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US Secret Service tightens Biden security as he edges toward win: Report

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Joe Biden

The US Secret Service has increased its protective bubble around Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden as his chances to be the next US President have increased, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

The Secret Service sent an extra squad of agents to Biden’s campaign headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, as expectations rose that he would be able to declare victory over President Donald Trump, the Post reported.

It had already deployed some agents to protect Biden around early July after he triumphed in the Democratic Party’s presidential primaries.

If Biden becomes president-elect, Secret Service protection is expected to ramp up to a higher level.

Meanwhile, an increasingly confident Biden campaign sent out a stern message on Friday, without naming US President Donald Trump, saying the “United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House”.

“As we said on July 19th, the American people will decide this election. And the United States government is perfectly capable of escorting trespassers out of the White House,” Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates said in a statement.

The Biden campaign’s remarks came on a day when Donald Trump has rage tweeted since 2 am, claiming (wrongly) that he has won the election based on “legal” votes, and that “these late ballots past Election Day are illegal”.

Trump is fuming and showing it on Twitter and elsewhere. His public posture remains combative although White House insiders have been saying, in conversations with reporters, that they feel deflated, especially now that Pennsylvania is slipping away to Biden.

The President’s top economic adviser Larry Kudlow told CNBC that Trump seems ready to fight, a remark he repeated later in the day to White House pool reporters.

Meanwhile, key Republicans have begun breaking away from Trump’s stand, saying they see no evidence to support Trump’s baseless claim that Democrats are trying to “steal” the elections.

WITH AGENCY INPUTS

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Lt Governor-headed committee to monitor Covid-19 vaccination in Puducherry

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Puducherry [India], February 25 (ANI): A 22-member COVID Intensive Vaccination Committee led by Lieutenant Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan has been constituted in Puducherry to monitor and upscale the inoculation activities in the Union Territory.
In a letter, Lt Governor asked the committee to meet once a week to discuss the progress and to plan future actions.
The committee shall access the gaps in implementation, she ordered. It shall adopt methodologies in upscaling the COVID vaccine and also review the awareness and outreach of the programme.
Puducherry has reported 39,656 COVID cases so far.
The second phase of COVID-19 vaccination in India will begin from March,1 in which people above 60 years of age and those above 45 years of age with comorbidities will be vaccinated, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Wednesday. The minister said that those who would take the vaccine at private centres will have to pay from their own pocket. (ANI)

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Earthquake of magnitude 3.3 hits Manipur

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Ukhrul (Manipur) [India], February 25 (ANI): An earthquake of magnitude 3.3 on the Richter scale hit Manipur’s Shirui on Thursday, informed the National Centre for Seismology (NCS).
According to the NCS, the quake occurred at 9.19 am today.
“Earthquake of Magnitude: 3.3, Occurred on 25-02-2021, 09:19:01 IST, Lat: 25.21 & Long: 94.37, Depth: 48 Km, Location: 10km NNW of Shirui, Manipur,” tweeted NCB.
Earlier today, an earthquake of magnitude 2.4 on the Richter scale hit Himachal Pradesh’s Chamba at 3.55 am. (ANI)

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Navy sailor death case: Police probing suicide angle

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Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], February 25 (ANI): Maharashtra Police is probing the suicide angle into the death of the Navy official who succumbed to his burn injuries in Palghar, on February 6, said Dattatray Shinde, Superintendent of Police, Palghar on Wednesday.
“We found that Suraj Kumar Dubey (27) had invested money in the share market and took a loan which he couldn’t repay. To escape from this situation, we suspect he made up his abduction story,” said the SP.
He said that during the investigation, police found CCTV footage of the Dubey buying fuel at a petrol pump.
“We’re probing into the suicide angle. Before his death, he gave a statement against three persons who abducted him from Chennai airport at gunpoint and later burnt him alive in jungles of Vevaji in Palghar, Maharashtra,” Shinde added.
Dubey, a Navy official succumbed to burn injuries on February 6.
Police had earlier said, “Dubey was kidnapped from near the Chennai airport and taken to the jungles of Vevaji in Palghar. The kidnappers had demanded a ransom of Rs 10 lakh to release him, but the demand was not fulfilled by the kin of the Navy official. Enraged at this, the kidnappers set the man on fire and left him to die in the jungle.”
Based on Dubey’s statement before his death, the police had filed a case against three unidentified persons. (ANI)

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One held by Central Crime Branch in Bengaluru, 1.2 kg gold seized

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Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], February 25 (ANI): Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested one person for allegedly possessing gold jewellery illegally worth over Rs 60 lakh.
“CCB, Bengaluru arrested a notorious habitual offender and seized 1.280 kilograms of gold jewellery – worth Rs 61 lakh, one pistol and five bullets from his possession,” Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said on Thursday.
A case has been registered and further investigation is underway.
In another case on February 23, the CCB has arrested two Nigerian nationals for alleged drug peddling in the Indiranagar area here.
“CCB has arrested two Nigerian nationals on charges of drug peddling and seized 56 ecstasy pills from them in Indiranagar,” the Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) said on Tuesday. (ANI)

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Forest department rescues wild bear from abandoned pit in Odisha’s Nabarangpur

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Nabarangpur (Odisha) [India], February 25 (ANI): A wild bear that fell into an abandoned 20-feet deep pit was rescued after almost 20 hours by the Forest Department in Odisha’s Nabarangpur on Tuesday.
The ten-hour long operation by a team of forest officials started in the morning and ended in the evening.
According to a forest official: “A team reached the spot on Tuesday morning after getting the information from the villagers. The 10-hour long operation succeeded in capturing the animal. The bear was later released into the wild after medical examination. (ANI)

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Samyukt Kisan Morcha writes to President, seeks unconditional release of arrested farmers

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New Delhi [India], February 25 (ANI): Samyukt Kisan Morcha has written to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding the immediate release of farmers arrested during the ongoing protests against Central agri laws and the removal of “false cases” against them.
A memorandum or letter to the President on Wednesday by Samkyukta Kisan Morcha read, “Regarding the unconditional release of innocent farmers lodged in jails during the farmers movement and cancellation of false cases and notices issued.”
“Sir, the humble request is that for the last six months the farmers of the country have been fighting in various ways and at various levels against the three agricultural laws and for some other demands including legal guarantee of MSP. Under the leadership of the Samyukta Kisan Morcha, for the last three months, the farmers have been protesting indefinitely around Delhi, but hundreds of farmers and supporters of the movement have been jailed by the Government of India and several state governments and false cases have been made,” the letter read.
The Samyukt Kisan Morcha further said, “Observing ‘Daman Virodhi Diwas’ (anti-repression day) across the country, we are sending the following demands to you through district and tehsil authorities. We hope that you will take immediate action in this regard.”
The demands include, Police cases lodged against innocent farmers lodged in jails should be dismissed and they should be released unconditionally immediately.
False police cases filed against farmers and individuals and organizations supporting their struggle should be dismissed.
The notice sent by the Delhi Police, NIA and other government agencies to intimidate the farmers involved in the struggle should be stopped immediately and the earlier notice should be cancelled, it added.
In the name of the police siege of the Kisan Morcha on the borders of Delhi, the closed roads of the common man should be opened, it said.
Farmers have been protesting at the different borders of the national capital since November last year, against the three newly enacted farm laws – Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020; the Farmers Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and farm Services Act 2020 and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020. (ANI)

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