NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is Renuka bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe.
⦁ European Union rolls out mass vaccination programme from tomorrow.
⦁ Russia approves SPUTNIK 5 vaccine for population aged 60 plus
⦁ Protests erupt in Kathmandu against decision to dissolve parliament.
⦁ France, Sweden and Spain report first instances of mutant Coronavirus strain.
⦁ UN condemns killing of 3 peacekeepers in Central African Republic
⦁ In cricket, India end the first day of the second test with 36 runs at the loss of one wicket.
The European Union rolls out its COVID vaccination program on Saturday. President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen announced that the COVID vaccines have been delivered to all EU countries and vaccination will begin across the EU starting Sunday.
Russia’s Ministry of Health has approved Sputnik V for 60 population. The decision follows the clinical trials for the vaccine that showed complete safety and efficacy over 90% in this age group. A statement read that the Sputnik V also fully protected from any severe cases in this and other age groups.
Earlier this week, Russian envoy in New Delhi Nikolay Kudashev said that Moscow will jointly produce the Sputnik V vaccine for Covid-19 along with India.
Protests have erupted in Kathmandu over the dissolution of the Nepali parliament. The parliament was dissolved a year ahead of the expiry of its term under the Oli Government earlier in the week.
Nepal’s Supreme court is examining a batch of petitions challenging the decision to dissolve the parliament. According to reports, the apex court has issued a show-cause notice to the government, asking it to furnish a written clarification over its decision to abruptly dissolve Parliament.
Meanwhile, India has maintained that the development is an internal matter of Nepal. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Shrivastav assured Nepal and its people all support in moving forward on the path of peace, prosperity and development.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi lauded the administration of Jammu and Kashmir for conducting the local body elections in a transparent manner. He also congratulated the people of Jammu and Kashmir for strengthening democracy and praised the people for braving the cold and COVID to participate in the recently concluded elections of the District Development Council (DDC). The Prime Minister asserted that the centre is committed towards holistic development of the Union territory. The DDCs were established by the current government by amending the Jammu and Kashmir Panchayati Raj Act, 1989, to promote grassroot governance in the Union Territory.
Health ministries of France, Spain and Sweden separately have confirmed their first cases of a new coronavirus variant that was recently identified in the UK. Experts believe the mutated version of the virus is around 70% more contagious.
The French health ministry said the person was a French citizen in the central town of Tours who had arrived from London on 19 December. France has recently imposed a blockade on people entering from the UK in a bid to limit the spread.
Ethiopia has announced that the country will hold the parliamentary election on June 5, 2021. The Ethiopian electoral board announced the decision on Friday.
The National Electoral Board said next year’s calendar for polls did not include an election in Tigray. The decision comes amidst Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s attempts to quell political and ethnic violence in several regions.
Three UN Peacekeepers were killed in armed combatants in the Central African Republic. The United Nations on Saturday strongly confirmed the attacks by unidentified combatants and expressed deep condolences to the families of the deceased peacekeepers.
In another development, the UN Secretary-General commended the Government and the people of Niger for their efforts to ensure the timely holding of elections. Niger will hold its Presidential elections on Sunday, the 27th of December, 2020. With this the country is looking at its first democratic transition of power since independence.
The Japanese government on Saturday said that it will ban entry of non-resident foreing nationals through the end of January. The decision comes as the nation confirmed its first cases of the new, more infectious Covid strain. Japan on Friday reported its first cases of the new variant in passengers arriving from Britain. The restrictions will be implemented on Monday, the government said in a statement.
China is implementing new restrictions amid reports of several new local infections. The Provincial governments across China have asked people to observe the restrictions over the upcoming holiday periods. Beijing’s Shunyi district, where two confirmed cases were found, also reported as many asymptomatic cases this week. Beijing has introduced some of the strictest measures, ordering all employees of ministries and central state organs and institutions to stay in the city for the duration of the New Year festivities and Lunar New Year holiday in February. Everyone else in the capital will have to abide by strict travel controls.
India has carried humanitarian assistance in Vietnam in its continued support to HADR exercises with its extended neighbourhood. Indian Naval ship INS KILTAN docked at Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday carrying 15 tons assitance for the victims of the recent flooding and landslides that affected several provinces in Central Vietnam.
India’s Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan has said that the government has made extensive efforts in the past few months for identifying priority groups for immunization and ensuring quick and equitable distribution of the vaccine as soon as it is available. 30 crore people have been prioritized for the COVID vaccine by the government. It includes health workers, frontline workers and sanitation staff.
A UK based think-tank, the Centre for Economics and Business Research, today, said that Indian economy will again overtake the UK to become the fifth largest economy in 2025 and race to the third spot by 2030. India had overtaken UK in 2019 to become the fifth largest economy in the world but has been relegated to 6th spot this year.
London based Centre for Economics and Business Research in its annual report said, the UK appears to have overtaken India again during 2020 as a result of the weakness of the rupee.
In the second Cricket test match between India and Australia at Melbourne, India were 36 for one at the draw of stamps on the first day. Shubman Gill with 28 runs and Cheteshwar Pujara with 8 were at the crease. Mayank Agarwal was out for a duck. Earlier Australia were all out for 195. Bumrah took four wickets and Ashwin scalped three. Marnus Labuschagne was the highest scorer for Australia with 48 runs.
In Football, Manchester United were held to a 2-2 draw by Leicester in their premier league tie on Saturday.