Saturday, June 19, 2021

World News 30 Dec 2020

World News

2220 HRS
30.12.2020

NAMASKAR !  A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indianperspective’, on All India Radio. This is AADITI LOOMBAA, bringing glimpses ofmajor developments of the day from across the globe.

THE HEADLINES:

  • Indians stranded in Wuhan deniedentry into Beijing by Chinese authorities.
  • China jails 10 pro democracyactivists from Hong Kong; EU demands their immediate release.
  • Britain approvesOxford-AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine for emergency use.
  •  Former Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif arrestedunder corruption charges in Pakistan; PML Chief Nawaz Sharif terms arrests ashighly reprehensible.
  • Argentina passes law to legalizeabortion

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WN-WUHAN-STRANDED

Indian passengers who travelledto Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter of COVID-19 pandemic, by the VandeBharat Mission flight on 30th October with ‘Beijing’ as their destination arein limbo as Chinese authorities have not yet unblocked their passports toenable them to travel to Beijing city, either by flight or train. Aftercompleting their quarantine, they came to know that their passports wereblocked once they were detected positive upon arriving in Wuhan. However, thisrestriction is only for Beijing and they can travel to any other Chinese city.Our Beijing correspondent has filed this report:

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Indian families have alreadycompleted more than 50 days of quarantine period against the stipulated 28 daysand are carrying 10 negative test reports from local authorities but all invain. Their health code status in the health kit is still ‘Red’ and not beingd to ‘Green’ by Chinese health authorities, especially for capitalBeijing. After Wuhan health officials gave clearance, it should have beenautomatically d in the health kit.

Chinese Foreign Ministry said itis not aware of the case. Another Indian who came to Wuhan on the 30th Octoberflight and faced a similar situation has since returned to India last week withhis family in view of lack of any assurance from Chinese authorities to allowthem to enter Beijing.

Anshuman Mishra for World News,AIR , Beijing

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WN-CHINA-ACTIVISTS

China has jailed 10 Hong Kongdemocracy activists for up to three years on Wednesday. A Chinese courtsentenced the activists over the charge of planning and executing illegalborder crossings. The Chinese Coast Guard had apprehended the activists as theytried to flee the intensified crackdown in the territory. The sentencing followsthe imposition of a sweeping new security law in Hong Kong this year that hasgiven the government broad powers to prosecute political dissidents.

Meanwhile, the European Union hascalled for the immediate release of the individuals and their swift return toHong Kong. EU Spokesperson, Peter Stano said the defendants’ rights to a fairtrial and due process have not been respected. He urged China to guaranteeprocedural fairness and due process of law for these individuals.

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WN-CHINA-HUMAN RIGHTS

China has been rated the worstoffender of Human Rights by UN Watch, an international NGO accredited by theUnited Nations. UN Watch on wednesday justified the ranking in a tweet. Itbased its ranking on China’s actions on Uighurs, jailing of human rights activists,Tibet, arresting journalists who raised alarm over Coronavirus and the crushingof dissent in Hong Kong. The UN Human Rights Organisation earlier in the weekhad also expressed concerns over the sentencing of Journalist Zhang Zhan tofour years in prison and called for her release.

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WN-PAK-ARRESTS

Senior PML-N leader and formerforeign minister of Pakistan Khawaja Asif has been arrested by the NationalAccountability Bureau (NAB) in Islamabad on Wednesday. The NAB, in a statement,said Mr. Asif was arrested over charges of possessing assets beyond knownsources of income.

PML-N chief and former PM NawazSharif strongly condemned the arrest. In a tweet, he said that the arrest ofKhawaja Asif is a highly reprehensible incident. He further termed the actionsof the Imran Khan government as blind political vengeance.

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WN-US-NEW VARIANT

The first reported US case of thehighly-infectious Covid-19 variant that emerged in the UK has been confirmed inthe state of Colorado.

The patient, a man in his 20swith no recent travel history, is currently in isolation. State healthofficials said they were working to identify contacts and other potential casesof the new variant.

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WN-OXFORD-VACCINE

Britain becomes the first nation toapprove the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID19 vaccine. The  government has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine for emergency utilization.The UK health ministry has stated that combined with the Pfizer vaccine doses,this will cover the entire population of the UK.

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WN-UK-FLIGHT

India has on Wednesday, extendedthe temporary suspension of flights to and from the UK till 7th January2021.  The Civil Aviation MinisterHardeep Singh Puri said strictly regulated resumption will take place thereafter  for which details will be announcedshortly.

Earlier, all flights originatingfrom the UK to India were suspended till 31st of this month. The HealthMinistry has recommended to the Ministry of Civil Aviation the extension of thetemporary suspension of flights originating from UK into India to be furtherextended till 7th January  2021.

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WN-ARGENTINA-ABORTION

Argentina on Wednesday legalizedabortion as the senate passed a bill that allows the medical procedure throughto the 14th week of pregnancy. Under the previous law, abortions wererestricted to cases of rape or when pregnancy carried serious risks for themother’s life.

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WN-YEAR ENDER-INDIA’S COVIDRESPONSE

As the news of the nationsrolling out their COVID vaccination programs flow in from around the world, itis opportune to reflect on India’s contribution towards fighting the pandemic.Since the outbreak of pandemic, India has taken care of its citizens andreached out to the neighborhood and countries across the globe. The swift,proactive and humane response by the Indian government has been held as anexample by the WHO.

India was one of the firstcountries to leverage technology in overcoming this crisis. The digitalinfrastructure helped India to meet the COVID challenge – a fact acknowledgedby tech leaders including Bill Gates.

With the Vande Bharat Mision,India led from the front in repatriating citizens stranded in foreign lands intheir hour of distress. More than 4 Million people have been safely reunitedwith their families under these operations.

Under various SAGAR missions,India extended humanitarian assistance and relief for nations ranging fromMaldives to Djibouti to Cambodia. India’s role as the pharmacy of the world hasgained global prominence as it provided life saving medicines to the countries acrossthe world.

The tough times call for a swiftresponse. India rose up to the challenge as the Prime Minister urged globalcommunity to ” collaborate to create”. The actions upheld its age oldtradition and value system of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – the world is one family.The same spirit is enshrined in the United Nation’s charter and has beenbeautifully brought to life by Ian Berwick in his rendition of the UnitedNation hymn.

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WN CLOSING

India is celebrating the 151stbirth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to hisfavourite bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from BAHRAIN.

AND WITH THAT, WE END THISBULLETIN. SEE YOU AT SAME TIME TOMORROW WITH THE NEXT EDITION OF WORLD NEWS.

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