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US government shuts down

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Washington, Jan 20: The US government began shutting down on Saturday, putting thousands of workers on unpaid leave, after the Senate failed to pass a stopgap budget.

The shutdown marked the first anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, media reports said.

It is the first shutdown in US history to happen while the same party controls both chambers of Congress and the White House, the BBC reported.

Despite last minute bipartisan meetings, the bill to fund the government until February 16, did not receive the required 60 votes.

The budget proposal presented by the Republicans on Friday night got more votes in favour (50) than against (48), but they were insufficient to approve funds. Four Republicans voted against the bill while five Democrats broke rank to support it.

Earlier on Thursday night, the House of Representatives voted 230-197 to extend funding until February.

Minutes before the midnight deadline expired, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed Senate Democrats on Twitter for the “Schumer Shutdown”, the New York Times report said. (Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Senate, is seen as the prime opponent to the stopgap budget).

“Tonight, they put politics over our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country’s ability to serve all Americans,” Sanders said.

“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands.

“This is the behaviour of obstructionist losers, not legislators,” she added.

Sanders said “the President and his administration will fight for and protect” the American people during the “politically manufactured” shutdown.

The rejection of the funding bill by the Senate meant many government services would close down until the budget was agreed upon.

The last US shutdown was in 2013 during the Barrack Obama administration. It lasted for 16 days when many federal employees were forced to take leave of absence.

On Saturday, Trump wrote on Twitter: “Not looking good for our great Military or Safety and Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy.”

According to a report in The Guardian, federal law requires agencies to shut down if Congress has not appropriated money to fund them.

In previous shutdowns, services deemed “essential”, such as the work of the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI, have continued.

IANS

India

India asks Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on bank note

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

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Anurag Srivastava

New Delhi, Oct 30: India has asked Saudi Arabia to take corrective steps on the misrepresentation of its territorial boundaries on a new bank note.

The world map on the new 20 Riyal banknote, released to mark Saudi Arabia’s presidency of the G20 grouping, does not feature Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as part of India.

MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India has asked Saudi Arabia to take “urgent corrective steps” in the matter, and emphasized that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh are integral parts of the country.

“We have seen the banknote referred by you which gives an incorrect depiction of India’s external territorial boundaries. The note was issued by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority on October 24 to mark the occasion of Saudi presidency of the G20,” the MEA spokesperson said.

“We have conveyed our serious concern to Saudi Arabia, both through their Ambassador in New Delhi as well as in Riyadh, for this gross misrepresentation of India’s external territorial boundaries on an official and legal banknote of Saudi Arabia and asked Saudi Arabia to take urgent corrective steps in this regard,” Srivastava said.

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Croatia announces new measures amid rise in Covid cases

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Zagreb, Oct 28 Amid surge in Covid-19 cases, Croatia’s National Civil Protection Headquarters has announced new measures.

The measures include mandatory physical distancing, a ban on all public events with more than 50 people, the new limit of the number of people attending weddings and funerals and the provision that public events and gatherings can last up to 10 p.m. while weddings until midnight, Xinhua news agency reported.

Sports competitions can be held without spectators, according to the measures, which banned the sales of alcoholic beverages from midnight to 6 a.m.

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Tech

Rawalpindi cops banned from posting on TikTok

Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday

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Police officers in Rawalpindi have been banned from posting on the short video-making app, TikTok, after a video went viral, the media reported on Tuesday.

The police department of the Pakistan twin city has warned that if a video of any officer goes viral on social media, irrespective of whether it is TikTok, Facebook or YouTube, strict departmental action will be taken, The Express Tribune reported.

The new rules were communicated on Monday in a letter issued by Rawalpindi CPO Ahsan Younas to divisional SPs, circle officers and station house officers.

The letter stated that posting videos on social media and going viral presents a negative image of the department.

After the video went viral, at least one officer has been suspended.

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