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News analysis | How South Asia views the Biden presidency | Instant News

The leaders congratulated Democrats without waiting for official results.

In the days after US media announced Joseph Biden as President-elect, leaders from all South Asian countries, except for Bhutan (which has no formal diplomatic relations with the US), have congratulated him.

The fact that all leaders ranging from Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and Pakistani PM Imran Khan, to Nepalese Prime Minister KP Oli, Sheikh Hasina from Bangladesh, Maldives President Ibrahim Solih and Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa tweeted to Biden without waiting for official results, indicated that they each wanted to reach out to the Democratic government early in the game, and hoped to build a relationship with the US that would build on from the past.

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PM Modi tweeted old photos of himself and then Vice President Biden and his government will count on the continuation of Indo-US strategic relations, military exchanges and in building resistance to China in the Indo-Pacific region. This does not just mean support in times of conflict, such as the current standoff at the Actual Line of Control (LAC), India will seek more support from the US in presenting an alternative to the SAARC region.

Most countries in South Asia have higher bilateral trade rates with Beijing than with India or the US, and with the exception of India and Bhutan all are part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). During the COVID-19 crisis too, China has made several offers of medical assistance, vaccine promises and debt relief, and held meetings in South Asia. India will also expect Biden to continue Trump’s policy of suppressing Pakistan over terror, but there is a realistic assessment in New Delhi that Pakistan will have a close working relationship with the US when US troops withdraw from Afghanistan, and Taliban cooperation is needed.

Focus on human rights

A closer analysis of other SAARC countries shows that while they would welcome Biden’s more predictable style and promised actions on issues such as Climate Change, immigration, easing trade tariffs, immigration and visas, there will be differences in how they will do it. understand its policies of “strengthening democracy”, fighting terrorism and radicalism, caring for human rights, and dealing with China’s challenges.

In a statement, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Hasina said she hoped to cooperate with the US in “effectively countering the crimes of terrorism, violent extremism, hate, [and] forced transfer to Rohingya, ”indicating that he hopes Biden’s term will mark his exit from Mr Trump’s travel ban and other policies that appear to target Muslim countries.

In the article for Foreign affairs magazine in April 2020, Biden outlined his foreign policy priorities, which include plans for the annual global ‘Summit for Democracy’ in his first year in office, in which he marks three areas in which he will demand commitments from all countries: “fight corruption, defend authoritarianism, and advancing human rights. ”

Most of the South Asian countries that have accepted the US statement will be watching its move on human rights carefully. Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa and his brother Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa have faced US government restrictions on war crimes charges in the war against the LTTE, and hope to turn the page now.

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Pakistan also wants to avoid US focus on minority rights, but hopes Biden will keep highlighting the situation in Jammu-Kashmir and India.

“There is [a] legitimate concerns that the Biden administration could mark a return to America’s liberal interventionist agenda focused on human rights, transitional justice and sanctions. Such moralist pressure could push countries like Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar further into Chinese hands, ”explained Constantino Xavier of the Center for Social and Economic Progress (formerly Brookings India). “On the other hand, Delhi hopes that the US under Biden will maintain Trump’s main focus on China as South Asia’s biggest strategic challenge.”

As a result, the entire region may be on edge until Biden clarifies his Chinese policy. Continuing Trump’s confrontational policies with Beijing could pose problems for India’s neighbors with close ties to China, but not checking Chinese aggression would have a deep security impact in the region.

Mr Biden himself kept guessing at his April article, when he said, “the most effective way to meet [China’s] The challenge is to build a united front of US allies and partners to confront China’s abusive behavior and human rights abuses, even as we seek to cooperate with Beijing on issues that share our interests, such as climate change, nonproliferation and global health security. “.


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Pakistani leadership congratulated the Biden Harris duo wishing for better relations between countries-ANI | Instant News

Islamabad [Pakistan], November 8 (ANI): Following Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election, Pakistani leaders on Sunday congratulated him and his running mate Kamala Harris, and wished him better relations between the two countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated Biden and Harris on their victory in the US presidential election and said Pakistan would look forward to working with America for peace in Afghanistan and on their territory.
In a tweet, Khan also said he was looking forward to the Biden Global Summit on Democracy and working with him to end illegal tax havens and the disguise of national wealth by corrupt leaders.
Congratulations @JoeBiden & @KamalaHarris. Look forward to President-Elect Biden’s Global Summit on Democracy & work with him to end the illegal tax haven & the disguising of the nation’s wealth by the corrupt LDR. We will also continue to work with the US for peace in Afghanistan & in the region, “he wrote on Twitter.
Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo Nawaz Sharif also congratulated the elected President, saying he was looking forward to better relations between the US and Pakistan under his leadership.
“Congratulations @JoeBiden on a historic victory for you, the American people and for democracy. We wish you better relations between the US and Pakistan under your leadership,” tweeted Sharif.
PML-N vice president and daughter Sharif Maryam Nawaz Sharif also conveyed a message of congratulations to the Biden-Harris duo, stating that their victory would be well received around the world.
“Congratulations @JoeBiden and @KamalaHarris on a wonderful victory. This is indeed a win that will be well received around the world. Hope this will be a promising start to a better and brighter US-Pak relationship,” he said.
Biden on Saturday (local time) became President-elect of the United States after a victory in the battlefield state of Pennsylvania that took him past the college electoral threshold of 270 votes.
The Democratic presidential candidate beat President Donald Trump in a contested election and will become the 46th president of the United States.
Harris became the first female vice president, and the first black and Asian-American vice president. (ANI)

Rejection: The views expressed in the above articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publisher. Unless otherwise noted, the author writes in his personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be considered to represent the ideas, attitudes or official policies of any institution or agency.


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Recent debates have clued Australia into what US elections mean for our future | Instant News

The last presidential debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, as many have observed, took place in a universe other than the first.

With less shouting and more substance, there is finally room to look at the very different futures that both candidates offer for the United States and the world.

While doubtful the debate will sway a large number of truly hesitant American voters, there is a lot to watch out for around the world.

The future form of Biden’s government, in particular, is becoming clearer. Given that polls (for what it’s worth) show Biden’s win is much more likely at this stage, it’s an revealing 90 minutes.

Revealing moments for a global audience

President Trump has an unmatched ability to control the news agenda. His tweets, nagging and tantrums dominate daily coverage and Biden is mostly happy to play small targets and let this election contest play out as a referendum on Trump.

In the Nashville debate, however, the President clearly took the advice of stepping back from ridicule and interruption and leaving some scrutiny of Biden’s plans. This has sometimes created awkward moments for the former Vice President as he admits previous policy mistakes here and there and defends his son’s business dealings.

Joe Biden is forced to defend his son Hunter’s business affairs.(ABC News: Jonathan Ernst)

However, Biden is largely making use of the newfound breathing space of this debate to articulate a radically different approach for Trump in everything from managing the pandemic, to the economy and immigration.

However, for an international audience, the most revealing moments relate to the huge global challenges of climate change and China’s rise.

We have a pretty good idea of ​​what Trump’s four more years mean in both areas: a little action on climate change and growing hostility with Beijing.

The Biden positions may not necessarily be new, but when articulated on the big stage ahead of the election they carry extra weight. This is a statement to a large global audience, who will be held to account if he does win.

Moral obligations and existential threats

Biden described the climate change challenge as an “existential threat”. He echoed former prime minister Kevin Rudd in describing humanity’s “moral obligation” to handle it.

The former Vice President maintains a continued reliance on “fracking” (gas) as a transitional fuel, but is on his way to ambitious goals. Indeed, he suggested the policy was “to eventually achieve total zero emissions by 2025”.

This sounds like an even more ambitious target than the Greens. But most likely it stumbled. Biden’s policy is actually a “net-zero by 2050” target, with a “milestone target” set no later than 2025.

After all, Biden promises far greater ambition on climate change than Trump, or even the Morrison Government in Australia.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump stand apart on the blue stage in front of a masked audience.
Joe Biden promises far greater ambition on climate change than Donald Trump.(Jim Bourg / Pool via AP)

Biden wants to “lead the way for every major country to increase the ambition of their domestic climate targets” and pledges to “fully integrate climate change into our foreign policy and national security strategy, as well as our trade approach”. That signals potential trade sanctions for climate abatement.

Just as climate change is causing tensions in the relationship between Tony Abbott and Barack Obama (who used the G20 visit to Australia to highlight the damage to the Great Barrier Reef), it could create awkwardness between Scott Morrison and Joe Biden, if he wins.

The US government fully recommits itself to the Paris Agreement and using its influence to pressure others to stop their game will change the dynamics of the climate debate once again in Australia.

Chinese question

In China, it seems that the animosity between the world’s two great powers will continue to grow regardless of who wins the White House. Far from suggesting a more conciliatory approach than Trump, Biden likens China’s Xi Jinping to the leaders of North Korea and Russia as “thugs”.

He wants to apply more pressure on China and mark a collective effort to rally American “friends” to ensure Beijing plays by international trade rules or “pays the price”.

This suggests continued increased trade and strategic tensions between the US and China and more pressure on Australia to follow US lines. It will not make life easier for the Morrison Government in balancing Australian trade and security interests between these two great powers.

Both Malcolm Turnbull and Morrison have shown a willingness to strengthen Australia’s position on Chinese interference and influence, but they have not gone as far as the Trump administration wants in making Beijing worse.

Whoever wins the White House, Australia will continue to set its own course in managing China’s increasingly difficult relations.

There are many things at stake in this election. Fortunately, the debate in Nashville sheds more light on what that means for our part of the world.

David Speers is the host of the Insiders show, which airs on ABC TV at 9am on Sundays or on iview.


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US elections transformed for better (and worse) by secret ‘Australian ballot’ | Instant News

Voters in one West Virginia area do not have it.

“They vowed never to discuss Australian bullshit again,” reported the New York Times and other newspapers.

They asked the officers to step down and then destroyed the polling stations.

The year was 1892. They were meant to use, for the first time, the ‘Australian ballot’.

A cartoon showing a less civilized election day in 1857.(Artist: WJH (Source: Library of Congress))

In the previous decades, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia had done something innovative.

In 1856 they all passed laws mandating standard ballots with the names of all candidates, which can be filled out discreetly and placed in the ballot box.

Victoria was honored to enter the first election with this new method. SA appears showing your choice with an X – as opposed to crossing out names you don’t want.

Newspaper article with a headline "Chosen as they like".
An article from 27 December 1892 detailing how local residents decided to ignore the new ‘Australian ballot’ law.(Pittsburg Dispatch / Penn State University Libraries)

But residents of Lincoln County, West Virginia, reportedly found the method “slow and tedious”.

They demanded, the report said, to vote “according to the old methods popular before the war”.

So they vote.

Before the Australian vote

There were two ways of voting before the US used the Australian invention: viva voce (by voice) or by party ticket.

If a state or county required voting by vote, men (almost all men – in the late 19th century very, very few states allowed women to vote) would announce to an official of their choosing. Their names and votes were later written in a poll book.

Another way is by voting with party tickets distributed by the party.

Old party tickets with the names Abraham Lincoln and other candidates listed.
Party ticket to Republican / National Unity Party and candidate Abraham Lincoln in the 1860 and 1864 elections.(Library of Congress)

“They are very visible, very marked … everyone can see the color of the ticket. So there is no secrecy,” said Don DeBats of Flinders University.

Dr. DeBats has spent decades studying US political history and have used the poll book ‘viva voce’ and the public records of two US citations to find out who the voters were, the lives they lived, and the votes they cast.

He said in the current election era it was fun, a social event.

“It was a truly extraordinary public event. Everyone gathered, both voters and non-voters, they were standing outside – the elections were outside – and they watched the elections happen. And they watched the individuals vote.”

The Australian vote arrives

Secret voting is designed to put a stop to one problem these election days make possible – voter intimidation.

It’s much harder to intimidate or bribe someone if you can’t see who they’re choosing for.

The election ballots of the 1890s were printed with the respective party logos at the top and a list of names below.
Example of the ‘Australian ballot’ from 1896. The standard ballot lists the candidates for each party running in each race.(Smithsonian Institution – National Museum of American History)

But Dr DeBats said there were other reasons why some states and counties supported the Australian vote.

This can be used to control who has the right to vote.

“It deprives African Americans of the rights and disenfranchises anyone who cannot read their own ballot papers,” said Dr DeBats.

US election ballots are complicated. It’s not just the president who is elected, there are other state and local offices (for example the senator, attorney general), and there is an act of voting – proposed laws are presented to voters.

Election ballots with many names and at least 15 different races.
Many ballots don’t have a party logo – something that can be helpful for people who can’t read.(National Museum of American History / Smithsonian Institution)

Reading and filling out ballot papers – not dropping pre-written party tickets on the ballot box – requires a level of education that many people don’t have.

“It was a pseudo literacy test. The Australian vote, doing very well, disenfranchised millions of people,” said Dr DeBats.

“Anyone who can’t read a very complicated ballot, alone, in secret, in a consecrated place is fundamentally disenfranchised. And that’s the idea.”

A New York Times account of the first use of the Australian ballot in Mississippi in 1891 said that the law, “as is generally known, was passed to put white people in control of the state for the foreseeable future”.

A woman in a large hat dressed in early 20th century fashion looks down as she puts her ballot into a box.
Violinist Maud Powell casts her vote in 1919 in New York – one of the first elections in the city for women to participate.(Bain Collection / Library of Congress)


Dr. DeBats and other experts argued that the increasingly popular postal ballot reduces confidentiality, since voting at home does not guarantee the privacy of polling stations.

Viewing public records has also gotten easier with an app that lets people view information about their friends and contacts (eg, did they vote at the last election, their political affiliation) and encourage users to remind them to vote.

IPhone screen that displays applications with a list of contacts, their political affiliation, and how marginal their seats are.
An app that allows people in the US to see if their friends are enrolled in a party, if they have recently voted, and whether their local race is “negligible”.(Vote With Me)

But fact checkers warn of claims by some such as US Attorney General William Bar that voting by mail eliminates secret balloting misleading or baseless.

Dr DeBats said the switch to secret ballot had a lasting impact on previously open elections, public events and communities.

“Politics is about community, one way or another, and the Australian vote, individual, sanctified, sterilized, voting,” he said.

“Good people think it’s a good thing. Others think it may not be a good thing.

“People who want to vote a lot of people say, ‘This is a good way to do it.’ And they did it.”

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How fashion, makeup brands are playing their part in US elections like never before | Instant News

The United States is bracing for its presidential election under ongoing pressure pandemic and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. Amid debates and campaigns, there is an industry that is engaged in politics like never before.

Approaching 3 inches of November, fashion and beauty brands are playing an important role in encouraging people to go out and choose, and make a difference. Having been known to remain politically aloof, many fashion and beauty brands in the US have made important political statements in the past, mostly through their collections.

For example, at the recently completed New York Fashion Week designer Christian Siriano created a model with a black face mask with ‘voice’ written all over it. One of them even wore a full-length bodycon dress with white writing all over his body. Obviously, Siriano wants to convey the idea that voting is the least they can do when they are thinking about bringing about change.

Previously, former First Lady Michelle Obama – during her speech at the Democratic National Convention – was seen wearing a ‘VOTE’ necklace. A stunning, custom-made accessory immediately made headlines for the message. Designed by Chari Cuthbert, it sparked frenzied searches with keywords like “Michelle Obama necklace” and “voting necklace”.

But why is the industry repeatedly asking people to ‘vote’ this election season? Article dated 2 October 2020, written by Christina Binkley for Fashion Business stated: “Only 56 percent of the voting age population voted in the 2016 US presidential election, which is low compared to most countries, according to the Pew Research Center. But a growing and vocal group of young fashion consumers from Hong Kong to Chicago, who are attracted to brands that share the same values, expect the company to take an ethical stance. “

“Generation Z, the youngest generation of consumers, is increasingly influential, with this year surpassing the millennial generation as the largest generation in the world. The opinions of these young buyers and the factors driving their spending make them a growing economic force on every continent. And the issues that concern them – including environment and climate change, all-sex parity and racial equality and LGBTQ + – drive US elections… Political engagement carries risks for brands. Smart customers quickly sniff out inauthentic or pandering messages. But without involvement, it also carries risks, “he continued.

But it’s not just fashion, even beauty brands are taking part in the elections, as can be seen from the newly launched brand called ‘Biden Beauty’. As the name suggests, it has been prepared to garner support for the Democratic presidential candidate. Joe Biden and his team, however, were not behind him. It has been started by anonymous industry insiders, urging people to “undo orange for good, the only way beauty knows how – in correcting blue”. Despite having a wide range of products – from t-shirts to tote bags and stickers – her beauty sponge has become a new addition. Known as the “BIDEN Beat Makeup Sponge”, it costs around $ 20 US, or 1,470 INR.

When Michelle Obama collaborated with a brand called ‘The Lip Bar’ to start the ‘When We All Vote’ campaign, it became an important development in the beauty industry for known reasons. A brand run by blacks launching red lipstick to boost voter registration is sure to make news in the US, which struggles with race and inclusiveness.

The price for the lipstick is USD 15, or roughly INR 1,105. This limited edition product is known as the ‘Bawse Voter’. It is vegan and cruelty free. Every time someone buys lipstick, 40 percent of the proceeds go to the When We All Vote campaign. Then use the money to increase participation by providing registration details along with text reminders and the necessary resources to know about the voting process.

When they say makeup is art, current events clearly demonstrate what type of art is, and how it is used to spread important messages. With blue and red dominating voting rooms in the US, many users have shared photos of themselves on social media, with bright red lips and cool eyeshadows with a hint of blue. Check out some of these looks.


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