Obama launches searing attack on Donald Trump, appeals to voters to elect Biden

Agencies
October 22, 2020

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Washington, Oct 22: Former US president Barack Obama delivered a diatribe against his successor Donald Trump on Wednesday, accusing him of mismanaging the pandemic, as he appealed to the people to come out and vote in favour of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

Jumping into the electoral campaign in support of his former vice president Biden and his running mate Senator Kamala Harris, Obama appealed to the people to defeat Trump and elect the Biden-Harris team on November 3.

"They have a plan for the economy and the coronavirus pandemic," Obama said in his maiden campaign appearance, asserting that the "Biden-Harris team will bring character and leadership back to government".

Obama spoke as the sun set, the sky going from pink to gray, framed by the clouds and the Lincoln Financial Field behind him. He stood by himself on stage, far from even the cars in the lot. His podium was sanitized before he spoke, and though he was without a mask for the speech, he put a 'VOTE mask' on soon after he finished, before walking off.

"We cannot afford four more years of this, Philadelphia," Obama said in his blistering attack against Trump, which is quite unusual for a former president against an incumbent one.

"The idea that this White House has done anything but screw this up is just untrue," Obama said at a drive-in rally.

"Tweeting at the television doesn't fix things. Making stuff up doesn't make things better. You've got to have a plan. We literally left this White House a pandemic playbook... They probably used it to prop up a wobbly table somewhere," he said.

Referring to a recent news report that Trump maintains a bank account in China, the former US president said, "He's got a secret Chinese bank account. How is that possible? Can you imagine if I had had a secret Chinese bank account when I was running for re-election. You think Fox News might have been a little concerned about that. They would have called me Beijing Barry."

"Donald Trump isn't going to protect us. He can barely take the basic steps to protect himself. If he'd actually been working the whole time, it never would have gotten this bad," Obama said.

"Trump tweeted about secret cabals running the world or that Navy SEALs didn't kill (Osama) bin Laden. Think about that. The president of the United States retweeted that. Imagine that. What? What?" he said.

Describing it as the "most important election of the lifetime", Obama urged his countrymen to go out and vote and not to be complacent like they did in 2016.

"We've got to turn out like never before. We cannot leave any doubt in this election. We can't be complacent. I don't care about the polls," he said.

"Our democracy is not gonna work if the people who are supposed to be our leaders lie every day and just make things up," Obama said. "This notion of truthfulness and democracy and citizenship and being responsible these aren't Republican or Democratic principles. They're American principles. ... We need to reclaim them," Obama said.

At an earlier campaign stop in Philadelphia, Obama said that over the last four years, he has lost hope. "And reason is because I never expected progress to move in a straight line," he said.

Afterward, Obama made a very brief stop at a canvassing event where he was greeted by two young children whose parents encouraged them to get closer, but he kept his distance, waving at them.

"At the end of the day, people connect with people. And obviously this is an extraordinary election, because we're in the midst of a pandemic, and we've got to make sure that we're doing it safely, which is the only reason I'm not hugging and squeezing this cutie-pie," he said, pointing to the little girl, "because I'm trying to model good hygiene. But nevertheless, folks seeing your effort out there is going to be inspiring."

Obama exuded confidence that Biden will win. "We are going to be able to restore the kind of spirit of hope and change and possibility we all believe in," he said.

In a statement, Tim Murtaugh, Trump 2020 communications director, said Biden is "clearly not up to the rigors" of campaigning for president, so he's calling in Obama as a reinforcement.

"And it begs the question: How much did Obama know about his White House being for sale to the highest foreign bidder while Joe Biden was his Vice President? We now know that Hunter Biden was on a world tour, selling access to his powerful father," he said.

There's a reason Obama waited until there were no Democrats left in the primaries before he finally endorsed Joe Biden, Murtaugh said.

"It's because Biden has been a failure for 47 years in Washington and is now compromised by the Communist Party of China. And Obama can't help Biden defend his own record of putting foreign interests ahead of working Americans in bad trade policies, crushing our energy jobs under massive regulations, killing manufacturing jobs, and refusing to enforce our borders," he alleged.

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News Network
November 28,2020

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Ambala, Nov 28: Haryana Police has booked state Bhartiya Kisan Union (BKU) chief Gurnam Singh Charuni and several farmers on attempt to murder, rioting, causing obstruction in government duty and other charges for violations during their "Delhi Chalo" march, officials said on Saturday.

A case was registered on November 26 under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 147 (rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 186 (obstructing any public servant in discharge of public functions) and 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) among others at the Parao police station on a complaint from Head Constable Pardeep Kumar as hundreds of farmers assembled on the GT road near Ambala Cantt to proceed towards the national capital.

The FIR names Charuni and several other unknown farmers as accused. According to it, the BKU Haryana chief and others had gathered near Mohra village in Ambala.

The FIR says Deputy Superintendent of Police Ram Kumar, who was leading the police team at the spot, asked Charuni not to proceed further but he refused.

It adds that Charuni and other farmers broke police barricades with their tractors.

Some of the police officials had a narrow escape and could have been run over by the tractors heading towards Delhi, says the FIR.

Charuni and other farmers also violated guidelines pertaining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it further states.

A case against some farmers from BKU (Charuni) and others from Punjab was also registered at Panipat for violations relating to breaking police barriers and other charges.

"A case has been registered under the provisions of section 188 IPC (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), Disaster Management Act, 2005 and under other provisions of the IPC," Inspector Rajvir Singh, SHO of Panipat's Police Station (Industrial) in Sector 29, said over the phone.

Two days ago, Haryana Director General of Police Manoj Yadava had said that state police acted with "great restraint" as farmers broke barricades during their march.

He had said the farmers took an aggressive stand and tried to disturb law and order by "pelting stones" at police at many places.

Some police personnel sustained injuries, and police and private vehicles were damaged, Yadava had said.

"Agitating farmers not only damaged police barricades, but also proceeded by removing all the blockades and obstructions in an unlawful manner. Acting with restraint, police did not use force on the agitating farmers," he had added.

Prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC had been imposed in several parts of Haryana to prevent the assembly of people.

Farmers from Punjab and Haryana are marching towards Delhi as part of a protest to demand a repeal of the Centre's new farm laws, which deregulate the sale of agriculture produce.

They say the laws will lead to the dismantling of the minimum support price (MSP) system.

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News Network
November 20,2020

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Washington, Nov 20: President-elect Joe Biden turned 78 on Friday. In exactly two months, he'll take the reins of a politically fractured nation facing the worst public health crisis in a century, high unemployment and a reckoning on racial injustice.

As he wrestles with those issues, Biden will be attempting to accomplish another feat: Demonstrate to Americans that age is but a number and he's up to the job.

Biden will be sworn in as the oldest president in the nation's history, displacing Ronald Reagan, who left the White House in 1989 when he was 77 years and 349 days old.

The age and health of both Biden and President Donald Trump -- less than four years Biden's junior — loomed throughout a race that was decided by a younger and more diverse electorate and at a moment when the nation is facing no shortage of issues of consequence.

Out of the gate, Biden will be keen to demonstrate he's got the vigor to serve. “It's crucial that he and his staff put himself in the position early in his presidency where he can express what he wants with a crispness that's not always been his strength," said Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University who has advised legislators from both parties. “He has got to build up credibility with the American people that he's physically and mentally up to the job.”

Throughout the campaign, Trump, 74, didn't miss a chance to highlight Biden's gaffes and argue that the Democrat lacked the mental acuity to lead the nation. Both critics and some backers of Biden worried that he was sending the wrong message about his stamina by keeping a relatively light public schedule while Trump barnstormed battleground states.

Biden attributed his light schedule to being cautious during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of Biden's rivals in the Democratic primary also made a case on age -- while skipping Trump's vitriol -- by raising the question of whether someone of Biden's and Trump's generation was the right person to lead a nation dealing with issues like climate change and racial inequality.

Brian Ott, a Missouri State University communications professor who studies presidential rhetoric, said Biden was hardly impressive as a campaigner, but has proven far more effective with his public remarks since Election Day.

Ott said Biden's victory speech was poignant, and his empathy showed in a virtual discussion that he held earlier this week with frontline healthcare workers. The president-elect's experience -- a combination of age and nearly 50 years in politics -- conveys more clearly through the prism of governing than the chaos of campaigning, he said.

“The rhetoric of governing, unlike the rhetoric of campaigning, is collaborative rather than adversarial,” Ott said.

Biden's relatively advanced age also puts a greater premium on the quality of his staff, Baker said. His choice of Sen. Kamala Harris, nearly 20 years younger than him, as his running mate effectively acknowledged his age issue. Biden has described himself as a transitional president but hasn't ruled out running for a second term.

“He's well served in making it known from Day One that she's ready to go,” Baker said of Harris. “She's got to be in the images coming out of the White House. They also need to, in terms of their messaging, highlight her inclusion in whatever the important issue or debate is going on in the White House.”

Biden, in a September interview with CNN, promised to be “totally transparent” about all facets of his health if elected but he hasn't said how he'll do that.

The campaign has made the case that Biden isn't your average septuagenarian.

His physician, Dr. Kevin O'Connor, in a medical report released by the campaign in December, described Biden as “healthy, vigorous ... fit to successfully execute the duties of the Presidency, to include those as Chief Executive, Head of State and Commander in Chief.”

O'Connor reported that Biden works out five days a week. The president-elect told supporters that during the pandemic he has relied on home workouts involving a Peloton bike, treadmill and weights.

In 1988, Biden suffered two life-threatening brain aneurysms, an experience that he wrote in his memoir shaped him into the “kind of man I want to be.” O'Connor also noted in his report that Biden has an irregular heartbeat, but it has not required any medication or other treatment. He also had his gall bladder removed in 2003.

A September article by a group of researchers in the Journal on Active Aging concluded that both Biden and Trump are “super-agers” and are likely to outlive their American contemporaries and maintain their health beyond the end of the next presidential term.

Some of Biden's White House predecessors left behind breadcrumbs about the dos and don'ts of demonstrating presidential vigor, said Edward Frantz, a presidential historian at the University of Indianapolis.

Reagan made sure the public saw him chopping wood and riding horses. Trump, after being diagnosed with the coronavirus, quickly returned to a busy campaign schedule -- holding dozens of crowded rallies in battleground states in the final weeks of the campaign. Those events flouted coronavirus guidelines on social distancing, wearing masks and avoiding large gatherings.

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News Network
December 1,2020

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Mangaluru, Dec 1: A deep-sea fishing boat capsized in the Arabian Sea, off the coast of Mangaluru today morning. Reports said six fishermen are missing while 16 have been rescued.

A total of 22 fishermen were on board the ill-fated boat at the time of the incident. Sources said that 16 fishermen have been rescued so far.

Five of the six missing fishermen have been identified as Ziaullah (32), Ansar (31), Hussainar (25), Chinthan (21) and Preetham Suvarna (58). A search and rescue operation is currently underway.

In a similar development, at least 12 fishermen were stranded mid-sea after their boat’s engine developed a snag. A boat carrying 12 fishermen, that was sailing from Vasai in Maharashtra's Palghar district four days back, got stranded in the Arabian sea due to engine failure.

Palghar district disaster control cell chief Vivekanand Kadam said the fishermen from Vasai had embarked on the fishing expedition.

"But when the boat was proceeding towards Gujarat, its engine developed a snag and the boat got stuck midway," he said.

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