Global Coronavirus Death Count Passes 4,25,000: Report

News Network
June 13, 2020

Paris, Jun 13: The coronavirus pandemic has killed 425,000 people since it emerged in China late last year, according to an AFP tally of official sources at 0130 GMT on Saturday.

A total of 425,282 deaths have now been recorded from 7,632,517 cases.

Europe has registered 186,843 deaths from 2,363,538 cases, but the epidemic is progressing most rapidly in Latin America, where there have been a total of 76,343 deaths recorded from 1,569,938 cases.

The United States remains the country with the most recorded deaths at 114,643, ahead of Brazil which on Friday became the second worst-hit nation with 41,828 deaths. Britain is next with 41,481 deaths, followed by Italy (34,223) and France (29,374).

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Agencies
January 8,2021

President Donald Trump faced the threat on Thursday of a second impeachment, a day after his supporters breached the US Capitol in a stunning assault on American democracy as Congress was certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

As Democratic leaders demanded his ouster, Trump came closer than he ever has to a formal concession, acknowledging a new administration would be sworn in on Jan. 20 and vowing to ensure a “smooth transition” in a video released on Thursday evening.

The president condemned on Wednesday’s violence, saying rioters had defiled the seat of American democracy and must be held accountable.

Just a day earlier, Trump had told supporters: “We love you. You’re very special,” as he urged them to go home after they broke into the Capitol.

pic.twitter.com/csX07ZVWGe

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 8, 2021

In his remarks on Thursday, the president said: “We have just been through an intense election, and the emotions are high, but now tempers must be cooled and calm restored.

“We must get on with the business of America,” Trump, a Republican, added, adopting a conciliatory tone seldom seen from the mercurial president.

The statement was a stark reversal for Trump, who has spent months insisting he prevailed in the Nov. 3 election, alleging widespread fraud despite no evidence. As recently as Thursday morning, when he issued a statement via an aide, Trump was still claiming the election had been stolen.

In the video, he defended his efforts to challenge the election in court, saying his goal was to “ensure the integrity of the vote.”

Factfile on the US Capitol, home of the US legislature pic.twitter.com/qESCqXyt0V

— AFP News Agency (@AFP) January 8, 2021

But his exhortation on Wednesday to thousands of supporters that they march to the Capitol to protest the election results whipped up a mob that overran police officers and invaded the Capitol building, forcing members of Congress into hiding for their own safety.

The violence claimed four lives, including a woman among the demonstrators who was shot by authorities. After reports that a Capitol Police officer had died, the agency issued a statement saying they were inaccurate.

Hundreds of President Trump’s supporters converged on the Capitol, where bloody chaos ensued inside one of the most recognizable symbols of American democracy. Here’s how the events unfolded https://t.co/LZIsEwAjN5 pic.twitter.com/cbIwIzR3sq

— Reuters (@Reuters) January 8, 2021

The top Democrats in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, called on Vice President Mike Pence and Trump’s Cabinet to use the U.S. Constitution to remove Trump for “his incitement of insurrection.”

The 25th Amendment allows a majority of the Cabinet to remove a president from power if he is unable to discharge the duties of the office.

But a Pence adviser said the vice president, who would have to lead any such effort, was opposed to using the amendment to oust Trump from the White House.

New impeachment proceedings?

If Pence fails to act, Pelosi signaled she would likely reconvene the House to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump for his role in Wednesday’s violence. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, whose committee would likely draft any articles of impeachment, voiced his support earlier on Thursday.

It was not clear whether House Democrats would have enough time to initiate and complete impeachment proceedings, with less than two weeks remaining in Trump’s term. Aides to Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate leader, did not comment on the statement by Pelosi and Schumer.

The Democratic-led House impeached Trump in December 2019 after he pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate Biden, but the Republican-controlled Senate acquitted him of charges of abusing his power and obstructing Congress.

A handful of Republicans joined calls for Trump’s removal. The Wall Street Journal editorial page, seen as a leading voice of the Republican establishment, called on Trump to resign on Thursday evening.

Several members of Trump’s administration, including Elaine Chao, the transportation secretary and McConnell’s wife, resigned as a symbolic gesture against the violence.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos also submitted her resignation, citing Trump’s rhetoric before the assault on the Capitol, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday night.

Congress formally certified Biden’s election victory early on Thursday, after authorities cleared the Capitol. More than half of House Republicans and eight Republican senators voted to challenge the election results, backing Trump.

Biden blamed Trump for the attack but stopped short of calling for his ouster.

“He unleashed an all-out assault on the institutions of our democracy from the outset. And yesterday was but the culmination of that unrelenting attack,” Biden said at a news conference to announce his selection for U.S. attorney general, federal appeals Judge Merrick Garland.

After Trump posted several messages about the demonstrations on Wednesday, Facebook Inc said it would ban Trump posts until Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration. Twitter Inc suspended Trump’s account for 12 hours.

The president has increasingly isolated himself in the White House, relying on a small group of diehard loyalists and lashing out at Pence and others who dare to cross him, four sources said.

A source familiar with the situation said Trump in recent weeks had discussed the possibility of pardoning himself. The White House declined comment. Constitutional scholars have said it is unclear whether the presidential pardon power can be used in that way.

Trump faces potential state legal actions when he leaves office, including a criminal probe in New York, that would not be covered by a federal pardon.

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Agencies
January 9,2021

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Washington, Jan 9: Sidney Powell, the lawyer who spearheaded outgoing US President Donald Trump's failed attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election result, has been sued for $1.3 billion by the American corporation that makes voting machines.

In the defamation suit filed on Friday, the Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems chronicled some 40 of Powell's public statements that spread "wild" and "demonstrably false" allegations, reports Xinhua news agency.

The "viral disinformation campaign" that Powell mounted "to financially enrich herself, raise her public profile, and ingratiate herself to Donald Trump", deeply damaged the reputation and resale value of Dominion, the suit said.

There are "mountains of direct evidence" disproving Powell's election fraud claims about the company's machines, that have resulted in "Dominion's founder, Dominion's employees, Georgia's governor, and Georgia's secretary of state" being harassed and receiving death threats," the 124-page lawsuit further said.

Dominion CEO John Poulos also said in a statement that the lawsuit aimed to clear his company's name through a full airing of the facts about the 2020 election.

Powell is best known for her defence of Enron Corp. executives Ken Lay and Tom Skilling, who bilked thousands of investors and employees out of around $60 billion in 2001, the New York Times reported in 2005.

Lay left behind "a legacy of shame" characterized by "mismanagement and dishonesty", Bloomberg news said in a repor, and in 2009, Portfolio.com ranked Lay as the third-worst American CEO of all time.

Powell, 65, now will be forced to defend her central role in the fantasy story that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump.

Ironically, Dominion systems were also used in many counties that voted for Trump, and all of Powell's lawsuits involving the fraud claims have failed in court due to lack of evidence.

For weeks, Powell claimed that Dominion was established with communist money in Venezuela to enable ballot-stuffing and other vote manipulation, and that those abilities were harnessed to rig the election for Joe Biden.

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Agencies
January 13,2021

Big Tech is doing a horrible thing to US': Trump on social media clampdown  post Capitol siege

Washington, Jan 13: Free speech is under assault in the United States like never before, outgoing President Donald Trump said as almost all major social media outlets moved to block him following the breach of the Capitol Hill by his supporters.

In his first public speech on Tuesday after the January 6 storming of the US Capitol, Trump, in a Texas border town, addressed for the first time several issues, including impeachment proceedings against him, last week's incident itself and the call to invoke the 25th Amendment to the US Constitution wherein he can be removed by his cabinet members.

"Free speech is under assault like never before. The 25th Amendment is of zero risk to me but will come back to haunt Joe Biden and the Biden administration. As the expression goes, be careful what you wish for," Trump said in his remarks at a border wall in Texas.

"The impeachment hoax is a continuation of the greatest and most vicious witch hunt in the history of our country and is causing tremendous anger and division, and pain far greater than most people will ever understand, which is very dangerous for the USA, especially at this very tender time," he said.

Referring to last week's events, Trump said millions of Americans watched on as a mob stormed the Capitol and trashed the halls of the government.

"I have consistently said throughout my administration, we believe in respecting America's history and traditions, not tearing them down. We believe in the rule of law, not in violence or rioting," he said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it a very difficult year and a difficult election for the US, Trump said.

"Now is the time for our nation to heal, and it is time for peace and for calm, respect for law enforcement and the great people within law enforcement. So many are here is the foundation of the MAGA agenda and we are a nation of law, and we are a nation of order," the President said.

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