LIVE: Biden says fastest way to remove Trump is to inaugurate him

President-elect Joe Biden
US President-elect Joe Biden said he had believed for a long time that President Donald Trump was not fit for office, but it was up to Congress to decide on a second impeachment of the Republican president after Wednesday's storming of the Capitol.

Mumbai attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court here in a terror financing case on Friday.

Meanwhile, The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting today launched a digital calendar and diary for 2021, instead of printing them, which helped the ministry save nearly Rs 5 crore.

In another news, the Centre said bird flu has been confirmed so far in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat, and asked these six states to contain the disease as per the action plan.

Stay tuned for the latest news of the day.

LIVE UPDATES

Pompeo meets with Biden's nominee for secretary of state

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with President-elect Joe Biden's nominee for US top diplomat, Antony Blinken, on Friday to facilitate an orderly transition, meeting just days after US President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol in a bid to overturn his election defeat.
 
The meeting, described by a senior State Department official as "very productive," comes just over a week before Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20. The official said Pompeo met with Blinken to "facilitate an orderly transition, and to ensure American interests are protected abroad." "Secretary Pompeo and Secretary-nominee Blinken, as well as their teams, will continue to work together on behalf of America throughout the transition," the official said in a statement.
 

Biden says fastest way to remove Trump is to inaugurate him

President-elect Joe Biden said the fastest way to remove President Donald Trump from office was to move forward with the president-elect’s inauguration but said it was a “good thing” Trump didn’t plan to attend. Biden said that even though Trump exceeded his worst expectations, he is now focusing on “getting into office,” not on impeaching Trump.

Biden dodges question about removing Trump from Office

President-elect Joe Biden dodged questions Friday about whether Congress should impeach President Donald Trump with only two weeks left in office, saying he was focused on controlling the pandemic and reviving the US economy.

“What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide,” he told reporters in Wilmington, Delaware. “We’re going to do our job and Congress can decide how to proceed with theirs.”

Biden said he would speak later Friday to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic congressional leadership about his agenda, which includes speeding vaccine distribution and economic growth.

Joe Biden says Donald Trump's impeachment is for Congress to decide

Wilmington: US President-elect Joe Biden said he had believed for a long time that President Donald Trump was not fit for office, but it was up to Congress to decide on a second impeachment of the Republican president after Wednesday's storming of the Capitol.
 
Biden told reporters that he was focused on containing the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring rapid vaccination and bolstering the economy.
 
"What the Congress decides to do is for them to decide, but... we're going to have to be ready to hit the ground running," he said, when asked about legislation being readied by House Democrats to impeach Trump for his role in fomenting the violence.

A Trump self-pardon could invite the criminal charges he fears

Any move by President Donald Trump to pardon himself in his final days in office could backfire, legal experts say, inviting the incoming administration to challenge the unprecedented action by filing criminal charges against him.
 
Trump has raised the possibility of a self-pardon in recent days as calls grow for him to face prosecution for inciting the US Capitol siege that resulted in five deaths and sent members of Congress scrambling for safety. But though the president has vast authority to grant clemency to others, a self-pardon would be a novel assertion of executive power that both Democrats and Republicans might want the Supreme Court to strike down.
 
“It would almost set himself up as a sitting duck to be prosecuted,” said Nick Akerman, a former Watergate prosecutor. “It takes the edge off the idea that you’re going after somebody just because they were a political opponent in the prior administration.”
 
Trump faced legal threats even before Wednesday’s riot. The administration of President-elect Joe Biden could decide to revive Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into obstruction of justice by Trump or launch a new probe into his taxes. But such prosecutions were likely to face stiff Republican opposition, and Biden has signaled he might prefer to move on.
 

Pelosi speaks to chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing Trump from accessing nuke codes

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday spoke to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about preventing "unhinged" President Donald Trump from initiating military actions or a nuclear strike.
 
Pelosi in a letter to Democratic members of the House of Representatives said that she spoke with Gen Mark Milley "to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike." Reiterating her demand to remove President Trump from office, she said, “The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy." "Nearly fifty years ago, after years of enabling their rogue President, Republicans in Congress finally told President Nixon that it was time to go," she wrote.
 
“Today, following the President's dangerous and seditious acts, Republicans in Congress need to follow that example and call on Trump to depart his office – immediately. If the President does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action,” Pelosi said.
 

US House Democrats to introduce impeachment charges against Trump on Monday

Democrats in the US House of Representatives plan to introduce new articles of impeachment against Republican President Donald Trump on Monday, calling for his removal from office, two people familiar with the matter said on Friday.
 
The sources said the articles, which are formal charges of misconduct, were crafted by Democratic Representatives David Cicilline, Ted Lieu and Jamie Raskin following this week's assault on the US Capitol by Trump supporters.
 

Ronna McDaniel, facing no opponent, re-elected RNC Chairwoman

Loyalists to President Donald Trump were re-elected Friday to lead the Republican party for the next two years, ensuring the outgoing president’s grip on the GOP even as his presidency comes to a chaotic end.
 
Ronna McDaniel will remain as chairwoman of the Republican National Committee with Tommy Hicks as vice chairman. While McDaniel was unopposed, Hicks easily fought off challenges from three other candidates in what was widely viewed as a proxy fight over Trump’s role in the party.
 
The RNC elections in Fernandina Beach, Florida came two days after a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. Trump said Friday he would not attend Biden’s inauguration and instead mulled the possibility of running again in 2024, suggesting that the movement he built will last beyond the Biden presidency.
 

Indian-American Sabrina Singh named Deputy Press Secretary in White House

Indian-American Sabrina Singh would serve as Deputy Press Secretary to the Vice President in the White House, according to an announcement made by the Biden-Harris Transition.
 
Singh was Press Secretary to Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on the Biden-Harris campaign. Prior to her role on the campaign, Singh served as senior spokesperson for Mike Bloomberg's presidential campaign and National Press Secretary for Cory Booker's presidential campaign.
 
She previously served as deputy communications director for the Democratic National Committee, spokesperson for American Bridge's Trump War Room and Regional Communications Director on Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.
 
She has also worked at SKDKnickerbocker, served as Communications Director for Rep. Jan Schakowsky and worked at various Democratic committees, said the Biden-Harris Transition as it announced additional members of the Vice President's Office at the White House.
 

House Speaker Pelosi says she spoke to top US general about restraining Trump

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke to the top US military commander on Friday about taking precautions to ensure that Republican President Donald Trump cannot initiate hostilities or order a nuclear strike in his remaining 12 days in office.
 
Pelosi said in a letter to Democratic lawmakers that she spoke to Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about what measures are available to rein in the president. Trump, angry about his election loss, incited supporters in the days before an invasion of the US Capitol on Wednesday.
 
"The situation of this unhinged president could not be more dangerous, and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy," Pelosi said in a letter to colleagues.
 
The Joint Staff did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
 
Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office on Jan. 20. Trump said earlier on Friday he would not attend the inauguration, breaking with long-standing tradition in American presidential transitions.
 
Pelosi, the top Democrat in Congress, also said she had not heard back from Vice President Mike Pence about whether he would agree to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office "for his incitement of insurrection and the danger he still poses."
 

India engaged with US for increased predictability in visa regime: MEA

India is engaged with the US for increased predictability in the visa regime and to minimise inconvenience to Indians in the US or those proposing to travel to that country, including the movement of Indian professionals, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday.
 
The assertion by MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at an online media briefing came after the outgoing Trump administration modified the selection process for H-1B visa, giving priority to salary and skills instead of the current lottery procedures.
 
Asked about the US Capitol Hill violence, Srivastava said the Indian position has been made clear in a tweet of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
 
Modi had tweeted, "Distressed to see news about rioting and violence in Washington DC. Orderly and peaceful transfer of power must continue. The democratic process cannot be allowed to be subverted through unlawful protests." To a question on the developments related to the H1B visa in the US, Srivastava said, "We have taken note of the recent proclamations of the US government extending by three more months the current suspension of entry of certain immigrants and non-immigrants to the United States of America." "We are engaged with the US government for increased predictability in the visa regime and to minimise inconvenience to Indian nationals in the US or those proposing to travel to the US for bonafide reasons, including the movement of Indian professionals," he said.
 

Laptop stolen from Pelosi's office during storming of US Capitol, says aide

A laptop was stolen from the office of US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi during the storming of the US Capitol on Wednesday, one of her aide's said on Friday.
 
The aide said that the laptop belonged to a conference room and was used for presentations. He declined to offer further details.
 
The theft of electronic devices from congressional offices has been a persistent worry following their invasion by pro-Trump rioters.
 

India has always pursued independent foreign policy: MEA on S-400 purchase from Russia

India has always pursued an independent foreign policy that also applies to its defence acquisitions and supplies, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Friday, days after a US Congressional report warned that New Delhi's purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defence system may trigger American sanctions.
 
Prepared for the members of the US Congress for them to take informed decisions, the report said, "India's multi-billion dollar deal to purchase the Russian-made S-400 air defence system may trigger US sanctions on India under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act." Asked how does the MEA reacts to recent observations by US Ambassador to India Ken Juster and a US Congressional report on the possibility of sanctions over India's purchase of the S-400 missile defence system, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at an online media briefing said India and the US have a comprehensive global strategic partnership.
 
"India has a special and privileged strategic partnership with Russia. India has always pursued an independent foreign policy," he said, adding that this also applies to "our defence acquisitions and supplies which are guided by our national security interests".
 

US Fed's Clarida: "Hopeful" US can move past events of this week

Events like the violence in Washington this week that erode confidence in US institutions could damage the economy, Fed vice chair Richard Clarida said Friday, while adding he was "hopeful we can get past this episode."
 
“Like all Americans I was angered” when a mob of President Donald Trump's supporters surged into the halls of Congress earlier this week, Clarida said.

"Hypothetically any instability that erodes confidence and capital spending and consumer confidence is something we have to look at...I don't forsee that as being a challenge," since Congress moved forward with its work ratifying President-elect Joe Biden's election victory.
 

Facebook, Twitter, Google face calls to ban trump accounts

Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are facing mounting pressure from lawmakers, activists and civil rights groups to enact tougher policies and more forcefully purge misleading content and accounts -- including the ones held by President Donald Trump -- after a mob of pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol.
 
Coinciding with the imminent shift of power in Washington to the Democrats, social networks have taken their most aggressive steps yet to muzzle Trump over the last two days. But civil rights groups and lawmakers say the internet companies allowed misleading content to proliferate for too long, resulting in dangerous -- and deadly -- consequences.
 
“Despite repeated red flags and demands for fixes, these companies failed to act until well after blood and glass lay in the halls of the Capitol,” Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, said in an interview. “Yesterday’s events will renew and focus the need for Congress to reform Big Tech’s privileges and obligations.”
 
Some lawmakers are considering offering measures that would require more transparency about political ads on the internet, such as who paid for them. Civil rights and other advocates say they hope public outrage over the insurrection will spur internet companies to bolster their voluntary efforts to tamp down online propaganda.
 
“We’re going to be talking about how to regulate and rein these companies in,” said Jessica González, co-chief executive officer of Free Press, which pushes for media accountability. “But gosh, it shouldn’t be this hard to do the right thing.”
 

Dominion sues Trump lawyer Sidney Powell for defamation

Dominion Voting Systems filed a defamation lawsuit against lawyer Sidney Powell on Friday, seeking at least $1.3 billion for Powell's “wild accusations” that the company rigged the presidential election for Joe Biden.
 
“Dominion brings this action to set the record straight,” the company said in the suit filed in federal court in Washington.
 
Powell has for weeks claimed without evidence that the election technology vendor, whose vote-counting equipment was used in several states, was part of a scheme to steal the election from President Donald Trump.
 
Powell has been representing Trump in a series of unsuccessful lawsuits filed to contest the election outcome.
 
She has claimed that the company was created in Venezuela to rig elections for the late leader Hugo Chavez and that it has the ability to switch votes.
 
There was no widespread fraud in the election, which a range of election officials across the country including Trump's former attorney general, William Barr, have confirmed.
 
Republican governors in Arizona and Georgia, key battleground states crucial to Biden's victory, also vouched for the integrity of the elections in their states.
 
Nearly all the legal challenges from Trump and his allies have been dismissed by judges, including two tossed by the Supreme Court, which includes three Trump-nominated justices.
 

Trump to not attend President-elect Biden's inauguration on Jan 20

104 samples sent to Ludhiana after birds found dead in Delhi amid flu scare

104 samples sent to Ludhiana after birds were found dead at three locations in Delhi - Mayur Vihar, Dwarka and Hastsal. Five more samples will be sent to Bhopal tomorrow. Animal Husbandry Department has not confirmed any instance of Bird Flu so far.

Routine for Pak to come up with 'farcical actions' prior to key international meets: MEA on Lakhvi sentencing

India on Friday scoffed at Pakistan after a court there sentenced Mumbai attack mastermind and UN proscribed Lashkar-e-Taiba commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi to imprisonment over terror financing charges, saying it has become routine for it to come up with "farcical actions" prior to key international meetings.
 
Asked about the jail sentence to Lakhvi, and issuance of an arrest warrant against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar by another Pakistan court on Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the timing of these actions clearly suggests the intention of conveying a sense of compliance ahead of APJG (Asia Pacific Joint Group) meet and the next FATF (Financial Action Task Force) plenary meet in February 2021.
 
"It has become routine for Pakistan to come up with farcical actions prior to important meetings," he said.

Communication maintained at ground level to avoid any 'misunderstandings': MEA on Sino-India border row

India and China have maintained communication at the ground level to avoid any "misunderstandings and misjudgments" even as discussions continue for achieving complete disengagement in all friction areas, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday.
 
Asked about the status of talks with the Chinese side over the border row, MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said the latest round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) was held on December 18 and the two sides have agreed to hold next round of senior commanders meeting. The two countries are in constant communication through diplomatic and military channels in this regard, he added.
 
"In the meantime, both sides have maintained communication at the ground level to avoid any misunderstandings and misjudgments even as discussions continue for achieving complete disengagement in all friction areas in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements to restore peace and tranquillity," he said.

TCS Q3 profit jumps 7% YoY to Rs 8,701 cr, announces dividend at Rs 6/share

IT major Tata Consultancy Services on Friday posted a 7.18 per cent year-on-year (YoY) rise in its December quarter (Q3FY21) profit at Rs 8,701 crore. The firm had posted a profit of Rs 8,118 crore in the same quarter last year.
 
On quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) basis, the profit grew 16.4 per cent from Rs 7,475 crore posted for the quarter ended September 2020.
 
The company's revenue came in at Rs 42,015 crore, up 5.42 per cent YoY and 4.68 per cent QoQ. TCS' revenue stood at Rs 39,854 crore in the corresponding quarter last year and Rs 40,135 crore in the preceding quarter of FY21. The revenue rose by 4.1 per cent QoQ and 0.4 per cent YoY in constant currency terms. In dollar terms, revenue grew at 5.1 per cent sequentially from $ 5.424 billion reported in Q2FY21. The firm said it was the strongest third quarter growth in 9 years. READ ON...

I&B Ministry launches digital calender diary for 2021

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on Friday launched a digital calendar and diary for 2021, instead of printing them, which helped the ministry save nearly Rs five crore. The launch event was held at National Media Center, where Union minister Prakash Javadekar, with the click of a button, unveiled the Android and iOS mobile applications of the calendar and diary.
 
"Every year we print close to 11 lakh calendars and 90,000 diaries but we have gone digital this year," he told PTI.
 
Press Information Bureau Chief KS Dhatwalia told PTI that last year Rs 7 crore was spent in printing these calendars and diaries, but this time as the government went digital, the cost incurred by the ministry was close to Rs 2 crore.
 
"Last year around Rs 7 crore was spent in printing the calendars and diaries. This year the ministry has gone digital and the cost is Rs 2 crore," he said.

Bird flu confirmed in 6 states; unusual deaths of 16 birds in Delhi

The Centre on Friday said bird flu has been confirmed so far in Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat, and asked these six states to contain the disease as per the action plan.
 
Unusual mortality of 16 birds has also been reported at DDA park Hastsal Village in the national capital, and samples have been sent to a testing lab.
 
"So far, the disease has been confirmed from six states (Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat). "It is learnt that culling operations have been completed in both the affected districts of Kerala. The disinfection process is underway," according to an official statement. READ ON...

LIVE: Mumbai attack mastermind Lakhvi sentenced to 15 years by Pak court

Mumbai attack mastermind and Lashkar-e-Taiba operations commander Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi was sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment by a Pakistani anti-terrorism court here in a terror financing case on Friday. UN proscribed terrorist Lakhvi, 61, who was on bail since 2015 in the Mumbai attack case, was arrested by the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) of Punjab province on Saturday.
 
"The Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Lahore convicted Lakhvi for commission of offences of terrorism financing in a case registered by the CTD for 15 years under different section of the Anti-Terrorism Act 1997, a court official told PTI after the hearing.
 
Judge Ejaz Ahmad Buttar sentenced Lakhvi to five years of rigorous imprisonment each on three counts with a fine of PKR 100,000 each on three counts. "In default of payment of fine, he will have to undergo an imprisonment of six months each on three counts. He has been sent to prison to serve the sentences, the official said.
 
Lakhvi pleaded before the court that he was falsely implicated in this case.

Capitol Police rejected offers of federal help to quell mob

Three days before supporters of President Donald Trump rioted at the Capitol, the Pentagon asked the U.S Capitol Police if it needed National Guard manpower, AP reported. And as the mob descended on the building Wednesday, Justice Department leaders reached out to offer up FBI agents. The police turned them down both times, according to senior defense officials and two people familiar with the matter.
 
Despite plenty of warnings of a possible insurrection and ample resources and time to prepare, the Capitol Police planned only for a free speech demonstration.
 
Still stinging from the uproar over the violent response by law enforcement to protests last June near the White House, officials also were intent on avoiding any appearance that the federal government was deploying active duty or National Guard troops against Americans.
 
The result is the US Capitol was overrun Wednesday and officers in a law enforcement agency with a large operating budget and experience in high-security events protecting lawmakers were overwhelmed for the world to see.

 

Chief of the US Capitol Police will resign: Reuters

Police officer injured in US Capitol riot dies, toll rises to five

A police officer who sustained injuries during the US Capitol violence has died, officials said, raising the death toll in the riot to five. US Capitol Police Officer Brian D Sicknick was injured while engaging with protesters on Wednesday and returned to his division office, where he collapsed. He was taken to a local hospital where he "passed away due to injuries sustained while on-duty" at "approximately 9:30 pm this evening", US Capitol Police (USCP) said in a late-night statement on Thursday.
 
The death of Sicknick will be investigated by the Metropolitan Police Department's Homicide Branch, the USCP and federal agencies, the statement said. Congressman Dean Phillips said, "My heart goes out to the family of the officer and to all who risk their lives every day to protect and serve our communities with dignity and principle."
 
A US Capitol Police officer has died from yesterday's riot. That makes five known deaths from Trump's insurrection. We must have accountability, Congressman Lloyd Doggett tweeted on Thursday.

Capitol siege raises security concerns for Biden inaugural

The violent insurrection at the US Capitol is intensifying scrutiny over security at an inauguration ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden already reshaped by a pandemic and the prospect that his predecessor may not attend.
 
Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will take the oath of office from the Capitol's West Front, one of the very locations where a violent mob overpowered police and stormed the building. They also scaled and occupied the scaffolding and bleachers in place for the ceremonies.
 
Inauguration plans were already scaled back because of the coronavirus. But the brazen attack raises new questions about preparedness for the event that welcome the new administration after a bitter election.

US Capitol Attack: After Trump's concession, lawmakers seek his removal

A day after supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol taking over the senate chambers, the Republican leadership began distancing itself from the president as a flurry of resignations rocked the White House. Meanwhile, the Democratic leadership is calling to impeach the president for inciting the mob that attacked the Capitol building.
 
In an unprecedented assault on democracy in the US, thousands of supporters of outgoing President Trump stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday and clashed with police, resulting in four deaths and interrupting a constitutional process by Congress to certify the victory of Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in the November 3 election. Read on...

Earthquake of magnitude 3.3 on the Richter scale occurred at Bageshwar, Uttarakhand

Earthquake of magnitude 3.3 on the Richter scale occurred at Bageshwar, Uttarakhand at 1005 hours: National Centre for Seismology

DGGI arrests firm's director, accountant for fraudulently availing ITC

The Chennai Zonal Unit of the Directorate General of GST Intelligence (DGGI) has arrested the director of a firm and an accountant for fraudulently availing Input Tax Credit (ITC) of Rs 21 crore through fake GST invoices.
 
The department said that Srimarg Human Resource Pvt Ltd (SHRPL), Chennai was engaged in providing manpower to various industries and manufacturing units located in Chennai and Tada.
 
After officials came to know that the company had been fraudulently availing ITC without any actual receipt of goods/ services from several non-existent firms, simultaneous searches were conducted at various premises including the residential premises of the company's directors on January 6, 2021 and incriminating evidence was seized. Read on...

Trump's education, transport secretaries resign over Capitol Hill violence

Two of the US Cabinet members -- Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transport Secretary Elaine Chao -- have resigned over the storming of the Capitol by President Donald Trump's supporters.
 
DeVos, whose resignation comes into effect on Friday, said the insurrection on Capitol Hill was an "inflection point" for her, while Chao said she was deeply troubled by the violence. Chao's resignation will come into effect on Monday.
 
In her resignation letter to President Trump on Thursday, DeVos said, We should be highlighting and celebrating your administration's many accomplishments on behalf of the American people. Instead we are left to clean up the mess caused by violent protesters overrunning the US Capitol in an attempt to undermine the people's business."

Now TikTok removes videos of Trump inciting supporters

Facing the ire of the Donald Trump administration, Chinese short-video making platform TikTok has removed videos of President Trumps speech inciting supporters to mob the US Capitol, stressing these violate the misinformation policy.
 
"Hateful behaviour and violence have no place on TikTok. Content or accounts that seek to incite, glorify, or promote violence violate our Community Guidelines and will be removed," the company said in a statement on Thursday.
 
According to a report in TechCrunch, TikTok will still let people post "counter speech" videos that dispute incorrect claims.

US Transportation Secy resigns in protest over Capitol violence

US Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has announced her resignation in protest over the chaos and violence that rocked Capitol Hill.
 
With her resignation announced on Thursday, Chao, who is the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, became the first member of outgoing President Donald Trump's cabinet to step down in the wake of Wednesday's protests, Xinhua news agency reported.
 
In a letter to her colleagues at the Department of Transportation, Chao said her resignation will take effect on January 11.

George Clooney says Capitol attack put Trump family 'into the dustbin of history'

Hollywood star George Clooney has condemned the attack on the Capitol Hill in the US by thousands of supporters of Donald Trump saying that the president's name will now forever be associated with "insurrection".
 
According to The Hollywood Reporter, during an appearance on the The Business weekly podcast, "The Midnight Sky" star said it was "devastating" to watch the people's house being "desecrated".
 
"This puts Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr. Ivanka, all of them, into the dustbin of history. That name will now forever be associated with insurrection," Clooney said.
 
The Trump supporters on Wednesday clashed with police at the Capitol, where members of the Congress were going through the process of counting and certifying the Electoral College votes.

75 persons detected with new UK mutant strain in India

The total number of people who tested positive for the new UK strain of the Coronavirus reached 75 on Thursday, the special surveillance report issued by the central government said.
 
As per the report, a total of 4,858 people have been traced who travelled between India and the UK after the cases of infection by new variant came to light.
 
"A total 1,211 travellers from the UK have completed 28 days from their arrival in India. out of 75 people infected with UK variant of COVID-19, 33 were found in Mumbai, 14 in Pune, eight in Thane, nine in Nagpur, two each in Nashik, Aurangabad, Raigad and Buldhana, and one each in Osmanabad, Nanded and Washim," the report said.

Ruckus by Opposition in Kerala Assembly as Governor Arif Mohammad Khan delivers his address

Indian flag seen at pro-Trump rally which some Indian-Americans joined

An Indian flag was seen amid a sea of American and Trump flags in a footage, as well as images, of the violent protests at the US Capitol that went viral on social media.
 
An Indian-American Republican political activist, Vincent Xavier, tweeted on Thursday pictures of the flags India, South Korea and Iran at the protest.
 
The Iranian flag was from the pre-Islamic revolution era.
 
His tweet said: "American patriots - Vietnamese, Indian, Korean & Iranian origins, & from so many other nations & races, who believe massive voter fraud has happened joined rally yesterday in solidarity with Trump. Peaceful protestors who were exercising our rights."
 
On his Facebook page, Xavier posted a video of a person at the protest with an Indian flag.

Capitol Hill violence result of Trump's 'contempt for democracy', says Biden

Describing the attack on Capitol Hill by Donald Trump's supporters as one of the darkest days in the US history, President-elect Joe Biden said the violence was the result of the President's "contempt for democracy".
 
The riot at the US Capitol on Wednesday was not dissent, disorder or protest, it was chaos, Biden told reporters on Thursday in Wilmington, Delaware.
 
"They weren't protesters, don't dare call them protesters. They were a riotous mob, insurrectionists, domestic terrorists...I wish we could say we couldn't see it coming but that isn't true. We could see it coming. The past four years we have had a president who has made his contempt for our democracy, our Constitution, the rule of law, clear in everything he has done, he said.
 
Biden alleged Trump has unleashed an all-out assault on institutions of US democracy from the outset and the Capitol Hill violence was "the culmination of that unrelenting attack".

Mexico president condemns Twitter, Facebook for blocking Donald Trump

Mexico's president on Thursday condemned the decision by social media platforms to block the accounts of US President Donald Trump.
 
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the same time declined to condemn the assault by Trump supporters on the US Capitol on Wednesday, citing his policy of not interfering in other countries' affairs. He said only that he regretted the loss of lives.
 
But Lopez Obrador, who is seen as friendly to Trump, was quick to criticise what he called the censorship of the US president.
 
I don't like anybody being censored or taking away from the the right to post a message on Twitter or Face(book). I don't agree with that, I don't accept that, Lpez Obrador said. Read on...

Pelosi, Schumer, Republican Congressman join calls to oust Trump from office

Reeling from the mob attack on Congress, the nation's two highest-ranking Democrats and a Republican Congressman have demanded that Vice President Mike Pence act to remove President Donald Trump from office.
 
Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Party leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday said that he could pose a danger to the country in the 13 days left for him to be in office and Pence and the cabinet should invoke the constitution to declare him unfit to function as president and oust him.
 
A Republican member of the House of Representatives, Adam Kinzinger also called for Trump's removal from office.

Oil prices hit 11-month high on Saudi cuts, shrugs off US political turmoil

Oil prices settled higher on Thursday, hitting 11-month peaks, as markets remained focused on Saudi Arabia's unexpected pledge to deepen its oil cuts and firmer equities, shrugging off political turmoil in the United States.
 
Brent crude settled up 8 cents to $54.38 a barrel after touching $54.90, a high not seen since before the first COVID-19 lockdowns in the West. Read on...

Nancy Pelosi calls for invoking 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday (local time) called Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to remove President Donald Trump from office by invoking the 25th Amendment.
 
Speaking at a news conference, Pelosi said that if the 25th Amendment is not invoked against Trump, Congress will move forward with the impeachment of the president, reported CNN.
 
"I join the Senate Democratic leader in calling on the vice president to remove President by immediately invoking the 25th Amendment. If the vice president and the Cabinet do not act, the Congress may be prepared to move forward with impeachment that is the overwhelming sentiment of my caucus and the American people," she said. Read on...

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