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England beats Sri Lanka by 7 wickets in 1st test        Fourth Test: Rain forces early stumps with India at 4-0 while chasing 328 to win        Three UK partners with TCS to accelerate 5G network rollout        3 Adani Group-owned domestic airports accredited in ACI health accreditation programme        N. Korea''s parliament rubber stamps new development plans        Kremlin critic Navalny detained after landing in Moscow        'Rooting hard for you': Will departure notes end with Trump?        Tandav controversy: FIR against director, Amazon India head of content        Smiles, sanitizers welcome students as schools reopen in Delhi        COVID-19: India records lowest fatalities in eight months        Proposed tractor rally on Jan 26: It's law & order matter, says SC on plea for injunction against it        PM flags off 8 trains to boost connectivity to Statue of Unity        Fire in luggage van of running train doused in time in Kerala        Kerala logs 5,005 new COVID-19 cases, 4,408 recoveries        Farmer unions say they will go ahead with tractor march in Delhi on Republic Day        Kremlin critic Navalny departs Berlin on Moscow-bound flight        Cargo ship sinks in the Black Sea; 3 dead, 6 rescued        4th Test: Australia 21/0 at stumps, lead India by 54 runs after Sundar, Thakur fightback        NorthEast end winless streak to bag crucial points against Jamshedpur        India take tea break at 62/2, replying to Australia's 369        
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International News
Extraordinary warning to Trump by 10 former Pentagon chiefs
 
Washington, Jan 4 (AP) In an extraordinary rebuke of President Donald Trump, all 10 living former secretaries of defense have cautioned against any move to involve the military in pursuing claims of election fraud, arguing that it would take the country into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory.

The 10 men, both Democrats and Republicans, signed on to an opinion article published in The Washington Post on Sunday that implicitly questioned Trump's willingness to follow his Constitutional duty to peacefully relinquish power on January 20.

Following the November 3 election and subsequent recounts in some states, as well as unsuccessful court challenges, the outcome is clear, they wrote, while not specifying Trump in the article.

The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived, they wrote.

The former Pentagon chiefs warned against use of the military in any effort to change the outcome.

Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory, they wrote. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.

A number of senior military officers, including Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have said publicly in recent weeks that the military has no role in determining the outcome of U.S. elections and that their loyalty is to the Constitution, not to an individual leader or a political party.

The 10 former Pentagon leaders also warned in their Post article of the dangers of impeding a full and smooth transition at Defense Department prior to Inauguration Day as part of a transfer to power to President-elect Joe Biden. Biden has complained of efforts by Trump-appointed Pentagon officials to obstruct he transition.

Without mentioning a specific example, the former defense secretaries wrote that transfers of power often occur at times of international uncertainty about U.S. national security policy and posture, adding, They can be a moment when the nation is vulnerable to actions by adversaries seeking to take advantage of the situation.

Tensions with Iran represent just such a moment. Sunday marked one year since the U.S. killing of Qassem Soleimani, the top Iranian general; Iran has vowed to avenge the killing, and U.S. officials said in recent days that they are on heightened alert for potential Iranian attack on U.S. forces or interests in the Middle East.

In a further sign of U.S.-Iranian tension, the acting secretary of defense, Christopher Milller, announced Sunday evening that he has changed his mind about sending the Navy aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz, home from the Middle East and instead will keep the vessel on duty. Just last week, Miller announced that he was sending the Nimitz home, a decision that had been opposed by senior military officers.

In reversing himself, Miller cited recent threats issued by Iranian leaders against President Trump and other U.S. government officials. He did not elaborate, and the Pentagon did not respond to questions.

The opinion article in the Post was signed by Dick Cheney, William Perry, Donald Rumsfeld, William Cohen, Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, Chuck Hagel, Ash Carter, James Mattis and Mark Esper. Mattis was Trump's first defense secretary; he resigned in 2018 and was succeeded by Esper, who was fired just days after the Nov. 3 election.

The Post reported that the idea for writing the opinion piece began with a conversation between Cheney and Eric Edelman, a retired ambassador and former senior Pentagon official, about how Trump might seek to use the military in coming days.


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KERALA NEWS
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 Lucknow Jan 18 (PTI) An FIR has been lodged here against the makers of web series 'Tandav' and Amazo
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