Americas

Trudeau’s Snap Election Call Lands him in Trouble
Americas

Trudeau’s Snap Election Call Lands him in Trouble

Canadian Prime Justin Trudeau said that his pandemic recovery policies would not be shaped by the demands of “anti-vaxxer mobs” that have derailed his campaign events in recent weeks. Some even threw debris at the Liberal leader on Monday.


Justin Trudeau remarked this at a steel plant in Welland, Ont., where the PM pledged to extend pandemic aid for workers and businesses if his government is elected again on Sept. 20. A noisy crowd had gathered outside the gate to the facility as Trudeau spoke, expressing their anger over COVID-19 vaccines and pandemic measures.


Trudeau called a snap election in mid-August, assuming that an early campaign could result in his Liberals forming a majority government. But he has found that his lead in the poll is nearly vanishing at the campaign’s halfway point.
In August, Justin Trudeau called the election, saying that “Canadians are to choose how they want to finish the fight against Covid-19. Canadians were mostly happy with the direction of the country and its government’s pandemic response, polls said.

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Though the primary rollout of Covid jabs in the country was slow and bumpy, many Canadians had been jabbed more quickly than predicted. People enjoyed the summer as restrictions were being eased across provinces.
“A few weeks ago, it felt like common knowledge – at least with people I spoke to – that it was going to be a walk in the park for the Liberals,” Jenni Byrne, a political commentator, and Conservative campaign manager said.


But in September, Justin Trudeau and his Liberals found themselves in a different position. Canadians are wondering why an election was necessary to be called two years early. The prime minister controlled the timing of the campaign but did “not provide a satisfying narrative about why the country needs to go to the polls”, leaving voters frustrated and grumpy.

September 20 can be the rollout date for Covid booster vaccine in US
Americas

September 20 can be the rollout date for Covid booster vaccine in US

US officials are sharing optimism that the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine for all adults in the country can begin starting September 20. The goal is set by President Joe Biden as Covid-19 cases continue to surge across America with highly transmissible Delta variants. The only wait for the rollout is authorization by US health agencies without whose green flag the booster dose will not be rolled out, officials clarified. 

During CBS’s Face The Nation program when Dr. Anthony Fauci was asked if the 20 September rollout date for booster shot is still in plans, he said, “In some respects, it is. We were hoping that we would get both the candidates, both products, Moderna and Pfizer, rolled out by the week of the 20th. It is conceivable that we will only have one of them out, but the other one will follow soon thereafter.”

Pfizer has already submitted its data and Moderna has started the process of data submission related to the booster dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Fauci continued, “We’re not going to do anything unless it gets the appropriate FDA regulatory approval, and then the recommendation from the [CDC] advisory committee.” He added that Moderna approval can be delayed by at least a few weeks. 

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The country is ready to receive booster doses as almost all the new cases of coronavirus infection in the US are of Delta variant. Experts hope the surge can be clamped down through booster dose. The vaccines have been shown to provide protection against severe symptoms, hospitalization, and death in Delta variant cases. 

White House chief of staff Ron Klain shared the views of Dr. Fauci and said that while the September 20 rollout date is a projection but not a strict rule. He reiterated that booster rollout has always depended largely on authorization by FDA and CDC. “I think what we said was that we would be ready as of the 20th,” Klain said. “I would be absolutely clear, no one’s going to get boosters until the FDA says they’re approved until the CDC advisory committee makes a recommendation.

Labor day holiday weekend travel concerns were raised by many health officials and experts that it may further increase the caseload. “As we head into Labor Day, we should all be concerned about history repeating itself. High or intense transmission around most of the country combined with population mobility with limited masking and social distancing has been a consistent predictor of major surges,” Dr. John Brownstein, a Boston Children’s Hospital epidemiologist.

The USA has fully vaccinated 53% of its population while 62% have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. According to John Hopkins data, the US continues to lead in Covid-19 cases and deaths, with 39,908,072 confirmed infections and 648,121 known fatalities.

US President says, “We must be well prepared as climate crisis is here”
Americas

US President says, “We must be well prepared as climate crisis is here”

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden expressed his concern over recent catastrophic events like wildfire and Hurricane Ida, stating that extreme weather is a deadly reminder; we must be well prepared as the climate crisis is here.

Hurricane Ida hit states like Maryland, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey, killing 48 people. Authorities stated that they were shocked by the speed and fierceness of the storm. 

On Sunday, when Ida first hit Louisiana with a wind speed of 150 mph (240 kph), it became the fifth-most powerful storm to strike the US. Ida collapsed the power transmission tower and damaged lines and many substations. Ida’s annihilation left New Orleans in absolute darkness. On Wednesday, electricity began returning to various parts of the city.

Moreover, the Caldor wildfire in California has consumed more than 200,000 acres of land and is risking more than 35,000 constructions, edging near the Lake Tahoe region and becoming one of few rapidly spreading fires from one end of the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the other. 

Biden laid out a detailed emergency relief effort being sent around the country; he concluded his speech by discussing how catastrophic events will keep occurring, all the more regularly and with more prominent force, in light of the environmental crisis. 

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The president added that he would urge Congress to pass a $1 trillion infrastructure bill to build damaged roads, connect the sewer and electricity system. The new plan guarantees that the essential organizations interfacing urban communities and states and the nation, in general, can understand the destruction brought about by frequent and dangerous weather. 

Biden emphasized that the challenge rises above the political issues of a profoundly divided country due to the dangers presented by hurricanes and wildfires. “It’s an important issue, and all of us are in the same boat,” the president added. 

“We realize that there is a lot to be done in this on our part. “We require restoring electricity, getting more fuel, drinking water and food for people stranded, Biden added.

POTUS also scolded insurers for declining to pay for stay expenses or damage for people who had to evacuate their homes suddenly.

“Try not to take cover behind the fine print and details,” Biden cautioned the insurers. “Make the correct decision and give your policyholders what you owe them.” 

The White House stated that Biden had got briefings from Deanne Criswell, the Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator. He has also held a few phone calls with local officials and governors to discuss arrangements and necessities after hurricane Ida.

Biden vows to act against the sweeping controversial Texas Abortion Law, launches federal effort in response
Americas

Biden vows to act against the sweeping controversial Texas Abortion Law, launches federal effort in response

Texas has implemented the most hardline abortion law in the United States of America that bans mostly all abortions. After the Supreme Court of the US denied blocking the controversial law in an emergency move with judges voting 5-4 against the motion to protect rights of women, President Joe Biden has assured to protect the abortion right of women. 

The Conservatives dominated the Supreme Court’s decision of denying to freeze the Texas law which would have meant that law would only remain in books, for now, has frustrated activists.

Furthermore, Biden avoiding mention of the term ‘abortion’ in past public remarks and statements too has been the reason of frustration among activists. They say it reflects how the basis of women’s rights, the right to abortion, has taken a backseat among agendas for the Biden administration. 

Taking a hint from criticism, Biden on Thursday harshly criticized the Texas abortion law calling it an “unprecedented assault on a woman’s constitutional rights.” He further fiercely called out the “bizarre scheme” of the law that allows private citizens to file civil suits against anyone who helps a pregnant woman seeking an abortion.

Calling this scheme to have the potential to release “unconstitutional chaos”, President Biden said, “Complete strangers will now be empowered to inject themselves in the most private and personal health decisions faced by women.” 

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In an attempt to protect abortion rights, Biden said he is launching a complete government effort from within the White House to respond and counter the law. He has given the task to the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department “to see what steps the Federal Government can take to ensure that women in Texas have access to safe and legal abortions”.     

How can the Biden administration counter the Texas law?       

Biden is under growing pressure to react more aggressively as the abortion law comes into effect after six weeks. As President Biden and top Democrats scramble to chalk out the strategy for countering the repressive law, the options available are rather thin. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that within weeks Democrats would be voting to pass Women’s Health Protection Act. This bill would ensure women the right to access abortion also permit medical practitioners to perform procedures for abortion.

“Upon our return, the House will bring up congresswoman Judy Chu’s Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine into law reproductive healthcare for all women across America,” Pelosi said. 

Liberal Democrats are urging Biden to strike down restrictions on access to abortions and also the Hyde amendment, which prohibits federal funding for most abortions.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Wife of slain Haitian president demands justice
Americas

Wife of slain Haitian president demands justice

The wife of Haiti’s slain President Jovenel Moise has urged the international community to assist in tracing those down responsible for murdering her husband in a late-night raid at the couple’s home in July.

In two months since President Moïse was assassinated, Haiti has suffered a disastrous earthquake and a drenching tropical storm, deflecting focus from the man-made crisis that occurred before them.

Add up the endless worry over worsening security at the hands of gangs that control a territory that’s home to a fifth of Haiti’s 11 million citizens – the investigation of Moïse’s killing is fading fast from the public consciousness.

Even those who are paying attention, demanding answerability, and pressuring for an investigation see no chance to the crime’s craftsmen being brought to justice in a land where exemption reigns.

It is pertinent to mention that a large portion of the population disliked Moïse.

The murder appears destined to join other killings in Haiti, like journalist Jean Dominique in 2000 and lawyer Monferrier Dorval last year, both unsolved.

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The Human Rights Defense Network executive director, Pierre Esperance, said, “The hope for justice for Jovenel is zero”. 

Against this backdrop – draped in a black dress and sling due to the injuries she sustained during the attack, Martine Moise said on Monday that she feared progress had slowed – even though Haitian authorities had made some advances.

“The process is stalling a little,” she said. “Those who did this are moving out there, and I don’t know if their faces will ever be uncovered. Every country that can help, please do help.”

About two months after the July 7 assassination, key aspects of the murder of her husband remain covered in mystery. Haitian police have arrested about three dozen suspects, including 18 Colombian mercenaries.

But little evidence has been publicized so far.

Did the US have a secret arrangement with Taliban to escort out Americans?
Americas

Did the US have a secret arrangement with Taliban to escort out Americans?

The United States of America has finally evacuated its troops from Afghanistan by the August 31 deadline decided by the Biden administration, putting an end to the 20 year-long war in the Asian country. Controversies and criticism haven’t left US President Joe Biden and his administration ever since the troop withdrawal deadline was announced.

Experts called it a hasty move that led to rather a quick rise of the Taliban, taking control of country well before anticipation. Now, a new development has resurfaced – according to two defense officials US military had chalked a secret arrangement with the insurgent Taliban group to help evacuate American citizens. Under the arrangement, Taliban members escorted groups of Americans to gates at Kabul airport. 

US operation forces had created a special secret gate at Kabul airport and also established ‘call centers’ to help evacuate the US passport holders. While the arrangement is described as “beautifully orchestrated” by the officials of US defense department, American troops and others involved in process of safely evacuating citizens said that the operation was far from perfect.

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Problems were encountered in evacuation process of vulnerable Afghans and Americans, particularly in the beginning. Taliban was turning away even the American passport holders and legal permanent residents who were supposed to be let through the checkpoints. 

What was the US – Taliban arrangement? 

Pre-set ‘muster points’ were notified to Americans which were close to the Kabul airport. At these sites the Taliban would check their credentials and escort them to the nearby gates which was manned by American troops. They were then taken in by US forces. US troops would come forward in case intervening was required as thousands of desperate Afghans stood at gates waiting to grab any opportunity to flee the country. 

Why the secrecy behind arrangement?

US had stayed tight-lipped until now about the arrangements with the Taliban as it was unsure how the group would react to any premature publicity in this direction. The main agenda on mind was to bring home the citizens and vulnerable Afghans. Another reason of secrecy was threats of attacks by ISIS-K if the news of Americans being escorted out was ousted. ISIS, a sworn enemy of Taliban, carried out a suicide attack at airport gate last week killing 13 American troops and over 170 Afghans. 

Biden Impeachment Talks Over Withdrawal From Afghanistan
Americas

Biden Impeachment Talks Over Withdrawal From Afghanistan

The longest war to be supported and fought for Afghanistan by the US has finally come to an end today. But what took America a decade to achieve has been undone in merely a month also.

At home, Afghan American continue to protest for more to be evacuated from Afghanistan, but Biden has made his call to do their best by August 31. The last big military plane that was carrying Afghans was badly stalled with Afghans clinging to its wheels and being killed while falling midair like falling birds from the sky.

According to an official statement from the Pentagon, as of 3.29pm ET, every single US service member was evacuated from Afghanistan. Evacuation efforts were hampered by ISIS repeated suicide bomb attempts to destroy the airstrip and airport infrastructure.

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Officials said that from this point onwards is that the US is not expected to have any diplomatic or military presence in the country. Republicans are now asking Joe Biden to resign over his decision over a hasty exit from Afghanistan. It has been literally like giving them legs to stand and then suddenly cutting them from below them.

This comes hours after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that a contingent of Americans keen on leaving Kabul, estimated to be under 200 and possibly closer to 100, were unable to get on the last flights. It also seems that the evacuation happened a day before the deadline. Hundreds of tweets by the Republicans have criticized Potus of ‘abandoning our own behind enemy lines.’

US’s exit from Afghanistan was marked by uninterrupted celebratory firing in Kabul by the ultra radical militant fighters of Taliban who announced “complete freedom” for the country, seen as an embarrassment for the Biden administration and NATO allies. Countries world over have evacuated their own. For the Afghanis, US was the only hope to find a safe haven, apart from some other countries like India and UAE.

US Census 2020 shows a demographic shift towards Hispanic & Asian-American population
Americas

US Census 2020 shows a demographic shift towards Hispanic & Asian-American population

 United States of America is witnessing a shift in demographics. The 2020 Census revealed that Hispanics and Asian-Americans are now driving the US population growth. There is more diversity in USA population now, experts reveal. For the first time Americans identifying as ‘white’ have dropped below 60% and ethnic minorities are growing in population share.

This once – in – a – decade population count is set to tussle political nerves as next year midterm elections can help to sway voters in key districts. The count shows demographic shift of each neighborhood and district in past 10 years. Racial and ethnic data is also included in the count along with voting age population in each area.

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The census shows past decade witnessed an overall population growth by 7.4% and reached the mark of 331 million. This has been the slowest rate growth in the US since 1930s. Over half of the total population growth was led by increase in the American Hispanic population, which reached 62.1 million, or 18.7% of the total in 2020, as compared to 16.4% in 2010 and 12.6% in 2000. The Asian-American population too increased by 35% to 24 million. It is thus the fastest growing section of the US population. The black population grew by 5.6%, but held steady at 12.1% as a part of the overall US population.

The stark changes in demographics can be a trigger to bring in new concepts of identity among Americans. “It’s going to require new ways of understanding about who’s American,” says New York University’s Ann Morning, the author of The Nature of Race: How Scientists Think and Teach about Human Difference.

This can also be a governing factor in decisions around ballot box when mid term elections are held next year. “The news that the nation’s white population is shrinking, while the black and brown populations continue to grow, is likely to provoke the anti-democratic, racially-anxious contingent among state legislatures,” said Marc Morial, the head of a civil rights organisation, the National Urban League.

Congressional Committee Seeks Data Over Capitol Attack From Social Media Companies
Americas

Congressional Committee Seeks Data Over Capitol Attack From Social Media Companies

The congressional committee investigation over the January 06 violence at the Capitol is seeking records of communication from social media giants. According to the official media announcement, Chairman Bennie G. Thompson has announced the indeed the Select Committee will need to see records relating to malicious spread of wrong misinformation through social media channels. Some 14 such social media companies have been summoned and asked to shared their records with the committee.

A formal letter has already been sent these companies. This includes all major social media channels like Youtube, Facebook, Google, Parler, Reddit, Telegram, Snapchat, banned Chinese Tik-Tok and Zello as well.

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Records of contacts with law enforcement and intelligence agencies are also being sought. Of them Google has made a public statement saying that it is “committed to working with Congress on this.”

The January 06 riots were well instigated by Trump fan following and presented quite a harrowing picture of wrong leadership. Policemen recounted their horror of living a Bollywood styled movie.

While Twitter has declined to comment, Facebook has said that it is looking forward to “continuing to work with the committee.”

In the formal statement by Mr. Thompson, it is said that “the committee solely plans to examine facts, circumstances, and causes of the attack and relating to the peaceful transfer of power, in order to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend corrective laws, policies, procedure, rules or regulations.”

The committee at the moment comprises seven democrats and two republicans, formed by the House Democrats after a January 06 independent commission was blocked in the Senate by the Republicans. The Committee also plans to seek policy changes from social media companies (if any have been adopted or failed to adopt), to address the spread of false information, violent extremism, and foreign malign influence, including decisions on banning material from platforms and contacts with law enforcement and other government entities.

Supreme Court shot down Biden’s eviction moratorium
Americas

Supreme Court shot down Biden’s eviction moratorium

Yesterday Supreme Court struck down the Biden administration’s eviction moratorium in a 6-3 decision. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the moratorium to cover counties with the substantial and high spread of Covid. The order was issued after a previous moratorium expired on July 31 during the Trump administration.

An official from the White House said on the matter that it would be one thing if Congress had specifically authorized the action that the CDC has taken. But that has not happened.Although, CDC has imposed a nationwide moratorium on evictions in reliance on a decades-old statute that authorizes it to implement measures like fumigation and pest extermination. Rather it also strains credulity to believe that this statute grants the CDC the sweeping authority that it asserts.

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Clearly, President Biden acknowledged that the moratorium would likely be struck down. He said that the bulk of the constitutional scholars say it’s not likely to pass constitutional muster. But at a minimum, by the time it gets litigated, it will probably give some additional time while we’re getting that $45 billion out to people who are in fact behind in the rent and don’t have the money.

Bob Pinnegar, who is the president and CEO of the National Apartment Association said that if there’s going to be a tsunami of anything, there’s a tsunami of debt out there. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said that the Biden administration was “disappointed” by the decision, but pushed other local authorities to prevent evictions on their own authority. Some states, including California and Maryland, have temporarily banned evictions during the height of the Delta variant.

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