Joe Biden names Indian-American Medha Raj as digital chief of staff

News Network
June 30,2020

Washington, Jun 30: Indian-American Medha Raj has been named by Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as his digital chief of staff, a key role in his election campaigns which are entirely going virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic in the US.

In this capacity, Raj will work across all facets of the digital department to streamline and coordinate how to maximise the impact of its digital outputs, the Biden campaign said.

“Excited to share that I've joined Joe Biden's campaign as the Digital Chief of Staff. 130 days to the election and we're not going to waste a minute!” she said on LinkedIn.

Raj comes from Pete Buttigieg's campaign, who has now endorsed Biden.

The news was first reported by CNN, which the news channel said is part of the efforts of the Biden campaign to adapt to an almost entirely virtual campaign trail brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The US is the hardest-hit country by the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 2.64 million official cases and over 128,000 deaths.

According to CNN, Clarke Humphrey, who previously worked on Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, will act as the Biden campaign's new deputy digital director for the grassroots fundraising.

Jose Nunez is the campaign's new digital organising director.

He is from the Kamala Harris' campaign. Christian Tom is the new director of digital partnerships. Over the past few months, Biden has been relying more and more on digital campaigning and raising funds virtually.

A graduate in international politics from Georgetown University, Raj has earned her MBA from Stanford University.

Biden, 77, is challenging the 74-year-old Republican incumbent President Donald Trump in the November 3 presidential elections.

Former US vice president Biden would formally accept his Democratic presidential nomination at the party’s scaled back convention in Wisconsin’s Milwaukee city on August 20.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) on Wednesday announced its convention plan to broadcast from Milwaukee and across the nation to reach out to all Americans.

According to some of the latest opinion polls, Biden is leading by more than eight percentage points over Trump.

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World records 1 million new coronavirus cases in just 100 hours

News Network
July 18,2020

Global coronavirus infections passed 14 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, marking the first time there has been a surge of 1 million cases in under 100 hours.

The first case was reported in China in early January and it took three months to reach 1 million cases. It has taken just four days to climb to 14 million cases from 13 millionrecorded on July 13.

The United States, with more than 3.6 million confirmed cases, is still seeing huge daily jumps in its first wave of Covid-19 infections. The United States reported a daily global record of more than 77,000 new infections on Thursday, while Sweden has reported 77,281 total cases since the pandemic began.

Despite the surging cases, a cultural divide is growing in the country over wearing masks to slow the spread of the virus, a precaution routinely taken in many other nations.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his followers have resisted a full-throated endorsement of masks and have been calling for a return to normal economic activity and reopening schools despite the surging cases.

COVID-19 Pandemic Tracker: 15 countries with the highest number of coronavirus cases, deaths

Other hard-hit countries have “flattened the curve” and are easing lockdowns put in place to slow the spread of the novel virus while others, such as the cities of Barcelona and Melbourne, are implementing a second round of local shutdowns.

The number of cases globally is around triple that of severe influenza illnesses recorded annually, according to the World Health Organization.

The pandemic has now killed more than 590,000 people in almost seven months, edging towards the upper range of yearly influenza deaths reported worldwide. The first death was reported on Jan. 10 in Wuhan, China before infections and fatalities then surged in Europe and later in the United States.

The Reuters tally, which is based on government reports, shows the disease is accelerating the fastest in the Americas, which account for more than half the world’s infections and half its deaths.
In Brazil, more than 2 million people have tested positive including President Jair Bolsonaro, and more than 76,000 people have died.

India, the only other country with more than 1 millioncases, has been grappling with an average of almost 30,000 new infections each day for the last week.

Those countries were the main drivers behind the World Health Organization on Friday reporting a record one-day increase in global coronavirus cases of 237,743.

In countries with limited testing capacity, case numbers reflect only a proportion of total infections. Experts say official data likely under-represents both infections and deaths.

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Trump abruptly escorted from briefing after shooting near White House

News Network
August 11,2020

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Washington, Aug 11: President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a U.S. Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon. He returned minutes later, saying there was a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control.”

“There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital,” Trump said. The president said the shots were fired by law enforcement, saying he believed the individual who was shot was armed. “It was the suspect who was shot,” Trump said.

Trump said he was escorted to the Oval Office by the agent. The White House was placed on lockdown following the incident.

The shooting took place near 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks from the White House, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation who were not authorized to speak publicly about it. Law enforcement officials were still trying to determine the suspect's motive.

The suspect was transferred to a local hospital, and the District of Columbia fire department said the man suffered serious or possibly critical injuries. Authorities were investigating whether the individual has a history of mental illness.

Trump praised the work of Secret Service personnel for their work in keeping him safe. Asked if he was shaken by the incident, Trump asked reporters: “I don’t know. Do I seem rattled?”

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Joe Biden urges Muslim Americans to help him defeat Donald Trump

Agencies
July 21,2020

Washington, Jul 21: Democrat Joe Biden urged Muslim Americans on Monday to join him in the fight to defeat President Donald Trump as he addressed an online summit hosted by the advocacy organisation Emgage Action to mobilise Muslim voters ahead of the presidential election.

I want to earn your vote not just because he's not worthy of being president, the presumptive presidential nominee told participants.

I want to work in partnership with you, make sure your voices are included in the decision-making process as we work to rebuild our nation.

Biden also reiterated a pledge to overturn a Trump administration ban on travelers from several predominantly Muslim countries, calling it vile.

Wa'el Alzayat, CEO of Emgage Action, said by email that the organisation was seeking to maximise Muslim American turnout in key battleground states.

In Michigan alone one of the states where the organisation has chapters and where Trump won in 2016 by fewer than 11,000 votes he said he believed there are more than 150,000 registered Muslim voters.

Several prominent Muslim American elected officials endorsed Biden for president in a letter organised by Emgage Action ahead of the summit.

Among those who signed the letter are Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Indiana Rep. Andre Carson, all Democrats.

Omar, one of the first Muslim women elected to Congress, served as a high-profile surrogate for Bernie Sanders before he exited the presidential race in April making her support for Biden potentially helpful as the former vice president seeks to mobilise Muslim voters this fall.

Muslim American voices matter to our communities, to our country, Biden said.

But we all know that your voice hasn't always gotten recognised or represented.

Emgage Action has titled the event Million Muslim Votes, underscoring its emphasis on boosting Muslim turnout in November.

Joe Biden's presence serves not only to galvanise Muslim Americans to cast their ballots, but to usher in an era of engaging with Muslim American communities under a Biden administration, Alzayat said by email before the summit.

The pro-Biden letter from Muslim American elected officials decried a number of Trump's domestic and international policies, including his administration's travel ban and his pullout from the Iran nuclear deal.

A Biden administration will move the nation forward on many of the issues we care about, the letter said, citing racial justice, affordable health care, climate change and immigration.

The Muslim American officials also praised Biden's agenda for their communities.

Among other goals, Biden has vowed to rescind the travel ban affecting Muslims on Day One if he's elected.

In his address, he pledged to include Muslim American voices in his administration, if elected, and to speak out against human rights abuses against Muslim minorities around the world.

I'll continue to champion the rights of Palestinians and Israelis to have a state of their own as I have for decades, each of them a state of their own, he said.

Other state- and local-level Muslim American officials signing onto the pro-Biden letter hail from several states, including Michigan.

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