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Sunday
November 2018
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News Headlines
India in Australia: Kohli promises to not start arguments, only finish them        At Least Two Killed, Eight Injured In Blast In Karachi        Centre's New Move May Escalate Feud With RBI Ahead Of Board Meet: Report        'Gaja' crosses coast, rainfall pounds TN, 22 dead        Sabarimala board to move SC, buy time to implement order        Sabarimala board to move SC, buy time to implement order        Sindhu crashes out; Srikanth, Sameer enter quarterfinals of Hong Kong Open        No more chopping and changing till World Cup: Ravi Shastri        Air India eyes Rs 800 cr from sale of over 70 properties        Intel India opens design house costing Rs 1,100 cr at B'luru        US, China see rival visions for entwined Asia-Pacific region        Imran Khan to visit Malaysia next week; likely to seek monetary aid        EC removes Mizoram chief electoral officer after protests        Lankesh murder accused sent to SIT custody in Pansare case        Agri sector needs long-term solutions, loan waiver temporary: Naidu        Top India, China officials hold defence, security dialogue, agree to step up military exchanges        Jailed Om Prakash Chautala Expels Older Son For "Anti-Party Activities"        ISRO Launches Communication Satellite, Has 'Geo-Eye' To Monitor India        US Vice President Mike Pence takes Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to task over treatment of Rohingya        Sri Lankan Parliament passes no-trust vote against Rajapaksa        
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International News
Amid deep budget cuts, $52,701 spent on curtains for Nikki Haley’s official residence: Report
 
(New York, Sep 14, 2018):The US State Department spent about $52,701 last year on customised and mechanised curtains for the official residence of US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at a time when the department was undergoing deep budget cuts and had frozen hiring, according to a media report.

The report in The New York Times said Haley is the first US ambassador to live in the residence, located in a new building just blocks away from the UN headquarters here.

A spokesman for Haley said plans to buy the curtains were made in 2016, during the Obama administration and that Haley had no say in the purchase.

The curtains themselves cost $29,900, while the motors and hardware needed to open and close them automatically cost $22,801, the report said, citing contracts. Installation took place from March to August last year, during Haley’s tenure as ambassador.

Haley, 46, is the highest ranking Indian-American in the Donald Trump administration.

The NYT report said that Haley’s curtains are more expensive than the $31,000 dining room set purchased for the office of Ben Carson, the secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Following the controversial $31,000 purchase, President Donald Trump had even considered firing Carson.

“While Haley’s curtains were being ordered and installed, Rex W Tillerson, the administration’s first secretary of state, had frozen hiring, pushed out many of the department’s most senior diplomats and proposed cutting the department’s budget by 31 per cent. In embassies around the world, projects were eliminated, jobs were left unfilled and the delegation to last year’s United Nations General Assembly meeting was slashed,” the report said.

The report quoted White House official in the Obama administration Brett Bruen as saying that how could more than $50,000 be spent on a customised curtain system for the ambassador to the UN when “you…tell diplomats that basic needs cannot be met.”

Patrick Kennedy, the top management official at the State Department during the Obama administration, however, defended the purchase, saying that it would probably be used for years and that it was needed for both security and entertaining purposes.

“All she’s got is a part-time maid, and the ability to open and close the curtains quickly is important,” Kennedy said.

Haley’s predecessors had for decades lived in the Waldorf Astoria hotel near the UN but after the hotel was purchased by a Chinese insurance company, the State Department decided in 2016 to find a new residence for its top diplomat due to security concerns.

The NYT report said the government leased the apartment with an option to buy, according to Kennedy.

“The full-floor penthouse, with handsome hardwood floors covering large open spaces stretching nearly 6,000 square feet, was listed at $58,000 a month,” it said.


At Least Two Killed, Eight Injured In Blast In Karachi
US, China see rival visions for entwined Asia-Pacific region
Imran Khan to visit Malaysia next week; likely to seek monetary aid
US Vice President Mike Pence takes Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi to task over treatment of Rohingya
Sri Lankan Parliament passes no-trust vote against Rajapaksa
UK says Brexit deal 'almost within touching distance'
Trump criticises Macron again over European defence remarks
175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak
Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena
Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California
"Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side
One killed, several injured in stabbing attack in Melbourne: Police
Journalists beware: After Bloomberg bots, AI news presenter debuts in China
Russia says it thwarted drone attacks at World Cup
Pak PM Imran Khan wishes Hindu community on Diwali
UK opens up armed forces recruitment to more Indians
US midterms: Key factors that will drive verdict on 21 months of Trumpism
India, China Among 8 Countries Exempt From US Sanctions On Iran Oil
"Help Us Exit From Pakistan": Asia Bibi's Husband Asks Trump For Refuge
Sri Lanka's ousted PM says US, Japan freeze aid over political crisis
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
KERALA NEWS
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
 Thiruvananthapuram, OCT 27: As the number of people arrested for allegedly being involved in violent
Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge
Sabarimala row: Protests against SC verdict continue
Balabhaskar's wife Lakshmi shifted to ICU
NATIONAL NEWS
'Gaja' crosses coast, rainfall pounds TN, 22 dead
 (Chennai, Nov17, 2018): Cyclone Gaja ripped through Nagapattinam early Friday uprooting trees
EC removes Mizoram chief electoral officer after protests
Lankesh murder accused sent to SIT custody in Pansare case
Agri sector needs long-term solutions, loan waiver temporary: Naidu
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