Sunday, August 1, 2021

World News 15 Dec 2020

World News

2220 HRS
15.12.2020

THE HEADLINES:

⦁ India welcomes UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt; Both countries hold delegation level talks  in New Delhi.

⦁ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to be India’s Chief Guest at Republic Day Parade next year.

⦁ SCO Secretary General says India has potential to become one of the largest digital ecosystems in the world.

⦁ India issues guidelines for mass Covid-19 vaccination.

⦁ In Afghanistan, deputy governor of Kabul killed in sticky bomb attack.

⦁ European Commission  says  EU is fully dedicated to clinch a post-Brexit trade deal before December 31.

⦁ And in Cricket , ICC announces full schedule of 2022 Women’s World Cup.

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UK – INDIA

India and UK today held delegation level talks  to strengthen cooperation in different areas including trade and prosperity, defence and security, climate and health. Visiting UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab met External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S Jaishankar in New Delhi. The  two leaders  discussed policy directions to broaden bilateral  cooperation and encourage more activities and collaborations.

Dr. S Jaishankar welcomed UK’s Indo-Pacific tilt. He said, both countries will co-operate closely on global issues and in multilateral organisations.

Mr. Jaishankar said, it  is important that India and UK strengthen their collaboration to hasten their post-Covid economic recovery.  He added that this has many facets, including promoting greater trade and investment, fostering innovation and facilitating the flow of talent. The Minister said,  in recent years,  there have been big changes in global politics and the two countries  believe that their interests are better served by working together more effectively. That will not only be building on our historical ties, but also expressing our shared commitment to a multi-polar world.

The UK Foreign Secretary  is on a four-day official visit to India.

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UK-PM-REPUBLIC DAY

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be the chief guest at Republic Day Parade in January 2021. The visiting UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that PM Johnson has accepted India’s invite to be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade next month.

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INDIA SCO

SCO Secretary General Vladimir Norov has said, India has the potential to become one of the largest digital ecosystems in the world. He said this at a press conference in Beijing on the results of the recently concluded Council of Heads of Govt. He noted India’s proposal of creating a Special Working Group on Start-ups and Innovation and a working group on traditional medicines. He said that with over 1 billion mobile phone subscribers and over 600 million internet users, India has the potential to become one of the largest digital ecosystems in the world.

Mr. Norov praised India’s hosting of 19th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Govt on 30th Nov. He also highlighted that India will be playing an active, positive and constructive role to enhance cooperation within the SCO.

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VACCINE-GUIDELINES

Government of India has issued guidelines for mass Covid-19 vaccination drive in the country. Health and Family Welfare Ministry is planning to vaccinate nearly 30 crore people during the first phase. Pfizer, Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech have applied for market authorisation for their vaccines. The vaccination drive will start once government approves emergency use of COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine will be offered first to healthcare workers, frontline workers and to persons above 50 years of age. It will be followed by persons younger than 50 years of age with associated comorbidities and finally to the remaining population. The priority group of above 50 years may be further subdivided into those above 60 years of age and those between 50 to 60 years of age for purposes of phasing of rollout. All together 20 ministries will be handling the entire process. The COVID Vaccine Intelligence Network (Co-WIN) system – a digitalised platform – will be used to track enlisted beneficiaries for the vaccination and anti-coronavirus vaccines on a real-time basis. At the vaccination site, only pre-registered beneficiaries will be vaccinated in accordance with the prioritisation. There will be no provision for on the-spot registrations.

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SARDAR PATEL

Nation is paying homage to Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel on his 70th death anniversary today. He was the first Deputy Prime Minister of India and also held the Home portfolio. Fondly known as Iron Man of India, Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel brought together more than 500 princely States with India. He laid the foundation of an empowered, strong and prosperous India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi paid tributes to Sardar Patel on his death anniversary. In his message, Mr Modi said that the path shown by him will always inspire us to protect the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the country.

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AFGAN ATTACK

In Afghanistan, deputy governor of Kabul has been killed in a “sticky bomb “attack in the capital city today. Security officials said that governor Mahboobullah Mohebi was travelling by car when a device attached to his vehicle exploded. No group has yet claimed responsibility.

Attackers often use the word “sticky bombs”, which are stuck to vehicles by magnets. Afghan news channel Tolo TV said that Mr Mohebi’s secretary was also killed in this latest blast, and two of his security guards were injured.

Violence involving the Taliban has continued in Afganistan despite peace talks between the group and Afghan officials in Doha.

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SINGAPORE BUBBLE AGREEMENT

Singapore on Tuesday announced a bubble arrangement Scheme  to allow a limited number of business, official and other “high economic value” travellers from around the world.

The decision comes ahead of this year’s annual World Economic Forum (WEF) will make its debut in Asia in May.  WEF has relocated from its usual home in the Swiss ski resort of Davos over coronavirus safety concerns.

Singapore already has some arrangements with certain countries for restricted travel, but this is the first scheme open to visitors worldwide.

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EU -UK- BREXIT

The European Commission has said that European Union is “fully dedicated” to clinching a post-Brexit trade deal before Britain’s transition out of the bloc ends on December 31.

European Commission spokesman Daniel Ferrie in a news briefing has said , EU  is  fully dedicated to trying to reach a deal with the UK,. He expressed hope that there will have a deal in place on the first of January.

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US ATTORNEY GENERAL

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Monday that he will step down from his position in next week. His announcement has come shortly after the Electoral College confirmed President Donald Trump’s loss to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.

Meanwhile President Trump said that Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen will take over as acting attorney general after Barr’s departure.

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COVID-UPDATES

Now the Coronavirus s from around the world,

Canada kicked off its inoculation campaign against COVID-19 on Monday by injecting frontline healthcare workers and elderly nursing home residents. Canada  becomes  the third nation in the world to administer the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. A second wave of the coronavirus is ripping across Canada, forcing several provinces to clamp down again on businesses and limit social gatherings.

UK’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that more than 1,000 cases of the new variant had been identified in  the country.

The government has informed that capital , London will move into England’s highest tier of COVID-19 restrictions .

The Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Monday that it will go into a tough second lockdown for at least five weeks, in a an attempt to fight the coronavirus.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said  that  the country will impose a five-day full lockdown beginning on December 31 to contain  the COVID 19 pandemic.

Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa said on Monday accuded  China’s health authorities of not being transparent in their authorization of COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.

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WHO COVID VARIANT

The World Health Organization has said that it is aware of a new variant of COVID-19 that has emerged in Britain.But there is no evidence the strain behaves differently to existing types of the virus.

WHO’s emergencies expert Mike Ryan told a news briefing in Geneva that the agency is  aware of this genetic variant reported in 1,000 individuals in England and  the authorities are looking at its significance.

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UN CHIEF ENVOY

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has proposed new envoys to mediate conflicts in Libya and the Middle East.

Guterres put forward his current Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov to become his Libya special envoy replacing Ghassan Salame .  UN chief named veteran Norwegian diplomat Tor Wennesland to succeed Mladenov as the U.N. mediator between Israel and the Palestinians.

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SPORTS

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced the full schedule for the 2022 Women’s World Cup. It will be played in New Zealand between March 4 and April 3.

The ODI World Cup was due to be held in New Zealand next February and March but was postponed until the start of 2022 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to his favourite bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from SRI LANKA

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

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