LIVE: President-elect Biden brands US Capitol violence 'insurrection'

People attend a rally in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021, in support of President Donald Trump
Latest LIVE news updates: Police in the US Capitol on Wednesday responded with drawn guns and tear gas on Wednesday as swarms of protesters stormed in and sought to force Congress to undo President Donald Trump's election loss shortly after some of Trump's fellow Republicans launched a last-ditch effort to throw out the results.

Governments Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala have reported cases on bird flu till now, Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture and Food Processing, Sanjeev Balyan said on Wednesday. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Tuesday directed all states and Union Territories (UTs) to take all possible steps for containing the spread of the disease.

The Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 52.3 in December from November's 53.7 but held above the 50-mark separating growth from contraction for a third straight month.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.


George Bush says US Capitol "insurrection" reminiscent of "banana republic"

Insurrection, incited by the President of the United States, says Mitt Romney

US Capitol: Woman who was shot inside the Capitol on Wednesday afternoon dies

Trump continues to make election fraud claims, asks his supporters to go home

Trump supporters clash with police

Unprecedented images from US Capitol

Explosive device found near Capitol amid protest

At least one explosive device has been found near the U.S. Capitol amid a violent occupation of the building by supporters of President Donald Trump.
Law enforcement officials said the device was no longer a threat Wednesday afternoon.
Thousands of supporters of the president occupied the Capitol complex as lawmakers were beginning to tally the electoral votes that will formalize President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
Vice President Mike Pence has called on protesters to leave the Capitol immediately, going further than Trump, who merely called for his supporters to “remain peaceful.” 

Photo tweeted by Issam Ahmed

Twitter says it will limit reach of tweets stoking US Capitol unrest (AFP)

Biden calls on mob to ''pull back,'' urges restoring decency

President-elect Joe Biden called Wednesday for the restoration of “just simple decency” as a mob incited by his predecessor stormed the US Capitol and delayed Congress from certifying the results of November's election in which Biden won the White House.
Biden had planned to deliver a speech focused on how to revive an economy and provide financial relief for small business owners reeling from the coronavirus pandemic from his native Delaware.
But shortly before he was to begin speaking, demonstrators broke into the capital, reaching as far as the House floor. The building was locked down and police with guns drawn moved in as Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were evacuated to secure locations. National Guard troops were deployed and a citywide curfew called for shortly after dusk, as rioters continued to occupy the capital for hours.
“At this hour our democracy is under unprecedented assault unlike anything we've seen in modern times,” Biden said, adding that what unfolded was, “an assault on the rule of law like few times we have ever seen it.” He said the uprising bordered on sedition, adding, "The scenes of chaos at the capitol do not reflect a true America, do not represent who we are.” “I call on this mob to pull back and allow democracy to go forward,” Biden said. “At their best the words of a president can inspire, at their worst they can incite.” Biden also called on Trump to “go on national television now” to “demand an end to this siege."

At least 1 explosive device found near US Capitol; law enforcement officials say it's no longer a threat. (AP)

At least 1 explosive device found near US Capitol; law enforcement officials say it's no longer a threat. (AP)

Trump supporters storm US Capitol, clash with police: Biden says 'dark moment' in US history

In an unprecedented attack on democracy, thousands of angry supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol and clashed with police, resulting in multiple injuries and forcing a delay in the constitutional process to affirm Joe Biden's victory in the November presidential election.
The police, outnumbered by the protesters, had a tough time in managing the crowd, as hundreds of protesters made their way into the US Capitol, where members of the US Congress were going through the process of counting and certifying the Electoral College votes. Both the House and Senate and the entire Capitol were placed under a lockdown.
Members of the US Congress were asked to get hold of the gas masks under their seats as the police resorted to tear gas to disperse protestors.
Multiple officers have been injured with at least one transported to the hospital, CNN reported, citing multiple sources.
President Trump has called for his supporters to "remain peaceful".
"I am asking for everyone at the US Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!" Trump said in a tweet.
"Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!" Trump said in another tweet.
President-elect Biden said he was shocked and sad to see the US "come to such a dark moment".
"At this hour, our democracy's under unprecedented assault. Unlike anything we've seen in modern times. An assault on the citadel of liberty, the Capitol itself. An assault on the people's representatives and the Capitol Hill police, sworn to protect them. And the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic... ," Biden said in an address to the nation.
"Let me be very clear. The scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect a true America. Do not represent who we are. What we're seeing are a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It's disorder. It's chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end now," Biden said.

Ossoff wins Ga. Senate seat, gives Dems control

Georgia Democrat Jon Ossoff has won his Senate runoff election. His victory gives Democrats control of the Senate for the opening of Democrat Joe Biden's presidency. Democrats needed to win both of Georgia's Senate runoff elections on Tuesday to claim the Senate majority.
The 33-year-old Ossoff defeated 71-year-old Republican David Perdue, who held the seat for the past six years and had the strong support of President Donald Trump.
Trump had called on Georgia Republicans to swarm to the polls for the Republican Senate candidates even as he warned, without evidence, of the prospect of widespread voter fraud.
Biden held his own rally Monday to urge his coalition to turn out for Ossoff, a former congressional aide and journalist.
In the other race, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, a Democrat, defeated Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler.
With the two Democratic victories, the Senate will have a 50-50 seat split between the parties. But the vice president casts tie-breaking votes, and that will be Democrat Kamala Harris.
Democrats already control the House, and adding the Senate will make it more difficult for Republicans to block Biden's agenda, along with his Cabinet picks and judicial nominations.

Trump slams Vice President Pence for declining to illegally overturn election results

Outgoing US President Donald Trump has slammed his deputy Mike Pence for declining to illegally overthrow the results of the November 3 election won by Joe Biden, saying he lacks courage.
Trump's remarks came after Vice President Pence presided over a Joint Session of the Congress to count and certify the election results.
The session was interrupted when a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, forcing a lockdown and Pence's evacuation from the building. Trump said Pence “lacks courage”.
“Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!” Trump said.
Trump has refused to concede and has worked over the last two months to convince his supporters that widespread voter fraud prevented his victory. Pence on Wednesday publicly broke with President Donald Trump, the boss he's served obsequiously for four years, saying he cannot submit to Trump's demands.
Pence in a letter to lawmakers said he had no "unilateral authority to decide presidential contests" and could not change the results of the election.
"It is my considered judgement that my oath to support and defend the Constitution constrains me from claiming unilateral authority to determine which electoral votes should be counted and which should not," he wrote.

Biden denounces "unprecedented assault" on US democracy

US President-elect Joe Biden addresses nation

Biden demands Trump to appear on television and tell his supporters to stop rioting.

US National Guard activated

Supporters of President Donald Trump climb the walls of the US Capitol

Attack on US Capitol will not be tolerated, says Mike Pence

US National Guard activated to help quell election protests, says White House (AFP)

Guns and teargas in US Capitol as Trump supporters attempt to overturn his loss

Police in the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday responded with drawn guns and tear gas on Wednesday as swarms of protesters stormed in and sought to force Congress to undo President Donald Trump's election loss shortly after some of Trump's fellow Republicans launched a last-ditch effort to throw out the results.
Police evacuated the House of Representatives and the Senate after pro-Trump protesters marched through the halls of Congress, forcing both chambers to suspend deliberations as they were meeting to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the Nov. 3 election.
One protester occupied the Senate dais and yelled, "Trump won that election."
Video showed police deploying tear gas inside the building.
The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump, due to leave office on Jan. 20, addressed thousands of protesters, repeating false claims that the election was stolen from him due to widespread election fraud and irregularities. Lawmakers had been debating a last-ditch effort by pro-Trump lawmakers to challenge the results, an effort that was unlikely to succeed.
President Mike Pence, who had presided over the joint session of Congress, had already been escorted from the Senate.
Capitol Police told lawmakers in the House chamber to take gas masks from beneath their seats and prepare to put them on.
Officers at the front door of the House chamber had their guns drawn as someone attempted to enter the chamber.
Officers ordered people in the chamber to drop to the floor for their safety.
Election officials of both parties and independent observers have said there was no significant fraud in the Nov. 3 contest, which Biden won by more than 7 million votes in the national popular vote.

US lawmakers decry "coup" as Trump supporters storm Congress (AFP)

Police draw guns inside US House to protect lawmakers, says congressman (AFP)

Trump asks his supporters to remain peaceful

US Capitol locked down as Donald Trump supporters clash with police

The US Capitol locked down Wednesday with lawmakers inside as violent clashes broke out between supporters of President Donald Trump and police.
The US Capitol Police announce security breach inside as lawmakers meet to vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory.
An announcement was played inside the Capitol as lawmakers were meeting and expected to vote to affirm Biden's victory.  Read more

Suporters of US President Donald Trump gather at a rally at Freedom Plaza in Washington

Over 100 samples of live poultry from Himachal Pradesh sent for testing bird flu

Over 100 samples of live poultry birds from around the Pong wetland in Himachal Pradesh's Kangra district have been sent to test if they suffer from avian influenza. The poultry samples were sent following the death of over 3,000 migratory water birds in and around the wetland after December 28 apparently due to an outbreak of the H5N1 avian influenza among the birds. 
Around 120 samples of domestic live poultry birds, collected randomly from around the wetland, have been sent for testing.
So far no unusual death among the poultry has occurred here but if the samples test positive, all poultry birds in backyard farms within one kilometre of the lake's periphery will have to be culled and commercial farms in the area would be disinfected.
Kangra Additional District Magistrate Rohit Rathour, meanwhile, on Wednesday directed officials to identify at least one site in each sub-division of the district for the safe burial of dead birds.

PM Modi, Germany's Angela Merkel hold video-teleconference; discuss vaccine development

Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a video-teleconference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday and briefed her on COVID-19 vaccine development in India, while also assuring her of the country's commitment to deploy its capacities for the benefit of the world. A Prime Minister's Office statement said Modi appreciated the long-standing role of Chancellor Merkel in providing stable and strong leadership at the European and global stage, and thanked her for guiding the growth of the India-Germany Strategic Partnership.
The two leaders discussed key issues of mutual importance including the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral ties, regional and global issues, particularly India-EU relations.
The prime minister briefed Chancellor Merkel on the developments in India with regard to vaccine development and assured the chancellor of India's commitment to deploy its capacities for the benefit of the world, the statement said.

Dip in air quality, Noida, Gurgaon 'moderate', Ghaziabad, Faridabad 'poor'

The average air quality stayed "moderate" in Noida but dipped to "poor" in Greater Noida, Ghaziabad and Faridabad, while it dropped to "moderate" from "satisfactory" in Gurgaon, according to a 24-hour data issued by a government agency on Wednesday. Pollutants PM 2.5 and PM 10 although remained prominent in the air of the five immediate neighbours of Delhi, according to the air quality index (AQI) maintained by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
An AQI between zero and 50 is considered 'good', 51 and 100 'satisfactory', 101 and 200 'moderate', 201 and 300 'poor', 301 and 400 'very poor', and 401 and 500 'severe'.
The average 24-hour AQI at 4 pm on Wednesday was 234 in Ghaziabad, 239 in Greater Noida, 200 in Noida, 203 in Faridabad and 175 in Gurgaon, as per the CPCB's Sameer app. On Tuesday, it was 148 in Ghaziabad, 120 in Greater Noida, 149 in Noida, 138 in Faridabad and 83 in Gurgaon. OnMonday, it was 168 in Ghaziabad, 134 in Greater Noida, 152 in Noida, 179 in Faridabad and 65 in Gurgaon.

Bird flu: Over 69,000 birds culled in Kerala's Alappuzha, Kottayam districts

Over 69,000 birds including ducks and chicken were culled in the districts of Alappuzha and Kottayam to contain the H5N8 strain of bird flu, Kerala Animal Husbandry Minister K Raju said on Wednesday. The minister said 19 Rapid Response Teams have been engaged in culling birds in both the districts and the regions suspected to have infected the birds will be sanitised on Thursday.
Raju said there is no history of the H5N8 virus being transmitted to humans.
"As per the preliminary reports, the birds in the state were infected by migratory birds.As of now, there is no history of the virus being transmitted to humans.However, it's possible that the virus may mutate.So we haveto remain alert," Raju told reporters. He said the ban on sale of bird meat and eggs in these regions will continue.

Health Ministry deploys multi-disciplinary teams to Bird flu-affected districts in Kerala and Haryana

Service sector growth at three-month low in Dec due to Covid-19: PMI survey

The services sector, which dominates the Indian economy, grew at a three-month low pace in December due to competitive pressures and the impact of Covid on demand, showed a widely tracked IHS Markit purchasing managers' index (PMI) survey. Companies shed jobs due to liquidity concerns, labour shortages and subdued demand, the survey revealed.
PMI fell to 52.3 in December from 53.7 in November. The December reading was the lowest since the services sector started growing from October. PMI reading above 50 shows growth and the prine below that means contraction.
Companies indicated that growth was supported by the securing of new work, though curbed by competitive pressures and the Covid-19 pandemic. READ ON...

Centre directs states, UTs to take possible steps for containing bird flu

Considering the possibility of spread of avian influenza virus or bird flu to humans and other domesticated animals and birds, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Tuesday directed all states and Union Territories (UTs) to take all possible steps for containing the spread of the disease.
As per the government's notification, the Ministry asked the States/UTs to take up surveillance and monitoring of birds, for any signs of disease, and take appropriate measures for controlling it, on priority.
This Ministry vide letter dated January 3, 2021, had also forwarded generic guidelines relating to avian influenza to the Chief Wildlife Wardens of all States/UTs and had requested for taking immediate steps for containing the spread of the disease.

Bidding for spectrum worth Rs 3.92 trillion to start from March 1

Bidding for the sixth round of spectrum auction for radiowaves worth Rs 3.92 trillion will start from March 1, according to a notice issued by the government on Wednesday.
The Union Cabinet had approved a proposal for the auction of 2,251.25 Megahertz (MHz) of spectrum worth Rs 3.92 trillion at the base price on December 17, 2020.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) has fixed January 12 for the pre-bid conference and last date for seeking clarification to the notice on January 28. Telecom operators will need to submit their application by February 5 for participation in the auction. READ ON....

Migratory birds reason behind spread of bird flu in India: Union Minister Giriraj Singh

The Centre has issued an advisory to the state on the spread of bird flu in the country, said Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying Giriraj Singh on Wednesday adding that the virus has returned due to India with migratory birds.
"Bird flu cases can be found all over the world. India was declared free of bird flu in September. Then in October, we issued an advisory that the cold is coming and that there is a need to take precautions. Today, most of the cases are being reported from the places where migratory birds come, and they are the reason for bringing the virus to the country," Singh told ANI.
He informed that most cases of the disease are found in Kerala where "25,000 ducks have died".
"The government is on alert. Samples from all states are being sent to Bhopal. There is nothing to worry about. The government will also provide compensation to the farmers for the poultry bird that died," the minister said. He said virus cannot be spread through cooked food and till today, no case of transmission of Avian Influenza virus to humans has been reported in India.

We are seeing how early we can reopen the schools: Delhi Education Minister Manish Sisodia

Department of Telecom to start spectrum auctions from March 1: Auction notice

Five states confirmed bird flu cases till now

Governments Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala have reported cases on bird flu till now, Minister of State (MoS) for Agriculture and Food Processing, Sanjeev Balyan said on Wednesday.
Talking to ANI, Balyan said the outbreak of Avian Influenza, which is commonly known as bird flu, is not a new thing in India and since 2015 every year during winters some cases of the disease are reported in the country.
"It's not a new trend. In India, bird flu was first reported in India in 2006 and since 2015 every year some cases are reported. But, till today India has reported no case of transmission to humans," he said.
Balyan added that state governments have been asked to take all proper measures to contain the spread of the Avian Influenza and directed to dispose of dead birds properly.

Karnataka on alert to contain bird flu spread, blocks poultry from Kerala

Karnataka is on high alert to contain the spread of avian influenza as it blocked entry of poultry and other birds from Kerala on Wednesday. The district administration at the Bodhi check post in the Kote taluk of Mysore-Kerala Border blocked the entry of poultry from Kerala following the bird flu outbreak in the state, informed Mysore District Collector Rohini Sindhuri.
The step comes after avian flu took lives of thousands of ducks in Kerala. Both the state governments -- Kerala and Karnataka -- have been on alert since then.
Several steps have been taken to sanitise the vehicles coming from Kerala to Karnataka to avoid any kind of disease spread. The Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medical Services has increased security at the border check posts.

Four dead, six fall ill due to toxic gas leakage from a unit at Rourkela Steel Plant

Punjab issues advisory for surveillance of poultry farms, wetlands amid bird flu scare

Amid a bird flu scare, authorities in Punjab have alerted officials to keep tabs on any unusual deaths of migratory and poultry birds in the state, officials said on Wednesday. They said no case of bird flu has been reported so far in Punjab.
Punjab Animal Husbandry Director Harbinder Singh Kahlon said an advisory has been issued for "surveillance of commercial poultry farms and backyard poultry farms to find any unusual mortality in birds".
The advisory has been sent to all 22 deputy directors of the department to ensure regular visit of field staff to commercial and backyard poultry farms in the state, he added. In case any "unusual mortality" in poultry birds is found, samples will be sent to the Northern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RDDL), Jalandhar, to ascertain the cause, the officials said.

A1 influenza can be transmitted to humans but so far no such case has been reported in India: Govt

We have received reports of A1 influenza from 5 states - Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, & Kerala. In Haryana, it has been transmitted to poultry as well otherwise the virus is found in wild and migratory birds: Union Minister Sanjiv Balyan

Accept WhatsApp's revised policies by Feb 8 to continue using its services

Millions of Indian users received an in-app notification from WhatsApp as part of an upcoming global roll-out for over 2 billion users, asking them to either accept the changes in its Terms of Service and privacy policy by February 8 or their accounts will be deleted.
The in-app notification did not elicit much details but clicking on the links clearly mentioned the key changes in how WhatsApp will collect and process users' information going forward, and the partnership with Facebook, its parent company, as part of a larger unification drive between the family of apps. Read on...

Services sector loses steam, December PMI falls to 52.3 from 53.7 in Nov

Growth in India's dominant services industry continued to lose momentum in December as a resurgence in coronavirus infections weighed on new business and employment, a private survey showed on Wednesday.
Asia's third-largest economy has been gradually recovering from a coronavirus-induced recession but is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels soon, especially within the service industry - the engine of economic growth and jobs in the country.
The Nikkei/IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers' Index fell to 52.3 in December from November's 53.7 but held above the 50-mark separating growth from contraction for a third straight month. Read on...

Jammu and Kashmir: Heavy snowfall in Rajouri district

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to hold a meeting of relevant departments today over Bird flu scare

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to hold a meeting of relevant departments today over Bird flu scare

Donald Trump orders ban on transactions with eight more Chinese apps

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order barring transactions with eight Chinese apps including Alipay and WeChat Pay to protect America's national security, citing the steps taken by India to ban more than 200 Chinese connected software applications.
Trump's order said action is needed to "deal with the national emergency" caused by the "pervasiveness of the spread" of apps created and controlled in China.
The ban against the eight Chinese apps -- Alipay, CamScanner, QQ Wallet, SHAREit, Tencent QQ, VMate, WeChat Pay, and WPS Office -- will come into effect in 45 days from Tuesday. Read on...

Trump says Pence can overturn his loss in Congress. That's not how it works

US President Trump on Tuesday escalated his efforts to force Vice President Mike Pence to overturn President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory, falsely asserting that Pence had the power to unilaterally throw out electoral votes on Wednesday when Congress meets to certify the election results.
But there is nothing in the Constitution or the law that explicitly gives a vice president that power, and aides close to Pence, who concede that he is facing a politically perilous moment, are convinced he will follow the normal procedures and confirm Biden’s election. Read on...

Hailstorm lashes parts of Delhi, rain continues for 4th consecutive day

Residents in parts of Delhi woke up to the sound of hailstones hitting rooftops and windows, even as sporadic rain continued in the national capital for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday.
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) said parts of South Delhi reported hailstorm around 7:30 am.
More rain and hailstorms are predicted during the day, it said.
Residents in neighbouring Gurgaon shared video clips of hailstorm there. Read on...

All flights for Srinagar remain suspended due to heavy snowfall

All flights to and from Srinagar remained suspended on Tuesday for the third consecutive day due to heavy snowfall and bad weather.
"There will be no flight movement due to heavy snowfall and bad weather condition for today," a Srinagar airport official told ANI.
Udhampur district's Patnitop area and the Srinagar city received heavy snowfall on December 28 which brought in a severe cold wave in the valley. The same trend has been continuing for the past one week.

Ashok Gehlot cautions Centre against resuming flights from UK

Amid the emergence of cases of new COVID-19 strain from the United Kingdom in India, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Tuesday urged the central government to reconsider its decision to resume flights from the UK.
"Cases of the new corona strain from Britain are increasing in India. Government of India should reconsider the decision to resuming flights from Britain after January 7," read the chief minister's tweet.
Gehlot further claimed, "If flights from foreign countries were stopped in January 2020 at the beginning of the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, this situation probably would not have happened today."

NCB summons actor Arjun Rampal's sister today

Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai has summoned actor Arjun Rampal's sister today, in connection with a drugs case: NCB officer

Govt allows limited resumption of flights to, from UK amid new strain fears

Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said that the government is reviewing the situation and it has allowed limited resumption of civil aviation with the United Kingdom.
"We took a decision on limited resumption of civil aviation traffic between India and the United Kingdom based on an assessment of available facts as available with our medical professionals. We decided that RT-PCR test which was done 72 hours ahead of travelling was not enough," Puri told ANI.
"So, we made it compulsory to test again on arrival. We will review the situation if any steps have to be taken. So far it is the limited resumption of civil aviation with the UK. The total number of flights to UK has been reduced from 60 a week to 30," he added. Read on...

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