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The World This Morning: December 16, 2020

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE CONFIRMED JOE BIDEN'S VICTORY IN US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION 2020

President Donald Trump was reluctant in accepting his defeat for over a month now. He claimed electoral fraud and his supporters backed him by staging protests. However, the electoral college has made Joe Biden's victory official. He won with a solid majority of 306 electoral votes to Trump's 232 and is ready to take charge as the US president in January.

INDIAN PRIME MINISTER NARENDRA MODI ACCUSED INDIA'S OPPOSITION PARTIES OF MISLEADING FARMERS

He said that the opposition themselves wanted to bring in these reforms but they were unable to do so during their term. Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said that the new ordinances have been welcomed in many states across the country. The farmers have been protesting against the new Farm Bill for over 20 days now. They have threatened to completely block a section which connects India's capital with the state of Uttar Pradesh.

CANADIANS ARE PROTESTING IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE INDIAN FARMERS

Toronto and other Canadian cities organised rallies protesting against the new farm bill passed by the Indian government. They are saying that the law is simply unjust and would not benefit the farmers. Farmers from across India have been actively protesting and demanding the repeal of the law. Various rounds of meetings between the farmers and the government has failed. Canadians say that the protest is not just for Sikhs or Punjabis. It is for the sake of hardworking farmers.

14 DEAD BODIES HAVE BEEN FOUND ON THE VENEZUELAN COAST

They are possibly part of a group who boarded a boat on 6 December to flee economic hardship in their homeland. Local media reported that at least two children were among the dead. The International Organization for Migration estimates that 5.4 million people have left Venezuela in the past five years to escape an economic and political crisis that has led to shortages of food and medicines, fuel, and widespread power cuts.

SINGAPORE TO OPEN BUSINESS TRAVEL BUBBLE

Singapore is taking steps to reopen international travel. It is preparing to host the World Economic Forum's annual gathering next year. Singapore will start a new travel lane for "business, official and high economic value travellers" that will allow people to come to the city-state without being quarantined for short-term visits and stay in "bubble" facility near the airport.

EUROPEAN NATIONS TIGHTEN COVID RESTRICTIONS AHEAD OF CHRISTMAS

The Netherlands has entered a five-week lockdown, with non-essential shops, theatres and gyms closing. Germany, meanwhile, will enter a hard lockdown from Wednesday after the number of infections reached record levels. France has lifted its lockdown, but widespread measures remain in place as the infection rate is still high. Italy, Spain, France and the UK are among the countries that have recorded the highest number of cases during the pandemic.

UK AND INDIA HAVE DECIDED TO WORK ON A 10 YEAR ROADMAP FOR BETTER RELATIONS

The talk happened in the backdrop of Britain looking to enhance its trade ties during its troubled exit from the European Union. The discussions between the foreign ministers focused on enhanced cooperation in five areas of connecting people, trade, defence and security, climate change and health. The two sides also discussed the situation in Afghanistan, the evolution of the Indo-Pacific, the crisis in the Middle East and challenges posed by terrorism.

AFTER INDIA, CHINA'S RELATIONSHIP IS NOW DETERIORATING WITH AUSTRALIA

The relationship took a turn for the worst when a spokesperson of the Chinese government tweeted an edited image of an Australian soldier who was holding a knife to the throat of an Afghan child. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison responded to the tweet within a few hours and demanded an apology from the Chinese government. The Chinese government further criticised Australia for treating its 'goodwill with evil'.

JOE BIDEN'S TEAM IS PLANNING TO REVERSE MANY OF THE SANCTIONS AND REGULATIONS IMPOSED ON CUBA UNDER THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

The strategy includes reducing restrictions on travel, investment and remittances for the island nation. With a packed domestic agenda, it's unclear how quickly Biden will move on implementing his Cuba policy. Even if some changes happen early, the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown could delay the benefits of any measures that allow for greater travel to the island.

THAILAND'S ECONOMIC RECOVERY MAY BE THE SLOWEST IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

The Bank of Thailand will cut its policy rate from 0.5% to 0% in the coming months to support the country's "fragile" recovery. One of the officials said, "We've been arguing that they are falling off a fiscal cliff, government spending is actually turning negative in the second half of the year. The BSP will have to take up the mantle in trying to boost their recovery." Amidst the pandemic, the ongoing political protest has left Thailand's economy in a "Pretty bad" state. Demonstrations across Thailand have been peaceful. This week protesters, counter-protesters and police landed in the worst violence since it began in July. On Wednesday, the angry Protesters also targeted Bangkok's police headquarters and the law enforcement officers used tear gas and cannons at the demonstrators.


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