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Last Updated : Jan 17 2021 10:12PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Connectivity through 8 new special trains to Kevadiya will give a boost to tourism, job opportunities: PM            Home Minister reiterates govt's commitment to national security, self reliance & social welfare            Country's Covid-19 recovery rate reaches 96.58 per cent            Sporting facilities to be named after renowned athletes: Kiren Rijiju            Australia lead India by 54 runs at stumps on day three           

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World News

2220 HRS

NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to 'World News: an Indian perspective', on All India Radio. This is MANOJ SINGH RANA and with me is AADITI LOOMBAA bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe. Over the next half an hour, we shall bring for you the latest from the world of politics, economy, sports , entertainment and more. In this edition we celebrate the youth of the nation through their icon Swami Vivekananda on his birth anniversary.


As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin the programme with a message of precaution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps:

⦁ Wear a face mask.

⦁ Maintain social distancing.

⦁ Focus on hand and face hygiene.


  •  Preparations in India on track for the Covid -19 vaccine roll-out across the country from 16th January.
  • New Farm laws put on hold by the Supreme Court of India until further orders; 4 member committee formed to resolve impasse.
  • Malaysia declares a state of emergency in the country amidst a surge in Coronavirus infections.
  • Terrorism continues to be the gravest threat to mankind, says India's External Affairs Minister, Dr. S. Jaishankar.
  • And 12 top curated films lined up in the Kaleidoscope segment at 51st edition of  IFFI in Goa.



The nationwide rollout of COVID 19 vaccinations in India is on course with several states receiving their first consignment of the Cornavirus vaccinations today.  Several states including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Assam and Nagaland have received their consignments.  The vaccination of the target groups in these states will start from 16th January. In the first phase, health workers and front line workers will be vaccinated.  The number is around 30 million. In the second phase, 300 million are scheduled to be inoculated. These include people over 50 years of age and with ci-morbidities like Diabetes, High Blood Pressure,Heart Diseases etc.



Meanwhile, India's  Health Ministry has said that the Central Government is maintaining close collaboration with States and Union Territories. All preparations are on track for the launch of the world's largest Covid-19  vaccination drive. The vaccine  roll-out will begin from 16th of  January. Addressing media in New Delhi today, Union Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan said that  during vaccination, health care workers will be on the top priority, followed by frontline workers and  prioritized age groups. Cost of health care workers and  frontline workers will be borne by the Central government. Two COVID19 vaccines- Covishield and Covaxin have received Emergency Use Authorization  and both have established their safety and immunogenicity through a well - prescribed regulatory process. He said, there are four other COVID-19  vaccines which will be manufactured in India and  will be available soon.

Mr Bhushan said emphasis is on communication activities to create an encouraging environment that vaccines are safe and immunogenic.  He said, the gap between the two doses of vaccines will be 28 days. It is only after the 14 days of receiving second dose, the  effectiveness begins and it is also imperative to maintain COVID appropriate behavior.



On the other hand, COVID-19 active cases continue to decline steadily in the country. Daily new cases have touched a new low today, at 2 lakh 16 thousand 558. The Health Secretary said that COVID19 situation is still worrisome across the world as the graph of active cases is climbing in USA, UK, Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

NITI Aayog, Member, DR  V K Paul said that both the vaccines-  Covishield and  Covaxin have been tested on thousands of people and  there should be no doubt about their safety. He also informed that the Indian Medical Association has decided to accept and  support these two indigenously developed vaccines. He encouraged a positive media atmosphere about the vaccination drive.



The World Health Organization (WHO) team of international experts to investigate the origin of the novel coronavirus will arrive in the Chinese city of Wuhan from Singapore on Thursday. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian informed the media at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Tuesday. However, He did not respond to a question on whether the team would have to go into quarantine upon arrival and gave no further details on the mission’s itinerary.

Ahead of the team’s visit, China has been trying to change the narrative that the pandemic broke out in a wet market in Wuhan. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said “more and more studies” showed it emerged in multiple regions.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said his organisation looked forward to working with China on the mission to identify the source of the virus and how it entered the human population. He had earlier expressed disappointment when the experts were denied entry earlier in the month, forcing two members of the team to turn back.



The COVID 19 vaccination programme in Bangladesh will start in the first week of February. Director General of the Health Services Prof. Abul Bashar Mohammad Khurshid Alam told in Dhaka that the vaccine from India will arrive in Bangladesh between January 21-25.  The vaccination will start one week after the arrival of vials from India.

50 lakh people will be vaccinated in the first phase. The second shot of the vaccine will be given 8 weeks after the first dose. The vaccine will be provided free of cost to people.

A tripartite agreement was signed on December 13 between Bangladesh government, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPL) and the Serum Institute of India (SII) for the supply of 3 crore vaccines developed by University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to Bangladesh.



Malaysia's King Al-Sultan Abdullah has declared a state of emergency across the country on Tuesday after consenting to a request from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. The move is aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 which has seen a spike in cases in the coutnry recently.

In a statement, Al-Sultan Abdullah stated that  the spread of COVID-19 is at a critical stage and that there is a need to declare a proclamation of emergency,".

An emergency would give the prime minister and his cabinet extraordinary powers, including allowing the government to introduce laws without the approval of parliament.



Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, has tested positive for COVID19 on Monday. A statement from the President's office said that he has so far shown no symptoms.

In a statement shared on his official website, Mr. Sousa’s office said the president has already informed Prime Minister Antonio Costa and Health Minister Marta Temido of the situation.

Mr. Sousa is seeking a second term as President as the nation heads to polls on the 24th of January.



India's Supreme Court has put a stay on the implementation of the three farm laws until further orders. It has also set up a 4 member committee of agricultural experts to facilitate talks between the Centre and farmers' unions to resolve the impasse. The Apex Court said it was trying to solve the problem in the best way and had the power to suspend the laws. The bench headed by Chief Justice of India, S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said those genuinely interested in finding a solution would appear before the committee. The bench was hearing a batch of petitions regarding the Constitutional validity of three farm laws passed by Parliament and a plea to disperse the protesting farmers. The bench said  it is concerned about the validity of the laws and also about  protecting the life and property of citizens affected by the agitation.

The Chief Justice said that the committee will not pass an order or punish and submit a report to the Supreme Court. He said the committee is the judicial process in this case.



External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S Jaishankar said that the UN Security Council Resolution 1373, adopted in the wake of the 9/11 US terror attacks reminds us that terrorism continues to be  the gravest threat to mankind.

Dr. Jaishankar was speaking at the UN Security Council's observation of the 20th anniversary of the adoption of the resolution. He said that linkages between terrorism transnational organized crime must be fully recognized and addressed vigorously.

We in India have seen the crime syndicate responsible for the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts,not just given State protection,but actually enjoying 5-star Hospitality

Dr. Jaishankar said the international community should call out and hold accountable those states who willfully support terrorist finances and offer terrorists safe havens.

He also highlighted the aggravation of the threat of terrorism during the times of COVID.

The Minister underlined that adequate funding to UN Counter Terrorism Bodies from the regular budget of the UN requires immediate attention.

The Minister enunciated proposals to comprehensively address the challenge of terrorism said that India has been at the forefront of global counter terrorism efforts.



India's Army Chief General Manoj Naravane on Tuesday said that a broad roadmap has been prepared to bring in all the new technologies to develop a technology-enabled army to meet challenges of future. Speaking on the issue of terrorism at the annual press conference, the Army Chief said, Pakistan continues to embrace terrorism and is using it as an instrument of state policy.

He said, India is having zero-tolerance for cross-border terrorism and reserves the right to respond with precision. General Naravane said, this is a clear message that have sent across.

The Army Chief added, the last year was full of challenges and the main challenge was COVID-19 and the situation at the northern borders. General Naravane said, India maintained a high state of ness all along the northern borders and hoping for a peaceful solution.



On this issue of Chinese aggression at the Ladakh region of the Line of Actual Control LAC, the Indian Army Chief asserted that the they are ready to meet any eventuality.



Meanwhile, India's Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat visited forward areas of Ladakh on the second day of his visit and reviewed the operational preparedness. CDS was briefed by local commanders on the prevailing operational situation. In a tweet, the Indian Army said that he also interacted with the troops deployed in forward areas and appreciated their high morale and motivation in defending the territorial integrity of the Nation.



India's Defence Secretary Dr Ajay Kumar today co-chaired the 13th India-Vietnam Defence Security Dialogue along with his Vietnamese co-chair Sr Lt Gen Nguyen Chi Vinh, Deputy Defence Minister  of Vietnam.  During virtual interaction, both of them expressed satisfaction at the ongoing defence cooperation between the two countries in spite of the limitations imposed by COVID 19.

During the interaction, Defence Secretary and the Deputy Defence Minister exchanged views on the plan of action that has emanated from the recently concluded Virtual Summit between  Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister of Vietnam  Nguyen Xuan Phuc in December 2020.  New areas of defence cooperation were also discussed.

Both the sides expressed commitment to further elevate engagements between the Armed Forces under the framework of  Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Noting strides in Defence Industry and Technology cooperation, both sides concurred that they  look forward to even greater cooperation in this field.



The Kuwaiti government ministers tendered their resignations en masse to Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid on Tuesday. The Ministry of Information made the announcement through its Twitter handle.

The official Kuna news agency says the move came "in light of the ongoing developments in the relations between the government and Parliament, known as the National Assembly, and what the national interest dictates."

The current Parliament of Kuwait was elected in December 2020.



The President of the United States of America, Mr Donald Trump on Monday declared that an emergency exists in the District of Columbia and ordered Federal assistance. A statement from the White House cited the  emergency conditions resulted from the 59th Presidential Inauguration from January 11 to January 24, 2021. The statement read that the President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

District Columbia or Washington DC is the seat of power of the US which saw chaotic developments last week. Observers have termed it as the insurrection at Capitol Hill.



The US State Department has designated Cuba as a State Sponsor of Terrorism on Monday. In a statement issued by the US State Department said that Cuba has repeatedly provided support for acts of international terrorism in granting safe harbor to terrorists.

The designation subjects Cuba to sanctions that penalize persons and countries engaging in certain trade with Cuba. It restricts U.S. foreign assistance, bans defense exports and sales, and imposes certain controls on exports of dual use items.



United States has imposed sanctions on seven Russian individuals and four entities alleged to be part of a Russia-linked foreign influence network associated with Andrii Derkach. A statement from the US State department said, Mr. Derkach had attempted to influence the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. It added that Derkach, a member of the Ukrainian parliament, has been an active Russian agent for more than a decade, maintaining close connections with Russian intelligence services. The statement further read that the designated individuals and entities have made repeated public statements advancing malicious narratives that U.S. Government officials have engaged in corrupt dealings in Ukraine.



Social networking app Parler,  has filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services  on Monday. The E-ccommerce giant had decided to remove the app from its web hosting platform allegedly for its popularity among far-right wing activists who had violent clashes with the Police in Capitol Hill last week.

Parler has filed the suit alleging anti-trust and breach of contract. The company is reportedly seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent Amazon from removing Parler from its servers.



The International Film Festival of India today announced the line-up of films for its Festival Kaleidoscope. The section will feature 12 curated films from across the world for their cinematic excellence. Alex Piperno’s “Window Boy Would also Like to Have a Submarine” from Uruguay; Columbia’s “Forgotten We’ll Be” by director Fernando Trueba; filmmaker Mohanad Hayal’s Iraqi drama “Haifa Street”; “We Still Have the Deep Black Night” by Gustavo Galvao (Brazil, Germany); and director Mantas Kvedaravicius’ “Parthenon” (Lithuania) will also be screened in this segment.

Other features include Greece’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, “Apples” by Christos Nikou; Stephanie Chuat and Veronique Reymond’s “My Little Sister” (Switzerland); Dani Rosenberg’s Israeli title “The Death of Cinema and My Father Too”; and “Valley Of The Gods” by Lech Majewski from Poland.



On September 11, 1893, a young man from India stepped up to the dais at the First World's Parliament of Religions in Chicago and began his speech by enunciating,  sisters and brothers of America. This warm address was met with a rousing reception from the audience.

The young man was Swami Vivekanand. Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Swami Vivekananda on his Birth Anniversary today. Mr Modi said, in thought and action Swami Vivekananda personified the best of India's culture and ethos. He said that Vivekananda has unwavering faith in Indian youth.

Today's HOTSPOT segment is dedicated to the youth icon that is Swami Vivekanand. Let us listen to excerpts from National Security Advisor Ajit Doval's address at the Swami Vivekananda memorial lecture at JNU earlier today.

Mr Doval in his address speaks about the genesis of Swami Vivekanand's now famous words "Arise, Awake and Stop not till the goal is reached". These words were uttered when India was under the throes of a colonial power as a clarion call to the youth.

Swami Vivekananda had a rich, inspiring view of patriotism. Mr. Doval reminds the youth of India, his higher ideal ad vision of patriotism and humanity.

Mr. Doval also talks about the guiding spirit that Swami Vivekananda was for Indians. He illuminates the enrapturing effect that he had through his words on this critical section of the society.

Swami Vivekananda was above all else, a visionary. In his address he talks about Vivekananda's vision for the nation and the role of the youth



The first Delegation-Level virtual Police Chiefs’ Dialogue between the Police chiefs of India and Bangladesh was held today virtually. The two delegations discussed ongoing bilateral cooperation, issues of mutual concern and the way forward.  Designated ‘nodal points’ would be established for to respond  to existing as well as emerging security and counter-terrorism challenges.  Both sides agreed to enhance their work jointly against terrorist entities including the Global Terrorist Groups, as well as other fugitives, wherever they are present and active.

The scope of enhanced coordination to combat trans-border criminal activities, including smuggling of drugs, Fake Indian Currency Notes, arms and ammunition and human trafficking was also discussed.



22 million in lockdown as several Chinese provinces hit by COVID-19 China is stepping up measures to contain a possible widespread coronavirus outbreak, in areas surrounding capital Beijing with Langfang city in Hebei province put under lockdown on Tuesday. Beijing also shut highways from the neighboring province amid rising infections. In total, about 22 million people in three cities - Shijiazhuang, Xingtai and Langfang of Hebei Province neighboring the capital Beijing have been placed under COVID-19 lockdown as of Tuesday. Vehicles and people in the three cities are not allowed to leave, unless necessary, Hebei authorities said at a news briefing on Tuesday.

Since January 2, Hebei Province has reported a total of 326 COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, and 234 asymptomatic carriers. The majority of the new cases have been recorded in the provincial capital, Shijiazhuang, which went into “wartime mode” on Friday to contain the virus’ spread. Since the outbreak started, some 103 health care professionals from five provinces have arrived in Shijiazhuang to help local medical staff, which has launched the second round of citywide nucleic acid testing on Tuesday.



In Leh, the first ever Ice climbing festival was celebrated in Nubra valley. The Seven Day event was organized by Nubra Adventure Club. Ice climbing is a popular winter sport abroad. Taking the cue, local adventure sports lovers have explored several ice climbing spots in Nubra valley to attract the adventure tourists to the region.

 To promote winter tourism in Nubra valley, Nubra Adventure Club, with the help of Social activist Dr. Nordan Otzer, has organized the Seven Day Ice Climbing festival. Trainer Rigzin Tsewang said that Nubra has the potential to be the ice climbing capital in the Himalayas.

Time record holder of Mount Everest Hon. Capt Tsering Angchuk said such festivals would encourage the youth from Nubra to summit many un-scaled peaks in Ladakh by the locals.

The Locals are hoping that with the operation of Thoise Airport in Nubra under the UDAN scheme, the valley of sand dunes would be another destination of all seasons for the tourists and adventure sport lovers.

18 participants across Nubra valley including 4 women, have taken part in Ice climbing. All were trained in basic ice climbing skills during the festival at three locations, Podong Cake at Panamik, Artificial Glacier at Ayee Village and first ascent at " Nubra Adventure Club Crag" located near Warshi Village.

Three trainers Rigzin tsewang, Tsewang Namgyal and Kran Kowshik imparted ice climbing skills. Participants were awarded certificates as well.<>Ramesh Chandra, World News, A/Leh/MAIL/1616HRS.



Now let us take a look at the major developments around the world, as reported in the foreign press:

The Los Angeles Times reports that Indonesia navy divers hunt for crashed plane’s black boxes. The Sriwijaya Air jet had nosedived into the water over the weekend with 62 people aboard.

Wall Street Journal reports that Parler, the social media platform favoured by Trump Fans, struggles for survival.

UK based the Guardian reports that Deutsche Bank joins companies cutting ties with Donald Trump

The Globe and Mail reports Kuwaiti ministers resign en masse as emir faces first big challenge.



According to a Kyodo News poll about 80% of people in Japan say this year’s Tokyo Olympics should be cancelled or delayed as worries mount about a record surge in coronavirus cases across the country on Sunday.

In Cricket,  Cricket Australia apologised to the India team on Sunday and launched a probe into allegations visiting players were subjected to racial abuse at Sydney Cricket Ground.


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