Thursday, 15 October 2020

15 OCT. NEWS: SC says Allahabad HC to monitor Hathras case, victim’s family seeks trial in Delhi. China has no locus standi to comment,’ says India after Beijing claims Ladakh was set up illegally





SC says Allahabad HC to monitor Hathras case, victim’s family seeks trial in Delhi

New Delhi :The Supreme Court on Thursday said the Allahabad High Court would monitor the Hathras case in which a 19-year-old Dalit woman was allegedly gangrape and assaulted, leading to her death.During the hearing before the Chief Justice S A Bobde-led bench, advocate Seema Kushwaha, appearing for the victim’s family, demanded that the proceedings of the case be shifted out of Uttar Pradesh to a court in the national capital.Allaying the apprehension, CJI Bobde said, “Let the high court deal with it. We are here if there is any problem.”The hearing began with Solicitor General Tushar Mehta referring to the affidavit filed by the Uttar Pradesh government, which said a three-fold mechanism — comprising five armed constabulary personnel, civil police including a guard and gunners, and CCTV cameras and lights — had been put in place at the victim’s house.


CCTV footage from Hathras hospital ‘lost’

CBI investigations into the Hathras rape and murder case hit their first roadblock when the investigators found that the CCTV footage of September 14, the day the victim was brought in to the hospital, has been 'lost'.Chief Medical Superintendent of the Hathras district hospital, Indra Veer Singh, said that the hospital would have saved the footage if the police had asked them to."Previous footage gets deleted every seven days and new footage gets recorded over it. We do not keep a back-up unless specifically asked to," he said.IANS


Uttar Pradesh: Dalit teenager found dead in a field in Barabanki, father alleges rape

The body of a Dalit teenage girl has been found in a field in Barabanki under Sathrik Police Station limits in Uttar Pradesh, Hindustan reported on Thursday. According to Hindustan, the teenager was 17 years old, but PTI said she was 18. The teenager had gone to the field on Wednesday to cut crops. The police found her hands and legs tied, and said she had been killed by choking. The teenager’s father has alleged that his daughter was also raped. A huge police force, including senior police officers, has been deployed in the area.The teenager’s father could not find her at home when he returned from his job as a labourer on Wednesday. After she did not show up even by nightfall, he went into the field to search for her. He could not find her there, but then saw her body in a nearby field. Following this, the father returned to his village and informed people there. The villagers then called the police.


Modi govt flouted rules, favoured Gautam Adani to lease out six airports to his firm: nationalheraldindia

1. Handing over of six airports to Adani Enterprises for a period of 50 years is in complete violation of AAI Act, 1994 which says no airport can be leased out to any private player for more than 30 years.2. The Ministry of Civil Aviation showed undue urgency to complete the transaction before February 28, 2020, paving the way for Adani Enterprises to win the bid.3. Major airport players were kept away from the bidding process due to the unnecessary time constraints put by the ministry.4. Airport Authority of India (AAI) did not compare the quotes of Adani Enterprises with the ‘Existing Per passenger Fee’ to ascertain how profitable the bid was.5. The Project Report submitted to Public Private Partnership Appraisal Committee (PPPAC) is inconclusive and the AAI did not study the project carefully before leasing out the airports.6. Operation and Management clauses were not applied before handing over the airports to Adani Enterprises which is mandatory to gauge the operational abilities of the bidder. These astonishing allegations – pertaining to the leasing out of six airports to Adani Enterprises – were flagged by CPM MP Elamaram Kareem who was in news for his suspension from Rajya Sabha during the process to pass the contentious farm bills last month.Pointing out towards “gross irregularities” and “blind favouritism” in leasing out six airports to Gautam Adani’s firm, Kareem said that “neither AAI nor the Ministry of Civil Aviation exercised any reasonable care and prudence”.Demanding action, Kareem in the first week of September shot off a letter to Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) – a statutory body established in 1964 to look into governmental corruption.


 ‘Must have faith in HCs’: SC directs Republic TV to petition Bombay HC first in TRP case

New Delhi :The Supreme Court Thursday directed Republic TV to approach the Bombay High Court with its petition in connection with the alleged TRP scam. Republic TV’s Chief Financial Officer Shiva Sundaram had challenging the summons issued by the Mumbai Police to the TV channel in connection with the case.“… we must have faith in our HCs”, Justice D Y Chandrachud said during the hearing, adding that it would be inappropriate for the apex court to hear the case before the HC.Justice Chandrachud was heading the bench that also comprised Justices Indu Malhotra and Indira Banerjee. “We are only saying approach the HC first,” Justice Malhotra added, reported Bar & Bench.



BARC temporarily suspends weekly ratings of news channels

Following the fake TRP scam, the Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) on Thursday announced a temporary suspension of weekly ratings of news channels across languages.The council intends to review and augment the current standards of measurement to improve on “statistical robustness”, and the exercise will result in a “pause” in the weekly ratings for up to 12 weeks, an official statement said.At least 5 people have been arrested by the city police which busted the scam earlier this month.PTI


Tanishq ad: Top advertising bodies demand action against ‘intimidating behaviour’

Two of India’s top advertising bodies on Wednesday condemned the threats and targeting of jewellery brand Tanishq over an advertisement, featuring a Hindu-Muslim family celebrating a baby shower.The commercial was withdrawn on Tuesday after it received vociferous criticism from Hindutva supporters on social media. The advertisement, released ahead of the festival season, shows a baby shower organised by a Muslim family for their daughter-in-law, who is a Hindu. A day after its withdrawal, a Tanishq jewellery showroom in the city of Gandhidham in Gujarat posted an apology note outside the store after people allegedly barged into the store demanding one. Calls to boycott the company over the advertisement were trending on social media for “normalising love jihad” – a conspiracy theory espoused by right-wing Hindu activists, alleging that Hindu women are forcibly converted by Muslims through marriage.


‘China has no locus standi to comment,’ says India after Beijing claims Ladakh was set up illegally

Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday asserted that China has no locus standi to comment on India’s internal matters after Beijing said it does not recognise Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh as parts of India.The ministry’s spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that India’s position on the matter has always been clear and consistent. “The Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh have been ours and would remain an integral part of India,” he said. Srivastava added that Arunachal Pradesh was also an integral part of India and it had been conveyed to China several times, including at the highest level.



China's Xi Jinping Asks Troops To Focus On "Preparing For War": Report

New Delhi: Chinese President Xi Jinping has asked his troops to "prepare for war" state news agency Xinhua reported today. "Troops should "maintain a state of high alert...  Put all (your) minds and energy into preparing for war," Xinhua quoted Xi Jinping as saying.  Troops should be "absolutely loyal, absolutely pure, and absolutely reliable", the Chinese President said during his visit to Marine corps of PLA in Chaozhou City.Sources said President Xi's remarks were "not specifically directed at India", even though it came amid the border dispute in Ladakh.  The remark coincides with Chinese claims about the passage of a US Navy warship through the Taiwan Strait -- an area China is sensitive about.Beijing claims sovereignty over certain areas in South China Sea, where Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei and Taiwan have made counterclaims.  The relation between Beijing and Washington, traditionally prickly, has escalated following the coronavirus outbreak and the open US support to Taiwan, which is trying to increase its influence in the Indo-Pacific area.NDTV


 'No Message on Talks Was Sent From India': MEA Refutes Claim Made to The Wire by Pak PM's NSA

New Delhi: India on Thursday dismissed the claim that New Delhi had broached a “desire for conversation” with Islamabad, made by Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s advisor Moeed Yusuf, by calling his account “fictitious”.In an interview to Karan Thapar for The Wire on Tuesday, the Pakistan prime minister’s special assistant on national security and strategic policy planning claimed that Pakistan had got messages in the “past year” about a “desire of conversation” from India. The Pakistani official had, however, refused to offer any more details on this message that had allegedly been conveyed by India.This was first interview to an Indian media outlet by a Pakistani official since August 2019.Two days later, the Indian government rejected these claims entirely.“The statements made by him are contrary to facts on the ground, misleading and fictitious. As regards the purported message that was referred to, let me make it clear that no such message was sent from our side,” said MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava at the weekly briefing on October 15.


Media has collectively failed in J&K: Anuradha Bhasin executive editor of Kashmir Times


 Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, the executive editor of Kashmir Times, a daily English newspaper published from Jammu, has alleged that the brother of a former National Conference MLC barged and ransacked her government allotted accommodation in Jammu. In a Facebook post, Bhasin alleged that ‘goons were acting in connivance with the Estates department and some police personnel.’ Bhasin claimed that she and her husband were ‘shoved and pushed and had to fight back in self-defence.’Bhasin sees the attack as a reprisal by the authorities for her bold stance and criticism of the government in Kashmir vis-à-viss press freedom and human rights.In this interview with, Bhasin speaks on the declining press freedom in Jammu and Kashmir, the impact of August 5 decisions on the people of Jammu, especially the minorities and the fears among them.TwoCircles



Delhi riots | Legislative Assembly has no power to call Facebook official, Centre tells Supreme Court

The Central government on Thursday prima facie told the Supreme Court that the Delhi Legislative Assembly has no jurisdiction to summon Facebook’s senior official Ajit Mohan to testify in connection with the February communal riots as police and public order are not within its domain.Also read | Delhi violence: When the Centre cannot hold – on communal fault lines, State apathy and hope that lingers amidst despairAppearing before a Bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that “public order and police are not within the domain of the Legislative Assembly. So it [Delhi Assembly] is without jurisdiction”.Senior advocate A.M. Singhvi, for the Assembly, explained that Mr. Mohan was called as an expert to put forth “constructive suggestions” in order to prevent such incidents from happening due to the indiscriminate use of social media platforms. He said the role of the Assembly’s Committee on Peace and Harmony, before which Mr. Mohan was asked to appear, was to make “positive recommendations”. There was no coercive action intended against him.


 MP: 11 dead after consuming illicit liquor in Ujjain, probe ordered

Bhopal:11 people died during the intervening night of October 14 and 15 in the temple city of Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh after consuming illicit liquor. The MP government has ordered a probe by a three-member team led by the Additional Chief Secretary, Home in the matter.The deceased are mostly destitute and do not have family members. They mostly live on pavements.As per preliminary reports of post mortems, death seems to have occurred due to the consumption of denatured spirit.Collector, Ujjain, Asheesh Singh told India Today TV that the victims began reporting at various government hospitals after their health began to deteriorate from Wednesday evening onwards. The district administration is trying to ascertain if there is a racket working behind supplying the cheap fix.


Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA suspects D-Company link, opposes bail pleas

Probing the alleged terror link in the Kerala gold smuggling case, NIA Thursday submitted in a special NIA court in Kochi that it suspects the accused in the case have links to Dawood Ibrahim’s D-Company.The probe agency filed the petition in response to the bail pleas by the seven accused in the case. Claiming intelligence inputs linking the proceeds of gold smuggling to anti-national and terror activities, the report said the detention of all accused in judicial custody up to 180 days was absolutely necessary to carry forward the investigation.


Dr Kafeel Khan vows to keep fighting “regardless of the obstacles created”

Dr Kafeel Khan has written to Maria Arena, the Chair of Subcommittee on Human Rights of the European Parliament thanking her for urging the Indian government for the release of human rights defenders incarcerated in various false charges under UAPA and sedition.“I was tortured mentally as well as physically,” wrote Dr Kafeel, speaking about his days during imprisonment. He shared that he was even “denied food and water for many days,” other than being “treated inhumanly” during his seven months of imprisonment. He said that he was locked inside a congested and overcrowded prison in Mathura prison despite the looming scare of COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing, he thanked the European Parliament and international human rights committees that voiced their support for the cause of justice and fairness as opposed by the draconian citizenship laws in India passed under the BJP government in December 2019.



Academicians from Afghanistan condemn arrest of Jamia student Masood Ahmed, demand his release

Kabul: 26 academics from Afghanistan have sought the release of Masood Ahmed, a scholar and a social from Uttar Pradesh.On October 5, 2020, Uttar Pradesh Police in India arrested Masood Ahmed and three other persons, including an Indian journalist, while they were en route to Hathras to visit the bereaved family of a 19-year-old Dalit girl who was gang-raped and subsequently succumbed to her injuries. Later on Oct.7, UP Police charged all of them including Masood with UAPA, a draconian anti-terror law and also slapped sedition charges.As a student activist, Masood was leading a delegation along with Atikur Rehman, journalist Siddique Kappan and a driver to Hathras to extend their solidarity. UP Police intercepted their vehicle at a Toll Plaza in Mathura district and arrested them.In a statement, the academicians said that the arrest of Masood is a harassment and part of the larger targeting of activists. “In the pretext of ‘conspiracy’ in the Hathras rape and murder case, the incarceration of Masood is totally uncalled for and condemnable. The arrests have come in the wake of widespread criticism for mishandling and appearing unjust to the victim family by the Uttar Pradesh government.”


Modi Govt Gave Defence Contracts to ISIS-Linked Explosive-Making Firm, Alleges Activist

NEW DELHI — RTI activist Saket Gokhale on Wednesday revealed that the Narendra Modi government gave defence contracts to a Nagpur-based firm whose explosives were found to be used by terror outfit ISIS.In a series of tweets, Gokhale alleged that the Defence Ministry gave several defence contracts to explosive maker Solar Industries despite a European Union report finding that the company’s explosives were used by the IS.On October 1, the Defence Ministry signed a contract worth Rs 409 crores with the Economic Explosive Ltd (EEL) to supply 10,00,000 Multi-Mode Hand Grenades to the Indian Army. EEL is a subsidiary of Nagpur-based Solar Industries, “an explosive maker with nothing to do with solar energy”, said Gokhale adding the press statement released by the government about the contract.Clarion India



Armed Forces Veterans Seek Probe Into Fake News of Disbanding ‘Muslim Regiment’

NEW DELHI:A group of 120 retired officers from Indian Armed Forces have written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting them to taken against a fake news circulating on the social media that the Indian Army’s Muslim regiment was disbanded because they had refused to fight against Pakistan in 1965 war.Stating that the social media post insulting Muslim soldiers would affect the morale of the armed forces, they urged the President as well PM to order an immediate probe into it and also warn the social media platforms Facebook and Twitter against allowing such posts intended to fuel communal hatred in the country. Pointing out that there was no Muslim Regiment in the Indian Army in 1965 or afterwards, the letter says that the tweets was meant to show that Muslim soldiers had their loyalties to Pakistan rather than India.India Tomorrow


SC issues notices to Centre, Google, Amazon and FB on plea seeking data protection on UPI platforms

The Supreme Court on Thursday issued notices to the Centre, Google, Amazon, Facebook and WhatsApp on a petition filed by Communist Party of India MP Binoy Viswam, seeking directions to ensure that the data of Indian citizens collected on Unified Payments Interface platforms is not misused by these corporations, the Hindustan Times reported.Viswan urged the court to direct Reserve Bank of India to frame necessary regulations for the same.



Navlakha sought mercy for ISI spy Fai convicted in US, claims NIA charge sheet

New Delhi: NIA has claimed that activist Gautam Navlakha had sought “clemency” for Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, a Kashmiri arrested by FBI in 2011 for accepting funds from Pakistan’s ISI, ThePrint has learnt.This is what the NIA has relied upon to establish a link between Navlakha, Fai and Pakistan’s ISI in the Bhima Koregaon charge sheet filed last Friday. NIA charge sheet, accessed by ThePrint, stated “Navlakha wrote to the US court seeking clemency for Fai”, but he was convicted and given a two-year jail term.The charge sheet stated Navlakha met Fai on several occasions and was assigned to “unite the intellectuals against government forces to defeat them both physically and otherwise”.When ThePrint contacted Navlakha’s lawyer Ragini Ahuja, she said she will be able to comment after she has gone through the charge sheet, a copy of which hasn’t yet been given to the accused.


Jharkhand:Demonstation for Father Stan Swamy’s release

Several leading figures on Wednesday demanded that Father Stan Swamy, arrested in connection with the Elgar-Parishad case, be immediately released. The demonstrators, belonging to various Muslim and social organisations, held up placards to highlight their demands at Paramveer Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi and said they stood in solidarity with activists arrested across the country, including Jharkhand. The demonstrators also protested the continued persecution of rights activists, including Umar Khalid, by implicating them in false cases. The demonstrators maintained that they support the ongoing protests in Ranchi against the oppression. They also demanded that the attacks on people's democratic rights be stemmed and abuse of laws be stopped. The protesters said they support the government of chief minister Hemant Soren in its fight against the detention of Swamy.



Father Stan Swamy’s arrest ripples in Northeast

Guwahati-based social scientist Father Walter Fernandes on Wednesday said the arrest of tribal rights advocate Father Stan Swamy from Ranchi had “implications” for the Northeast, which too had witnessed arrests of rights activists and the displacement of tribal communities in the name of development.“What has happened (displacement and impoverishment) to the tribes in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Odisha, on whose side Stan Swamy was struggling, can reach the Northeast too because of mining, oil exploration, roads, dams and defence projects, especially in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya,” Fr Fernandes, 81, a long-time associate of Fr Swamy, said.


Owaisi interview: ‘Am I hostage to other parties?… We have been working for 5 yrs… while RJD, Cong, JDU sat in Delhi, at home’

AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi talks about the ‘disarray’ in BJP-JD(U) and RJD-Congress alliances, why time is ripe for a new front like he promises, and the issues AIMIM will raise in its campaign. Owaisi, said "The people of Bihar need a viable alternative political platform. Also, the RJD-Congress alliance has failed and lost the confidence of the people of Bihar in dislodging or in politically defeating the JD(U) and BJP (alliance). Another important point is that the 15 years of Nitish Kumar and 15 years of RJD have not helped in the real development of Bihar. I have data which clearly show that on every parameter — social, economic, health, education — the Nitish Kumar-led government has failed. That is why all of us have come together and projected Mr Kushwaha as the chief ministerial face and Devendra Yadav as the convener."



Chirag Paswan on Nitish Kumar: He insulted my father, worked against LJP candidates in 2019 Lok Sabha polls

Patna:In an interview with PTI-Bhasha, Chirag Paswan said, "Nitish Kumar recently remarked mockingly that my father could not have got elected to the Rajya Sabha without the JD (U)s support, since we had only two MLAs. He should remember that my father was promised a Rajya Sabha berth by the then BJP chief Amit Shah himself"."And I felt so belittled when Nitish behaved in a haughty manner when my father called on him with the request that he accompany us for filing of nomination papers. He came only after the mahurat (auspicious timing) decided for the occasion had passed. No son could have taken such a treatment lying down", Paswan alleged in an interview to PTI-Bhasha.



No PM Modi, Amit Shah or Yogi, BJP is banking on Shivraj Chouhan for MP bypolls

New Delhi: The BJP has named just three leaders — Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, newly-appointed General Secretary Dushyant Gautam and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe — not from the state in its list of 30 star campaigners for the Madhya Pradesh bypolls.The bypolls to 28 Assembly seats in Madhya Pradesh are to be held on 3 November. BJP’s star campaigner list, released Wednesday, is dominated by state leaders and misses heavyweights such as Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, and UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who had campaigned here ahead of the 2018 assembly elections.


Delhi: Kashmiri woman alleges landlady abused her, called her terrorist; cross FIRs filed

New Delhi:A22-year-old Kashmiri woman has alleged that her landlady abused her and called her a "terrorist" during an argument over rent and barged into her rented apartment in East of Kailash area of South Delhi.The woman has also alleged that her landlady trespassed into her apartment and vandalised it in her absence with the help of a man, whom she has not seen before."So my landlady enters my house along with a man, that I have never seen in my whole life and starts to call me and my friends terrorists just because we are from Kashmir that too, in front of a police official (sic)," the woman alleged in a tweet.



 Hyderabad: Places of worship open doors for the needy, displaced

With several people being displaced on account of the rains that pounded the city, a mosque in Toli Chowki has thrown open its doors to those who need shelter.The management of the mosque, Masjid-e-Tawheed, Ahle Hadees, told The Hindu that ample space is available to accommodate people from all faiths.“Irrespective of gender and religion, we are welcoming people into the masjid. We have even offered to help displaced people with transport. While a number of people were already here, we got a call from some others who were affected and are expecting them here shortly,” said Mohammed Imaad, a member of the mosque managing committee. MS Education Academy, which runs a chain of schools and colleges across the city, has also welcomed displaced people.Meanwhile, volunteers of the Students’ Islamic Organisation, Helping Hand Foundation and Feed the Needy, and Amoomat Society, among others, began relief work. They distributed food packs and other eatables. SIO members helped to move those who were stuck in water-logged houses to other locations.



Air quality of NCR cities worsens to ‘very poor’ category

NEW DELHI:The air quality of Delhi, Gurugram, and Noida — which are part of the NCR (National Capital Region) — worsened to the ‘very poor’ category on Thursday morning, according to Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) data. The Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was 318 at 10 a.m. and the values for Gurugram and Noida were 302 and 315 respectively.An AQI between 0 and 50 is considered ‘good’, 51 and 100 ‘satisfactory’, 101 and 200 ‘moderate’, 201 and 300 ‘poor’, 301 and 400 ‘very poor’, and 401 and 500 ‘severe’.


Hyderabad floods plunge parts of city into darkness, angry residents take to Twitter

The heavy rains that lashed Hyderabad Tuesday plunged many parts of the city into darkness, with power supply yet to be restored in several areas even after 48 hours. Several residents took to Twitter on Thursday morning to complain about the lack of response from ground officials.Following the unprecedented rainfall that resulted in the flooding of low-lying areas, deaths, and severe damages, the declared a two-day holiday for all government offices, private institutions, including banks and financial institutions, across the state for Wednesday and Thursday. In a tweet, informing of the holidays, principal secretary for Municipal Administration Arvind Kumar asked people to stay indoors and not venture out unless it was an emergency and work from home.However, people also complained about the lack of broadband internet connectivity. Uprooted trees and electricity poles, fallen branches, and waterlogging were cited as the reason by officials.Director in-charge of IMD Hyderabad center, K Nagarathna, said that 19.2 cm rainfall recorded at IMD’s Begumpet observatory as on Oct.14 was the highest rainfall recorded from Hyderabad in October since 1891. The previous highest for this observatory for October was 9.8 cm.






Schools reopening or not? Here's what states have decided so far

Unlock 5 guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs allowed schools, colleges and educational institutions to reopen from October 15 in non-containment zones. This was subject to the SOs and guidelines set by the state governments who would take decisions based on the local requirements.Different states have taken different decisions. Some states went ahead by reopening schools on a voluntary basis for classes 9 to 12 from Sept.21 itself as advised by MHA in Unlock 4 guidelines.Here’s what a few states have decided about reopening schools:


1.  Delhi government has decided to keep school closed till October 31.

2. Uttar Pradesh has decided to reopen schools for classes 9 to 12 in non-containment zones from October 19. Classes will be held in shifts and all Covid-19 safety protocols would be maintained.


3. West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee said that schools would not be reopened in the state any time soon and a decision will be taken only after Kali puja on November 14.


4. Gujarat will not be reopening schools now.


5. Punjab government has decided to reopen schools and coaching institutions from October 15 in a graded manner. Online classes will be continued but students of classes 9 to 12 can go to school with parental permission.


6. Madhya Pradesh had reopened schools for classes 9 to 12 with parental permission from September 21 itself while following Covid-19 safety protocols. Now, the government may consider gradually increasing the strength of these classes.


7. Chhattisgarh government will not be reopening schools now.


8. Karnataka is yet to take a proper call on the school reopening issue after re-evaluating the situation. But it has announced midterm holidays from October 12 to 30 which includes the suspension of online classes.


9. Andhra Pradesh government has decided not to reopen schools till November 2.



India among high-burden TB nations to register 25-30 pc drop in case notifications: WHO report

Pune :Disruptions in services caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have led to further setbacks and according to a new report, there has been a 25 to 30 per cent drop in TB case notifications across three high-burden countries – India, Indonesia and the Philippines – between January and June 2020 compared to the same period a year before.The Global TB report, released on Wednesday by the World Health Organisation, has collated data from over 200 countries that has shown significant reductions in TB case notifications. These reductions in case notifications could lead to a dramatic increase in additional TB deaths, according to WHO modelling. Their analysis of the pandemic’s impact on TB mortality indicates that a 50 per cent drop in the detection of TB cases over three months will lead to almost 4,00,000 more people dying from TB.


Covid-19: Young and healthy people may have to wait till 2022 for vaccine, says WHO chief scientist

World Health Organization Chief Scientist Soumya Swaminathan on Thursday said that young and healthy people may have to wait till 2022 to get the vaccine against the coronavirus.India coronavirus tally rose to 73,07,097 earlier in the day as it reported 67,708 new cases in the last 24 hours. The country’s toll rose by 680 to 1,11,266. India’s active cases stood at 8,12,390 while the recoveries reached 63,83,441.The Union health ministry said that the doubling time of coronavirus cases in India has sharply increased to 70.4 days from 25.5 days in mid-August.





Saudi newspaper promotes restoration of ties with Assad regime

A newspaper owned by Saudi government and rather ironically called Independent Arabia has started to promote the restoration of links with the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad, Aram Media reported on Wednesday. The Saudi government has boycotted Assad and his regime for almost a decade due to their crimes against the Syrian people.A headline of “Damascus reconnects severed rope with Saudi Arabia and UAE” covered the story about Syrian Communication Minister Iyad Al-Khatib announcing the reconnection of the optical fibre cable between Damascus, Dubai, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The minister described this as a glimmer of hope to revive Syrian-Arab cooperation.The connection was cut in 2011, when the Syrian regime faced street protests calling for political reform and responded with violence. That was the start of the ongoing civil war in the country.Prior to the reconnection of the cable, said the Saudi daily, Riyadh allowed Syrian trucks to pass through its territory on 27 September. The Syrians, it pointed out, welcome such steps.


Syria-Russia alliance targeted civilians in Idlib: HRW report

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused the Syria-Russia alliance of committing possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by attacking civilians in rebel-held Idlib province and called for sanctions against top military officials.In a 167-page report released on Thursday, the New York-based rights body states that repeated attacks on civilian infrastructure in Idlib between April 2019 and March 2020 violated international law.



Russia: Normalisation with Israel should not harm Palestinians

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced on Wednesday that Moscow welcomes normalisation deals between Arab nations and Israel, insisting that they should not harm Palestinian interests.“We support Israel’s normalisation of ties with its neighbours and with other countries in the region, but we reject this at the expense of the Palestinian rights stipulated in UN General Assembly’s resolution which declared the creation of Israel,” RT reported Lavrov speaking to Russian radio stations.This came as he was asked to comment on the latest normalisation deals between Israel and the Arab states, celebrated last month in the White House.Lavrov praised Israel, describing it as Russia’s “credible friend”.


Lebanon and Israel conclude first round of demarcation talks

Lebanon and Israel have concluded the first round of indirect talks over the demarcation of their disputed maritime borders. The talks ended on Wednesday at the headquarters of the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL). The Naqoura region in southern Lebanon around the building faced tight security imposed by the Lebanese army and UNIFIL soldiers.


Palestinian courts to look at legal action against Israeli settlers

For the first time, Palestinian Authority courts are going to look at cases filed by Palestinian citizens related to violations alleged to have been committed by Israeli settlers, Wafa news agency has reported.Minister of Justice Mohammed Al-Shalaldeh said that the PA will “facilitate the task of victims whose rights have been violated by settlers.” The courts will cooperate with other government agencies and civil society institutions, he added.


Why Sri Lanka jailed a Muslim lawyer without charge for 6 months

Rights groups and members of civil society have raised concerns over the continued incarceration of a Muslim lawyer in Sri Lanka, adding that his prolonged detention “had a chilling effect on anyone involved in peaceful dissent and advocacy”.Hejaaz Hizbullah, a prominent human rights lawyer, was arrested on “terrorism” charges in April and has remained in detention without charges, with rights groups saying he has been denied due process rights.


Sri Kulkarni — US congressional candidate with ‘RSS links’ who is also a Muslim ‘ally’

The Democrat Party in the US is all set to field Indian-American candidate Sri Preston Kulkarni in Texas’ 22nd district, a Republican stronghold, in the House of Representatives elections in November.Aside from the much-anticipated presidential elections, US citizens will also vote in members to the House of Representatives, the lower house of the Congress, and one-third of the members in the upper house, the Senate, in November. These two elections occur every two years.Kulkarni, a 41-year-old former diplomat and Harvard University alumnus, will be up against Republican candidate Sheriff Troy Nehls and, if elected, will be the first Hindu representative in the US Congress from Texas.Texas’ 22nd district is also one of the most diverse congressional district in terms of population. About 64 per cent of the total population is White, 25 per cent are Hispanic or Latin, 17 per cent are Asian, and about 12 per cent are Black, according to census data.




  ·        Explained: What is the new order on deleting ‘ineligible’ names in Assam’s NRC?



·        Under Modi government, Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have ceased to be key places for debate:Christophe Jaffrelot



·        SC's Shaheen Bagh Order: Fundamental Rights for Commuters, No Country for Protesters:Nandini Sundar



·        US Presidential Elections: Implications for India:Mohammed Ayoob



·        'Growing Religious Polarization Under Modi': How Foreign Media Covered Tanishq Ad Controversy


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