Tuesday, August 3, 2021

World News – 24 Nov 2020

NAMASKAR! A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is R S REGHU, bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe.

THE HEADLINES:
India announces launch of High Impact Community Development Projects worth 80 million dollars in Afghanistan.

US President-elect Joe Biden announces first cabinet posts of administration.

United Nations expresses concern over the safety of civilians across Ethiopia’s Tigray region.

WHO Chief warns world’s poorest countries must not be trampled in the stampede for Covid-19 vaccines.

WMO says Carbon dioxide levels hit new record; COVID impact ‘a tiny blip’.

FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers to begin this week.
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INDIA- AFGHANISTAN

India has announced the launch of Phase-IV of the High Impact Community Development Projects in Afghanistan. It envisages more than 100 projects worth 80 million dollars that India would undertake in Afghanistan. External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar said this during the 2020 Afghanistan Conference organized in Geneva through video- conference.

Dr Jaishankar also announced that India had just concluded with Afghanistan an agreement for the construction of the Shatoot dam, which would provide safe drinking water to two million residents of Kabul city. He said, India had earlier built the 202-kilometer Phul-e-Khumri transmission line that provided electricity to Kabul city.

In his statement, Dr Jaishankar emphasized India’s long term commitment to the development of Afghanistan and the benefit of it’s people as a contiguous neighbor and strategic partner. He said, India’s development portfolio in Afghanistan has to-date amounted to over 3 billion US dallars. He highlighted that no part of Afghanistan today is untouched by the 400 plus projects that India has undertaken in all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces.

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UN CHIEF AFGAN

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on Tuesday for an “immediate, unconditional ceasefire” in Afghanistan to create a conducive environment for Doha peace talks with the Taliban. Mr. Guterres was speaking at an Afghanistan 2020 conference in Geneva. The UN Chief said, progress towards peace will contribute to the development of the entire region, and is a vital step towards the safe, orderly and dignified return of millions of displaced Afghans.

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BIDEN CABINET

US President-elect Joe Biden has released an array of nominees to head foreign policy and national security agencies under his incoming administration. Antony Blinken was named secretary of state by the President-election campaign. Mr. Blinken was the deputy national security adviser in President Barack Obama’s administration. Jake Sullivan will be the new National Security Adviser. Sullivan served as Biden’s national security adviser during the Obama administration. Michele Flournoy was named as Defence Secretary. This would make her the first woman to lead the Pentagon. Former Secretary of State John Kerry has been nominated to serve as the special presidential envoy for climate on Biden’s National Security Council.

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US-TRUMP-TRANSITION

Meanwhile, the General Services Administration, GSA of US has acknowledged Joe Biden as the apparent winner of the presidential election following weeks of inaction. President Donald Trump has called on his agencies to cooperate. He said, a formal transition should begin for President-elect Joe Biden to take office. The president said the federal agency overseeing the handover must “do what needs to be done”, even as he vowed to keep contesting his election defeat.

The development came as Mr Biden’s victory in the state of Michigan was officially certified which was a major blow to Mr Trump.

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WMO GREEN HOUSE GAS

The World Meteorological Organization, WMO has said that Greenhouse gas concentrations climbed to a new record in 2019 and rose again in 2020 despite an expected drop due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

WMO said that levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere hit a new record of 410.5 parts per million in 2019, and are expected to keep rising this year.

The WMO described the projected 2020 drop as a “tiny blip”. WMO’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin said that the impact of the COVID-19 confinements on the carbon dioxide concentrations would be no bigger than normal annual fluctuations.

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COVID-UPDATE
Now, the Coronavirus s from around the world. According to WHO data, Global coronavirus infections crossed 58.71 million.

Britan’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that the government will not force people to have vaccinations against COVID-19.

The Japanese government is preparing to pause its domestic travel campaign in two cities following sharp rises in COVID-19 cases.

In India, the COVID 19 recovery rate has reached at 93.76 per cent. With overall recovery of over 8.6 million patients, the recovered cases in the country stand at nearly 20 times the number of active cases. .

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WHO VACCINE

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has warned that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable must not be “trampled in the stampede” for Covid-19 vaccines. He said, the scientific community had set “a new standard for vaccine development” and now the international community must set “a new standard for access”.

Mr. Tedros said , 187 countries are taking part in the COVAX facility, to collaborate on the procurement and rollout of vaccines, ensuring the best possible prices, volumes and timing for all countries”.

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UN ETHIOPIA

The United Nations on Monday said that it was “extremely concerned” over the safety of civilians across Ethiopia’s Tigray region. It urged all parties to the conflict to ensure the protection of civilians, adherence to human rights law and humanitarian access to affected areas. Fighting between Government troops and those loyal to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) continued in the region.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Sunday announced a 72-hour deadline for the region’s fighters to surrender. The TLPF’s leader has reportedly rejected the ultimatum. The conflict has reportedly killed hundreds and displaced thousands in recent weeks.

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CHINA WHO

The Chinese Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said China and the World Health Organization are discussing a trip for experts to investigate the origins of COVID-19 and the details of the trip to China will be released in a timely manner. On Monday, the WHO emergencies director Michael Ryan said that they had received reassurances from Beijing that international experts would soon be able to travel to China to help probe the animal origins of COVID-19.

In May, the annual meeting of World Health Assembly , the decision-making body of the Geneva-based WHO, passed a unanimous resolution to probe the origin of the virus.

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SPORTS

Moving on to sports, Basketball’s global governing body, FIBA has confirmed the schedule for the upcoming window of FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers. The games will take place place between November 27 and 30. It will be played in mini-tournament formats in Bahrain and Doha in order to ensure the health and safety of all participants.

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