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Kamala Harris made history as the first Indian-American and the first woman to be elected as the Vice President of the US after the Electoral College affirmed her victory and that of Joe Biden as President in the bitterly fought election for the nation’s leadership.
The Electoral College officially sealed their election on Monday giving voice to the 81 million voters who cast their ballots for the Democratic party team, while President Donald Trump continued to question the legality of the November 3 election asserting that there was widespread fraud.
After the Electoral College Biden completed its voting, Biden declared: “In this battle for the soul of America, democracy prevailed. We the people voted. Faith in our institutions held. The integrity of our elections remains intact.”
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The way was cleared for the Electoral College to vote after the Supreme Court on December 11 rejected a lawsuit from Texas in a bid to overturn the election results in four battleground states of Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
Meanwhile, the Wisconsin State Supreme Court on Monday dismissed another case brought by Trump. Those were the latest legal challenges to the election, especially in the so-called swing states where neither party has an established lead, that the Republicans and Trump had lost.
The members of the Electoral College met in state legislatures across the country at different times to vote and the final results, 306 for Biden and 232 for Trump, reflected the election’s outcome. A peculiarity of the US is that certain media declare the election results before they are officially done, even while the counting still on, and politicians generally accept the verdict.
However, Trump had refused to accept the media reckoning but will now have to abide by the electoral college verdict with little recourse. In the US political system, the presidential elections are held indirectly with the citizens voting for the 538 members of the Electoral College distributed among states based on their size.
These electors formally elect the President and Vice President on separate ballots. Former President Bill Clinton and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton were among the electors in New York. The next stage is a meeting of the newly elected Congress on January 6 to formally count the electoral votes and certify the election.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: व्हाइट हाउस के कर्मियों का टीकाकरण सबसे पहले नहीं : डोनाल्ड ट्रंप
Members of Congress can object to the election result, as some Democrats did in 2016 questioning the legitimacy of Trump’s election because they claimed that he had won through Russian interference.
While objections from some Republicans to Biden’s election is expected, Congress is unlikely to sustain them as many Republicans in the Senate have said that they have accepted the former Vice President’s victory.
While Trump has not conceded the election to Biden and continues to challenge the results, he had already agreed to cooperate with Biden’s transition team dropping his earlier objections to providing it access to information and facilities for smoothly taking over from him on January 20.
He has also tacitly admitted defeat last month in a tweet, “he won because the election was rigged”, but quickly went back on it and resumed his challenges. Trump’s bluster in continuing to question the Biden-Harris victory appears to be a payback for the Democrat’s campaign to delegitimize his victory in 2016 by claiming that he had won with Russian collaboration.
Now Biden denounced Trump’s attempt to delegitimize the Democratic win, accusing him of taking a “position that refused to respect the will of the people, refused to respect the rule of law and refused to honor our Constitution”.
A Gallup opinion poll found that 83 percent of Republicans did not think that reports about Biden winning were “accurate”. In the face of the massive distrust from the Republicans, Biden tried to appeal to them, saying: “Now it is time to turn the page as we’ve done throughout our history. To unite. To heal.
“As I said through this campaign, I will be a president for all Americans. I will work just as hard for those of you who didn’t vote for me, as I will for those who did.” Harris, whose mother Shyamala is from India and her father Donald Harris is a Jamaican of African descent, will also be the first African-American Vice President.
“I may be the first, but I will not be the last. It’s on those of us leading the way to leave the door more open than it was when we walked in,” she tweeted on Sunday about her string of firsts. There have been two unsuccessful women candidates for Vice President — Democrat Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008. The 78-year-old Biden will be the oldest person to become President and also the second Catholic after John F. Kennedy. (IANS)
Actor and dancer Susovan Sonu Roy began his career as a western dancer. Bengali Actor Susovan Sonu Roy was a part of the Star Jalsha channel's serial named "Kora Pakhi". He played a negative role in the serial for several months, along with lead actress Parno Mitra. He acted in the Star Jalsha channel's serial "Mohor", and through Mohor, he got "Kora Pakhi", which is the same production house project.
Susovan Sonu Roy debuted with the serial "Anandamoyee Maa", on the Aakash Aath channel. He has also acted in Zee Bangla channel's serial "Jamuna Dhaki," in which he played the role of a neighbour. After that, Susovan Sonu Roy acted in the Star Jalsha channel's serial named "Titli" in which he played a vital role. He has also starred in a serial called "Khelaghor.". People recognised him as an actor after being cast in so many serials.
The Kolkata Actor Susovan Sonu Roy dared to leave his job to follow his dreams in the field of acting. After graduation, he auditioned for many Mumbai based projects, and later on, he auditioned for his hometown, i.e., Kolkata based projects and did workshops under the production house of renowned Directors and Producers for two years (2016 -2018).
A two-member team of Mugdha Dubey and Mahyah Binti Idris from NewsGram interviewed Bengali actor Susovan Sonu Roy, a budding actor and western dancer, about his career, struggle and various issues in the entertainment industry on Saturday.
The Kolkata Actor Susovan Sonu Roy dared to leave his job to follow his dreams in the field of acting. | NewsGram
Readout excerpts from the interview with Susovan Sonu Roy.
Mahyah Binti Idris: Before we begin with this interview, would you like to tell us something about yourself?
SS Roy: So, basically, I am an actor from Kolkata, and I have worked in Bengali TV Serials, and I started my career in the entertainment industry as a western dancer. When I was just five years old, I lost my father in a car accident. Despite my difficult upbringing, my mother never wavered in her commitment of achieving the goals I set for myself.
Mahyah Binti Idris: Despite your mother's wishes, what was the inspiration that made you decide to pursue a career in acting/dancing instead of singing?
SS Roy: I am a firm believer of the fact that inspiration comes from within, and positivity is essential. Things go your way when you're upbeat and optimistic. I enjoy the work I do, and once I started my career in the entertainment industry, there was no turning back, I kept acquiring one project after another. I have always wanted to be an actor, and I am happy that I found my inspiration from within.
Mahyah Binti Idris: You played a negative character in 'Kora Pakhi' for several months. What kind of impact did it have on your professional life after opting for such a role?
SS Roy: I am pretty comfortable in opting for any kind of role I am offered because I believe acting is acting, whether it is a big role, a minor role, a negative or a positive role. I take inspiration from the likes of Shahrukh Khan, Akshay Kumar, Mithun Chakraborty and John Abraham.
Mahyah Binti Idris: Nowadays, cyberbullying and trolling are getting more frequent. How do you handle trolls or deal with criticism?
SS Roy: Trolls exist just to cause others distress. I ignore all the negativity and don't let it affect me in any way. If anyone lets the negative comments get into their head, they will find it difficult to do anything, as negativity hinders pursuing dreams.
Mahyah Binti Idris: What, in your opinion, is more crucial to long-term success in the field of acting, additional projects or formal training?
SS Roy: Indeed, training about the various techniques used in acting is essential, and once you get into the role, everything comes out naturally but that doesn’t mean one should stop training to become better day by day, training and trying to improve your skills is very important.
Mahyah Binti Idris: Where do you see yourself in a few years, and what projects do you have on your bucket list?
SS Roy: I auditioned for a movie that will feature Kajal Aggarwal in the lead. My ultimate goal is to crack a role in Bollywood. I want to gain as much experience as possible in serials and movies.
Mugdha Dubey: What is the difference in the challenges one faces while struggling to gain a role in regional cinema and Bollywood?
SS Roy: The difference in struggle is huge; it is pretty challenging to get a role in Bollywood. But I believe that experience matters and gives you an edge over others because you are already aware of some techniques used in acting and won't commit the mistakes a fresher does. I got the chance to audition for a movie with the lead as Kajal Agarwal because of my experience.
Mugdha Dubey: Have you ever witnessed nepotism firsthand, or did you ever feel that nepotism is prevalent in the Kolkata film industry?
SS Roy: Nothing can stop you if you put in the effort and stay true to your ambitions. But, one cannot ignore the fact that nepotism is everywhere, be it Bollywood or Tollywood. The acquaintances of artists get easily recognized but that shouldn’t demotivate aspiring actors because your hard work matters and if you keep working hard in the right direction, you will surely get recognized.
Mugdha Dubey: What message or tips would you like to convey to today's youngsters and those who aspire to become actors?
SS Roy: I would encourage the young generation to stand up for what they believe in and make the world a better place for future generations by following your passions and utilizing your inborn talents and abilities. If they aspire to become actors, I would like to tell them that mere luck will not be sufficient to become an actor; the struggle is real. You need to work very hard and train yourself to become an actor. Your success and failure depend on what you do, and the type of content you can produce, and one should always try to improve themselves.
(Keywords: Susovan Sonu Roy, Tollywood, bollywood news, actor, dancer, nepotism, struggle, kolkata, bengali)
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NASA will pay up to $1 million to people who can come up with innovative and sustainable food production ideas to feed astronauts in space, as the US space agency prepares to send astronauts further into the cosmos than ever before. Giving future explorers the technology to produce nutritious, tasty, and satisfying meals on long-duration space missions will give them the energy required to uncover the great unknown. In coordination with the Canadian Space Agency, NASA has launched the 'Deep Space Food Challenge' that calls on teams to design, build, and demonstrate prototypes of food production technologies that provide tangible nutritional products -- or food.
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"Feeding astronauts over long periods within the constraints of space travel will require innovative solutions," said Jim Reuter, associate administrator for NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington, DC. "Pushing the boundaries of food technology will keep future explorers healthy and could even help feed people here at home," he said in a statement. Over time, food loses its nutritional value. That means for a multi-year mission to Mars, bringing along pre-packaged food will not meet all the needs for maintaining astronaut health.
Innovative food production technology that produces safe, acceptable, palatable, nutritious food products. |UnsplashUnsplash
In October 2021, Phase 1 of the challenge culminated as NASA awarded 18 teams a total of $450,000 for their concepts for innovative food production technology that produces safe, acceptable, palatable, nutritious food products. NASA now invites both new and existing teams to enter Phase 2 for a prize purse up to $1 million. "Everything needed to store, prepare and deliver food to the crew, including production, processing, transport, consumption, and disposal of waste should be considered," said NASA. Proposed technologies such as plant growth systems, manufactured food products, and ready-to-eat solutions combined could provide the future crews with a variety of options that would provide the needed daily nutrition, it added. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : NASA, innovative, food, healthy, idea, astronaut, USA, tasty, technology, space, travel, explorer, health, nutrition, prize, solution, variety.)
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People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation, according to a new study. The study found that people with moderate or greater symptoms of depression were more likely to believe at least 1 of 4 false statements about Covid-19 vaccines.
Those who believed the statements to be true were half as likely to be vaccinated, the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, indicated. 'It is clear the pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the mental health of Americans, especially young people," said researcher Katherine Ognyanova from Rutgers University, the US.
People suffering from depression are more likely to believe vaccine-related misinformation. | Unsplash
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, approximately one-quarter of adults in the US have consistently reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. The findings suggest that people suffering from depression may be at a higher risk of Covid-19, highlighting the need to address mental health disorders.
For the study, the team used data from the research group The Covid States Project, which conducted surveys approximately once every six weeks since April 2020. The researchers analysed data from 15,464 adults in the US and the participants were asked to rate vaccine-related misinformation as accurate (statement is true), inaccurate (statement is not true) or not sure.
Approximately one-quarter of adults in US reported moderate or greater depressive symptoms during the Covid-19 pandemic. | Unsplash
The four statements of misinformation included "The Covid-19 vaccines will alter people's DNA", "The vaccines contain microchips that could track people", "The vaccines contain the lung tissue of aborted fetuses", and "The -19 vaccines can cause infertility, making it more difficult to get pregnant". The survey participants completed a health questionnaire to measure major depressive symptoms over two weeks. (IANS/ MBI)
(Keywords: depression, vaccine, misinformation, patients, health questionnaire, study)