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Biden set to host Merkel on Thursday

Biden set to host Merkel on Thursday

US President Joe Biden is all set to host a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, next week, in a bid to reaffirm “deep and enduring” ties between the NATO allies.

As per a statement released by the White House on Friday, the meeting will work upon tackling some areas of disagreement between the two nations.

This will be Merkel’s first visit to Washington during Biden’s era, and likely her final US visit in her long era as chancellor.

Merkel is not soliciting the fifth term, and elections to replace her are to be held in September. She will have worked with a total of four US presidents over her tenure.

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Jen Psaki, a White House spokeswoman, said the two leaders are to discuss ransomware attacks that have hit companies in the US and around the world, as well as the issue of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany – which Washington opposes.

Biden terms the $11 billion Nord Stream 2 pipeline as a “bad deal”, but the US hasn’t said if an agreement could be struck to stave off the resumption of momentarily suspended US tariffs on Nord Stream 2 AG, the German firm behind the pipeline, and its chief executive.

Psaki said the “official working visit” is aimed at shoring up the cooperation between the two nations and identifying ways to further strengthen their bilateral ties.

Furthermore, a range of common challenges – including addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of climate change, and elevating economic prosperity and international security based on shared democratic values – are also set to be discussed.

On July 2, 2021, Biden named Amy Gutmann as the latest US ambassador to Germany. She is the first female US ambassador to Germany and is the daughter of a Holocaust survivor.

Her appointment is aimed to revive a dormant, but long-standing, US tradition of sending university presidents and scholars as ambassadors to Berlin.

Trans-African Highway network project in Egypt will link 9 African nations
Middle East & Africa

Trans-African Highway network project in Egypt will link 9 African nations

The Trans-African Highway network includes cross-country highway projects in Africa that propose to advance trade and irradicate poverty in Africa via expressway infrastructure plans and by building more trade corridors. The complete length of the nine expressways in the project is 56,683 km (35,221 mi). 

Egypt is adopting a big infrastructure plan to connect nine African nations, the Egyptian Minister of Transport Kamel Al-Wazir declared. 

He affirmed that the project includes the development of railways and road systems that aims towards creating a route from Salloum to Benghazi, and this will encourage more trade in Egypt and provides goods to Libya.

The establishment of the express electric train and railway systems will be done simultaneously, adding that the systems utilized in the railroads will help to avoid human errors and ensure more safety.

Egypt is putting forth incredible attempts to create land and dry ports, demonstrating that a thorough program has been made to build 13 ports and a logistic center, Al-Wazir added. 

Around 35 projects were arranged, with an absolute expense of 15 billion Egyptian pounds ($951,000). A total of 300 million pounds were used to complete Nine projects.

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The AfDB is teaming up with the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), and different regional financial communities across Africa are working on building a good continent-spanning road network.

This plan of nine Trans-African Highways will help connecting Algiers to Lagos, Cairo to Dakar,Tripoli to Cape Town, Dakar to N’Djamena, Cairo to Cape Town, N’Djamena to Djibouti, Beira to Lobito, Dakar to Lagos, and Lagos to Mombasa.

Moreover, this project will help promote ground transport and connect the entire African landmass from one end to another.

British legislators seeking to probe UK-enlisted firm in connection to Beirut blast
Middle East & Africa

British legislators seeking to probe UK-enlisted firm in connection to Beirut blast

On Friday, Two senior British parliamentarians called for a probe on a British-registered company likely connected to the Beirut blast last year. 

A lady listed as Savaro’s proprietor and sole head at Companies House, Marina Psyllou, informed Reuters that she was posing as an agent on account of another beneficial proprietor, whose name she couldn’t reveal.

“The individual who was and has consistently been the UBO’s proprietor of the organization was consistently the same, and we can’t reveal his name,” she added. She didn’t state why she was unable to tell his name. 

Savaro Ltd. is listed at a London address, and all British firms are required to register their owner’s name with Companies House. 

Global corporate administration rules characterize a UBO as someone who gets the advantages of an entity’s transactions that is at least 25% of its capital. 

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Margaret Hodge, a British official, who headed parliament’s public affairs advisory group from 2010-2015, called the failure to list Savaro’s definitive beneficiary outrageous. 

“The UK officials ought to examine this, given wrong data seems to have been documented. We need to challenge development specialists where it appears they may have acted improperly.”

John Mann, Britain’s House of Lords member who has probed the utilization of UK-enlisted companies in the illegal movement, stated the case indicated the requirement for more grounded authorization of Britain’s company disclosure laws. 

Last year’s report of Reuters on the Beirut explosion found that the huge shipment of ammonium nitrate fertilizer that detonated in Lebanon was held in Beirut while on the way to Mozambique. The Mozambican purchaser, FEM, recognized the company name as Savaro.

Investigating the shipment will help find out who is behind the Savaro company, stated Ben Cowdock, investigator of international corruption cases for Transparency International in London.

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

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.

EU urges Iran to reverse its decision on uranium enrichment
Middle East & Africa

EU urges Iran to reverse its decision on uranium enrichment

Uranium Enrichment: ran should reverse its decision to enrich uranium up to 20% if it wishes to save the 2015 atomic agreement, the EU said on Monday. EU showed concern about reports from the U.N. atomic watchdog that Iran had continued enriching uranium and it would keep attempting to recover the global atomic deals that limited such activities. 

Addressing columnists in Brussels, EU representative Peter Stano stated that Iran’s activities “will have genuine ramifications with regards to atomic restraint.” 

Iran as of late educated the International Atomic Energy Agency regarding its arrangements to expand enhancement to 20 percent, levels unheard of since the atomic arrangement was struck. Whereas, Under the current atomic deal, Iran is permitted to enrich up to 3.67% of uranium.

In 2018, President Trump declared that the United States was unilaterally pulling out from the JCPOA agreement and has reimposed many economic sanctions on Iran.

Critics state that this move by Iran on uranium enrichment might be an endeavor to give it influence in future dealings. 

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif stated that the move was “completely reversible” if other accomplices in the deal went along as well, without explaining. 

The US President-elect Joe Biden has stated that he hopes to restore the nuclear deal, Borrell and other nations would welcome such a step. 

“At this difficult situation, Iran’s activity additionally risks subverting endeavors pointed toward expanding upon the current diplomatic means. We ask Iran to shun further acceleration and rethink this policy immediately,” Borrell stated in his assertion, delivered late Monday. 

Despite Iran’s breach of the nuclear deal, the IAEA has announced that Tehran proceeds with giving auditors full access to its atomic sites — an important reason the signatories suppose it is worth preserving.

Democrat Warnock defeats Republican Sen. Kelly Loefflerin US Senate elections in Georgia

Democrat Warnock defeats Republican Sen. Kelly Loefflerin US Senate elections in Georgia

US Senate elections: Democrat candidate Raphael Warnock has defeated Georgia Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler in firmly watched runoff polls. 

“Tonight, we demonstrated that with trust, hard work, and the citizens on our side, anything is possible,” Warnock told supporters in an online speech. 

On Wednesday, Warnock, who is a 51 years old pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta declared a historic victory. He becomes the state’s first Black senator by defeating Republican Kelly Loeffler.

As a pastor, he has worked for 15 years leading the Atlanta church where Martin Luther King Jr. also preached.

According to the AP, the focus presently shifts to the second election among Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff. The candidates have secured a tight competition and it was too soon to announce a winner. Under Georgia law, the trailing candidate could request a recount of votes if the margin of an election is fewer than or equal to 0.5 % points. 

However, if Ossoff wins, the Democrats will have full control over Congress, reinforcing President-elect Joe Biden as he plans to take office on 20th Jan. 

The two parties had invested a huge amount in Georgia in a quest for Senate. On Monday, Biden had campaigned in the state in support of Warnock and Ossoff.

“There were speculations that we won’t win this race, yet tonight we demonstrated that with hope, hard work, and the people’s support, the sky is the limit,” Warnock stated. 

Warnock said that he was honored by the confidence that the people of Georgia had shown in him and promised to work for the entirety of Georgia as a Senator, irrespective of who cast their ballot in favor of in this election race.”

Will Geopolitics and the global economic change in 2021 amid the shadow of the pandemic?

Will Geopolitics and the global economic change in 2021 amid the shadow of the pandemic?

Global Economic Change: The year 2020 has been through a lot following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, the global economy has been dominated by its aftermaths. To control the virus spread many nations had to decide on imposing nationwide lockdown, social distancing, and equipping health care centers with adequate health equipment to fight the challenge.

The monetary and public health responses from nations across the world have exacerbated various geopolitical and economic trends. The narrative of 2021 in the global economy will continue to be overwhelmed by the pandemic, yet examining these patterns will help us understand the system of the post-pandemic era. 

The world will confront other significant challenges, for example, wildfires, climate crisis, and extreme climate. They will have to cut down on carbon emissions and forestall global warming. 

In Nov, world pioneers will meet in Glasgow for an important summit. As it was deferred for a year given the pandemic, there is mounting pressure for them to concur with critical new measures. 

Within nations, existing disparities in incomes were furthermore deteriorated by the aftermath of the pandemic. We frequently heard that the infection didn’t segregate but in some areas it did. 

For instance, In India during a nationwide lockdown large number of migrants got stranded in cities. They had to walk back miles to reach their towns. relief stimulus packages across the world were pushed to uplift the economy. Elderly citizens are more susceptible to COVID-19, and they could quarantine themselves better when they had space at home and sufficient financial backing.

According to financial and political analysts, going ahead into 2021, nations that will more adequately roll out the immunization will be able to lift physical-distancing measures. Nations those are able to tap the global market to improve their borrowing to pay more on relief aid will also control the pandemic.

States with more proficient administration structures will have the option to maintain a stable economy. Social structures that are more comprehensive and have expansive access have responded more suited to the pandemic. The quality of revival and relief will be more essential to focus on in 2021. 

In 2021, there may likewise be expanded pushback even from nations that are moderately dependent upon Chinese trade, for example, Australia, India, Japan, and the United States. 

Before the end of the Trump administration had overturned many years of strategy, refusing to compromise against Beijing on trade and bilateral issues, including reinforcing political and military support for Taiwan. As per critics, the new President-elect Mr. Joe Biden is expected to utilize a less confrontational strategy.

Outbreaks outside of the country may have caused Covid-19 pandemic, says China’s FM Wang Yi
Asia Pacific Focus

Outbreaks outside of the country may have caused Covid-19 pandemic, says China’s FM Wang Yi

China’s FM Wang Yi: While the World Health Organization (WHO) continues investigating the origin of SARS-Cov-2, the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi suggests that the pandemic may have occurred outside China amid the growing scrutiny over the origin.

“A lot of research has suggested that the pandemic was probably flared up by numerous outbreaks on the globe,” FM Wang Yi stated in an interview with the Xinhua News Agency and state telecaster CCTV.

Wang Yi added that China has made prompt moves to do an epidemiological investigation, identify the microorganism, and announce key data including the genome sequencing of the infection, Wang added. “This sounded alerts across the world.” 

After the pandemic outbreak, China was criticized for covering up the human transmission of the virus and for being slow in curtailing the spread.

Soon the US and China began to point fingers at each other over the pandemic. On many occasions, President Trump had blamed China for the spread suggesting that the laboratory in Wuhan may have either accidentally or intentionally leaked the virus, and also criticized it by calling it a Chinese or Wuhan virus.

China completely denied the allegations and continues to reiterate that the pandemic had spread from outside their nation.

China is additionally seeking to reevaluate its reaction and the early history of the virus. Authorities and state media have on the other hand pushed speculations connecting coronavirus to the U.S. military, that the virus might have entered China via imported frozen food.

However, according to the Chinese FM, China has remained at the forefront of battling inaccurate information, disproving endeavors of politicization and derision.

A representative for the council stated a month ago that the WHO hoped its team of experts investigating the origin. China likewise leveled trade limitations on Australia after it required an autonomous probe concerning the coronavirus’s source.

In Historic Senate Vote Argentina Legalizes Abortion

In Historic Senate Vote Argentina Legalizes Abortion

Argentina Legalizes Abortion: Argentina’s Senate cast a ballot early Wednesday to sanction elective abortion, denoting a noteworthy move in the vigorously Catholic nation that is the homeland of Pope Francis. 

Following a discussion that worked out in a good way past noon, the Senate passed the bill 38-29 with one abstention a little more than about fourteen days after the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Argentina’s Congress barely affirmed the measure. 

Argentina’s Ministry of Health has stated that in 2018, 35 ladies died due to complications emerging from having an illegal abortion. Two years sooner, as per Human Rights Watch, the organization additionally announced that more than 39,000 women and young girls were hospitalized because of issues from miscarriage and abortion.

The historic decision comes after years of protest by the Argentine abortion-rights movement.

“It’s a law!” Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta, minister of women, genders, and diversity, composed on Wednesday morning following the vote. “Today we made an immense stride and we are drawing nearer to Argentina we long for. We are composing our destiny, we are leaving a mark on the world.” 

The Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Bill allows abortion to take place during the initial 14 weeks of pregnancy. Presently, abortion is illegal in Argentina if the mother’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy is a result of rape. If women tried to get an abortion they could face criminal charges.

Argentine President Alberto Fernández at first proposed the enactment in mid-November. Fernández, who came to power in 2019, has been vocal about legitimizing abortion during his administration and states he will sign the proposal. 

The results of Argentina’s vote are huge given the nation’s overwhelmingly Roman Catholic populace. Pope Francis, who was brought into the world in Buenos Aires, has recently voiced his resistance to the enactment.

Argentina joins Latin American and Caribbean nations that have legitimized abortion, including Cuba, Uruguay, and Guyana. A critical lion’s share of nations in the locale limit access except if the mother’s life is compromised, and a few nations ban it. 

Argentina has verged on legitimizing abortion before. In 2018, the enactment failed in the Senate by seven votes — the nation was then driven by President Mauricio Macri, who didn’t effectively uphold the measure. 

The supporters were wearing green till the Senate and lower house votes continued. The ones who contradict the enactment wore blue in protest.

US, Israel, Morocco sign a Joint Declaration, promise to abide by the agreement
Middle East & Africa

US, Israel, Morocco sign a Joint Declaration, promise to abide by the agreement

Joint Declaration: On Thursday, Israel and Morocco consented to normalize relations in an agreement furnished with the help of the United States, making Morocco the fourth Arab nation to put aside contentions with Israel in the past few months. 

As per the agreement, the US President changed the longstanding U.S. strategy and recognized Morocco’s government over Western Sahara. 

Western Sahara is a desert area where a decades-old regional dispute has set Morocco in opposition to the Algeria-supported Polisario Front, a breakaway move that tries to build up a free state in the region. 

On Thursday, President Trump sealed an agreement over a call with Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, the White House stated.

“Another HISTORIC progress today! Our two GREAT companions, the Kingdom of Morocco and Israel have consented to full diplomatic relations an enormous achievement for peace in the Middle East!” Trump tweeted. 

Morocco is the fourth nation among the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan to strike an agreement pointed toward normalizing relations with Israel.

A significant part of the peace deal is to introduce a unified front against Iran and move back its provincial influence. 

Palestinians have been criticizing the normalization agreement, emphasizing that the Arab nations have reversed the cause of peace by deserting a longstanding requirement that Israel surrenders land for a Palestinian state before it can gets recognized. 

The Israeli delegation and the senior advisor to the US President Jared Kushner arrived in the Kingdom since Israel and Morocco consented to set up diplomatic relations.

During the conference, King Mohammed VI praised Kushner for the “considerable work achieved since his visit to Morocco in May 2018, which made it conceivable to accomplish this historic event in favor of Morocco’s territorial integrity,” and for his endeavors to guarantee regional harmony in the Middle East. 

In a statement, Bahrain, Egypt, the UAE, welcomed the historic deal between Morocco and Israel, however, on the contrary, the Palestinian authorities censured the deal, saying it empowered Israel’s denial of their rights. Palestinians have been disparaging of all the recent agreements among Israel and Arab League nations.

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