Democracy is in danger in US and around the world, says Biden as he commemorates war dead

News Network
June 1, 2021

Washington, June 1: Joe Biden warned in a speech commemorating America’s war dead on Memorial Day that US democracy was “in peril” and called for empathy among his fellow citizens.

Speaking at Arlington National Cemetery, the US president, joined by first lady Jill Biden, Vice-President Kamala Harris and her husband, paid tribute to America’s war dead whom he described as making the ultimate sacrifice in the pursuit of democracy.

But he added that US democracy was itself in danger. “The mission falls to each of us, each and every day. Democracy itself is in peril, here at home and around the world,” he said, adding: “What we do now, how we honor the memory of the fallen, will determine whether democracy will long endure.”

Biden’s speech played out against a tumultuous time in American politics, which have been shaken by four years of erratic and norm-shattering rule by Donald Trump which culminated in the 6 January attack on the Capitol in Washington DC by a Trump-supporting mob seeking to disrupt the formalization of Biden’s electoral win.

It also comes at a time of civic unrest sparked by largely rightwing protests against shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the spread of conspiracy theories around election fairness stoked by Trump and the far right and widespread demonstrations against racism and police brutality.

Biden centered his speech on the ideals of a democracy that thrives when citizens can vote, when there is a free press and when there are equal rights for all.

“This nation was built on an idea,” Biden said in his address. “We were built on an idea, the idea of liberty and opportunity for all. We’ve never fully realized that aspiration of our founders, but every generation has opened the door a little wider.”

Since he beat Trump to the White House last year Trump and many other Republicans have sought to baselessly portray the election as having been somehow fraudulent. They have launched scores of court cases and even a so-called “audit” of the results in in Arizona’s largest county.

Republican state legislatures have also passed local voting laws aimed at restricting voting access that civil rights advocates say are aimed at communities of color. On Sunday night Texas Republicans failed to push through one of the most restrictive voting measures in the US after Democrats walked out of the state House at the last minute. But other measures have passed in states like Georgia and Florida.

While politicians from both sides of the US political spectrum routinely speak of a “battle for the soul of America” to describe their mission to voters, Biden’s holiday address came as Trump’s former national security adviser Lt Gen Michael Flynn also said over the weekend that a Myanmar-like coup “should happen” in the US.

Appearing before a conference of the QAnon conspiracy movement in Dallas, Flynn was asked by an attendee if what was happening in Myanmar – in which the military overthrew a democratically elected government – could be repeated at home.

“There’s no reason,” Flynn told a cheering audience. “I mean, it should happen – that’s right.”

Since Myanmar’s military seized power in February, and detained the country’s democratically elected leaders, at least 800 civilians have died and thousands have been arrested.

Flynn was fired by Trump in 2017 after it was revealed that he had lied to Vice-President Mike Pence over contacts with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak.

He later pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, then withdraw his plea and the justice department dropped charges against him. Trump later pardoned the general. In January, Twitter banned Flynn from its platform in a purge of accounts promoting QAnon theories. 

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News Network
June 11,2021

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Lakshadweep police on Thursday registered a case of sedition against local resident and film activist Aisha Sultana for calling the Union Territory’s administrator, Praful K Patel, a bio-weapon being used by the Centre on the island’s people.

The case was registered at Kavaratti police station, based on a complaint from BJP’s Lakshadweep unit president C Abdul Khader Haji, under Section 124 A of IPC (sedition).

Khader’s complaint cited a recent debate on Malayalam channel ‘MediaOne TV’ on the ongoing controversial reforms in Lakshadweep, in which Aisha had purportedly said that the Centre was using Praful Patel as a ‘bio-weapon’ on the islands. The remarks had sparked protests from the BJP’s Lakshadweep unit. BJP workers had moved complaints against Aisha in Kerala as well.

A film professional, Aisha has been in the forefront of campaigns against the reforms and proposed legislation, which have taken Lakshadweep and Kerala by storm.

Justifying her controversial reference to the administrator, Aisha posted on Facebook, “I had used the word bio-weapon in the TV channel debate. I have felt Patel as well as his policies [have acted] as a bio-weapon. It was through Patel and his entourage that Covid-19 spread in Lakshadweep. I have compared Patel as a bioweapon, not the government or the country…. You should understand. What else should I call him…”

Lakshadweep Sahitya Pravarthaka Sangam on Thursday extended support to Aisha. “It is not proper to depict her as anti-national. She had reacted against the inhumane approach of the administrator. It was Patel’s interventions that made Lakshadweep a Covid-affected area. The cultural community in Lakshadweep would stand with her,’’ the organisation’s spokesperson, K Bahir, said.

While the UT Administration has said Patel’s controversial proposals are aimed at ensuring safety and well-being of residents along with promoting the islands as a tourist destination on par with Maldives, residents view them as ripping the social and cultural fabric of the islands.

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hari
 - 
Friday, 11 Jun 2021

Aisha Sultana made a mistake especially when she repeated it again TV interview. She should have been known to the limit of "freedom of speech", and considered the consequence it can make for the country. Let her accept whether comes on her way, its the result of her doings in anyway...

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News Network
June 14,2021

New Dehi, June 14: Fuel prices were increased again on Monday after a day's pause. Petrol in the national capital Delhi is now priced at Rs 96.4 a litre (after a 38 paise rise) while diesel costs Rs 87.28 a litre, up by 30 paise.

In Bhopal, a litre of petrol now costs Rs 104.59 while diesel costs Rs 95.91. Petrol in Ladakh costs Rs 101.95 per litre and diesel Rs 93.90 a litre.

In India's financial capital, Mumbai, petrol is priced at Rs 102.58 and diesel at Rs 94.70 a litre each.

Fuel prices differ from state to state depending on the incidence of local taxes such as VAT and freight charges. The increase in prices is due to a combination of rising international oil prices and central and state taxes.

Global oil prices held near multi-year highs on Monday, underpinned by an improved outlook for demand as several nations eased coronavirus curbs.

Brent crude was up 14 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $72.83 by 0123 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate was also up 14 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $71.05 a barrel, after reaching the highest since October 2018 at $71.24 on Friday and rising 1.9 per cent on the week. 

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News Network
June 15,2021

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Hubballi, June 15: A Hubballi-bound Indigo plane suffered a tyre burst while landing here, airport authorities said on Tuesday.

However, all the passengers and crew members were safe.

In an official statement, Indigo Airlines said, "IndiGo ATR operating 6e-7979 from Kannur to Hubballi reported Tyre Burst at Hubli upon arrival yesterday (Monday) evening. All passengers and crew are safe. Aircraft is currently under maintenance checks at Hubballi."

According to an official at the airport, the plane had touched down first 8.03 pm on Monday but due to crosswind, it took off immediately and went around. It landed again at about 8.35 pm.

"Probably due to hard landing and crosswind, the tyre burst," the official said.

All passengers were disembarked at the airport itself and the runway was cleared by 2 am on Tuesday.

"The flight operations are now normal. We have informed the ATC about the incident," the official added. 

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