NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is PRASHANT KUMAR SINHA, bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe.
⦁ US and Taliban meet to discuss peace and permanent ceasefire
⦁ Donald Trump persists with allegation of rigged US Presidential Elections
⦁ Bangladesh signs its first Preferential Trade Agreement marking 50 years of diplomatic relations with Bhutan.
⦁ Japan’s Hayabusa -2 spacecraft safely returned samples from asteroid Ryuku.
⦁ Pfizer seeks emergency authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine in India.
⦁ In cricket, India wins the second T20 international against Australia to gain an unassailable lead in the series.
The U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Mr. Zalmay Khalilzad has expressed pleasure at the ongoing peace talks between the US and the Taliban on Sunday.
In a tweet, Mr. Khalilzad said that the Afghanistan High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) become operational today with its first Leadership Committee meeting. He added that the gathering of political leaders across the political spectrum is an important step.
The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement, welcomed the formation and the first Leadership Committee meeting of the Afghanistan High Council for National Reconciliation on Saturday.
It added that as an authoritative body on peace, the High Council and its Leadership Committee will provide counsel and guidance to the Islamic Republic negotiating team with the Taliban on the terms of an agreement on a political roadmap, power-sharing, and a permanent ceasefire to end the country’s long war.
In another development, outgoing US President Donald Trump remained incredulous to his election loss as he told a crowd at a rally on Saturday that last month’s vote was “rigged”.
This despite repeated statements from the Federal Election Authorities that the elections were the most secure in America’s history.
Trump told the hordes in Valdosta, Georgia, “They cheated and rigged our presidential election but we’ll still win it. And they are going to try to rig this election too,” ahead of a Senate run-off.
Bangladesh signed its first Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) with Bhutan allowing duty free access to a range of goods between the two countries. This is the first PTA Bangladesh has signed with any country in the world.
Marking 50 years of diplomatic ties between the Bangaldesh and Bhutan , the agreement was signed on Sunday in Dhaka.
Under the PTA 100 Bangladeshi products will get duty free access to Bhutan. At the same time, 34 items from Bhutan will get duty free access into Bangladesh. Further items can be added in the list later on the basis of discussion between the two countries.
Japan’s Hayabusa -2 spacecraft safely returned samples collected from asteroid Ryugu, about 300 million kilometers from earth on Sunday.
The Australian Space Agency on the early hours of Sunday tweeted that the samples were on their way for analysis at the Woomera Test Range. The samples contain material from both the sub surface and the surface of the asteroid and can give vital insights into the evolution of the solar system.
Hayabusa2 had left asteroid Ryugu and was Earthbound since November 2019. The mission followed the first Hayabusa mission, which had returned samples from the asteroid Itokawa in 2010.
In France, dozens of protesters clashed with police on Saturday in capital Paris in fresh demonstrations against a controversial draft security law. Police fired tear gas after protesters smashed shop windows and set several vehicles alight. Rallies also took place in Marseille, Lyon, Lille and other French cities.
France has been hit by a wave of street protests after the government introduced a security bill in parliament that set out to increase its surveillance tools and restrict rights on circulating images of police officers in the media and online. Protesters argued that this undermines press freedom to document police brutality.
British negotiators arrived in Brussels on Sunday in a final throw of the dice to strike a Brexit trade deal with the European Union.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday instructed their teams to resume talks after they were paused a day earlier due to an impasse over three key issues.
In a joint statement after their call, Johnson and von der Leyen said that no agreement was feasible if significant differences on fishing, fair competition and ways to solve future disputes were not resolved.
New Zealand joins Japan and Thirty-one other nations in declaring a climate emergency. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern piloted a motion to be passed in the New Zealand Parliament to commit the Island Nation to a carbon-neutral government by 2025.
In an impassioned speech, Ms. Ardern said the country must ‘act with urgency’ on climate change and described it as ‘one of the greatest challenges of our time’.
Iran is set to increase the production and sale of oil at full capacity within three months. Iran’s State media on Sunday reported that the Iran has instructed its oil ministry to prepare to scale up its production and sale of crude oil to full ahead of a possible easing of U.S. sanctions after President-elect Joe Biden takes office.
India pays homage to Bharat Ratna Dr BR Ambedkar on his 64th Mahaparinirvan Diwas or death anniversary today.
President Ram Nath Kovind has paid rich tributes to Dr. Ambedkar describing him as a great architect of our constitution, who strived for a society and governance based on the tenets of equality and justice.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tributes to Dr BR Ambedkar on his Mahaparinirvan Diwas. In a tweet, Mr Modi said, Babasaheb’s thoughts and ideals continue to give strength to millions. The Prime Minister said, we are committed to fulfilling the dreams he had for the nation.
AIR commemorates this solemn occasion with a vignette from Dr. Ambedkar’s address at the at 4th World Fellowship of Budhists, wherein he compared and contrasted the Buddhist and Communist philosophies in his characterisic eloquence.
India’s Foreign Secretary Mr. Harshvardhan Shringla said that Artists dedicated to Indian art forms are not merely performers, but brand ambassadors who have been taking India’s rich cultural heritage to the global audience.
Speaking at the Global Heritage Series, organised by SPIC MACAY, he commended the role played by the organization in nurturing and promoting Indian heritage. He also referred to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s remark at the Spic Macay’s International Convention earlier this year that the fusion of ancient art and music with technology is a demand of the times.
The WHO has confirmed that the number of COVID19 infections has crossed 65.65 million worldwide.
The southern German region of Bavaria, announced on Sunday that it will impose a tougher lockdown from Wednesday until Jan. 5
Pfizer, has sought emergency use authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine in India. The firm, in its application submitted to the drug regulator, has sought permission to import the vaccine for sale and distribution in the country.
Pfizer India has become the first pharmaceutical firm to seek from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) an emergency use authorisation for its COVID-19 vaccine in the country, after its parent company secured such clearance in the UK and Bahrain.
In cricket, India defeated Australia by six wickets in the second T20 at Sydney Cricket Ground today. With this win, India also won the three-match series havin won the first match on Friday. Hardik Pandya’s blistering 42 runs off 22 balls earned him the Man of the Match title.
In football Manchester United beat West Ham United 3-1 at London Stadium on Saturday as fans return to PremierLeague for the first time since March.