Hours after expelling 10 Russian diplomats in connection with interference in last year’s US presidential elections, President Joe Biden has proposed a strategic stability dialogue with Moscow, as officials of the two countries discussed the possibility of a summit meeting in Europe this summer.
The US on Thursday announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and slapped sanctions on over 30 individuals and key financial institutions as it held Kremlin accountable for interference in last year’s presidential election and the hacking of American federal agencies. Hours after signing the executive order imposing sanctions on its erstwhile cold war rival, Biden told reporters at the White House that during a telephonic conversation with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, he had proposed that they meet in person this summer in Europe for a summit to address a range of issues facing both the countries.
“Our teams are discussing that possibility right now. And if that summit were to occur, and I believe it will, the United States and Russia could launch a strategic stability dialogue to pursue cooperation in arms control and security, Biden said. We can address critical global challenges that require Russia and the United States to work together, including reining in nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea, ending this (COVID-19) pandemic globally, and meeting the existential crisis of climate change, he said.
During the phone call, Biden said he expressed concern on Russia’s military build up on the Ukraine border and in Crimea. “I affirmed US support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. And I strongly urged him (Putin) to refrain from any military action, he said. “Now is the time to deescalate. The way forward is through thoughtful dialogue and diplomatic process. The US is prepared to continue constructively to move toward that process. My bottom line is this: where there’s an interest in the United States to work with Russia we should and we will. Where Russia seeks to violate the interests of the United States we will respond. We will always stand in defense of our country, our institutions, our people, and our allies, Biden said.
Biden said he discussed the nature of the relationship between the countries. “And I was candid, respectful, the conversation was candid and respectful. Two great powers with significant responsibility for global stability, he said. President Putin and I have had a significant responsibility to steward that relationship. I take that responsibility very seriously as I’m sure he does. Russia and Americans are both proud and patriotic people. And I believe the Russian people, like the American people, are invested in a peaceful and a secure future of our world, he said.
Biden said during the campaign for the presidency, he was unequivocal that if elected president he would respond to any attempt to influence the elections. I told him if it turned out that I thought that there was engagement in our elections that I would respond. Later during the transition as we learned more about the SolarWinds cyber intrusion I made clear that I’d respond once we determined who had in fact conducted a hack on the scope and scale that occurred, he said. During the phone calls in January and again in April, Biden said he told Putin that the US would shortly be responding in a measured and a proportionate way. “Because we have concluded that they had interfered in the election and SolarWinds was totally out of inappropriate,” he said.
Russia has denied any involvement in US elections or on offering the bounties. Moscow has also said that it has nothing to do with the SolarWinds computer attack. “Today I have approved several steps including expulsion of several Russian officials as a consequence of their actions. I’ve also signed an executive order authorising new measures including sanctions to address specific harmful actions that Russia has taken against US interests. I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further but I chose not to do so. I chose to be proportionate,” Biden said.
The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. “We want a stable, predictable relationship. If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I’m prepared to take further actions to respond.
It is my responsibility as president of the United States to do so. But throughout our long history of competition, our two countries have been able to find ways to manage tensions and to keep them from escalating out of control,” he said. “There are also areas where Russia and the United States can and should work together. For example, in the earliest days of my administration we were able to move quickly to extend for five years the New START treaty and maintain that key element of nuclear stability between our nations. That was in the interest of the United States, of Russia, and quite frankly of the world. And we got it done,” he said.
For Those Recovering from the Virus, Here is How Long to Wait Before Taking the Covid-19 Vaccine
With India’s vaccination drive slowly gathering pace and the number of infections refusing to die down, there are many who are testing positive for the virus after being partially inoculated. There are others who are recovering and need to be vaccinated.
The concern now is on the number of days that recovering individuals need to wait before going for the jab.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests a wait for 90 days from the day one tests positive for Covid-19 if he/she has not received the vaccine.
A report by The Indian Express quoted immunologist Dr Vineeta Bal from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), infection-triggered immunity is likely to last for a few months, and it would be advisable to wait for 6-8 weeks after recovery.
Vaccine scientist Dr Gagandeep Kang told Indian Express that data from the UK shows there is 80% protection following a natural infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is fine to even wait up to six months, she said.
This is in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) which reviewed data and said it was all right to delay vaccination for six months after a natural infection, as natural antibodies are likely to persist in the body until then.
For those infected after the first dose, the second dose can be given eight weeks after the person tests positive.
The body starts producing antibodies after the infection and it is akin to getting a vaccine. However it is advisable to wait for at least eight weeks before taking the second dose, experts recommend.
Scientists are still learning about natural and vaccine-induced immunity. According to the CDC, it typically takes two weeks for the body to build protection after vaccination, and hence it is possible to get infected.
Karnataka Temporarily Suspends Vaccination For 18-44 Age Group, Will Prioritise Second Dose
Owing to the short supply of Covid vaccines, Karnataka on Wednesday decided to ‘temporarily suspend’ vaccination drive for those aged between 18 to 44 years.
In a series of tweets, the Karnataka Health department said that the state government has decided that the vaccine procured directly by the state government for vaccination of persons between 18 and 44 years too will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries who are due for the second dose.
“Therefore, all vaccines available with the state government i.e. supplied by union government and procured directly by state will be utilized for vaccination of beneficiaries due for second dose,” the Karnataka health department tweet explained.
The Health department added that vaccination drives for the 18 to 44 age group, including those who have already booked appointments will be temporarily suspended from May 14 till further orders.
According to the health department, the state government on May 7 had decided to utilise the complete supply of vaccines provided by the union government for vaccination of persons above 45 years, for vaccinating beneficiaries who were due for second dose.
“But under the changed circumstances and severe shortage of vaccine, the vaccine procured directly by the state government for vaccination of persons between 18 to 44 years too will be utilised for vaccination of beneficiaries who are due for second dose,” a senior health department official told reporters on the condition of anonymity.
The health department added that this order will be applicable for Covid vaccination at all state-run Covid vaccination centres in the state.
As of now, only two vaccines manufactured by Pune based Serum Institute of India (SII) and Hyderabad based Bharat Biotech are allowed in India for mass inoculation programme, but these companies are struggling to meet the country’s overwhelming demand for vaccines amid the ferocious second wave that has seen India’s Covid burden go up manifold.
Karnataka symbolically launched anti-Covid vaccination drive on May 1 but ever since it has failed to take off due to short supply of vaccines.
Karnataka Health minister, K. Sudhkar was first to state on April 30 that it was better to put off the launch of the drive on May 1 as the state had not received required stock and this was even endorsed by Chief Minister, B.S. Yediyurappa on that day. But, Yediyurappa the next day launched the vaccination drive symbolically on May 1.
Check Out Tithi, Shubh Muhurat, Rahu Kaal and Other Details For Thursday
May 13 will mark the Shukla Paksha Dwitiya Tithi of Hindi month Vaishakha in Vikram Samvat 2078 and the day is Guruvara (Thursday). The Dwitiya tithi will prevail up to the full night on May 13. The day Guruvara is dedicated to Lord Brihaspati who is known as the priest of gods. Devotees observe fast and worship Lord Brihaspati by offering yellow flowers, sandals, clothes, jaggery and gram pulse. He is also believed to be an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Know about the tithi, timings, Nakshatra, and other details for May 13.
Sunrise and Sunset time for May 13:
Sunrise time – 05:32 am
Sunset time – 07.04 pm
Moonrise time – 06.26 am
Moonset time – 08.33 pm
Tithi, Nakshatra, and Rashi Details for May 13:
Dwitiya Tithi will prevail up to a full night on May 13. The Nakshatra will be Rohini up to the full night. Sun will remain in Mesha Rashi while Moon will transition to Vrishabha Rashi.
Shubh Muhurats on May 13:
The most auspicious muhurat of the day i.e, Abhijit Muhurat will prevail between 11:51 am and12:45 pm on May 13. This time period is believed to be one of the most auspicious muhurat to perform any puja or to start any work. There are some other shubh muhurats which also prevail for a certain period of time almost every day. These are Vijaya muhurat andGodhuli muhurat which will take place between 02:33 pm and03:27 pm, 06:50 pm and 07:14 pm, respectively. There will be no Amrit Kalam for today.
Inauspicious timings for May 13:
The most inauspicious muhurat Rahu Kalam will prevail between 1.59 pm and3.41 pm on May 13. It is said that any auspicious work during this time is interfered with by planet Rahu. Other inauspicious muhurat like Gulikai Kalam and Varjyam will last from 08:55 am to 10:36 am and 08:44 pm to 10:32 pm.
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- For Those Recovering from the Virus, Here is How Long to Wait Before Taking the Covid-19 Vaccine May 13, 2021
- History, Significance and Celebrations of Eid after Ramadan May 13, 2021
- Karnataka Temporarily Suspends Vaccination For 18-44 Age Group, Will Prioritise Second Dose May 13, 2021
- Eid Mubarak Wishes, Images, Quotes, Status, Messages, Photos and Greetings May 13, 2021
- Check Out Tithi, Shubh Muhurat, Rahu Kaal and Other Details For Thursday May 12, 2021
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