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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Category: Trending

Ethiopia’s Escalating Military Offensive Raises Specter of Civil War

Ethiopia is widening a military offensive against the restive regional government of Tigray and arresting thousands across the country, dashing hopes of a quick, negotiated end to the conflict and feeding fears of a full-blown civil war. More than 500 Ethiopians have been killed in fighting across the northern Tigray province in recent days, according to state television,…

Ethiopia is widening a military offensive against the restive regional government of Tigray and arresting thousands across the country, dashing hopes of a quick, negotiated end to the conflict and feeding fears of a full-blown civil war.

More than 500 Ethiopians have been killed in fighting across the northern Tigray province in recent days, according to state television, while some 11,000 people have fled into Sudan, where authorities are making provisions for 100,000, according to the United Nations. Amid intensifying bombardment…

The stock-market index of small caps just notched its first record close since 2018 as vaccine hope fuels buying

The small-capitalization Russell 2000 index RUT, +2.08% just logged its first closing high in over two years, boosted by the prospects of a remedies and cures for the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that has hobbled economies and disproportionately hurt smaller companies, compared against their large-cap peers. The Russell 2000 index finished the week up over 2% on Friday, helping it score a 6.1% weekly gain, far outstripping the return for its large-cap counterparts. The S&P 500 index SPX, +1.36%, which also ended Friday the session at a record close, its first since Sept 2, booked a weekly advance of 2.2% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.37% finished with a weekly gain of 4.1%, by comparison. The last time the Russell 2000 index scored an all-time closing high was August 2018 and the last time the S&P 500 and the small-cap Russell 2000 finished at records on the same day was also 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data. The moves for stocks this week were aided by a report by Pfizer PFE, +2.85% and its German partner BioNTech BNTX, +4.30% on Monday, which indicated that a coronavirus experimental vaccine was 90% effective, sparking hope that cures and remedies for the deadly illness may be in the offing as a resurgence of the virus is at hand.

Officials condemn Trump’s false claims and say election ‘most secure in US history’

According to the Guardian Newspaper, The presidential election was the “most secure in American history” with no evidence that votes were compromised or altered, a coalition of federal and state officials has said, offering the clearest repudiation yet of Donald Trump’s false claims of fraud.

The statement backed repeated assurances by experts and state officials that, despite the coronavirus pandemic and record numbers of voters, the election went smoothly without irregularities.

Yet almost a week after Democrat Joe Biden was declared the winner, Trump continues to refuse to accept defeat and to hamper an orderly transition of power. In a newspaper interview on Friday, he insisted without evidence that the election was stolen from him and that his quixotic legal challenges will succeed.

The latest blow to his case from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, which led federal election protection efforts. “While we know there are many unfounded claims and opportunities for misinformation about the process of our elections, we can assure you we have the utmost confidence in the security and integrity of our elections, and you should too,” it said.

“When you have questions, turn to elections officials as trusted voices as they administer elections.”

The statement was tweeted by Chris Krebs, the agency’s director, who just hours earlier had been the subject of a media report that said he had told associates he expects to be fired by Trump.

Krebs has been vocal on Twitter in repeatedly reassuring Americans that the election was secure and that their votes would be counted. “America, we have confidence in the security of your vote, you should, too,” he wrote.

The officials who signed the statement said they had no evidence that any voting system had deleted or lost votes, had changed votes, or was in any way compromised.

They said all the states with close results have paper records, which allows for the recounting of each ballot, if necessary, and for “the identification and correction of any mistakes or errors”.

“The election was the most secure in American history. Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalising the result,” the statement added.

The message delivers a fresh blow to the credibility of Trump’s unsubstantiated claims of fraud and widespread problems that he insists could yet tip the election in his favour.

His campaign have seized on issues that are typical in every election: problems with signatures, secrecy envelopes and postmarks on mail-in ballots, as well as the potential for a small number of ballots miscast or lost. With Biden leading Trump by wide margins in battleground states, none of these would have any impact on the outcome.

Trump’s campaign has also launched legal challenges complaining that their poll watchers were unable to scrutinise the voting process. Many of those challenges have been thrown out by judges, some within hours of being filed. Again, none of the complaints showed any evidence that the outcome of the election was affected.

In a further sign that Trump’s “legal strategy” is unravelling, the law firm Porter Wright Morris & Arthur withdrew from a case in Pennsylvania that challenged nearly 2.65m votes that were cast by mail, the majority by Democrats. It said in a memo: “Plaintiffs and Porter Wright have reached a mutual agreement that plaintiffs will be best served if Porter Wright withdraws,” but did not offer further explanation.

Yet even as he suffers loss after loss in court, the president remains defiant and in denial. He gave the Washington Examiner newspaper a state-by-state breakdown of how he thinks Biden’s victory can be overturned.

The Examiner reported: “At one point in the conversation, the president seemed to consider and then quickly reject the idea of losing. ‘I’m a guy who realizes – five days ago, I thought, “Maybe,”’ he said, pausing for just a second. ‘But, now I see evidence, and we have hundreds of affidavits,’ referring to the testimonials included in his lawsuits.”

The president continued to push the baseless allegations on Friday. He tweeted: “For years the Dems have been preaching how unsafe and rigged our elections have been. Now they are saying what a wonderful job the Trump Administration did in making 2020 the most secure election ever. Actually this is true, except for what the Democrats did. Rigged Election!”

The Trump administration’s unwillingness to comply with a presidential transition has raised national security concerns. Some Republicans have called for Biden to have access to classified intelligence briefings, but the majority of Republican officials still refuse to publicly accept the former vice president’s victory.

Kevin McCarthy, the Republican minority leader in the House of Representatives, argued on Thursday that Biden does not need intelligence briefings because Trump might remain president in the new year . “He’s not president right now, don’t know if he will be January 20, but whoever is will get the information,” he told reporters.

The resistance is complicating Biden’s effort to lead a smooth transition to the January inauguration, keeping him from the funding and agency resources typically afforded to an incoming administration. Former president Barack Obama, promoting a new memoir, has told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” next program that he is troubled by the false claims of widespread election fraud.

“They appear to be motivated – in part because – the president doesn’t like to lose and never admits loss,” Obama said. “I’m more troubled by the fact that other Republican officials who clearly know better are going along with this, are humoring him in this fashion. It is one more step in delegitimizing not just the incoming Biden administration, but democracy generally. And that’s a dangerous path.”

Some cracks are emerging in the Republicans wall. George W Bush, the only living former Republican president, acknowledged Biden’s victory on Sunday. On Thursday, Bush’s former chief strategist Karl Rove penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal entitled, “This Election Result Won’t be Overturned.”

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who endorsed Trump’s re-election, told reporters: “Joe Biden is the president-elect, and I think like most Americans, we suspect he’ll be taking the oath of office in January.”

Trump has kept a lower profile over the past week than at any time during his presidency. He was seen on Veterans Day, attending a service at Arlington National Cemetery, but has not spoken publicly apart from the Washington Examiner interview and dozens of tweets and retweets.

Critics accuse him of “going awol” at a critical moment during the coronavirus pandemic with cases surging to all-time highs. The US reported 153,496 Covid-19 cases on Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University – the first time the number of coronavirus infections have exceeded 150,000 in a single day.

Biden, meanwhile, continues to receive congratulatory calls from around the world. A lifelong Roman Catholic, he spoke to Pope Francis on Thursday. His transition team said in a statement that the president-elect thanked Francis for “extending blessings and congratulations and noted his appreciation”.

Bassem Youssef is coming back again

Finally the Egyptian satirist and show host Bassem Youssef will come back again in a new show about health and nutrition diets in “Elsharq” channel.
“Elsharq” is a Saudi Arabian channel was recently launched by “SMRG”, the Saudi Research and Marketing Group in cooperation with “Bloomberg”.
The new show will be called “Free Fat” and Bassem youssef considers it a new and exciting way to help people keep a healthy body and mind.
Bassem youssef stayed away for sometime from appearing in Arabian shows after he last show “Barnameg EL Barnameg” was shut down for Unknown reasons.

since then he hosted several nutrition and political satire shows in the united states, and wrote his last book “Revolution For Dummies”.

MOHAMED SALAH HONOURED BY THE EFA WITH CEREMONY

The Egyptian (EFA) held a ceremony on Wednesday night to recognize Liverpool Egyptian winger Mohamed Salah.

The ceremony was attended by many of the Egyptian football icons, including Al Ahly President Mahmoud El Khatib, former Egyptian national team manager Hassan Shehata, as well as former Egyptian national team captains, Emad Moteb, Hazem Imam, Essam El Hadary and Ahmed Hassan.  

The governing body of football in Egypt honours the Egyptian winger for his achievements with the Reds in the English Premier League, including winning the league title last season.

Salah is one of the best players in the world and he established himself as a key player in the Reds’ squad since he joined the club from AS Roma in 2017.

Salah returned to Egypt to join the national team preparations for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers as Egypt hosts Togo on 14 November in Egypt and they will meet again after three days in Lome.

Jared Kushner has approached President Trump about conceding the election

According to CNN, Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has approached the President about conceding the election, two sources tell CNN.

The move comes following Trump’s assertion in a statement from his campaign — moments after CNN projected that President-elect Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States — that Biden is “rushing to falsely pose as the winner” and that the race is “far from over.”

“I will not rest until the American People have the honest vote count they deserve and that Democracy demands,” Trump said in the statement, which states that the campaign’s legal battle will begin Monday.

Biden-Harris deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said Saturday night, as CNN has reported, that there has been no communication between Biden and Trump, or between any representatives from either campaign, since the race was called earlier in the day.

COVID-19: new guidelines for wedding events in Pakistan

Following with the second wave of coronavirus, Pakistan announced new guidelines for wedding events in the country as 1,650 new Covid-19 cases were reported in the last 24 hours, taking the national tally to 344,839 on Monday.

Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/international/world-news-politics/pakistan-announces-new-covid-19-guidelines-for-wedding-events.

The number of active cases has reached 18,981, a marked increase as in September the number of such patients had dropped below 6,000.

The National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC), the apex body to combat the pandemic, announced additional guidelines for marriage ceremonies to contain the spread of the virus.

The wedding guests would maintain six feet distance, while the timing of the events would be limited to two hours and the organisers would have to close down functions at 10pm.

Wearing of face masks is mandatory for all guests and organisers of marriage events should display the seating capacity of their venues at the entrance. Thermal scanning would be mandatory. Buffet dinner/lunch has been banned and only lunch boxes and table service would be allowed. The event managers should retain the names and contact details of all guests and staff for at least 15 days.

The organisers would also have to take precautionary measures against dengue fever.

A spike in COVID-19 cases was also witnessed in the national capital Islamabad where the administration has imposed mini-lockdown in several areas.

The NCOC had earlier banned indoor marriage gatherings from November 20 and restricted the number of guests to 1,000. PTI SH RS RS

ALEX TREBEK dies AT the age of 80

Alex Trebek, the revered and beloved “Jeopardy!” host since 1984, whose calm but witty presence was must-see television for millions of Americans — has died … TMZ has learned.

A “Jeopardy!” spokesperson tells TMZ, “Jeopardy is saddened to share that Alex Trebek passed away peacefully at home early this morning, surrounded by family and friends.”

The TV icon had been battling stage 4 pancreatic cancer since announcing the news back in March 2019. He immediately started chemo after the diagnosis but made no plans to retire and continued hosting his game show … as impressively as ever.

Trebek powered through for a full year — despite what he called “massive attacks of great depression that made me wonder if it was really worth fighting on” — because he said he realized giving up on life would be a betrayal to his wife, God and other cancer patients.

He pointed out the odds of surviving a second year with pancreatic cancer were just 7 percent, but he hoped he’d be able to celebrate that milestone too. Sadly, he took a turn for the worse.

Alex continued to host “Jeopardy!” … recently beginning his 37th season, and earlier this year, he shot the epic ‘Greatest of All Time’ tournament on prime-time television.

Alex — who was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2017 for his iconic achievements — married Elaine Kares in 1974 and they divorced in 1981. He married again in 1990 … this time to Jean Currivan, with whom he had 2 children … Matthew and Emily.

Biden focuses on transition, plans executive orders to reverse Trump policies

according to Washington post, Former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) are planning their transition effort after he president-elect and vice president-elect won their way to the oval office.

their supporters celebrated in cities throughout the country feeling victorious.

Biden called it “a time to heal in America.” Harris, who is set to become the highest-ranking woman in the nation’s 244-year existence, told the crowd, “While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last.” On Sunday morning, Biden headed to church.

President Trump has no public events Sunday, and started the morning on the golf course.

In tweets Saturday night, he continued to tout his vote count and make unfounded allegations of widespread election fraud. “71,000,000 Legal Votes,” Trump tweeted. “The most EVER for a sitting President!” As of Sunday morning, Trump had won about 70.4 million votes while Biden had won 74.6 million.

Coronavirus: Spain’s funeral homes strike as cases rise

Staff at funeral homes in Spain have gone on strike to demand more workers as coronavirus deaths continue to rise.

Unions say more staff are needed to prevent the delay in burials that was seen during the first wave of the pandemic in March.

Europe is grappling with a second wave as cases and deaths continue to rise.

A number of countries have introduced new measures such as curfews and lockdowns to try and bring infection rates down.

On Saturday, Austria and Portugal became the latest countries to announce new restrictions.

Workers at funeral homes across Spain took part in a strike on Sunday. The strike came on All Saints Day, when families usually visit the graves of loved ones.

One funeral home in Madrid told AFP news agency that it needed between 15-20 more staff to handle the surge in deaths. On Friday, 239 deaths were confirmed in the country by the health ministry.

In March, burials had a delay of about a week and cremations took place in cities hundreds of miles away, as funeral homes struggled with the demand.

Spain has recorded more than 1.1 million cases and 35,800 deaths since the outbreak began, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Elsewhere, in France Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin has reacted strongly to reports that a group of cadets at the national police school in Nimes held a clandestine party on the school’s premises last week.

He described the reports as “totally unacceptable”. “If this is confirmed, the pupils responsible will not be worthy of wearing the uniform and will be excluded,” he said.

The news came as France reported 46,290 cases in 24 hours, compared to 35,641 the previous day. Another 231 people died over the same period, bringing the total to 37,019.

Italy is accelerating preparations for a further tightening of coronavirus restrictions in the country.

On Saturday, it reported 31,758 cases of the virus, a new daily record.

Health Minister Roberto Speranza warned that a nationwide lockdown appeared to be the only way to stop hospital wards becoming more crowded with coronavirus patients.

In an interview with newspaper, Corriere della Sera, Mr Speranza said the rising curve of transmission rates was “terrifying”.

Restrictions are already in place in the country with cinemas, swimming pools, theatres and gyms forced to close.

Bars, restaurants and cafes have to stop table service by 18:00. However shops and the majority of businesses are still operating.

Montenegro, thousands of people attended the funeral of the country’s leading religious figure, Archbishop Amfilohije Radovic, who died with coronavirus on Friday, aged 82.

Despite pleas from doctors to ban the funeral, the metropolitan’s open coffin was paraded in front of crowds at the Serbian Orthodox cathedral in the capital Podgorica. Some mourners even touched or kissed his head or hands.

There are fears that the funeral will have made infection rates in the country – already among the highest in Europe – even worse.

Slovakia has tested nearly half of its population after announcing a plan to test everyone in the country over 10 years old.

Infections have soared in Slovakia and officials argue the only alternative would be a total lockdown.

Defence Minister Jaroslav Nad confirmed that 2.58 million people took the test on Saturday. Of those, 25,850 have tested positive and must quarantine.

On Monday, new restrictions will come into effect in Germany. Daily infection rates have hit record highs over the past week.

On Saturday, the country recorded more than 20,000 cases.

Under the new measures, theatres, cinemas, swimming pools and bars must close. However schools and shops will remain open.

Speaking in parliament earlier this week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of a long, hard winter ahead.

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