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Malaysia, China Agree To Resume Railway Project After Cost Cut

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Malaysia will resume work on the multi-billion dollar east coast rail link after months of negotiations with the China Communications Construction Company and the Chinese government brought the cost down by a third.

Malaysia said it welcomed the signing of a supplemental agreement which would pave the way for construction of the 700 km railway to resume.

The electrified railway is designed to connect Malaysia’s capital with the towns on the peninsula’s east and northeast and, backed by loans from China, was touted by former prime minister Najib Razak as an economic “game changer.”

Critics say it benefited china more than Malaysia.

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Joe Biden Sworn In As President Of US, Says “This is America’s Day”

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Joe Biden, a former vice president of the United States has on Wednesday been sworn-in as the 46th president of the country after defeating incumbent president Donald Trump in the November 2020 general elections.

At the inauguration ceremony, Kamala Harris, a former senator and attorney general of California, to become the first woman and first person of colour to serve as vice president of the United States.

Harris was sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Joe Biden in his inaugural speech said calls for the unity of all Americans, as he said “I will be a president for all Americans” as he also pledged to support and fight for all those that supported him and all those who did not.

Biden said “democracy is precious, democracy is fragile, democracy has prevailed.”

The president on the West Front of the Capitol just two weeks after MAGA riots threatened to stop the counting of the electoral votes for president added, “the will of the people has been heard and the will has been heeded.”

His style is a polar opposite of the outgoing president Donald Trump who had chosen to ignore his successor’s inauguration.

The first order of business for Biden on Tuesday night was a memorial service held at the Lincoln Memorial for the more than four hundred thousand Americans who have died of coronavirus.

It was a somber occasion attended by just a few persons, including, incoming first lady, Jill Biden, vice-president-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, the catholic archbishop of Washington, a Michigan nurse who sang amazing grace, a song she sings for her COVID-19 patients to soothe their pain.

In his address, Biden said Americans must remember before they can heal.

Former president Donald Trump left the White House in the early hours as he boarded the presidential helicopter Marine One at 8:20am (13:20 GMT) on Wednesday.

He briefly spoke to reporters calling his term the ‘honour of a lifetime’ and an ‘amazing four years’ before boarding the helicopter enroute to a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, before flying to Florida.

The departure comes less than four hours before Joe Biden will become the country’s 46th president.

Capping off a presidency that prided itself on bucking modern political norms, Trump ended his four-year stay at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue with one final breach of decorum as he became the first president in more than 150 years to skip his successor’s inauguration.

The real estate-mogul-turned-businessman-turned-president instead has maintained that November’s election was “rigged” and “stolen” from him – claims that were found to have no basis in reality despite numerous court challenges, audits and recounts.

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Washington: Security Ahead Of Inauguration

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Security has been stepped up in Washington, DC, to ensure safety at the presidential inauguration today.

Thousands of police officers and national guard troops have been stationed throughout the city as workers set up metal fences and barriers around the White House and the capitol building to avoid further possible violent clashes in the coming days.

Many streets have been completely blocked and some areas guarded with high fences.  Only those holding inauguration passes are allowed to get through.

worried about internal attacks or other threats by those involved in the guard work at the inauguration ceremony, the FBI has been conducting background checks on the national guard soldiers in the city to protect against insider attacks.  Twelve of those guard troops have so far been removed from inauguration duty.

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Italy PM Conte Wins Crucial Senate Vote To Stay In Power

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Italian prime minister, Giuseppe Conte has won a 156 to 140 crucial vote to stay in power days after former prime minister Matteo Renzi pulled his party out of the coalition.

Opposition parties say they plan to ask president Sergio Mattarella to intervene to force him to resign.

The main parties in his coalition are the anti-establishment five star (M5s) and the centre-left Democratic Party (PD).

The prime minister told the senate it was vital to maintain political cohesion faced with the “historic challenge” of the pandemic.

Political observers say even if Conte had lost the vote, a snap election was not a certainty as president Mattarella still has the option of inviting him to assemble a new coalition.

Conte, a law professor, has led a centrist coalition since 2018.

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