Americas

America Moves Towards Strengthening Domestic Supply Under Biden Leadership
Americas

America Moves Towards Strengthening Domestic Supply Under Biden Leadership

The Indian self sufficiency bugle might have rung the right bells amongst the leadership of the world, as America is also planning to focus on self sufficient manufacturing era. 

Under the new leadership of Joe Biden, the US is planning to usher in an era of ‘Made in America’ revolution which is going to indirectly help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Keeping his promise along with his campaign, Biden signed on an executive order that will help increase amount of federal spending that goes to American companies.

President Joe Biden would also be creating a new position of the Office of Management and Budget to oversee stepped-up purchases of domestic goods.

According to an American media agency, the president’s order also will make it harder for federal agencies to issue waivers allowing the government to purchase some products made overseas. Under the new rules, agency officials will be required to justify such choices to the White House.

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The gaping holes showed at the Covid-19 times when America was forced to procure PPE from foreign players.  Despite rules stating a capping on foreign spending, every year, the federal government is said to be spending about $600 billion on contracting. However, waivers and loopholes have allowed even more foreign product to be purchased than the rules state.

Under the executive order, these loopholes will be addressed so that the taxpayers money is not wasted, in-house manufacturing facilities are given priority over foreign picks, and to address the structural inequality in the American economy as a whole. 

While the American plan might not completely echo the Indian one, it does intend to go back to the basics, respect domestic produce and develop powers within than seek from outside. 

The flipside of this is that it might increase the taxpayers’ spending and irk allies that have been happy with the Trump administration as he continued to beat their beat and not work for the larger good of the American people. 

The US Senate will begin the impeachment trial against the former President Donald Trump
Americas

The US Senate will begin the impeachment trial against the former President Donald Trump

The United States Senate will begin the impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump the week of February, 8. Majority leader Chuck Schumer announced yesterday in the Senate chamber. The senator confirmed the timing of the Chamber proceeding, specifying that on Monday, Jan. 25, the Chamber will deliver the documents to the Senate. The day after, all the formal documents will be held, with the hearing starts.

The decision is the result of a compromise between Democrat Schumer and Republican leader Mitch McConnell, as they asked for a postponement of the trial in mid-February to allow Trump to prepare his defense. In the meantime, the Senate will be able to continue its hearings to confirm the ministers appointed by the new president Joe Biden and to discuss the new aid package for the coronavirus pandemic in the United States.

Trump and a Justice Department lawyer have come up with a plan to oust Jeffrey Rosen, acting attorney general after William Barr’s resignation, and use the ministry power to force Georgia lawmakers to overturn the election outcome. presidential elections in that state. That was revealed by the New York Times, citing four former administration executives who asked for anonymity.

The attorney in question, Jeffrey Clark, had let the president know that he shared his allegations of fraud and was ready to go along with Rosen’s denied requests for investigations. But department executives had unanimously threatened on a conference call that they would resign if Rosen was fired. Only this consequence, according to the NYT, would have kept Trump from the tear, calculating that the controversy over the mass resignation at the top of the ministry would have eclipsed attention to his baseless accusations of fraudulent elections.

Previously, the Washington Post published a tape of a call, in which Donald Trump pressures Georgia’s secretary of state to overturn the election result. During the audio recording, which the newspaper aired on its website, Trump asked Georgia’s secretary of state to find about 11,779 votes to close the gap with Biden and reverse the result. According to the newspaper, Trump warned Georgia’s secretary of state of the criminal consequences if he did not respond to his allegations of fraud in the state elections, adding that this “anomalous call” lasted an hour.

For the Washington Post, which published excerpts of the call on its website, Trump used several methods to address Georgia Secretary of State Brad Ravensburger – a Republican like him – ranging from flattery and pleading, and between reproach and threat of unclear legal consequences if he refused. Throughout the call, Ravensburger and his chief legal counsel rejected Trump’s insistence on vote-counting fraud and clarified that he was relying on unfounded conspiracy theories and that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the status of 11,779 votes was fair and accurate.

In a one-day lightning process, the US House passed the impeachment motion against Donald Trump to incite insurgency for encouraging his fans to storm Congress and prevent Joe Biden’s victory certification. In addition to all the Democrats, 10 Republicans also voted in favor: the game now moves to the Senate.

Trump Impeachment: Mitch McConnell seeks impeachment trial delay until February
Americas

Trump Impeachment: Mitch McConnell seeks impeachment trial delay until February

Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader is proposing a delay in impeachment trial of Donald Trump to February, to give his team some time to prepare and review for the trial case. 

House, led by Democrats, had voted last week to impeach Trump for inciting the violence and Capitol Hill attack on January 6. The House wants quick progression into the trial with President Joe Biden beginning his term. Majority of representatives are in favor of stern action to bring justice to the heinous crime against American democracy and the sanctum sanctorum of it, Capitol Hill. 

During a call on Thursday with other GOP senators, McConnell said that a short delay in trial would help Trump’s legal team prepare for the case. 

Mike Braun, Indiana senator said that trial might begin by mid-February. He mentioned it is “due to the fact that the process as it occurred in the House evolved so quickly, and that it is not in line with the time you need to prepare for a defense in a Senate trial.” 

Timing of the trial will be set by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as McConnell and Chuck Schumer, the new Senate Majority leader. Schumer is to lead the Senate according to the fact that Democrats won two Senate seats from Georgia that were the deciding seats for Senate win. But the divide is so narrow, that trial decision would be impacted by Republicans say. Currently, Schumer and McConnell are in negotiations on how to frame a 50-50 partisan divide in Senate. 

The key agendas in line, the legislation for which Democrats hope to pass on priority are trial proceeding and President Biden’s relief package including coronavirus relief fund. Their pass would need Republican support in Senate too. 

Pelosi is expected to send the trial article “incitement for insurrection” to Senate by Friday. On Thursday Pelosi said, “It will be soon, I don’t think it will be long, but we must do it.” 

Democrats and many Republicans are clear about one thing – Donald Trump must be impeached for the Capitol violence, which acted as the last straw in the sack. Nancy Pelosi said that in no condition does Trump deserve a “get out of jail card.” 

Mitch McConnell said this week that Trump had “provoked” his supporters leading to riots in the Hill. But he hasn’t confirmed if he would vote for his impeachment, but made a point referring to it to be a “vote of conscience”

Biden Promise Shows Shift Towards Quick Economic Recovery Road
Americas

Biden Promise Shows Shift Towards Quick Economic Recovery Road

As Joe Biden was sworn in as the new American dream for a better tomorrow, discussions around his stimulus package are already doing rounds in the political circuit. 

The bottom line drawn is that the seriousness and vow of delivery will entirely depend on the effectiveness of his stimulus package.  According to a former economic advisor to Obama, Biden indeed has a tough task at hand as he is “inheriting among the worst crises a president has stepped into.”

An old saying goes that ‘the first 100 days tests the effectiveness of someone’s leadership’. Indeed, Biden will have all the opportunity to test his from the beginning.  He would need to move in lightening speed, to repair damage and create some immediate buttressing of the fractured economy. Critics feel he has the right experience having worked under Obama as Vice President. 

Reversing the damage course, as soon as he was sworn, he quickly signed off 17 executive orders. They included extending a pause on student loan payments, renewing an eviction moratorium, and rejoining the Paris climate accords.

There is hope when Biden makes announcements about collective strength and desire to bring together the bipartisanship and unite Americans after almost four years of divided chaos under Donald Trump.  According to economists, there is a need for robust input of finances to help the economy to get back on its feet. 

Biden has already introduced a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief plan last week building on an earlier federal rescue package. The plan includes relief provisions like enhanced unemployment insurance through September, aid to state and local governments, vaccine funds, and new stimulus checks.

Biden has also said he would unveil a second major plan during a joint session of Congress next month to unleash new federal investments into infrastructure, childcare and manufacturing.

Currently, the infection numbers in America have out past those even killed in the World War II, amounting to 4.5 million. Around 10 million less Americans have jobs due to the ongoing corona virus strain on the economy. Much of the economic burden has fallen squarely on women and minority communities, who have suffered larger job losses. Last week, employers have said to have shed 140,000 jobs, not making things any further pleasant that they already are. 

Trump in his final farewell: “It’s been an honor and we will be back In some form”
Americas

Trump in his final farewell: “It’s been an honor and we will be back In some form”

On Wednesday, 8:15 a.m. Donald Trump and left the White House for the final time as president. He landed at the Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland, where hundreds of supporters greeted Trump. He addressed the crowd on his final departure ceremony as the 45th president of the United States. 

Trump was the first president in the history of the United States to be impeached twice, with a term that witnessing millions of citizens unemployed and 400,000 dead due to the coronavirus pandemic. Inciting an assault on Capitol Hill that stunned Americans, and left five dead, including a Capitol Police official.

As per the Associated Press, Trump stated, “it’s been a great privilege, a truly incredible honor to serve the greatest people in the world, the best home in the world,” before he headed for Marine One, rotors whirring, on South Lawn.

“We love the American public, and once more, it has been something exceptionally special. What’s more, I simply need to bid farewell yet hope it’s not a long goodbye. We’ll see each other soon,” he added 

Trump will be the first president in modern history to boycott President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. He also wouldn’t partake in any of the representative symbolic passing-of-the-torch traditions and the peaceful transition, including welcoming the Bidens over a get-to-know-you visit. 

Trump stated while addressing a small crowd at Andrews base, “This has been remarkable four years.” “We’ve achieved such a lot together,” “I will consistently battle for you, and we will be back in some form or other.” 

Bidding a final goodbye, Donald Trump and Melania Trump boarded the Air Force One and took off for the two-hour trip to Florida as Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” played on the tarmac.

Trump administration imposes more sanctions on Venezuela
Americas

Trump administration imposes more sanctions on Venezuela

Trump administration has imposed more financial sanctions on Venezuela to limit its oil sales

A day ahead of leaving the White House, the outgoing Trump administration imposed an array of strict financial sanctions on a network of oil trading companies and individuals in Venezuela. 

As per reports, the US targeted the network for allegedly assisting Venezuelan state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) sell crude to Asia and other countries across the world, in a violation of US sanctions on the oil sector in the South American country. 

The US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has sanctioned 14 companies, three individuals, and six vessels for helping the President Nicolas Maduro-led administration in evading sanctions and selling oil from Venezuela to other countries for millions of dollars.

As per a statement released by the US Treasury, the three primary targets of the sanctions are Francisco D’Agostino, Alessandro Bazzoni, and Philipp Apikian, along with oil trading companies Swissoil Trading SA and Elemento Ltd. The sanctions have been imposed on these businesses and individuals for operating a sanction-evasion scheme to benefit the illegitimate Maduro regime and PDVSA, the statement added. 

“Those facilitating the illegitimate Maduro regime’s attempts to circumvent United States sanctions contribute to the corruption that consumes Venezuela,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the release.

Over the past two years, Trump has time and again regarded Maduro as an illegitimate leader of the South American country, exerting pressure on him to leave the office. Slamming Maduro for Venezuela’s political and economic crisis, the Trump administration recognized Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó as the legitimate President of the country. 

After Maduro’s re-election in 2018, which was dubbed as fraudulent, the US has imposed massive sanctions on the country to curb its oil exports. PDVSA was sanctioned by the Trump administration in early 2019 in a bid to limit its oil sales. Last year, the United States had warned of more sanctions on the Venezuelan oil sector to choke off finances to Maduro’s government. 

Amid escalated tensions with the US, the Maduro-led Venezuelan regime has received support from China and Russia. 

At the same time, the US President also halted the deportation of thousands of Venezuelan nationals from the country for 18 months, citing “deteriorative condition” in the South American country. According to a 2017 estimate by Pew Research Center think tank, there are almost 130,000 Venezuelans living illegally in the US.

Donald Trump’s last day in the White House, the day of forgiveness
Americas

Donald Trump’s last day in the White House, the day of forgiveness

Trump’s last day is the day of forgiveness. The United States outgoing president will sign at least one hundred clemency acts between one box and another. Donald Trump is in the White House for another 24 hours. A shower of indulgences granted precisely by those who have also dusted off the death penalty, sending 13 convicts to death in six months.

With his daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner’s help, Mr president completed the beneficiaries list Sunday. To enjoy the pardons and commutations of sentences will be largely lobbyists, political allies, and the famous rapper Lil Wayne. He risks ten years for illegal weapons possession. Together with many responsible for financial crimes: such as the well-known eye doctor of Palm Beach Salomon Melgen.

The name of Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, would have been purged. While there may have ended up last minute, the names of Rudy Giuliani and that of his friend Steve Bannon, accused of stealing funds for the construction of the wall on the border with Mexico, were among the firsts. We still do not know if the name of Trump and his children will also be on the list. The councillors have repeatedly advised him against forgiving himself and his family: the act, with uncertain legal boundaries, would be equivalent to admitting to having committed crimes. Capitol Hill attackers shouldn’t be on the list either.

Granting pardon is a constitutional power of the president, widely used in the past as well. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for example, granted a whopping 2,819 and commuted 418 sentences. Also, Barack Obama – who on his penultimate day pardoned Chelsea Manning, sentenced to 35 years for having passed confidential documents to WikiLeaks – in 8 years, he queued 212: commuting 1715 sentences. But Obama and the other presidents before him have always tried to use that power to correct judicial or health errors. While the 68 graces granted by Trump in these four years mainly concern friends and political allies: from the anti-immigrant sheriff of Arizona Joe Arpaio to the tax evader Charles Kushner.

To get to the recent pardons granted in December to former general Michael Flynn, former councillor Roger Stone and former manager of the first election campaign Paul Manafort, all involved in Russiagate. Unlike his predecessors, Trump nevertheless never used the institutional channel of the Department of Justice.

The requests for pardon have always gone through his trusted men: his son-in-law Jared, the chief of staff Mark Meadows, and the legal adviser Pat Cipollone. The system, denounces the New York Times, has led to a real market for indulgences. Shameless collaborators such as former prosecutor Brett Tolman and attorney John M. Dowd have taken advantage of it. They can get paid thousands of US dollars to get the instances on the president’s table in the White House. A system that would have determined, in the last few weeks only, the acceptance of 41 requests for forgiveness, literally paid in gold.

US-Canada initiate work towards policy alignment as Biden takes over US Presidency
Americas

US-Canada initiate work towards policy alignment as Biden takes over US Presidency

US-Canada initiate work: One of the closest allies in the American history, have initiated policy alignment discussions to prepare groundwork for the new presidential era. Joe Biden would be officially succeeding Donald Trump as the US next president on January 20. Interestingly, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau was among the first few leaders who acknowledged Biden’s election win and congratulated him for the same. 

“It’s very much a tradition that the Canadian prime minister and the U.S. president meet very quickly to be able to talk about all the tremendous things that we can do together,” Trudeau said in an interview to Reuters on Thursday

The Canadian leader has been looking forward to the beginning of new era in the US political history with the end of Trump’s reign, who following his Canada visit in 2018 called Trudeau as “very dishonest and weak”. 

On the contrary, the Liberal Canadian Premier shared close ties with former Democratic President Barack Obama. In December 2016, after Trump’s election win, Biden, Obama’s vice-president, passed the progressive torch to Trudeau on a visit to Ottawa.

“The world’s going to spend a lot of time looking to you, Mr. Prime Minister, as we see more and more challenges to the liberal international order than any time since the end of World War Two,” Biden said.

It would be a golden period for US-Canada ties as Biden and Trudeau share common vision on various issues. Though the biggest hurdle between the two would be around Biden’s economic policy which is focused around “buy America” policy.

“I do think that he’s been pretty clear around some of the aspects of his economic policy that are a little more protectionist than we would want to see,” Ambassador Kirsten Hillman told Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

During his campaign, Biden committed to launch a $400 billion investment to promote US-made goods and said “when we spend taxpayer money, we should buy American products”.

Biden’s economic policy could be a bone of contention with one of the US largest trading partner, as Canadian economy is highly dependent on Washington, which imports about 75% of all Canadian goods exports.

“We are both focusing on, first and foremost, combating COVID, ensuring the safety and health of our citizens, respecting science…There’s a lot of alignment on climate policy…So, I mean, the list is long of policy coordination,” Hillman said.

Hillman added that both the leaders, share great camaraderie and common understanding over various issues. “So that is definitely going to be an asset”.

After bankruptcy, the powerful US arms lobby risks of disappearing
Americas

After bankruptcy, the powerful US arms lobby risks of disappearing

US arms lobby: The NRA, the biggest association of US arms owners with about 5 million members, has announced the initiation of the voluntary bankruptcy procedure aimed at a reorganization. The powerful lobby also explained that it will be absorbed by a non-profit NGO in Texas and leave the New York State one, where it was founded in 1871, to which it was affiliated. A turning point that comes on the eve of the inauguration of the new president, Joe Biden, who unlike Donald Trump, has made it known that he wants to fight to limit the spread of weapons, responsible for the deaths of 40 thousand people a year in the United States.

The decision seems to be a way to escape the investigation launched by the New York federal prosecutor on a series of frauds and diversion of funds. The leaders of the National rifle association are involved in the case, which would have caused losses of over 63 million dollars in just three years. Last week, the prosecutor asked for the organization’s dissolution, symbolizing the second amendment of the US Constitution, guaranteeing the right to bear arms.

The NRA filed for federal bankruptcy in Dallas and said it intends to move to Texas to escape “a corrupt political and regulatory environment” in New York, contain and optimize costs and expenses. “Texas appreciates the contributions of the NRA, celebrates our law-abiding members, and joins us in upholding constitutional freedoms,” Lobby number one, Wayne La Pierre, wrote in a letter to members. In August, New York Attorney General Letitia James sued the NRA and its top management for mismanagement and financial fraud.

We thought it would take years for what was once a very powerful organization with 5 million members to be effectively canceled from the registers of the State, where it was founded in 1871. But in reality, the lobby, once able to elect presidents for some time now, is in crisis. Torn by financial difficulties and an internal war for leadership, it has long struggled for survival. Attorney James had already asked for the leaders’ resignation, accusing them of having stolen at least 64 million dollars from the organization’s bank accounts. At the same time, she asked that none of the executives involved direct any other organization in the future.

Established by retired army officers because “too many soldiers don’t even know how to shoot straight,” as General Ambrose Burnside, its first president, said. After having been little more than a sports association for a long time, in the last twenty ‘ years – ever since Wayne La Pierre became CEO, she has walked straight into the political chambers. It became shortly, the powerful lobby determining elections. If at one time, however, he invested in a bipartisan manner (years ago, Bernie Sanders also had funds and endorsements from them) for Trump, they made an exception. The Donald owes them a great deal. In fact, on the 2016 election, the NRA, which already controlled all the Republican senators, invested a good 30 million dollars. Support that the outgoing US President Donald Trump has publicly confirmed several times.

Donald Trump impeachment: Is it too late?
Americas

Donald Trump impeachment: Is it too late?

 Donald Trump impeachment: Trump is going to be known in American history for all the wrong reasons – the latest of them being the only United States President to have been impeached twice. Wednesday was historic day as Democrats-led House of Representatives voted to impeach outgoing president Donald Trump. The most remarkable moment of the entire proceeding was inclusion of 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching Trump, making the moral compass highlighted. 

But the next step of Senate voting in favor of the impeachment has been hazed off by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. McConnell clarified the reality soon after voting was done by House for Trump impeachment. He said, “Even if the Senate process were to begin this week and move promptly, no final verdict would be reached until after President Trump had left office. This is not a decision I am making; it is a fact.” 

This means that Senate voting on whether Trump will be removed from office will not happen till January 20, the day he exits White Office. 

This brings us to few questions worth contemplating – can a former president be impeached or removed from office; and does it make it worth the procedure?

Regarding first question of impeaching a former president, debate has been ongoing since forever. Even the Constitution is rather vague on the topic. Article II, Section of Constitution reads, “The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” 

But the clarity on the situation, which is at present, of what will ensue if impeachment process starts when the president is still in office and ends when he is not, is not offered by the Constitution. Constitution leaves it an open interpretation, something that hasn’t been tried before in America real time. 

This brings us to the second question – even if we can impeach the President at this point, what purpose does it solve? 

The face value of this question looks simple straight forward – holding a ‘former president’ on trial to decide if he was guilty of impeachable offences when he was in office doesn’t really make sense. But Senate voting will not only decide on impeaching Trump, but more. If Senate voting goes in favor of impeaching Trump, then the next vote would be held that would ban Trump from seeking any public office in future. The voting would be of simple majority of 50+1 by Senate. 

This will be groundbreaking for the 2024 elections. Trump wouldn’t be running for President, which he has made clear of doing. This can be a good and smart game plan by McConnell who has made it clear that he is done with Trump. This would allow GOP to get ‘rid of Donald Trump’

This brings us to a valid conclusion – it does after all make sense in impeaching Donald Trump and it isn’t too late.

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