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U.S. President-elect Joe Biden has begun naming members of his new Cabinet, as well as other top-level administration officials. Biden has pledged to choose a Cabinet that reflects the diversity of the American population. His selections will be scrutinized by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and must win confirmation in a narrowly controlled Senate, whose majority party will be determined by two Georgia Senate runoffs in January. Here are Biden’s cabinet members selections so far.
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Secretary of State
Blinken was deputy secretary of state during the Obama administration and has close ties with Biden. A graduate of Harvard University and Columbia Law School, Blinken, 58, has long served in foreign policy positions during Democratic administrations, including as a member of the National Security Council during the Clinton administration and deputy national security adviser during the Obama administration. He was also staff director for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when Biden was chair of the panel, and later was then-Vice President Biden’s national security adviser.
Secretary of Homeland Security
Mayorkas is a former deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and will be the first Latino and immigrant nominated to head the agency. Born in Havana, Cuba, Mayorkas, 60, came to the United States as a political refugee with his family when he was a child. Following a career as a lawyer, he joined the Obama administration in 2009 as director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, where he implemented the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, granting protection to immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.
United Nations Ambassador
Thomas-Greenfield is a 35-year veteran of the U.S. Foreign Service who has served on four continents. She was Obama’s top diplomat on Africa from 2013 to 2017, leading U.S. policy in sub-Saharan Africa during the West African Ebola outbreak. After leaving the State Department, Thomas-Greenfield took a senior leadership position at former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s global strategy company. Biden plans to elevate the position of U.N. ambassador to Cabinet-level.
Special Envoy for Climate
Kerry is a prominent and longtime figure in the Democratic Party — a former secretary of state in the Obama administration; a former senator from Massachusetts for more than 25 years; and the Democratic presidential nominee in 2004. The special envoy for climate is not a Cabinet position, but Kerry will sit on the National Security Council, the first time the NSC will include an official dedicated to climate change. Kerry tweeted after the announcement of his selection, “America will soon have a government that treats the climate crisis as the urgent national security threat it is.”
Director of National Intelligence
Haines is a former deputy director of the CIA and a former deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration. She will be the first woman nominated to lead the U.S. intelligence community. Haines, 51, is a lawyer and has previously worked with Biden while serving on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations as deputy chief counsel when Biden was the committee’s chairman. After leaving the Obama administration in 2017, she held several posts at Columbia University.
National Security Adviser
Cabinet Member Sullivan was Biden’s national security adviser during the Obama administration. He was also deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. At age 43, Sullivan will be one of the youngest people to serve in that role in decades, according to the Biden transition team. (VOA)
India has Lost a Distinguished Leader, Outstanding Parliamentarian: Cabinet on Pranab Mukherjee’s demise
The Union Cabinet on Tuesday condoled the sad demise of former President Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away here at the Army’s Research and Referral Hospital during treatment on Monday.
The Cabinet observed silence for two minutes in his memory.
Mukherjee had gone into septic shock due to his lung infection and was hospitalised on August 10 in a critical condition.
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The Cabinet later passed a resolution, saying: “In his (Pranab Mukherjee) passing away, the country has lost a distinguished leader and an outstanding parliamentarian”.
Mukherjee, the 13th President of India, was a man of unparalleled experience in governance who served as the Union Foreign, Defence, Commerce and Finance Minister, the Cabinet said.
“Mukherjee has left his imprint on our national life. In his death, the country has lost a distinguished national leader, accomplished Parliamentarian and a tall statesman.”
The Cabinet recorded its deep appreciation of the services of Mukherjee to the nation and extended its heartfelt condolences to the members of his bereaved family on behalf of the Government and the entire nation.
Born on December 11, 1935 in the small village of Mirati in Birbhum District of West Bengal, Mukherjee acquired a Master’s degree in History and Political Science as well as a degree in Law from the University of Kolkata.
Mukherjee then embarked on his professional life as a college teacher and journalist. Inspired by his father’s contribution to the national movement, Mukherjee started his full time public life following his election to the Rajya Sabha in 1969.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: रामविलास पासवान ने बताया, मुखर्जी को राष्ट्रपति बनने में राजग ने क्यों दिया था समर्थन
Mukherjee served as Deputy Minister, Industry; Shipping and Transport, Steel and Industry and Minister of State for Finance during 1973-75. He assumed office as the Finance Minister of India for the first time in 1982 and was Leader of the House in the Rajya Sabha from 1980 to 1985. He became Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission from 1991 to 1996; concurrently Minister for Commerce from 1993 to 1995 and Minister of External Affairs from 1995 to 1996; Minister of Defence from 2004 to 2006.
He again served as the Minister of External Affairs from 2006 to 2009 and Minister of Finance from 2009 to 2012. He was Leader of the House in the Lok Sabha from 2004 to 2012.
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Mukherjee assumed office of the President of India on July 25, 2012 and served his full term of five years. As President, Mukherjee lent dignity to the high office and brought to bear his scholarly and humanitarian outlook on national and international affairs.
A prolific reader, Mukherjee has authored several books on the Indian Economy and on Nation Building. The many awards and honours conferred on him include the Best Parliamentarian Award in 1997, Padma Vibhushan in 2008 and India’s highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 2019. (IANS)
The Delhi on all categories of liquor from June 10.
The decision was taken in a Cabinet meeting.
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However, the Cabinet has decided to “increase the rate of VAT from 20 to 25 per cent” on all categories of liquor sold in the national capital.
The proposal was forwarded by Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia.
The government from May 5 imposed a ‘Special corona fee’ on the alcohol sale which was 70 per cent of the MRP. (IANS)
Cabinet Approves MoU between India and Switzerland on Technical Cooperations in Field of Climate Change
Concerned over environmental degradation, the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday gave its ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Switzerland on technical cooperations in the field of climate change.
The MoU was signed in Switzerland on September 13.
The Cabinet said that environmental degradation afftects the socially and economically disadvantaged more heavily than the better of sections of the society.
“Any effort at thwarting environmental degradation would lead to environmental equity in the sense of availability of sound environmental resources to all sections of the society,” it said.
The MoU will enable the establishment and promotion of closer and long-term cooperation between India and Switzerland in the field of environmental protection and management of natural resources on the basis of equity, reciprocity and mutual benefits, taking into account the applicable laws and legal provisions in each country.
It will enhance public accountability by way of exchange of information and technology between the two countries.
Further, it is expected to bring in the latest technologies and best practices suited for bringing about better environment protection, conservation, management of climate change and wildlife protection and conservation.
India and Switzerland have agreed upon on technical cooperation for capacity building on climate change and sustainable water management, forest management, development of mountainous regions and environmentally sustainable and resilient urban development. (IANS)