Biden directs intelligence agencies to expedite coronavirus probe: Amore

Washington: US President Joe Biden has called on the country’s intelligence agencies to intensify their efforts to trace the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic and report them back within 90 days. Mr Biden’s remarks come amid a growing controversy over the origin of the virus from a biological laboratory in China. Kovid-19 was first detected in the central Chinese city of Wuhan in the last months of 2019. Since the virus has been confirmed worldwide, 168 million cases of infection have been confirmed worldwide and at least 3.5 million people have died. The announcement comes as a US intelligence report found that several researchers from China’s Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and had to be hospitalised. -PTI

Indian-American Arun Venkataraman nominated for key position in Biden administration

Washington: US President Joe Biden has expressed his desire to nominate India-US trade expert Arun Venkataraman to a key position in his Foreign Trade Administration office. The White House said in a statement that Venkataraman had been appointed “Director General of the US and Foreign Trade Services” and “Assistant Secretary of State for Global Markets and Commerce”. Mr. Venkataraman is a consultant in the Department of Commerce, advising on trade and other international economic issues. -PTI

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