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Trump hosts Australian PM for lavish WH state dinner

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Washington, Sep 21 US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania hosted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his wife, Jenny, to a lavish state dinner in the White House.

The dinner on Friday night was hosted outdoors in the iconic Rose Garden decorated with a carpet and circular and rectangular tables for the guests.

The menu included ravioli with Reggiano cream and sauteed vegetables. The second course had crunchy parsley, fennel ‘mousseline’ (savoury mousse), pumpkin and zucchini flowers, and garlic ‘rouille’ (sauce), reports Efe news.

Apple pie with calvados ice cream was served for dessert, paired with American sparkling wines.

According to Melania Trump’s office, the menu highlighted “the lush, late summer season across the vast lands of America”.

It said, “pays homage to Australia’s special blend of culinary adaptations from its various cultures, not unlike the diverse food traditions of the US”.

The US First Lady, known for her tasteful fashion choices, opted for a J. Mendel green foam gown for the evening with transparent sleeves and a high neck.

The ceremony included Marine band performances of the national anthem of both countries. The entertainment part also featured musical groups from the US Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Morrison is the second world leader to be hosted for a state dinner during the nearly three years of Trump administration. French President Emmanuel Macron was feted last year in April.

The day began with the traditional welcome ceremony for Morrison’s state visit in the South Garden of the White House.

“The Trump administration is proud to carry on the traditional military arrival ceremony, which has been part of our nation’s history for centuries,” Melania’s office noted,

Nearly 500 members of the US Armed Forces from the five military branches were present on the South Lawn for the “Review of the Troops”.

Those invited to attend the arrival ceremony included the President’s Cabinet, Members of Congress, military families, and guests of the Australian Embassy.

Trump and Morrison later held a meeting and a joint press conference.

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Boeing assisting with investigation in Indonesia flight crash

Indonesian authorities have downloaded the flight data recorder (FDR) belonging to the crashed Boeing 737-500, the country’s National Transportation Safety Committee said on Friday.

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Srivijayair Indonesia

San Francisco, Jan 16 : American airplane giant Boeing has said that its technical experts are assisting with investigation in last week’s Sriwijaya Air plane crash.

“Boeing technical experts are assisting with the investigation and we continue to offer any support needed during this difficult time,” the company said in a statement on Sunday.

“Our thoughts are with the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ-182 crew, passengers and their families,” Xinhua news agency quoted Boeing as saying.

The Boeing 737-500 passenger aircraft with 62 people aboard slammed into the Java Sea on January 9, minutes after take-off from Jakarta en route to Indonesian city of Pontianak in West Kalimantan province.

Indonesian authorities have downloaded the flight data recorder (FDR) belonging to the crashed Boeing 737-500, the country’s National Transportation Safety Committee said on Friday.

As many as 239 body bags containing human remains had been retrieved and 12 victims have been identified after forensic examinations in the police’s hospital as of Thursday.

The National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT) has retrieved data from the flight data recorder (FDR), but the search team is still looking for the aircraft’s CVR.

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Petition urges Australian government to allow int’l students’ return

“International students suffer terribly from the travel ban,” the petition said.

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Indian students in UK

Canberra, Jan 16 : Thousands of people have signed a petition calling for the Australian government to allow international students back into the country.

As of Saturday afternoon, the petition had garnered more than 5,700 signatures – the second-most of current position addressed to the lower house of Australian Parliament, the House of Representatives, reports Xinhua news agency.

Australia’s lucrative international education industry has been devastated by the government’s decision to close the country’s borders in March 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“International students suffer terribly from the travel ban,” the petition said.

“High school students cannot go to school. University students struggle with online lessons with bad quality. We are forced to defer because of invalid internships and in-person courses.

“Lots of students do not have online classes and they have to be exempted to enter Australia to schools as soon as possible,d.

“International students contribute millions of dollars to the Australian community and benefit Aussie society in various areas.

“International students are willing to quarantine, obey any rules and pay all the fees,” the petition added.

More than 60 international students arrived in the Northern Territory (NT) in December 2020 as part of a pilot program, becoming the first students to enter Australia in March.

However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison in November 2020 ruled out allowing students to enter Australia in large numbers until more than 35,000 citizens and residents stranded overseas were repatriated.

“There is a queue and Australians are at the front of the queue,” he said at the time.

The weekly cap on international arrivals to Australia was temporarily slashed by more than 2,000 per week earlier in January in response to fears over the mutant strain of Covid-19.

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Criminal charges for lawmakers who helped Capitol riot: Pelosi

“Given the events of January 6, the ties between these groups inside the Capitol Complex and the attacks on the Capitol need to be investigated,” the letter read.

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Nancy Pelosi US

Washington, Jan 16 : Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the US House of Representatives, has suggested that any lawmaker found to have assisted in the January 6 storming of the Capitol in Washington D.C. should face criminal charges.

“We must trust each other, respect the people who sent us here. We must also have the truth, and that will be looked into,” The Hill news website quoted Pelosi as saying to reporters on Friday in the Capitol.

“If, in fact, it is found that members of Congress were accomplices to this insurrection, if they aided and abetted the crime, there may have to be actions taken beyond the Congress, in terms of prosecution for that,” she added.

Pelosi’s remarks came as several Democrats have already expressed their suspicions that some Republican lawmakers might have helped the rioters ahead of the chaos.

On Wednesday, a group of Democrats wrote a letter to Capitol Police chief and the acting sergeants-at-arms in both chambers, urging probes into “suspicious behaviour and access” facilitated by some Republican lawmakers on January 5, the day before the attack on the Capitol, The Hill news website reported.

“Members of the group that attacked the Capitol seemed to have an unusually detailed knowledge of the layout of the Capitol Complex. The presence of these groups within the Capitol Complex was indeed suspicious.

“Given the events of January 6, the ties between these groups inside the Capitol Complex and the attacks on the Capitol need to be investigated,” the letter read.

The attack on the Capitol building on January 6 which took place while Congress was in session considering the ratification of the electoral college votes electing Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice President.

Earlier that day outside the Capitol, Trump addressed his supporters during which called for “patriots” to take a stand against the 2020 election results

Five people, including a police officer, were killed during the riots.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning about plans of armed protests from January 16 through January 20 at all the 50 state capitols, and from January 17 through January 20, the day of the inauguration, at the Capitol in Washington D.C.

At least 20,000 National Guard troops are expected to be deployed in Washington D.C.

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