US set to approve $40 billion for Ukraine to prolong war with Russia

News Network
May 11, 2022

Washington, May 11: Us lawmakers are about to approve a $40 billion aid package for Ukraine as Washington looks to prolong the conflict with Russia.

Both Republican and Democratic Parties have reached an agreement on the details of the massive package, which will likely move quickly through Congress.

"Time is of the essence -- and we cannot afford to wait," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a letter to her Democratic colleagues.

"With this aid package, America sends a resounding message to the world of our unwavering determination to stand with the courageous people of Ukraine until victory is won,” she said.

Two weeks ago, US President Joe Biden asked Congress for a whopping $33 billion aid package for Ukraine, including more than $20 billion in new military aid and other security assistance over the next five months to use in the regime's war with Russia.

The supplemental funding request includes $16.4 billion for the Defense Department, $8.5 billion in economic assistance, and $3 billion for humanitarian assistance and to fight food insecurity, according to reports.

The new package includes $6 billion for the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative and $5.4 billion to replenish military inventories of weapons and equipment sent to front lines.

On Monday, however, Congressional leaders agreed to release $6.8 billion more than the $33 billion requested by the White House.

An American journalist and political commentator denounced Biden’s request, saying that it shows what the priorities of the Biden administration are.

“With $40 billion you could pay the rent for four million people for a year in the United States. Or the budgets of 400 school districts for the year in the United States. Or feed a million people for a year in the United States. Or pay for the health care of a million people for the year in the United States,” Don DeBar said. 

“And none of those options leave you with World War 3 nuclear devastation in your lap. And they might even avert what seems to be an inevitable revolution in the United States because of the severe distress in the housing food medical and educational conditions of the people here for lack of funding,” he stated.

“I know the leadership here believes they have sufficient technological advantage to change the course of human history and deny a people's response to oppressive conditions. But these are human beings, not cattle, and they will rise as surely as the sun does every morning,” he noted.

A top US official has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of preparing for a long war that may not end with Russian victory in the east.

"We assess President Putin is preparing for a prolonged conflict in Ukraine during which he still intends to achieve goals beyond the Donbas," Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

She added that Putin was counting on US and EU resolve to weaken as the conflict continues to cause food shortages and inflation, including spiraling energy prices.

Biden said the supplemental budget request will allow weapons and ammunition to flow "without interruption to the brave Ukrainian fighters" and the US to continue delivering economic and humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people.

The White House said that more than $20 billion of the $33 billion would be for military and other security systems.

Biden has also demanded an additional $8.5 billion in economic assistance to help provide basic services to the Ukrainian people and $3 billion in humanitarian assistance and food security funding.

If the package passes as planned, US spending in Ukraine and addressing the ensuing humanitarian crisis will soar to around $54 billion.

The US has already delivered $2.4 billion in military assistance to Ukraine since the beginning of Biden’s term in office, though much of that aid has come since Russia’s military operation against Ukraine began in late February.

This is while a report has revealed that the US government is struggling to track large quantities of “lethal aid” shipped to Ukraine in recent months amid raging conflict in the country. 

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News Network
May 12,2022

More than half of people hospitalised with Covid-19 still have at least one symptom two years after they were first infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to the longest follow-up study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.

The research followed 1,192 participants in China infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020.

While physical and mental health generally improved over time, the study suggests that Covid-19 patients still tend to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population.

This is especially the case for participants with long Covid, who typically still have at least one symptom including fatigue, shortness of breath, and sleep difficulties two years after initially falling ill, the researchers said.

The long-term health impacts of Covid-19 have remained largely unknown, as the longest follow-up studies to date have spanned around one year, they said.

"Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised Covid-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully from Covid-19," said study lead author Professor Bin Cao, of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, China.

"Ongoing follow-up of Covid-19 survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long Covid, is essential to understand the longer course of the illness, as is further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programmes for recovery," Cao said in a statement.

The researchers noted that there is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who have had Covid-19, and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments, and variants affect long-term health outcomes.

They evaluated the health of 1,192 participants with acute Covid-19 treated at Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, between January 7 and May 29, 2020, at six months, 12 months, and two years.

Assessments involved a six-minute walking test, laboratory tests, and questionnaires on symptoms, mental health, health-related quality of life, if they had returned to work, and health-care use after discharge, the researchers said.

The median age of participants at discharge was 57 years, and 54 per cent were men.

Six months after initially falling ill, 68 per cent of participants reported at least one long Covid symptom, according to the researchers.

By two years after infection, reports of symptoms had fallen to 55 per cent, they said.

Fatigue or muscle weakness were the symptoms most often reported and fell from 52 per cent at six months to 30 per cent at two years, the researchers said.

Regardless of the severity of their initial illness, 89 per cent of participants had returned to their original work at two years, they said.

The researchers noted that two years after initially falling ill, patients with Covid-19 are generally in poorer health than the general population, with 31 per cent reporting fatigue or muscle weakness and 31 per cent reporting sleep difficulties.

Covid-19 patients were also more likely to report a number of other symptoms including joint pain, palpitations, dizziness, and headaches, they said.

Around half of study participants had symptoms of long Covid at two years, and reported lower quality of life than those without long Covid.

In mental health questionnaires, 35 per cent reported pain or discomfort and 19 per cent reported anxiety or depression.

Long Covid participants also more often reported problems with their mobility or activity than those without the disorder.

The authors acknowledge some limitations to their study.

Without a control group of hospital survivors unrelated to Covid-19 infection, it is hard to determine whether observed abnormalities are specific to Covid-19, they said.

The slightly increased proportion of participants included in the analysis who received oxygen leads to the possibility that those who did not participate in the study had fewer symptoms than those who did, according to the researchers.

This may result in an overestimate of the prevalence of long Covid symptoms, they added. 

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News Network
May 3,2022

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Mangaluru, May 3: The coastal city of Mangaluru today witnessed the celebration of Eid al-Fitr with thousands of Muslims offering prayers at mosques and prayer grounds.

In fact a few areas in neighbouring Uttara Kannada and Udupi district had celebrated Eid yesterday (Monday) following reports of moon sighting in remote areas in the previous evening. 

However, most of the Muslims in the twin coastal district of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi completed the 30th fasting yesterday and celebrated Eid today. Muslims in rest of Karnataka also celebrated Eid today, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan

With this, a truly festive mood has gripped the region almost two years after muted celebrations.

Mangaluru residents said they were able to embrace the true spirit of Eid two years after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Residents were seen exchanging Eid greetings freely for the first time after two years of covid-19 protocols. 

Overwhelmed by the sights, some were seen at prayer grounds taking pictures and videos of the momentous occasion.

For some tiny tots, aged four, this was the first Eid prayer of their life. After prayers, residents rushed home to have their first breakfast after Ramadan.

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News Network
May 10,2022

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The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has opened a new Aadhaar Seva Kendra (ASK) in the coastal city of Mangaluru to serve the residents better. 

10 things to know about ASK in Mangaluru.

1.    The new ASK is situated at Crystal Arc building, Balmatta Road, Hampankatta at the heat of Mangaluru city.

2.    This is the fifth ASK in Karnataka after Bengaluru, Mysuru, Davangere and Dharwad. There are 83 such centres in the entire country and this is the first centre allotted to the entire coastal Karnataka.

3.    The new centre can process upto 500 Aadhaar enrolment and updation applications per day, according to ASK Regional Manager G Gajendra.

4.    People can avail all Aadhaar-related services like enrolment and updation of address, name, gender, date of birth, mobile number, email ID, photo and biometric updation (fingerprint and iris) at the centre.

5.    The centre functions all seven days in a week from 9.30 am to 5.30 pm. The time will also be extended depending on the demand from the people. 

6.    People can also book online appointments at ask1.uidai.gov.in and choose a convenient date and time to avail the services at ASK as well. 

7.    Aadhaar enrollment and biometric updation is free of cost for those in the age group of 5 to 15. 

8.    For other updates/corrections, a nominal fee of Rs 50 will be charged while for the Aadhaar biometric a sum of Rs 100 will be charged.

9.    ASK will hold camps in villages for Aadhaar-related services in the coming days to help those bed-ridden and sick who are unable to travel to the Aadhaar service centre to get an Aadhaar card, said Mangaluru ASK Manager Balakrishna.

10.    In case if people do not have any required documents to furnish, then they can get a standard format authorised by a gazetted officer to get the Aadhaar, he said.

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