Democratic candidate Joe Biden have nearly confirmed the US election 2020 after surging a lead in two of the central swing states Pennsylvania and Georgia. Mr Biden has surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House once the results are certified.
Nonetheless, Donald Trump refuses to give in, asserting that Democrats are stealing the votes and he would approach the Supreme Court amid petitions for recount in several states. However, the apex court seems reluctant for an intervention in the counting, adding fear to the Republicans.
With the ongoing votes counting on one side, there have been many protests that have taken place. Pro-Trump protestors created a Facebook page which was later shut down because of false election claims.
In a short interview with The Stars, Karen Mahabir, fact check and misinformation editor for The Associated Press, when asked about the US election and misinformation landscape at the moment, she responded there are lot of information focusing on on the ballots and the voting process — ballot boxes being removed, states that changed names from one candidate or another, none of which is true. She said social media platforms are doing their best to guide people to accurate information, while putting their efforts to curb misinformation. Furthering adding she told lots of false claims would be surfaced focusing on the states that are still counting the votes and all of this is typical.
In Minneapolis, protesters blocked a freeway, prompting arrests. In Portland, lots gathered on the waterfront to protest against the president’s tried interventions and insisted all the votes be counted. A separate crew opposed the police and urging racial justice surged via downtown, smashing store domestic home windows and confronting enforcement officers and National Guard troops.
In Phoenix, a few hundreds of pro-trump protestors, most of them armed, gathered outside the country recorder’s administrative centre, a location closely watched, rely on the votes, which will aid to figure out the penalities of the election, as soon as it was conducted.
In a critical blow in the US Presidential Elections 2020, Mr Trump’s marketing campaign misplaced court docket rulings in the closely-contested states of Georgia and Michigan on Thursday, even as it vowed to convey a new lawsuit challenging what is referred to as vote casting irregularities in Nevada.
Swing states and results
Nevada: As of Friday, Mr Biden has 632,558 votes while Mr Trump has 609,901 votes; a slight lead of over 30,000 votes. According to Officials, there are tens of thousands of votes remaining. Many are from Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, and the majority of them are postal ballots.
Arizona: Democrats lead with over 36,000 votes, around 2 lakh votes are remaining, including the late mail votes to be counted as on Friday. However, there’s uncertainty as the late mail votes are yet to be counted. These ballots typically tilt towards Democratic; however this year they may not.
Pennsylvania: Mr Biden holds the lead. The votes to be counted are absentee ballots in Philadelphia, the state’s largest city, and Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, counties won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, so then it is likely in favour of Democratic. Friday was the last day that Pennsylvania can accept mail-in ballots postmarked on or before Election Day. State officials have said it could take more days to complete the count.
Georgia: This may shock people. Mr Trump has a 2-point lead with more than 90 per cent of votes counted; however, there’s a lot of Democratic votes left in the Atlanta area. It may be sufficient for Mr Biden to be back on track. Mr Biden holds a slim lead of over 1,500 votes, which is why the state is going for a recount as per Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican. According to the law of Georgia, recounting is allowed if the margin of victory/loss is less than 0.5 per cent.
Mr Trump demands recounts in Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Pennsylvania, all of which Mr Biden is winning by less than a 1 per cent margin.
The law for recount is different for each swing states; however, even if recount occurs chance for a massive difference is very narrow. This means Mr Biden can now relax and wait for the official announcement. Even if Mr Biden lose two or three states in the recount, the margin in Arizona and Nevada acts as a cushion and will be sufficient to put him in the top.
Though the announcement of results may delay considering that states are given up to 20 days for recounting and certify, Independent media houses have started hailing Mr Biden’s victory.
Mr Trump’s legal challenge questioning the validity of mail-in ballots, alleging malfeasance in their late arrival and counting, is the string of hope he is having right now.
Although most US states permit digital methods, paper ballots are the norm throughout the country. Ahead of counting comes processing, which entails checking signatures, verifying documentation, and possibly even scanning the ballots.
Counting votes is a separate, and later, process. Each country has its very own date for beginning in-person or mail-in voting, the cut-off date for receiving the mail-in ballots, processing the ballots, and tabulating votes.
US election 2020 has and is witnessing a true swap of politics and the power possed by the people. The coming days will confirm Mr Biden’s presidential victory in the world oldest democracy.
Escalation Of COVID-19 Cases Across The Globe
The United States, India, and Brazil have the most confirmed cases, followed by France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and Turkey. There are very few locations that have remained undisturbed.
Since the middle of last year, confirmed cases have been increasing. Although the actual scope of the first outbreaks in 2020 is unknown because testing was not generally available at the time. The 100 million COVID-19 cases were discovered at the end of January, over a year after it was first diagnosed. As of 6:30 p.m. CEST on July 30, 2021, WHO has received reports of 196,553,009 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 4,200,412 fatalities. A total of 3,839,816,037 vaccination doses has been delivered as of July 28, 2021.
After reaching a record high of over 0.9 million cases on April 28, 2021, new daily instances of the coronavirus continued to decline, reaching a low point on June 21, when over 0.3 million cases were reported. Since then yet, there has been a global increase in cases. On July 15, 0.53 million daily cases were reported, and over three million new cases were reported in the second week of the month. As of July 15, 188.9 million patients have been recorded worldwide. The transmissive Delta form accounting for most infections in 111 countries. Most instances were recorded in Brazil, India, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, and Colombia in the last week. With the steepest increases in Zimbabwe (72%), Indonesia (44%), the United States (38%), Bangladesh (35%), and the United Kingdom (30%). Many Asian nations, including Vietnam, Malaysia, South Korea, and Japan, have reported many daily cases. However, the spread was under control.
The number of new cases in Indonesia has been on the rise, with each day seeing a significant increase over the previous day. Indonesia is now the new Asian epicentre, with 56,757 cases recorded on July 15; India reported 39,000 patients on the same day. COVID-19 fatalities are high, according to WHO. After decreasing for nine weeks, with the highest increases in Africa and Southeast Asia. COVID-19 fatalities worldwide surpassed four million on July 7. The last million deaths occurred in under 90 days, the lowest time interval for every one million deaths ever recorded.
High vaccination coverage has been shown in the United States and much of Europe to lower fatalities and even hospitalizations. For example, United Kingdom rises in incidence. There has been fewer hospitalizations and deaths over 87% of the adult population, as they are vaccinated with one dose and over 67% with two doses. In the United States, the increase in cases is concentrated in states with low vaccination coverage, with unvaccinated people accounting for most deaths. Over 55% of Americans have received one dosage, and 48% are completely immunized. It shifts the focus back to improving vaccination coverage and achieving global vaccine equality to avoid fatalities and the spread of dangerous strains. Some nations debate a booster dosage. Even though many African countries’ healthcare professionals have not been completely vaccinated, booster injections have begun to be given to patients with weakened immune systems in Israel.
In comparison, booster shots have been ruled out in the United States for the time being. With vaccine shortages reported in many Indian states. Even among the vaccinated, rigorous adherence to COVID-appropriate behaviour is the only option to postpone and mitigate the consequences of a third wave.
This spring, India and Latin America have seen a significant drop in new cases in the hardest-hit areas of the world. But the global numbers continue to grow. The Delta variety leads them to well-vaccinated regions such as Western Europe and the United States, low but rising infections. This spring, India and Latin America have seen a significant drop in new cases in the hardest-hit areas of the world. Vaccine doses have been given to over 4 billion individuals globally (52 for every 100 people), yet the discrepancy is striking. More than 80% of the population had at least one shot in some wealthy nations. In contrast, the proportion is as low as 1% in many of the poorest.
Why Taliban Could Not Control Panjshir Valley In Afghanistan Yet?
Taliban took over Afghanistan last week, and Panjshir valley in the north is the last hope for the people of Afghanistan to fight against the Taliban.
As it was 25 years ago, there is still a part of Afghanistan that tries to oppose the Taliban; it is the Panjshir valley. The villages that rebelled against the Soviets and Taliban’s, it is now that they’re fighting against the spread of the Islamic Emirate.
Valley Of the Five Lions, also known as Panjshir Valley, is in Northern Afghanistan, 150 kilometers north of Kabul, near the Hindu Kush Mountain Range. Due to its location in the Hindu Kush Mountain range, the Panjshir Valley is only accessible through the narrow Panjshir River; this makes it easy for forces defending. Panjshir is also famously known for emeralds. It has been the base of operations for the Taliban since the 1990s. Since it was never under their control, the area has become a key target for the US-led forces.
Around 150,000 people live in the valley, and the majority are Pashtuns. The valley’s ethnic majority is Tajik. The area’s history has made it the base of operations for the Taliban. Panjshir has never been captured by the Taliban during their earlier rule, nor by the soviets. The resistance, therefore, chose to base its operations in the area due to its history.
After the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, a civil war broke out in the country. Ahmad Shah Massoud, who was the most notable anti-Taliban fighter, led a group of militants to fight against the separatists. He was eventually killed by al-Qaeda terrorists in 2001, just two days before the 9/11 attacks.
Following the father’s footsteps, Ahmad Massoud, the son of legendary Ahmad Shah Massoud, declared the start of armed resistance against the Taliban forming in the Panjshir. The Northern Alliance flag has been raised in Panjshir province, confirming the legitimacy of this movement, officially back since 2001. The National Resistance Front (NRF), based out of the Panjshir Valley, led by Ahmad Massoud and the former Vice-President Amrullah Saleh, leading an anti-Taliban Movement.
The Panjshir Valley stands tall against the Taliban under the leadership of Ahmad Masood. Resistance movements have begun with the formation of the Northern Alliance. Bernard Henri Levy, the French philosopher, spoke to Ahmad Massoud on a phone call and quoted saying, “I am the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, and surrender is not part of my vocabulary.” The Resistance has just begun; this is just the beginning.
The Washington Post published an op-ed on Wednesday in which Massoud reiterated his plea for help, asking the United States to supply his military with arms and ammunition. “The United States can still be a great arsenal of democracy” by supporting his fighters, he wrote.
Since President Ashraf Ghani left Afghanistan, Saleh has declared himself as the interim president. The Taliban has been massing its forces near Panjshir. The Salang highway has been closed. He further tweeted that the militants are avoiding any confrontations with the enemy forces.
India Takes Rein Of UNSC For August
As per procedure, India received the Presidency of the UN Security Council for August this year. The three major points that the Indian Presidency aims to focus on are maritime security, peacekeeping, and counter-terrorism policies.
What is the UN Security Council?
The security council is a body of the United Nations responsible for international security and peacekeeping. The body settles disputes and identifies unwanted threats and aggressions against member States.
There are 15 Members as a part of the council. They are obligated to abide by the decisions made by the Security Council. Out of these, there are five permanent and ten non-permanent members, India being a part of the newly elected non-permanent contingent.
India is currently serving as President of the UNSC for August and is expected to do so again in 2022. They succeed France who previously presided in July this year. The order of Presidency succession is decided alphabetically. Each member gets a fair chance to preside over the peacekeeping body.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be the first Indian PM to chair a meeting of the UNSC.
India in UNSC
India has joined the UNSC for the eighth time as a non-permanent member, serving a term of two years. The last time India was on the council as a member was in the year 2011-12, during the Middle East Crisis.
In the August meetings this year, the primary concern is said to be that of the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy and mortality. India also aims to bid for a permanent seat on the UNSC and hence a high level of involvement is expected.
India plays an important role in the UNSC as it along with other members of the G-4 (Brazil, Japan, and Germany) are insisting on an expansion in permanent membership for countries. They want the permanent seats to be offered to countries other than the current five that hold the veto power, giving India a chance to display its potential at a global level.
India has previously chaired the counter-terrorism committee at the UNSC and introduced the concept of ‘zero tolerance’ for terrorism globally. They also successfully establish the Financial Action Taskforce (FATF).
This time around, India aims at improving maritime security and peacekeeping while returning to the counter-terrorism policies establish worldwide.
India’s efforts as President in August 2021
India is expected to organise three high-level meetings for the three topics that they have decided to focus on (maritime security, peacekeeping, and counterterrorism). A traditional breakfast of PRs was held by India’s Permanent Representative to the UN, T S Tirumurti. Along with the normal breakfast, Tirumurti put a display of Indian grains with items exquisitely prepared with those ingredients. A treat of Alphonso mangoes was also included in the breakfast. Tirumurti also presided over all meetings of the UNSC on day one.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will chair a meeting of the UN Council virtually, while external affairs minister, Jaishankar will chair the meetings in person.
S Jaishankar expressed opinions on the opportunity to preside over the UNSC for August via his Tweet, saying that India looks forward to taking over the Presidency of the Global Organisation for the month.
As we take over UNSC Presidency for August, look forward to working productively with other members.
India will always be a voice of moderation, an advocate of dialogue and a proponent of international law. pic.twitter.com/kPRGnFOz87
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 1, 2021
Indian PR Tirumurti also thanked their predecessor France and announced the takeover via his Tweets while expressing his elation on the occasion.
— PR/Amb T S Tirumurti (@ambtstirumurti) August 1, 2021
India began their eighth term on January 1 this year. This non-permanent arrangement will span for two years, giving the possibility of another Presidency in late 2022. India has been grateful for its turn in chairing the UNSC and hopes to make decisions and resolutions that will be beneficial to the Indian Foreign Policy and countries around the Globe.
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