Americas

Trump is living his dream: Launches his website to ‘re-tell’ his version of history
Americas

Trump is living his dream: Launches his website to ‘re-tell’ his version of history

Donald Trump and social media cannot be kept apart for long. Some might say its his way of satisfying his ego, while some might argue that the man needs some channel to ‘express’ his views. Nevertheless, former United Sates President Donald Trump has launched his website, months after his official account was blocked by Twitter in an aftermath of Capitol Hill riots in January, for inciting violence.

The website, 45office.com is labelled as a platform for his supporters to stay in touch and also where former President can continue his campaign of “America First”. Interestingly, the website lays down very few instances of history around Trump’s period in office, basically “selective re-telling” of history.

The website’s homepage boasts that “the office of Donald J Trump is committed to preserving the magnificent legacy of the Trump administration, while at the same time advancing the America first agenda”.

The website is centered around a roughly 900 word description of Trump’s presidency, describing his achievements as the 45th President of United States of America as “the most extraordinary political movement in history”. The description revolves around Trump’s greatness and achievements, entailing how he de-throned the political dynasties in Washington DC and “overcame virtually every entrenched power structure”.

Syncing in with Trump camp’s constant ‘de-bunked’ claims of building world’s greatest economy, the website says, “President Trump ushered in a period of unprecedented economic growth, job creation, soaring wages, and booming incomes.”

Un-surprisingly, the website fails to mention the horrid suffering of America’s economy last year during Covid-19 pandemic during Trump’s presidency. It also fails to acknowledge the massive, beyond comprehension toll on human lives as a result of failure to address the coronavirus pandemic by Trump administration. On the contrary, it calls government’s handling of pandemic a success, saying, “When the coronavirus plague arrived from China, afflicting every nation around the globe, President Trump acted early and decisively.”

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Also, site doesn’t mention Donald Trump being the only US president to have undergone impeachment trials in Congress twice. No mention of Capitol Hill riots either.

Website promises that “through civic engagement and public activism, the office of Donald J Trump will strive to inform, educate, and inspire Americans from all walks of life as we seek to build a truly great American future”.

Donald Trump has hinted of his contesting the 2024 Presidential Elections. It is a high possibility as despite of huge backlash and impeachment trials, Trump enjoys significant support in GOP. It is said that Trump has already started backing Republican candidates who can unseat the Republicans who he feels were disloyal to him.

Mexican president exhibits sadness and shame over brutality killing of Salvador woman in police custody
Americas

Mexican president exhibits sadness and shame over brutality killing of Salvador woman in police custody

On Monday Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador expressed ‘sadness, pain and shame’ over the killing of a Salvador woman who died in police custody. The 36-year-old Victoria Salazar Arriaza died after a female officer kneeled on her neck. Her autopsy report said that Salazar’s neck had been broken. The cause of death was said to be spinal fracture which happened due to breakage of the first and second vertebrae.

During the Monday’s press conference Mexican premier condemned the brutality and ill-treatment exhibited by the four police officers (one female and three male) who arrested the Salvador refugee woman on Saturday. Expressing his sympathies, Obrador said that Salazar, was “brutally treated and murdered”. He added, “It is a deed that fills us with sorrow, pain and shame.”

Salazar, a single mother of two teenage girls, was detained from the tourist resort of Tulum on the Caribbean coast. Officers did not clarify the reason for her detention but the state media reported that she was held after the police received an emergency call from a convenience store, where was believed to be exhibiting drunk and improper behavior.

The Salvador woman was held facedown on the road, with one knee on the back of her neck. It was the same technique which led to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, last year in police custody. The attorney general of Quintana Roo state, Oscar Montes de Oca, said that Salazar resisted police at the store’s exit which made the police”improperly apply bodily control techniques that ultimately caused (Salazar’s) death”.

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Oca reported that all the officers party to the crime have been taken into custody on the charges of femicide. The state department looking into the investigations of the case said, “The level of force was carried out in a disproportionate, immoderate way and with a high risk to life.” The conviction of the culprits could lead to 20 to 50 years of imprisonment.

Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele, extended support towards the victim’s family and  said that his government “only asks for justice” and demanded that the “full force of the law” fall on those responsible for her death. He added that his government, would also care for the deceased’s daughters, who are currently living in Mexico. Rosibel Arriaza, Salazar’s mother, condemning the police action, told Salvadoran media, “I ask for justice for my daughter, because I don’t see a justified cause” for what police did to her. She added that her daughter went to Mexico five years ago in search for “better opportunities, like other Salvadorans,” and for “better future for her girls and to help them get ahead”.

Minneapolis & Chauvin trial: stakes are high as Chauvin’s trial opens over killing of George Floyd
Americas

Minneapolis & Chauvin trial: stakes are high as Chauvin’s trial opens over killing of George Floyd

United States of America and state of Minnesota brace themselves as Monday morning marks the beginning of Derek Chauvin’s trial with opening arguments. Chauvin is charged with killing of George Floyd last May in Minneapolis, a killing in custody that triggered the nation-wide “Black Lives Matter” movement against racial discrimination and violence by police authorities. BLM protest spurred into biggest civil rights movement in the US since 1960s.

A video circulating of incident showing Chauvin, a white cop, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for none minutes during arrest as he screamed “I cant breathe” angered Americans as thousands took to the streets in protest.  

Derek Chauvin has been consistently denying the charges of manslaughter and murder of George Floyd. From Monday, March 29, the prosecutors are presenting their case in a heavily guarded court in Minneapolis downtown. This is being labelled as one of the most significant case against police brutality in the country. It hasn’t been cleared by Eric Nelson, the attorney of Chauvin, if the former police officer would be testifying.

The key argumentative points that defense team would focus on include presence of opioid Fentanyl and Methamphetamine in Floyd’s system, and that he had underlying health conditions. However, Floyd’s autopsy had concluded homicide to be the reason of his death.

One of the witness to be called would be Darnella Frazier, who was 17 years old when she recorded the key video that formed the basis of BLM movement and case against Chauvin.

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A junction in southern Minneapolis, now known as George Floyd Square, where Floyd was killed will have a vigil and protest Sunday night. Mileesha Smith, one of the many whop look after the square that is covered with murals, tributes and barricades said, “George Floyd wasn’t the first person to be killed by police on this block, but [in the past] media wasn’t the way that it is and a lot of it got swept under the rug.”

Due to ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the court room would have restrictions. But people across the state and country would be able to watch complete live streaming of the trial, which would be first ever in state of Minnesota. This trial would lay down the groundwork of real justice in country for people of colour, something that people would be seeking for – can police and a white man be held accountable for injustice against a black and brought to justice by American judicial system.

Biden for countering China’s BRI through similar initiatives
Americas

Biden for countering China’s BRI through similar initiatives

US President Joe Biden has suggested that the western nations develop an effective plan to counter China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), as he spoke on a phone conversation, on Friday, with the U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“I suggest we should have, essentially, a very similar initiative, coming from the democratic states, helping the communities in the world that, in reality, are in need of help,” Biden spoke to reporters before his departure for Delaware.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had launched the BRI back in 2013, intended to create the world’s largest infrastructure program worth multi-trillion dollars for investment and international development.

The program was intended originally to unite the Asian spearhead with its neighboring countries, known in China as a “One Belt, One Road” in tribute to the famous Silk Road, but has now garnered agreements and investments in nearly 139 countries, accounting for the worlds’ 40% GDP.

A majority of the countries that have come under the umbrella of the BRI plan are underdeveloped now rely in part on China for their development that includes 5G networks, power plants, roads and railways. The multi-nation agreement has caused the officials in the U.S. along with their western allies to worry that China is actually using the initiative to further its influence around the world.

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China, last year, said that nearly 20 percent of BRI projects had got “seriously affected” by the coronavirus pandemic.

There has been pushback against BRI from countries that have termed the projects as costly and unnecessary. Beijing has scaled back some plans after numerous countries sought to review, scale down or cancel commitments, citing worries of costs, corruption and erosion of sovereignty.

Biden is said to introduce a multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure bill by next week that is aimed at improving roads, bridges, and addressing climate change initiatives.

Biden’s first press briefing invites backlash from Republicans and media for avoiding certain key topics
Americas

Biden’s first press briefing invites backlash from Republicans and media for avoiding certain key topics

On Thursday, US president Joe Biden held his first press conference where he interacted with about 10 reporters. During his briefing he touched upon the key domestic and foreign policy issues ranging from battling COVID19 pandemic, migration, challenges posed by China, and Russia to taking a call over troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

After his brief address to the media personnels, the 46th US president opened the forum for questions. To one of the questions over restrictions imposed on voting by the Republicans, Biden responded saying, “What I’m worried about is how un-American this whole initiative is. It is sick.”

Besides, while slamming the state of human rights affairs in China, the 65-year-old leader also took a jab at his predecessor, Donald Trump. He said, “I made it clear that no American president — at least one did — but no American president ever backed down from speaking out of what’s happening with the Uyghurs, what’s happening in Hong Kong. That’s who we are. The moment a president walks away from that, as the last one did, is the moment we began to lose our legitimacy around the world.”

When asked about the recent test-fired missiles launched by North Korea, Biden said the US administration was making an effort to get it touch with its allies and partners to explore an apt solution to the issue. But he also stressed that that the peninsular nation might have to face the consequences if it “choose to escalate”. He said, “We will respond accordingly.”

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Observing the US leader’s first formal briefing, Max Boot, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations said, “The dominant narrative from the right-wing industrial complex is that Biden is senile and being manipulated by shadowy leftists. It’s a charge so crazy it doesn’t deserve refutation. But Biden’s crisp press conference shows he is fully in command of the issues.”

Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary during the George W. Bush administration, equated the President’s briefing to a “study guide”. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham also took a swipe at Biden’s news conference, calling it “hard to watch”. He said, “He does not have the situational awareness because he doesn’t understand the problem.” Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin, also expressed her disappointment towards the reporters for not asking the administration enough questions about various key topics. She said, “Their failure to ask about the pandemic, the recession, anti-Asian violence, climate change or even infrastructure (Biden had to bring it up himself) was nothing short of irresponsible. They pleaded for a news conference and then showed themselves to be unserious.”

AstraZeneca vaccine 76% effective, new study reveals
Americas

AstraZeneca vaccine 76% effective, new study reveals

AstraZeneca said its vaccine for the coronavirus was effective by 76 percent, findings as per the latest analysis of its trial in the United States. 

It is pertinent to mention that these findings are lower than the ones announced earlier this week that were criticized for using information that was outdated.

US health officials had admonished the drugmakers for not using the latest information in a report that said that the vaccine was 79% effective.

The latest data relies on 190 cases of COVID-19 among 32,400 participants in the U.S, Peru, and Chile. The data used in the earlier report was based upon 141 infections until February 17.

AstraZeneca said in a statement that “the primary analysis is consistent with the previous interim analysis, and asserts that the vaccine is highly effective in adults”.

The drugmaker said it plans to seek US authorization for the vaccine and the latest data had been kept in front of the Data Safety Monitoring Board, an independent trial oversight committee.

AstraZeneca said that the shot, developed with the help of Oxford University, was 100 percent effective in critical forms of the disease. It reiterated that the vaccine showed 85 percent effectiveness in adults aged 65 years and older.

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The updated 76 percent rate is compared with the rates of about 95 percent efficacy of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, but they require careful storage and cautious handling and are also more expensive.

The company added that the vaccine efficacy in people aged 65 and over was 85 percent, but the sample size used was not mentioned and the statistical range used to assert this figure makes it slightly less meaningful.

AstraZeneca was a frontrunner in the race to develop a vaccine against the pandemic and was favored heavily by the United States, which placed orders of over 300 million doses. However, a series of mistakes on its part eroded US agencies’ confidence

Ban on assault weapons sale in the US, president Biden asks after Boulder massacre
Americas

Ban on assault weapons sale in the US, president Biden asks after Boulder massacre

The arrest of a 21-year-old boy who had bought a weapon six days earlier, ten families devastated by the tragedy and the United States again in shock, less than a week after the massacre in Atlanta, Georgia, in which eight people were killed. And after the carnage, the debate on the ease with which weapons are bought in the US restarts.

The President Joe Biden, in relaunching an issue dear to the Democratic Party, asked Congress to pass a law that includes a stricter limit on the sale of weapons and a stricter background check for buyers.

This time the horror has touched Boulder, a city in Colorado. Since yesterday this place has entered the list of places injured by a massacre, twenty-two years after the one at Columbine High School, just sixty kilometers from Boulder, where fifteen people died, including the killer. Also nine years after Aurora’s, when a man shot people who came out of the cinema: the dead were 12, the wounded seventy. The toll this time is ten people killed, including a policeman, Eric Talley, 51, father of seven children, the first officer to arrive when the alarm went off.

The victims are between 20 and 65 years old. Denny Strong, 20 years old; Neven Stanisic, 23; Rikki Olds, 25; Tralona Bartkowiak, 49; Suzanne Fountain, 59; Teri Leiker, 51, Kevin Mahoney, 61, Lynn Murray, 62 and Jody Waters, 65. The full list was only made public after the last family was informed at 4 am.

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The arrested man is originally from Syria and his name is Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa. He is the young man appearing in the video shirtless and bloodied right leg, while the police have taken him away. He lived on the outskirts of Denver, about fifty miles away: six days earlier he had bought a Ruger Ar-556, a military weapon. Investigators gave just a single indication of his history: “he lived much of his life in the United States”. The terror began around 2.30 pm at the King Soopers supermarket, south of Boulder, a residential area frequented by families and students from the nearby university campus. Alissa starts shooting. Employees and customers tried to escape through the side exits, while those who couldn’t make it hid behind the shelves. Ryan Borowski, a therapist, had stopped for a fizzy drink and chips. “I had just finished thinking, no, I’m not going to take an ice cream”, the man who escaped the massacre said. The first to arrive on the scene was the agent Talley, shot down by the killer in the supermarket parking. What happened next was documented by some videos that ended up on social media. In one, you can see three people lying on the ground, one inside the store, while a few shots are heard in rapid succession.

What was the motive that prompted Alissa to make the extreme gesture is not yet clear. But when he broke into the supermarket he wanted to make a massacre. He had an Ar-15, a war weapon considered among the most loved by American enthusiasts and by the authors of massacres. The same weapon was used at the Sandy Hook elementary school in 2012, in San Bernardino in 2015, and Las Vegas in 2017 when a retiree shot from a hotel room in a parking, killing sixty people. As after every massacre, everyone sent prayers for the victims. The young Republican elected in Colorado did so too, Lauren Boebert, a supporter of the full right to buy weapons, one who gets interviewed with assault rifles hanging on the wall. The Democrats have promptly re-launched the request to ban weapons of war and make it more difficult to purchase.

“This must not be a question of one side, but an American question. I do not need to wait another minute or just an hour, to take the necessary steps to save lives in the future.  I ask my colleagues in the House and Senate for action. We must ban assault weapons in this country. It will save lives, it will save the Americans, and we must act.” President Joe Biden urged. Former President Barack Obama also stressed that the American people said enough. A sentence pronounced many times, in recent years, in a country that last year alone recorded the purchase of 50 million weapons. Five days ago, the Boulder judge rejected a request for a ban on war weapons.

Boulder supermarket shooting in Colorado leaves 10 killed, suspect in custody
Americas

Boulder supermarket shooting in Colorado leaves 10 killed, suspect in custody

Monday proved to be a day for survival for many shoppers in Colorado who had come for a simple grocery trip to King Soopers Supermarket in Boulder, home to the University of Colorado and situated about 25 miles north-west of Denver.  

A white person came into the grocery store located in south Boulder in the state of Colorado and opened fire killing 10 people. This included a Boulder police officer Eric Tally, 51, who was one of the first to respond to the active location. The suspect has been taken into custody by Boulder police and is in hospital for treatment of injuries encountered during the whole unfolding. 

The death toll was announced by Boulder police chief Maris Herold during the Monday night news conference, clearly fighting back tears. The investigation is said to be in the early stages. Victims’ families are still being notified, hence their names weren’t disclosed, said Michael Dougherty, District Attorney Boulder county. “This is a tragedy and a nightmare for Boulder county, and in response, we have cooperation and assistance from local, state, and federal authorities,” Dougherty said.

Herold and Dougherty both said of Tally, the slain police officer, “He was by all accounts one of the outstanding officers of the Boulder police department, and his life was cut too short”.

Boulder police responded to the ‘active’ shooting site around 3 pm local time and immediately surrounded the King Soopers supermarket. SWAT teams and at least three choppers were on the store’s roof. A witness who had just left the shop said he could see three people face down, two in the parking lot and one near the entry of the shop, after gunshot sounds. He said he “couldn’t tell if they were breathing.”

Eye witnesses share scenes of total chaos, panic and stampede inside the supermarket as soon as the shooter opened fire on people inside. 

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In a tweet, Colorado’s governor, Jared Polis, said “closely watching unfolding events at King Soopers in Boulder. My prayers are with our fellow Coloradans in this time of sadness and grief as we learn more about the extent of the tragedy.”

Team Biden announces rescue plan to tackle child poverty
Americas

Team Biden announces rescue plan to tackle child poverty

An unlikely coalition of the Democrats has made up an American Rescue Plan for President Biden to go on tackling child poverty, Washington Post reported on Monday. 

This under-the-radar success has created a $1.9 trillion package that, if made permanent, can have an impact like the program established by President Lyndon B. Johnson named ‘War on Poverty.

The unexpected and sudden creation of a $120 billion social program has twisted up the political landscape with some Democrats fearing being labeled as big-government spenders in the midterm elections. 

On the other hand, some conservatives are embracing the idea and are terming it ‘a family-friendly measure’.

The program expands the federal child-rearing subsidy by a whopping 50 percent — and toddlers’ parents will get even more. As per details, a family with two young children and no income at all will now get $600 each month. 

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This means that parents of 90 percent of the country’s children will get benefitted, and 27 million children see a rise from poverty, according to analysts.

Crucially, the new money will not be in the form tax cuts, but cash payments, so people who don’t earn enough to pay taxes will benefit too.

That approach makes the United States far more closely aligned with European-style wealth redistribution.

Biden’s foremost challenge now is to make the concept permanent; Democrats turned down to do so this year to escape making the relief bill costlier.

This anti-poverty measure first got the attention of the president’s team during the transition, as staffers were thinking what should be in a stimulus package. They first considered child aid as an answer to the pandemic and a way to a long-term Democratic goal.

In the context of the COVID-19 crisis, locals claim that this is something extremely beneficial for those who have been hit the hardest by the crisis.

UNITAS Exercise Has A Larger Combat Strategy for America
Americas

UNITAS Exercise Has A Larger Combat Strategy for America

America holds great pride in its longest standing UNITAS naval exercise. This year’s host is Peru, celebrating the bicentennial of the country and the Peruvian navy. Running over six decades, the naval exercise denotes ‘Unity’ in Latin and now speaks more than ever about the new presidency’s responsibility and duty towards collaborative learning.

A virtual planning conference has been organized last week between the United States 4th Fleet and the Peruvian Navy, for the event that is scheduled to held off Peru’s coast. The multilateral exercise this year will feature a Pacific phase, with participants operating at sea, an amphibious phase involving littoral combat ships, and an Amazon phase at Peru’s lquitos naval base on the Amazon River.

Planners from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Mexico, Panama, Spain and Uruguay are going to be joining the U.S. and Peruvian representatives of their respective Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Special Operation Forces in planning the exercises.

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The intent of the exercise is to create more readiness of the host, a way to create power around itself. Further, this kind of multilateral exercise comes under the American National Defense Strategy. There are two main significant points that make up for the strategy, according to Navy Admiral Craig.S. Faller.

Faller, commander of Southern Command, shared with the media a few months back, that training and education with partner nations, is a part of the strategy. This includes security cooperation, fighting transnational criminal organizations, stopping illegal fishing, exercises, personnel exchange, planning and intelligence sharing and having a military presence there to assist and reassure. Further he said, “It’s in everyone’s interest in this hemisphere to have partners with strong military capabilities,” Faller has said. Definitely, it is through such exercises where partner nations learn from American counterparts, that the latter feels that its capabilities to combat threats doubles. “And our partner capacity has gone from 48% to 60% in 2020. So we have to take care of today’s threats to expand the competitive space,” he further added.

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