07 November 2020

7 NOV. NEWS AT 7PM: With No Credible Evidence, "Love Jihad" Cases In Kanpur Crumble. I-T raids Kerala Church premises on charge of diverting charity funds. 55.22% Turnout In Bihar Final Phase, Was 56.66% in 2015: Poll Commission. UAE announces relaxing of Islamic laws for personal freedoms; Allowing alcohol



 With No Credible Evidence, "Love Jihad" Cases In Kanpur Crumble

Kanpur/New Delhi: Across India - from Karnataka to Haryana - BJP chief ministers are stoking fears, promising to bring laws to combat "love jihad" - the unproven right-wing conspiracy theory that Muslim men try to seduce non-Muslim women and have covert to Islam.The most strident has been Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who issued a not-so-veiled warning that those who practise "love jihad" will be sent on their "antim sanksar" or last rites.But in Adityanath's UP, the one BJP state in which the police are probing so-called "love jihad", the cases are rapidly coming undone, an NDTV investigation has found.In August this year, the UP police created a SIT in Kanpur, to probe alleged cases of "love jihad".Two months later, half of the 14 cases the police were investigating have collapsed, and a final closure report has been filed after the police concluded that these were consensual relationships between Hindu women and their Muslim partners, according to Vikas Pandey, who is in charge of the SIT."From 14, only 7 are still being investigated," he said.NDTV



Decision on criminalising religious conversion for marriage in 3 days: CM Karnataka Yediyurappa

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa has said that the state government would take a decision on the issue of criminalising religious conversion “for the sake of marriage” in the next three days. “I don’t know what other states are doing but in my state, I want to take the decision as early as possible. I have been holding discussions with leaders and in the next two to three days, we will decide what to do about it,” Yediyurappa told the media on Friday. When asked why the government is considering such a legislation, Yediyurappa said, “Love jihad is the reason why we are looking at this. We will consult legal experts and then announce our decision,” Yediyurappa added. Love jihad is an alleged conspiracy mainly raised by right-wing groups in India, though the term is not defined under the country’s current laws, as acknowledged by the ruling BJP government in Parliament.


Bombay HC sets aside rating agency BARC’s order of imposing Rs 5 lakh fine on TV Today network

Bombay High Court has set aside an order passed by designated TV ratings agency Broadcast Audience Research Council, or BARC India, that imposed a fine of Rs 5 lakh on TV Today network for alleged “viewership malpractice” and violation of the council’s code of conduct, PTI reported.The ratings agency imposed a fine on TV Today – that owns news channel India Today – on July 31, based on a show-cause notice it issued to the media group. BARC had alleged that there was a “significant abnormal jump” in the daily average reach of its channel without any distribution improvement. The agency had suspected this to be a result of rigging ratings by influencing panel households, according to Indian Express.Based on this order, the Bombay High Court had last month directed the network to deposit the fine amount to the court registry if it wanted BARC to not take any coercive action against them. TV Today had challenged the disciplinary action against the group. BARC lawyers, in turn, had raised preliminary objection and said that the plea was not maintainable before the writ jurisdiction of the High Court.



Fake TRP: HC Seeks Maha Govt's Reply Over Charges Against Cops for 'Illegal' Probe

Bombay High Court on Saturday asked the Maharashtra government, Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh and 2 other police officials to respond to a plea filed by Hansa Research Group Pvt Ltd, the complainant in the television rating points (TRP) scam, alleging harassment by the police. The petition filed by the company and three of its senior officials alleged that the city police was conducting the probe in an "illegal and highly objectionable" manner.The petition claimed that the company's officials were being "harassed and coerced into making false statements" and sought for the probe to be transferred to CBI. The petition has named Assistant Police Inspector Sachin Waze and ACP Shashank Sandbhor as the ones who were harassing them.On Saturday, advocate Devadutt Kamat, appearing for the govt, Param Bir Singh and the two police officers, refuted the allegations and said the petitioners are being called for questioning only when required. He further told the court that investigation in the case is still on and certain material has also come to the fore against the petitioners.PTI



Court to hear cops’ plea on Arnab Goswami’s judicial remand on Nov 9

Mumbai :A sessions court at Alibaug in Raigad district on Saturday posted for hearing on November 9 the police’s revision plea challenging a magistrate’s order remanding Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami to judicial custody in connection with a 2018 abetment of suicide case. Alibaug district sessions court passed the order after it was informed that the Bombay High Court is presently hearing petitions filed by Goswami and two other accused in the case – Feroze Shaikh and Nitesh Sarda – seeking interim bail and challenging their “illegal arrest”.The police had in its application sought the sessions court to quash the lower court’s order and grant them custody of the three accused.PTI



Arnab Threatened My Father Saying “You Will Not Get Money, No Matter What You Do”: Adnya Naik

BENGALURU:“I am Arnab. I will show you what I can do…; You being a Maharashtrian, being in Maharashtra, you can’t do anything to me,” He used to say things like that, told Anvay Naik’s daughter Adnya Naik in an interview to the Caravan Magazine on Nov.5. The interview was taken after Arnab Goswami, promoter and editor-in-chief of Republic TV, was arrested in the abetment to suicide case of Anvay, father of Adnya.More than 2 years back, Anvay Naik, the managing director, and his mother, Kumud Naik, the board member of the Concorde Designs Private Limited committed suicide in May 2018 and reportedly left a suicide note that accused Arnab and two others of non-payment of dues for the services their firm rendered to ARG Outlier Media Private Limited that runs Republic channels. In the suicide note, Anvay reportedly wrote, “I hold them responsible for our death.”India Tomorrow



I-T raids Kerala Church premises on charge of diverting charity funds

Thiruvananthapuram :Income Tax Department has raided the premises of Kerala-based Believers Eastern Church, led by Christian evangelist K P Yohannan, after it was found that the Church was allegedly diverting charity funds for religious purposes. An I-T source said, “The raid began Thursday and is still on in Kerala and elsewhere in the country. So far, we have recovered Rs 8 crore in cash from various premises. Our action is still going on.’’I-T sources said the Union Home Ministry had earlier cancelled the FCRA account of Believers Eastern Church after it was found that foreign funds originally obtained for charity purposes have been diverted for religious needs. “Church had got the foreign contributions through the proper channels. But they had diverted the charity funds for religious purposes. Even after the cancellation of FCRA account, the Church tried to get funds through other trusts,’’ a source said.



Family kept in dark about UP activist’s ‘arrest’ over protest call against French prez

NEW DELHI: The family members of 52-year-old activist Naeem Siddiqui have been kept in the dark about his purported arrest for giving a protest call against French President Emmanuel Macron.Lucknow police and UP ATS have told mediapersons that the activist has been arrested in connection with WhatsApp messages he circulated asking people to observe special prayers on Friday and put up black flags on their homes and shops in protest against Macron’s controversial remarks on Islam and the caricatures of Prophet.The activist’s daughter Zainab Siddiqui said that neither the police nor ATS had notified them about his arrest or location.“My father was picked up from our residence on Thursday evening. But till now, we don’t know who took him and where he has been kept. I am asking the police to tell us about it. But the police are refusing to give any information,” Zainab, who works for National Alliance of People’s Movement (NAPM) and is also a member of the Mahila Yuva Adhikar Manch, said over phone from Lucknow while she was on her way to the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Shalini.“They should tell us who arrested my father and where was he taken? What are the charges against him? Whether he was produced before the magistrate or not and what happened after he was produced in the magistrate’s court? Nobody is telling us anything. We are very worried,” Zainab narrated. Retired IPS officer S R Darapuri, in response to a question, said that while the police might consider the activist’s WhatsApp message objectionable, what they did to him and his family members on Thursday night was “illegal”.India Tomorrow



Arrested Activist Father Stan Swamy, 83, Requests Straw Citing Parkinson's. NIA Wants Time

Mumbai: Father Stan Swamy, 83-year-old tribal rights activist arrested last month over his alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon case, has moved the special court in Mumbai for permission to use a straw and sipper cup while drinking.The NIA, which arrested Mr Swamy - who has been diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease - from his residence in Ranchi on October 8, has sought 20 days time to respond.The court, which must grant permission for materials to be sent from outside jail premises, has posted the matter for hearing next on November 26. "I cannot hold a glass as my hands are unsteady due to Parkinson's," Mr Swamy, who has been at the Taloja Central Jail for nearly a month and is currently in the prison hospital, said in his application.



Habeas Corpus Plea in Allahabad HC to quash FIR against social activists booked under UAPA while on their way to meet Hathras victim's family

A petition has been filed before the Allahabad High Court seeking to quash proceedings initiated against two social activists who were apprehended by the Mathura Police while they were on their way to Hathras to meet with the bereaved family of the Hathras rape victim.The habeas corpus plea seeking the release of the activists prays for a direction to quash an order of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Mathura which handed over petitioners to police custody.By way of interim relief, the plea also seeks a direction to release the petitioners on bail.



Govt draws up new Haj 2021 guidelines, limits age of pilgrims allowed to travel to 65 years

New Delhi: Modi government Saturday issued new Haj guidelines that, among other changes, limited the age of pilgrims allowed to travel to 65 years. However, it is yet unclear whether Haj 2021 will take place in view of the pandemic. Saudi Arabia will take a final call on the pilgrimage.Union minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi released the guidelines at Haj House in Mumbai.In preparation of the event, if it takes place, and the Covid-19 pandemic, the government cut down the points for flights to Saudi Arabia to 10 from 21. They include Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Cochin, Delhi, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Srinagar. Further, keeping in mind the effect of the disease on senior citizens, the age of pilgrims has been restricted between 18 and 65 years.The new protocol also requires that each pilgrim submit a negative RT-PCR test certificate before leaving for Saudi Arabia. The test has to be conducted by an approved laboratory 72 hours before undertaking Haj.The first batch of pilgrims is expected to depart for Saudi Arabia on 26 June 2021, and last flight is expected to take off on 13 July 2021. The return phase will begin from 14 August 2021.



55.22% Turnout In Bihar Final Phase, Was 56.66% in 2015: Poll Commission

Patna: 55.22 per cent people cast their votes till 5 pm in the third and final phase of assembly elections in Bihar -- a shade lower than 56.66 per cent in 2015 -- in which stakes are high for Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is up against multiple rivals, including former ally Chirag Paswan.At least 1,204 candidates are in fray for the 78 assembly seats spread across 19 districts, in the final phase. Voting is also being held for the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat, where a by-election was necessitated by the death of JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahato.Some of the prominent candidates in this phase are the BJP's Niraj Kumar Singh in Chhatapur seat, cousin of actor Sushant Singh Rajput; Congress's Bihariganj candidate Subhashini Sharad Yadav, daughter of former Union minister Sharad Yadav and Janata Dal United's Sarairanjan candidate Vijay Kumar Choudhary, who is also the Bihar assembly Speaker.



Bihar elections: AIMIM, VIP fates at stake today; so are Mahagathbandhan hopes

Patna :Hoping to return to power in Bihar, NDA is facing its toughest contest in 78 constituencies that vote on Saturday, including Seemanchal (Kishanganj, Araria, Katihar and Purnea), Kosi (Supaul, Saharsa and Madhepura), Mithila (Darbhanga and Madhuvani), and Tirhut (Muzaffarpur and Sitamarhi) regions of the state.While the RJD-led Grand Alliance has a clear advantage in the Seemanchal belt, Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM, which is contesting 16 of its 20 seats in this phase, may cut into its vote base and even register wins.



Bihar elections: Also voting today, in the shadow of NRC, a settlement of nomads

Kishanganj :In the heart of Kishanganj in Bihar’s Seemanchal region, stands a dwelling of a small Shia community, of around a thousand people, who trace their lineage to present-day Iran. A nondescript road from Churipatti locality leads to the Irani Basti, where hutments are lined in a crescent-like arc. Their ancestors were “horse traders who came to India centuries ago, even before the Mughal rule was established, travelled to various parts, and some settled down here”, says Nadim Hussain, 40, sitting inside a mosque after the Juloos-e-Amari procession. Outside, in the courtyard, some women are washing utensils from the community lunch that preceded the procession. Among those talking animatedly in Persian is 85-year-old Begum Khatoon, who says the community lived the life of nomads and settled down in Kishanganj half-a-century ago. “We lived in tents in Khagra on the outskirts of the city. Later, we set up our base here and people now call this Irani Basti,” she says. A few metres away from her lives Seemazar Begum with her four children and grandchildren. “My great grandfather had come here and we all (inhabitants of the Basti) are from the same family,” says the wrinkled-face Begum in Persian, whose family claims she is easily 110 years old.



Stirrings in home of Bihar’s first Dalit CM: the poor want to be counted

Purnea:They speak his name with respect — and regret.In 1968, for the first time in Bihar, a Dalit became Chief Minister, though his term lasted just three months. Bhola Paswan Shastri became Chief Minister again, twice — for 13 days in 1969, and 7 months in 1971 as political turmoil overtook the state.The short tenures notwithstanding, Shastri’s village Bairgacchi remembers him as a fond son, a three-term Chief Minister, and a symbol of lost honesty.People here tell stories of a man who refused to build personal wealth, of a home that continued to be a hut long after the end of his third tenure, a man who continued to sleep on the floor. And in that, there is a tinge of regret.Sitting outside Shastri’s home, Sagar Paswan recalls: “He was so honest that he did nothing for himself, nor gave his own village any undue favours. If he had been like today’s politicians, he would have had a palace, and we may have had a functional drain.”



Gupkar Alliance Includes Return of Migrant Kashmiri Pandits in its Agenda

JAMMU — People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) has included the return of migrant Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley as part of its agenda and also decided to fight for their rehabilitation at all levels.Speaking to IANS, Satish Mahaldar, chairman of a voluntary organisation called return, reconciliation and rehabilitation of migrant Pandits said on Saturday, “I have been invited to meet the constituents of the Gupkar declaration today.“The alliance has decided to fight for the return of the migrant Kashmiri Pandits as part of its agenda.“The alliance leaders have also decided that in any future government formed by the constituents in J&K, one per cent of J&K’s annual budget would be reserved for the return of the migrants to their homeland”.The constituents of PAGD are this time in a meeting at the Jammu residence of Dr. Farooq Abdullah, Lok Sabha member and president of National Conference (NC).IANS



J&K: Gupkar alliance to contest DDC elections

Jammu :In a major political development in Jammu and Kashmir, the recently-floated People’s Alliance for Gupkar Declaration (PAGD) on Saturday announced it will contest the forthcoming District Development Council elections.Announcing the decision taken at their meeting in Jammu earlier during the day, PAGD spokesperson Sajad Lone said that modalities for fielding common candidates will be worked out. However, the list of candidates will be released by National Conference president Dr Farooq Abdullah, who is heading PAGD. Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir is going to first ever DDC elections on party basis in eight phases beginning November 28. The last phase of polling is scheduled to take place on December 19.



Jammu and Kashmir would have gone to Pakistan in 1947 if it wanted: Farooq Abdullah

National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Friday said that if Jammu and Kashmir wanted to go with Pakistan, it would have done so in 1947 and no one would have stopped it, the Hindustan Times reported.“Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah had then told Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru that our destiny lies with Mahatma Gandhi’s India and not of BJP’s India,” he said at Jammu.Farooq Abdullah was visiting Jammu along with his son and National Conference leader Omar Abdullah for the first time since the abrogation of special provisions under Article 370.Farooq Abdullah also accused Centre of using Kashmiri Pandits as a vote bank. “While Kashmiri Pandits are still in Jammu hoping to get back one day, for how long will you use them for votes and for how long will you spread hatred,” he asked.“For 28 years, they [Centre] are saying that Kashmiri Pandits will be taken back to their homes in the Valley,” Abdullah said, according to PTI. “They are in power for more than five years but they [Kashmiri Pandits] are still waiting for the day of their return.” Abdullah further cautioned people against the “divisive politics” of the BJP in the name of creed, caste, creed and religion.The former chief minister said that the National Conference would not be intimidated by the arm-twisting tactics of the BJP government, adding that the struggle to get back Article 370, 35-A and other privileges will be taken to its logical conclusion. Abdullah asserted that real development will take place in the Union Territory only when there is a people’s government and all the people’s rights are restored. “People are the real fountain of power,” NC chief said. “When there will be elections, bring forth the people who can help the masses and are not self-centric.”



India summons Pak diplomat over Kartarpur management decision

New Delhi :India has summoned the Charge d’Affaires (CDA) of the Pakistan High Commission and lodged a strong protest over Islamabad’s decision to transfer the management of the Kartarpur Sahib gurdwara from a Sikh body to a separate trust.MEA official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said Pakistan CDA Aftab Hassan Khan was categorically told that the decision runs against the religious sentiments of the Sikh community.



Corps Commanders meet for 8th time over LAC standoff

New Delhi :XIV Corps Commander Lt General P G K Menon on Friday met his Chinese counterpart Major General Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang Military Region, for the eighth round of discussions between military commanders over the standoff in eastern Ladakh that has entered its seventh month now. The meeting at the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel Meeting point started around 9.30 am and ended around 7 pm. There was no official communication about its outcome.



Govt betrayed armed forces with proposal to cut pension: Congress

New Delhi : Congress  has  accused the government of “betraying” the armed forces with its proposal to reduce pension entitlements for personnel who have served for less than 35 years. The opposition party asked PM Narendra Modi to clarify his stand on the issue and reject the proposal by the Department of Military Affairs (DMA).The proposal — to increase retirement age across all ranks below Lieutenant General and implement a mechanism to cut premature pension — could get government sanction soon. Congress communication department head Randeep Surjewala alleged that the government often seeks votes on the sacrifice of the soldiers. “Now it has become the first regime in India’s history to steal the pension and alternate career choice of officers after active service,” he said. “Prime Minister has exhorted the nation to light a diya for the soldiers, but has ensured darkness in their lives by attempting to reduce their pension by half,” he added.



Most OROP beneficiaries from UP, Punjab: Centre

New Delhi :Centre Friday released data for pension paid under the One Rank One Pension scheme since 2014. The government said in a statement that Rs 10,795.4 crore has been disbursed to 20,60,220 defence forces pensioners and family pensioners as arrears on account of the implementation of OROP.“The yearly recurring expenditure on account of OROP is about Rs 7,123.38 crores and for about six years,” the statement said. The total recurring expenditure “worked out to approximately Rs. 42740.28 crore”.



You will Have to Pay for Anti CAA-NRC Protests: Open Threat by Right-wing Extremists

NEW DELHI;A video on Twitter reflects the state of hate against Muslim community in India that encouraged and emboldened the Hindutva goons to move freely without any fear of accountability. Even small time goons have gained confidence that the local police will not take action against them, and have started roaming markets threatening Muslim shopkeepers with dire consequences.A 58 second video, perhaps shot by one saffron scarf wearing members of the self-appointed Hindutva crew shows one such threat, delivered with a chilling ‘promise’ that the worst is yet to come and Muslims will have to ‘pay a bigger price later’.“Can NSA or UAPA apply against these? Will it come in the class of breaking the social brotherhood,” asked the social media user who uploaded the clip.The baseball cap wearing gangleader is heard and seen warning the bearded Muslim shopkeeper not to stock or sell any fireworks with the images or names of Hindu gods, specifically Lakshmi and Ganesh, the main deities worshiped during Diwali. “We will send decoy customers to you till Diwali,” said the goon, “and if even one such Lakshmi bomb, Ganesh bomb, firecracker is found in your shop. We will take action that you will not like. Understood?”



Amit Shah wraps up 2-day visit to Bengal, says CAA will be implemented

New Delhi :Wrapping up his two-day visit to West Bengal, Union Home Minister Amit Shah reiterated his government’s commitment to implement the contentions Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). He said, “borders in West Bengal are not secure, and that infiltration is going on in the state.”He also attacked the Trinamool Congress government, saying that while the “NDA government aims to build a strong Bengal in a new era of development, CM Mamata Banerjee aims to make her nephew the next chief minister”.Stating that the days of the Trinamool government are numbered, Shah appealed the people to “give a chance to Narendra Modi’s leadership”.



Trinamool hits back at Amit Shah: No crime to work for minorities

Kolkata :Trinamool Congress (TMC) Friday lashed out at Home Minister Amit Shah for his remark on “appeasement politics”, saying it was not a crime to work for minorities.Senior TMC leader and MP Saugata Roy said: “What does Amit Shah mean by appeasement politics? Was he speaking as a BJP activist or as the Home Minister? The government has to treat all communities with equality. I don’t think it is a crime to do something for the development of minorities in the state.”His party colleague and state minister, Firhad Hakim, meanwhile, dismissed Shah’s luncheon at a Matua community member’s home as a poll gimmick.



Have sought info from Himachal on their law against love jihad: Haryana minister tells assembly

Chandigarh :The recent murder of woman outside her college in Faridabad’s Ballabhgarh echoed in the Haryana Vidhan Sabha Friday with Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij reiterating that the state government is considering a law against “love jihad” and has sought information from Himachal Pradesh, which had passed a bill on the issue.“The Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha in 2019 had passed a bill against conversion by force, inducement or through marriages solemnised solely for the purpose of adopting a new religion. We are considering to bring a stern law against love jihad in Haryana,” Vij said replying to a calling attention notice drawing attention towards the Ballabhgarh incident.



Lalu’s bail hearing in Dumka treasury case deferred to Nov 27

Ranchi :Jharkhand High Court  has deferred till November 27 RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s bail plea hearing in a fodder scam case related to Dumka treasury, after the CBI sought time to file a written reply in the matter.The former Bihar CM, convicted in four fodder scam cases, would be able to walk out of jail if he is granted bail in the case. He has already secured bail in three other cases.



6,000 copies of Tripura newspaper destroyed, editor says attack after it exposed major scam

Agartala:Nearly 6,000 copies of vernacular newspaper ‘Pratibadi Kalam’, dispatched for three districts in Tripura, were snatched and destroyed from passenger buses at Udaipur in Gomati district on Saturday. DG in-charge of Tripura Police, Rajiv Singh, said that a complaint was registered at Radhakishorepor police station and a probe is on to identify those responsible. Pratibadi Kalam editor Anol Roy Chowdhury said he suspects the assault was due to a series of reports on an alleged Rs 150-crore agriculture scam the newspaper had published over the last 3 days. “We published a series of reports in which Agriculture Minister Pranajit Singha Roy’s name came up among others,” he said.



 EOS-01, India’s latest earth observation satellite launched today

India sent its first space mission in almost a year with a launch of EOS-01, an earth observation satellite, this afternoon. EOS-01, along with nine satellites from foreign countries, was launched by a PSLV rocket twelve minutes past 3. This is ISRO’s first mission since the launch of RISAT-2BR1, another earth observation satellite similar to EOS-01, on December 11 last year. After that, ISRO had also sent communication satellite GSAT-30 in space in January this year, but that was done using an Ariane rocket launched from French Guiana.



Jamia don India's no. 1 researcher in analytical chemistry: US varsity

New Delhi:Jamia Millia Islamia's Prof Imran Ali has been selected as leading scientist in India in the field of Analytical Chemistry by the Standford University in the US.Prof Ali, who is on the faculty of Jamia's Department of Chemistry, was ranked 24th in Analytical Chemistry in the world by a group of scientists from the US varsity. He is known the world over for research on anti-cancer drugs.The list was published in renowned journal PLOS Biology. The world journal published the list of 68,80,389 scientists for excellence in various scientific fields, in a research paper entitled 'Updated science-wide author databases of standardized citation indicators' authored by John PA Ioannidis and others.Twelve other researchers from the JMI have been included in the list of top two per cent scientists across the world.Prof Ali has so far authored 462 research papers, books, patents etc whereas his technical reports and other presentations in seminars and books have been published in countries like the US, UK and Netherlands.He is also involved in collaboration with scientists of 12 countries in international research in his field of specialisation.



Indian Diplomat Elected To UN Advisory Committee

United Nations: In a significant victory for India at the United Nations, Indian diplomat Vidisha Maitra was elected to the UN Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ), a subsidiary organ of the General Assembly.In the Group of Asia-Pacific States, Maitra, First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN, obtained 126 votes.The 193-member General Assembly appoints members of the Advisory Committee. Members are selected on the basis of broad geographical representation, personal qualifications and experience.



Amid severe air pollution, RSS affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch objects to firecracker ban, cites SC order

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch has asked all the state governments to avoid a complete ban on firecrackers this Diwali and termed the ill-effects of firecrackers as "false propaganda". It also cited a Supreme Court order of 2018 to make its case against the blanket ban."For some time, without any actual information, governments have been taking action like banning all types of firecrackers on the occasion of Diwali, which is completely inappropriate.IANS




 Harsh Vardhan: Our Aim Is To Give Covid Vaccine To 30 Crore Indians By August-Sept 2021

In an interview, Union  Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan tells Outlook that  necessary manpower needed to administer the vaccine has already been mapped.   Harsh Vardhan expresses optimism, but warns that there "there are several uncertainties. The biggest is that the vaccine may not work." He added,"We are already implementing the largest immunization programme of the world, with ~26 million infants added every year. We have an established infrastructure for the supply, storage and delivery of vaccines to the last mile, under our Universal Immunization Program, where we are administering around 600 million doses to our children annually. Therefore, we have the experience of implementing large-scale immunization campaigns. We have also been carrying out largescale polio vaccination campaigns for more than two decades now. We have recently conducted the world’s largest Measles-Rubella Campaign covering more than 330 million children in the age group of 9 months to 15 years. We are further augmenting this system to ensure that the massive national mission of vaccinating the identified priority groups with Covid-19 vaccine is achieved in a timely manner. India’s accomplishment in eradicating polio is the most impressive global health success story that the world has ever seen. With that experience behind us, I have no doubt that we will achieve any target that we set.A National Expert Group on Vaccine Administration for Covid-19 (NEGVAC) has been constituted under the chairpersonship of Dr V.K. Paul, member, health at NITI Aayog and the co-chairpersonship of Secretary HFW, Rajesh Bhushan, to guide on all aspects of Covid-19 vaccine introduction related to implementation mechanisms, selection of vaccine candidates, procurement mechanisms, financial resources. The national group has been meeting regularly and reviewing the preparatory steps for vaccine delivery.We already have a robust system of electronic Vaccine Intelligence Network (eVIN) through which real-time information of vaccine stock availability and their storage temperature across all cold chain points is available."



 World Economic Forum Survey: Only 73% willing to take Covid vaccine, drop by 4% since August

Pune :A survey conducted by the World Economic Forum/Ipsos (a market research company) of 18,526 adults across 15 countries found that only 73 per cent said they would take a Covid-19 vaccine if available – down by four per cent since August.This survey shows a growing reluctance among people to receive a vaccine, despite the progress made by numerous pharmaceutical companies working on vaccine trials, as well as international organisations like the World Health Organisation, Gavi, and CEPI.Since August, vaccination intent has declined in 10 of the 15 countries – mostly in China, Australia, Spain and Brazil. In India, China, South Korea and Brazil, more than four in five say they would get a vaccine if it’s available – compared to just over half in France, and about two in three in USA, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Japan and Germany, an official statement has said.



Coronavirus: India records 50,356 new cases in a day, tally at 84.6 lakh

India on Saturday recorded 50,356 Covid-19 cases, pushing the tally in the country to 84,62,080, according to health ministry’s data. The toll rose by 577 to 1,25,562 in the last 24 hours. There are 5,16,632 active cases and 78,19,886 recoveries.India has tested 11,65,42,304 samples so far, the Indian Council of Medical Research said.



Coronavirus: Second wave can come before December 15 in Rajasthan, says health minister

Rajasthan Health Minister Dr Raghu Sharma has said that experts believe that a second coronavirus wave can hit the state before December 15 and urged people to be cautious, wear masks, maintain physical distancing and wash hands on a daily basis to be safe, reported PTI.“If people wear masks and maintain discipline for a month, then the coronavirus chain can be broken,” the health minister said in a statement.



Customs Department Summons Kerala Minister KT Jaleel On Monday

Thiruvananthapuram: Customs Department has issued a notice to Kerala Minister KT Jaleel asking him to appear before it on Monday for questioning. "Minister KT Jaleel has been summoned as a person of interest in connection with all ongoing investigations," sources in the Customs Department told NDTV.The Customs Department has been probing the case of smuggling at least 30 kg gold, allegedly through diplomatic channels, which was seized at the Thiruvananthapuram airport earlier this year.




Air pollution may lead to faster spread of Covid-19, health ministry tells parliamentary panel

Air pollution may lead to faster spread of the coronavirus infection, as it causes coughing and sneezing, govt officials told a parliamentary committee, reported PTI.“Higher air pollution may increase episodes of coughing and sneezing spreading Covid-19 faster,”health ministry said in a presentation to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development. “More particle surface for the virus to stick to and get transported over greater distance and may potentially survive longer.”



Coronavirus: Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan tests positive

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Saturday said he has tested positive for the coronavirus, and asked all those who have been in his contact to get themselves checked.




 UAE announces relaxing of Islamic laws for personal freedoms; Allowing alcohol

UAE announced on Saturday a major overhaul of the country’s Islamic personal laws, allowing unmarried couples to cohabitate, loosening alcohol restrictions, and criminalising so-called “honour killings”.The government said the legal reforms were part of efforts to improve legislation and the investment climate in the country, as well as to consolidate “tolerance principles”.The broadening of personal freedoms reflects the changing profile of a country that has sought to bill itself as a skyscraper-studded destination for Western tourists, fortune-seekers and businesses despite its legal system based on a hardline interpretation of Islamic law.The changes also reflect the efforts of the Emirates’ rulers to keep pace with a rapidly changing society at home.The announcement also follows an historic US-brokered deal to normalise relations between UAE and Israel, which is expected to bring an influx of Israeli tourists and investment.Changes include scrapping penalties for alcohol consumption, sales and possession for those 21 and over. The legal reforms were announced on state-run WAM news agency and detailed in the state-linked newspaper, The National.Previously, individuals needed a liquor license to purchase, transport or have alcohol in their homes. The new rule would apparently allow Muslims who have been barred from obtaining licenses to drink alcoholic beverages freely.



 US polls: Biden predicts victory as he leads over Trump

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has once again urged people in the United States to remain patient and calm, as ballot-counting continues in a handful of states that hold the key to the White House. In an address from Wilmington, Delaware late Friday evening, Biden said “We do not have a final declaration of victory yet, but the numbers are clear we will win this race.Despite that, Biden appears confident the final numbers will be in his favour.“We’re going to be the first Democrats to win in Arizona in 24 years. We’re going to be the first democrats to win Georgia in 28 years,” he said.He said he wanted all ballots to be counted.Biden is currently projected to win 264 Electoral College votes, according to AP, compared with 214 electoral votes for Trump. To take the presidency, a candidate needs 270 Electoral College votes. Biden has a clearer, easier path towards victory at this point than Trump does.“We are on track to over 300 Electoral College votes,” Biden said, in his brief address. He said he and his running mate, Senator Kamala Harris were not just waiting for vote results, but were meeting with health and economic experts, and have a plan to handle the coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout for when they take office.Trump addressed the nation on Thursday from the White House, where he repeated baseless claims that widespread voter fraud has taken place in the election.On Friday, Trump – who falsely claimed he had won the election in the early hours of Wednesday – tweeted that Biden “should not wrongfully claim the office of the president” because legal proceedings were just beginning.Biden said he hoped he would address the nation again on Saturday.



Increasingly normal: Guns seen outside vote-counting centres

The most turbulent and norm-breaking presidential election of a lifetime has led to an extraordinary spectacle in the United States over the past three days: Armed protesters gathering nightly outside offices where local workers are counting the votes that will decide who wins the White House.Some carry shotguns. Some have handguns. Often, they carry black, military-style semi-automatic rifles.



CNN has not yet projected a winner in the presidential race. Here's why.

It's four days after Election Day, and CNN has not yet projected who will win. Here's how CNN projections work: There's a team of dedicated statistical analysts that helps decide when CNN can make a call on election results, CNN's political director David Chalian explains. "All they do is, every single time vote comes in from one of these states, they plug it into their models and their formulas, trying to ascertain a very high level of confidence," in the results so that whoever is the number two person in these contests doesn't have a real possibility to overtake the number one person, Chalian said. The reason why CNN is not projecting the results in states like Georgia, Pennsylvania, Nevada and Arizona, "it's because of the math and getting to the highest level of confidence before any projection is made," Chalian added.




Nawaz Sharif a ‘jackal’ trying to create ‘rebellion’ in Pak Army: PM Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday lashed out at three-time former premier Nawaz Sharif, describing him as a “jackal” who is trying to create “rebellion” in the Army by accusing it of involvement in the country’s politics and calling for a change in the military as well as the ISI leadership.Sharif, the 70-year-old supreme leader of PML-Nawaz who was ousted from power in 2017 by the apex court on graft charges, had last month for the first time directly named Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI head Lt Gen Faiz Hameed for interfering in the general elections of 2018 to ensure victory of Khan.Sharif had made the comments virtually on October 16 during a joint rally organised by the Opposition parties under the banner of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), formed to oust the Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) government.PTI




US removes separatist group condemned by China from terror list

US said it would no longer designate a Chinese Uighur separatist group as a “terrorist organization” on Friday, sparking sharp condemnation from Beijing. East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) was removed from Washington’s terror list, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced in a notice posted in the Federal Register.“ETIM was removed from the list because, for more than a decade, there has been no credible evidence that ETIM continues to exist,” a State Department spokesperson said, AFP reported.Deutsche Welle




Scotland becomes first UK nation to ban smacking of children

Scotland has become the first part of UK to ban the smacking of children after new legislation came into effect.Changes to the law giving children the same protection from assault as adults were passed by the Scottish parliament last year and take effect from Saturday.Scotland becomes the 58th country to outlaw corporal punishment after the defence of justifiable assault was removed from Scots law.It is the first part of the UK to do so, with Wales expected to follow suit with the introduction of a ban by 2022.The Scottish Green MSP John Finnie, who introduced the changes, said he hoped the smacking ban would help demonstrate to children that violence is not acceptable.#







'We Questioned The Way Goswami Was Arrested, We Didn't Demand His Release':Seema Mustafa INTERVIEW



A new alliance signals Ladakh is split down the middle, with Kargil drawing closer to Kashmir:Safwat Zargar





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