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News in Short

News in Short - 16-December-2020

US Attorney General William Barr resigns

Date: 16 December 2020 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • US Attorney General William Barr, the nation's top law enforcement official, has resigned on the day President Donald Trump formally lost the election.
  • Barr gave a nine-day notice in his resignation letter from the cabinet post with powers that include those equivalent to a home minister in India.
  • His resignation had been rumoured for several days and finally happened after the electoral college formally elected Joe Biden as the next president following the failure of Trump's legal challenges to the election alleging widespread fraud.

US imposes CAATSA sanctions on Turkey

Date: 16 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The U.S. has imposed sanctions on NATO-ally Turkey for its purchase of Russia’s S-400 missile defence system.
  • The issue of sanctions under Section 231 of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) for purchase of Russian arms is of particular interest to New Delhi, which is also in the process of buying the S-400 from Moscow.
  • Sanctions were imposed on Turkey’s main defence procurement agency the Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB) for knowingly engaging in a significant transaction with Rosoboronexport (ROE), Russia’s main arms export entity.
  • These SSB sanctions comprise of a ban on granting specific U.S. export licenses and authorisations for any goods or technology, a ban on loans or credits by U.S.

US electoral college confirms Joe Biden’s victory in polls

Date: 16 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Joe Biden was confirmed as the next US president as the Electoral College formalized his victory over Donald Trump.
  • The 200-plus-year-old Electoral College procedure is merely a formality in confirming the will of the people expressed at the polls, but the process carried added significance given the turbulence of last month's election and Trump's refusal to acknowledge his own defeat.
  • Ahead of Biden's inauguration one major formality remains, when Congress, presided over by Vice President Mike Pence, opens up and counts the electoral votes on January 6.

Non-Gulf NRI likely to be first to get postal voting rights

Date: 16 December 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • The Election Commission’s (EC) proposal to grant postal voting rights to Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) may get implemented first for voters based in the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia, Germany, France and South Africa.
  • For now, Gulf countries are not part of the proposed pilot given the reservations earlier expressed by the ministry over seeking permission in non-democratic nations to facilitate postal voting for India citizens living there.
  • The EC is learned to have proposed that a designated officer in the Indian mission download the ballot paper on the voter’s behalf and hand it over.
  • The overseas elector can then mark her preference at the mission, get the self-declaration form attested by the designated officers and hand back the ballot paper and declaration form in a sealed envelope to the mission, which will then dispatch all the envelopes to the election officer concerned.

Former Liverpool and France coach Gerard Houllier passes away

Date: 16 December 2020 Tags: Obituaries
  • Former Liverpool and French football coach Gerard Houllier passed away due to heart ailment. He was 73.
  • After an insignificant playing career in France's lower leagues, Houllier began coaching in 1973, earning his first big job with Lens before taking over at Paris St Germain.
  • He became France's assistant coach in 1988 and then manager in 1992 but had a short, unsuccessful spell in charge.
  • He resigned after failing to take the team to the 1994 World Cup in the United States following shock home defeats by Israel and Bulgaria.
  • He rebuilt his reputation at Liverpool, however, joining as co-manager with Roy Evans in 1998 before assuming full responsibility and leading the team to a treble of the FA Cup, League Cup, and UEFA Cup in 2001.