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Obama believes Trump will not be elected




U.S. President Barack Obama believes Republican White House hopeful Donald Trump would not be elected as his successor as being a President is tougher than hosting a reality show and Americans are too “sensible” to elect him.Obama did not limit his criticism to the billionaire real estate tycoon, hitting out at “troubling” statements from the entire GOP field of candidates seeking to replace him.

“I continue to believe Mr Trump will not be President. And the reason is because I have a lot of faith in the American people, and I think they recognise that being President is a serious job,” Mr. Obama told reporters after the first ever US-ASEAN Summit in Sunnylands, California. “It’s not hosting a talk show or a reality show. It’s not promotion. It’s not marketing,” he said.

The 69-year-old billionaire real estate tycoon fired back, saying Mr. Obama was lucky that he did not run for office in 2012. “You’re lucky I didn’t run last time when Romney ran because you would have been a one-term president,” Mr. Trump said at a campaign rally in South Carolina. Mr. Obama also criticised other Republican candidates.

He said he thinks foreign observers are troubled by some of the rhetoric that’s been taking place in these Republican primaries and Republican debates. “I don’t think it’s restricted, by the way, to Mr. Trump. I find it interesting that everybody is focused on Trump, primarily just because he says in more interesting ways what the other candidates are saying, as well,” he noted. “He may up the ante in anti-Muslim sentiment, but if you look at what the other Republican candidates have said, that’s pretty troubling, too,” Mr. Obama said.

The President said Mr. Trump was not the only Republican who raised concerns, but he singled out the real estate mogul as someone who would be singularly unprepared for the responsibilities of the Oval Office.

In an apparent reference to another Republican presidential aspirant Marco Rubio, the Senator from Florida, Mr. Obama said there is a candidate who sponsored a bill, which he supported, to finally solve the immigration problem, and he’s running away from it as fast as he can.

Observing that all Republican candidates are denying climate change, Mr. Obama said he this that’s troubling to the international community, since the science is unequivocal.

Other countries around the world, they kind of count on the United States being on the side of science and reason and common sense, because they know that if the U.S. does not act on big problems in smart ways, nobody will, Mr. Obama said.

“But this is not just Mr. Trump. Look at the statements that are being made by the other candidates. There is not a single candidate in the Republican primary that thinks we should do anything about climate change; that thinks it’s serious. Well, that’s a problem,” said the U.S. President.

Being in the office, he said, is not a matter of pandering and doing whatever will get one in the news on a given day. “Sometimes it requires you making hard decisions even when people don’t like it, and doing things that are unpopular, and standing up for people who are vulnerable but don’t have some powerful political constituency,” he said.

However, Mr. Trump continued to lead in the Republican polls in South Carolina, where the primary is scheduled for Saturday.

In an American Research Group (ARG) poll conducted this week, Mr. Trump was leading by 33 per cent followed by Mr. Rubio at 16 per cent. CNN/ORC in its polls said Mr. Trump had support of 38 per cent, while Ted Cruz was at the second spot with 16 points. In South Carolina, Mr. Trump was highly critical of Mr. Obama’s record in office.

Mr. Trump claimed Mr. Obama has done a “lousy” job on spending, national defence, healthcare and immigration. “You look at our budgets, our spending, we can’t beat ISIS, Obamacare is terrible — we’re going to terminate it — absolutely terminate and replace it,” he said.

“You look at everything. Our borders are like Swiss cheese. This man has done such a horrible job, he’s set us back so far. For him to say that is actually a great compliment, if you want to know the truth,” Mr. Trump said.


Russian doctor who met Putin last week diagnosed with coronavirus

The Kremlin said that Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus and that “everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reported.



Russian Doctor with Putin

MOSCOW : A doctor who gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a tour of Moscow’s main coronavirus hospital last week said on Tuesday he had himself been diagnosed with the virus.

Putin visited the Kommunarka hospital last Tuesday where he chatted to the doctor, Denis Protsenko. Neither man was wearing protective equipment during their conversation, TV footage from the visit showed.

Protsenko, writing on Facebook said: “Yes, I have tested positive for coronavirus, but I feel pretty good. I’ve isolated myself in my office. I think the immunity I’ve developed this month is doing its job.”

The Kremlin said that Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus and that “everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reported.

It has previously said that Putin is being protected from viruses and other illnesses “around the clock”.

Putin donned a hazmat suit and a respirator during his visit to the hospital last week when dropping in on patients. But he did not have his protective gear on during a meeting with Protsenko, with whom he was photographed shaking hands.

The Kremlin reported a coronavirus case in Putin’s administration on Friday, but said the person in question had not come into contact with the president and that all measures were being taken to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday granted the government powers to declare a national emergency over the coronavirus, and approved penalties for violations of lockdown rules including, in extreme cases, jail terms of up to seven years.

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Singapore court upholds gay sex ban




Judiciary Court

Singapore, March 31 (IANS) A Singapore court has dismissed a bid to overturn a law that criminalises gay sex, dealing a blow to the city-states LGBT movement, a media report said.

The high court on Monday rejected appeals by three gay men who had argued the colonial-era law was unconstitutional, the BBC said in the report. The presiding judge said the law was “important in reflecting public sentiment and beliefs” in Singapore.

Under Section 377A, men found guilty of homosexual acts in public or private can be jailed for up to two years.

Speaking outside court, a lawyer for one of the complainants, M Ravi, said he was “very disappointed” by the ruling.

“It’s shocking to the conscience and it is so arbitrary,” the BBC quoted the lawyer as saying. The legal challenges were the latest attempts to repeal Section 377A, after an effort by a gay couple in 2014 was rejected by the Court of Appeal.

Singapore’s authorities rarely enforce Section 377A, first introduced in 1938 by British colonial rulers. But the city-state’s leaders have refused to remove it, saying it reflects the conservative mores of the city state’s society, the BBC reported.

In Monday’s judgement, the court echoed that sentiment, saying non-enforcement of the law against consensual gay sex in private did not render it redundant.

The court concluded the law was constitutional because it did not violate articles regarding equality and freedom of speech.
Currently 70 countries criminalise same-sex relations.

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Bangladesh might extend shutdown of office




Sheikh Hasina
File Photo

New Delhi : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday signalled that the shutdown of offices and workplaces due to the coronavirus pandemic may be extended to April 9.

Hasina made the remark while handing out instructions on the prevention of the novel coronavirus outbreak to field-level officers across Bangladesh via video-conference from her official residence here, reports bdnews24.

“We had declared a 10-day holiday. But it might be extended by a few more days,” Hasina said. Bangladesh announced the closure of all government and private offices and courts from March 26 to April 4 amid mounting fears.
However, the government said the shutdown would not affect emergency services such as hospitals and the fire service.

Public transport would also operate on a limited scale during the holidays, it added. On Monday, the government’s disease control agency has confirmed one more case of the coronavirus infection, taking the total number of infections to 49, bdnews24 reported. The overall death toll stood at five, the agency added.

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