|Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump climb on walls at the U.S. Capitol during a protest against the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S., January 6, 2021 (Photo: Reuters)|
World stunned by Trump supporters storming U.S. Capitol, attempts to overturn election
World leaders on Wednesday expressed their shock as supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump stormed here the U.S. Capitol building where Congress meets in a bid to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election won by Joe Biden, according to Reuters.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a tweet called the events in the U.S. Congress a “disgrace”, saying the United States stood for democracy around the world and that was it was “vital” now that there should be a peaceful and orderly transfer of power.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said democracy’s enemies would be cheered by scenes of violence at the United States Capitol, and he called on Trump to accept U.S. voters’ decision.
In a Tweet, Maas said the violence had been caused by inflammatory rhetoric. “Trump and his supporters must accept the decision of American voters at last and stop trampling on democracy.”
“Quite Maidan-style pictures are coming from DC,” Russia’s deputy U.N. Ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy posted on Twitter, referring to protests in Ukraine that toppled Russian-backed President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovich in 2014.
“Some of my friends ask whether someone will distribute crackers to the protesters to echo Victoria Nuland stunt,” he said, citing a 2013 visit to Ukraine when then-U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland offered food to protesters.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the scenes in Washington as “distressing.” “We condemn these acts of violence and look forward to a peaceful transfer of Government to the newly elected administration in the great American democratic tradition,” he posted on Twitter.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg called the violent protests in Washington “shocking scenes” and said the outcome of the democratic U.S. election must be respected.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed his concern about events in Washington. “Obviously we’re concerned and we’re following the situation minute by minute,” Trudeau told the News 1130 Vancouver radio station. “I think the American democratic institutions are strong, and hopefully everything will return to normal shortly.”
Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne on Twitter: “Canada is deeply shocked by the situation in Washington DC. The peaceful transition of power is fundamental to democracy - it must continue and it will. We are following developments closely and our thoughts are with the American people.”
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Twitter: “The violence against the American institutions is a grave attack on democracy. I condemn it. The will and the vote of the American people must be respected.”
Charles Michel, chairman of EU leaders, on Twitter expressed his shock at the scenes in Washington. “The US Congress is a temple of democracy...We trust the US to ensure a peaceful transfer of power to @JoeBiden”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “I believe in the strength of US institutions and democracy. Peaceful transition of power is at the core. @JoeBiden won the election. I look forward to working with him as the next President of the USA.”
Twitter locks Trump's account in unprecedented action after video address
The social media company said on Wednesday evening it will require Trump to delete several tweets that attempt to delegitimize the results of the presidential election after his supporters stormed the US Capitol.
Trump is being required to delete the three tweets in question, after which his account will remain locked for 12 more hours. If he does not delete them, his account will remain suspended indefinitely, the company said in a public statement. If Trump again violates the policies, the account will be permanently suspended from Twitter.
The action is the most aggressive yet from Twitter and it comes after the social media giant joined Facebook and YouTube in removing a video post from Trump’s account in which the president praised the protestors.
Earlier on Wednesday, Twitter blocked several of Trump’s posts from being shared, citing a “risk of violence”.
As his supporters gathered on Wednesday to protest the certification of the 3 November election results, Trump in a tweet accused Vice-president Mike Pence of lacking “the courage to do what should have been done”.
In the video he shared on social media later in the day, Trump urged his supporters to “go home”, but also gave legitimacy to the falsehoods that fueled Wednesday’s attempted insurrection, calling the election “stolen” and telling the angry mob, “we love you”, Guardian reported.
|Twitter's official announcement of the locking decision (Photo: Captured)|
Facebook’s earlier decision to take down a post made by the president is unprecedented. “This is an emergency situation and we are taking appropriate emergency measures, including removing President Trump’s video,” said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice-president of integrity, in a tweet. “We removed it because on balance we believe it contributes to, rather than diminishes, the risk of ongoing violence.”
Meanwhile, dozens of Facebook groups and events that were used to organize the violent action remain live on the site.
North Korea's Kim vows to boost military capabilities at rare party congress
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he would expand military capabilities to better defend the country, state media reported on Thursday, during a rare party congress as the country faces international sanctions and pressure.
The Eighth Party Congress, which began on Tuesday, comes as North Korea faces increasing economic crises caused by a self-imposed border lockdown to prevent a coronavirus outbreak, a series of natural disasters, and international sanctions over its nuclear weapons programme.
The gathering also comes just days before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is due to take office, after unprecedented personal meetings between Kim and outgoing President Donald Trump failed to lead to a breakthrough in denuclearisation talks or a loosening of sanctions.
|North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Photo: Straits Times)|
In sessions on Wednesday, Kim discussed policies to make a “tangible turn in improving the people’s living standard,” a day after he admitted that previous economic goals had fallen short, state media reported.
To secure a “peaceful environment” for the people and country, Kim called for “placing state defence capabilities on a much higher level, and put forth goals for realizing it.”
The party congress being held in Pyongyang is the first since 2016, which was in turn the first since 1980, as reported by Reuters.
EU approves Moderna jab amid tensions over slow rollout of vaccines
The European Medicines Agency has approved the Moderna vaccine, making it the second coronavirus shot to be cleared for general use across the EU, as tensions continued to rise over the slow progress of vaccination programmes in the bloc.
In a move that should ease frustrations over a shortfall in supplies of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab and the EU’s longer authorisation process, the Amsterdam-based regulator said on Wednesday it had granted a conditional marketing authorisation for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for adults.
|The European commission has agreed to buy 160m doses of the US-made Moderna vaccine (Photo: Getty Images)|
But Europe is lagging behind the US, Britain and Israel in vaccinations, with the bloc due to hold a virtual summit on the health crisis by the end of the month and the European council president, Charles Michel, describing mass inoculation as a “gigantic challenge”.
The European commission has agreed to buy 160m doses of the US-made vaccine, which has been shown in clinical trials to be 94% effective and should prove easier to deliver since it does not have to be kept as cold as the Pfizer jab, Guardian said.
Gold price prediction – prices contract as US yields surge
Gold prices reversed course on Wednesday, moving lower and testing support, but bouncing late in the session. The dollar continued to trend lower, hitting a fresh 33-month low while U.S. yields surged higher. Weaker than expected ADP private payrolls failed to weigh on U.S. yields. During the procedural motions of the confirmation of the senate’s electoral college, Trump supporters stormed the capital, breaching the senate chamber.
Gold prices moved lower, breaking down and testing trend line support. November highs near 1,950. Support is near the 10-day moving average near 1,897. Resistance is seen near the January highs at 1,959. The 10-day moving average crossed above the 50-day moving average, which means a medium-term uptrend is now in place.
Short-term momentum has turned negative as the fast stochastic generated a crossover sell signal. The current reading on the fast stochastic is 88, above the overbought trigger level of 80, foreshadowing a correction. Medium-term momentum is positive as the MACD (moving average convergence divergence) histogram prints in the black with a positive trajectory, which points to higher prices.
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