WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Saturday signed into law a deadline extension to August 8 for small businesses to apply for relief loans under a federal aid program to help businesses hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic, the White House said. The extension to the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which was launched in April to keep Americans on company payrolls and off unemployment assistance, gives business owners an additional five weeks to apply for funding assistance plagued by problems. An estimated $130 billion of the $659 billion provided by Congress is still up for grabs. Critics worry the U.S. Small Business Administrator's office, which administers the loan, may continue to experience challenges in fairly distributing the funds. From the outset,
TOKYO: Two US aircraft carriers have carried out drills in the South China Sea, a US Navy spokesman said Saturday, after the Pentagon expressed concerns over Chinese military exercises around a disputed archipelago. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan conducted dual carrier operations in the waterway to "support a free and open Indo-Pacific," the spokesman said. "These efforts support enduring US commitments to stand up for the right of all nations to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows," he added. The drills came as the Pentagon said it was "concerned" about Chinese military exercises in the South China Sea, warning the manoeuvres will "further destabilise" the region. China's expanding military presence in the contested waters has worried
MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL: At the foot of Mount Rushmore and on the eve of Independence Day, President Donald Trump dug deeper into America's divisions by accusing protesters who have pushed for racial justice of engaging in a "merciless campaign to wipe out our history." The president, in remarks Friday night at the South Dakota landmark, offered a discordant tone to an electorate battered by a pandemic and seared by the recent high-profile killings of Black people. He zeroed in on the desecration by some demonstrators of monuments and statues across the country that honor those who have benefited from slavery, including some past presidents. Four months from Election Day, his comments amounted to a direct appeal to the political
This photo released by the Aurora Police Department, in Colorado, shows Officers Erica Marrero, from left, Jar...Read MoreWASHINGTON: Two US police officers have been fired after a photo emerged showing them re-enacting a chokehold used on a black man before he died at a memorial site to his death, Colorado police said in a statement. Elijah McClain, 23, died last August in Aurora three days after police put him into a chokehold, was injected with ketamine to sedate him and suffered a cardiac arrest. Police this week ordered a special investigation into his death which came under the spotlight after the killing of George Floyd by police in May sparked nationwide anger and protests. Officers Erica Marrero, Kyle Dittrich, and
WASHINGTON: The US notched 57,683 Covid-19 cases in 24 hours Friday, a tally by Johns Hopkins University showed, the third consecutive day with record numbers of new infections. The Baltimore-based university's tracker showed the total number of cases since the pandemic reached the US at 2,793,022 as of 8:30 pm (0030 Saturday GMT). The university also recorded a further 728 fatalities, bringing the total US death toll to 129,405. The new record case count came as infections surge in southern and western states, and as the United States -- the hardest-hit country in the world in the coronavirus pandemic -- heads into the July Fourth holiday weekend.
Tahawwur Rana (File photo)WASHINGTON: A US court has ordered the continued detention of Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, who has been declared a fugitive by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack case. Rana, 59, a childhood friend of David Coleman Headley, was recently re-arrested on June 10 in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed. He is a declared fugitive in India. A federal district court on Thursday scheduled his next day of bail hearing on August 21. In his extradition case held before magistrate judge Jacqueline Chooljian, the US district court of Los Angeles ordered that
WASHINGTON: India's decision to ban Chinese apps seems to be an effective way to impose costs on China for its actions at the border and inhibit its ability to exert influence and access information inside the country, a well-known American expert on South Asia has said. India on Monday banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including the hugely popular TikTok and UC Browser, for engaging in "activities which are prejudicial to sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, the security of the state and public order". The ban also comes in the backdrop of the current stand-off along the Line of Actual control in eastern Ladakh with Chinese troops. “I think the Indian government was looking for ways to
WASHINGTON: China under President Xi Jinping has stepped up its "aggressive" foreign policy toward India and "resisted" efforts to clarify the Line of Actual Control that prevented a lasting peace from being realised, according to a report released by a US Congress appointed commission. The armies of India and China have been locked in a bitter standoff at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh for the last seven weeks, and the tension escalated after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan Valley on June 15. "Under General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Xi Jinping, Beijing has stepped up its aggressive foreign policy toward New Delhi. Since 2013, China has engaged in five major altercations
WASHINGTON: China’s aggressive stance along the India-China border fits with the larger pattern of Chinese aggression in other parts of the world, US President Donald Trump has said, wading into the boundary row between New Delhi and Beijing. Coming a day after he publicly expressed anger at China over its spreading the coronavirus and damaging the world economy, Trump’s remarks, attributed to him by his spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany, came on Wednesday even as US lawmakers moved to impose sanctions on Beijing for its crackdown on Hong Kong. Getting tough on China is one of the few things Republicans and Democrats have agreed on in recent days after weeks of Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden accusing each other of being
US supreme Court WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear a bid by President Donald Trump's administration to avoid disclosing to a Democratic-led congressional panel grand jury materials related to former special counsel Robert Mueller's report documenting Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The justices are due to hear the case in their next term, which starts in October, meaning the dispute is unlikely to be resolved before the November 3 election in which the Republican President is seeking a second four-year term in office. In the meantime, the materials will not be handed over to the House of Representatives judiciary committee, which issued a subpoena for them last year.
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is tremendously grateful to all the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals, including Indian-Americans, who have selflessly risen to the occasion to combat the coronavirus pandemic, the White House has said. More than 100,000 Indian-American doctors have contributed to the fight against the coronavirus and the president thanks them for their tireless, life-saving work, White House assistant press secretary Karoline Leavitt told PTI on Wednesday. Many Indian-Americans have laid down their lives in the fight against the Covid-19. This is for the first time that the White House has recognised the selfless contribution of the Indian-American doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. “President Trump is tremendously grateful for all of the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals who
WASHINGTON: An influential US senator has sought to strengthen America's strategic partnership with India and promote regional stability. Senator Tammy Duckworth's remarks came after he spoke to India's Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu on Wednesday. Duckworth, a member of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, said that he discussed the partnership between the two countries and opportunities to cooperate in the Indo-Pacific region as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. “Ambassador Sandhu and I had a positive discussion today about the relationship between our two nations and opportunities to work together in the future,” Duckworth said. “I look forward to working with Ambassador Sandhu to strengthen our strategic partnership and promote regional stability," he said in response
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (AFP)WASHINGTON: The United States on Wednesday urged the Turkish government to continue to maintain the status of Hagia Sophia in Istanbul as a museum, pushing back on Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's proposal to restore the mosque status of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. "We urge the government of Turkey to continue to maintain the Hagia Sophia as a museum, as an exemplar of its commitment to respect the faith traditions and diverse history that contributed to the Republic of Turkey, and to ensure it remains accessible to all," secretary of state Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Wednesday dismissed as "Fake News" allegations that Russia offered bounties for killing American troops in Afghanistan. He said news stories about the allegations were made up to "damage me and the Republican Party." Lawmakers have been demanding answers over the allegations, and Democrats have accused Trump of bowing to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the risk of US soldiers' lives. Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he had not been briefed on intelligence assessments that Russia offered bounties because there wasn't corroborating evidence. Those intelligence assessments were first reported by The New York Times, then confirmed to The Associated Press by American intelligence officials and others with knowledge of the matter. "The Russia Bounty story is
WASHINGTON: India's ban on 59 Chinese apps, including the popular TikTok, has been widely noted in the US, including by some prominent lawmakers, who have urged the American government to follow suit as it is believed that the short video-sharing app is a major security risk to the country. India on Monday banned 59 apps with Chinese links, including TikTok and UC Browser, saying they were prejudicial to sovereignty, integrity and security of the country. The ban, which comes in the backdrop of India's current stand-off along the Line of Actual control in Ladakh with Chinese troops, is also applicable for WeChat and Bigo Live. “India bans TikTok and dozens of other Chinese apps in the wake of deadly clash,”
WASHINGTON: The Taliban must live up to its commitments made in the peace deal with the US and not attack American soldiers, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has emphasised during a video conference with the insurgent leader, Mullah Baradar, on the Afghan reconciliation process. An agreement signed between the US and the Taliban in February in Doha drew up plans for withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan in exchange for security guarantees from the insurgent group. "The Secretary (Pompeo) made clear the expectation for the Taliban to live up to their commitments, which include not attacking Americans," State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said on Tuesday. The video conference was held on Monday to discuss the implementation of the US-Taliban agreement,
WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday will launch a fresh attack on President Donald Trump's "historic mismanagement" of the coronavirus pandemic as the number of confirmed cases in many states rises. Speaking at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT) in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, the former vice president will argue that earlier action by Trump would have reduced the number who fell ill and the economic impact of the virus, said an aide who previewed his speech and who spoke on condition of anonymity. Biden will accuse Trump of "outright ignoring the crisis" as cases rise again, the aide said. "Biden will walk through the timeline of Trump's inaction and failures, and highlight the common-sense actions that Trump
WASHINGTON: He called Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel “stupid,” told British Prime Minister Theresa May she was “weak,” and characterized his predecessors Barack Obama and George Bush as “imbeciles” and “weaklings.” But when it came to US President Donald Trump’s calls with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, they sometimes had the tone of “two guys in a steam bath,” according to Carl Bernstein, the famed Watergate journalist. In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, Trump was “so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues… and so abusive to leaders of America's principal allies,” that senior US officials -- including his former secretaries of state and defense, two national security advisers and his longest-serving chief of staff
WASHINGTON: The United States on Monday ended sensitive defense exports to Hong Kong, further ramping up pressure in a row over the financial capital's autonomy from China. The US announced the decision hours after China said it would curb visas to some Americans heading to Hong Kong, itself a response to a US move. The United States has been leading a global uproar over a national security law which Hong Kong activists say will destroy the city's freedoms. "We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. "We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People's Liberation Army,
WASHINGTON: Expressing solidarity with the people of India on the Ladakh face-off with China, a top US senator has said India had made it clear that it would not be bullied by Beijing. Republican Senator Marco Rubio spoke with India's ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, to "express our solidarity with the people of #India as they firmly confront unwarranted and lawless armed aggression by the Communist Party of China". "India has made it clear, they will not be bullied by Beijing," the senator from Florida tweeted. On the Senate Floor, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for the second time in less than a week, accused China of aggression against India. A day earlier, Senator Tom Cotton slammed China
An army soldier stands guard at Zojila Pass situated at a height of 11 516 feet on the way to frontier region ...Read MoreWASHINGTON: Expressing solidarity with the people of India on the Ladakh face-off with China, a top US senator has said India had made it clear that it would not be bullied by Beijing. Republican Senator Marco Rubio spoke with India's ambassador to the US, Taranjit Singh Sandhu, to "express our solidarity with the people of #India as they firmly confront unwarranted and lawless armed aggression by the Communist Party of China". "India has made it clear, they will not be bullied by Beijing," the senator from Florida tweeted. On the Senate Floor, Senator Majority Leader Mitch McConnell,
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo (File Photo)WASHINGTON: The United States said Monday it was ending the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong, no longer treating the financial hub separately from China. Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said the United States was taking the measure due to China's push forward with a security law that Hong Kong activists say will curb the city's freedoms. "We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China," Pompeo said in a statement. "We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People's Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means necessary," he said,
WASHINGTON: The video of a white couple in St Louis, Missouri, brandishing an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and a handgun at peaceful protesters marching past their mansion in St Louis, Missouri, on Sunday evening has ignited another round of venting on already inflamed race relations in America. The startling video was retweeted without comment by President Donald Trump, suggesting he approved of people using weapons to guard their private property, although the protesters did not appear in any way or form to be threatening the couple or the property even as they trespassed through the private road going past their mansion in a gated community. In fact, protest leaders, one of them wearing a “Hand’s up, Don’t shoot” t-shirt, are seen
WASHINGTON DC: A special flight under Vande Bharat Mission departed from Washington DC with 195 stranded Indians for Delhi on Sunday. "#VandeBharatMission Phase III @airindiain with 195 pax left Washington, DC for Delhi," Indian embassy in the US tweeted. Vande Bharat Mission, which started from May 7, is in its third phase. The recent phase commenced on June 11. As of Thursday, 3,64,209 people have returned under this mission., the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said. In the first three phases of the Vande Bharat Mission, around 875 international flights were scheduled for operation from over 50 countries across 5 continents. The Indian government has also approved additional flight services to bring back Indian nationals who are still stranded abroad.
US Secretary of State Pompeo (AFP)WASHINGTON: The United States has welcomed the statement by members of the Asean countries that South China Sea disputes should be resolved in line with the international law, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said on Saturday. “The United States welcomes Asean leaders’ insistence that South China Sea disputes be resolved in line with international law, including UNCLOS (United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea). China cannot be allowed to treat the SCS as its maritime empire,” Pompeo tweeted. After the 36th Asean summit on Friday, a joint statement was issued by the members of the bloc expressing concerns over the current situation in the South China Sea. They laid emphasis on the
WASHINGTON: Special US Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad is travelling to Qatar, Pakistan and Uzbekistan as part of his sustained effort to bring peace in the war-torn country, the State Department said on Sunday. Joined by US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) CEO Adam Boehler, Khalilzad left for the region on June 28, it said in a media release. During his meetings, Khalilzad "will urge support for all Afghans to meet their remaining commitments ahead of intra-Afghan negotiations, specifically reduced violence and timely prisoner releases," the State Department said. Noting that Afghan peace, economic growth, and regional connectivity are closely linked and mutually supportive, it said that the delegation will explore investment opportunities and partnerships in a range of
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted approvingly of a video showing one of his supporters chanting “white power," a racist slogan associated with white supremacists. He later deleted the tweet and the White House said the president had not heard “the one statement” on the video. The video appeared to have been taken at The Villages, a Florida retirement community, and showed dueling demonstrations between Trump supporters and opponents. “Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” Trump tweeted. Moments into the video clip he shared, a man driving a golf cart displaying pro-Trump signs and flags shouts 'white power." The video also shows anti-Trump protesters shouting “Nazi," “racist," and profanities at the Trump backers. “There's no question''
File image used for representationWASHINGTON: As many as 20 US senators have urged the Trump administration to grant emergency refugee protection to Sikh and Hindu communities in Afghanistan facing persecution as religious minorities. In a bipartisan letter addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the senators called on the State Department to prioritise resettlement opportunities under the US Refugee Admissions Program allocation ceilings for Afghan Sikh and Hindu communities. The population of Hindus and Sikhs in Afghanistan have plummeted markedly due to years of persecution by the Taliban and more recent terrorist actions perpetrated by ISIS Khorasan (ISIS-K), they said. “This Administration has repeatedly highlighted protecting religious freedom as a top foreign policy priority,” the senators wrote. “Sikh and Hindu
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to prosecute those who damage national monuments, maki...Read MoreWASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to prosecute those who damage national monuments, making it a punishable offence with up to 10 years in jail. The order comes in the wake of rioters defacing and destroying historical sites, monuments and statues in the country as violence erupted following the brutal custodial death of African-American George Floyd on May 25. The president has accused radical left for the violence. Trump, in a strongly worded executive order on Friday, said: “My administration will not allow violent mobs incited by a radical fringe to become the arbiters of the aspects of our
WASHINGTON: Mumbai terrorist attack convict David Headley cannot be extradited to India, but Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman co-conspirator Tahawwur Rana faces extradition, a US attorney has told a federal court while opposing his bail plea. Rana, 59, a childhood friend of David Coleman Headley, was recently rearrested on June 10 in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people, including six Americans, were killed. He is a declared fugitive in India. According to the federal prosecutors, between 2006 and November 2008, Rana conspired with Headley, also known as "Daood Gilani”, and others in Pakistan to assist Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Harakat ul-Jihad-e-Islami, both US-designated terrorist organisations, to plan and
WASHINGTON: Indian-American Congressman Dr Ami Bera on Friday expressed concern over the Chinese aggression along its India border and asked Beijing to use diplomatic mechanisms rather than force to settle boundary issues with the neighbouring country. His comments came amid a border standoff between Indian and Chinese militaries. The two sides are engaged in diplomatic and military talks amidst escalating tension following the violent clashes in Galwan Valley on June 15. Twenty Indian Army personnel were killed in the clash. "I encourage China to use its longstanding diplomatic mechanisms with India to deescalate the situation rather than force to settle boundary issues," Bera, the longest-serving Indian American in House of Representatives, said in a tweet. As Chair of the @HouseForeign
American troops at Camp Shorabak in Helmand province, Afghanistan (File photo)WASHINGTON: American intelligence officials have concluded that a Russian military intelligence unit secretly offered bounties to Taliban-linked terrorists for killing coalition forces in Afghanistan — including targeting American troops — amid the peace talks to end the long-running war there, according to officials briefed on the matter. The United States concluded months ago that the Russian unit, which has been linked to assassination attempts and other covert operations in Europe intended to destabilize the West or take revenge on turncoats, had covertly offered rewards for successful attacks last year. Islamic terrorists, or armed criminal elements closely associated with them, are believed to have collected some bounty money, the officials said.
WASHINGTON: The United States and the European Union have agreed to launch a dialogue on China to address the threats of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said. Pompeo made the remarks during the Brussels Forum in a discussion with the German Marshal Fund. "Enjoyed the discussions today at the German Marshall Fund's #BrusselsForum. I am excited to announce the U.S. and EU are launching a dialogue on China to address the threats the CCP poses to our common values and way of life," tweeted Pompeo on Friday Enjoyed the discussions today at the German Marshall Fund’s #BrusselsForum. I am excited to announce the U.S. and E… https://t.co/icmk4SdYWJ— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) 1593131196000
WASHINGTON: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States was imposing visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials believed responsible for restricting freedoms in Hong Kong. "Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on current and former CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy," Pompeo said in a statement, which did not name those targeted. The announcement comes in response to moves by China to impose new security legislation on Hong Kong, which prompted U.S. President Donald Trump last month to initiate a process to eliminate special economic treatment that has allowed the territory to remain a global financial center. It also comes at a
US President Donald Trump (File photo)WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump is preparing to direct the federal government to overhaul its hiring to prioritise a job applicant's skills over a college degree, administration and industry officials say. Trump is set to sign an executive order Friday outlining a new direction for the nation's largest employer during a meeting of the board that advises the administration on worker policy. Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and adviser, is co-chair of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board and has worked on improving job training to meet employers' changing needs. The federal government is the nation's largest employer with 2.1 million civilian workers, excluding postal service employees. Ivanka Trump predicted the change in federal government hiring
WASHINGTON: A group of Indian-Americans has organised a peaceful demonstration in front of the Chinese Consulate in Chicago, protesting against Beijing's incursions in eastern Ladakh. The protest was limited to a small group of people due to the restrictions on gathering and other measures implemented by the city of Chicago in view of the coronavirus pandemic. “Our protest was against the Chinese incursions on Indian territory in Leh. We want to tell China that Indian-Americans will not keep quiet. Today the entire world is with India,” Dr Bharat Barai, an eminent Indian-American from Chicago, said on Thursday. “There is a massive resentment against Chinese aggression among Indian-Americans,” he said. Protestors carried placards denouncing China for its aggression against India and
Joe Biden (AP photo)WASHINGTON: Democratic presidential nominee and former vice president Joe Biden wants New Delhi to take necessary steps to restore rights of all Kashmiris and has expressed disappointment over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act as well as the implementation of the National Register of Citizens in Assam. “These measures are inconsistent with the country's long tradition of secularism and with sustaining a multi-ethnic and multi-religious democracy,” according to the policy paper -- ‘Joe Biden's agenda for Muslim American community' posted recently on hos campaign website. A group of Hindu Americans have reached out to the Biden campaign expressing their resentment to the language used against India and have urged them to reconsider their views. The group has also sought
NEW YORK: Nasa announced on Wednesday that it would name its Washington, DC, headquarters after Mary Jackson, the organisation’s first black female engineer. Jim Bridenstine, the administrator of Nasa, said the agency would continue to honour those whose histories have long been overlooked. “Today, we proudly announce the Mary W Jackson Nasa Headquarters building,” Bridenstine said. Jackson began working at Nasa’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, in 1951. She went on to work with Nasa’s 4x4 supersonic pressure tunnel and became the agency’s first black female engineer in 1958. Her contributions, along with the work of Nasa mathematicians Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughan, were highlighted in the film “Hidden Figures.”
WASHINGTON: US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has said that he had a very frank discussion with his Chinese counterpart Wang Jiechi about the "unprovoked aggression" by Beijing on a number of fronts. During the meeting in Hawaii last week, Pompeo said he also pressed for "more transparency" from China on the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic for the good of the world. The meeting which was kept under wraps till the meeting day, took place amidst tensions between China and the US on a range of issues. "I met with Yang Jiechi last week in Hawaii. We had a very frank discussion about the Chinese Communist Party's unprovoked aggression on a number of fronts and I pressed him for
AFP photo.WASHINGTON: The US Postal Service's famous motto - ``Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers'' - is being tested like never before, by challenges that go well beyond the weather. Its finances have been devastated by the coronavirus. The Trump administration may attach big strings to federal bailouts. The agency's responsibilities, meanwhile, are mounting. A dramatic shift in many states to voting by mail is intended to protect voters from spreading the virus at polling places. But it's also making more work for post offices and contributing to delays in determining election winners. Results were delayed this week in Kentucky and New York as both states were overwhelmed by huge increases in mail
WASHINGTON: The US House of Representatives will vote on Thursday on sweeping Democratic police reform legislation that is opposed by President Donald Trump and Republicans, in the latest sign that congressional efforts to rein in police misconduct have hit an impasse. The Democratic-controlled House is due to consider the legislation a month to the day after George Floyd's May 25 death in police custody set off worldwide protests against police brutality. A vote is expected between 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. EDT(2300 and 2330 GMT). The bill, which mandates concrete changes in laws and policy to rein in police misconduct, is widely expected to pass the House. But the Republican-led Senate is unlikely to agree to the measure as written,
People walk between graves as they visit the Fatherland Liberation War Martyrs Cemetery on the 70th anniversar...Read MoreSEOUL: Seventy years after the Korean War began, prospects for a peace treaty to officially end the conflict appear as distant as ever, as the two Koreas held low-key commemorations on Thursday amid heightened tension on the peninsula. The 1950-1953 Korean War ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty, leaving US-led UN forces technically still at war with North Korea. South Korean leaders in 1953 opposed the idea of a truce that left the peninsula divided and were not signatories to the armistice. With tensions building again, South Korean veterans of the war gathered to commemorate the anniversary, including one event
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that some of the 10,000 American troops he's pulling out of Germany will be moved to Poland on Nato's eastern flank against Russian aggression. "We're going to be reducing our forces in Germany," Trump said in the Rose Garden while standing alongside Polish President Andrzej Duda. "Some will be coming home and some will be going to other places, but Poland would be one of those other places in Europe." Trump has said he is determined to cut the number of troops in Germany from about 35,000 to 25,000. Shifting forces out of the country has long been rumored and is in line with Pentagon efforts to put more troops in the Indo-Pacific.
UNITED NATIONS: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened to seek to reimpose U.N. sanctions on Iran if the U.N. Security Council does not approve a resolution that would indefinitely extend the arms embargo on Tehran, which is set to expire in October. Pompeo told a news conference at the State Department in Washington on Wednesday that without extending the arms embargo, "Iran will be able to purchase advanced weapons systems and become an arms dealer of choice for terrorists and rogue regimes all throughout the world. This is unacceptable." He spoke ahead of a closed video briefing to Security Council members Wednesday afternoon on the U.S. draft resolution to maintain the arms embargo by U.S. Special Representative
WASHINGTON: Google is tweaking its privacy settings to keep less data on new users by default. The search giant said that starting Wednesday, it will automatically and continuously delete web and app activity and location history for new users after 18 months. Settings for existing users won't be affected but the company will send reminders about the feature. The change comes after Google added new controls last year that allow users to effectively put an expiry date on their data, by providing the option to auto-delete location history, search, voice and YouTube activity data after three or 18 months. The company is also making it easier to toggle in and out of incognito mode while using its Search, Maps and
WASHINGTON: The Trump administration is claiming significant victories against global terrorism but says Iran continues to increase its support for extremists and that white supremacist attacks are on the rise. The State Department said Wednesday in its annual report on terrorism that “dangerous terrorist threats persisted” throughout 2019 even as the Islamic State group suffered losses in Iraq and Syria, and the United States imposed sanctions and took other steps against Iran and its proxies in the Middle East. The report cited a surge in extremist groups affiliating themselves with IS in Africa and Southeast Asia and said Iran continued to foment terrorism. In addition, it noted a rise deadly racially motivated attacks claimed by or attributed to white supremacists
Michael Flynn (File photo)WASHINGTON: A US appeals court on Wednesday directed a federal judge to drop the criminal case against President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn as demanded by the Justice Department, preventing a judicial review of the propriety of the request. In a split decision, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of Flynn and the Trump administration in preventing US District Judge Emmet Sullivan from exercising his discretion on whether to grant the department's motion to clear Flynn, who twice pleaded guilty.
LOUISVILLE: Voters rebuffed President Donald Trump and nominated two Republicans he opposed to House seats from North Carolina and Kentucky on Tuesday. Calls in higher-profile races in Kentucky and probably New York faced days of delay as swamped officials count mountains of mail-in ballots. In western North Carolina, GOP voters picked 24-year-old investor Madison Cawthorn, who uses a wheelchair following an accident, over Trump-backed real estate agent Lynda Bennett. The runoff was for the seat vacated by GOP Rep. Mark Meadows, who resigned to become Trump's chief of staff and joined his new boss in backing Bennett. Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, a libertarian-minded maverick who often clashes with GOP leaders, was renominated for a sixth House term. Trump savaged
File pic of US President Donald TrumpWASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump has defended his decision to suspend issuing of green cards till the end of the year, saying it was needed to give jobs to Americans. Through an executive order, Trump, in April, had suspended issuing of green cards for 90 days. On Monday, he issued a proclamation which extended the suspension till December 31, 2020. "So, we want to give jobs to Americans right now. Right now, we want jobs going to Americans," Trump told reporters in San Luis, Arizona on Tuesday when asked by reporters to explain the suspension order. Trump, seeking another term in the White House in the November 3 presidential election, on Monday said the
MEXICO CITY - A powerful earthquake centered near the southern Mexico resort of Huatulco killed at least two people, swayed buildings in Mexico City and sent thousands fleeing into the streets. Mexico President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said one person was killed and another injured in a building collapse in Huatulco, Oaxaca. Otherwise he said reports were of minor damage from the magnitude 7.4 quake, including broken windows and collapsed walls. Oaxaca Gov. Alejandro Murat later said a second person was killed in an apparent house collapse in the tiny mountain village of San Juan Ozolotepec. The state-run oil company known as Pemex said the quake caused a fire at its refinery in the Pacific coast city of
WASHINGTON: The number of early Covid-19 cases in the US may have been more than 80 times greater, and likely doubled nearly twice as fast as originally believed, according to a study which says the undercounting may have been due to testing issues, and the prevalence of asymptomatic individuals. In the study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the scientists estimated the detection rate of symptomatic Covid-19 cases using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC's) influenza-like illnesses (ILI) surveillance data over a three week period in March 2020. "We analyzed each state's ILI cases to estimate the number that could not be attributed to influenza, and were in excess of seasonal baseline levels," explained Justin Silverman, study
WASHINGTON: Pakistani-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana, who was rearrested in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, is not a flight risk, his attorney has told a US court and proposed a $1.5 million bond for his release. Rana (59), was recently released from jail on compassionate ground after testing positive for COVID-19. However, he was rearrested in Los Angeles on June 10 following an extradition request by India. US District Judge Jacqueline Chooljian of the Central District of California has scheduled his bond hearing for June 30. "Rana should be released on a robust bond: secured by approximately $1.5 million in property pledged by family and friends and under
WASHINGTON: The nonpartisan commission that sponsors the formal election year presidential debates announced Tuesday that an October debate that had been set for Michigan will now take place in Florida. The change comes after the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, determined it was no longer "feasible" to host the Oct. 15 debate, the Commission on Presidential Debates said. The debate will instead be held at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. In a letter shared with the Commission on Presidential Debates, University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel suggested the decision was influenced by the work needed to prepare the campus for the fall semester during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. "Given the scale and
NEW DELHI: External affairs minister S Jaishankar will join his Chinese and Russian counterparts at a virtual conference of the Russia-India-China trilateral on Tuesday, against the backdrop of New Delhi's frayed ties with Beijing over the Galwan Valley clashes. As the June 15 incident triggered fears of fresh confrontation between troops of India and China, Russia is learnt to have reached out to both the countries, urging them to resolve the border row through talks. People familiar with the matter said India was initially reluctant to join the Russia-India-China trilateral foreign ministers' meeting but agreed to participate in it following a request from Moscow, the host of the conference. Interestingly, defence minister Rajnath Singh on Monday left for Russia on
WASHINGTON: The United States lost another 568 people to the new coronavirus in the 24 hours leading up to 8:30 pm Saturday (0030 GMT Sunday), according a tally by Johns Hopkins University. It marked the 10th day in which the daily toll from the virus has been fewer than 1,000, even as the US remains the country hardest-hit by the pandemic with 119,654 deaths out of 2,251,205 official cases. Some 20 states have seen a rebound in infections as the epicenter of the country's outbreak has moved from New York and the country's Northeast to the South and West. After dipping below 20,000 new daily confirmed cases recently, the figure has crept back up towards 30,000 and beyond in recent
WASHINGTON: A federal judge ruled Saturday that former national security adviser John Bolton can move forward in publishing his tell-all book despite efforts by the Trump administration to block the release because of concerns that classified information could be exposed. The decision from US District Judge Royce Lamberth is a victory for Bolton in a court case that involved core First Amendment and national security concerns. The ruling means a broader election-year readership and distribution of a memoir that paints an unflattering portrait of President Donald Trump's foreign policy decision-making during the turbulent year-and-a-half that Bolton spent in the White House.
WASHINGTON: Pakistan-origin Canadian businessman Tahawwur Rana has been rearrested in Los Angeles on an extradition request by India for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which 166 people were killed, according to the US prosecutors. Rana, 59, was recently released from jail on compassionate ground after he told a US court that he has tested positive for the Covid-19. He was rearrested following an extradition request by India, where he is a declared fugitive, they said. Rana made an initial court appearance on June 11. On Friday, US District Judge Jacqueline Chooljian in the US District Court Central District of California scheduled his bond hearing for June 30. His attorney has been asked to submit
WASHINGTON: The US on Friday criticised the Chinese Army for "escalating" the border tension with India and described the ruling Chinese Communist Party as a "rogue actor." Launching a scathing attack on the Chinese government, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Chinese Communist Party wants to undo all the progress the free world has made through institutions like NATO and adopt a new set of rules and norms that accommodate Beijing. "The PLA (People's Liberation Army) has escalated border tensions with India, the world's most populous democracy. It's militarising the South China Sea and illegally claiming more territory there, threatening vital sea lanes," Pompeo said, a day after he expressed deep condolences to India on the death of
WASHINGTON: The United States marks the end of slavery by celebrating Juneteenth on Friday, with the annual unofficial holiday taking on renewed significance as millions of Americans confront the nation's living legacy of racial injustice. Demonstrations, prayers and cultural celebrations of food and music will enliven communities from New York to Los Angeles to honor the day in 1865 when a Union general proclaimed in Galveston, Texas that all slaves were free. Some 155 years after the demise of the pro-slavery Confederacy, several tragedies have led the country into a reckoning on race. They have also energized a quest for equality among African Americans who decry how systemic racism and injustice have been allowed to fester in the world's flagship
WASHINGTON: For the sake of grabbing territory, the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) of China appears to have instigated the most violent clash between the two Asian giants, a top American Senator said on Thursday. “On land, for the sake of grabbing territory, the PLA appears to have instigated the most violent clash between China and India since those nations went to war in 1962,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a major foreign policy speech on the floor of the House. In his speech, China topped the list of countries, threatening the interest of the US and its allies. “Needless to say, the rest of the world has watched with grave concern this violent exchange between two nuclear states.
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump warned Thursday the United States had the option to separate from China's deeply intertwined economy, despite the powers' pledges to move forward on a trade deal. The US "certainly does maintain a policy option, under various conditions, of a complete decoupling from China. Thank you!" Trump tweeted. It was not Ambassador Lighthizer’s fault (yesterday in Committee) in that perhaps I didn’t make myself clear, but t… https://t.co/iZqtA0rRKo— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1592510173000He wrote that he was responding to comments by his trade representative Robert Lighthizer, who has been at the forefront of trade war negotiations with Beijing. Lighthizer told a congressional committee on Wednesday that China so far has been living up to the terms of
Peter Frankopan is professor of global history at Oxford University and author of The New Silk Roads: The Present and Future of the World. Speaking to Srijana Mitra Das, the eminent scholar and China analyst discussed China’s possible message in the Galwan clash – and how this tension could escalate further:Q. Why is the Ladakh area of such interest to the Chinese? Is this about water and minerals?A. Water and minerals are important – but Ladakh is not the most accessible part of the world to extract resources from. The fact that China disputes the frontier in Ladakh provides an excuse, and an opportunity, to put pressure on India. This seems particularly important in a world that is changing fast.
File photo of President Trump WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump is pursuing a "reset" of the World Trade Organization which he believes has treated American interests unfairly, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Wednesday. In the latest US attack on the global trade referee, Lighthizer said the WTO "has effectively treated one of the world's freest and most open economies - with an enormous trade deficit - as the world's greatest trade abuser." After paralyzing the WTO's dispute settlement body to force reforms, Lighthizer said Washington now plans to target tariff policy and special treatment of developing nations. The US also will pursue a "phase two" deal with China and "rebalance" the relationship with the European Union, where Lighthizer said
WASHINGTON: The United States is closely monitoring the situation following a fierce clash between Indian and Chinese forces in eastern Ladakh and hopes that the differences will be resolved peacefully, officials said here. Twenty Indian Army personnel including a colonel were killed in the clash with Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh on Monday night, the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that has significantly escalated the already volatile border standoff in the region. "We are closely monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control," a State Department spokesperson said. "We note the Indian military has announced that 20 soldiers have died, and we offer our condolences to their
US marine Paul Whelan: Pic credit AFPMOSCOW: A Russian court on Monday sentenced former US marine Paul Whelan to 16 years in a penal colony for espionage in a case that strained ties with Washington and fuelled speculation of a prisoner swap. Moscow City Court found Whelan guilty of receiving classified information as he stood in the dock with a sign that read "Sham trial!" and called pleaded for US President Donald Trump to intervene in the case. The court process is "slimy, greasy Russian politics nothing more, nothing less," he said. Whelan, 50, has been held in a Moscow jail since his arrest in December 2018 and his trial was held behind closed doors because of the accusations of
BERLIN: After more than a year of thinly-veiled threats to start pulling US troops out of Germany unless Berlin increases its defense spending, President Donald Trump appears to be proceeding with a hardball approach, planning to cut the US military contingent by more than 25 per cent. About 34,500 American troops are stationed in Germany — 50,000 including civilian Department of Defense employees — and the plan Trump reportedly signed off on last week envisions reducing active-duty personnel to 25,000 by September, with further cuts possible. But as details of the still-unannounced plan trickle out, there's growing concerns it will do more to harm the .S's own global military readiness and the NATO alliance than punish Germany. The decision was
WASHINGTON: Donald Trump has postponed a controversial rally scheduled for the same day as a holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the US, following fierce criticism, he announced Friday. The "Make America Great Again" rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma had been due to mark Trump's return to the campaign trail, but he said on Twitter the event had been postponed "out of respect" for the June 19 "Juneteenth" holiday. Critics had slammed Trump's choice of Tulsa -- the site of one of the worst race riots in US history -- as anti-racism protests sweep the country following the death of George Floyd in police custody. "This isn't just a wink to white supremacists-he's throwing them a welcome home party," Senator
WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will address searing anger over racism and police brutality during a trip to Texas on Thursday but his main focus is rapidly shifting to a more personal problem -- his troubled reelection campaign. The Republican has struggled to find the right tone to address the explosion of protests against years of police abuses and what many African-American leaders, and others, say is systemic racism. That crisis, coupled with the economic devastation of the Covid-19 shutdown -- and the fact that the pandemic continues to kill about 1,000 people a day -- has left the country crying out for healing. Trump, whose political style is built largely on fierce division and exciting his right-wing base, is
WASHINGTON: Scientists have observed that a drug which is already approved to treat several blood cancers, is associated with reduced respiratory distress and a reduction in the overactive immune response in Covid-19 patients, an advance that may lead to a potential therapeutic for novel coronavirus infection. According to the researchers, including those from the National Cancer Institute in the US, the cancer drug acalabrutinib blocked the protein Bruton tyrosine kinase (BTK) in Covid-19 patients, and provided clinical benefit to a small group of them. The study, published in the journal Science Immunology, noted that the findings should not be considered clinical advice, and remain to be tested in a randomised, controlled clinical trial. The BTK protein, according to the scientists,
WASHINGTON: An influential community of Indian-American doctors in the US has expressed outrage at the custodial killing of George Floyd and the "long history" of racial discrimination in America, saying that the "divisive rhetoric" seem to be getting worse each day in the country. African-American Floyd, 46, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck as he gasped for breath till life left his body in Minneapolis on May 25. His death has triggered violent nationwide protests. Police have used tear gas to disperse the crowds and hundreds of people have been arrested as protests turned violent in some cities. The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest body representing Indian-American doctors, in a statement
WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has notified Congress that the Trump administration no longer regards Hong Kong as autonomous from mainland China, setting the stage for U.S. to withdraw the former British colony's preferential trade and financial status it has enjoyed since it reverted to Chinese rule 23 years ago. The move does not carry any immediate penalties, which would have to be decided by President Donald Trump in consultation with Congress. But the administration sees it as putting China on notice that Hong Kong's perks are in jeopardy. ``Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997,'' Pompeo said
WASHINGTON: United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday offered to mediate between India and China over their “raging border dispute”, in another wild swing at diplomatic intervention in the region. “We have informed both India and China that the United States is ready, willing and able to mediate or arbitrate their now raging border dispute. Thank you!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. Trump’s offer, dismissed or ignored in both China and India, surprised most observers given its timing — coming when Washington’s own ties with Beijing are fraught. The fact that Trump tweeted about it first thing in the morning — around 7.30am — suggested that the issue must have featured in the Presidential Daily Briefing, an intelligence assessment that is
WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened social media companies with new regulation or even shuttering a day after Twitter added fact checks to two of his tweets. The president can't unilaterally regulate or close the companies, which would require action by Congress or the Federal Communications Commission. But that didn't stop Trump from angrily issuing a strong warning. Claiming tech giants "silence conservative voices,'' Trump tweeted, ``We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.'' Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or cl… https://t.co/2Z5Yb4iJbA— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 1590577912000And he repeated his unsubstantiated claim _ which sparked his latest showdown with Silicon Valley
WASHINGTON: Multinational automobile manufacturers Nissan and Renault have planned to disclose billions of dollars in cost cuts this week and slash capacity by an additional million vehicles in view of the coronavirus shutdowns, people familiar with the companies' plans told The WallStreet Journal. The moves are set to undo the growth strategy pushed earlier by Carlos Ghosn, former leader of both companies, to sell around 14 million cars by 2022. Now, the target is closer to 10 million, according to the people familiar with the plans. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the boom in demand the companies anticipated wasn't materialising, leaving plants underused. "The situation has become untenable," said a person close to Renault. Ghosn has objected to efforts by Renault and Nissan to
Instead of the articles, photographs or graphics that normally appear on the front page of The New York Times, on Sunday, there is just a list: a long, solemn list of people whose lives were lost to the coronavirus pandemic. As the death toll from COVID-19 in the United States approaches 100,000, a number expected to be reached in the coming days, editors at the Times have been planning how to mark the grim milestone. Simone Landon, assistant editor of the Graphics desk, wanted to represent the number in a way that conveyed both the vastness and the variety of lives lost. Departments across the Times have been robustly covering the coronavirus pandemic for months. But Landon and her
BEIJING: The Chinese virology institute in the city where Covid-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking chaos across the world, its director has said. Scientists think Covid-19 -- which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed some 340,000 people worldwide -- originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. But the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster CGTN that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others the virus could have leaked from the facility were "pure fabrication". In the interview filmed on May 13 but broadcast Saturday night, Wang Yanyi said the centre has "isolated and obtained
Representational photo. WASHINGTON: A bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced a legislation in both the chambers of the US Congress proposing major reforms in skilled non-immigrant visa programmes by giving priority to US-educated foreign technology professionals in issuing H-1B work visas. The H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act, as introduced in House of Representatives and Senate, will require US Citizenship and Immigration Services to prioritize for the first time the annual allocation of H-1B visas. The new system would ensure that the best and brightest students being educated in the United States receive preference for an H-1B visa, including advanced degree holders, those being paid a high wage, and those with valuable skills, proponents of this major legislative reforms said
WASHINGTON: A Fox News poll showing Democratic contender Joe Biden leading President Donald Trump by 8 points heading into the November election ignited fury in the notoriously tetchy incumbent against his favorite TV channel on which he bestows inordinate amount of time and attention. At a time the United States is passing through an unprecedented health crisis and economic distress, Trump shot off nearly a dozen tweets and retweets on polls and polling accusing Fox News, a channel that is for the most part cravenly devoted to him, of "doing nothing to help Republicans, and me get re-elected." Amid growing politicization of the coronavirus pandemic and its fallout, he also demanded Fox News fire their "fake pollster," complaining that
वाशिंगटन: अमेरिकी राष्ट्रपति डोनाल्ड ट्रंप (Donald Trump) ने एक बार फिर कोरोना वायरस (Coronavirus) को लेकर चीन (China) पर हमला बोला है. गुरूवार को ट्रंप ने कहा कि खतरनाक वायरस चीन से ही आया है और अमेरिका इसे बहुत गंभीरता से ले रहा है. मिशिगन में अफ्रीकी-अमेरिकी नेताओं के साथ एक सत्र में ट्रंप ने कोरोना वायरस को लेकर कहा, 'यह चीन से आया है. हम इसे लेकर खुश नहीं है. हमने व्यापारिक समझौते पर हस्ताक्षर किये. जिसकी स्याही अभी सूखी भी नहीं थी कि अचानक से हालात बिगड़ गए, हम इसे हल्के में नहीं लेने वाले.' कोरोना वायरस का अमेरिका में कहर जारी है. गुरूवार तक अमेरिका में कोरोना वायरस से 94 हजार से अधिक लोगों की मौत हो चुकी थी.