Pelosi warns Democrats of liberal ‘menace’ ahead of 2020 vote

Freshman Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., center, smiles as she stands between Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas, left, and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., as Democrats rally outside the Capitol ahead of passage of H.R. 1, "The For the People Act," a bill which aims to expand voting rights and strengthen ethics rules, in Washington, Friday, March 8, 2019. (AP)
Updated 16 April 2019

Pelosi warns Democrats of liberal ‘menace’ ahead of 2020 vote

  • Pelosi touted her own liberal upbringing and accomplishments representing the deeply Democratic voters of San Francisco

LONDON: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday her Democratic Party must avoid the “menace” of liberal policies pushed by rising political stars if it wants to beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election.
The top congressional Democrat used an appearance at the London School of Economics to set out a centrist vision that could help woo Republican voters frustrated with Trump’s approach.
She followed standard US diplomatic protocol of senior officials not criticizing the president while abroad.
But she made explicitly clear that new Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — an emerging force in US politics who is often simply referred to as AOC — and fellow young progressives elected in 2018 represented only the margins of American society.
“When we won this election, it wasn’t in districts like mine or Alexandria’s,” Pelosi said in reference to the November midterms in which the Democrats gained control of the House of Representatives.
“Those are districts that are solidly Democratic — this glass of whatever would win with a D next to its name in those districts,” said the Speaker after picking up a glass off a coffee table.
Pelosi touted her own liberal upbringing and accomplishments representing the deeply Democratic voters of San Francisco.
“I can compare my liberal credentials across the board. I said to them: ‘Anything you’re about, I got that sign in my basement 20 years ago’,” Pelosi said.
But “what we are saying is, to have a message that appeals to people in a way that does not menace them,” she said.
“I share those values — but we must win.”

Pelosi is officially in London to gauge progress in Britain’s stalled efforts to withdraw from the European Union after 46 years.
But her stay has coincided with an ugly war of words that has pitted Trump against the new breed of Democrats like Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar.
Trump accused Omar — the first black Muslim woman elected to Congress — in a tweet Monday of making “anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and ungrateful US HATE statements.”
Their latest spat concerns Omar’s remarks about the treatment of American Muslims since the September 2001 terror attacks on New York and Washington.
Yet Omar’s comments about US political backing for Israel being fueled by money from a pro-Israel lobbying group led to criticism from both sides of the political aisle.
Pelosi used a meeting with Britain’s opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn on Sunday to speak out against anti-Semitism in politics.
She tweeted after the meeting that she and Corbyn discussed the importance of “protecting human rights, and the necessity of forcefully confronting anti-Semitism & Islamophobia.”
Corbyn has been under pressure from Jewish groups to more thoroughly investigate and clamp down on anti-Semitic incidents involving Labour members.
But Pelosi also stuck up for Omar in her current standoff with Trump.
“I don’t think any president of the United States should use the tragedy of 9/11 as a political tool,” Pelosi said.

Fears grow as ‘chamki’ fever kills 100 children in Bihar

Updated 59 min 58 sec ago

Fears grow as ‘chamki’ fever kills 100 children in Bihar

  • Multi-disciplinary institute planned to identify reason behind disease
  • Encephalitis is an inflammation of the brain, caused by viruses. Symptoms include high fever, vomiting

NEW DELHI: When Arun Ram took his four-year-old daughter Sandhya Kumari to hospital in late May, he thought she was suffering from fever brought on by a seasonal virus.

But within 12 hours of her admission his daughter had died.

The initially mild fever had run out of control, causing mental disorientation, seizures and delirium.

Kumari was among more than 100 children who fell victim to acute encephalitis syndrome in the eastern Indian state of Bihar.

The state’s central districts of Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Sheohar and East Champaran are worst affected. Official estimates suggest a death toll of 130, with 15 children under the age of 10 dying on Sunday alone.

Locally, the syndrome is known as “chamki” fever.

“In my hospital, 291 patients have been admitted, 91 have been discharged and 83 have lost their lives up until Monday,” said Dr. Sunil Kumar Sahi, medical superintendent of Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital in Muzaffarpur.

“The cause of the death is not known,” he told Arab News.

“This is matter of research. We follow a medical protocol in treating such patients because all the children are suffering from inflammation of brain or encephalopathy.

“We are telling the people that they should not come out in the heat, and they should eat on time. If there is a fever, they should take a cold bath and take medicine.” 

Sanjay Kumar, Bihar government’s principal secretary, said that the disease had affected 222 blocks in 12 districts in central Bihar.

On Sunday, a five-year-old girl died in front of Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan while he was visiting the hospital.

“The situation is really grim in the area adjoining Muzaffarpur. The death toll has reached 127, but government data is still not giving a clear picture,” Raj Kumar, a local reporter, said.

The government has announced it will set up a 100-bed hospital to ease the growing concern in the region. 

A team of doctors has been deployed in central Bihar’s main hospitals to handle the growing number of cases.

“A multi-disciplinary institute will be set up here in the next year to identify the reason behind this disease,” the health minister said.