Tag: USA

US designates Russian white supremacist group as terrorists for the first time
Americas

US designates Russian white supremacist group as terrorists for the first time

The United States designated the Russian Imperial Movement (RIM), a Russian nationalist group, as a foreign terrorist organization. The announcement came from the White House on April 6, wherein the US Counter-Terrorism said that this is the first time the country has ever designated supremacist terrorists. Blacklisting the Russian Imperial Movement, Nathan Sales, coordinator for the state department counter-terrorism, also maintained that the Trump administration takes such threats very seriously. In his statement on the matter, Sales said that the group has “innocent blood on its hands”.

Along with the group, the United States has also labelled three of its top leaders (Stanislav Anatolyevich Vorobyev, Denis Valliullovich Gariev, and Nikolay Nikolayevich Trushchalov) as specially designated global terrorists which will ensure that they separate sanctions.

As per the provision of the terror designation, the members of the group will not be allowed to enter the United States and all their assets in the country will be frozen. Furthermore, the Trump administration will be authorized to block the Americans from involving in any financial transactions with the members of the group.

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Reportedly, the Russian Imperial Movement is an ultra-nationalist paramilitary group based in St Petersburg. The group is believed to have neo-Nazi militants training camps in Western Europe and has aided election interference in the US. The group has alleged involvement in the neo-Nazi string of bombing in the Swedish city of Gothenburg in 2016 and 2017 which targeted the immigrants in the European country. The bombings were carried out by two attackers who received training from RIM. They were later arrested, tried and convicted by the Swedish authorities.

The decision to designate the group as a terrorist organization came by the White House owing to the executive order signed by Donald Trump in 2019 which gave the right to sanction foreign organizations based on their participation in terror activities. The US President has been facing criticism over his failure to take action against the violence propagated by the white supremacy groups in the US. He has also been called out by many for extending support to European nationalist politicians.
In 2019, the US President designated Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a foreign terrorist organization.

USA: Trump’s administration under close surveillance.
Americas

USA: Trump’s administration under close surveillance.

After President Donald Trump fires the US intelligence inspector general late on Friday night. The top US federal regulatory body vowed to continue to pursue “strict” independent oversight of government agencies.

“Michael Atkinson, who was fired by Trump, was known for his “integrity, professionalism, and adherence to the law and independent oversight.” Michael Horowitz, Justice Department’s General Inspector, said in a statement.

In a letter to Congress on Thursday, Trump said he would fire the US intelligence chief, who had a role in conducting the president’s accountability investigation last year within 30 days.

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The dismissal came at a time when the general inspectors responsible for independent federal bodies’ oversight were recently tasked with extensive oversight of the Corona pandemic plan, including spending the historic financial budget of 2.3 trillion dollars to reduce the epidemic’s economic impact.

“The general inspectors will continue to carry out strict independent oversight of the bodies we monitor,” Horowitz said in a statement, Atkinson said that the report which disclosed the secrets in achieving Trump’s accountability was credible concerning Trump’s misuse of his position in an attempt to seek Ukraine’s interference in the2020’s US elections for his personal benefit.

The Democrat-led Representatives’ House voted after controversial party hearings, to approve Trump’s accountability as a prelude to his removal, but the Republican-led Senate cleared these charges in early February.

US overtakes China with over 82,000 coronavirus cases
Americas

US overtakes China with over 82,000 coronavirus cases

United States has now surpassed China in the number of COVID-19 cases around the world, with at least 82,404 people are known to have been infected with the deadly coronavirus, the Johns Hopkins University real-time COVID-19 tracker said on Thursday.
It is, however, important to note that the US has been testing people at a much larger scale, when compared with other countries that have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

“We now have 370,000 tests that have been done. The majority of those — over 220,000 in the last eight days, which, those of you who have been tracking the South Korea numbers, put us equivalent to what they did in eight weeks that we did in eight days,” Dr Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, told reporters.

Although the US has surpassed China’s 81,782 mark, the COVID-19-related death toll in the country is still lower than China, with 1,178 Americans having died as opposed to the 3,291 Chinese fatalities.

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At least 160 million Americans have been ordered to stay home as schools are closed, restaurants and bars have been closed in hope of the curtail spread of the lethal virus, The New York Times reported.

New York City is among the worst-hit cities as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city has reached 38,000 and 281 have died.

On Wednesday, US Senate leaders and Trump Administration had reached an agreement regarding a USD 2 trillion package to rescue the economy from the coronavirus wrath, paving the way for swift passage of the legislation from both the chambers of Congress.

Meanwhile, the number of coronavirus-related deaths worldwide exceeded 20,000, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The G-20 summit which concluded on Thursday pledged to inject over USD 5 trillion into the global economy in a bid to counteract the social, economic, and financial impact of COVID 19 that has impacted people in at least 170 countries and caused over 20,000 deaths.

As of Thursday, 4,62,684 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection were registered in the world, 20,834 of the patients died, WHO data shows.

On March 11, the WHO declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic which has now has been detected in 199 countries and territories.

China and the US started pointing fingers at each other over COVID-19 origin
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus

China and the US started pointing fingers at each other over COVID-19 origin

US and China leaders have begun blame game since the episode of coronavirus on who is liable for originating the pandemic.

On Monday night, US President Donald Trump named Covid-19 the “Chinese virus” against the advice of his administration. He was cautioned earlier by his officials that naming diseases after regions and nations can create a racist backfire and shame.

It was yet another opportunity for Trump administration for heightening spat with Beijing, as certain Chinese officials blamed the US military labs for starting the pandemic.

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A week ago, Chinese Foreign Ministry representative Zhao Lijian tweeted, “It may be US armed force who carried the pestilence to Wuhan,” “Be straightforward! Make open your information! The US owes us clarification!” the NBC News published.

In response, Mike Pompeo tweeted, The United States is trying their level best to protect our people and contain the worldwide #coronavirus pandemic. Beijing must recognize our role and be a part of the solution.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the same week alluded to Covid-19 as the “Wuhan infection,” and on Monday, he criticized Chinese endeavors “to spread disinformation” to blame Washington for the outbreak.

Pompeo called Yang Jiechi, Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Communist Party of China, to hold up an official objection with Beijing’s “endeavors to pass the blame for coronavirus on the United States.”

The US State Department stated, “The Secretary stressed that it isn’t the time to spread disinformation and gossip, but instead a time for all countries to join hands to battle the pandemic,” The National cited.

“Some US politicians have continued undermining China and China’s pandemic response and ridiculing China. Any plan to defamation and smear China has no chance of success,” Hua Chunying, a representative for the Chinese foreign ministry, responded on Tuesday at Washington’s remarks.

The blame and counterclaims appear to have begun in late February when medical specialist Zhong Nanshan claimed that the infection “might not have started in China.”

After seven days, China’s representative to South Africa Lin Songtian tweeted that even though the worldwide spread started there, “It didn’t imply that the originated from China. The quarrel is undermining good relations between the two nations.

Article Credit: The National/NBC News

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Trump declares national emergency in the USA, aid package for families
Americas

Trump declares national emergency in the USA, aid package for families

US President Donald Trump has declared the status of national emergency for the coronavirus, COVID-19. On Saturday, the US House of Representatives has approved an overwhelming majority of aid packages for Americans affected by the coronavirus epidemic. The measure passed with 363 votes in favour and 40 contraries and now awaits the go-ahead from the Senate. Before the vote, president Trump expressed his support for the bill on Twitter and asked Republicans and Democrats to support it. “This bill will follow my lead for free coronavirus tests and paid sick leave for our affected American workers,” affirmed Trump in a tweet, assuring that he will “always put the health and well-being of American families first.”

“This bill will follow my directives regarding free tests for Coronavirus and to pay sick leave to affected American workers,” tweeted Trump who added that he gave instructions to the Treasury and Labor Secretaries to enact regulations to ensure that small businesses are not damaged by the measures. “I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES,” wrote Trump. “I will always put the health and well-being of American families first.” I can’t wait to sign the decree, ASAP! “. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated apocalypse numbers in its projections if the worst-case scenario materializes in the United States. According to the New York Times, the infected in the USA could be between 160 and 214 million during the epidemic that could last months and perhaps even a year. The deaths could be between 200,000 and 1.7 million. Also according to the CDC, between 2.4 and 21 million Americans could request hospitalization, causing as happened in northern Italy, the collapse of the national health system that, the American Hospital Association said, has 925.000 hospital beds.

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Chinese ambassador summoned to state department after statements by Chinese Foreign Ministry on the origin of coronavirus
Americas, Asia Pacific Focus

Chinese ambassador summoned to state department after statements by Chinese Foreign Ministry on the origin of coronavirus

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai was called to the State Department because of the words of an official spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry that American troops could bring a new coronavirus to Wuhan (the administrative center of Hubei Province).

He was called in due to what the representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said regarding COVID-19 [a disease caused by coronavirus.

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Earlier, Zhao Lijian, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, published a message on his Twitter page suggesting that “the coronavirus got to Wuhan through the fault of the US military.” However, the diplomat did not specify exactly how they delivered him there.

In this regard, the South China Morning Post on Friday clarified that the presence of American troops in China could be associated with the VII World Summer Military Games in Wuhan. In these competitions, held from October 18 to 27, the military took part from more than 100 countries, including the United States. According to the same publication, the first case of coronavirus infection in the China was recorded on November 17, 2019 in a 55-year-old resident of Hubei.

In turn, another representative of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Geng Shuang, commenting on the statements of his colleague, said that one should not rush to conclusions regarding the origin of coronavirus, stressing that this issue requires professional scientific study.

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US president Donald Trump bans all travel from Europe for one month
Americas, Europe

US president Donald Trump bans all travel from Europe for one month

President Donald Trump has announced the suspension of all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days in an attempt to curb the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19. In a rare Oval Office speech, Trump said that the European Union “has not taken the same precautions” that the United States has put in place to contain the epidemic. The United Kingdom is not included in the travel ban with the continent. Trump also announced that he will soon take emergency action to provide financial backing to small businesses and people affected by the coronavirus. The US close demonstrations and rallies. After Chicago and Boston, New York has also cancelled the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the largest celebration of its kind in the world. It is the first time in more than 250 years. The feast of the patron saint of Ireland, St. Patrick, is celebrated every year on March 17th and is the most important holiday of the year in the Republic of Ireland which on Monday had canceled all the national parades. New York attracts up to 250,000 people every year.

In the same time, Beijing considers the transmission of the infections to be over. A health authority officer told the official Xinhua agency. The number of infections continues to decay. The positive record was also documented in Wuhan with only 8 infections yesterday. Meanwhile, the rescuers also recovered the last victim from the rubble of the Xinjian hotel this morning, which collapsed on Saturday evening in Quanzhou, in the Chinese province of Fujian, in a tragedy that killed 29 people. In the six-story hotel, used for the additional 14-day quarantine period after coronavirus recovery, there were 71 people when the structure suddenly collapsed: 27 died under the rubble, two more died later due to the wounds. A preliminary investigation has revealed clear problems of solidity and stativity in the construction, which has undergone several renovations. Numerous arrests were made for the accident, starting with the owner, explained Hong Ziqiang, deputy mayor of Quanzhou.

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Pompeo ask Iran to liberate US citizens from prisons due to coronavirus outbreak
Americas

Pompeo ask Iran to liberate US citizens from prisons due to coronavirus outbreak

On Tuesday, the United States called on Iran to immediately release detained US prisoners with news of the spread of the new Corona virus in its prisons. “The United States will hold the Iranian regime directly responsible for the death of any American citizen,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement, warning of a decisive US response to this event.

Pompeo added: “The reports on the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Iranian prisons are worrying and the least they require is the complete and immediate release of all US citizens. Their detention amid increasingly deteriorating conditions defies basic human decency.”

According to CNN, at least four Americans are imprisoned in Iran, which has had more than 8,000 coronavirus cases and nearly 300 deaths. Courts across Iran have granted eligible convicts’ furlough as part of the measures to contain coronavirus in the country, said Judiciary Chief Hojatoleslam Ebrahim Raeisi. Pompeo reaffirmed the furlough of tens of thousands of prisoners demonstrated Iran’s ability to grant clemency and show mercy. “Any nation considering whether to provide Iran with humanitarian assistance because of COVID-19 should seek a reciprocal humanitarian gesture by the regime: release all wrongly detained dual and foreign national citizens. This request is well within the regime’s power to grant,” he added. “The United States will not rest until all Americans wrongfully detained abroad are returned home.”

Last week, the family of American prisoner Siamak Namazi asked in a statement for help getting him a temporary furlough as a fellow prisoner had tested positive for the Chinese virus COVID-19, countless others are sick and there are no treatments for the new virus. Previously, Iran announced it would release 70,000 prisoners resulted negative to COVID-19 tests, but Namazi was not among them. US president Donald Trump has offered assistance to the Iranian people, and the US State Department said it would consider support to Iranian administrators if they requested for it.

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Brazil and USA sign an agreement on military cooperation and defense
Americas

Brazil and USA sign an agreement on military cooperation and defense

On Sunday, during his visit to South American headquarters, the Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro signed a defense agreement with the United States on the joint development of military capabilities. The agreement was signed for the American side by Admiral Craig Waller, commander of American forces in the southern area of Miami headquarters, and paves the way for future cooperation projects to improve or provide new military capabilities, according to a statement of the Brazilian Ministry of Defense.

The deal came the day after US President Donald Trump received his Brazilian counterpart with a dinner at the Mar-e-Lago resort in Florida during which the two presidents discussed the crisis in Venezuela and renewed their support for opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom they consider the country’s legitimate president. On Friday, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro accused Trump and Bolsonaro of “conspiracy” to justify military intervention in Venezuela. The Brazilian Defense Ministry statement added that the military deal facilitates administrative procedures in the military equipment agreements between the two countries.

Bolsonaro also stressed that the agreement opens the US market to Brazilian military products and also facilitates their sale to NATO members. Brazil is not a member of the alliance, but the United States has granted the status of a great ally outside of NATO. In March 2019, the two countries signed a technology guarantees agreement that allows America to conduct space launches from the Brazilian Alcantara Center. Brazil’s defense industry has around 220 companies and exports to around 85 countries. Although President Jair Bolsonaro is looking for a closer cooperation with the United States in defense and intelligence, Brazil’s decisions regarding 5G technology are seen as a potential hurdle, according to an Trump administration official.

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US blocks UN Security Council declaration on Russia-Turkey agreement
Americas, Europe

US blocks UN Security Council declaration on Russia-Turkey agreement

The United States opposed the adoption of a general statement by the UN Security Council for the press in support of the Russian-Turkish accords on Syria, a source in the UN Security Council.

On Friday, the Russian Federation initiated a meeting of the UN Security Council at which it told partners about the agreements of Moscow and Ankara on Idlib. Russian Permanent Representative to the UN Vassily Nebenzia said that Russia wanted to accept elements for the press, but because of the position of one delegation this was not possible.

“This happened because of the United States,” the source said, adding that the draft press statement expressed support for the Russian-Turkish agreement.

Talks between Russian and Turkish presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan over the exacerbation in the Syrian province of Idlib were held on Thursday in Moscow. Following the meeting, a joint document was adopted. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to the “Astana format” and announced the introduction of a ceasefire regime from midnight. In addition, the parties agreed to jointly patrol the important M4 highway, which is now under the control of militants.

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