12
Wednesday
December 2018
5:48 PM IST
News Headlines
Aussies will fight back, but India has upper hand: Ghavri        World Tour Finals: Tough road ahead for Sindhu; Sameer too eyes knockout berth        Govt should consider 100% FDI in multi-brand retail trade: CII report        Shaktikanta Das named new RBI Governor        Khashoggi, other journalists named Time 'Person of the Year'        May tours Europe in desperate bid to save Brexit deal        Three policemen killed in Shopian by terrorists; weapons snatched        13 of 19 Rajasthan ministers lose elections; CM Vasundhara Raje retains her seat        Clear message to Modi that People are unhappy and it is time for change: Rahul on poll results        Cong leads in R'than, Chhattisgarh and MP; TRS races ahead in Telangana, MNF in Mizoram        Shakhtar prepare for home match 700 kilometres from home        AC Milan let Inter off the hook with Torino stalemate        Sensex cracks over 550 pts; Nifty drops below 10,600        Trump's potential next chief of staff pick leaving White House        UK PM faces fight for her political life in Brexit deal        BJP mocks Oppn meet, asks them to reveal PM candidate's name        RBI Governor Urjit Patel makes loud noise with silent exit        RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha resigns from Union council of ministers        1st Test: India in cruise control as Australia reduced to 104/4 chasing 323        Over 16000 runners take part in Pune Half Marathon        
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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.


Khashoggi, other journalists named Time 'Person of the Year'
May tours Europe in desperate bid to save Brexit deal
Trump's potential next chief of staff pick leaving White House
UK PM faces fight for her political life in Brexit deal
Iran arrests 10 over suicide attack on police
Trump chooses new Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, against Mattis wishes
Merkel gets boost with ally's party win
Rouhani warns weakened Iran less able to fight trafficking
Trump may nominate Heather Nauert as UN Ambassador: Reports
Qatar injects more cash into Gaza for Hamas employees
Singer Mika Singh Detained in Dubai for Sending Obscene Messages to 17-year-old: Reports
Conditions Met for Assange to Leave Embassy in London, Says Ecuador President
Pakistan slashes non-salary budget by 10%
Moscow dismisses 'groundless' US claim Russia breaching arms treaty
AgustaWestland deal 'middleman' Christian Michel brought to India
Don't be like Hitler: sacked Lankan PM tells President Sirisena
Sri Lanka court suspends Mahinda Rajapakse's powers as PM
Nigerian President denies death, body double rumours
France to consider state of emergency to prevent worst civil riots: govt spokesman
India To Host G20 Summit In 2022, 75th Year Of Independence, Says PM Modi
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
Activist Rehana Fathima, Who Attempted Sabarimala Trek, Arrested Over Facebook Post
 (Kochi, Nov 28, 2018): Model and activist Rehana Fathima, who tried to reach Kerala's Sabarim
Good news for Keralite Nurses: IELTS cut-off reduced to 6.5
BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
NATIONAL NEWS
Three policemen killed in Shopian by terrorists; weapons snatched
 Three policemen were killed Tuesday when Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorists attacked a guard
13 of 19 Rajasthan ministers lose elections; CM Vasundhara Raje retains her seat
Clear message to Modi that People are unhappy and it is time for change: Rahul on poll results
BJP mocks Oppn meet, asks them to reveal PM candidate's name
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