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Hate crime:White House assures Sikhs of their safety

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The White House has assured American-Sikhs of their safety and security in view of the increasing threats and hate crimes against the community members in the recent past.

In a rare gesture, Melissa Rogers, Special Assistant to President Barack Obama and head of the Office of Faith Based and Neighbourhood Partnerships office of the White House, visited a Gurdwara in Maryland to deliver the message of reassurance from the President.

Asserting that the US Government’s stand with Sikhs in America, Rogers also expressed empathy with the Sikh community over the recent incidents of violence against Sikhs and a reported case of vandalism at Los Angeles Gurdwara, a media release said.

“I want to offer our deepest condolences for some recent violence and attacks against Sikhs and Sikh institutions.

These reports are of tremendous concern to us as we they are to you. We feel a deep sense of loss for victims of these crimes,” Rogers said in her address to the community at the Guru Gobind Singh Foundation (GGSF) Gurdwara.

“When these kinds of things happen there is kind of deep sense of violation and anxiety. We want you to know that we stand by with you during these challenging times,” she said.

Rogers said such incidents not only cause a great grief among the people who are being attacked and the communities mostly associated with it, but they also threaten all as America draws its strength from the diversity of its people.

“We want you to know that we stand by you and we will continue to work until we stamp these incidents out. Like you we believe that attack on any faith is an attack is an attack on every faith,” Rogers said.

“It is essential that all faith communities here and all over the world stand against hate motivated violence. We will continue to stand with you and we will continue to work to ensure that security and your civil constitutional rights are protected,” she added.

“Sikh community has shown tremendous resilience in face of challenges and I am confident that you will triumph and we will be there with you to triumph over the current challenges that we face together,” Rogers said in her remarks.

She was presented with a ‘siropa’ and a book on the Sikh scriptures

World

French government urges Russia to immediately release Navalny

He also informed Putin that France’s own analysis had confirmed Germany’s conclusion that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok “in contravention of international norms on using chemical weapons”.

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to urgently shed light on the “attempted murder” of opposition figure Alexei Navalny after French tests confirmed the use of the Novichok nerve agent, the Elysée said.

Macron told Putin in telephone talks that it is “imperative that all light be shed, without delay, on the circumstances of this attempted murder and who is responsible”, the French presidency said in a statement.

Read: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained after landing in Moscow

He also informed Putin that France’s own analysis had confirmed Germany’s conclusion that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok “in contravention of international norms on using chemical weapons”.

Putin, for his part, told Macron that it was “inappropriate” to make groundless accusations against Russia over the suspected poisoning of Navalny, the Kremlin said.

The Russian leader said his country wanted Germany to hand over medical test results taken from Navalny, according to a Kremlin readout of the call.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained after landing in Moscow

Russian prison service said he was detained for multiple violations of parole and terms of a suspended prison sentence.

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Alexei Navalny

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport after returning from Germany on Sunday, the prison service said.

The prison service said he was detained for multiple violations of parole and terms of a suspended prison sentence and would be held in custody until a court makes a decision in his case.

Mr. Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, had spent the previous five months in Germany recovering from a nerve agent attack that he blamed on the Kremlin.

Mr. Navalny decided to leave Berlin of his own free will and wasn’t under any apparent pressure to leave from Germany.

The prison service made the announcement after the flight carrying Mr. Navalny landed in the Russian capital, though at a different airport than had been scheduled. It was a possible attempt to outwit journalists and supporters who wanted to witness Mr. Navalny’s return.

The prison service last week issued a warrant for his arrest, saying he had violated the terms of suspended sentence he received on a 2014 conviction for embezzlement. The prison service has asked a Moscow court to turn Mr. Navalny’s 3 1/2-year suspended sentence into a real one.

After boarding the Moscow flight in Berlin on Sunday, Mr. Navalny said of the prospect of arrest: “It’s impossible; I’m an innocent man.”

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied a role in the opposition leader’s poisoning.

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Health

13 Israelis suffer facial paralysis post inoculation

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

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Jerusalem, Jan 17 : At least 13 Israelis suffered mild facial paralysis as a side effect after receiving the first Covid vaccine jabs, the Health Ministry said, adding that the count could be higher.

The officials have raised questions on whether or not to administer the second dose to these individuals the Health Ministry had recommended for the second dose, reported the Jerusalem Post.

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

“I can’t say it was completely gone afterwards, but other than that I had no other pains, except a minor pain where the injection was, but there was nothing beyond that.”

As for receiving the second dose, he admits he is undecided, but says that “it is important to note that this is something rare, and I don’t want people to avoid getting vaccinated – it’s important”.

“I recently came across, for example, someone vaccinated who was dealing with paralysis, and decided not to give her a second dose,” Galia Rahav, Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Medical Centre told Ynet.

“It is true that it can be given according to the Health Ministry, but I did not feel comfortable with it.”

She added that, “No one knows if this is connected to the vaccine or not. That’s why I would refrain from giving a second dose to someone who suffered from paralysis after the first dose.”

However, the Health Ministry has assured of the second dose only when the paralysis passes, Ynet reported.

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