Tag: Asks

Congressman asks British government to strip Prince Harry and Meghan Markle of titles if they don’t stop commenting on U.S. election

A Missouri congressman has formally asked the British government to stop the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from interfering in the presidential election.



Meghan Markle, Prince Harry are posing for a picture


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Rep. Jason Smith, a Missouri Republican, sent a letter Friday to the British government arguing that the couple’s comments urging Americans to vote and to “reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity” constitute a “serious breach of the British Royal Family’s policy of political neutrality and an inappropriate act of domestic interference by one of our closest allies.”

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“It is my view, the titles and privileges they retain by permission of Her Majesty the Queen, given with the advice and consent of her government, prevent the Duke and Duchess from separating comments made in a personal capacity from their official position within the British Royal Family,” Smith wrote in a letter addressed to Karen Pierce, the British Ambassador to the United States. “By allowing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to retain their titles, and these political comments to continue, the British Government is effectively condoning interference in the 2020 United States Presidential Election from officials at the highest level of the British establishment.”

Smith closed his letter by requesting that the British government ensure Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “no longer attempt to interfere” in the 2020 election or be “stripped of all titles, styles, and privileges which they currently retain.”

The couple released a video marking the release of the Time 100 list, in which Prince Harry urged Americans to “reject hate speech, misinformation, and online negativity” as the election approaches. Markle called the 2020 election the “most important election of our lifetime.”

The president was asked about the comments at a press briefing in September. He said he was “no fan” of Markle and added, “I wish a lot of luck to Harry because he’s going to need it.”

Piers Morgan, an English broadcaster, called the video “completely unacceptable” and said the comments were “ effectively telling Americans to vote against President Trump.”

Morgan wrote that the royals had “crossed a massive line which should now have serious consequences for the couple who specialize in wanting their royal cake and the freedom to eat it.”

Corey Lewandowski, a senior adviser to the Trump campaign, said that the couple had “made Britain great again by leaving” and hopes “they do the same for” the U.S.

The former actress has been heavily involved in “get-out-the vote” campaigns since returning to the U.S. She cold-called voters with activist Gloria Steinem and revealed in a discussion with Steinem that Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris as his running mate made her “so excited.”

In August, she participated in an event with When All Women Vote, an

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Montenegro’s President Asks Pro-Serb Opposition Leader to Form New Government | World News

PODGORICA (Reuters) – Montenegro’s president nominated Zdravko Krivokapic, the leader of a pro-Serb opposition alliance backed by the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church, to form a government on Thursday, ending three decades of socialist rule.

For the Future of Montenegro and its allies from the centre-right alliance Peace is Our Nation, and a group led by the green URA party, jointly secured a slim majority of 41 deputies in the 81-seat parliament in an election on Aug. 30. They subsequently agreed to form a cabinet.

After meeting the leaders of the proposed coalition, President Milo Djukanovic said he would forward Krivokapic’s name to parliament.

Djukanovic, who faces reelection in 2023, said the new government would maintain reforms and investments in the tiny Adriatic republic of only 620,000, a NATO member and a candidate to join the European Union.

“This proves the maturity of our society … Montenegro is recognised as a (key) factor for regional stability,” he said.

For Future of Montenegro has pledged the country would maintain its EU membership bid and NATO membership.

Krivokapic said that the talks with Djukanovic “were a sign of improvement of the political culture” and that he and other opposition leaders will send a proposal for the composition of new Cabinet to the parliament by Nov 8.

“The most important thing for us is the different future for Montenegro,” he told reporters.

Opposition leaders, democracy and human rights watchdogs, have long accused Djukanovic and his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of running Montenegro as their own corrupt fiefdom with links to organised crime.

The DPS and Djukanovic deny the charges.

Montenegrins who identify as Serbs account for about a third of its population. Most Montenegrins and Serbs share language and the Orthodox Christian faith, and many of Serbia’s citizens have roots and families in Montenegro.

The Serbian Orthodox Church, the largest in the country, held daily protests against a law adopted last December that allows the state to seize religious assets whose historical ownership cannot be proven.

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Montenegro’s president asks pro-Serb opposition leader to form new government

PODGORICA (Reuters) – Montenegro’s president nominated Zdravko Krivokapic, the leader of a pro-Serb opposition alliance backed by the powerful Serbian Orthodox Church, to form a government on Thursday, ending three decades of socialist rule.

For the Future of Montenegro and its allies from the centre-right alliance Peace is Our Nation, and a group led by the green URA party, jointly secured a slim majority of 41 deputies in the 81-seat parliament in an election on Aug. 30. They subsequently agreed to form a cabinet.

After meeting the leaders of the proposed coalition, President Milo Djukanovic said he would forward Krivokapic’s name to parliament.

Djukanovic, who faces reelection in 2023, said the new government would maintain reforms and investments in the tiny Adriatic republic of only 620,000, a NATO member and a candidate to join the European Union.

“This proves the maturity of our society … Montenegro is recognised as a (key) factor for regional stability,” he said.

For Future of Montenegro has pledged the country would maintain its EU membership bid and NATO membership.

Krivokapic said that the talks with Djukanovic “were a sign of improvement of the political culture” and that he and other opposition leaders will send a proposal for the composition of new Cabinet to the parliament by Nov 8.

“The most important thing for us is the different future for Montenegro,” he told reporters.

Opposition leaders, democracy and human rights watchdogs, have long accused Djukanovic and his Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of running Montenegro as their own corrupt fiefdom with links to organised crime.

The DPS and Djukanovic deny the charges.

Montenegrins who identify as Serbs account for about a third of its population. Most Montenegrins and Serbs share language and the Orthodox Christian faith, and many of Serbia’s citizens have roots and families in Montenegro.

The Serbian Orthodox Church, the largest in the country, held daily protests against a law adopted last December that allows the state to seize religious assets whose historical ownership cannot be proven.

(Reporting by Aleksandar Vasovic; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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Cineworld Chief Asks U.K. Prime Minister to Extend Furlough Scheme

Mooky Greidinger, CEO of the Cineworld multiplex group, has written to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, asking him to reinstate the government furlough scheme, he revealed in a letter to employees on Wednesday.

The furlough scheme helped the company pay employees when cinemas were forced to close due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

On Monday, the group announced that U.K. and U.S. operations would be temporarily suspended from Friday. The furlough scheme ends in October and from November it will be replaced by a Jobs Support Scheme where employees are required to work at least a third of their former hours. However, with all Cineworld and Picturehouse cinemas shuttering, employees are still left in the dark about their financial future in the run up to Christmas.

“I am sorry to say that the new Government Scheme simply does not fit our business at this time and does not help us in the same way,” Greidinger wrote.

Employees will be paid for hours worked, plus furlough pay, up to Oct. 15. No other details are provided around redundancy pay or other deal terms for staff.

In the letter, Greidinger said the closure “was done as part of the plan to ensure that the company remains on solid ground so that we can return in full force again. I truly hope and believe this will be for a short time, and once we open again, and audiences return, allowing us to operate as we used to, we will be able to offer you shifts again.”

The Cineworld Action Group, an independent organization representing the group’s U.K. staff, tweeted on Wednesday: “Many zero hour employees have received a worrying email this evening which offers no clarity at all. Will we be made redundant? Will we be placed on unpaid leave? This has caused nothing but further anguish for those of us desperately waiting for answers.”

“We sincerely hope that the company will finally extend some compassion to us and treat us with dignity as we prepare to close our cinemas for a final time tomorrow.”

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U.S. Government Asks Vaccine Makers To Hold Filing for Authorization Until They Have Enough Doses to Distribute

President Trump Makes Statement On Vaccine Development
President Trump Makes Statement On Vaccine Development

Moncef Slaoui, head of the White House’s “Operation Warp Speed” project to develop a coronavirus vaccine, listens to U.S. President Donald Trump deliversremarks about vaccine development in the Rose Garden of the White House on May 15, 2020 in Washington, DC. Credit – Drew Angerer—Getty Images

As the COVID-19 pandemic enters its 10th month, the pressure to develop an effective vaccine, or vaccines, continues to mount. Speaking at the Johns Hopkins University and University of Washington Vaccine Symposium online, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, scientific head of Operation Warp Speed—the government organization funding and supporting development and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines—provided the latest updates on when a vaccine (and how many doses) might be available in coming months.

Perhaps most strikingly, Slaoui said that the government has told vaccine manufacturers not to seek authorization of their drugs from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until they have enough doses to provide to a desperate public. “We have recommended to companies that if they achieve efficacy demonstration while no vaccine doses are available at industrial scale of several million doses to at least immunize a relevant fraction of the population, then they should refrain or consider refraining from filing an emergency use authorization, because the populations would have a major disappointment [over] expectation of the availability of the vaccine,” he said.

Emergency use authorization (EUA) is an accelerated review and authorization process by the FDA that would allow vaccine makers to distribute vaccines that are safe and effective but not fully approved by the agency.

Slaoui also supported the FDA in its recent conflict with the White House over stringent guidelines proposed by the agency for evaluating data from vaccine studies, which include a recommendation that all vaccine trial volunteers be followed for two months for any potential side effects. Vaccine makers supported the guidelines, but after initially rejecting them, arguing they would delay availability of the vaccines, the White House has accepted them.

At this point, meeting demand would not be a problem if an EUA were given to the two vaccines, made by Moderna and Pfizer, that are currently furthest along in testing. The companies began late-stage testing for these vaccine candidates in the summer, and Slaoui said the manufacturers have been manufacturing doses at large scale in parallel to testing. The government began stockpiling doses of these unapproved but promising vaccines “in the single digit millions” in September, and will continue to do so in October, he said, and both Moderna and Pfizer will likely have 20 to 30 million doses produced by November and December this year.

Two of the other most promising vaccines in development are from AztraZeneca and J&J, both of which are quickly enrolling participants in late stage studies outside of the U.S., and may deliver first hints of safety and effectiveness by late October or early November. However, even if those results prove positive, these companies would likely have to consider waiting until their manufacturing capabilities

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Kuwait’s emir asks government to stay on, prepare for elections

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Kuwait’s new emir has asked the cabinet to carry on its duties and prepare for parliamentary elections due this year after the prime minister handed in his government’s resignation, state news agency KUNA reported on Tuesday.

Parliament, which must approve the emir’s choice of crown prince, will end its term on Oct. 8, Speaker Marzouq al-Ghanim later said in remarks broadcast on state television.

Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah met Emir Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who assumed power last week, and in line with the constitution submitted the government’s resignation “to ensure ministerial responsibilities are held by those who enjoy the emir’s confidence”, KUNA said.

It said Sheikh Nawaf expressed his full confidence in the current cabinet, which was formed last December.

Sheikh Nawaf, 83, took the helm of the U.S.-allied OPEC member state following the death of his brother Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed last Tuesday aged 91.

Kuwaitis have been waiting for Sheikh Nawaf to name a crown prince to help guide state affairs at a time when low oil prices and COVID-19 have hit state finances against the backdrop of continued tensions between Kuwait’s larger neighbours Saudi Arabia and Iran.

The parliament speaker said if the emir names a crown prince on Wednesday, then he would call a session for Thursday morning. If there is no announcement by Wednesday, then parliament would vote on the candidate at an extraordinary session. [D5N2EC036]

Al-Ghanim said the body would hold two sessions on Wednesday, one to honour the late emir and another to finalise pending items.

(Reporting by Ahmed Hagagy, Aziz El Yaakoubi and Hadeel El Sayegh; Writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Alison Williams, Ed Osmond, William Maclean)

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Top India Court Asks Government to Outline Interest Waiver Plans

(Bloomberg) — India’s top court asked the government and banks how they plan to waive deferred interest on loans for small borrowers and whether similar relief measures could be provided to other sectors.



a large clock tower towering over a city at night: A metro train travels along an elevated track as residential buildings stand in the background at night in the outskirts of New Delhi, India, on Sunday, July 7, 2019. India's new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman resisted calls for a fiscal boost to spur a weakening economy, sticking instead to a plan to narrow the budget deficit over time by keeping spending in check.


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A metro train travels along an elevated track as residential buildings stand in the background at night in the outskirts of New Delhi, India, on Sunday, July 7, 2019. India’s new Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman resisted calls for a fiscal boost to spur a weakening economy, sticking instead to a plan to narrow the budget deficit over time by keeping spending in check.

The Supreme Court on Monday asked lawyers from the government and Reserve Bank of India to submit information on the measures they plan to take on waiving some of the interest and recasting loans for stressed borrowers. The court will listen to this feedback on Oct. 13.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government will pay the “interest on interest” on loans of as much as 20 million rupees ($273,000) for the duration of the Reserve Bank of India-authorized repayment holiday that ended on Aug. 31, according to an affidavit filed by the Ministry of Finance in the Supreme Court on Friday.

Groups of borrowers, including industry bodies for real estate and power producers, have approached the top court seeking a waiver on compounded interest and an extension of the repayment holiday.

Banks and home finance companies have been imposing charges on both the principal and the interest, which translated into repayment periods being extended by more than six months.

Relief Measures

The waiver comes after the Supreme Court asked the Modi administration to assess the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and come up with proposals for relief measures.

The Reserve Bank of India has taken a number of unprecedented steps to help borrowers facing a cash crunch after the world’s strictest lockdown shuttered businesses and left millions jobless. The moratorium, however, allowed lenders to impose additional interest over the repayment holiday. Subsequently, the RBI allowed banks to restructure loans without having to classify them as non-performing for the next two years.

Read about debt relief panel adding to uncertainty bad loans

India’s main banking gauge was trading up 1.5% at 12:55 p.m. in Mumbai on Monday.

‘Hanging Sword’

The government’s decision to pay the compounded interest “comes as a relief,” said Abhimanyu Sofat, head of research at Mumbai-based IIFL Securities Ltd. The uncertainty on the issue was like a “hanging sword for lenders.”

Read: End of Loan Holiday Threatens Pain, Defaults for Indian Business

Banks will have to forgo 6 trillion rupees if interest on all loans are waived off, according to the government’s affidavit. That will wipe out a substantial part of lenders’ net worth and could raise questions on their survival, it said.

India’s banks — already weakened by a two-year-old shadow lending crisis — are seeking more guidance from the regulator on how to battle one of the world’s worst bad loan ratios.

Read: India’s

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