Americas

Why America’s Future Hangs By Guns While Trump Laughs?
Americas

Why America’s Future Hangs By Guns While Trump Laughs?

Additionally, Trump is siding with far right groups; most of them are armed. The more surprising part is the way some antigovernment extremists have decided to kidnap the governor of Michigan who wished to raise her voice against Trump’s self-centered governance.

Many people that democracy and its advantages is going to be a forgotten era for America, even if Trump is not re-elected. He has, in fact, messed up and tarnished the whole image of America as a super power.

In the past few months, America is seeing a very different divide; it is no wonder that armed militia might be operating the polling boots. People might find it difficult to cast a vote that does not favour Trump.

It seems that Trump’s comments have impressed armed self -styled military groups in pockets of the country.  According to Steven Gardiner, who tracks militias at the progressive thinktank Political Research Associates “The militias will absolutely seize on Trump’s comments.” Gardiner is sure of the possibility of armed factions with military-style rifles showing up at polling places “This idea is very troubling,” he adds while speaking to the Guardian.

The United States has never felt as lonely as it does this year. As it battles the badge of being the worst hit countries with the pandemic, a huge outcry against racial discrimination and then a presidency that has crippled the country’s spirits, its future is in choppy waters. Over and above this, there is the seething danger of violence and unrest at election time.

There is no semblance of peace. For the first time, the desire for gun control seems to be on everyone’ mind. The self-styled right winged militia is on Trump’s side. There are talks about need to maintain voter integrity on the polling day; most of which will include heavily armed groups. Many of these are emerging from counties like Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin- all hotbeds of vote banks for Trump.

Whether America will remain divided over Trump and still re-elect him or will it wake up from the deadly spell of ill-doing and self-serving presidency, is hard to say.

COVID-19: new emergency in Latin America and the U.S.
Americas

COVID-19: new emergency in Latin America and the U.S.

The Latin America and the Caribbean area of ​​the world most affected by the coronavirus exceeded the 400,000 deaths due to COVID-19. The Latin American and Caribbean region has 400,524 deaths, Brazil leads with 159,477 victims since the beginning of the pandemic.The United States has recorded more than 99,000 cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours. A number never recorded since the beginning of the health emergency, which brings the total number of contagions to over 9 million. Just two weeks ago, the country had passed the 8 million mark.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, 99,321 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in the last 24 hours, bringing the total to 9,044,255, while the deaths have been 1,030, for a total of 229,686 deaths. Hospitalizations are also increasing: in the last 24 hours, more than 46,600 people have been admitted to hospital, with an increase of 25% compared to the previous two weeks, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project reported by the New York Times.

“We are going in the wrong direction,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases and key-adviser to the US government. Often at odds with Donald Trump, who never took the virus seriously, throwing ridicule on Fauci and whoever wore face masks and applied physical distancing. “The country is defeating the pandemic” was the president’s slogan, much appreciated by his supporters who often do not wear a mask.The seven-day moving average of contagion in the States has risen, in the last two weeks, from 52,350 to over 74,180. The average new deaths per day has increased over the past two weeks, from 724 to 787.

The situation is still concerning worldwide. Russia recorded another 18,140 cases of COVID-19, which bring the total number of infections since the beginning of the pandemic to 1,618,116. According to reports from the health authorities, 334 people have died in the last 24 hours, for a total of 27,990 deaths. In India, in 24 hours, there have been over 48,000 new cases and 551 deaths.That was announced by the Indian Ministry of Health, with the total number of contagions reaching over 8.1 million, the highest number in the world after the United States. The Covid victims registered are over 121 thousand.

In the Australian state of Victoria, no cases of coronavirus have been reported in the last 24 hours, four days after the reopening of the city of Melbourne, which remained in lockdown for almost four months, one of the longest in the world. The health manager, Brett Sutton, reported on Twitter.

The Sunshine State and election bid: Biden and Trump in pursuit to lean the critical state of Florida
Americas

The Sunshine State and election bid: Biden and Trump in pursuit to lean the critical state of Florida

 With just four days until the unprecedented US Presidential Elections, Democratic and Republican dueling rallies are being held across the key states in a bid to tilt the major chunk of votes towards their respective side. President Donald Trump and his challenger Democratic Presidential nominee, former Vice President, Joe Biden are racing against time. While Biden is leading with a solid margin nationally as per opinion polls, Trump can be seen increasingly desperate to lure the voters. Florida is a key state – the nominee that succeeds to win the state practically locks in the election result.

The state is currently in the midst of competing Democratic and Republican rallies. Biden said in a recent rally in Florida addressing his supporters, “You hold the power. If Florida goes blue, it’s over.”

Trump on the other hand is rejecting the Covid-19 response by his administration and is instead labelling it a success along with the country’s economic performance. He is also not backing down from attacking his opponent Biden. Trump said of his Republican rival during a Florida rally, “He’s going to lock you down.”

Though Mr. Biden is leading with a safe margin nation-wide, when it comes to Florida, the advantage seems less significant. With the Sunshine State enjoying major share with 29 of electoral votes, the state is very meaningful. This accounts for 5.4% of the total 538 electoral votes that is up for grabs and 10.7% of 270 electoral votes that are needed to win the general election. To simplify it, whether the state goes blue or red will solely decide who gets to enter the White House in January.

Till now, over 81 million people have voted – 52 million through mail-in ballots. This has set the country on its path to have highest turnout of electoral votes in over a century.

During his Tampa rally on Thursday, President Trump revealed a new projection that US economy has expanded by an unmatched annual rate of 33.1% in recent quarter after the initial contraction due to Covid-19 lockdown. During the 100-minute rally, Trump said to his ‘unmasked’ supporters, “Joe Biden’s plan is to deliver punishing lockdown. He’s going to lock you down.”

Florida is a crucial win for Trump. And if one is to consider the opinion polls, he is just 1.4 points behind his opponent Biden. That can be statistically an achievable target.

Biden held a drive-in rally in a Broward County college, north of Miami on Thursday. He said, “I do miss the opportunity to just wander in and shake hands with all of you, but we decided a while ago that we were going to try to be responsible.” His supporters followed him by staying in the cars, wearing masks and maintaining physical distancing.

Biden remarked Trump’s coinciding rally on the state’s opposite side as a “superspreader” with hundreds of people jam-packed without masks. He said, “Donald Trump has given up.”

With the country recording a high surge of Covid-19 cases and nearing a nine million mark of conformed cases, Biden urged the country to have a national mask mandate. He said pressingly, “This is not a political statement, it’s a patriotic duty, for God’s sake.”

US Supreme Court forbids Republicans from interfering in Pennsylvania and North Carolina absentee ballot vote counting
Americas

US Supreme Court forbids Republicans from interfering in Pennsylvania and North Carolina absentee ballot vote counting

On Wednesday, the US Supreme Court gave an order against Donald Trump’s Republican Party’s plea, to prevent the party from interfering in the state vote counting system, especially with regard to absentee ballot counting in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. The Republicans filed a plea objecting the state court-approved decision for extension of the deadline for the receipt of mail ballots to accommodate voters during the pandemic. The state court said that it made the special provision for the extension keeping in mind the health of the voters. Following the court’s new deadline was stretched by six days in North Carolina, i.e. from Nov. 6 to Nov. 12, for the receipt of ballots, which would be after the general election date of Nov. 3.

A similar extension of three days for counting absentee ballet voting was granted to Pennsylvania, where last week, Republican Party tried to block the same. On Wednesday, it was second time the apex court upheld the state court’s decision in favour of extension in Pennsylvania stating that as per the state constitution, states had the right to decide what they deemed fit in case of voting. The unprecedented times of coronavirus led to unprecedented legal judgements. 

The Supreme Court decision caused a major blow to the ruling party candidate, Trump, who was receiving a tight competition from his Democratic Party contender, Joe Biden as the race top was getting reaching the finish line. Many believed that the Supreme Court’s decision might impact President Trump’s re-election chances.

Though the court press did not disclose among the judiciary, who all voted for extension, but it was speculated that three most conservative justices —Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch — would have granted the request. Republicans needed five vote to bar the extension, which they failed to gather.

Gorsuch and Alito joined in openly dissenting wagon and said the extension of deadline reflected an unlawful encroachment by North Carolina’s Board of Elections into the legislature’s management of the election. Gorsuch emphasised that allowing the change in due date was an “override [of] a carefully tailored legislative response to COVID.”

“Such last-minute changes by largely unaccountable bodies, too, invite confusion, risk altering election outcomes, and in the process threaten voter confidence in the results,” Gorsuch wrote. The newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the voting over the matter. The court press released a statement, justifying Barnett’s non-involvement, which said that she did not participate because of the need for a “prompt resolution” with regard to the matter before the court, and because the newly appointed Supreme Court justice “had not had time to fully review”.

Amy Coney Barrett appointed to the Supreme Court
Americas

Amy Coney Barrett appointed to the Supreme Court

The US Senate confirmed Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment to the Supreme Court on Monday. Barrett is the 115th judge appointed by Donald Trump following the death of progressive judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18. She is the third judge chosen by the American president, and her appointment has shifted the political orientation of the forum decisively to the right. With Barrett, today, six judges can be described as conservative and only three progressives. Such a strong shift in favor of the Republicans had not occurred since the 1930s.

Barrett had 52 votes in favor and 48 against, and the vote took place according to the split between the two parties, with the only exception of Republican Senator Susan Collins, who voted with the Democrats arguing that it was incorrect to appoint a judge. of the Supreme Court so close to the elections, which will be on November 3. Barrett is the first judge to not receive a vote from the opposition party since 1869, the Wall Street Journal wrote.

Proximity to the elections was one of the most relevant topics in the debate on Barrett’s appointment. In February 2016, following the death of Conservative judge Antonin Scalia, the Republican-majority Senate refused to hold a hearing to appoint Barack Obama’s chosen judge, Merrick Garland, arguing that the nomination would be too close to the election of the United States. 2016, from which there were still months. Four years later that same Republican-majority Senate appointed Barrett within a week of the election.

A few hours after the vote in the House, on Monday evening, Barrett took the first of his two oaths, the so-called “constitutional oath”, during a ceremony in the garden of the White House, in the presence of Donald Trump and a few dozen guests, including some Republican senators who had recently voted. Neither Trump nor Barrett nor Clarence Thomas, Barrett’s colleague on the Supreme Court who made her take the oath, wore a face mask. Barrett will take the second oath, the so-called “judicial oath,” today with John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. From that moment it will be able to start its activity.

The first sentences that will arrive at the Supreme Court could concern elections. Already yesterday the court ruled, thanks to the vote of conservative judges, that the state of Wisconsin will not be able to count the ballot papers sent by post and arrived after election day. The Supreme Court will have to make similar decisions in the coming days on Pennsylvania and North Carolina as well. All three were disputed between Donald Trump and Democratic candidate, Joe Biden. Voting by mail is considered very important in this pandemic period, because millions of Americans intend to use it and this could cause delays in the delivery of ballots. The Wisconsin Postal Services, for example, said that to make sure the ballots arrive by election day, they need to be mailed by today.

Furthermore, on November 10, the Supreme Court will evaluate the request of the White House and some republican-led states to invalidate some fundamental elements of the Affordable Care Act, the so-called “Obamacare”, that is the law wanted by Barack Obama to extend coverage to millions of Americans who did not have it before. Joe Biden cited Obamacare in his first reaction to the appointment, which he says was made “without considering how the Affordable Care Act protected hundreds of millions of people before and during the pandemic.”

Another Trump victory: Sudan recognizes Israel
Americas

Another Trump victory: Sudan recognizes Israel

The White House announced Friday night that the state of Israel and Sudan have agreed to normalize relations, following the announcement by US President Donald Trump to remove Sudan from the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. President Trump informed the US Congress of his intention to officially withdraw Sudan from the designation list of sponsoring states of terrorism, describing the issue as “a very important moment” for the country, as well as for relations between Khartoum and Washington.

The White House said the transitional authorities in Sudan paid an amount of $ 335 million as part of an agreement to compensate victims of terrorist attacks against American citizens and targets.The Sudan-Israel agreement brings about a new foreign policy outcome for Trump, a few days before the elections, and strengthens his ally, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Recently, the US has negotiated diplomatic pacts between Israel and the UAE, and Bahrain.

Jordan recognized Israel in the 1990s. Indeed, Netanyahu made it a priority to forge ties with formerly hostile countries in Africa and the Arab world, in the absence of progress with the Palestinian side during his more than ten years in office. The agreement also aims to unite Arab countries against their common opponent, Iran. Netanyahu recalled that in Khartoum, in 1967, the “three No” of the Arab League were announced: no to peace with Israel, no to the recognition of Israel, no to negotiations with Israel. “Today instead, Khartoum says: Yes!” Exclaimed the premier.

 “This is the beginning of a new era, an era of true peace.” Netanyahu then anticipated that delegations from Israel and Sudan meet shortly to define cooperation projects. Netanyahu then thanked Sudan leaders Burhan and Hamduk, as well as US President Donald Trump and his collaborators, who made this historic development possible.

The Israeli premier announced today that he does not oppose the US sale of F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates. The arms purchase project had met with opposition from the Jewish state, worried about losing military supremacy in the region. For this reason, yesterday, the Israeli Defense Minister, Gantz, met the head of the Pentagon, Mark Esper, and UAE high officials with whom he signed an agreement to confirm and strengthen military cooperation.

Israel has instead requested the Pentagon not to proceed with the sale of F-35s or other military systems to the state of Qatar for its evident support for terrorist groups in the region and worldwide, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Daesh and Al-Qaeda.

American polls two weeks before the vote
Americas

American polls two weeks before the vote

The US presidential election is less than two weeks away, and polls continue to confirm Democratic candidate Joe Biden lead over Donald Trump. At the national level, Biden is ahead by more than ten points, and at the level of the individual states – the one who then actually decides the elections, as we know – is given the advantage beyond the margin of error in a sufficient number of States to exceed the fateful threshold of 270. delegates of the electoral college, which allows you to become president. But that does not mean certain that Trump cannot win: it is just much less likely. And in 14 days, things can still happen that can change the opinion of a piece of the electorate.

As the site “FiveThirtyEight,” the most important to deal with election models and forecasts, wrote, Trump has about a one in 10 chance of recovering and being confirmed, president. That is, it has more or less the same possibility that it rains today in Los Angeles: a place where the weather is almost always good, but which still has an average of 36 rainy days a year. In Los Angeles, it can rain, Trump can win. But that is unlikely.

Biden’s nationwide lead is 8.6 percentage points according to RealClearPolitics’ poll average, but there are individual polls where it reaches double digits. It is a clear gap, which has widened further since the beginning of October, in correspondence with the first debate and the news of Trump’s coronavirus positivity, with everything that followed.

As we know, however, the American presidential elections are not decided by the national vote: in 2016, Hillary Clinton won over two percentage points more than Trump, equivalent to almost three million votes. Biden’s advantage is even more significant, but in any case, the results of the individual states will assign the presidency, each of which elects a certain number of delegates to the constituency based on its population. For example, the firmly Democratic California decides 55 delegates. Wyoming, traditionally Republican, only 3. The members are 538 in all, the candidate who gets at least 270 seats becomes president.

The US polls are historically very reliable: and it is so despite the well-known question of the 2016 presidential elections, which turned out in a way that hardly anyone expected. But even then, the national polls were correct, as were most of the state ones: Trump won by a handful of votes in some crucial states where his victory was still within the margin of error. Those elections rightly meant that there is great caution in handling polls and making predictions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t rely on them anymore, especially as pollsters have since taken various precautions to avoid such a scenario.

The combination that makes a state worthy of attention between now and the next two weeks is: many delegates up for grabs, poised between one candidate and another. For this reason, Florida and Ohio, the two best-known American swing states, are also at the center of the debate this year: they assign respectively 29 and 18 delegates, and as happens almost in every election, they see the two candidates very close. To these are added, in order, Georgia and North Carolina, two traditionally Republican states. Which, however, could “turn blue,” as they say in American journalism jargon referring to the color associated with Democrats. And then there is Iowa, which in turn has been notoriously uncertain.

Venezuelan opposition raises united call to boycott elections and bring down Maduro’s regime
Americas

Venezuelan opposition raises united call to boycott elections and bring down Maduro’s regime

Venezuela’s opposition has been trying to build a united front to oppose and bring down President Nicolas Maduro‘s government. The entire movement has been building up to convince most of the citizens to boycott the upcoming congressional elections of the country, scheduled for December 6.

During the recent press conference, Blanca Marmol, a former supreme court magistrate who is one of the leading figures organizing the boycott movement, said, “This is, I want to emphasize, the last resource we have in the constitution. We have been fighting for 20 years, making use of all the resources that the constitution establishes, which have been systematically snatched (from us).”

The opposition leaders justified that one of the key reason they all are stepping away from the elections is that the parliamentary vote is rigged and biased towards the ruling Socialist Party. The opposition alliance, with support of many of former officers and political leaders, has been planning to organise a consultation, though the date for raising united call against Maduro’s regime have not been fixed yet. The issues around which the opposition has build up its case is the Venezuelan economic crisis, which has been eroding the country for years. With the ongoing pandemic the country’s financial health has only grown worse.

According to these opposition leaders, the key onus of this economic catastrophic goes to highly corrupt Venezuelan leaders who had been dragging the country into hyperinflation and recession with their mismanagement for past six years.

Much to the disadvantage of the country’s opposition, it has been broken in two main fragments. This fragmented set up is most likely to benefit Maduro, who is contesting for his second term in the country’s upcoming parliamentary elections. One faction of the opposition alliance is led by Juan Guaido, who wants to boycott the elections altogether as a mark of resistance towards Maduro’s corrupt and repressive regime.

Besides his own country, Guaido also holds backing from external partners including US and an alliance of over 60 democratic nations, who recognises his as the country’s rightful leader (or even President). He believed that with participating of opposition leaders in the elections Maduro’s dictatorship, which has been wearing a veil of democracy, would gain legitimacy. Guaido called it a rigged vote. He strongly feels the need for a strong and united opposition to combat Maduro’s web of tyranny.

The other faction is headed by Henrique Capriles, who along with his followers have been planning to run their own candidates in the elections. But Capriles needs Turkish government to act as a mediator between Maduro and him for taking things forward. Contrasting goals and scattered opposition leaves Venezuela far more vulnerable and susceptible of losing its democracy to military rule.

US Department of Justice files a landmark lawsuit against Google over forcing illegal monopoly
Americas

US Department of Justice files a landmark lawsuit against Google over forcing illegal monopoly

 US Department of Justice filed a landmark lawsuit on Tuesday against Google, accusing the tech mogul of forcing illegal monopoly abusing its powerful position in the market of search engines and search marketing.

The lawsuit states, “Two decades ago, Google became the darling of Silicon Valley as a scrappy startup with an innovative way to search the emerging internet. That Google is long gone.” It adds, “Today Google is a monopoly gatekeeper for the internet that has used pernicious anticompetitive tactics to maintain and extend its monopolies.”

“Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”

Google SVP Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker

This lawsuit filed by the Trump administration, is the largest ‘anti-trust’ suit filed against any tech company in over two decades. The Justice Department has made striking accusations against Google of using and abusing its powerful position for forcing its monopoly. The lawsuit has been joined in by eleven US states – Florida, Arkansas, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Montana and South Carolina.

The lawsuit complains that Google utilized series of interlocking actions that have posed harmful to the competitions and prevented them from gaining audience. It also makes a powerful claim alleging Google of paying billions of dollars peer year to device manufacturing firms like Apple, Samsung, Motorola and LG, and also browser developers like Opera and Mozilla, to buy their default search engine position. Case says that as a result “Google effectively owns or controls search distribution channels accounting for roughly 80 percent of the general search queries in the United States.”

In response, Google SVP Global Affairs and Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker wrote in a blogpost, “Today’s lawsuit by the Department of Justice is deeply flawed. People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”

“To the contrary, it would artificially prop up lower-quality search alternatives, raise phone prices, and make it harder for people to get the search services they want to use,” he added.

The lawsuit disrupts the distance Silicon Valley likes to keep from Washington, trying to avoid any clashes. However, EU has fined Google a total of $9bn accusing it of anticompetitive practices. President Donald Trump had attacked the EU decisions in 2018 and had tweeted, “I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the US, but not for long!”

Tide has changed since then as Trump is joined in by many conservatives and liberals in criticizing tech big shot companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google for their market dominance. Many Senators including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders too have attacked the firms’ dominance.

The case will likely see years of proceedings before any decision is reached, mainly due to deep political ties Google has in Washington.

How the new occupant of White House post November elections can impact the climate change crisis battle
Americas

How the new occupant of White House post November elections can impact the climate change crisis battle

Climate change is a threatening global problem, and unfortunately the countries around the globe aren’t able to come on the same page, especially the United States of America. Since 2016, when Donald Trump took the office as US President, his administration rejected the climate change and the looming crisis as nothing but a hoax. Now, as the country is preparing for November 3 Presidential Elections, the world is watching it closely. Next four years who is going to occupy the White House will be critical in deciding the course of battle against the environmental crisis.

The difference in outlook towards climate change and the need to fight against it is strikingly astounding between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee former V-P Joe Biden. The environmental experts and scientists worry that if Trump wins the re-election, the next four years would be detrimental for any reform possible – his lobbying for oil and gas production would lock in fossil fuel “abuse” for decades to come. However, the story would be different if Joe Biden comes to power – the planet would get a fighting chance with his climate plan in place.

Trump’s administration has worked, deliberately and relentlessly, against the tide and has taken decisions against bringing any climate change reform. He withdrew from the Paris climate agreement, the global pact that was designed to avoid Earth’s warming. The administration led by President Trump has strategically removed any and all obstacles in the way of energy production. According to New York based Columbia University, over 160 critical rollbacks were ordered of environmental regulations by the Trump administration, ranging from car fuel standards, to light bulbs, to methane emissions. Recent red flags have been the wildfires in western states of the United States, worth several years, that the scientists link to climate changes.

Trump’s coming to power will be a nightmare for climate warriors. Prof. Michael Gerrard at Columbia University says, “Trump believes that regulations are all cost and no benefit. He denies that there really is such a thing as anthropogenic climate change, or at least that it is bad. He believes that if you cut back on regulations of all kinds, not just environmental, but also occupational and labour, and everything else, it’ll create more jobs.”

Trump has supported fossil fuels strongly. Fracking has led to US become world’s largest oil exporter. But coal mining has continued to reduce causing drop in around 5000 coal related jobs. If Trump gets re-elected, he will continue to step up the efforts to increase fossil fuel production, causing serious rise in global temperatures.

Striking contrast is Joe Biden. His plan for climate change includes seeing US energy sector go carbon-free by 2035. This will make country be a net zero emitter by 2050. The ideas proposed by Mr. Biden are ambitious but promising. He has plans to revolutionize transport in the US through electric trains and vehicles and also wants to build 1.5 million sustainable housing units and homes. This can be instrumental in bringing down global temperatures.

Coming elections have got the world’s attention. The next President of United States of America has got the responsibility to reform global climate change and bring some positive changes.

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