NEWS BULLETIN : EVENING
12-11-2020 ,20:19 IST
GDP to contract 8.6% in Q2; India has entered recession for first time: RBI official
MUMBAI: GDP is likely to contract by 8.6 per cent for July-Sept. period, which means India will enter into a recession for the first time in history in the first half of this fiscal with 2 successive quarters of negative growth due to COVID-19 pandemic, as per an RBI official. Researchers have used the 'nowcasting' method to arrive at the estimates ahead of the official release of data and their views in an article in RBI's monthly bulletin released on Wednesday do not constitute the central bank's views.The pandemic-induced lockdowns had led to a steep contraction of 23.9 per cent in GDP for the April-June quarter as compared to the same period a year ago.RBI has estimated that the economy will contract by 9.5 per cent for the full fiscal year."India has entered a technical recession in the first half of 2020-21 for the first time in its history with Q2 2020-21 likely to record the second successive quarter of GDP contraction," as per the article titled 'Economic Activity Index', authored by Pankaj Kumar of Monetary Policy Department.It, however, added that the contraction is "ebbing with gradual normalisation in activities and expected to be short-lived."The index is constructed from 27 monthly indicators using a dynamic factor model and suggests that the economy rebounded sharply from May/June 2020 with the reopening of the economy, with industry normalising faster than contact-intensive service sectors, it said.The economic activity index can be used to gauge directional movements in GDP growth well ahead of official releases, it said.PTI
India In Historic Technical Recession, RBI Says In First "Nowcast"
India's GDP To Shrink By 8.9% In 2020: Moody's
Moody's Investors Service said on Thursday that it expects India's economy (gross domestic product) to shrink by 8.9 per cent in the current calendar year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to an earlier forecast of a 9.6 per cent contraction. The revision comes as a rise in novel coronavirus cases slows in world's second-most populous country, and economic activity picks up after a 23.9 per cent contraction in April-June, when consumer spending, private investments and exports collapsed during the world's strictest lockdowns."The steady decline in new and active (COVID-19) cases since September, if maintained, should enable further easing of restrictions. We, therefore, forecast a gradual improvement in economic activity over the coming quarters," Moody's said in a note.
Retail inflation grows 7.61% in Oct; IIP rises 0.2% in Sep: Govt data
New Delhi :The growth rate of India’s retail inflation, which is measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI), climbed 7.61 per cent in the month of October. Separately, the country’s factory output, which is measured in terms of Index of Industrial Production (IIP), witnessed a growth of 0.2 per cent on-year to 123.2 during the month of September, according to two separate data released by the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Thursday.CPI for the month of September was also revised to 7.27 per cent from 7.34 per cent. The retail inflation has grown beyond RBI upper margin of 6 per cent. The government has mandated the central bank to keep retail inflation within the range of 4 per cent with a margin of 2 per cent on either side.
Scheme to incentivise job creation, credit line for stressed sectors: Top Sitharaman announcements
New Delhi :To boost coronavirus-hit economy, which likely entered into a technical recession for the first time in history, and ramp-up capital expenditure, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a new scheme to incentivise job creation, measures for 26 stressed sectors, benefits for home buyers and real estate developers as part of Atmanirbhar 3.0 stimulus package worth Rs 2,65,080 crore. Sitharaman said the Covid-19 stimulus provided so far added up to 15 per cent of GDP, of which the government contribution was 9 per cent. Saying that the Indian economy was witnessing a strong recovery, Sitharaman announced an “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rozgar Yojana”, under which EPF-registered organisations would get benefits on recruiting new people who didn’t have EPFO before or those who lost their jobs between March 1 and Sept.30.The scheme will cover any new employee joining employment in EPFO-registered establishment on monthly wages less than Rs 15,000. It will also cover EPF members drawing monthly wages of less than Rs 15,000, who lost their jobs during COVID-19 pandemic from March 1, 2020 and is employed on or after October 1, 2020.
‘Turned India’s strength into weakness’: Rahul Gandhi attacks PM Modi over RBI report on recession
New Delhi :Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday targeted PM Narendra Modi over RBI report, claiming the country has entered into a recession for the first time in history due to the policies of PM Narendra Modi.“India has entered into recession for the first time in history. Modi’s actions have turned India’s strength into its weakness,” he said on Twitter, quoting a report by Indian Express. Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP also targeted Centre and congratulated Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharama for “achieving this feat.”
Centre makes rules stricter for NGOs and those participating in politics to receive foreign funding
Ministry of Home Affairs has amended the Foreign Contribution Regulation (Rules), 2011, to make them more stringent, TOI reported. FCRA regulates foreign donations and ensures it does not affect the internal security of the country. In September, FCRA, 2010, was amended. The provision made Aadhaar mandatory for all office bearers of non-governmental organisations that seek foreign contributions. Election candidates, govt servants, members of any legislature and political parties were also prohibited from accepting foreign funding. Currently, there are around 22,400 NGOs and associations active under FCRA.The new rules require any organisation that wants to register itself under FCRA to have existed for at least three years and to have spent a minimum of Rs 15 lakh on its core activities during the last three financial years for the benefit of the society.The home ministry, in a notification, also said office bearers of NGOs seeking registration under FCRA must submit a specific commitment letter from the donor on the amount of foreign contribution and the purpose for which it is given. Moreover, the application fee for seeking registration under FCRA has been increased from Rs 3,000 to Rs 5,000, according to TOI. For grant of prior permission, the fee is now Rs 10,000, instead of the earlier Rs 5,000. The fee needs to be submitted via a payment gateway.Last month, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet had expressed concern over the use of FCRA to “stifle voices” of activists and NGOs in India. Bachelet urged the Modi government to safeguard their rights.
Elgaar Parishad: No bail to Varavara Rao; wife tells HC ‘he is bedridden, using diapers’
Mumbai :Telugu poet and writer Varavara Rao, arrested in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case, failed to get bail even as the Bombay High Court directed the NIA and Taloja Jail authorities to arrange medical examination of Rao by doctors of Nanavati Hospital, who had treated him earlier, through video on Thursday or early Friday. “In the event, if doctors are of view that assessment is not possible on video call, it is open to doctors to visit Taloja jail at their earliest convenience. The report shall be submitted by Nov.16,” HC said and posted the matter for further hearing to November 17 at 3 pm. A vacation bench of Justices AK Menon and SP Tavade was hearing a writ plea by Rao’s wife Pendyala Hemalatha seeking his release from Taloja Jail. In the petition, Rao’s wife alleged that prison authorities were not providing the Telugu poet appropriate medical attention since 2018.
Arnab Case: Kashmir Leaders, Activists Question ‘Selective Outrage’, Delay In Hearing Similar Cases From J&K
SRINAGAR:Supreme Court’s decision to grant interim bail to Republic TV founder Arnab Goswami has opened a pandora’s box in Jammu and Kashmir, with leaders and activists calling out the delay in similar cases involving Kashmiris.“Agree with SC’s outrage on right to liberty. But, sadly, this outrage has been selective as there are hundreds of Kashmiris and journalists languishing in jails on baseless charges. Forget court ruling, they didn’t even get a hearing. Why no sense of urgency for their liberty?” asked former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, who was released after 14 months of detention last month. Mehbooba was among the three former chief ministers including Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah who were arrested by the government on the intervening night of August 4 and 5, 2019 when the Centre abrogated Article 370 and downgraded the state into two union territories –Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. India Tomorrow
Mumbai cop ‘assault’: Arnab Goswami’s pre-arrest bail plea adjourned to Nov 23
A sessions court here has adjourned till November 23 the hearing into the pre-arrest bail plea of Republic TV Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami and his wife in a case registered against them by Mumbai Police for allegedly assaulting a woman police officer. Their lawyer Shyam Kalyankar said the plea could not be heard on Thursday as the judge did not preside.“The anticipatory bail plea of Goswami and his wife was simply adjourned till November 23,” he said.“We did not seek any interim protection from arrest today as we are waiting for the detailed order of the Supreme Court (passed on Wednesday granting bail to Goswami in another matter),” Kalyankar said. The apex court on Wednesday granted interim bail to Goswami in a case of alleged abetment to suicide of interior designer Anvay Naik in 2018.Goswami, who was arrested on November 4, was released from the Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai late Wednesday evening.PTI
Arnab Hearing: AG Gives Consent to Initiate Contempt Proceedings Against Kunal Kamra Over Tweets
New Delhi: Attorney General K.K. Venugopal has given his consent to initiate criminal contempt proceedings against comedian Kunal Kamra for his tweets on the Supreme Court in the wake of the interim bail that the court had granted to anchor Arnab Goswami on Wednesday.Venugopal, in a letter to law student Skand Bajpai, who wrote to him seeking consent for contempt proceedings, has written: “I believe it is time people understand that attacking the Supreme Court of India unjustifiedly and brazenly will attract punishment under the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.”
Meghalaya HC refuses to quash FIR against journalist Patricia Mukhim for Facebook post
Meghalaya High Court has refused to quash the criminal proceedings against journalist Patricia Mukhim for her four-month-old Facebook post condemning the attack on 5 non-tribal youth by a gang of masked men, allegedly tribals, Live Law reported. At a hearing, Justice W Diengdoh said Mukhim’s post “sought to create a divide to the cordial relationship between the tribal and non-tribal living in the state of Meghalaya”.
Goa academics, authors back prof, write to Governor on ‘repression of academic freedom’
Panaji :Backing Goa law college assistant professor Shilpa Singh’s right to freedom of expression, more than 30 academics, authors and civil society members have written to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari, who is also the Chancellor of Goa University, to urgently uphold the Indian “tradition of vichar (idea), samvaad (dialogue) and vaicharic sahishnuta (tolerance of dissenting views)”.In a separate letter to Koshyari, Goa University teachers pointed to “safety concerns” for Singh based on hate messages she continues to receive.Prof Rahul Tripathi of Goa University said that due to the threats, some of Singh’s past and present students have decided to take turns and keep vigil outside her house. “They are considering this until the State provides her protection,” he added.
‘Not shocked or surprised,’ says Arundhati Roy after TN university withdraws her book from syllabus
Manonmaniam Sundaranar University in Tamil Nadu’s Tirunelveli city on Wednesday decided to withdraw a book authored by Arundhati Roy from its syllabus following a complaint from Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, reported The Hindu. The author said she was “not in least bit shocked or surprised by the decision”. Roy’s Walking With The Comrades, a book based on her visit to Maoist camps, was part of the university’s syllabus from 2017.Roy, meanwhile, said in a statement that it was her duty to write the book but not fight for its place in a university’s curriculum. The author added that she had no idea that her book was a part of the curriculum, but was happy that it had been taught for several years. She also said that she was neither surprised nor shocked by the decision.
China proposes pullback at Pangong, India considers offer
6 months after PLA troops came in 8 km west of the point which India says marks LAC on the north bank of Pangong Tso to trigger a military standoff in Ladakh, China has proposed moving its troops back to Finger 8, and return of troops by the two sides to their original locations on the south bank of the lake.The proposal also includes moving back tanks and artillery to the depth areas on either side to reduce chances of any incident in a region where tensions are already high, and troops are battling the harsh Ladakh winter.While there is no agreement on this proposal, official sources said India is considering Chinese offer, and modalities for other friction areas are still under discussion.
Centre asks Twitter to reply in 5 days for showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir: Reports
Union ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has issued a notice to Twitter, asking for an explanation in five days for showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir, and not Ladakh, ANI reported on Thursday. This came after the social media platform had on October 18 shown Jammu and Kashmir as a part of China during a live broadcast by a journalist, after which a controversy had begun. Centre, in its notice sent on November 9, said that showing Leh as part of Jammu and Kashmir was “a deliberate attempt by Twitter to undermine the will of the sovereign Parliament of India which had declared Ladakh as a Union Territory of India with its headquarter in Leh”, Economic Times reported, citing an unidentified government official.
Escalation in India-China tension can be misused by other players: Russia
Russia on Thursday said any escalation in the border tension between India and China amid global turbulence and unpredictability would further trigger regional instability in Eurasia, and the friction can be misused by other players in their geo-political purpose.At an online media briefing, Russian Deputy Chief of Mission Roman Babushkin said Russia is “naturally concerned” over the tensions between 2 Asian powers, noting that it was “very important” for both the countries to engage more in “constructive dialogue”.PTI
Modi govt amends telecom suspension rules, restricts internet shutdowns to 15 days
New Delhi: Modi government has issued orders stipulating that internet shutdowns can only be valid for 15 days. The orders are part of a Ministry of Communications gazette notification dated 10 November. They are applicable for all telecom services, which include telephone services, mobile telephone services and internet access services. The order could restrict the extended and sometimes indefinite internet shutdowns in parts of the country, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir, which had earned India the title of the “internet shutdown capital of the world”.The amendment has been included as clause “2A”, under sub-rule 2 of rule 2 in the already existing telecom suspension rules of 2017.
Mathura : 2 petitions filed for becoming parties to Krishna Janmabhoomi plea
Less than a week ahead of hearing in a Mathura district court on a petition to seek removal of a 17th century mosque adjoining the birthplace of Lord Krishna, an all-India body of priests and a social organisation have filed pleas to become parties to the case. In their applications filed in the court of District and Sessions Judge on Wednesday, Akhil Bharatiya Tirth Purohit Mahasabha and Mathur Chaturvedi Parishad condemned the petition that sought the removal of Shahi Idgah mosque built within the Katra Keshav Dev temple, arguing that the issue can create "communal disturbance in the town". Mahasabha President Mahesh Pathak told reporters: "We do not want anyone to disrupt peace in the city. The issue is being raised unnecessarily after Ram Janmabhoomi issue. Members of all religious communities have been happily living together in the town."He said that the people want development and employment generation more than another temple-mosque dispute.The fresh pleas argued that sensitivity of the matter needs to be understood since it could spoil the "communal harmony of Mathura town".The plea was admitted in the court of District Judge Sadhna Rani Thakur, who posted the matter for hearing on Nov.18. 2new pleas are also scheduled for hearing on the same day.IANS
ULFA (I) Militant Dhrishti Rajkhowa Surrenders Near India-Bangladesh Border
Shillong: Meghalaya Director General of Police R. Chandranathan on Thursday said the insurgency in the state has come to an end with the surrender of banned ULFA (Independent) outfit’s second-in-command Dhrishti Rajkhowa.Rajkhowa, a close confidant of ULFA (I)’s self- proclaimed ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah, along with four other militants surrendered before the Army near the India-Bangladesh border in South Garo Hills district on Wednesday.PTI
Delhi Riots: After Fighting For Her Father’s Remains, Gulshan Bano Now Sorts Waste To Survive
NEW DELHI:All Gulshan Bano knew of her mother was that she died of illness soon after Gulshan was born. Gulshan grew up close to her father Mohammed Anwar Kassar who raised her and her sister Ashiyana. Over the years, Gulshan’s sister died of illness as well and her husband was blinded by acid in a workplace accident; Kassar became the only source of support for Gulshan and her children. Then on Feb.25 this year, as riots roiled northeast Delhi, Kassar called Gulshan from his home in Shiv Vihar and said, “Beta (child), they are fighting here, but don’t worry, I’ll be okay.” Gulshan, who lives an hour’s drive from Delhi in Pilkhuwa Uttar Pradesh, asked her father to come home immediately. He said he would. That was the last time they spoke.A mob of rioters, Gulshan later learnt, killed Kassar and set him on fire. And when Gulshan and her husband Mohammed Naseeruddin finally made it to Delhi to recover his corpse, all that remained of her father were a few charred bones.
Karnataka: Minister Vows To Promote “Hindu Way Of Life”
BENGALURU:Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Wednesday vowed to bring in policies to promote “Hindu way of life” and well-being by adopting ancient and holistic healthcare system in the state.In an interview to a news agency, Sudhakar, who is a graduate from allopathic system of medicines, said, “One should learn Hindu way of life. One should go back to ancient practices so for as wellness is concerned.”“I am moving ahead to introduce this (ancient practices of wellness) in Bengaluru and Karnataka in a holistic and comprehensive manner, bringing in new policies,” he added.India Tomorrow
Scholarship scam: FIRs filed against 105 in Dhanbad, report says should probe phone records
Ranchi:Moving in to probe the scholarship scam, district administration of Dhanbad in Jharkhand has filed FIRs against 105 people, including middlemen and local officials, based on the findings of an investigation by Indian Express into the illegal siphoning of Centrally funded pre-Matric scholarship meant for poor minority students.The administration has also prepared a 59-page probe report, which refers to the findings of Indian Express and quotes several suspects as naming officials, including a “state level MIS operator”, district welfare staff, and even some politicians. The report, prepared by a probe team led by ADM (Law and Order), calls for further investigation of CDRs of key suspects and their connections. Dhanbad SSP Aseem Vikrant Minz said: “Many people were called for questioning and we will now take action accordingly.”
Indian Medical Association Urges UP Minister to Revoke Suspension of Dr. Kafeel Khan
NEW DELHI :Indian Medical Association (IMA) has written a letter to Suresh Khanna, Medical Education Minister, Uttar Pradesh, expressing solidarity with Dr Kafeel Khan and requested the authorities to revoke his suspension since 2017 from the BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur.In anticipation of a positive reply, the IMA said that the life, health and dignity of doctors and their families were most important. “IMA requests you to consider his plight with compassion and merit, and also to consider the request to revoke his suspension”, reads the letter.Other medical bodies, Progressive Medicos and Scientists Forum and the Medical Services Centre have already written to Chief Minister Uttar Pradesh in his support.Clarion India
BIHAR & BY POLL RESULTS
JDU tally lowest in 15 yrs, Nitish ‘unwilling’ but BJP persuades him to stay Bihar CM
NDA has got the numbers needed to form the government, BJP leaders have underlined that Nitish Kumar remains their choice as the next Bihar CM but Nitish himself expressed his “unwillingness” to continue citing the steep slide in JD(U)’s tally, sources said.Senior BJP leaders, however, persuaded him to continue as CM and gave him an assurance that he had “full independence as before” in running the government, it is learnt.Sources said Nitish was “very upset” at the manner in which Chirag Paswan and his LJP had hurt JD(U). Said a senior BJP leader: “He was deeply disturbed and very upset that Chirag had spoiled JD(U)’s chances in at least 25-30 seats. We persuaded him to remain CM even though BJP is now a senior partner in the alliance.”A senior JD(U) leader said that there was a “general impression” in his party that BJP did “not deal with Chirag Paswan as effectively as it should have during the election campaign.” This leader said that there was also gaps in coordination between BJP and JD(U) workers.This, he said, could have translated into the defeat of several JD(U) ministers and some sitting MLAs. In fact, leaders said, LJP factor could be held responsible for the defeat of JD(U) ministers Jay Kumar Singh (Dinara); Shailesh Kumar (Jamalpur); Krishnandan Verma (Jehanabad); Ramsevak Singh (Hathua); Santosh Nirala (Rajpur) and Khursheed Alam (Sikta).
Nitish may take oath as Bihar CM on Monday
Nitish Kumar may take oath as Bihar chief minister for a fourth successive term next week but the date has not been finalised yet, a close aide said on Thurday. However, speculation is rife in political circles that he will be sworn in on Monday, the day ‘Bhaiyya Dooj’ festival will be celebrated, as it is considered an auspicious day. Raj Bhavan sources said they have not received any communication about when the swearing-in ceremony will take place.PTI
Nitish Kumar, On Who Will Be Chief Minister, Says "NDA Will Decide"
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose JDU has suffered a body blow in the state elections due to the Chirag Paswan factor, today said he has left the decision regarding LJP chief to BJP. The decision on who will be Chief Minister has to be taken by NDA, he said in response to a question, indicating that the issue might be revisited despite BJP's earlier assurances that he would retain the post. Chirag Paswan's rebellion against his leadership and the decision to go solo has relegated Kumar to the position of junior partner in the decades-old alliance with the BJP. Though Paswan's LJP had won only one seat, Kumar said his separate presence has cut into JDU votes, leading to the loss of nearly 30 seats.
Tejashwi Yadav demands recounting of votes, says mandate in favour of Grand Alliance
Speaking for the first time after Bihar election results, RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav on Thursday demanded recounting of postal ballot votes. Crying foul play in the counting process, Yadav said the mandate of people was in favour of Grand Alliance but Election Commission’s result was in NDA’s favour.“I thank Bihar’s people. The mandate favoured Mahagathbandhan, but Election Commission’s result was in NDA’s favour. This hasn’t happened first time. In 2015 when Mahagathbandhan was formed, votes were in our favour but BJP made back door entry to gain power,” said Yadav.Asked whether Mahagathbandhan would try to muster numbers to form its own government, he said, “We will go to the people who gave the mandate. If they express such a wish we will act accordingly.” Quoting election data, he claimed NDA got only 12,270 votes more than the Mahagathbandhan.
Tejashwi elected Grand Alliance legislature party leader, claims NDA won by deceit
RJD's Tejashwi Yadav was on Thursday elected the leader of Grand Alliance legislature party and promptly hit out at NDA, claiming it won assembly elections through "deceit".Yadav mocked Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, whose JD(U) has been relegated to the third position in terms of seat tally, and wondered whether the latter would "heed his conscience and give up his attachment to the chair".PTI
Making MIM ‘fall guy’ for MGB’s defeat does not hold water
Bihar assembly election is marred by the allegation of rigging and irregularities. Opposition Mahagathbandhan (MG) has accused the state election machinery of ‘tampering and rigging’ in over dozens of seats where the victory margin was low. However, the MG partner Congress party tried to make MP Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM- which has registered an impressive performance by bagging 5 seats and has emerged as a political force to reckon with – as a ‘fall guy’ for its flop show. And a section of Muslim community also blaming MIM for loss of MG without going into exhaustive details of the outcome.Of the 5 seats MIM won, NDA was in the second place on 4. Only one seat had MG as the runner-up. Muslims in all these 5 seats voted tactically. They knew that MIM MLAs would ultimately caucus with MG if it falls short of a majority by a few seats. Muslims only voted for MIM on seats where it was sure to win while they cast their vote en masse to MG because of this all the Muslim candidates of JD(U) faced defeat.It is be noted that MIM was confined to only 4 districts Kishanganj, Katihar, Purnia and Araria of Muslim-dominated Seemanchal region. Only 20 candidates of MIM were in the fray while 4 candidate’s names were rejected at the nomination stage. Of these 3 candidates were from SCs and STs. But a wrong perception was created that Owaisi has directly or indirectly damaged the prospects of MGB as nobody talks about the spoiler role played by Pappu Yadav and Chirag Paswan in paving the way for NDA ‘victory’ which was staring a certain defeat.Take a quick look at 20 seats MIM contested which shows that not a single seat has gone to BJP or NDA due to its presence and bust myth of MIM as a spoiler party.
AIMIM’s Victory In Bihar Is A Nail In Coffin Of Those Trying For Disenfrachisement and Political Marginalization Of India’s Muslims : Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan
NEW DELHI:While Congress is accusing MIM and its leader Asaduddin Owaisi for helping NDA by fielding its candidates in Bihar assembly elections, social and political activities have hailed the impressive performance of AIMIM that won five assembly seats in Muslim dominated Seemanchal region of the state.Hailing the stunning performance of AIMIM, former Chairman of Delhi Minority Commission Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan said that AIMIM’s impressive victory in Bihar is a nail in coffin of those trying for disenfrachisement and political marginalization of India’s Muslims. Expressing his displeasure over Congress describing AIMIM as “vote cutters”, he said, “It is easy to throw such comments. Do they have monopoly over the Muslim voters? Don’t others have a right to contest the election? The so-called secular and left parties have marginalized Muslim political voices and if anyone raises our voice in Parliament, how one can term them B team of BJP. What did such parties do for us? If Muslims have been kept away from mainstream politics, it is the strategy of BJP”.India Tomorrow
AIMIM Will Contest Assembly Polls in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh: Asaduddin Owaisi
NEW DELHI:Encouraged by excellent performance of his party, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen president Asaduddin Owaisi has announced that his party will contest the forthcoming assembly elections in West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. His party won five seats in Bihar out of 20 seats in contested.While the next assembly elections are due in West Bengal in April-May 2021, in UP it is due in February-March 2022. After Bihar assembly poll results, posters of Owaisi and his party have already started appearing in some pockets of West Bengal.In interviews to TV channels and print media, he said that Muslims never benefitted from RJD government in Bihar because the Muslims did not have any “independent” political voice in the party. While all the good educational institutions were set up in Nalanda, Patna or Darbhanga by all previous governments, Seemanchal region with sizeable Muslim population was ignored. The literacy rate in Seemanchal is only 37 per cent against state literacy rate of 50 per cent.
Assam Minister Sarma on Polarising Spree Ahead of State Polls, Booked for Promoting Enmity
NEW DELHI: Himanta Biswa Sarma, a powerful minister in Assam’s BJP government, seems to be on a spree to communally polarise the Assamese society ahead of the assembly elections slated for April next year.Sarma, state Health Minister and rabble-rouser in Assam BJP, has been constantly making communally-loaded statements to target Muslims in Assam for long.He had joined BJP in 2016 after leaving the Congress and is quite vocal and bold in raising sentimental issues which appeal to communal passion. Recently, he came into limelight after he shared a doctored video of AIUDF workers claiming they are raising “Pakistan Zindabad Slogan”.
Congress Should Introspect and Accept Truth in Bihar: Tariq Anwar
NEW DELHI: Congress General Secretary Tariq Anwar has accepted that because of the weak show by Congress, the RJD-led Mahagathbandhan failed to form government in Bihar.Congress, which managed to win just 19 out of the 70 seats it contested in Bihar, has been the weakest link in the Mahagathbandhan with the lowest strike rate in the alliance.Anwar said, “We should accept the truth that due to the weak show by the party, the grand alliance could not form the government in Bihar. Congress should introspect what went wrong. Also, the entry of AIMIM in Bihar is not a good sign.”
Covidshield completes enrolment of volunteers for phase III clinical trials
Serum Institute of India (SII), which is developing the Covidshield vaccine, has completed the enrolment of volunteers for phase III clinical trials. Trials are being conducted under the partnership of Serum Institute of India and ICMR, apex body in India for biomedical research. 2 have also collaborated for clinical development of Covovax (Novavax) developed by Novavax, USA and upscaled by SII. “Covishield is by far the most advanced vaccine in human testing in India. Based on Phase 2/3 trial results, SII with the help of ICMR will pursue the early availability of this product for India. SII has already manufactured 40 million doses of the vaccine, under the at-risk manufacturing and stockpiling license from DCGI. Furthermore, US-based Novavax has initiated its late phase trials in South Africa and in UK and will soon commence the same in USA. SII has received the bulk vaccine and Matrix-M adjuvant from Novavax and will soon fill and finish them in vials. This vaccine formulated at SII (COVOVAX) will be tested in a Phase 3 trial in India and an application for the same to regulatory authorities will be made soon by ICMR and SII,” an official statement issued Thursday said.
Coronavirus: Delhi HC revokes stay on reservation of 80% ICU beds in 33 private hospitals
Delhi High Court has vacated the stay order on AAP govt’s directive to reserve 80% of intensive care unit beds in 33 hospitals in the Capital, Bar and Bench reported. The HC was hearing a plea filed by the Delhi government seeking permission to enforce reservation of 80% of intensive care unit, or ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in 33 private hospitals for at least 15 days. In September, a bench of Justice Navin Chawla had stayed the decision, saying it was prima facie “arbitrary, unreasonable and violative” of Article 21 of the Constitution that guarantees right to life and personal liberty.
Coronavirus: FM announces ₹900 crore grant for COVID-19 vaccine research
A coalition of 18 pharma companies located in India, China, Bangladesh and South Africa that manufacture generic drugs have pledged to work together to accelerate access to millions of doses of new interventions for COVID-19 for low- and middle-income countries.18 generic drug companies have pledged to make COVID-19 drugs for developing countries.The companies have come together under the umbrella of non-profit Medicines Patent Pool (MPP). Indian companies that have pledged to manufacture COVID-19 drugs include Sun Pharma, Lupin, Aurobindo, Zydus Cadila, Hetero, Natco and Strides Shasun.Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman on Thursday announced a ₹900 crore grant to Department of Biotechnology for COVID-19 vaccine research.She said the grant does not cover the actual cost of vaccine and distribution expenses, which will be made separately as and when the vaccine is available.
Anchored By China, Deal Nears For World's Biggest Free Trade Zone
15 Asia-Pacific nations including China aim to clinch the world's largest free-trade agreement this weekend, the culmination of Beijing's decade-long quest for greater economic integration with a region that encompasses nearly a third of the global gross domestic product.Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which includes countries stretching from Japan to Australia and New Zealand, aims to reduce tariffs, strengthen supply chains with common rules of origin, and codify new e-commerce rules. Its passage may disadvantage some U.S. companies and other multinationals outside zone, particularly after President Donald Trump withdrew from talks on a separate Asia-Pacific trade deal formerly known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Following withdrawal of India from RCEP negotiations last year, the remaining 15 nations sought to announce the agreement by the end of this week's Asean Summit, which Vietnam is hosting virtually. Malaysia's Trade Minister Azmin Ali told reporters the deal would be signed on Sunday, calling it the culmination of "8 years of negotiating with blood, sweat and tears.""TPP was involved a lot more on fundamental changes in the economy, whereas RCEP is more like 'let's open the door in trade and focus on the bottom line,'" said Wellian Wiranto, an economist with Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. "RCEP will be seen as more China centric, but I don't think it would be the same way as the TPP was U.S. centric."Bloomberg
Austria gov’t agrees to preventive arrests, ban ‘political Islam’
The govt of Austria has agreed on a wide range of anti-terrorism measures in the wake of a deadly attack in the capital, Vienna, last week.The proposals include the ability to keep individuals convicted of “terror” offenses behind bars for life, electronic surveillance of people convicted of terror-related offenses upon release and criminalising religiously motivated and politically extreme acts. Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Wednesday that the government also plans to simplify the process of shutting down associations or mosques deemed to play a role in “radicalisation” and enable the public to report potential violent activities on an online platform. A central register of imams will also be created.aljazeera
Fresh crisis brews in Armenia after Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal
Yerevan: Minutes after Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan signed an agreement to end the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, a fresh crisis erupted at home. Grief and frustration spilled into the streets of the capital Yerevan following the shock announcement in the early hours of Tuesday, that a peace deal had been signed to end conflict in the breakaway enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, including territorial concessions that favour Azerbaijan and at least 5 years of a Russian peacekeeping presence.With demonstrators storming parliament and seat of government in the immediate aftermath, a second day of protest was organised by opposition parties and saw a former prime minister and other well-known public figures give rousing speeches about the need for a new leader.Beginning at Opera Theatre, a site significant for hosting meetings of the original movement for Nagorno-Karabakh independence in 1980s, the crowds then marched in convoy – chanting “Nikol, traitor!” – to seat of government, before heading to parliament to call for Pashinyan’s impeachment.
Rights groups to provide concerning detention conditions of 2 senior Saudi Princes
HRW, Freedom Now and MENA rights are among some of NGOs due to present evidence into the enforced disappearance and detention of former Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Nayef and Prince Ahmed Bin Abdul.The live evidence session which will be presented to a fact-finding panel consisting of British parliamentarians and international lawyers, is scheduled to take place on 17 November.This comes after human rights activists made a renewed plea for world leaders not to attend the G20 summit in Saudi Arabia planned for later this month, due to such dire human rights situation in the country.Both Princes have reportedly been denied access to legal advice, medical care and communication with their family members after being suddenly detained and disappeared in March.
Kuwait scholar calls for boycott of Arab companies profiting from ties with Israel
Prominent Kuwaiti scholar Tareq Al-Suwaidan has called for a boycott of Arab companies that deal with Israeli occupation during a seminar organised by the UAE anti-normalisation group.Speaking on the "necessity of boycotting the products of the Zionist entity and their supporters" Al-Suwaidan said that the global campaign against Israeli products should be expanded to Arab companies that will profit from the normalisation with the occupying state.
Israeli settlers meet with UAE businessmen in Dubai
A delegation of Israeli settlers from illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank have met with UAE businessmen in Dubai to discuss trade and cooperation opportunities, Israeli media revealed on Wednesday.The settlers' delegation arrived in the UAE on Sunday for a five-day visit. Yossi Dagan, the head of the settlement council which represents settlements in the northern occupied West Bank, led the delegation."The business people heard from [the settlers] about the unique needs of the region and discussed with them cooperation, particularly in the fields of agronomy and water desalination," reported Ynet News.
Report: Israel's Netanyahu seeks to drive a wedge among Joint List parties
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working to drive a wedge between the four parties that make up the Joint List in a bid to divide them and decrease their seats in the Knesset, Haaretz newspaper reported.The paper said tensions "reached a new level this week due to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's participation in a meeting of the Special Committee for Eradicating Crime in the Arab Sector, chaired by the Joint List's Mansour Abbas."
PA ready to resume peace talks with Israel
Palestinian Authority said on Wednesday that it is ready to resume peace talks with Israel based on international law and United Nations resolutions, Wafa news agency has reported."Palestinian leadership is ready to return to negotiations [with Israel], based on international legitimacy, or from the point where they stopped, or based on Israel's commitment to all signed agreements," explained Presidential Spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh.
Hamas: UNRWA financial crisis 'man-made'
Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas announced on Wednesday that the financial crisis of UNRWA is "man-made" and its main goal is to "abolish the refugees' issue and dismantle the UN agency.""The Hamas movement is extremely concerned about UNRWA's announcement by the agency's Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini that the UN body has decided to partially postpone the payment of salaries of almost 28,000 employees in five operation fields," Hamas communicated in a statement.
Saeb Erekat, longtime chief Palestinian negotiator, laid to rest
Hundreds of people have attended funeral of veteran Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who died on Tuesday aged 65 of coronavirus complications.Erekat, secretary-general of the PLO, was a lung transplant recipient who suffered from pulmonary fibrosis. After contracting the novel coronavirus last month, his prospects for recovery were dim given his history of respiratory illness.
Reason of Arafat's death remains unknown 16 years later
Sixteen years have now passed since PLO, Fatah and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat died and the reason behind his death remains unknown.Born on 4 August 1929, Arafat passed away in a French hospital on 11 November 2004 after suffering symptoms of an unknown disease likely a result of poisoning while he was besieged inside his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.In a report, Arabi21 asked member of Fatah's International Relations Commissioner, Abdullah Abdullah, about the leader's death. Abdullah accused the late Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of being behind his death but claimed: "There is no clear evidence."
Hezbollah's Nasrallah hails 'Trump's humiliating defeat'
Secretary-General of Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, said in a televised speech yesterday that he was pleased about the "humiliating defeat" of US President Donald Trump in the presidential elections but urged regional allies to be on alert for any US or Israeli "folly" during the remainder of his term in office.The speech coincided with Hezbollah's Martry Day which commemorated in particular the martyrdom operation of Ahmad Kassir who detonated his explosives-rigged car at an Israeli occupation headquarters in Tyre in 1982.
Taliban calls on Joe Biden to adhere to Doha peace agreement
Afghanistan's Taliban movement has urged US President-elect Joe Biden to abide by the peace agreement signed in Doha between the movement and the administration of outgoing President Donald Trump last Feb.The movement said in a statement that "the Doha agreement is an excellent document to end the war and achieve a better future for both countries", affirming its commitment to the pact."The withdrawal of all American forces from Afghanistan would be in the interest of both peoples and countries," it continued."The new American president and the future administration must be vigilant about circles promoting for war as well as individuals and groups who seek to perpetuate the war and keep America mired in conflict, in order to achieve their personal interests and control power," it added.
Biden names longtime adviser chief-of-staff in first key hire
President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday named longtime adviser Ron Klain as his White House chief of staff in his first important appointment, as he builds his administration regardless of whether President Donald Trump accepts the election results.Klain, 59, was Biden’s chief of staff when 77-year-old was vice president under President Barack Obama and had been widely expected to be named chief of staff.
Biden’s foreign policy will be similar to Obama’s, says Lavrov
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he believes US foreign policy under Joe Biden would be similar to that seen under President Barack Obama, especially on Iran and climate change.US-Russia ties under Obama were strained, in part due to US sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of the Crimean Peninsula in Ukraine.
Trump is not conceding. What’s next?
U.S. President Donald Trump has not conceded defeat to his Democratic rival Joe Biden in the November 3 presidential election. Mr. Trump has alleged voter fraud and mounted legal challenges in several swing States. And he’s not alone. Most elected Republican party officials are yet to acknowledge that Mr. Biden has won the election. On Wednesday, when asked about transition, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters, “There will be a smooth transition to the second Trump administration”. Attorney-General William Barr has asked the Department of Justice to look into voter fraud claims.According to the results announced so far, Mr. Biden has won 279 electoral votes against Mr. Trump’s 214. A candidate needs 270 votes in the 538-vote Electoral College to win the presidency. But these are not official results. There’s a lengthy electoral process before the official results are announced on January 6. Usually, the candidate who loses in the general election concedes, allowing a smooth transition. But Mr. Trump’s refusal to concede defeat has raised uncertainty over the transition.
Saudi king urges world to take ‘decisive stance’ against Iran
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud urged the world on Thursday to take “a decisive stance” to address efforts by Iran to develop nuclear and ballistic missile programmes, in his annual address to the top government advisory body. “The kingdom stresses the dangers of Iran’s regional project, its interference in other countries, its fostering of terrorism, its fanning the flames of sectarianism and calls for a decisive stance from the international community against Iran that guarantees a drastic handling of its efforts to obtain weapons of mass destruction and develop its ballistic missiles programme,” the king said.
Muslim Brotherhood responds to Saudi Council of Senior Scholars
Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has responded to the statements of Saudi Arabia's Council of Senior Scholars accusing it of terrorism, and stressed that the organisation is based on a reformist ideology that advocates for Islam and not terrorism.p announced: "The brotherhood, which was founded in 1928 in Egypt, is distant from acts of violence, terrorism and disseminating division between the nation's components."Fahmy added: "The MB has been, since its establishment, a reformist advocacy group that calls to obeying Allah through sharing wise and pious advice without excess or negligence."He indicated that the brotherhood denies all the accusations of the Council of Senior Scholars, emphasising that: "The approach of the group is founded on the Holy Quran and the sahih of authentic hadith without exaggeration or extremism, and its history attests to that."The MB spokesperson continued: "The group, which is completely distant from acts of violence and terrorism, has always been a victim of the violence and terror of dictatorships." Fahmy confirmed that: "The brotherhood remained biased towards the correct foundations of Islam and the just causes of the nation, the Palestinian cause first and foremost."
‘Countdown to catastrophe’ in Yemen as UN again warns of famine
UN has once again warned of millions of men, women and children in war-torn Yemen are facing famine as it issued yet another appeal for more money to prevent it.“We are on a countdown right now to a catastrophe,” UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley told UNSC on Wednesday. “We have been here before … We did almost the same dog-and-pony show. We sounded the alarm then,”head of Nobel Peace Prize-winning UN body said.UN describes Yemen as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with 80 percent of the country’s 30 million people in need of help.
UN hails Libya elections ‘breakthrough’ at Tunis political talks
Libya’s warring sides have agreed to hold elections within 18 months, UN has said, hailing a “breakthrough” in a fraught peacemaking process. “There’s real momentum and that’s what we need to focus on and encourage,” Stephanie Williams, UN’s acting Libya envoy said on Wednesday at a news conference in Tunis, where 75 Libyan participants chosen by the global body have been meeting since Monday.
Myanmar Opposition Demands Vote Rerun as Suu Kyi's NLD Heads for Victory
Yangon: Myanmar‘s main opposition on Wednesday demanded a rerun of a parliamentary election and called for military help to ensure fairness as partial results put Aung San Suu Kyi’s ruling party on course for another commanding victory. military-backed USDP called on authorities to hold another contest as soon as possible “to have an election that is free, fair, unbiased and free from unfair campaigning”.USDP challenge came as ruling NLD party looked set for its second successive election sweep, with wins in more than 80% of seats so far declared, with about a third of the results announced.
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