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An unprecedented assault on democracy says U.S President-elect Joe Biden

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Washington, jan 07: President-elect Joe Biden has said that the democracy in America was under an “unprecedented assault” as thousands of supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol in an unprecedented breach of security resulting in temporary suspension of the US Congress’ counting and certification of presidential election results.”At this hour, our democracy is under an unprecedented assault.

An assault on the Capitol itself. An assault on the people’s representatives, on the police officers sworn to protect them, and the public servants who work at the heart of our Republic. An assault on the rule of law. An assault on the most sacred of American undertakings: The doing of the people’s business,” Biden said on Wednesday.In a nationally televised address, Biden said that the scenes of chaos at the Capitol do not reflect the true America. “This is not who we are. What we are seeing is a small number of extremists dedicated to lawlessness. This is not dissent. It is disorder. It is chaos. It borders on sedition. And it must end. Now,” he said.


The police, outnumbered by the protesters, had a tough time in managing the crowd on Wednesday, as hundreds of protesters breached security and entered the Capitol building, where members of the Congress were going through the process of counting and certifying the Electoral College votes.


Vice President Mike Pence and lawmakers were evacuated to safe locations. Both the House and Senate and the entire Capitol were placed under a lockdown.


Calling on the mob to pull back and allow the work of democracy to go forward, Biden said that the words of a President matter, no matter how good or bad that president is.
“At their best, the words of a president can inspire. At their worst, they can incite,” he said, calling on President Trump to go on national television, now, to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.


“To storm the Capitol, to smash windows, to occupy offices, and to threaten the safety of duly elected officials is not protest. It is insurrection. The world is watching – and like so many other Americans, I am shocked and saddened that our nation, so long a beacon of light, hope, and democracy has come to such a dark moment,” Biden said.


“Through war and strife, America has endured much. And we will endure here and prevail now. The work of the moment and the work of the next four years must be the restoration of democracy and the recovery of respect for the rule of law, and the renewal of a politics that’s about solving problems – not stoking the flames of hate and chaos,” he said.


“America is about honour, decency, respect, and tolerance.

That’s who we are. That’s who we’ve always been. The certification of the Electoral College votes is supposed to be a sacred ritual in which we affirm the majesty of American democracy. Today is a reminder, a painful one, that democracy is fragile,” he said.


Biden said that to preserve it requires people of good will, leaders with the courage to stand up, who are devoted not to pursuit of power and personal interest at any cost, but to the common good.


Watching the scenes from the Capitol, the president-elect said he was reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s words in an annual message to the Congress whose work has today been interrupted by chaos.


“President Lincoln said: ”We shall nobly save or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth….The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just – a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless”,” Biden recalled.


“Our way is plain here, too. It is the way of democracy, of lawfulness, and of honor – respect for each other, and for our nation. Notwithstanding what we’ve seen today, I remain optimistic about the incredible opportunities. There has never been anything we can’t do when we do it together. And this God-awful display today is bringing home to every Republican, Democrat, and Independent in the nation that we must step up,” Biden said. (Agency)

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Afghanistan: 37 killed, over 70 injured as blast hits Shia mosque in Kandahar

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(Asian News Hub) – Suicide bombers assaulted a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan that was packed with worshippers attending weekly Friday prayers, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 70, Associated Press reported quoting hospital official and an eyewitness.

The attack on the Imam Barga mosque came a week after a bombing claimed by a local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan.

Also Read: Amit Shah warns Pakistan, refers to surgical strike

Murtaza, an eye-witness who like many Afghans goes by one name, said four suicide bombers attacked the mosque. Two detonated their explosives at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside and strike the congregation of worshippers.

Speaking to The Associated Press by phone, he said Friday prayers are typically attended by around 500 people.

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At least 20 killed, over 300 injured in an earthquake in Pakistan

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(Asian News Hub) – At least 20 people were killed and over 300 others injured after a powerful 5.9 earthquake struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province early on Thursday, October 7, 2021, according to PTI quoting media reports.

Disaster management officials said the death toll may increase, Geo News reported.

According to the seismological centre, the epicentre was located near Harnai at a depth of 15 km.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said many of the dead were women and children.

The quake affected Quetta, Sibi, Harnai, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Ziarat and Zhob in Balochistan.

Images on social media showed people in the city of Quetta out on the streets in the aftermath of the quake, Dawn newspaper reported.

Aftershocks are still being felt in different areas. The earliest tremors were felt at 3:20 am after which panicked citizens rushed out of their houses reciting verses from the holy Quran. Relief and rescue activities are underway, with an emergency declared in all hospitals.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Harnai Sohail Anwar Hashmi, several people have been rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

He said that several buildings in Harnai have been damaged. Many people were left buried under the rubble.

The power supply to the area has been suspended, he said.

According to the rescue sources, more than 70 houses were reported damaged in Harnai.

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World surpasses 5M COVID-19 deaths

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(Asian News Hub) – The coronavirus death toll around the world surpassed 5 million on Friday, according to Reuters’s tally.

Around the world, an average of 8,000 deaths a day were reported, according to the outlet. However, it noted that the global death rate has slowed in recent weeks.

Reuters reported that it took over a year to accumulate 2.5 million deaths, but it took under eight months to accumulate the second 2.5 million deaths.

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