(Joyce) #1


Friday, November 27, 2020


emocratic President-
elect Joe Biden and sitting
Republican President
Donald Trump, like millions of
Americans, celebrated Thanks-
giving quietly at home yester-
day, as the coronavirus pandem-
ic raged across the United States.
The highly-contagious coro-
navirus causes the Covid-
respiratory disease.
Biden was spending the holi-
day in the small seaside town of
Rehoboth, Delaware, where he

and his wife Jill have a vacation
The Bidens hosted daughter
Ashley Biden and her husband
Dr Howard Krein for the holiday
The former vice-president,
appearing with his wife Jill in
a video message posted to his
Twitter account on Thanksgiv-
ing, said his family typically
holds a large gathering on the
island of Nantucket off Massa-
chusetts, but would remain in
Delaware this year “with just a
small group around our dinner
table” because of the pandemic.
In the presidential-style ad-

dress to a nation that has lost
more than 260,000 lives to
the coronavirus, Biden said
that Americans were making a
“shared sacrifi ce for the whole
country” and a “statement of
common purpose” by staying
at home with their immediate
“I know this isn’t the way
many of us hoped we’d spend
our holiday. We know that a
small act of staying home is a gift
to our fellow Americans,” said
Biden, who will be sworn in as
president on January 20. “I know
better days are coming.”
Trump often likes to celebrate

holidays at his Mar-a-Largo re-
sort in Florida, but yesterday
he remained in the Washington
area, spending part of the morn-
ing at his Trump National Golf
Club in Virginia.
It was a far cry from last year
when he made a surprise visit
to Afghanistan, where he served
turkey to US troops before sit-
ting down to eat Thanksgiving
dinner with them.
In contrast to Biden, who
pleaded with Americans to cele-
brate the holiday safely by wear-
ing masks and socially distanc-
ing, Trump in his Thanksgiving
proclamation on Wednesday

urged Americans to “gather” for
the holiday.
“I encourage all Americans
to gather, in homes and places
of worship, to off er a prayer of
thanks to God for our many
blessings,” the president, who
recovered from his own case of
Covid-19 last month, said in a
Trump has frequently ignored
public health warnings and
hosted large groups at the White
House, with many of his guests
refusing to wear masks.
In addition to Trump, several
other prominent Americans,
including First Lady Melania

Trump and members of Con-
gress, have tested positive for
Covid-19 following such events.
While fewer Americans than
normal are expected to travel
this year for Thanksgiving, mil-
lions still defi ed pleas from state
and local offi cials and health ex-
perts to make their way to fam-
ily gatherings rather than stay
home, despite a spiralling infec-
tion rate.
US deaths from Covid-
surpassed 2,000 in a single day
on Tuesday for the fi rst time
since May, and hospitalisations
reached a record of more than
89,000 on Wednesday.

Biden, Trump celebrate

Thanksgiving at home



resident Donald Trump
has pardoned his former
national security adviser
Michael Flynn, who had twice
pleaded guilty to lying to the
Federal Bureau of Investigation
(FBI) during the investigation
into Russian meddling in the
2016 presidential election.
Trump’s pardon, which
could be the fi rst of several
after he lost the 2020 presi-
dential election to Democrat
Joe Biden, drew condemna-
tion from Democrats and other
A retired army general,
Flynn pleaded guilty to lying
to the FBI about interactions
he had with Russia’s ambassa-
dor to the United States in the
weeks leading up to Trump’s
inauguration in January 2017.
He has since sought to with-
draw the plea, arguing that
prosecutors violated his rights
and duped him into a plea
His sentencing has been de-
ferred several times.
“It is my Great Honour to
announce that General Michael
T. Flynn has been granted a
Full Pardon. Congratulations
to @GenFlynn and his won-
derful family, I know you will
now have a truly fantastic
Thanksgiving!” Trump wrote
on Twitter, a day before the US
Thanksgiving holiday.
Flynn’s attorney, Sidney
Powell, who told a court in
September that she person-
ally asked Trump not to pardon
her client, said the pardon was
“bittersweet” because Flynn
was “innocent”.
Trump’s move was the
highest-profi le pardon he has
granted since he took offi ce.
Among others, the Repub-
lican president has pardoned
army personnel accused of war
crimes in Afghanistan and Joe
Arpaio, a former Arizona sher-
iff and hardliner against illegal
“This pardon is undeserved,
unprincipled, and one more
stain on President Trump’s
rapidly diminishing legacy,”
House of Representatives Ju-
diciary Committee Chairman
Jerry Nadler said in a state-
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
called it “an act of grave cor-
ruption and a brazen abuse of
Flynn served as Trump’s
fi rst national security adviser
but the president fi red him
after only 24 days for lying to
Vice-President Mike Pence
as controversy broke over the
former general’s contacts with
then-Russian ambassador Ser-
gei Kislyak.
Flynn was one of several
former Trump aides to plead
guilty or be convicted at trial
in former Special Counsel
Robert Mueller’s investigation
into Moscow’s interference in
the 2016 US election to boost
Trump’s candidacy.
Russia denied meddling.
In May, Attorney-General
William Barr stunned many
in the legal community by or-
dering prosecutors to have the

case dropped, a decision that
came after Trump repeatedly
complained that Flynn was be-
ing treated unfairly.
“The President has par-
doned General Flynn because
he should never have been
prosecuted,” the White House
said in a statement. “In fact,
the Department of Justice
has fi rmly concluded that the
charges against General Flynn
should be dropped.
“This Full Pardon achieves
that objective, fi nally bringing
to an end the relentless, par-
tisan pursuit of an innocent
Two former White House
offi cials said more pardons
were likely.
“This is one unfettered pres-
idential power the president
enjoys using,” one of them said.
Trump said in March he was
strongly considering a full par-
don for Flynn.
He said the FBI and Justice
Department had “destroyed”
Flynn’s life and that of his fam-
ily, and cited an unspecifi ed,
unsubstantiated report that
they had lost records related to
Flynn was supposed to help
co-operate with the govern-
ment as part of his plea deal.
But he later switched law-
yers and tactics, arguing that
prosecutors in the case had
tricked him into lying about his
December 2016 conversations
with Kislyak.
The Justice Department has
repeatedly denied allegations
of prosecutorial misconduct.
Other former Trump aides
were convicted of federal
crimes following the Russia
Trump’s long-time friend
and adviser Roger Stone was
sentenced on February 20 to
three years and four months in
prison for obstruction of jus-
tice, witness tampering and
lying to lawmakers investigat-
ing the Russian election inter-
Trump commuted his sen-
Paul Manafort, Trump’s
former campaign chairman,
was sentenced last year to
3-1/2 years in prison after be-
ing convicted of unlawful lob-
bying and witness tampering,
which combined with a sen-
tence in a related case equalled
a term of more than seven years
behind bars.
Manafort was released from
prison in May and is serv-
ing the rest of his sentence at

Former national

security adviser

Flynn pardoned



housands of women
gathered in one of San-
tiago’s main plazas on
Wednesday and performed the
feminist anthem A Rapist In
Your Path to mark the UN’s In-
ternational Day for the Elimina-
tion of Violence against Women

  • before Chilean police violent-
    ly dispersed them.
    Created by Chilean feminist
    collective Las Tesis and fi rst
    performed in 2019, the song
    condemns men who attack
    women and is accompanied by
    dance moves.
    Four members of Las Tesis
    led the performance, which has
    been copied and translated into
    diff erent languages by women
    around the world.
    The crowd was able to com-
    plete the performance only once
    before police deployed a water
    cannon to disperse the demon-
    strators from the Plaza Italia in
    downtown Santiago.
    Las Tesis gained worldwide
    fame during Chilean demon-
    strations against economic dis-
    parity in 2019 with the street
    theatre performance.
    In May four masked members
    of the collective, dressed in red
    suits with a Chilean fl ag, ap-
    peared in front of a police sta-
    tion in Valparaiso while a female
    voice read a lyric attacking the
    uniformed police offi cers, the
    Earlier on Wednesday, wom-

en’s groups demonstrated in
Santiago demanding an end to
the male violence.
Barricades were set on fi re
and a store was looted.
“We believe that violence
against women is part of a
structural state violence and of
the neoliberal patriarchal sys-
tem to which we are subjected
in this country,” feminist law-
yer and demonstrator Florencia
Pinto told AFP.
The demo was one of dozens
around the world protesting
violence against women, from
Istanbul to Paris to Mexico City.

The demonstrations were
given new urgency by an alarm-
ing rise in violence targeting
women around the world since
the start of the coronavirus
Venezuela documented 228
femicides in 2020 – 159 of which
came after virus lockdowns be-
gan in mid-March, according to
the Monitor de Femicidos.
“We are being murdered,” a
crowd of women protesting in
the capital Caracas chanted.
A large crowd of women and
their supporters also marched
in Mexico City, including native
women and relatives of peo-
ple who have been murdered or
have vanished during the coun-
try’s drug war.
“Let’s not forget that while
violence is what unites us, that
violence turns into something
much stronger which is digni-
fi ed feminist outrage,” one of the
marchers, 27 year-old college
student Luky Coutino told AFP.
Around 10 women are killed
every day in Mexico, and activ-
ists accuse the government of
not doing enough to tackle the
“Although the state doesn’t
do its job, we support each other
as women,” said 22-year-old
student Ana Karen Resendiz.

“We look for a way to move for-
ward and to stay well and alive.”
Protesters marched to the
city’s main square where some
faced off with riot police trying
to stop them defacing the walls
of the presidential palace and
the cathedral with paint.
Around 3,800 women are
killed each year in Mexico, while
six in 10 women have suff ered
some form of aggression in the
past decade, Interior Minister
Olga Sanchez said.
“We have a historical debt to
women, especially to victims of
violence, and we cannot allow
impunity,” she said.
“Machismo kills, destroys
the lives of women and limits
our country’s development,”
Sanchez added, speaking at
President Andres Manuel Lopez
Obrador’s daily press confer-
Lopez Obrador for his part
said that “conditions of poverty
and economic inequality have
led to these phenomena of ag-
gression and violence against
Only half of all femicides in
Mexico lead to a convictions
and in some regions impunity
is as high as 98%, according to
the report presented at the news

Chilean women perform feminist anthem

Mexican protesters decry
violence against women

Santiago/Mexico City

Protesters clash with riot police during a demonstration Government Palace in Mexico City on the
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Women take part in a demonstration in Santiago during the
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Former national security
adviser Michael Flynn.


he owner of a barbecue restaurant in Can-
ada’s largest city of Toronto on Wednesday
attracted a crowd of anti-mask protesters
who support his defi ance of a pandemic lock-
down, as well as strong rebukes from offi cials.
The coronavirus causes the Covid-19 respira-
tory disease.
Adam Skelly’s Adamson Barbecue has con-
tinued to operate since Tuesday, despite public
health orders against serving customers inside
restaurants amid a Covid-19 surge in the region.
“We will be opening for in-restaurant dining
against provincial orders,” Skelly said in an online
“Enough is enough,” he added, arguing that
relatively few cases had been linked to bars and
His supporters outside chanted “Freedom!”
and waved placards Wednesday that read “End
the lockdown now!”
Police also showed up, holding back a crowd of

about 100 diners as offi cers spoke with Skelly and
his lawyers inside.
“You’re putting people’s lives in jeopardy,”
Ontario Premier Doug Ford told a daily briefi ng.
“This guy is just totally ignoring public health of-
fi cials. That’s how this spreads, people are dying
from Covid, and he just wants to say forget it? It’s
irresponsible and ridiculous.”
Skelly was eventually charged with violating
Covid-19 restrictions and operating without a
business licence after the city revoked it on Tues-
day, and faces fi nes that could reach tens of thou-
sands of dollars.
Regardless, the restaurant sold out of brisket,
spare ribs, chicken and pulled pork for a second
day in a row on Wednesday.
Skelly has become a lightning rod for Canadi-
ans suff ering pandemic fatigue as several prov-
inces went into a second lockdown to stem a surge
of new cases.
As of Wednesday, public health authorities
said the number of Covid-19 cases across Canada
topped 345,000, including nearly 12,000 deaths.
The Toronto area reported nearly 900 new

Defi ant restaurant owner fl outs Canada pandemic rules


Protesters and police off icers gather at Adamson Barbecue, an Etobicoke
business that has defied provincial shutdown orders, in Toronto.

Former World

Bank president

Wolfensohn dies

James Wolfensohn, an
investment banker who helped
straighten out the finances
of major American cultural
institutions and served as
president of the World Bank, died
on Wednesday at the age of 86.
Wolfensohn was born in Sydney,
Australia and was a veteran of the
Royal Australian Air Force and a
member of the 1956 Australian
Olympic fencing team.
He worked as a lawyer at an
Australian law firm and went on
to earn an MBA from Harvard
University in 1959.
Wolfensohn, who became a
naturalised US citizen in 1980,
died at his home in Manhattan.


US apex court

rules in favour of

religious groups

The US Supreme Court has
barred New York from imposing
coronavirus restrictions on
houses of worship in a ruling
likely to be heralded by
conservatives as a victory for
religious freedoms.
Services should not be treated
diff erently from permitted secular
gatherings, said the unsigned
ruling, one of the first since the
appointment of Justice Amy
Coney Barrett tipped the court’s
balance to the conservatives.
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New
York state, had ordered that only
up to 10 people could gather at
sites of worship in high-risk areas
designated “red zones”.
In a 5-4 split, the top US court said
the measures violated the First
Amendment’s protection of the
free exercise of religion.
The ruling will have no immediate
eff ect as the state restrictions
had already been relaxed as they
considered their verdict, NBC
News reported.

‘Mastermind’ of

Mormon massacre

in Mexico arrested

Mexico captured a gang leader
accused of being the mastermind
behind the massacre of nine
women and children of US-
Mexican origin, authorities
confirmed on Wednesday.
Suspected drug cartel hitmen
shot dead the three women and
six children from families of
Mormon origin in the northern
Mexican border state of Sonora
in broad daylight on November 4,
2019, sparking outrage in Mexico
and the United States.
On Monday, security forces
detained Roberto Gonzalez,
known as “the 32”, in the state of
Chihuahua, along with two other
alleged members of the criminal
organisation “La Linea”, the
federal attorney-general’s off ice
said on Wednesday.
It accused Gonzalez of being
the “intellectual architect” of the

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