Amazon removes India flag doormats after visa threat

Updated 12 January 2017
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Amazon removes India flag doormats after visa threat

NEW DELHI: Amazon said Thursday it has withdrawn doormats featuring Indian flag from sale after New Delhi called them “insulting” and threatened to expel the company’s foreign workers.
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted late Wednesday that the mats, available only on Amazon’s Canadian site, were an “unacceptable” insult to the national flag and demanded an apology.
On Thursday the company said it had responded by removing them from sale.
“We have removed the products from the website following the Indian demand,” said a company spokeswoman who asked not to be named.
Swaraj, an avid tweeter with nearly seven million followers, issued her ultimatum after a Twitter user sent her a screengrab of the doormats on sale.
“Amazon must tender unconditional apology. They must withdraw all products insulting our national flag immediately,” she tweeted.
“If this is not done forthwith, we will not grant Indian Visa to any Amazon official. We will also rescind the Visas issued earlier.”
Amazon has made steady inroads in India since entering the competitive but rapidly-growing e-commerce market in 2013 with a pledge to invest $5 billion over six years. 
The e-retailer found itself in similar trouble last year over doormats showing Hindu deities being sold on its US website.


Mike Pompeo: US will fight Russian interference in 2018 elections

Updated 23 May 2018
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Mike Pompeo: US will fight Russian interference in 2018 elections

  • Secretary of State says the Trump administration will not tolerate Russian interference
  • Said the US had not yet been able to establish “effective deterrence” to halt them

WASHINGTON: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the Trump administration will not tolerate Russian interference in the 2018 congressional midterm elections.
Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the administration will take “appropriate countermeasures” to fight what he called “continued efforts” by Russia to meddle in November’s vote. He did not elaborate on the Russian interference or say what the countermeasures would be but said there was much more work to be done to stop Russia’s efforts.
He said the US had not yet been able to establish “effective deterrence” to halt them.
The top-ranking Democrat on the committee, Eliot Engel, however, contended that the Trump administration “is giving Russia a pass” because Russian President Vladimir Putin “supported President Trump over Hillary Clinton” in the 2016 presidential election.