Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is seen during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in November. Cruz and several other Republicans are calling for a commission to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud. (Photo: Getty Images)
Republican lawmakers devided on election certification
A battle is looming between congressional Republicans who plan to object to the certification of November's presidential election results, and others who believe Congress needs to accept the will of the voters.
At least 12 Republican senators, and dozens of Republican members of the House of Representatives, have said they will object to the certification of the presidential election results when Congress formally counts the electoral votes on Wednesday, citing unfounded claims of election fraud, NPR reported.
The plan has been met with disdain from some influential Republicans and most Democrats. There has been no evidence of widespread election fraud.
But on Fox News on Sunday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tried to drum up support for the creation of a commission to investigate claims of voter fraud, which he said have "produced a deep, deep distrust of our democratic process across the country." Cruz argued that all members of Congress have "an obligation to do something about that."
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, who supports the creation of an electoral commission, told NBC's Meet the Press that when tens of millions of people don't trust the results of an election, it's important that lawmakers ensure everything was above board.
But most Republican senators believe it's time to move on. In a bipartisan statement Sunday, four Republicans joined several Democratic senators in arguing that Congress must fulfill its responsibility to the voters and certify the election results.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also said he opposes intervening in the results.
Nancy Pelosi re-elected Speaker of the House in tight race
Nancy Pelosi won another term as Speaker of the House of Representatives on Sunday, eking out a close vote as the 117th Congress kicked off.
The California Democrat, 80, will hold the position for a second consecutive two-year term and fourth overall, having previously been elected in 2007, 2009 and 2019.
|Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Photo: Getty Images)|
She emerged victorious with 216 votes to the 209 votes of Republican challenger Kevin McCarthy, also of California.
Pelosi was expected to come out on top, though by a narrow margin reflective of Republican gains in the House during the most recent election cycle and a Democratic party increasingly splintered along moderate and far-left lines.
McCarthy did not see any Republican defections, NY Post reported.
India approves AstraZeneca and local COVID vaccines, roll out seen soon
India’s drugs regulator on Sunday approved for emergency use two coronavirus vaccines, one developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University and the other by local company Bharat Biotech and a state-run institute.
As reported by Reuters, the decisions mark the first vaccine approvals in India, which after the United States has recorded the most infections of the novel coronavirus, and could enable the country to source vaccines locally.
|India’s drugs regulator on Sunday approved for emergency use two coronavirus vaccines (Photo: CNBC)|
India is expected to start a massive immunisation programme within about a week, and hopes to inoculate 300 million of its 1.35 billion people free of charge in the first six to eight months of this year.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed the approvals.
The Indian government has yet to sign a formal deal for the AstraZeneca vaccine with its local maker, Serum Institute of India (SII), although this is expected within days. SII has stockpiled 50 million doses.
Man arrested after entering Emperor Naruhito's Tokyo residence
A 29-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into the Tokyo residence of Emperor Naruhito, where he reportedly spent two hours before being discovered, local media said Sunday, according to Japan Times.
The man, who has not been named, entered the usually heavily guarded Akasaka residential complex for imperial family members through the adjacent guesthouse on Saturday night, Fuji News Network (FNN) said.
The entrance of the Akasaka residential complex for imperial family members in Tokyo. A 29-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly breaking into the residence of Emperor Naruhito (Photo: AFP)
He was caught by the imperial guard near the residence of Princess Yuriko, the great-aunt of Emperor Naruhito, about two hours after he broke in, the broadcaster said, quoting police officials.
FNN said the man had gained access via the entrance gate of the guesthouse, which was not guarded at the time.
There were no details on whether the man had encountered any royals, but local media said no one was injured in the incident.
Local police declined to comment and the Imperial Household Agency did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Gold Price Analysis: XAU/USD battles key resistance around $1,900 as bulls brace for 2021
Gold closed the books of 2020 with a bit over 30% yearly gains while taking rounds to $1,900. In doing so, the yellow metal extends recovery moves from November 30 to combat a falling resistance line from August 07, 2020. Although optimism surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine, Brexit headlines and the US covid aid package favor the commodity buyers, via US dollar weakness, bulls catch a breather in search of fresh clues as virus count keep fears of weak economics on the table.
|(Photo: FX Street)|
US dollar bears dominate…
Be it the worsening virus conditions or optimism over the COVID-19 aid package, not to forget the Brexit deal and vaccine hopes, the US dollar had to bear the burden of all in 2020, making it the worst G10 currency during the previous year while taking rounds April 2018 low at last. Also favoring the greenback sellers were the easy money policy of the US Federal Reserve and central bankers elsewhere. The reason could be traced from rallying equities.
Recently, markets concentrate on the US politics where Nancy Pelosi has been re-elected as the House Speaker, which in turn favors the odds of easy money from the upcoming Democratic government. However, Georgia’s run-off can disappoint Democrats given their holdings in the Senate. It’s worth mentioning that the US policymakers are yet to finalize the $2,000 paycheck despite disbursing $600 and have already got President Donald Trump’s go for a bigger amount.
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