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Biased Twitter has removed people from my account, says Trump

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Oct 26 : President Donald Trump on Friday accused Twitter of deleting large swaths of his followers from the social media platform, deriding the company for slow growth and accusing it of  bias without providing evidence. Twitter announced on Thursday that it lost 9 million users in the third quarter of this year following its crackdown on bot accounts.

“They have stifled growth to a point where it is obvious to all,” Trump tweeted. “A few weeks ago it was a Rocket Ship, now it is a Blimp! Total Bias?”

Twitter has removed many people from my account and, more importantly, they have seemingly done something that makes it much harder to join – they have stifled growth to a point where it is obvious to all. A few weeks ago it was a Rocket Ship, now it is a Blimp! Total Bias?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 26, 2018
Trump said Twitter has made  it harder for users to follow him.The outburst is Trump’s latest attack on the embattled tech industry as it faces deep public scrutiny over its handling of user data and its role in political discourse.

August and September only show the president’s follower count steadily increasing by around 1.5 million in a two-month span.

SocialBlade analytics also show Trump’s follower account steadily increased since Oct. 13.

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Biden plans to nominate topmost economist Janet Yallen as Treasury Secretary: Reports

The reports of her potential nomination were seen as welcome news by the financial market in New York, which was reflected in surging stocks.

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Washington: US President-elect Joe Biden is planning to nominate former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yallen as his Treasury Secretary to lead his economic response to the raging coronavirus pandemic, which has wreaked havoc on the world’s biggest economy and led millions of Americans to lose their jobs.

A formal announcement on 74-year-old Yellen would be made soon, according to The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. The Treasury Secretary is fifth in the presidential line of succession.

If confirmed by the Senate, Yellen would be the first woman to hold the job.

Currently at the Brookings Institute think-tank, she was Federal Reserve Chair from 2014 to 2018 and was Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors from 1997 to 1999.

Ms Yellen, who was the first woman to lead the Fed, would become the first person to have headed the Treasury, the central bank and the White House Council of Economic Advisers, The Wall Street Journal said.

The Biden-Harris administration, however, did not comment on the potential announcements.

The President-elect looks forward to announcing some members of his economic team early next week who will work with him to build the economy back better, said Jen Psaki, an advisor to the transition.

Her nomination would be one of the early signs that shows Biden plans to lean on experienced Washington veterans to lead the government next year, The Washington Post reported.

The reports of her potential nomination were seen as welcome news by the financial market in New York, which was reflected in surging stocks.

Janet Yellen is an excellent choice. There’s a lot to be excited about, but here’s a big one: As a former Fed chair, she has great relationships across the globe. She can start repairing the damage in economic diplomacy from the past four years, said Michael R Strain, Director of Economic Policy Studies at American Enterprise think-tank.

Yellen is an excellent choice for Treasury Secretary. She was my boss when I was a Senior Economist for International at the Council of Economic Advisors in 1998-99. The most wise boss ever! said Nouriel Roubini, New York University economics professor.

According to The Wall Street Journal, she is viewed by Biden transition officials as a credible authority on the dangers of prematurely withdrawing government stimulus and as someone who could collaborate closely with the Fed and executive-branch agencies to engineer more support if Congress is reluctant to take additional action.

Janet Yellen is an excellent choice for Treasury Secretary. Having had the opportunity to work with then-Chair Yellen, I have no doubt she will be the steady hand we need to promote an economy that works for everyone, especially during these difficult times. Congratulations, said Gary Cohen, who served as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and Director of the National Economic Council from January 2017 until April 2018.

According to Johns Hopkins data, there are 58,696,029 COVID-19 cases and 13,88,724 deaths across the world. The US has recorded more than 12 million cases and 255,000 deaths, the highest tolls registered anywhere in the world.

The US economy, the world’s biggest, lost millions of jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic which battered the global economy. Economists said that the US economy entered recession in late March, when nearly the whole country went into lockdowns.

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China Successfully Launches Its First Spacecraft To Moon To Collect Samples, Return To Earth

The spacecraft was launched by a Long March-5 rocket at 4.30 am (Beijing Time)

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China successfully launched its first unmanned space mission on Tuesday to collect samples from the moon’s surface and return to earth, the country’s maiden attempt to retrieve materials from an extra-terrestrial body.

China has successfully launched the Chang’e-5 lunar probe from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in the southern province of Hainan, state-run CGTN reported. The spacecraft was launched by a Long March-5 rocket at 4.30 am (Beijing Time).

Chang’e-5 is one of the most complicated and challenging missions in China’s aerospace history, as well as the world’s first moon-sample mission in more than 40 years.

The United States sent astronauts to the moon to collect samples. In the Soviet Union’s unmanned lunar sampling missions, the spacecraft took off from the moon and returned to Earth directly.

But China chose a complicated technological approach including unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, which could bring back more samples and lay a technological foundation for manned lunar missions, according to Pei Zhaoyu, deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Centre of the China National Space Administration (CNSA), ahead of the launch.

The mission will help promote China’s science and technology development and lay an important foundation for China’s future manned lunar landing and deep space exploration, Pei said.

Chang’e-5, comprising an orbiter, a lander, an ascender and a returner, with a total take-off mass of 8.2 tonnes, is expected to accomplish unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit, a complicated feat.

After it enters the lunar orbit, the lander-ascender combination will separate from the orbiter-returner combination.

While the orbiter-returner orbits about 200 km above the lunar surface, the lander-ascender will touch down on the northwest region of Oceanus Procellarum, also known as the Ocean of Storms, on the near side of the moon in early December, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Within 48 hours, a robotic arm will be extended to scoop up rocks and regolith on the lunar surface, and a drill will bore into the ground. About 2 kg of samples are expected to be collected and sealed in a container in the spacecraft.

Then the ascender will take off, and dock with the orbiter-returner in orbit. After the samples are transferred to the returner, the ascender will separate from the orbiter-returner.

When the geometric relationship between Earth and the moon is suitable, the orbiter will carry the returner back to the planet. The returner will re-enter the atmosphere and land at the Siziwang Banner in north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The whole flight will last more than 20 days.

Pei said if the Chang’e-5 mission succeeds, China’s current lunar exploration project would come to a successful conclusion.

Named after legendary Chinese moon goddess Chang’e, China’s current three-step lunar exploration programme, which began in 2004, includes orbiting and landing on the moon along with bringing back samples.

The aim of the programme is for China to acquire the basic technologies of unmanned lunar exploration with limited investment, Pei said.

China is drawing up plans for future lunar exploration. To pave the way for manned lunar exploration and deep space exploration, the Chang’e-5 mission will use a sampling method different from those of the United States and the Soviet Union, Pei said.

“Unmanned rendezvous and docking in lunar orbit will be a historic first. It will be very difficult,” said Peng Jing, deputy chief designer of the Chang’e-5 probe from the China Academy of Space Technology under the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation.

“We could call it a milestone mission. Its success will help us acquire the basic capabilities for future deep space exploration such as sampling and take-off from Mars, asteroids and other celestial bodies,” Peng was quoted by Xinhua.

The scientific goals of the Chang’e-5 mission include the investigation of the landing area to obtain the on-site analysis data related to the lunar samples, as well as systematic and long-term laboratory analysis of the lunar samples.

The landing site of Chang’e-5 will be to the west of that of Chang’e-3, which went to the moon in 2013.

This site is chosen because the region has a young geological age, younger than the sampling areas of the United States and the Soviet Union 40 years ago. This region has never been sampled. The new samples will be of great scientific value, Chinese experts said.

“Domestic and overseas scientists will all have a chance to get the lunar samples to be brought back by Chang’e-5 for research,” Pei added.

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Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s lawyer appointed as PTV chairman

However, an earlier IHC judgement had made it mandatory for the government to advertise the post before making any appointment in PTV.

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Imran Khan

Islamabad: Pakistani lawyer Naeem Bukhari, who led the legal team of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan in the Panama Papers leak case, has been appointed as Chairman of the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV).

The appointment was made in apparent haste as the Pakistan cabinet had in its meeting last week considered a summary for his appointment but did not endorse his induction as PTV chairman.

The cabinet had directed the Ministry of Information to “resubmit the summary, in line with the following observations: i) the composition of the Board shall be on the pattern of previous Board where independent directors/private sector members were in majority; ii) the appeal [against Islamabad High Court order of sacking Arshad Khan and other PTV directors] may be vigorously pursued and independent directors/private sector members from the previous Board shall be re-inducted in the new Board, where possible; and iii) Shahzada Naeem Bukhari be included in the Board and nominated as Chairman.”

The Information Ministry had submitted the summary for appointment of three independent directors of PTV, recommending Naeem Bukhari, chartered accountant Syed Waseem Raza and prominent writer Asghar Nadeem Syed as principal candidates. Bukhari and Asghar Nadeem Syed are over 65 years old and, therefore, the ministry had sought relaxation from the cabinet regarding their age.

However, in contradiction to the observations by the cabinet regarding resubmission of the summary for the appointment of directors and chairman of PTV, the Information Ministry on its own notified Bukhari as chairman on Monday.

The notification read: “The Federal Government is pleased to appoint Shahzada Naeem Bukhari as Independent Director of Pakistan Television Corporation Board.” It further stated: “The Federal Government has also approved nomination of Shahzada Naeem Bukhari as chairman PTVC Board in line with the Pakistan Television Corporation…The chairman shall, unless he resigns earlier, hold office for a period of three years. The board of directors, PTVC, is directed to ratify his nomination as chairman.”

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) had in September set aside the appointments of PTV chairman Arshad Khan and board members Zhouhair A. Khaliq, Prof Ijazul Hassan, Syed Mohammad Ali Bokhari, Mian Yousaf Salahuddin, Rashid Ali Khan and Farman Ullah Jan.

In its 42-page decision, the court directed that in future the government should determine salaries and benefits of PTV employees in consultation with the Finance Ministry.

However, an earlier IHC judgement had made it mandatory for the government to advertise the post before making any appointment in PTV.

Information secretary Zahida Parveen did not comment on the appointment of Bukhari as PTV chairman.

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