NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is MANOJ SINGH RANA bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe.
- UN Secretary General calls upon nations to join hands to reach the goal of zero hunger on World Food Day.
- India ensured availability of nutritious food to over 800 million people during COVID Pandemic, says Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- Russia proposes extension of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with United States.
- Major European powers raise objections to Israeli plans to build over 4000 new settler homes in the West Bank.
- Greece and Cyprus push for a tougher European Union response to Turkey’s natural gas exploration in the contested Mediterranean waters.
- Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vows to leave no stone unturned to organise the Tokyo Olympics next year.
World Food Day
We begin with the news on the World Food Day today. The United Nations Chief Antonio Guterres has urged the nations to join hands to reach the goal of zero hunger. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified food insecurity to unprecedented levels. Hence there is an urgent need for building a sustainable future where everyone, everywhere has access to the nutrition they need.
The day marks 75th Anniversary of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO). Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi released a commemorative coin of 75- Indian rupee denomination on this Occasion. He also dedicated 17 recently developed biofortified varieties of eight crops to the nation.
The Prime Minister said, even when the world was reeling under the corona pandemic, The Government of India reached out to the people in the country and ensured availability of nutritious food to over 800 million people.
Finance Minister of India Nirmala Sitharaman attended the 102nd meeting of the World Bank Development Committee Plenary through video conferencing today. She shared measures taken by India to combat COVID-19, including first stimulus of 23 Billion dollars to provide direct cash transfers and food security measures to the poor. Further, 2.03 Billion dollars have been committed for strengthening of health infrastructure in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.
The Finance Minister also said that more stimulus was given by a special economic package of 271 Billion dollars which is equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has proposed that Moscow and Washington extend their New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that expires in February for another year. He also said no new conditions should be imposed. The statement comes a day after Moscow denied US assertions that the two sides had reached an agreement in principle. A failure to extend the 2010 pact would remove all constraints on US and Russian deployments of strategic nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. It has the potential to fuel a post-Cold War arms race and tensions between Moscow and Washington.
France, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain said they are deeply concerned at Israeli plans to build new settler homes in the West Bank. In a joint statement they said the expansion of settlements violates international law. It also imperils the viability of a two-state solution to bring about a just and lasting peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel approved more than 1,300 new settler homes in the West Bank this week, bringing the total number of homes in the pipeline to over 4,000.
Armenian and Azeri forces engaged in new clashes on Friday. The clashes have cast a shadow over an end to nearly three weeks of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticised Turkey over the conflict, in which Ankara backs Azerbaijan. He said its stance was worsening the situation in the conflict zone. This zone is internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan but populated and governed by ethnic Armenians.
The world is experiencing rising rates of chronic disease, persistent infectious diseases and public health failures that have fuelled deaths in the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been highlighted in a major global study on human health published in The Lancet Medical Journal on Friday.
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 analysed the burden of 369 diseases and injuries on human health in 204 countries and territories, in the past 30 years.
WHO Chief Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus cited the report to highlight the increasing incidence of non-communicable diseases around the world and the toll it takes on human lives, especially during pandemics like COVID-19. He called upon all nations to join hands to build robust healthcare infrastructure to fight with future pandemics.
Greece and Cyprus pushed for a tougher European Union response to Turkey’s natural gas exploration in the contested Mediterranean waters at an EU summit on Friday. This came after Ankara restarted operations of a survey ship it withdrew last month. The EU has so far failed to persuade Ankara to stop exploring in waters disputed by Greece and Cyprus. They even discussed economic sanctions on Turkey. France and Germany said earlier this week that Turkey must revise its stance and stop the explorations in the contested waters.
Thousands of Thai pro-democracy protesters chanted anti-establishment slogans in Bangkok defying a government ban on demonstrations for a second day. The protestors are demanding a reduction in the powers of King Maha Vajiralongkorn’s monarchy as well as the removal of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha.
Malaysia’s King Al-Sultan Abdullah on Friday called on politicians not to drag the country through more political uncertainty. He urged them to resolve issues through negotiations and constitutional means. The king’s comments came amid a power struggle over the premiership between Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. It comes seven months after another wrangle led to Muhyiddin forming the government.
Now, lets take a look at the Coronavirus s. According to WHO data, the number of infected cases has crossed 38.79 million worldwide. Coronavirus infections are still rising in 78 countries.
New COVID-19 cases in the United States rose by one million in less than a month to push total caseloads beyond eight million.
Meanwhile, India’s has registered a cumulative recovery rate of 87.56 per cent, as only 10.92 per cent of the total reported cases in the country remain under hospitalisation or home isolation.
Moving on to sports.
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowed on Friday to leave no stone unturned to organise the Tokyo Olympics next year.
In Badminton, India’s P.V. Sindhu has decided not to return to competitive action this year, as she prepares for the Tokyo Olympics. In another development, India’s Kidambi Srikanth lost to World Number 2, Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei in the Quarterfinals of The Denmark Open.
India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from Fiji.