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Rapper Kanye West running for White House


Rapper Kanye West running for White House

Rapper Kanye West, who once said that slavery for many centuries may have been a matter of 'choice,' in an Independence Day tweet, announced that he is running for the president of the United States.

One person who will be sore with West for throwing his hat in the ring is Donald Trump who was counting on the former as a prominent black supporter who could help wean away the well-entrenched African-American voter.

West famously visited the Oval Office in October 2018, sporting a red "Make America Great Again" hat and saying, "I love this guy right here," while posing with Trump. His wife and reality TV star Kim Kardashian also visited the White House as an activist pushing for criminal justice reform.

West even wrote, “You don’t have to agree with Trump but the mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy. He is my brother. I love everyone. I don’t agree with everything anyone does. That’s what makes us individuals. And we have the right to independent thought”.

The most controversial of Wayne’s statements was about slavery when he declared: “Of course, I know that slaves did not get shackled and put on a boat by free will. My point is for us to have stayed in that position even though the numbers were on our side means that we were mentally enslaved.”

If West is to launch a serious bid, it would have come late in the day, as the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where each party will formally announce its respective candidates, are set for next month.

It is unclear whether any official paperwork for an election bid has been filed on behalf of West.

The rapper has neither identified himself as a Democrat or a Republican, adding that he was “not political”.

 
 
 



President Trump launches fresh salvo at China over COVID-19; slams 'Chinese aggression' at Sino-India border


President Trump launches fresh salvo at China over COVID-19; slams 'Chinese aggression' at Sino-India border

China and US President Donald Trump do not seem to be on the best of terms recently. The western leader has repeatedly blamed the other country for the novel coronavirus outbreak, and in recent days the US has also backed India's move to ban Chinese apps, amongst other things.

Speaking on Thursday, July 2, Trump called it a "plague from China" that should have "never happened".

"We had just signed a brand new trade deal and the ink wasn't even dry when it came over," he said.


While being critical of China, the US has also made several statements that seem to indicate its support for India. US President Donald Trump has made a pitch for expansion of the G7 grouping by including India, Russia, Australia and South Korea. The western country also followed Germany's lead at the UN Security Council to delay a draft statement condemning the terrorist attack at the Karachi Stock Exchange.

Pakistan officials have blamed India for the attack, and the two countries had, one after the other indicated their displeasure with China's show of support by pushing back the release.

The elephant in the room however is the strained Indo-China relations that have emerged after the Galwan Valley clash. As per a Hindustan Times report, here too Trump has something to add. Stating that the US was "closely monitoring" the situation, the White House on Wednesday condemned Chinese 'aggression'.

“China’s aggressive stance along the India-China border fits with a larger a pattern of Chinese aggression in other parts of the world and these action only confirm the true nature of the Chinese Communist Party”, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany quoted Trump to say.

(With inputs from agencies)




Global COVID-19 cases near 10 million, deaths surge to over 498,000: Johns Hopkins University


Global COVID-19 cases near 10 million, deaths surge to over 498,000: Johns Hopkins University

Washington: The overall number of global COVID-19 cases was nearing 10 million, while the deaths have surged to over 498,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

As of Sunday morning, the total number of cases stood at 9,950,945, while the fatalities increased to 498,135, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. With 2,507,930 cases and 125,511 deaths, the US continues with the world's highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities, according to the CSSE.

Brazil comes in the second place with 1,313,667 infections and 57,070 deaths. In terms of cases, Russia ranks third (626,779), and is followed by India (508,953), the UK (311,727), Peru (275,989), Chile (267,766), Spain (248,469), Italy (240,136), Iran (220,180), Mexico (212,802), France (199,473), Pakistan (198,883), Turkey (195,883), Germany (194,458), Saudi Arabia (178,504), Bangladesh (133,978), South Africa (131,800) and Canada (104,878), the CSSE figures showed. The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the UK (43,598), Italy (34,716), France (29,781), Spain (28,341), Mexico (26,381), India (15,685) and Iran (10,364).




US President Donald Trump says he is 'Incredibly grateful' for the ' Widespread support'


US President Donald Trump says he is 'Incredibly grateful' for the ' Widespread support'

Washington: US President Donald Trump is "Incredibly grateful" for the "widespread support" he has received from the people of India and Indian-Americans, the White House has said in response to a survey suggesting that over 50 per cent of the community members in some key battleground American states are switching over to him in the presidential election in November. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews made the comments while responding to a question on a recent survey results that Indian-Americans, who traditionally vote for the Democratic Party, are switching towards Trump, a Republican, in the November 3 election.

Trump is seeking re-election to the White House in the November 3 presidential elections. "President Trump is incredibly grateful for the widespread support he has received from the people of India and from millions of Indian-Americans across the United States," Matthews said. According to the survey results conducted by Al Mason, co-chair of the Trump Victory Indian American Finance Committee, more than 50 per cent of Indian-Americans in the battle ground states of Michigan, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania and Virginia are crossing over to support Trump.

During his more than three and half years of his presidency, Trump has made an extra effort to reach out to the Indian-American community. His close relationship with Prime Minister Narendra Modi - reflected in the two leaders jointly addressing massive public rallies in Houston and Ahmedabad - has helped him make deep inroads among the Indian-Americans. "He (Trump) recognises the vital role Indian-Americans play in bolstering our economy, enriching our culture, and strengthening our communities," she said. During his firsttwo years in office, President Trump led the US to its greatest economic comeback in history. "

And the unemployment rate among Indian-Americans dropped by nearly 33 per cent," Matthews said. The President continues to fight for the prosperity, health, and freedom of all Americans, including the flourishing and hardworking Indian-American community, she said, responding to a question related to the increasing popularity of Trump among the community. AlMason said while the vision of Trump is the driving force in this unprecedented outreach with the Indian-Americans and a new peak in ties with India, the entire family including the First Lady Melania Trump, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, who have recently visited India with him, shown their immense respect and love for the country.

Not to overlook son Donald Trump Jr and Kimberly Guilfoyle, senior advisor to Donald Trump for President, Inc. and national chair of the Trump Victory Finance Committee, Mason said. Former TV host-cum-attorney Guilfoyle is now considered as one of the most powerful individuals in the Trump campaign. Both Trump Jr and Guilfoyle have time and again echoed Trump's love for India and Indian-Americans which is reflected intheir remarks at various Indian-American events in New York. "Want to see America work with incredible allies like India to make the world a safer place," Don Jr said last year.

"America embodies family values, values of hardworking people, strong work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and these values are "shared magnificently with India as well," said Guilfoyle, who believes that Indian-Americans are a crucial ally for the campaign. "I think we're so lucky as a country to have so many talented, dedicated, patriotic Indian-Americans making up the incredibly diverse fabric culturally of this country and we're lucky that they have called it their home," Guilfoyle, who has helped initiate the process, said.




As preliminary report points to human error in Karachi crash, Pak Aviation Minister reveals 262 pilots have fake licenses


As preliminary report points to human error in Karachi crash, Pak Aviation Minister reveals 262 pilots have fake licenses

When taking a flight, most of us probably think it's a given that the pilot knows his way around the control panel and has cleared all relevant exams to be allowed to take the lives of so many people into his hands. And while you'd usually be right, this was not quite the case in Pakistan until recently.

As per a CNN report, more than 30% of Pakistan's civilian pilots posses fake licenses -- having never actually taken their exams. They are thus not qualified to fly. The situation was revealed on Wednesday by the country's aviation minister.

The news comes against the backdrop of a horrifying plane crash that took place earlier this year, killing 97 people. On Wednesday, preliminary investigations revealed that the plane that crashed in a residential area near the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi on May 22, due to human error by the pilots and air traffic control. As per Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan, there had been a lack of concentration on their part which led to the crash of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) plane.

Since then, there has been a crackdown on the fake license issue. While the PIA announced that it has grounded 150 pilots with "dubious licenses", one can't help but wonder how the issue had not been noticed for so long. Reportedly, some of these fake pilots had also worked with foreign carriers. The cash-strapped airlines has reportedly said that the grounding of so many pilots will affect its services.

Those pilots who get their licenses verified will be allowed back on duty, Geo News quoted the PIA spokesperson as saying.

As per the CNN report that quotes Ghulam Sarwar Khan, 262 of Pakistan's 860 active pilots did not have flying experience and had apparently paid others to take the aviation exams on their behalf. This becomes a rather frightening prospect when one looks at the sheer number of flights they must have maneuvered till date.

And according to the PIA, this is not the first time people have been made aware of this issue. Reportedly, the carrier had flagged the issue of dubious licences issued by the aviation regulator after an ATR skidded off the runway in Panjgur in November 2018. Indeed, there have been previous media reports on the same, and the PIA has fired employees in the past too for possessing fake qualifications.




It’s time to wear a mask, Bolsonaro


It’s time to wear a mask, Bolsonaro

A Brazilian federal judge on Tuesday ordered President Jair Bolsonaro to comply with local rules to wear a face mask whenever he is outdoors in the capital of Brasilia.

Judge Renato Coelho Borelli said in his ruling that Bolsonaro "has exposed other people to the contagion of a disease that has caused national commotion." Brazil's federal district requires people to wear face masks in public to help control the spread of the new coronavirus. Failure to comply carries a possible daily fine of USD 390.

Bolsonaro often appears at public events with a mask, unlike some other heads of state.




Another Donald Trump tweet gets a label from Twitter


Another Donald Trump tweet gets a label from Twitter

Twitter has for the fifth time placed a label over one of Donald Trump's tweets for violating its policies after he threatened "serious force" against protesters, escalating the microblogging platform's spat with the US President.

The tweet says: "There will never be an 'Autonomous Zone' in Washington, DC, as long as I'm your President. If they try they will be met with serious force!" Trump's tweet referred to the police-free district created by protesters in Seattle, in Washington state, two weeks ago.

The zone was established in response to the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man who died during an arrest after a Minneapolis Police Department officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes as three other officers looked on.

This is the fifth tweet from the president that the social media company has labelled in the past several weeks, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Twitter said the tweet violates its policy prohibiting abusive behaviour and specifically "the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group." "We've placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behaviour, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group," it said.

The warning label hides the president's tweet, and users have to click in to view the text.

Twitter has faced off with Trump over his account in the past few weeks, drawing his ire as the company labelled two of his tweets for misleading information about mail-in ballots, one for a manipulated video and one for inciting violence.

In response, Trump accused Twitter of working to stifle conservative voices and harm his re-election campaign.

 
 
 



Kim Jong Un suspends military action against South Korea


Kim Jong Un suspends military action against South Korea

North Korea said Wednesday leader Kim Jong Un suspended a planned military retaliation against South Korea, in an apparent slowing of the pressure campaign it has waged against its rival amid stalled nuclear negotiations with the Trump administration.

Last week, the North had declared relations with the South as fully ruptured, destroyed an inter-Korean liaison office in its territory and threatened unspecified military action to censure Seoul for a lack of progress in bilateral cooperation.

Analysts say North Korea, after weeks deliberately raising tensions, may be pulling away just enough to make room for South Korean concessions.




Google donates additional USD 300K to support refugees, displaced people


Google donates additional USD 300K to support refugees, displaced people

Google has announced an additional USD 3, 00, 000 grant to help the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) further prepare refugees for the changing nature of work.

Google.org would host online training to help refugees and host community members in the MENA region including Algeria and Morocco learn digital skills throughout a course of a year, the company said in a statement late Saturday.

More than 79 million were displaced at the end of last year as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations, 29 million of which were refugees.

"Since 2015, we've given more than $30 million in Google.org grants to help provide emergency support and access to vital information and educational resources to more than one million refugees," said Jacquelline Fuller, President, Google.org on World Refugee Day.

"We're supporting the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with USD 5,50,000 Google.org and YouTube grants to provide refugees with necessary materials to endure the pandemic, digital skills training series and updates to Google Search in affected countries so people have access to reliable information at all times," Fuller explained.

YouTube has already donated USD 250,000 to UNHCR to help provide life-saving support, including water, medical care and hygiene materials to refugees and the communities who host them in affected countries.

According to UNHCR, 47 per cent of the refugee population in 2019 was between the ages 18 and 59, and the unemployment rate in this demographic is expected to rise.

Google is also helping UNHCR navigate its developer platform to provide refugees with authoritative answers clearly displayed on Google Search to questions like "What happens during the Refugee Status Determination interview?" and "How to qualify for cash assistance?"

These results are already available in Arabic, English, Turkish and Farsi, to help refugees who are staying in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey, informed Google.

 
 
 



Global coronavirus cases rise to over 8.7 million: Johns Hopkins University


Global coronavirus cases rise to over 8.7 million: Johns Hopkins University

Washington: The total number of global COVID-19 cases has surged to over 8.7 million, while the deaths were nearing 463,000, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

By Sunday morning, the total number of cases stood at 8,768,285, while the fatalities increased to 463,999, the University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. With 2,254,630 cases and 119,714 deaths, the US continues with the world's highest number of COVID-19 infections and fatalities, according to the CSSE.

 
 

Brazil comes in the second place with 1,032,913 infections and 49,976 deaths. In terms of cases, Russia ranks third (576,162), and was followed by India (395,048), the UK (304,580), Peru (251,338), Spain (245,938), Italy (238,275), Chile (236,748), Iran (202,584), France (196,724), Germany (190,670), Turkey (186,493), Mexico (175,202), Pakistan (171,666), Saudi Arabia (154,233), Bangladesh (108,775) and Canada (102,762), the CSSE figures showed.

The other countries with over 10,000 deaths are the UK (42,674), Italy (34,610), France (29,636), Spain (28,322), Mexico (20,781) and India (12,948).

 
 
 



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