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US “Not To Control The Pandemic” As Death Toll Nears 230,000

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The US White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has said on Sunday the United States is “not to control the pandemic” despite surging coronavirus cases and death toll.

The center for systems science and engineering at the Johns Hopkins University puts the total number of confirmed cases in the country has surpassed eight and a half million persons, and deaths resulting from the virus have risen to more than two hundred twenty-five thousand on Sunday.

During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, meadows said, quote, “we’re not going to control the pandemic.  We are going to control the act that we get vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigation areas,” end quote.

When asked why the country is not going to get control of the pandemic, meadows said, quote, “because it is a contagious virus just like the flu.”

Meadows’ statement came one day after chief of staff to vice-president mike pence, and four others tested positive for the coronavirus and were quarantined.

Former head of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, tweeted on Sunday that coronavirus hospitalizations, a critical and objective measure o the disease burden in the U.S., are starting to accelerate, reaching nearly forty-two thousand on that day.  He said criteria for hospital admission has been tightened over time, making the high numbers more concerning.

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Trump Imposes New Rule For Some African Travellers

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The Trump administration has announced a new rule of entry into the U.S. for 15 African countries whose citizens will now have to post bonds of up to $15,000 when visiting the country.

The new temporary travel rule takes effect on Christmas eve and targets visitor and business visas.   Affected African countries include Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Djibouti.  Others are Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, and the Sudan.

The us state department says this move will deter those who overstay their visas.

President Donald Trump had made restricting immigration a central part of his four-year term. The visa bond rule targets countries whose nationals had an “overstay rate” of 10% or higher last year and will now be required to pay a refundable bond of $5,000, $10,000 or $15,000.

Meanwhile, president-elect Joe Biden has pledged to reverse many of Trump`s immigration policies, but untangling hundreds of changes could take months or years.

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Sudan, Israel Normalization Talks

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Sudan and Israel have continued normalizing ties between their two nations.

Israel says it has sent a delegation to Sudan for the first time since the countries agreed to build relations following a deal brokered by us president Donald Trump last month.

Israeli intelligence minister Eli Cohen said last week, the initial delegation to Sudan would be small and talks would focus on security matters.

He was quoted as saying, a larger delegation would then follow, to address possible economic co-operation with Sudan.

Sudan is the third Arab league nation, along with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, to normalize relations with Israel since September, despite strong opposition from Palestinians.

Sudan had been a foe of Israel for more than 8 decades. Since the latter’s founding in 1948.

Famously, it was the site of a declaration against normalizing ties with Israel in 1967, when the Arab league, meeting in the capital, Khartoum, swore “no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it”.

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Trump Agrees To Begin Transition As Key Agency Calls Biden Apparent Election Winner

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There is a thaw in America’s frozen transition process that should have begun three weeks ago after the U.S. presidential elections were concluded.

The losing candidate, incumbent president Donald Trump, has now agreed that president-elect Joe Biden’s transition can now begin.

To that effect, administrator of the U.S. general services administration, Emily Murphy, a Trump appointee, has now formally designated Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the presidential election.

With that, federal funds, more than six million dollars, will now be released to the Biden campaign to begin an official transition.

Murphy explained her delay in approving the transition process by saying she wanted the constitutional process of vote counting and picking a president to work its course.

President Trump, who has being rejecting the election results for more than two weeks now, and had been claiming the election was rigged and fraught with voter fraud, tweeted on Monday night, he accepted Murphy’s decision, but vowed to continue his legal challenges to the election results.

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