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US to offer support for sustainable transport solutions for Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

Three Indian cities are set to get support from the US to unclog their traffic woes.  The US Department of Transportation has agreed to offer sustainable transport solutions for the cities of Allahabad, Ajmer and Visakhapatnam.

Bilateral cooperation in the field of transportation was discussed during a meeting between the visiting US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu here today.

The two sides focused on cooperation on the transportation elements of smart cities including efficient public transportation systems, Intelligent Transport Systems, Traffic Information and Control, multimodal integration and capacity building and training in the field of urban transportation.

Naidu gave a detailed account of initiatives being taken in the urban sector including building of 100 smart cities, New Urban Rejuvenation Mission for 500 cities, Housing For All, Swachh Bharat Mission etc, with the objective of enhancing the quality of lives of the people in urban areas and enabling cities to drive economic growth.

Foxx, who was earlier Mayor of Charlottee, North Carolina during 2009-13 stressed that efficient urban transportation based on proper planning and execution holds the key to making cities more livable. He said the US Government is focusing on promoting regional transport solutions. He described the initiative of building 100 smart cities in India as ‘very exciting’.

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New York Times Devotes Entire Front Page to COVID-19 Victims

The names of 1,000 of the COVID-19 victims were published on the front page of New York Times

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New York Times
The New York Times dedicated its front page to the names of COVID-19 victims. Pixabay

The New York Times has devoted its entire front page to the names of 1,000 of the COVID-19 victims as the US approaches nearly 100,000 virus deaths, the current highest in the world as suggested by COVID-19 Information & Resources.

The Sunday edition’s front page comprises a simple list of names and personal details taken from obituaries around the US, the BBC reported.

The headline is “US deaths near 100,000, an incalculable loss”, with a sub-heading that reads: “They were not simply names on a list. They were us.”

New York state, the epicentre of the US coronavirus pandemic, has recorded 385,000 confirmed cases, with 23,195 deaths, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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Newspaper article titled “A New Physics Based on Einstein” published in ”The New York Times” on November 25, 1919. Wikimedia Commons

Also Read: New York State Allows Gatherings of up to 10 People

New York City accounts for 197,000 infections and 16,149 fatalities.

As of Sunday, the US registered the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 1,622,670 and 97,087, respectively. (IANS)

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US White House Releases Report Announcing Onset of Cold War With China

US has formally announced the onset of Cold War with China

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US has officially announced Cold war with China. Wikimedia Commons

By Aarti Tikoo Singh

With its new vision document on China, the US has formally announced the onset of its Cold War with the Asian giant, accusing it of exploiting rule-based world order and re-shaping international system in favour of Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ideology and interests.

Just short of calling it Cold War, the US in its latest report titled, ‘United States Strategic Approach to the People’s Republic of China’, released by the White House, has announced that it is “responding to the CCP’s direct challenge by acknowledginga that the two major powers are in a “strategic competition and protecting” their “interests appropriately”.

Until now, the US policy towards the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the report said, was “largely premised on a hope that deepening engagement would spur fundamental economic and political opening” in China and make it a “responsible global stakeholder, with a more open society”.

However, after over 40 years, “it has become evident that this approach underestimated the will of the CCP to constrain the scope of economic and political reform”.

Over the past two decades, reforms have slowed, stalled, or reversed, the report said.

“The PRC’s rapid economic development and increased engagement with the world did not lead to convergence with the citizen-centric, free and open order as the US had hoped. The CCP has chosen instead to exploit the free and open rules- based order and attempt to reshape the international system in its favour.”

Beijing openly acknowledges that it seeks to transform the international order to align with CCP interests and ideology, the US said. “The CCP’s expanding use of economic, political, and military power to compel acquiescence from nation states harms vital American interests and undermines the sovereignty and dignity of countries and individuals around the world.”

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Beijing openly acknowledges that it seeks to transform the international order to align with CCP interests and ideology, the US said. Pixabay

The White House pointed out that Beijing in its neighborhood, engages “in provocative and coercive military and paramilitary activities in the Yellow Sea, the East and South China Seas, the Taiwan Strait, and Sino-Indian border areas”.

Just a day ago, US diplomat and acting assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, Alice Wells had called out the CCP regime for ratcheting up tensions with India along its borders. Chinese soldiers in the last few months has engaged in several violent faceoffs with Indian soldiers in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Ladakh over boundary issues.

Announcing its approach, the US report said that it is “working in concert with mutually aligned partnersa”Southeast Asian nations, Japan, India, Australia, Republic of Korea and Taiwan on their outlook on the free, open and secure Indo-Pacific region”.

Guided by a return to principled realism, the report said thatA given the strategic choices China’s leadership is making, “the United States now acknowledges and accepts the relationship with the PRC as the CCP has always framed it internally: one of great power competition”.

The White House made it clear that it is not interested in effecting any change in China’s domestic governance model but at the same time said that it won’t make “concessions to the CCP’s narratives of exceptionalism and victimhood” .

The US policies, the report said, are designed to protect its interests and empower its institutions to withstand the CCP’s malign behaviour and collateral damage from the PRC’s internal governance problems.

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The White House made it clear that it is not interested in effecting any change in China’s domestic governance model. Wikimedia Commons

Accusing the CCP of running propaganda and false narratives, the White House declared that it will continue to challenge Beijing’s attempts at false equivalency between rule-of-law and rule- by-law; counterterrorism and oppression; representative governance and autocracy; and market-based competition and state-directed mercantilism.

The US will not accommodate Beijing’s actions that weaken a free, open, and rules-based international order, the report said, adding that it will continue to refute the CCP’s narrative that the the US is in strategic retreat.

Also Read: Smartly Manage Your Sweet Cravings Amid the Lockdown

Using the Cold War terminology, the White House announced that it will work with its robust network of allies and like- minded partners to resist attacks on shared norms and values, within their own governance institutions, around the world, and in international organizations.

The US government said it does not cater to CCP’s demands to create a proper “atmosphere” or “conditions” for dialogue because it sees no value in engaging with Beijing for symbolism and pageantry.

“We instead demand tangible results and constructive outcomes. We acknowledge and respond in kind to Beijing’s transactional approach with timely incentives and costs, or credible threats thereof. When quiet diplomacy proves futile, the United States will increase public pressure on the PRC government and take action to protect United States interests by leveraging proportional costs when necessary,” the report said. (IANS)

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US CFTC Warns About Volatile Crude Oil Contracts

US Futures regulator cautions on volatile crude oil contracts

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CFTC has warned market participants about the negative pricing of crude oil. Pixabay

According to International News, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has warned market participants to be prepared that certain commodity contracts may see possibly negative pricing and extreme volatility in the light the negative pricing of crude oil seen last month.

The CFTC has issued an advisory on risk management and market integrity under the current market conditions in the wake of the unusually high volatility and negative pricing experienced in the May 2020 West Texas Intermediate (WTI) light sweet crude oil futures contract on April 20 (the penultimate day of trading and expiration of the contract).

The Commission has emphasised that the subject of this advisory applies equally to trading in other commodities and the registrants should remain vigilant.

The CFTC
The CFTC has issued an advisory on risk management and market integrity under the current market conditions in the wake of the unusually high volatility and negative pricing. Pixabay

The CFTA said that the onset of the Covid 19 pandemic has adversely affected the economies of the US and other major countries.

Read More: Private Companies Now Allowed to Take Part in Planetary Exploration: Finance Minister

Global markets, including those regulated by the CFTC, have been affected by both fundamental and global factors this year as economies and industries have slowed down dramatically or shut down completely, resulting in unprecedented market impacts.

This economic downturn has coincided with substantially increased market volatility in key agricultural, energy and financial sectors, including the futures and options on futures markets regulated by the Commission, it said.

The impact of fundamental and technical factors has been particularly acute for contracts that call for physical delivery of the underlying commodity as demonstrated by the unprecedented price movements in certain commodities, the Commission said. (IANS)