plan to "pack" the court by expanding the number of justices in frustration because aging conservatives kept striking down his "New Deal" programs. President William Taft could not push out Justice Melville Fuller, whom he deemed senile after the justice bungled Taft's swearing-in, biographer David Atkinson wrote; Taft had to wait until Fuller died of a heart attack a year later. (In a book about Taft, Henry Pringle wrote "the old men of the court seldom died and never retired.")Democratic leaders had precious few cards they could have played as they contemplated their options with Ginsburg. She made it clear in several interviews that she had no intention to retire; widowed in 2010, she was devoted to her work, determined to have a voice and appreciated the platform her celebrity offered her as an icon liberals liked to call the "Notorious RBG."She was clearly annoyed at any public suggestions that she step down. In 2014, Erwin Chemerinsky, now dean of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote articles, appearing in The Los Angeles Times and Politico, declaring that for the long-term good of progressive values, Ginsburg should step aside to make way for a younger Obama appointee."It was certainly conveyed to me that she was not pleased with those who were suggesting that she retire," Chemerinsky said.Randall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School, had also written a column in 2011 in The New Republic calling for Ginsburg and Breyer to step down immediately, suggesting that they should not stay on the court so long that they risked conservatives inheriting their seats."I didn't feel at all apologetic about saying something which frankly seemed to me quite clear," Kennedy said. "I've been praying -- praying -- that I'd be able to look back and say I was wrong. It didn't turn out that way."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company


Tiny airborne particles may pose a big coronavirus problem

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At a University of Maryland lab, people infected with the new coronavirus take turns sitting in a chair and putting their faces into the big end of a large cone. It's part of a device called “Gesundheit II” that is helping scientists study a big question: Just how does the virus that causes COVID-19 spread from one person to another? It clearly hitchhikes on small liquid particles sprayed out by an infected person.


Source: news.yahoo.com

South suggests unprecedented joint probe with North Korea into official's death

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"We have decided to make the request to North Korea to conduct additional investigations and also request for a joint-investigation," South Korea said.


Source: news.yahoo.com

In leaders' UN videos, the backgrounds tell stories, too

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Chinese President Xi Jinping urged the world to “reject attempts to build blocks to keep others out” as an image of his country’s storied Great Wall hung behind him. Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte used photos and videos to illustrate what he was talking about. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison shared his policy views — and his scenic view of Sydney Harbor.


Source: news.yahoo.com

In Breonna Taylor's name: Devastation and a search for hope

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Chea Woolfolk searched the crowd until she found the face of the woman she’d come to regard as a second mother. Looking into Mama Rose’s eyes, Woolfolk could see that her heart was breaking. Mama Rose has been the matriarch of “Injustice Square,” a block downtown that protesters, many of them Black women, have occupied for 120 days.


Tags: Women
Source: news.yahoo.com

Early vote shows signs of Black voters' shift to mail voting

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Shirley Dixon-Mosley had never sent a ballot through the mail. “I want to make sure my vote got in and it counted,” said the 75-year-old retired teacher's aide in Charlotte, North Carolina. Black voters are among the least likely to vote by mail nationally, but there are early signs they are changing their behavior as the shadow of the coronavirus hangs over the presidential race.


Source: news.yahoo.com

AP FACT CHECK: Trump's wrongs on court, virus; Biden errs

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In a momentous week, President Donald Trump painted a fantastical portrait of a coronavirus that affects “virtually nobody” among the young as he faced a grim U.S. milestone of 200,000 deaths and he asserted a constitutional basis that doesn't exist for rushing a replacement for the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg over her dying wishes. As Americans absorbed news of a grand jury decision not to prosecute Kentucky police officers for killing Breonna Taylor, Trump's campaign pointed to purported economic progress for Blacks under his administration that didn't tell the full story.


Source: news.yahoo.com

Coronavirus wedding crackdown: Police shut down PACKED reception after rules broken

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POLICE dispersed a wedding reception in Swansea after discovering a private function in a restaurant that was "crammed with people".

Source: feedproxy.google.com

Ukraine plane crash death toll rises to 26, with 1 survivor

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Searchers combing the area where a Ukrainian military aircraft crashed found two more bodies on Saturday, bringing the death toll to 26. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy declared Saturday to be a day of mourning for the crash victims and ordered that flights of An-26 planes be halted pending investigation of the crash cause. Zelenskiy, who visited the crash area on Saturday, called for a full assessment of the condition of the country’s military equipment and said he wanted an official report on the crash by Oct. 25.


Source: news.yahoo.com

Donald Trump to WIN 2020 election if coronavirus vaccine push successful expert says

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DONALD TRUMP is set to win if his push to fast-track a coronavirus vaccine proves successful, the director of the Democracy Institute has said.

Source: feedproxy.google.com

Lebanese prime minister-designate steps down amid impasse

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Lebanon’s prime minister-designate resigned Saturday amid a political impasse over government formation, dealing a blow to French President Emmanuel Macron’s efforts to break a dangerous stalemate in the crisis-hit country. The announcement by Moustapha Adib nearly a month after he was appointed to the job further delays the prospect of getting the foreign economic assistance needed to rescue the country from collapse. Adib told reporters he was stepping down after it became clear that the kind of Cabinet he wished to form was “bound to fail.”


Source: news.yahoo.com

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WHO warns two million virus deaths possible as Europe clamps down

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The World Health Organization warned Friday that coronavirus deaths could more than double to two million if infection-fighting measures are not kept up, as Europe tightened the screws faced with mounting cases and the US crossed another bleak milestone. Global deaths had reached 985,707 according to an AFP tally around 1800 GMT Friday, from more than 32.3 million cases. The hardest-hit US crossed seven million cases — more than a fifth of the global total despite accounting for only four percent of the world population. “One million is a terrible number and we need to reflect on that before we start considering a second million,” the WHO’s emergencies director...

Tags: EU, GM
Source: article.wn.com

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