Arms Rolled Up to Restore Safety in New York

After being sworn into office, Eric Adams, the new mayor of New York, the largest city in the U.S. with a population of around 9 million, sped up the process to return the city to its former peaceful days.

Having served as the chief of police in New York for years, Adams appointed Keechant Sewell, a black person like him, as the first female New York City Police Commissioner. At today's joint press conference, the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul, and Mayor Adams announced that they would do whatever it takes to establish safety and restore the city to its peaceful days.

Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams announced that they would start with the subway for the city's safety. To prevent the crime that has been increasing in the last two years in NYC subways, the first step will be to beef up the police patrols underground and to deploy health professionals to get the homeless living in subways due to the pandemic the city has been grappling with for the last two years into shelters.

Hochul and Adams noted that the most important element of their new strategy to increase the ridership of the NYC subway, which has seen a drop in the last two years due to lack of safety, was to make the riders feel safe again. Mayor Adams said the police presence was crucial for safety, adding, "Since the riders do not see the police officers, they think the subways are unsafe, but they will see the officers from now on." Sewell, the first female Commissioner of the New York Police Department, stated that the new measures would significantly increase the visibility of the police officers in subways. "Our cops will be more visible in subways and talk to the riders. We will talk to the riders, saying 'Good morning!' to them and asking how they are and how their day is going," she added. "We will hear them and reply back."

Governor Hochul and Mayor Adams stated that, instead of the police officers, trained mental health professionals and social workers would take the homeless to the shelters.

New York Mayor Adams said, "The state laws prohibit the police officers from removing the homeless from public transportation by force. We want the New York police to help the homeless. However, the members of the parliament should review the outdated law. There is no separation between the subway system and the streets above."

Mayor Adams, also a victim of police violence, said, "Do not be abusive and unfair to the community. I promise to protect you, as long as you protect the community. But, I will not let abusive police officers hurt their fellow officers."

The current number of passengers in the New York subway is down by 50% compared to the pre-pandemic level. New Yorkers do not find taking the subway safe due to the spiked crime rate in the last two years. In 2021, approximately 500 people were killed in New York. Gangs have gained more control in certain parts of the city. City-wide crimes, including armed assault, extortion, theft, and looting, have increased compared to the previous years. In the last two years, the pandemic and the spike in crime rates have caused many people to move out of New York. New Yorkers are hopeful about the city being safe again with their new mayor, a former police chief, and their first female police commissioner being on duty.

The Future of U.S.-Turkey Relations and Prospects in 2022

Turk of America Journalist Ali Cinar analyzed what happened in the relations between Turkey and the U.S. in 2021.He also analyzed the future of the relationship between two NATO Allies.

U.S.-Turkey Relations in 2021

-Since taking office in January, President Biden has maintained a distance from President Erdogan.

-Biden and Erdogan had only one phone call and two meetings (in Brussels and in Rome).

-Secretary of State Blinken and Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu had 12 meetings, 8 of which were over the phone and 4 in person. The U.S. Secretary maintains contact through diplomatic channels.

Issues

YPG/PKK: The U.S. defense budget includes an aid for education that is worth $177 million. However, there are issues that remain unsolved.

F-35/F-16: In addition to Turkey's official removal from the F-35 program, the U.S., a NATO ally, still imposes sanctions on Turkey, another NATO ally. These sanctions are imposed on the official representatives of the Defense Industry. Negotiations on the F-16 matter are ongoing, but it is possible that the Biden Administration will string out Turkey's demand up until 2023. 

Halkbank: All of the appeals made by the bank's legal team were denied. Eventually, they appealed to the Supreme Court. However, the local courts may find Halkbank guilty and submit the required conditions for the penalty sentencing to the Ministry of Finance in 2022.

Afghanistan: The U.S. negotiates with the Taliban either directly or through Qatar. The Biden Administration deliberately refrains from giving any credit to Turkey for its role and efforts in the Afghanistan matter.

Libya: The U.S. did not target Turkey directly while asking for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Libya.

Eastern Mediterranean  The initiation of drilling work in Cyprus performed by the American energy company Exxon in collaboration with a Qatari energy company has been conducted within the knowledge of the Biden Administration. Explicitly, the Biden Administration is against the two-state solution for Cyprus and the alleged violation-drilling works of Turkey.It should not be considered within the context of the Biden Administration's policy but in that of the policy of the last five years.

Turkey-Russia Cooperation: As it follows Turkish rapprochement with Russia in defense closely, the Congress will indeed impose sanctions after the recent S-400 purchase. In addition, the U.S., which is pleased with Turkey getting closer to Ukraine, is curious about Turkey's attitude toward Russia if Russia makes an invasion attempt.

U.S. Congress: A total of 89 of the Congress members are in the Turkish Coalition Group; 4 of them are senators, and 85 of them are members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Turkey is one of the countries that have a bad reputation after Russia and China. The collective efforts of Armenian, Greek, YPG-PKK, and Indian opposition groups are effective in terms of this bad reputation.  Moreover, serious steps were taken against Turkey and Azerbaijan, especially through the personal endeavor of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, Menendez.

FETO Issue: While this issue was shut down in Washington, D.C., FETO silently continues to grow stronger.

Human Rights:  Turkey's exclusion from the Democracy Summit was perceived as a message to Ankara.

Trade Volume Increase to $100 Million: The Biden Administration shares the eagerness toward increasing the trade volume, which was initiated by President Trump and President Erdogan. However, no steps were taken regarding how to do it and in which way to do it.

2022 Expectations:

-President Erdogan's and President Biden's relations will continue at a steady level. However, Biden will maintain his distance. Their first meeting is predicted to take place in Madrid during the NATO Summit in June.

-Turkey's growing rapprochement with Russia in the defense areas might trigger new sanctions. It is worth noting that, on September 28, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Menendez said there would be no new sales unless S-400 was off the table.

-It is expected that the major issues will still be on the table in 2022.

-The Congress is likely to impose new sanctions against Turkey and take new steps for expansion of the Greek military.

-It should be taken into account that although mending Turkey–Armenia relations will continue to receive a positive response from Washington, D.C., Armenian associations are likely to overshadow these efforts.

-Biden is expected to deliver a speech on April 24, 2022, with the same transcript from 2021 about the alleged Armenian genocide.

-New Ambassador Flake will be in Ankara on January 7. Having been in the political scene and the Congress for over 18 years, Flake may prevent crises by acting as a bridge between the Biden administration and Ankara.

-The Central Bank of the United States is expected to raise interest at least three times in 2022, the first of which will be in March.

- The section supports the interest of Turkey–U.S. relations, which have decreased in Washington, D.C.; it will be critical to perform mutual concrete and outcome-oriented visits between Turkey and USA.

Biden's Foreign Policy in the first year and 2022

Areas of success: Distribution of vaccines to many countries, response to international organizations (e.g., the World Health Organization and the U.N. Human Rights Council), more systematic coordination with the E.U. countries (the latest being the joint declarations on the Ukraine issue), restoration of trust within NATO, promise to give more importance to Asia-Pacific and Australia, India, and Japan (the QUAD)

Areas of failure: He is criticized in terms of his empty rhetoric against Russia and China, and having no concrete strategies, particularly against China, and remaining weak in terms of economic relations with the region. Republicans in Congress have reacted to him after his withdrawal failure in Afghanistan, inconclusive nuclear agreement endeavors with Iran.He maintained Trump's policies in the Middle East

-The most important agenda item will be negotiated with Russia in January. Ukraine is at the top of the main list of the 2022 agenda, together with a struggle with China, of course. Regarding the struggle with China, Biden's return to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) , which Trump exited, is on the agenda.

2022 Congress Midterm Elections:

-In the 2022 congressional midterm elections, 435 seats are up for election in the House of Representatives as opposed to 34 seats in the Senate.

Current Situation:

-House of Representatives: Democrats – 221, Republicans – 213, empty seats – 1

-Senate: 50 Democrats, 50 Republicans

-Midterm Election Polls (average of ten polling companies – Real Clear Politics- Republicans 44.1%, Democrats 41.7%

-Biden is likely to lose the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives at this rate.

-Midterm elections are not in favor of the president's political party. The midterm elections resulted in the Democratic Party losing approximately 30 seats in the House of Representatives and the Senate combined.

Two American candidates with Turkish heritage:

-Pennsylvania State Republican Candidate Mehmet Öz (highly popular and has a good chance if Trump supports his candidacy)

-New Jersey House of Representatives Deputy Nominee Republican: Tayfun Selen

-Eric Adams, the Turkish-friendly Mayor of New York: Eric Adams, who has been to Turkey five times since January 1, took office in New York. One of his missions is to sign a sister-city agreement between Istanbul and New York.

Biden's Annual Performance Review:

-The Average of the Poll Results from Eight Polling Companies between December 11 and December 27: 43% "approve," 53.4% "disapprove"

Who can run for president in the 2024 presidential elections?

-Democrats: If Biden doesn't run, the strongest first candidate is Kamala Harris, followed by the rising star Pete Buttigieg, the secretary of transportation.

-Republican: Top candidate of choice is the 45th President Trump, and the second most popular candidate is Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. It is said that President Trump will be done up by 2024 because of the January 6 Congressional raid investigation and the lawsuits brought against him/his institutions. The governor of Florida has serious popularity among the Republicans, but Trump's candidacy is considered certain.

2022 Topics in the U.S.:

-The Battle against COVID: The number of COVID-related deaths in the U.S. is expected to reach 1 million by March 1, 2022.

-There is high economic distress with a 6.8% inflation rate, the economic damage caused by COVID-19, and an unemployment rate being 4.2%.

-The decisions of the Fed will be critical in 2022.

Some Key Meetings in 2022:

June 29-30 NATO Leaders Summit,Spain

October 30-31: G20 Leaders Summit,Indonesia

September 13-27;UN General Assembly

November:U.S Midterm Elections

The United States Doubles Its Order of COVID-19 Pills

The United States Doubles Its Order of COVID-19 Pills

President Biden joined the briefing held by the White House COVID-19 Response Team. Speaking at the beginning of the briefing,President Biden stated that the United States' order of COVID-19 pills was doubled from 10 million.

Biden emphasized that the Pfizer pills would dramatically decrease hospitalizations and deaths in high-risk individuals He stated that the first batch of the COVID-19 pills was delivered on Christmas Eve and that more would be delivered this week.

Biden said he directed the government to buy an additional 10 million courses of Pfizer, increasing the purchase amount to 20 million. Biden emphasized that this pill will be a game-changer for the pandemic.

"Omicron's effects depend on whether we are vaccinated or not."

Pointing out the increase in daily cases up to 1 million in the United States, Biden said that Omicron is highly transmissible and different from all the other previous variants. "However, you can protect yourselves," Biden added.

"Get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask while you are in public," Biden repeated.

Biden said that the increase in cases would depend on the vaccination status of every individual, also noting that while the fully vaccinated plus a booster shot still have the risk of getting COVID-19, their risk of severe prognosis decreases greatly.

Pointing out to the increase in cases across the country in the organizations and workplaces, including the White House, Biden also said, "However, if you are fully vaccinated plus a booster shot, it means you are well protected."

"Worry but do not panic," Biden said, adding that the unvaccinated are more susceptible with a higher risk of severe prognosis and mortality.





Recently elected New York City Mayor Eric Adams officially took office. Adams was sworn into office in Times Square on January 1, 2022, just after the New Year's ball drop.

Adams was sworn into office as he placed his hand on the Bible. It was reported that Adams brought his family's Bible for the oath ceremony. Some 15,000 are joining in the New Year's Eve celebrations at Adams's inauguration in Times Square, New York. Usually crowded with around 60,000 people, the New Year's Eve celebrations this year saw a mere 15,000 revelers due to COVID-19.

The mayoral election in New York City was held on November 2. Adams, who had the position of Brooklyn Borough president before, became the second African American mayor of New York City.

President Biden signs the 2022 defense bill

U.S. President Joe Biden signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes defense expenditures for the fiscal year of 2022 and was approved by Congress last month.

The $768.2 billion NDAA -signed into law by Biden- provides $740 billion for the Department of Defense (Pentagon), $27.8 billion for defense-related expenditures in the Department of Energy, and $0.4 billion for other defense-related activities.

The NDAA passed the House of Representatives on December 7, and the Senate approved it on December 15.

What does the bill include about Turkey?


Amendments to investigate and report on the utilization of drones in the Nagorno-Karabakh war and to remove the exception which blocks the aid to Azerbaijan were added to the NDAA.

The word "Turkey '' was mentioned once, and Azerbaijan was mentioned four times in the 2,165 pages long NDAA.

- Page 1089: A United States diplomatic strategy for 19 Syria, including a description of the desired diplomatic objectives for advancing United States national interests in Syria, desired end-goals, and a description of the intended diplomatic and related foreign policy means to achieve such objectives, including engagement with key foreign actors operating in 2 Syria such as Russia and Turkey

- $522 million Counter ISIS program in Syria and Iraq ($177 million support for YPG/PKK in Syria)

"U.S. - Greece Defense and Interparliamentary Partnership Act" introduced by Menendez and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was also added to the NDAA.

The bill envisions full support for the military modernization of Greece,
approves and accelerates the sales of new U.S. military equipment and fosters cooperation between Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the U.S.

The bill includes articles that authorize the President of the U.S. to expedite the supply and delivery process of F-35s if Greece decides to buy them from the U.S.

The bill also includes numerous articles about sexual assault in the Army, extremism, and fighting against racism. It also consists of a 2.7 percent increase in basic military pay.

The bill increases the minimum required time for someone who retired from the U.S. Army to become the Secretary of Defense from 7 years to 10 years. The requirement to become secretary-general is similarly increased from 5 years to 7 years.

The bill increases the annual military support to Ukraine from $250 million to $300 million. It also mandates $4 billion in funds for the anti-Russia European Deterrence Initiative and $100 million in military support to Baltic countries.

The bill stipulates that China's military moves in the region should be closely monitored. It requests the continuation of the defense cooperation with Taiwan as necessary and calls to ensure that the Taiwanese Army stays modern.

The bill calls for the formation of the independent Afghanistan War Commission, which will examine the 20-year war waged by the U.S. in Afghanistan following its withdrawal.

President Biden To Make An Announcement On Omicron

Ali Cinar-White House : It was reported that President Joe Biden will deliver a speech tomorrow to address the omicron variant and unveil new steps his administration is taking to help communities and businesses  in need of assistance.

President Biden is expected to go beyond his already unveiled winter plan and 2022 with additional measures in his speech. According to a White House official,President Biden will issue a stark warning of what the winter will look like for Americans that choose to remain unvaccinated.

Biden's speech took place during a time where an increase in COVID-19 cases were seen, and health authorities once again advised the public to get vaccinated.The White House officials state that the Administration is prepared to face the surge in cases, and President Biden wants to explain how his team plans to tackle this challenge.

President Biden has been receiving additional Covid briefings from his Covid-19 task force. It was reported that he had told his team the message to the American public must be direct because the Omicron variant is more transmissible and expected to spread more quickly.

Number of cases on rising throughout the country

Having had high cases at the beginning of the pandemic, New York sees the number of cases increase again. The state has been witnessing record daily highs in cases recently, and the state reported more than 21,000 cases last Thursday. While some of the plays in the city are canceled due to cases seen among actors, tourists delay their city break plans.New York reports the highest case numbers in the last 24 hours since the beginning of the pandemic due to the Omicron variant. Governor of New York Kathy Hochul announced that they recorded 21 thousand and 27 cases in the last 24 hours and that this figure was the highest case count since the beginning of the pandemic. A total of 59,000 people died due to the pandemic in New York, which reported a record 19,942 cases 11 months ago.

New York State was leading in case of numbers last week, with Ohio and Illinois following suit. Daily case numbers are on the rise in half of the states in the country. This includes Washington, DC.

The 6th US Federal Court of Appeals reinstated President Joe Biden's mandate for making weekly tests and masks compulsory for the unvaccinated employees of big corporations.

3 Turks in the Transition Team of the New Mayor of NY

 Ali Cinar-Washington,DC : Eric Adams, a friend of Turkey and the mayor-elect of New York, included three Turks in his 700-strong transition team. The Administration of Adams is slowly shaping up as he is set to take over on January 1.

On the website https://www.adamstransition2021.com, Adams got the message that "we're much more than we were told we are. And New York should allow us all to be who we were meant to be" across and also published the committees And contributors list.

With Cenk Ocal in Infrastructure, İbrahim Sen in Clergy, and Metin Turan in Food Policy, it's expected that Rana Abbasova, who's one of the longtime advisors of the New York Mayor Eric Adams, will take charge as special counsel of the New York Mayor's Office.

Eric Adams has visited Turkey six times in the last nine years. He's also a prominent figure who participated in numerous events organized by the Turkish American Community. The Greek diaspora complains about Adams because of his ties to the Turkish Community, whereas he receives excellent support from the Jewish Community.

The new mayor of New York made history by putting detective Keechant Sewell of Long Island in charge of the New York Police Department. Keechant Sewell will be the first female African American police commissioner of the NYPD.

Who is Eric Adams?

Eric Leroy Adams (born September 1, 1960) is an American politician and retired police officer who is the mayor-elect of New York City. The 18th district president of Helen Brooklyn, Adams served in the New York Transit Police Department, followed by the New York City Police Department for over twenty years. He served in the New York State Senate from 2006 to 2013, representing the 20th Senate district in Brooklyn. He described the Senate district. In November 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President. He was reelected in November 2017 and is the first African American to hold the position.

Turks in Mexico

We know that there has been an increase in illegal immigration from Mexico to the USA recently. It is also known that since Biden came to power, a total of 2 million people have passed through the southern border of the USA, and most of them have been caught. Are there any Turks trying to cross the Mexican border to reach the USA? We investigated the presence of Turks in Mexico and what they were doing.

We did an exclusive interview with Nurhan Korkut, a successful businessman living in Mexico.

When did you come to Mexico? Can you explain the situation of the Turks in Mexico? What are they doing?

I came to Mexico in 2011. I also bring silver jewelry from Turkey and sell it here and sell products for Turkey (Mexican coffee, Mexican vanilla, durum wheat). When I first came here, the number of Turks here was minimal, probably 40–50 people. When we come to 2021, this number is said to be between 1900 and 2000. However, 90% of the Turks who come here are married to foreign spouses.

The increase in the number in recent years is that Turkish companies have opened large and small factories and new workplaces, Turkish TV series played on TV, Aucun media is located here, and they make programs together with Azteca TV. In addition, as the country hosts international automotive giants, engineers come from  Turks (Volkswagen Audi, Mercedes Nissan, etc.). Turks are represented here very well, compared to the past, especially our Ambassador is very hardworking and successful, as well as the activities of Tika Mexico and the newly opened Yunus Emre Institute. It creates intimacy among the people.

Mexican people love and accept Turks. There is no racism or any exclusion. There is generally more respect, unlike Europe, and the interesting thing is that they see us as the first respected country.

We know that the Mafias in Mexico and their influence are great. Do they still have power?

The states of Sinaloa, Michigan, Tijuana, and Guadalajara in the north of the country are under the influence of growth and stronger cartels, and the Mexican president is keen on fighting them. Cartel Jalisco Nuevo Generation (CJNG) was formed by the merger of large cartels and is said to be under the control of the Chapo Guzman family. Chapo Guzman's son was arrested in the past years, but his staff raided the police station and took him back from the state.

What is the immigration situation in Mexico and the situation of the Turks now?

Most of the people entering the country are from the south in the state of Chiapas, and now, thousands of refugees are going north as caravans, which are a problem in all cities. Most of them go north by train, bus, or on foot after passing.

The leading countries are the faquir Latín countries, such as Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, El Salvador, and Ecuador. They are all concentrated in the north, mainly in Tijuana and the border states.

The only points through which Turks can enter Mexico are Cancun airport and Mexico city airport. They can arrive through THY and other airline companies, and then they can transfer inland. Visas can be obtained for Turks with a general passport, and the duration is 90 or 180 days. However, airport police can send them back later. For this reason, we are informed that many Turks were deported. However, of course, some Turks make mistakes and are unable to explain why they have to go to a hotel or visit a friend because of language problems. This only started happening in the past year, it never has happened here. In addition, the Turkish community here is in compliance with the law and does not get involved in crimes,

Besides, we see many criminal incidents of Colombians, Cubans, and Venezuelans. Also, we do not have any Turkish people caught or involved in crossing the border. If you come from Turkey and want to cross the border, you have two ways, either by air or by bus. There is no organization formed in this direction, and if you do not speak Spanish and go north, you will encounter many dangers, including being robbed. It is hazardous for you to enter this refugee caravan. In addition, the Turkish cartel and CJNG send support messages to each other in YouTube videos.

What kind of effort are the Turks making to try to enter the US illegally?

There are Turks who try to get in touch with CJNG, namely Cartel Jalisco Nuevo Generation, and give between 3000 and 10,000 dollars to try to pass into the US via Tijuana. This is how we hear. The cartel brings you to the transit area, and you enter from there yourself.

Important Government Service Initiatives from President Biden

President Biden signed an executive order  to streamline and modernize various government services that directly affect Americans, such as retirement benefits, passport renewals, and tax returns.Since taking office, President Biden has stressed the government's desire to demonstrate its commitment to citizens. Monday's order is among the most tangible actions he has taken to deliver on that. During the Oval Office signing ceremony, President Biden said the order would enable the federal government to "put people first" and marked several promised benefits, including levying taxes, less cumbersome filing, and technology improvements to speed up security lines at airports.

"I know it sounds like a simple thing," he said. "I think it's pretty important."

In an information sheet published before the signing, the White House detailed numerous other examples of interactions with government "customers" that could be enhanced through greater online access and streamlined application processes.

"Whether it's researching vaccine safety information, requesting retirement benefits, getting health insurance, going through a security checkpoint, or checking the status of a farm loan application, Americans expect Government services to respond to their needs," the fact sheet said. [WE1] "But often people have to navigate a complex web of Government websites, offices and phone numbers to access the services they depend on."

The executive order identifies 36 "customer experiences" that could be improved at 17 federal agencies. The precaution concerns existing bureaucratic goals. Consumers often struggle to visit offices or make phone calls, and they frequently combat government-contracted mail and machinery delays. President Bill Clinton famously pledged to "reinvent government" with an interagency task force in 1993.

The types of high-quality interactions the American people should expect to have with their Government, and that the Executive Order addresses, include:

RETIRING

For the 54.1 million Americans who are over the age of 65, and the nearly 4 million Americans who become eligible for Social Security benefits each year, who manage their retirement and health care benefits:

  • Retirees will be able to claim their benefits online, receiving updates on the status of their application throughout the process.
  • Medicare recipients will receive personalized online tools so they can save money on drugs, manage their health care, access expanded customer support options (including an in-network pharmacy finder tool), and enjoy a streamlined enrollment experience with the Social Security Administration.

FILING AND MANAGING YOUR TAXES

For the 240 million individuals and businesses who file tax returns each year and the 167 million people who call the IRS for help: 

  • Filers will save time by having the option to schedule customer support call-backs.
  • Filers will be provided with new online tools and services to ease the payment of taxes, which may include automatic direct deposit refunds based on prior year tax returns, tax credit eligibility tools, and expanded electronic filing options.

SURVIVING A DISASTER

For the 25 million individuals, families, and small businesses who live through a Federally recognized natural disaster each year:

  • After a disaster, more survivors will be able to focus on helping their families, businesses, and communities because of streamlined assistance processes, rather than having to navigate a complex Government bureaucracy to get the help they need. Disaster survivors will no longer need to navigate multiple assistance forms across multiple agencies to get the help they need, saving time and energy to allow them to focus on their recovery and well-being. Survivors will have access to more flexible mechanisms to provide supporting documentation, such as virtual inspections and submitting photos of disaster damage from a mobile phone.

TRAVELING

 
For the more than 2 million daily passengers who travel through U.S. airports each year:

  • Americans will be able to renew their passports securely online, saving time from having to wait and the effort and cost required to print, go to a post office, and use a paper check. This new online process will be done with safety and security.
  • Passengers will have shorter security and check-in lines at airports due to increased use of technologies, like new security machines and computers with advanced screening features that streamline these processes.
  • Passengers with urgent, time-sensitive questions or concerns will find it easier to connect with and get help from the Transportation Security Administration through additional channels of communication.

FINANCING POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION

 
For the 1 in 6 Americans, or approximately 45 million people, who are managing their student loans:

  • Direct Loan borrowers will need to navigate only a single repayment portal on StudentAid.gov, so that they can apply for, manage, and repay their loans without having to visit multiple websites and manage multiple sets of credentials for different aspects of their student loans.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness candidates, including civil servants and active-duty service members, will be able to apply for the program with less paperwork than currently and without having to fill out forms with information they have already provided to the Federal government previously.
  • Students and borrowers can receive relevant recommendations for other benefits and services they may qualify for, like health care subsidies, broadband support, and food assistance, in order to connect them with support to lower additional economic barriers to post-secondary education completion.

MANAGING VA HEALTH CARE AND BENEFITS

 
For the 200,000 service members who transition to civilian life each year and the more than 18 million Veterans across the United States:

  • Service members and veterans will be able to use Login.gov accounts to access VA.gov and its information about the health care and benefits they've earned, and outdated and duplicate VA.gov sign-in options will be removed across VA websites and mobile apps.
  • Veterans and beneficiaries, and their caregivers or other designated representatives, will be able to access digital services through a single, integrated, and fully inclusive digital platform on VA.gov and a flagship VA mobile application so that VA’s customers don’t have to use separate portals, websites, or mobile applications when managing their health care and benefits online.

REDUCING BARRIERS FOR THOSE EXPERIENCING POVERTY

 
For the tens of millions of Americans who rely on critical safety net programs:

  • Low-income families can more easily enroll in Federal benefits and recertify their income status more easily across programs using direct certification, a process that automatically certifies income-eligible individuals without extra paperwork, instead of managing multiple, complicated processes that waste time and cause frustration.
  • Those navigating across multiple programs can expect a “no-wrong door” approach – interacting with one Federal program can help get them connected with other benefits and streamline enrollment for which they are eligible.

FINANCING YOUR BUSINESS

 
For the more than 30 million small business owners who may seek credit to grow their businesses and the 90% of U.S. farms that are small and family-owned:

  • Small business owners will be able to submit applications knowing that they will receive prompt and consistent service, such as reduced call center wait times, across Small Business Administration programs, including loans, grants, and certifications, because the agency will measure these experiences.
  • Farmers will be able to quickly and easily apply for loans from the Department of Agriculture with the support of digital tools, saving time, reducing unnecessary paperwork, and avoiding unnecessary trips to a county office.

SUPPORTING WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN

 
For women seeking maternal health care and nutrition access in the critical early years of children’s lives:

  • More patients will be able to get more automated access to their electronic prenatal, birth, and postpartum health records (including lab results, genetic tests, ultrasound images, and clinical notes) to improve their experience and support better care coordination.
  • For the women who deliver 43% of all births in the United States each year covered by Medicaid, patients will have access to safer and more equitable care because of strengthened requirements for maternal health quality measurement, including perinatal quality and patient care experience, and measures will be evaluated by race and ethnicity to better identify and address inequities in maternal health care delivery and outcomes.
  • 7 million women and their children, including half of all infants born in the United States who are eligible for benefits through the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), will be able to grocery shop online, providing an alternative way to access healthy foods for their families.

MANAGING YOUR HEALTH

 
All Americans should be able to access the vital health services they need at the time that they need them. Under this Executive Order:

  • Patients will have increased ability to use telehealth with their doctors, connecting rural Americans, individuals with disabilities, or individuals seeking the convenience of remote options with the health care they need.

UPDATING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ONCE

 
For the more than 30 million people who move each year, and approximately 2 million people who change their names each year:

  • Individuals who move their residences can update their addresses one time with the Federal Government and choose which other Federal or State entities they would like that information shared with.
  • Individuals seeking to change their names will be able to do so without having to appear in person at a Social Security Administration office, provide a wet signature, and submit original documents.

ADDITIONAL ACTIONS

  • USA.gov will be redesigned as a centralized and streamlined “digital Federal front door” so the public can get access to all Government benefits, services, and programs in just 1 to 3 clicks, taps, or commands from the USA.gov homepage, without navigating duplicate and outdated Federal websites. That home page will feature a new user experience based on the key life events, moments that matter most, and top tasks that Americans experience throughout their lives when interacting with Government.
  • Tribal communities will be able to expect more streamlined and integrated grants application processes, rather than having to provide information over and over again to the Federal government and navigate across multiple agency websites.
  • The Fish and Wildlife Service will provide more of their service transactions online, including for special use permits for National Wildlife Refuge System locations and several high-volume application forms required for individuals and businesses that import, export, or re-export animals, plant, and their products internationally. These transactions currently can take weeks or even months to process, and can require multiple paper forms to be mailed.

This Executive Order is a continuation of the launch of the President’s Management Agenda (PMA) Vision, which prioritizes delivering excellent, equitable, and secure Federal services and customer experience. The PMA recognizes that improving the delivery, efficiency, security, and effectiveness of Government programs will advance equity, enhance people’s everyday interactions with public services, and provide greater opportunities for those who need it the most.


The Government’s primary mission is to serve. By placing people at the center of everything we do, the Government will be able to deliver timely, modern, and secure services to you – the people. We will rebuild trust in our Government, ensure no one is left behind, and inspire others to join us in serving future generations of Americans.

Reference:https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/12/13/executive-order-on-transforming-federal-customer-experience-and-service-delivery-to-rebuild-trust-in-government/

Dr Fauci: Three shots of COVID-19 vaccine is 'optimal care'

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Chief Medical Advisor to the President., stated that three doses of COVID-19 vaccine provide the most optimal protection against the COVOD-19, while data from South Africa on the Omicron variant of the virus indicate that the variant is less dangerous than Delta.

Saying that three doses of COVID-19 vaccine provide the most appropriate protection from the virus,Dr. Fauci noted that the two-dose ambassador RNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna and J&J company's single-dose vaccine continue to be the vaccine doses prescribed by the Biden administration for complete vaccination.

Speaking to ABC television, Dr. Fauci also noted that health officials would continue to evaluate what the definition of "total vaccination" should be. Asked whether the third-dose vaccine should be the new standard, Fauci replied that he thought it provided the most appropriate protection. Dr.Fauci noted that two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech's Moderna and a single J&J vaccine are still required to be officially considered fully vaccinated.He also said that after looking at the data, a third dose is needed to provide optimal protection.

"Covid-19 deaths in the USA have reached 800,000."

Conversely, Reuters news agency reported that the number of deaths from Covid-19 in the USA reached 800,000. It is thought that spending more time indoors due to the cold weather in the country and the Delta variant, which is transmitted faster, have affected the increase in cases. There are also concerns that the Omicron variant will further increase the number of cases. According to Johns Hopkins University, another important source in the follow-up onCovid-19 figures, Covid-19 deaths in the US are still at 797 thousand.

"Looks Less Dangerous Than Omicron Delta"

Meanwhile, Omicron continues to spread rapidly in South Africa, the country where it was first discovered. However, there was no increase in referrals to the hospital. Dr. Unben Pillay states that although she sees dozens of patients every day, she has not yet sent one of them to the hospital.

That's why he and other doctors and experts say Omicron appears to be less dangerous than the Delta variant of COVID-19, even if it spreads faster.Dr.Pillay says patients can beat the virus at home, noting that many recover during the 10–14-day quarantine period. This also includes the elderly with health problems.

COVID-19 in the U.S.:(Reuters)

Total Case: 50,011,080

Total Death Toll;800,153

Total Full Vaccination:202M

 

First Democracy Summit at White House

President Biden will be hosting the virtual Summit for Democracy between December 9-10, but Turkey is not invited.

The US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken interviewed Efi Koutsokosta from Euronews while on tour in Sweden's capital Stockholm. When Koutsokosta reminded him that two NATO allies - Turkey and Hungary - will not join the summit, he stated that the Summit for Democracy was about renewing and reinvigorating democracies that are threatened from within or without.

Secretary Blinken emphasized that they were bringing countries together virtually to renew democracy at home and take concrete measures to achieve that goal. He stated that "but [we are] also looking at how we can be more supportive of democracies that are under challenge around the world.

"What we are seeing right now, unfortunately, is something of a democratic recession. There's been backsliding on democracy worldwide, including in Europe, over the last decade. And as a result, one of the profound challenges and conflicts of our time is that between autocracies and democracies, and democracies need to demonstrate that they can deliver and produce real results for their people. That's what this summit is all about."

In response to the question, "Is Turkish-American relations still at an all-time low? Has anything changed?" Secretary Blinken said, "We have a significant relationship with Turkey, and it's a NATO Ally. And it's not a secret that we also have differences, but we're working through those differences. We're also working to deepen cooperation in many areas."

Secretary Blinken reminded that he recently met with Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Çavuşoğlu and said, "President Biden met with President Erdoğan some weeks ago. We are committed to working through the differences that we have and working to strengthen the alliance that we have as members of NATO."

Details of the Democracy Summit!

The Democracy summit will focus on challenges and opportunities facing democracies and will provide a platform for leaders to announce both individual and collective commitments, reforms, and initiatives to defend democracy and human rights at home and abroad. 

For the U.S., , the summit will offer an opportunity to listen, learn, and engage with a diverse range of actors whose support and commitment is critical for global democratic renewal. It will also showcase one of democracy’s unique strengths: the ability to acknowledge its imperfections and confront them openly and transparently, so that we may, as the U.S. Constitution puts it, “form a more perfect union.” In advance of the first summit, we are consulting with experts from government, multilateral organizations, philanthropies, civil society, and the private sector to solicit bold, practicable ideas around 3 key themes: 

-Defending against authoritarianism 

-Addressing and fighting corruption 

-Promoting respect for human rights

Participant List:

https://www.state.gov/participant-list-the-summit-for-democracy/

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