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Clive Owen to play Bill Clinton in ‘Impeachment: American Crime Story’

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Clive Owen on Bill Clinton

Los Angeles, Nov 16 : Oscar-nominated actor Clive Owen will star as Bill Clinton in “Impeachment: American Crime Story”, the third season of the network FXs award-winning limited series franchise, which centers on the sex scandal that rocked the Clinton presidency.

Owen joins Sarah Paulson, who will play Linda Tripp, Beanie Feldstein, who will play Monica Lewinsky, and Annaleigh Ashford, who will play Paula Jones in the limited series, reports aceshowbiz.com.

The role of Hillary Clinton is currently being cast.

“Impeachment…” is written by Sarah Burgess who executive produces alongside returning ACS team Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, Larry Karaszewski, Scott Alexander, Alexis Martin Woodall and Paulson. Feldstein, Henrietta Conrad and Jemima Khan are also producing.

The limited series is based on Jeffrey Toobin’s bestselling book “A Vast Conspiracy: The Real Story of the Sex Scandal That Nearly Brought Down a President”. Toobin’s 1997 book The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson served as the source material for Season 1 of American Crime Story.

Filming on “Impeachment” is set to begin in late March. The limited series is currently slated to premiere on Sunday, September 27, 2020, about a month out from the next US Presidential election, but Murphy recently indicated the date may be in flux as the filming schedule has changed.

Owen’s casting comes in the midst of the impeachment hearing against President Donald Trump. Despite the confluence of events, the current impeachment proceedings are not influencing “Impeachment: ACS”, which chronicles events from two decades ago.

Owen received an Oscar nomination for “Closer” and was most recently seen in “Gemini Man”. On TV, he headlined “The Knick” and will also star opposite Julianne Moore in the limited series “Lisey’s Story”.

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Belarus President wins Sixth term, Opposition alleges vote-rigging

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Russian President Putin

Soon after the Presidential election was held in Belarus on Sunday. several Belarusian cities saw unauthorized protests. In Minsk, protesters returned and the police used tear gas and flash grenades to disperse the demonstrations.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko is being predicted to have won sixth reelection, according to official preliminary results released Monday, with 80 percent of the votes but the outcome been widely disputed amid accusations of vote-rigging.But the clear picture of the results willl be out on Friday.

President of the European Council Charles Michel on Monday urged the Belarusian authorities to respect civil rights and freedoms.”Violence against protesters is not the answer #Belarus Freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, basic human rights must be upheld,” Michel wrote on Twitter.

Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko accused Russia, Ukraine and Poland for orchestrating protests in Belarus that emerged soon after the election.

According to preliminary results revealed by the Belarusian Central Election Commission, Lukashenko secured 80.23 percent of votes, followed by opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya with 9.90 percent.

Lukashenko also blamed foreign interference for the Internet shut-off.

Sergey Lebedev, the head of the observers mission from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to the presidential election in Belarus, said on Monday that the vote had been conducted in an open, lawful and competitive manner.

The preliminary results of the Belarusian presidential election, held this past Sunday, suggest incumbent president Alexander Lukashenko won over 80 percent of the vote.

“The August 9 election was conducted in compliance with the constitution and electoral code of Belarus. It was open and competitive and ensured that Belarus citizens could freely express their will,” Lebedev said at a briefing.

Candidates, too, had the opportunity to “freely promote their campaigns and speak on the national television,” according to Lebedev.

The team of CIS observers has concluded that both the preparation and process of the election was overall conducted “decently,” as quoted by the mission’s chief.

At the same time, Lebedev pointed out that the vote stood out from Belarus’ previous campaigns by its “political heat.”

“Unfortunately, the vote featured — and we have mentioned it in our statement — statements which were obviously incorrect, provocative and conducive to the escalation of political heat and tension among the public,” the CIS chief observer said.

Lebedev said the detection of inconsistencies in the electoral procedures was a “scattered” occurrence, both for domestic Belarusian observers and CIS observers, whereas in the latter case he said the staff at the polling stations reacted to all voiced critical comments “positively” and promptly corrected any detected inconsistencies.

Meanwhile, the European Union is considering sanctions against Minsk.

Denying any role in Belarus ahead of the presidential election, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov had said that Russia did not send people to Belarus to destabilize the situation there.

“Belarus and Russia are the Union State. It is an ally, the closest partner. Therefore, this is surely out of the question,” Peskov has told.

He said that Moscow is aware of 33 Russian citizens being detained in Belarus and 200 others are still wanted.

“There is no information about any illegal actions of them that could become a reason for the detention,” he said, adding he looks forward to clarification of the incident.

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China furious over US Health and Human Services Secretary Taiwan’s visit

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China Xi Jinping

The tensions between US and China has been potentially at the peak and relations are being worsened with every passing day.

The latest visit by US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar in Taiwan on Sunday, the first highest-level visit by a US cabinet official since 1979 has sparked outrage in China.

The controversial visit to Taiwan about the island’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Azar extended words of “strong support and friendship” from President Donald Trump to Taiwanese leader Tsai Ing-wen. The health secretary appreciated Taiwan’s successful fight against COVID-19, calling it “a tribute to the open, transparent, democratic nature” of its society and culture.

AS China has been saying that Taipei have no separate international relations from Beijing, viewing the island as a part of China. Beijing does not recognize Taiwanese independence, therefore more reactions are expected from China.

“Thank you, President Tsai, for welcoming me to Taiwan today. It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from the United States to #Taiwan,” he wrote on Twitter.
During the meeting, Azar congratulated Tsai on beginning her second term earlier this year.
“Under President Trump, the United States has expressed our admiration for Taiwan’s democratic success in tangible ways,” he noted, as broadcast by the Taiwanese administration.

China and US have embroiled in a brittle battle over coronavirus, trade, stealing of intellectual rights, and engaging in tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats and staging bigger and bigger war games in the western Pacific. President Donald Trump signed executive orders prohibiting US residents from doing any business with TikTok, WeChat or the apps’ Chinese owners.China’s state-run media branded US demands for the sale of TikTok’s American operations to Microsoft Corp. as “theft” and suggested Beijing may block the transaction.

China imposed sanctions on the US in response to the restrictions imposed by Washington over an alleged effort to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy, the spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Zhao Lijian, said Monday. US moves has so far invited sanctions targeting senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, among others.

On Friday, the United States has imposed sanctions on 11 individuals in response to an alleged effort to “undermine” Hong Kong’s autonomy.

There are also talks of U.S. regulators are considering that stock exchanges should set new rules that could delist the Chinese companies citing that investors are exposed to frauds.

Arti Bali

Sr Journalist

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Every citizen must fight the Covid war: Experts

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COVID-19 pandemic

Bengaluru, Aug 9 : With the government easing more restrictions under Unlock3.0 to further revive the economy since August 1, the war against the Coronavirus pandemic has to be fought by each and every citizen across the country, according to health experts, including epidemiologists.

“As the war against the elusive virus is going to be long and hard, the government alone cannot fight it, and the onus is on each and every citizen to join the battle even after a vaccine is found to treat it,” Karnataka health task force chairman M.K Sudarshan told IANS here.

By enforcing the lockdown since March 25 and extending it up to May 31 with stringent measures, ostensibly, to contain the virus spread, the government managed to control the situation initially and ensured that the country’s woeful healthcare infrastructure was not overwhelmed by lakhs of positive cases.

“The government, its agencies and healthcare warriors have been doing their best over the last 4 months, risking their lives to contain the pandemic, as is evident from the case data during the lockdown and after it was gradually lifted to revive socio-economic activities and restore livelihood.

“The onus to carry on the fight is more on all citizens by wearing masks, sanitising their hands and maintaining social distancing,” asserted Sudarshan, former head of the community medicine department in the state-run KIMS (Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences) hospital in the city centre.

The Karnataka government had set up the 6-member committee in mid-April to analyse the Covid-19 data from the southern state and across the country to study the epidemiology of the virus cases, how different patients got infected, what measures for breaking the chain and suggest changes, if required.

Though testing of swab samples to find who got the virus was less and results took longer time due to shortage of diagnostic labs, the stringent lockdown forced most of the people across the country to stay home, wash hands frequently and maintain social distancing at any cost.

“When lockdown was lifted and unlock 1.0 began on June 1, like a genie coming out of a bottle, thousands of citizens stepped out of houses, violated the norms and exposed themselves to the infection. With people travelling again in cities and states in their vehicles, buses, cabs and autos, select trains and flights, the number of citizens who tested positive soared by the day, as they too contracted the virus for violating the norms such as failing to isolate, quarantine and get treated if they were asymptomatic or get admitted in any designated hospital if they were symptomatic,” noted epidemiologist Giridhar Babu.

For instance, till the lockdown was in force up to May 31, the southern state with 7 crore population had just 3,221 positive cases and Bengaluru only 358 cases out of 1.2 crore (120 lakh) people. By June 30, the numbers shot up to 15,242 for state and 4,555 for the city.

“Within a fortnight by July 14, the cases shot up to 44,077 and 20,969, to a whopping 71,069 and 34,943 by July 19 or 5 days during unlock 2.0 and to a massive 1,64,924 and it is now 69,572 as on August 6 in Unlock 3.0,” Babu recalled.

Babu is also a member of the task force and faculty of the New Delhi-based Public Health Foundation of India.

With hundreds of people returning from most-infected neighouring states like Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in cars, buses, trains or flights, the number of Covid cases zoomed in the state, especially in this tech hub by the day as they carried the virus like super spreaders and became a source of local transmission.

“Though a 9-day lockdown was again re-imposed from July 14 to July 22 in this tech city, 4 Sundays in July and night curfew was maintained till July 31, there was no let-up in the cases as they continue to climb, while recoveries also have been going up steadily,” reiterated Babu.

Admitting that lockdowns, shutdowns and night curfew do not reduce the cases but only delay them, noted pediatric cardiologist Vijayalakshmi I. Balekundri told IANS that the only way to be safe from the dreadful pandemic was to do “SMS” (sanitization of hands, mask-wearing and social distancing) as corona virus was a communicable disease and fatal as it attacks the respiratory system (lungs) and affects all other vital organs of the body.

“The onus of winning the war against the pandemic is more on 130-crore+ citizens than anyone else across the country. God helps those who help themselves is an old adage, as each has to take care of himself or herself from being infected by the virus till a vaccine is found, because it is preventable but not curable,” Balekundri said.

The Bengaluru Medical College and Research Institute Emeritus Professor said though all five fingers are not same or equal, they become a force as a fist when together and converge themselves into a weapon.

“Similarly, the thumb is for mask, index finger for washing hands, middle finger for social distancing, ring finger for maintaining toilet hygiene and little finger to avoid travelling to the extent possible or unless warranted,” Balekundri added.

By Fakir Balaji

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