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President-elect Joe Biden sprained his ankle while playing with one of his dogs but didn't appear to suffer any broken bones, his office said on Sunday, citing Biden's personal physician. The incident happened on Saturday, Biden's office said in a statement, with the 78-year-old Democrat visiting an orthopedist on Sunday for x-rays and a CT scan "out of an abundance of caution." "Initial X-rays are reassuring that there is no obvious fracture," Biden's personal physician Kevin O'Connor said in a separate statement distributed by Biden's office.
Coronavirus deaths in Turkey rose to a record for the seventh consecutive day on Sunday and the number of new cases remained high despite efforts by President Tayyip Erdogan's government to contain a second wave of infections. Turkey is expected to report this week that its economy bounced back from a sharp coronavirus-induced slump earlier this year. The government introduced tighter measures a week ago including nightly curfews at weekends, restrictions on movements of people of non-working age, a move to online schooling and limiting restaurants and cafes to takeaway services.
In 2016, as Bill Cosby's legal team prepared for trial in his stunning sexual assault case in Pennsylvania, the state Supreme Court quietly heard a death row inmate's appeal. Lawyers for Charles Hicks questioned whether three women who said he had beaten and choked them in Texas should have testified at his trial in a fourth woman's death in the Pocono Mountains. The seven Supreme Court justices issued five separate opinions on the use of the "prior bad act” testimony.
The top US cybersecurity official fired by Republican President Donald Trump for saying the November 3 election was the most secure in American history said on Friday that voter fraud allegations made by Mr Trump and his allies are "farcical". Chris Krebs, the former director of the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, told the CBS 60 Minutes program that allegations of US voting machines being manipulated by foreign countries were baseless. Sidney Powell, a Trump attorney cut loose by the Trump legal team this week, had put forward a conspiracy theory that election systems created in Venezuela at the behest of the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez helped tip the US election to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. She and others have also alleged that voting machines had flipped votes from Mr Trump to Mr Biden and some US voting information was stored on servers in Germany.
The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is assisting an inquiry into an alleged adverse reaction during AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine trial, but has found no reason to recommend halting it, a senior official at the regulator said on Sunday. A 40-year-old man said in a complaint seen by Reuters that he had suffered serious "neurological and psychological" symptoms after receiving the vaccine in a trial being run by the British drugmaker's partner Serum Institute of India (SII). "There was no immediate cause of concern at this stage," Samiran Panda, head of Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases at the ICMR, the research body involved in trials, told Reuters.
US President Donald Trump has admitted he faces an uphill struggle to persuade the Supreme Court to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden in the recent election. In his first full interview since the November 3 vote, Mr Trump said it was "very hard" to get to the Supreme Court, even though "that's what everyone is fighting for". "I've got the best Supreme Court advocate that wants to argue the case if it gets there,” he told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo in an hour-long interview littered with unsubstantiated claims about the election. Nearly every case brought by the Trump campaign in a blizzard of legal action has been thrown out by federal and state judges - many appointed by Republican presidents - who have given his allegations of irregularities short shrift. The US president still hopes to reverse the result by persuading the Supreme Court to consider cases brought by his legal team, which has challenged the results in several battleground states. But despite the Supreme Court now having a 6-3 conservative majority, legal experts believe that it will be reluctant to become embroiled in the election. With several important states due to certify their results shortly, the president refused to say when he would give up fighting his legal battles. "I'm not going to set a date," he said. Mr Trump could scarcely contain his anger at the judiciary in the wake of more than 30 defeats in the courts. “We are trying to put the evidence in, but the judges won't allow us to do it.” For the sake of simplicity, Mr Trump added, he would like his campaign to file what he described as “one big beautiful lawsuit.” Despite having just over seven weeks left in office, the president added that he would consider appointing a special prosecutor to investigate what he repeatedly described as a “rigged election.” Even the FBI and the Department of Justice could have been involved in the attempts to “rig” the election, Mr Trump claimed. “This is total fraud and how – the FBI and Department of Justice, I don't know, maybe they're involved – but how people are allowed to get away from this with this stuff is unbelievable,” he continued. The latest legal blow to the Trump campaign was in Pennsylvania on Friday, when the state's Supreme Court overturned a ruling which put the certification of the election results on hold. Republicans had argued that the use of mail-in ballots was unconstitutional and should therefore be discounted, which would have flipped Pennsylvania's 20 electoral college votes from Mr Biden to Mr Trump. The court said the case was filed months after the deadline for challenging the rules, adding that the Republicans had failed to provide evidence of a single vote being cast illegally. It was not only the courts which attracted Mr Trump's ire, but also Brian Kemp, the Republican governor of Georgia who along with the secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, had approved the rules for the election which Mr Biden won. “The governor’s done nothing. He’s done absolutely nothing. I’m ashamed that I endorsed him. But I look what’s going on. It's so terrible.” Mr Trump was similarly dismissive of the media and big tech companies for failing to give his allegations of electoral fraud the attention he felt they deserved. “The media doesn't even want to cover it,” he added. “We don't have freedom of the press in this country, it is suppression by the press. “You can't have a scandal if nobody reports about it.” Republican senator Roy Blunt, who leads the committee for the presidential inauguration, yesterday said he did not believe the election was rigged in an interview on CNN. Most of the Republican leadership has yet to acknowledge Mr Biden's victory. According to the Washington Post one White House insider has likened Mr Trump's behaviour in the aftermath of his defeat to "mad King George", repeatedly muttering: 'I won. I won. I won.’”
It’s been two months since a young Dalit woman was brutally raped and killed in Hathras in India and, in contrast to the swift action by the government in previous cases, there has been little action taken since the four men allegedly responsible were arrested. The 19-year-old woman was found in a paralytic state not far from her home in Boolgarhi village in September. She was initially treated at a district hospital and then at JNMC hospital in Aligarh before being shifted to Safdarjung hospital. Before she died a few days later, she said that four upper-caste men had gang-raped her and strangled her.The four men are in police custody, but since their arrest, four Muslim men who travelled to Hathras to visit the woman’s family in a show of support and sympathy have also been arrested on charges of sedition as it seems the Uttar Pradesh government wanted Muslim scapegoats to divert attention from the rape case. The Muslim men were raising funds for the victim’s family as, according to the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, the victim’s family are living in conditions similar to a house arrest. The family has also expressed fear for their lives once the official protection given to them is withdrawn. The police have characterized the Muslim men’s interest in the victim’s family as a terrorist conspiracy to trigger caste riots over the rape and murder.That crime, along with the subsequent conduct of the police and Uttar Pradesh government, has brought stark attention to the plight of Dalit women in a country that still clings to its outdated and barbaric caste system. As it happens, the young woman who was allegedly gang-raped in September died at the same hospital where Jyoti Singh, a member of the higher Bhumihar caste, died in 2012 after she was gang-raped and tortured on a private bus in what became known as the Nirbhaya case that sparked an international outcry about sexual violence in India.The word nirbhaya means “fearless” and the case prompted a swift change in the rape law, which broadened the definition of rape, made punishments more strict, and established a timeline for further procedural reforms. Four of the six men convicted of raping that woman were hanged by the state earlier this year.There has not and probably won’t be justice for the lower-caste victim in the Hathras case, just as there was not justice for Bhanwari Devi in 1992. There have been at least two other incidents of Dalit women and girls having been raped and killed in Uttar Pradesh this year, a province in which anti-Dalit violence is rife. On average, 10 Dalit women are raped every day throughout the country, according to official figures. Sexual violence committed against Dalit women and girls is mostly perpetrated by men from dominant upper castes, who use sexual violence as a tool to assert power and reinforce existing caste, social, and gender hierarchies.Despite officially abolishing discrimination on the basis of caste in 1950, the devastating effects of the caste system are felt by Dalits in the educational, social, and economic systems in modern India. The hardships these women face are not simply due to poverty, economic status, or lack of education, but a direct result of the severe exploitation and oppression by the upper castes, legitimized by corrupt interpretations of Hindu religious scriptures. Should a Dalit person speak up against any of these injustices, they face retribution from their communities and the majority Hindu public, who still hold the caste system as a holy social order. In the case of Dalit women, should they place a toe out of line, they are raped in a brutal show of power dynamics so that, according to human rights organizations, Dalit women bear the brunt of much of India’s sexual violence. In India, as is the case with many other countries and cultures, destroying a woman’s honour is the ultimate weapon to show women or members of a specific community their “place” and to establish dominance. Many women in the Dalit community have deep, personal and traumatic stories and have no way of telling them because they are scared of the repercussions, so the rape of a Dalit woman is mutely accepted and their families move on.The Hathras case is typical of what happens when a Dalit resists oppression: they are met with violence. The dispute began with the Dalit family’s agricultural land on which the Thakur family would bring their buffaloes to graze. The victim’s grandfather reportedly asked the Thakurs to take the buffaloes away from the land and the Thakur family, incensed that a Dalit man had the audacity to stand up to them, raped and murdered this woman.The script is the same in case after case yet only rarely does one draw world attention, and then the character assassination begins. In the case of Devi, judges were inexplicably changed five times and in November 1995, the accused were acquitted of rape. They were instead found guilty of lesser offences and were given just nine months in jail. Some of the bizarre reasons the judge gave were: the village head cannot rape, men of different castes cannot participate in gang rape, elder men of 60 to 70 years old cannot rape, a man cannot rape in front of a relative, a member of the higher caste cannot rape a lower caste woman due to purity, and Devi's husband couldn't have quietly watched his wife being gang-raped. Massive protests held in Jaipur with thousands marching through the city streets yielded nothing.Similar outrage erupted in India last month in Hathras and continue to happen around the country as the police initially dismissed the victim’s rape allegations, considered it a case of murder, and later sought to deny the rape.When the victim first reported the rape, the police did not listen to her. Neither of the woman's two allegations of rape, which were made within hours of being attacked, were entered into police records. The police failed to write up the complaint, instead asking the woman’s brother to do it, did not include what the victim told them, and didn't call an ambulance for medical attention, even though she was in a bad condition. A rape kit was done at the hospital 11 days after the attack—too late for any usable evidence to be found—and the police denied there ever being a rape, citing the lack of DNA on the rape kit. Dr Azeem Malik, who attended to the woman said government guidelines strictly say forensic evidence can only be found up to 96 hours after the incident and that the report cannot confirm or deny the victim being raped. He was fired shortly afterward for contradicting the police statements. A viral video of Hathras district magistrate, Praveen Kumar, warning the woman’s family of harm to their credibility lends credence to the family’s claims of threats from the administration. The state and police maintain innocence of any wrongdoing, as do the men accused of her rape and murder, who have shifted blame to the victim’s family.On the night that the victim died, police returned to the family’s village with her body but instead of handing her over to her mourning family for the final rites—an important part of Hinduism—they insisted she be cremated in an open field immediately. When the family refused, saying they wanted time to say goodbye, police locked them in their home and took her to a field where they burned her body using gasoline, according to the family who have finally been granted court-ordered protection since the incident.While the the state launched the Nirbhaya Fund to support women’s safety after the rape and murder of Singh, Dalit women and other minorities face severe challenges reporting crimes to the police, who often try to invalidate their claims and rarely follow proper criminal procedure. Hospitals fail to gather evidence, and there is derogatory treatment of survivors in courtrooms should they make it there.Manjula Pradeep, director of campaigns at the Dalit Human Rights Defenders Network, said Dalit women are seen as impure and deprived when they access basic amenities even as their bodies are also used as objects to take revenge on the Dalit communities and keep them oppressed. The state of Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of reported cases of violence against Dalits and during the lockdown this year, there was a spike in attacks on Dalits by Thakurs. No arrests have been made, pointing to a lack of concern over the wellbeing of the Dalit people by the authorities.Last year, a young Dalit man was beaten to death for sitting on a chair and eating in front of upper-caste people at a wedding. In May, a man was prevented from going into a temple to pray and after the victim approached the police (who did not take any action), he was shot to death in his home. In July, the body of a Dalit woman was forcibly taken off a funeral pyre by men of more privileged castes. The police did not intervene and said they could not unless the family filed charges. The family, however, decided not to file a complaint because they wanted to continue living peacefully in the village and keep their odd jobs provided by the more privileged castes.Authorities say caste has nothing to do with rape because they want to deny the everyday brutality of the caste system. The denial also ensures the caste system continues to flourish, especially among Hindu nationalists like Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ilk, who are mostly upper caste and therefore protected from this scourge. Modi insists that he belongs to the caste of the working man but Dalit voters say Modi has failed to protect them from growing caste-based violence and there is even a perception that Modi’s government has diluted some legal protections for Dalits, even though the caste group helped elect him in 2014.It should not take a 19-year-old being gang-raped, strangled and left naked in a field with blood flowing from her mouth, neck, and vagina to bring attention to a people who have faced barbaric crimes at the hands of others who claim to be more civilized than them. We should not have to wait for another woman to be sacrificed at the altar of tradition and brutal inequality before there is change.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
A Singaporean woman, who was infected with the novel coronavirus in March when she was pregnant, has given birth to a baby with antibodies against the virus, offering a new clue as to whether the infection can be transferred from mother to child. The baby was born this month without COVID-19 but with the virus antibodies, the Straits Times newspaper reported on Sunday, citing the mother. "My doctor suspects I have transferred my COVID-19 antibodies to him during my pregnancy," Celine Ng-Chan told the paper.
It was the latest act of defiance against the king by protesters who have broken taboos by criticising the monarchy. The Thai constitution says the monarchy must be revered and laws ban insulting the institution. Protesters, many carrying inflatable ducks which have become a protest mascot, stopped at the gates of the 11th Infantry Regiment, part of the King's Guard that played a role in the suppression of anti-establishment protests in 2010. Lines of riot police blocked protesters at the gate.
It's #smallbusinesssaturday, and you know what that meansOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
Ever out of step with the Catholic laity, bishops are considering denying Joe Biden communion. That would be a huge mistake.