Sunday, May 31, 2020

Hong Kong records first locally transmitted COVID-19 case over 2 weeks: Report

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Hong Kong (ANI): Hong Kong's 17-day run without a local coronavirus infection came to an end on Sunday as a woman with no recent travel history was confirmed infected.

Sources close to the woman informed Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post that her hunsband also tested positive for the infection, according to preliminarily reports of their medical tests. The city's total tally of confirmed cases now stands at 1,083.

The last time a location infection - a patient with no recent travel history - was reported was on May 14.

But the city has recorded a number of imported infections in the interim, mostly residents returning to Hong Kong from Pakistan. On Saturday, three more returnees from the South Asian country were confirmed to have COVID-19.

The husband and wife in the newest case live in the Wo Che Estate in Sha Tin, sources said. The woman, who tested preliminarily positive on Saturday, is 34 years old and is on a ventilator at the intensive care unit of the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin. The hunsband, 56, developed a fever on Saturday night and was sent to the hospital subsequently.

Health authorities have said the outbreak can only be considered under control if no new cases have been reported for at least one or two incubation periods, meaning two weeks to a month.

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 6 million on Saturday, as Latin American countries alone reported a grim milestone of 50,000 deaths from the contagious disease. Countries such as Brazil, Chile and Mexico are still struggling to stem the spread of the virus, which initially peaked in China in February before large-scale outbreaks followed in Europe and the United States.

The respiratory illness has claimed more than 3,67,000 lives worldwide, though the true number is thought to be higher as testing is till limited and many countries haven't counted fatalities outside of hospitals.

India's eastern region has potential to become growth engine of country, need to develop it: Prime Minister Narendra Modi



New Delhi (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that eastern region of the country has the potential to become India's growth engine and there is a need to develop this region.

Addressing the nation through 65th edition of his monthly radio programme 'Mann Ki Baat', the Prime Minister said: "What we are witnessing today in the country, gives us an opportubity to look at what happened in the past, analyse it and take lessons for the future. Today by seeing the pain of our migrant workers, we can realise the pain of the eastern region of our country. There is a need to develop the eastern region which has the potential to become the growth engine of the country."

He said that manpower of the eastern region has the capability to take India to new heights. "The country's sustainable development is possible with the development of this region," he added.

The Prime Minister said that the world has never experienced anything like this COVID-19 crisis before.

"In this situation, we are facing new challenges and difficulties arising out of it. This is happening in every corona affected country and India too is not untouched by it. No section of society in the country free from problem," Modi said.

"Poor and labourers are worst affected of this crisis. Their pain cannot be expressed in words. We are trying to share this pain, entire country is trying. Everybody is doing hard work. Railways employees are working round the clock. They are frontline corona warriors," Modi said.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Prime Minister Modi said that people should stay vigilant and it is important to be even more careful now as a major part of our economy has opened up.

The Prime Minister had on March 24 announced a 21-day nationawide lockdown as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19. The lockdown was later extended, in phases, till May 31.

No fist bumps or handshakes, face masks mandatory: CDC guidelines to create new office enviroment for Americans

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Washington D.C. (ANI): Americans who are looking forward to resuming office jobs in upcoming weeks will not be allowed to enjoy fist bumps or handshakes, no carpooling or share coffee pots in cafeterias and various other new measures mandated by the Centers for Disease Contril and Prevention (CDC) in a substantially different enviorment than the one they left weeks ago.

As employers seek to reopen offices safety amid the no-yet-over coronavirus pandemic, which has already caused a severe blow to the economy including white-collar workers, law firsms, management companies and other firms laying off or furloughing staff, the CDC guideline cited by The Washington Post require investments in new equipment to improve ventilation and air filtration, as well as to attempt to kill germs with ultraviolet light.

The recommendations also call for rearranging furniture to keep workers six feet apart, and physical barriers to separate them. Trash cans that require lifting a lid also needed to be replaced with no-touch options.

It also urges workers to drive alone rather than sharing rides or taking public transportation. Sharing drinks and snacking should be replanced with single-use items. Work stations, keyboards, telephones, handrails, printers and copiers, drinking fountains and doorknobs shoul be sanitised regularly, Meetings and group lunches should be outdoors if possible.

Some recommendations are stricter than what the CDC previously suggested. In early May, the agency told employers to "encourage workers to wear a cloth face covering at work if appropriate."

Now, the CDC said, "employees should wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in all areas of the business." Visitors should also be asked to wear masks and stay six feet apart from employees. Employees with a sick family member were previously told to follow safety protocols; the federal agency now urges those workers to state home.

Offices that have been closed for several months, the CDC warned, should also be checked for mold, rodents and stagnant water before reopening.

Rick Woldenberg, chief executive of the Vernon, Illinois-based toy company, said the guidelines were "kind of just a nice way of saying you can't go back to the office." His 300 employees moved into new headquarters on March3 and then to theri homes a week later. The remodelling didi not account for a global pandemic: There are few interior walls, and the windows don't open. Even if they could constantly ventilate and sanitize, he said, he thinks it would leave employees uncomfortable and on edge. "Having to wipe everything down every five minutes is just a reminder you're in a dangerous place," he told the Post further.

He said the he expects most of his team will keep working from home until it is clearer how risky certain behaviours are such as touching shared surfaces.

"We don't have to be on the bleeding edge; we can wait and see how other people have figured it out," Woldenberg added.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

CISCE to allow candidates to appear for remaining exams at affiliated schools nearby

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New Delhi (ANI): The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) on Saturday said that it will allow the candidates to appear for their remaining ICSE and ISC 2020 exam at centres located in CISCE affiliated schools close the candidate's location. "CISCE will allow the candidates to appear for their remaining examination papers from an examination centre located in a CISCE affiliated school in the state/city/district where they are currently located," CISCE said in a press release on Saturday.

The council said that it has received several requests from schools and parents of the candidates for a change of the candidates' examination centres in view of the ongoing lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic. "This is due to the fact that some candidates are currently present in the school (state/ city/ district) from where they have been registered for the ICSE and ISC year 2020 examination and have requested to be permitted to take the remaining papers for the examination from another state/ city/ district," the release said.

"The request for a change in the examination centre must be formally routed through the school from where the candidate has been registered for the year through the school from where the candidate has been registered for the year 2020 examination latest by June 7, 2020," it added. The CISCE said that no payment will need to be made for such request of change of centre and added that the schools will upload such requests on the careers portal of CISCE under the Examination System - Centre transfer.

"The candidates who are unable to take the remaining papers of the examination owing to having been adversely impacted by COVID-19 will be permitted to take the examination at the time of the conduct of the compartmental examination," the release said. The council said that detailed guidelines for the conduct of the remaining papers of the year 2020 examination will soon be sent to the examination centres by CISCE.

Pak uses non-state actors to forward its evil designs

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Glasgow, Scotland (ANI): The use of non-state actors by Pakistan Army to forward its evil and hegemonic territorial expansionist designs is not a new phenomenon.

At its inception in August 1947, it only took two months for the Pakistan army to mobilise a tribal Lashkar led by Pakistan military officers to attack Jammu and Kashmir. The attack was conducted under the false pretext that Hindus in the Valley have begun to massacre Muslims who have risen in revolt against the then 'Hindu' Maharaja Hari Singh.

They were defeated and pushed back only after the Indian army arrived to protect the state, which was made possible only after the Maharaja had signed the instrument of accession with India.

Pakistan army lost but Indian territories of west Jammu and Gilgit-Baltistan remain under the illegal occupation of the Pakistani army to this day. Fast forward and Pakistan army is still using non-state actors as its proxies in the Valley of Kashmir to stir disturbance.

From Hurriyat Conference to Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and from Lashkar-e-Toiba to Jaish-e-Muhammad and most recently The Resistance Front, Pakistan persistently has been recruiting, training, funding and facilitating terrorist infiltration across the world including the Valley of Kashmir.

One of the reasons that Pakistan has been put off the grey list of anti-terror funding, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), is its inability to present enough evidence regarding her efforts in curbing jihadist terrorism. Hence, in order to distance herself from `jihadi' terrorism, the Pakistan army has come up with the idea of setting up new seemingly 'non-terrorist' political organisations as well as camouflage terrorist personalities with different roles.

One such organisation is the newly formed organisation the so-called no political "The Resistance Front" (TRF) in Kashmir Valley.

However, it is already in public knowledge that the TRF is a Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) outfit initiated by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), the Gestapo of Pakistan.

One individual by the name of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan that Pakistan is now grooming as its new accomplice in Pakistan's role in global jihad. Who is Ehsan Ullah?

Remember the attack on the Wagah border in 2014 in which 60 people were killed and over 100 injured? The attack on Malala Yousafzai in 2012 in Peshawar? This evil man masterminded these. Not only that but he also claimed responsibility for the killing of the home minister of Punjab in Lahore Col Shujaat Khanzada in 2015.

Then again in 2016, he claimed the bombing of Christians in a church in which 100s lost their lives.

Well, this man was arrested in 2017 after he laid down arms and was kept under house arrest in Hayatabad near Peshawar. However, in January 2020 he managed to escape and was reported to have landed in Turkey.

Ehsan Ullah's escape could not have been possible without the complicity of the Pakistani military establishment.

The on February 6, 2020, an audio clip surfaced on a twitter account @EhsanOfficial38, which was created back in January 2020. The voice in the audio clip claimed to be that of Ehsan.

In the audio clip, Ehsan claimed that he had escaped from the captivity of Pakistani security forces on January 11, 2020, because Pakistan (allegedly) failed to keep her promises made during the surrender in 2017.

On February 14, 2020, the same twitter account was used to share a document which describes the conditions of Ehsan's surrender including legally quashing of all cases against him, that his security would be the government's responsibility, that he would be allowed to use mobile phone and internet and a provision of financial assistance was also mentioned.

Let me remind you that at the time of his surrender Ehsan Ullah Ehsan was on Pakistan's most wanted list of terrorists carrying a bounty of one million dollars on his head. Ehsan Ullah Ehsan hails from Momand Agency of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) region.

He joined Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in January 2008. Initially, he was a spokesperson for the TTP section of Momand Agency and later became the central spokesperson of TTP.

In June 2013, he was removed from his post for making comments against the Afghan Taliban. In Aug 2014, Ehsan Ullah, along with other former commanders of the TTP, formed a new jihadi terrorist group by the name of Jamat Ul Ahrar, (JuA).

Ehsan Ullah was appointed the central spokesperson of JuA. On April 19, 2017, addressing a press conference, Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, the then Director-General of the military public relations department known as the ISPR, announced that Ehsan Ullah Ehsan, had surrendered himself of Pakistan Army band later on April 26, 2017, in a confessional video statement released by ISPR, Ehsan Ullah claimed tha TTP had been getting funding from foreign intelligence services spreading terrorism in Pakistan!

Ehsan Ullah is currently using @Ehsanofficial32 twitter handle to criticse Pakistan eastablishment for its failure to honour its commitments. However, based on the forensic analysis of his twitter handle, it is now believed that contrary to his claims to be residing in Turkey, Ehsan Ullah is currently located is Islamabad.

My assessment is that Ehsan Ullah is still under the patronage of the Pakistan Army / ISI and his criticism of Pakistani establishment is part of a well-planned strategy by the Pakistan Army and the ISI. It seems they are making an effort to establish Ehsan Ullah's credibility as an anti-Pakistan figure and later use him to discredit the present Afghan government by claiming the latter's involvement in violent activities in Pakistan.

In today's changing global political climate and Pakistan's fearing of slipping from grey into the blacklist of FATF, the evil body of Pakistan army, that survives and thrives on the manufacture and export of non-state actors (read jihadi terrorists) has launched its terrorist activities by rebranding them. The Resistance Front and Ehsan Ullah Ehsan are fresh examples of terrorism manufactured and exported by Pakistan army, which has a proxy for all seasons.

(Disclaimer: Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK.)

Pm Modi writes to citizens on first anniversary of NDA 2.0 govt, says their affection has given new energy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi (ANI)

New Delhi (ANI): As his government completes one year of its second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter to the people of the country listed out several initiatives, achievements and big decisions taken by his government, while expressing confidence of victory in the country's battle against coronavirus.

Prime Minister Modi was sworn-in for a second successive term on May 30 last year after leading BJP-led NDA to a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

The Prime Minister termed the day as "golden chapter" in the history of Indian democracy, pointing out that it was after several decades that the people of the country voted back a full-term government with a full majority.

 "Once again, I bow to the 130 crore people of India and the democratic ethos of our nation. During normal times, I would have been in your midst. However, the present circumstances do not permit that. That is why I seek your blessings through this letter," said Prime Minister Modi.

He said that people's affection, goodwill and active cooperation have given new energy and inspiration. "The way you have showcased the collective strength of democracy is a guiding light for the whole world."

The Prime Minister also emphasised on his government's anti-corruption credentials, saying that over the last five years, the nation saw "how the administrative apparatus broke itself free of status quo and from the swamp of corruption as well as misgovernance". True to the spirit of 'Antyodaya' the lives of millions have been transformed, he said.

Listing out several flagship schemes of his government, Prime Minister Modi said, "From 2014 to 2019, India's stature rose significantly. The dignity of the poor was enhanced. The nation achieved financial inclusion, free gas and electricity connections, total sanitation coverage, and made progress towards ensuring 'Housing for All.'"

He mentioned about the surgical strike on terror launch pads across the LoC and airstrike on a terror camp carried out by the Indian armed forces in response to the terror attacks by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.

"India demonstrated its mettle through the surgical strike and airstrike. At the same time, decades-old demands such as OROP, One Nation One Tax- GST, better MSP for farmers were fulfilled," he said.

The Prime Minister said that the re-election of his government was not just for continuity but also with a dream of taking India to new heights.

"In 2019, the people of India voted not merely for continuity but also with a dream of taking India to new heights. A dream of making India a global leader. The decisions taken in the last one year are directed at fulfilling this dream," he said.

Referring to his slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas' (together with all, development for all, trust of all), the Prime Minister said, "Today, 130 crore people feel involved and integrated with the development trajectory of the nation. The light of 'Jan Shakti' and 'Rashtra Shakti' has ignited the entire nation. Powered by the mantra of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas', India is marching forward in all spheres."

He said that in the last one year, some of the decisions were widely discussed and "remain etched in public discourse" and referred to abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the Ayodhya verdict by Supreme Court and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

"Article 370 furthered the spirit of national unity and integration. The Ram Mandir judgment, delivered unanimously by the Supreme Court of India, brought an amicable end to a debate persisting for centuries. The barbaric practice of triple talaq has been confined to the dustbin of history. Amendment to the Citizenship Act was an expression of India's compassion and spirit of inclusiveness," said Prime Minister Modi while adding that there have been "many other decisions that have added momentum to the nation's development trajectory."

Listing reforms in the area of defence, Prime Minister Modi noted the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) improved coordination among the armed forces. "At the same time, India has stepped up preparations for Mission Gaganyaan," he said.

Referring to PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, he said that more than Rs 72,000 crore has been deposited in accounts of over 9.50 crore farmers in just one year.

He also said the Jal Jeevan Mission will ensure supply of potable water through piped connections to over 15 crore rural households and a huge campaign of free vaccination is being conducted for better health of 50 crore livestock.

The Prime Minister said that for the first time in the country's history, farmers, farm labourers, small shopkeepers and workers in the unorganised sector have been assured the provision of regular monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after the age of 60 years.

He referred to a separate department created for fishermen and said it has been decided to constitute a Vyapari Kalyan Board for timely resolution of the problems of the traders.

"Higher quantum of financial assistance is being provided to more than seven crore women attached to self-help groups. Recently, the loans without guarantee for self-help groups has been doubled to 20 lakh from the earlier 10 lakh. Keeping in mind the education of tribal children, we have begun the construction of more than 400 new Ekalavya Model Residential Schools," he said.

The Prime Minister asserted that several "people-friendly laws" have been ushered in during the last year. "Our Parliament has broken the decades-old record in terms of productivity. As a result, whether it be the Consumer Protection Act, the amendment to Chit Fund Law or laws to provide more protection to women, children and Divyang, their passage in the Parliament was expedited."

Noting that the rural-urban gap is shrinking as a result of the policies and decisions of the government, he said that for the first time the number of rural Indians using the internet is 10 per cent more than the number of urban Indians.

"The list of such historic actions and decisions taken in the national interest would be too long to detail in this letter. But I must say that every day of this year, my government has worked round the clock with full vigour, taking and implementing these decisions," Prime Minister Modi said.

He said while the government was moving ahead at a fast pace for fulfilling hopes and aspirations of people, the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the country as well.

"While on one hand, are powers with great economic resources and state-of-the-art healthcare systems, on the other hand, is our country besieged with problems amidst a vast population and limited resources," he said.

Prime Minister Modi said that many feared that India will become a problem for the world when coronavirus hits India.

"But today, through sheer confidence and resilience, you have transformed the way the world looks at us. You have proven that the collective strength and potential of Indians is unparalleled compared even to the powerful and prosperous countries of the world," he said.

Prime Minister Modi also expressed his appreciation on how people responded to his appeal for Janta Curfew and clapping and lighting a lamp to honour corona warriors.

"Be it clapping and lighting a lamp to the honouring of corona warriors by India's armed forces, Janta Curfew or by faithful adherence to rules during the nationwide lockdown, on every occasion you have shown that Ek Bharat is the guarantee for Shrestha Bharat," he said.

The Prime Minister also referred to the suffering of labourers, migrant workers during the crisis and said his government is working in a determined way to alleviate their troubles.

"In a crisis of this magnitude, it can certainly not be claimed that no one suffered any inconvenience or discomfort. Our labourers, migrant workers, artisans and craftsmen in small scale industries, hawkers and such fellow countrymen have undergone tremendous suffering. We are working in a united and determined way to alleviate their troubles," he said.

Stressing on the need to follow rules and guidelines, Prime Minister Modi said, "We have to take care to ensure that inconveniences that we are facing do not turn into disasters."

"We have displayed patience so far and we should continue to do so. This is one of the important reasons for India being safer and in a better state than many other countries. This is a long battle but we have started traversing on the path of victory, and victory is our collective resolve," he said.

The Prime Minister also lauded the "resilience" shown by people of West Bengal and Odisha during cyclone Amphan.

"In the last few days, a super cyclone has wreaked havoc in parts of West Bengal and Odisha. Here too, the resilience of the people of these states is noteworthy. Their courage inspires the people of India," he said.

The Prime Minister also expressed confidence that India will set an example in economic revival.

"At such a time, there is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including India's will recover. However, given the way India has surprised the world with its unity and resolve in the fight against coronavirus, there is a firm belief that we will also set an example in an economic revival," he said. "In the economic domain, through their strength, 130 crore Indians can not only surprise the world but also inspire it."

Prime Minister Modi emphasised that India will have to become "self-reliant" and that the recent package of Rs 20 lakh crore, which was announced by him earlier this month, is a major step in this direction.

"It is the need of the hour that we must become self-reliant. We have to move forward based on our own abilities, in our own way, and there is only one way to do it -- Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India. The recent Rs 20 lakh crore package given for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is a major step in this direction. This initiative will usher in a new era of opportunities for every Indian, be it our farmers, workers, small entrepreneurs or youth associated with startups," he said.

"The fragrance of Indian soil along with the sweat, hard work and talent of our workers will create products that will reduce India's dependence on imports and will move towards self-reliance," added Prime Minister Modi.

Noting that the country is facing many challenges, he said that the present and future of 130 crore people will never be dictated by adversity.

"In this journey of the last six years, you have continuously showered me with love and blessings. It is the strength of your blessings that has made the nation take historic decisions and progress rapidly in the last one year. However, I am also aware that there is a lot that needs to be done. There are many challenges and problems that our country faces. I am working day and night. There could be deficiencies in me but there is nothing that our country lacks. So, I believe in you, your strength and your abilities even more than I believe in myself," he said.

He cited a Sanskrit verse which means "if we have action and duty on one hand, then success is assured on the other hand".

"With prayers for our country's success, I bow to you once again. My heartiest wishes to you and your family. Stay healthy, stay safe. Stay aware, stay informed," he said.

Prime Minister Modi signed off the letter describing himself as "your Pradhan Sevak".

Friday, May 29, 2020

Trump calls Minneapolis protesters ‘thugs,’ vows action

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Washington (AP): President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to take action to bring the city of Minneapolis “under control,” calling violent protesters outraged by the death of a black man in police custody “thugs” and saying that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Trump tweeted after protesters torched a Minneapolis police station, capping three days of violence over the death of George Floyd, who pleaded for air as a white police officer knelt on his neck.

He said he spoke to the state’s Democratic governor, Tim Walz, and “told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”

Trump didn’t clarify what he meant — Walz has already activated the National Guard — but the tweet drew another warning from Twitter for his rhetoric, with the social media giant saying he had “violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence.”

Slapping back, the White House reposted Trump’s “shooting starts” message on its official Twitter account Friday morning.

The move came a day after Trump signed an executive order challenging the site’s liability protections.

Trump, who has often remained silent in the aftermath of police-involved killings and has a long history of defending police, has been uncharacteristically vocal this time, saying earlier Thursday that he felt “very, very badly” about Floyd’s death and calling video capturing his struggle “a very shocking sight.”

But his language grew more aggressive as violence boiled over in Minneapolis on Thursday night. “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” he wrote shortly before 1 a.m.

Although Twitter added the warning to Trump’s tweet, the company did not remove it, saying it had determined the message might be in the public interest — something it does only for tweets by elected and government officials. A user looking at Trump’s timeline would have to click to see the original tweet.

Twitter explained that it took action “in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts” but “kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance.”

Earlier this week, Twitter fact checked two of Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots, drawing his anger.

“It seems like they’re carrying out a vendetta against the president,” Republican Rep. Steve Scalise, the No. 2 GOP House leader, said on Fox News Friday.

Once more likely to hew to the “blue lives matter” mantra, Trump, his allies and Republicans in elected office across the nation have been questioning the conduct of the officer who pinned Floyd down and calling for justice. But some activists doubt that Trump has suddenly evolved on the issue of police brutality and instead see election year political calculations.

“This is the first race-tinged case that I’ve ever heard him address” as president, said the Rev. Al Sharpton, a civil rights activist and Trump critic who has known the president for decades. “I think the difference is a November election.”

Trump has been silent on a number of high-profile police-involved killings, including that of Stephon Clark, a black man shot by Sacramento, California, police in 2018.

“This is something that is a local matter and that’s something that we feel should be left up to the local authorities,” then-White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said at the time.

Trump has never addressed the 2014 death of Eric Garner, who was placed in a chokehold by police trying to arrest him for selling loose cigarettes. Video of the encounter was viewed millions of times online, and Garner’s dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. Trump has, however, invoked those words on several occasions to mock political rivals, even bringing his hands to his neck for dramatic effect.

Yet Trump has a long history of injecting himself into racially sensitive cases. In 1989, he took out full-page newspaper ads calling for the death penalty for the Central Park Five, five young men of color who were wrongly convicted of a brutal assault on a jogger. Trump has never apologized, telling reporters last year: “You have people on both sides of that.”

And he has even appeared to advocate for the rougher treatment of people in police custody, speaking dismissively of the police practice of shielding the heads of handcuffed suspects as they are being placed in patrol cars.

But Trump’s tone has changed in recent weeks as he has repeatedly expressed dismay at footage of the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, the 25-year-old black man fatally shot in February in Georgia while jogging.

Trump and his allies have been even clearer on the death of Floyd, who can be heard and seen on tape pleading that he couldn’t breathe before he slowly stops talking and moving.

Trump “was very upset when he saw that video,” White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday. “He wants justice to be served.”

Even conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, who once called Black Lives Matter a “terrorist group,” said Floyd’s death was totally “unjustified” and he was “so mad.”

The outpouring comes as the Trump campaign has sought to chip into the advantage Democrats have with black voters. The campaign hopes either to win enough black support to keep pivotal states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin in play or minimize enthusiasm for Democratic rival Joe Biden. There could be a small window after Biden last week told a prominent black radio host that African Americans who back Trump “ain’t black,” a gaffe he later said he regretted.

Chris White, the longtime director of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, questioned the sincerity of Republicans’ response to the deaths of Arbery and Floyd given the timing.

“Any time we hear politicians speaking about dealing with police brutality in the middle of election year, it’s just meaningless rhetoric that has a hollow promise,” he said.

White House spokesman Judd Deere said Thursday, “This has nothing to do with politics and is only about making sure justice is done, and anyone who suggest otherwise is only seeking to sew division and ignore the President’s unwavering support for the African-American community.”
-Jill Colvin, Colleen Long.

Australian court rules queen’s letters can be made public

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Canberra (Australia): Australia’s highest court ruled on Friday to make public letters between Queen Elizabeth II and her representative that would reveal what knowledge she had, if any, of the dismissal of an Australian government in 1975.

The High Court’s 6-1 majority decision in historian Jenny Hocking’s appeal overturned lower court rulings that more than 200 letters between the now 94-year-old monarch of Britain and Australia and Governor-General Sir John Kerr before he dismissed Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s government were personal and might never be made public.

The only-ever dismissal of an elected Australian government on the authority of a British monarch triggered a political crisis that spurred many to call for Australia to sever its constitutional ties with Britain and create a republic with an Australian president. Suspicions of a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency conspiracy persist.

Hocking, a Monash University academic and Whitlam biographer, said she expected to read the 211 letters at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra next week when a coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

She described as absurd that communications between such key officials in the Australian system of government could be regarded as personal and confidential.

“That they could be seen as personal is quite frankly an insult to all our intelligence collectively —– they’re not talking about the racing and the corgis,” Hocking told The Associated Press, referring to the queen’s interest in horse racing and the dog breed.

“It was not only the fact that they were described quite bizarrely as personal, but also that they were under an embargo set at the whim of the queen,” she added.

Archives director David Fricker later said staff had begun assessing whether there was any information in the letters that should still be withheld. The archives have 90 business days — or more than four months — to do so.

Kerr dismissed Whitlam’s reforming government and replaced him with opposition leader Malcolm Fraser as prime minister to resolve a monthold deadlock in Parliament. Fraser’s conservative coalition won an election weeks later.

The archives had held the correspondence, known as the Palace Letters, since 1978. As state records, they should have been made public 31 years after they were created.

Under an agreement struck between Buckingham Palace and Government House, the governor-general’s official residence, months before Kerr resigned in 1978, the letters covering three tumultuous years of Australian politics were to remain secret until 2027. The private secretaries of both the sovereign and the governor-general in 2027 still could veto their release indefinitely under that agreement.

A Federal Court judge accepted the archives’ argument that the letters were personal and confidential. An appeals court upheld that ruling in a 2-1 decision.

Buckingham Palace previously declined AP’s requests for comment on the case and did not immediately respond to renewed request on Friday. Government House said in a statement the archives were responsible for the letters and their release.

Hocking has been fighting since 2016 to access the letters written by Kerr to the queen through her then private secretary Martin Charteris.

The British royal family is renowned for being protective of their privacy and keeping conversations confidential.

The family went to considerable lengths to conceal letters written by the queen’s son and heir, Prince Charles, in a comparable case in Britain that was fought through the courts for five years.

Britain’s Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that 27 memos written by Charles to British government ministers could be made public despite objections that their publication might damage public perceptions of the future king’s political neutrality.

Years of dogged research by journalists and historians have pieced together answers to many of the questions surrounding how and why Whitlam’s government was dismissed and who was behind it.

Kerr, who died in 1991, rejected in his memoirs media speculation that the CIA ordered Whitlam’s dismissal over fears that his government would close the top secret U.S. intelligence facility that still exists at Pine Gap in the Australian Outback.

In the 1985 Hollywood spy drama “The Falcon and the Snowman,” a CIA plot to oust Whitlam motivated a disillusioned civilian defense contractor played by Sean Penn to sell U.S. security secrets to the Soviet Union.

Australian rock band Midnight Oil also blamed “Uncle Sam” for Whitlam’s downfall in the lyrics of its protest song “Power and the Passion.”

The Australian Republic Movement, which campaigns for an Australian president to replace the British monarch as head of state, welcomed the ruling as a win for Australian sovereignty.

“These letters provide a crucial historical context around one of the most destabilizing and controversial chapters in Australian political history,” the movement’s Chair Peter FitzSimons said.

Philip Benwell, national chairman of the Australian Monarchist League and a vocal advocate of the British monarch remaining Australia’s head of state, had warned before the High Court decision that releasing the letters would create a constitutional crisis “if the queen’s personal opinions became known.”

He said after the ruling that the letters’ exposure will strengthen Australia’s ties to the monarchy.

“It will show that the queen had done everything that she could to protect the people’s interests,” Benwell said.
-ROD McGUIRK.

7 shot at Louisville protest over fatal police shooting


Louisville (Kentucky): At least seven people were shot in Louisville as protesters turned out to demand justice for Breonna Taylor, a black woman fatally shot by police in her home in March.

Louisville Metro Police confirmed in a statement early Friday that there were at least seven shooting victims, at least one of whom is in critical condition. The statement said there were “some arrests,” but police didn’t provide a number.

“No officers discharged their service weapons,” police spokesman Sgt. Lamont Washington wrote in an email to The Associated Press. Washington said that all seven were civilians.

Around 500 to 600 demonstrators marched through the Kentucky city’s downtown streets on Thursday night, the Courier Journal reported. The protests stretched for more than six hours, ending in the early hours of Friday as rain poured down.

“Understandably, emotions are high,” Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer tweeted just before midnight, sharing a Facebook post asking for peace that he said was written on behalf of Taylor’s mother. “As Breonna’s mother says let’s be peaceful as we work toward truth and justice.”

Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical tech, was shot eight times on March 13 after Louisville narcotics detectives knocked down the front door. No drugs were found in the home.

Attention on Taylor’s death has intensified after her family sued the police department earlier this month. The case has attracted national headlines alongside the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery in a Georgia neighborhood in February.

Thursday’s demonstration came as protesters across the country — from Los Angeles to Memphis, Tennessee, to New York to Minneapolis itself — have demonstrated against the death of a black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody.

Around 12:20 a.m., Fischer tweeted a video that he said was a message from Taylor’s family.

“Louisville, thank you so much for saying Breonna’s name tonight. We are not going to stop until we get justice,” a woman says in the video. “But we should stop tonight before people get hurt. Please go home, be safe and be ready to keep fighting.”

Meanwhile, live video from downtown Louisville around 12:30 a.m. showed some protesters behind makeshift wooden barricades, which appeared to be made out of picnic tables spray-painted with the words “You can’t kill us all.” A small fire inside a trash can was visible in the middle of the street.

Police in body armor and face shields held batons and lined up around Louisville City Hall. They appeared to fire rubber bullets and deploy tear gas canisters, fogging the air and inducing coughs among the remaining members of the crowd. Protesters were shown filming police with their cellphones.

Kentuckians are still under social distancing mandates driven by the coronavirus pandemic. Many protesters wore masks.

Chants early Friday included “No justice, no peace” and “Whose streets? Our streets.”
-The Associated Press.

Boeing continues production of 737 Max planes

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Washinton DC (ANI): The American aerospace manufacturer  Boeing has resumed the production of troubled 737 Max airplane.

Boeing said it would restart production "at a low rate as it implements more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality", The Verge reported.

The Boeing 737 Max has been grounded since March 2018 following two fatal crashes that killed a total of 346 passengers and crew members.

Boeing continued to manufacture the airplane, but in December 2019, the company announced plans to halt production at its Renton, Washinton Manufacturing plant.

"Boeing has made significant progress over the past several months in support of safely returning the 737 Max to service as the company continues to work with the FAA and other global regulators on the process laid out for certifying the 373 Max software and related training updates," the company said in a statement.

No recent talks between PM Modi and Trump over Ladakh and China: Sources

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New Delhi (ANI): There have been no recent talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump over the Ladakh and China issues.

Informed source over the matter told ANI, "There has been no recent contact b/w PM Modi and US President Trump. The last conversation between them was on 4 April 2020, on the subject of Hydroxychloroquine. Yesterday, the MEA had also made it clear that we're directly in touch with China through established mechanisms and diplomatic contact." This comes at the backdrop of Trump's claims that PM Modi is in no good mood about what's going on with China.

India reiterated that they'll resolve the issue bilaterally.  While the Indian and Chinese military commanders are talking face-to-face in Ladakh, and diplomatic efforts are underway in the country capitals to resolve the situation the Indian Army has been effectively responding by building and deploying its own capabilities in Eastern Ladakh including the Galwan sector. Sources have told ANI that no compromise will be made with regard to maintaining the sanctity of India's borders and that while India believes in peace, it is firm and resolute when it comes to the defence of its territory.

The current face-off is believed to be in reaction to India steadily building infrastructure in Ladakh and the increase in local civilian activity on the Indian side of LAC. For China, this an irritant because India is rapidly narrowing down the infrastructure gap in Ladakh. While India has not obstructed in any manner the activities of the Chinese on their side of the LAC, whether it is putting up the pre-fabricated structures or an increase in their patrolling.

The Indian Armed forces are prepared for a scenario that this standoff could not be a short-termed one. If anything, the Doklam episode has been a learning experience for India in that China doesn't back down easily, no international badgering works on them and they like to keep testing India on how long and how much pressure it can withstand.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Baloch People's Congress condemns 1998 nuclear tests in Balochistan on its anniversary

Supports of Baloch People's Congress protesting against the nuclear tests that were carried out by Pakistan in the Chagai district of Balochistan. (Photo: ANI.)
Stockholm [Sweden], May 28 (ANI): The Baloch People's Congress condemned nuclear tests carried out in the Chagai district of Balochistan as the locals continue to suffer from its repercussions.

In a statement, Siddik Azad Baloch, Secretary-General of Baloch People's Congress called its a violation of the United Nations treaty of nuclear non-proliferation (NTP) and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), as the nuclear tests on Baloch soil were against the consensus of Baloch Nation.

He added, "Baloch People's Congress insists on the implementation of CTBT, TPNW, and Vienna Convention on Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage INFCIR/556 for the responsible countries including sanctions on them for nuclear tests on 28th May 1998 and storage of Weapons of Mass Destruction on Balock land against the will of Balock Nation".

The effects of nuclear radiation have spread in the entire region and the lives and health of millions of people are endangered as people are suffering from cancer, organ failure, and other mysterious diseases.

"The availability of potable water and the level of underground water has decreased drastically since 1998 because of nuclear radiation", said Azad while adding that the tests and nuclear facilities in Balochistan are the cause of destruction and contamination of the environment. There is an acute shortage of clean drinking water in urban and rural areas.

A large segment of the population was forced to migrate to different locations as the region is badly suffering from drought and famine to date as a result of nuclear activity. "Pakistan's nuclear experiments on 28th May 1998 have taken 1000's of innocent lives, put families through unbearable pain due to numerous types of cancer, abnormal births, and destroyed the environment and ecology of our homeland beyond recovery", said the statement by Siddik Azad Baloch.

He added, "The lack of a remedy and international action in the past 22 years to provide justice to Balock Land and Nation has deepened our scars. We request the international community, UNODA, members of NTP, CTBT and TPNW and leaders of the free world to implement strict actions against Pakistan as her nuclear arsenal grows by the blessings of China".

Due to the nature of a rogue and unstable state this arsenal of weapons of mass destruction can easily get in the hands of terrorists and can be a direct threat to the international community.

"Baloch People's Congress is proud to be led by the pioneer in the movement against the nuclearisation of Balock Land", said the statement.

It added, "As Islamabad announced the nuclear tests in Balochistan and was successful in silencing all the voices except the next morning, 16 May 1998 Prof. Naela Quadri Balock (Chairperson BPC) with her students was on the streets of Shaal to protest for the preservation of our homeland, it was the first anti-nuclear protest in South Asia and BPC will continue the mission they started."

"It is, therefore, the national duty of every son and daughter of Baloch Nation to let the world know about what has happened and is happening in Balochistan, and continue the struggle to defend our homeland", said Siddik Azad Baloch in conclusion.

Chinese Premier Says US-China decoupling will not benefit either side

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Beijing (ANI): Amid tensions between the two countries, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday acknowledged challenges in US-China ties but said that decoupling [between the two countries], if two major economies of the world decouple from each other, it will not benefit either side and would harm the world," Li was quoted as saying by Sputnik while addressing a press conference following the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress.

US and China have sparred in recent months over the coronavirus pandemic with the former slamming the latter over the global spread of coronavirus. China's new controlversial legislation over Hong Kong has also drawn strong criticism from the US. The Chinese Premier said it was inevitable for two countries to have differences but stressed that wisdom is needed to expand common ground.

"we have different political systems, cultural tradtions and historical backgrounds. It is inevitable for us to have differences and conflicts. But the issue is how to habdle this. In the past few decades, the China-US relationship has weathered different storms. On the one hand, we move forward through cooperation; on the other hand, we faced a lot of difficulties. It is indeed very complicated. We need the wisdom to expandd oyr common interests and manage our differences and conflicts," said the Chinese premier.

According to Xinhua, the Chinese Premier said the economies of the two countries are closely intertwined and the businesses of the two countries need each other.Beijing (ANI): Amid tensions between the two countries, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday acknowledged challenges in US-China ties but said that decoupling [between the two countries], if two major economies of the world decouple from each other, it will not benefit either side and would harm the world," Li was quoted as saying by Sputnik while addressing a press conference following the closing ceremony of the National People's Congress.

US and China have sparred in recent months over the coronavirus pandemic with the former slamming the latter over the global spread of coronavirus. China's new controlversial legislation over Hong Kong has also drawn strong criticism from the US. The Chinese Premier said it was inevitable for two countries to have differences but stressed that wisdom is needed to expand common ground.

"we have different political systems, cultural tradtions and historical backgrounds. It is inevitable for us to have differences and conflicts. But the issue is how to habdle this. In the past few decades, the China-US relationship has weathered different storms. On the one hand, we move forward through cooperation; on the other hand, we faced a lot of difficulties. It is indeed very complicated. We need the wisdom to expandd oyr common interests and manage our differences and conflicts," said the Chinese premier.

According to Xinhua, the Chinese Premier said the economies of the two countries are closely intertwined and the businesses of the two countries need each other.
By: ANI.

Delhi govt issues advisory to gear up for probable locust attack

Photo:ANI.
New Delhi (ANI): The Delhi government on Thursday issued an advisory on preventative measures to tackle the probable locust attack in the national capital, following the havoc created in parts of North India due to the swarm invasion.

All the concerned officials have been advised to organise awareness programs for farmers and the public to control adn eradicate any devastating effect on agricultural and horticultural crops, vegetation, plants, garndens, and orchards.

In a meeting convened by Delhi Labour Minister Gopal Rai at his residence on Thursday, the officials reviewed the locust menace which is likely to head towards Delhi.

The concerned authorities are allowed to carry out spraying of insecticides/pesticides, as per the need during the night, stated the advisory.

The preventative measures issued by the approval of Secretary-cum-Commissioner (Development), Delhi, aslo stated the names of specific chemicals and their dosage which are permitted.

Melathion 50 EC, Melathion 25 WP, Chloropyriphos 20 EC, and Chloropysiphos 50 EC are the only chemicals which have been authorised for use.

The locust swarm are reportedly present in the neighbouring states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.
By: ANI.

Russia postpones SCO, BRICS summits over Pandamic

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Moscow (ANI): The BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summits, expected to be held in Russia in July, will be postponed, and new dates willbe determined to take into consideration the epidemiological situation development, the Kremlin said on Wednesday (local time).

A high-ranking source familiar with preparations has recrently told Sputnik that Russia has decided to postponed the SCO summit, adding it could be held closer to the fall. "Taking into consideration the coronavirus pandemic and relevant temporary restrictions, the organising committe ... has decided to postpone until later the meeting of BRICS leaders and the SCO council session, which were previously planned for July 21-23 in St. Petersburg," the Kremlin said in a statement.

The decision on the new dates of the summits will depend on the development of the epidemiological situations in participating nations and in the world in general, the Kremin added.
By: ANI.

Altaf Hussain calls on US Congress to table Bill for Independence of Balochistan and Sindh

Founder and leader of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain.
London (ANI): The founder and leadr of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain has appealed to the US Congress to table a bill for the independence of Balochistan and Sindh, the two provices of Pakistan where people are facing worst human rights crisis.

In his latest statement released on the social media platforms, he also welcomed the US Congress's decision to table a bill on Tibet independence because of mercilessly curbing the basic fundamental rights of the Tibetans for years.

"This is right time for honourable Dalai Lama to do more and more efforts for helpless Tibetams", said Altaf."

He added, "Here, I would like to appeal to all the honourable members of US Congress to please spare some of your precious time to pay the attention to the plight of Balochs of Balochistan Province and Sindhi and Urdu Speaking People (Commonly known as Mohajirs) of Sindh Province of Pakistan, where sisters, mothers, daughters, sons, brothers, and fathers are enforcedly disappeared, putting them behind bars and extra-judicially killings of their office bearers and members and even their relatives for the past 72 years by the Pakistan Army and its intelligence agencies".

A freedom movement is ongoing in Balochistan and Sindh, the two major and resource-rich provices of Pakistan as indigenous people are facing human rights violations for decades now.

Extrajudicial killings, abduction, and torture of political activists, students and intellectuals are being carried out by the Pakistan army and spy agency, the ISI. Altaf Hussain said, "In the name of humanity I appeal to all the membvers of US congress to please also table a bill for the independence of Balochistan and Sindh Provices to save the lives of over 80 million people".

"90 percent of people of Balochistan and Sindh provices want to have their independent Balochistan and Sindhudesh", said the Muhajir leader. Born in Karachi city of Pakistan, Altaf Hussain is living in exile in London since 1992.
By: ANI.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

India will ruin its economy very quickly if it had severe lockdown: Swedish health expert to Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi interacting with Professor Johan Giesecke of  the Karolinska Institute, Sweden (Photo:ANI)
New Delhi (ANI): Professor Johan Giesecke of the Karolinska Institute, Sweden, on Webnesday claimed that India will will ruin its economy very quickly if it had a severe lockdown.

Claiming that a strict lockdown may disrupt India's economic growth, Giesecke during an interaction with Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said: "In India, you will do more harm than good with strict lockdown measures. India will ruin its economy very quickly if it had a severe lockdown."

While calling for a soft lockdown approach in India, he suggested that India has to ease restrictions one by one. It may, however, take months to completely come out of lockdown. he said.

He further criticised countries across the globe for having no post-lockdown strategy. Emphasising on the disease, the Swedesh health expert said that coronavirus is spreading like a wildfire across the world. "It is a very mild disease. Ninety-nine percent infected people will have very less or no symptoms," he added.

Meanwhile, Ashish Jha, Director Harvard Global Health Insittute and a recognised public health official, in interaction with Gandhi called for a need to go in for an 'aggressive' COVID-19 testing to create confidence among people.

"When the economy is opened post-lockdown, you have to create confidence. These is a need for aggressive testing strategy in high-risk areas," he said.

He asserted that COVID-19 is not the last pandemic in the world, adding that "We are entering the age of large pandemics".

Jha further said that countries like South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong have responded the best to COVID-19 pandemic, while Italy, Spain, the US and the UK have responded the worst.

A few days ago, the Gandhi scion had interacted with former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and Nobel Prize Abhijit Banerjee to discuss various issues related to the COVID-19 crisis.
By: ANI.

Boing and Airbus study about coronavirus behaviour during air travel

(Representative Image: ANI)
Washington D.C. [USA], May 27 (ANI): The unprecedented decline in the global air traffic because of governments closing borders worldwide and ordering would-be fliers to stay home has pushed multinational aerospace giants Boeing and Airbus to conduct a study to find how the coronavirus behaves during air travel.

As part of an industry push to curb virus risks during flight operations, the study, involving academics, engineers and medical experts, is expected to examine new measures to prevent disease transmission on airplanes. The WallStreet Jounrla reported quoting companies and people involved in the discussions.

Airlines have been trying to reassure passengers onboard that masks and filtered cabin air provide reliable protection from infection in flight.

People from Boeing with direct knowledge of the matter were quoted as saying that it is developing computer models that simulate the cabin enviroment and could untimately inform decisions by airlines, health officials and regulators on how to prevent the virus's spread. "We're taking steps to better understand any potential risks," a spokesman said.

Meanwhile, Airbus said the plane maker is exchanging information with unversities in the U.S. and other countries. Airbus engineers are also exploring other methods of reducing the spread of the virus including self-cleaning materials, a disinfectant that can last for five days and touchless devies in lavatories, the company said.

Unted States' Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has been in touch with Boing, Airbus and other experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assess coronvirus risks for fliers and how to mitigate them, people familiar with those discussions said.

While much is known about airplane ventilation systems and how some pathagens can spread in flight, researchers said they are still learning how the new coronavirus behaves in various ettings.

"There are a lot of unknowns right now," said John Scott Meschke, a microbiologist from the University of Washington.

The issue is becoming more pressing as more passengers start to board planes again. Airlines have said bookings are beginning to pick up after weeks of near-zero demand, and they are adding back flights after slashing their schedules by as much as 90 percent.

On the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday weekend in the US, the Transportation Security Administration Screened nearly 349,000 people--still 88 percent below year -ago levels but the most since March.

Boeing officials further said that the study is also trying to find new technologies to enhance safety, including using ultraviolet light as a disinfectant and antimicrobial coatings for frequently touched surfaces.

Combating the virus in flight is challenging because of commercial air travel's incompatibility with social distancing, some experts said. While researchers broadly agree that airplanes' frequently replaced cabin air and strong filters are effective at removing pathogens, they may not help someone sitting near an infectious passenger who is coughing.

"Social distancing is impossible in an airplane," said Qingyan Chen, a Purdue University engineering professor who recently discussed the topic with Boeing.

Studies of previous epidemics, including SARS and avian flu, suggest that airplane passengers who sit near infectious passengers wear masks should significantly reduce the risk they will spread the virus by sneezing, coughing or talking.

The CDC has said the virus appears promarily to spread person to person with about 6 feet through droplets excreted by coughing, sneezing or talking.

Airlines have started requiring passengers to wear face coverings during flights and at various other times, such as during check-in, earlier this month. But there is no industry-wide rule, and some airlines say they have limited options if passengers refuse to keep masks on.
By: ANI.

Global corona patients count tops 5.4 million with 343,000 of the death count

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Geneva [Switzerland], May 27 (Sputnik/ANI): The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide has increased by nearly 100,000 over the past 24 hours to surpass 5.4 million, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said.

According to the WHO, the global case tally currently stands at 5,404,512 -- a rise by 99,780 over the past day.

The death count worldwide amounts to 343,514 -- an increase by 1,486.

Most cases of infection are recorded in the Americas -- 2,454,452, with 143,739 deaths.
By: ANI.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

PM asked to arrange trains for migrant labourers stuck in Maharashtra, Indian Railways worked all night: Piyush Goyal

Union Railways Minister Piyush Goyal.
New Delhi (ANI): Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said that concerned about the plight of migrant labourers stuck in Maharashtra, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked to immediately arrange for 145 trains that Maharashtra government demanded, to ensure that migrants are sent back immediately to their homes.

He said that Indian Railways worked all night to ensure compliance of PM's order. Piyush Goyal said that despite the fact that the Maharashtra government sent incomplete details and incoherent list, 145 trains were sent to Maharashtra. "Looking at the plight of migrants in Maharashtra who they are not even taking care of - state govt has totally collapsed. Worried about their situation Prime Minister said do what it takes but make sure migrants are sent back to their homes, arrange for 145 trains.."," Goyal told ANI.

Goyal said that the Maharashtra government sent an incomplete list of trains "All night our Railway people worked, we sent 145 trains to Maharashtra. Every train has been notified to state govt. I'm extremely sad to share that till 5pm, 74 of these 145 trains were supposed to depart, but since morning till 12:30 pm no passengers had boarded," he added.

Out of 74 trains which were to go until now, till 5 pm Maharashtra govt could give us passengers only for 24 trains which have departed. 50 are just standing in Maharashtra." said Goyal.

Special trains are being arranged to transport migrant workers stranded across the country due to the coronavirus induced lockdown back to their homes.
By: ANI.

Delhi sizzles at 45 degrees Celsius, no respite till Friday: IMD

Representative Image: ANI.
New Delhi (ANI): Delhi and its adjoining regions will not get relief till May 29 (Friday) from the scorching heat as the temperature is likely to be above 45 degrees Celsius for the next few days, predicted India Meteorological Department (IMD) on Sunday.

According to the IMD, the minimum and the maximum temperatures in the capital would hover around 26 degrees Celsius and 45 degrees Celsius today.

The Weatherman further 45 degrees Celsius and 46 degrees Celsius and after that, region is expected to be battered by rainfall accompanied by thunderstorms.

Meanwhile, there is a slight increase in the pollution levels of the capital today. As per System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR), the AQI docked at 176 in the morning, which falls in the 'moderate' category.

SAFAR further stated that PM10 pollutants in Delhi were recorded at 214 meanwhile PM2.5 pollutants were recorded at 81.
By: ANI.

Samsung get approval from South Korea to use ECG feature on Galaxy Watch Active 2

Samsung Logo.
New York (ANI): South Korea's Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has granted approval to Samsung to use the Electrocardiogram (ECG) feautre for measuring heart rhythms on the Galaxy Watch Active 2.

The company has also received clearance to conduct blood pressure measurements using the Health Monitor app, Engadget reported.

After the availability of the feature, users can launch the Samsung Health Monitor app and put their finger on the button for long enough to get a one-lead ECG reading. The company said that the Samsung Health Monitor app will be available on the Galaxy Watch Active 2 within the third quarter and will progressively expand to upcoming Galaxy Watch devices.
By: ANI.

Saudi Arabia to begin easing coronavirus restriction from May 28

Representative Image: ANI
Riyadh [Saudi Arabia] May 26 (Sputnik/ANI): Saudi Arabia will start phasing out restrictions from May 28 that were imposed to limit the spread of coronavirus, Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said.

"Starting Thursday, May 28, the next measures will implemented to allow a full return to normal life," he said during a press conference on Monday (local time).

As part of the exit strategy, the Saudi health authorities plan to step up testing and increase capacities for treating patients with severe coronavirus disease.

With overall 74,795 confirmed cases, Saudi Arabia is the epicentre of the outbreak in the Arab world. It recorded more than 2,200 new cases and nine deaths in the past day, bringing the death toll to 399.
By: ANI.

Centre govt allows domestic air services by non-scheduled, private operators

Representative Image: ANI.
New Delhi (ANI): The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) on Monday said that domestic air services by non-scheduled and private operators including fixed-wing, helicopters and microlight aircraft shall resume with effect from May 25.

"The government has decided for recommencement of domestic air services by non-scheduled and Private (General Aviation) operators (Fixed Wing/ Helicopters/Microlight aircraft)," read the Ministry's directive.

"In view of the need for precautionary measures to be taken by various stakeholders during COVID-19 pandemic, detailed general instructions; guidelines to be followed by passengers; and specific operating guidelines for major stakeholders (airlines, airport operators, ground handling agencies, etc) have already been issued by Ministry of Civil Aviation vide order dated May 21," it added.

Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said that 532 flights operated on Monday, the first day of resumption of domestic flights after suspension in the wake of lockdown. He said 39,231 passengers travelled by the flights and the number would increase further with the resumption of operations in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

The domestic flights were suspended in March due to lockdown imposed to contain the sprad of coronavirus. The country is in the fourth phase of lockdown which will continue till May 31.
By: ANI.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Apple iOS app updates notices to be re-issued for unknown reasons

Apple Logo.
California [US],(ANI): American tech company Apple, for some reason, appears to be reissuing recently-published app updates, resulting in users having to reinstall the latest version of some apps.

According to The Verge, among its team, the number of unexpected updates ranged from less than twenty to nearly 100, with updates dating back to the beginning of the month resurfacing from the depths of the App Store. One may also go through a varied experience, depending on how many apps you have and how frequently you update them.

As of now, it isn't clear why these updates are being reissued but, as MacRumors notes, it might have something to do with a bug that seems to be affecting apps as of iOS 13.5. This bug meant some apps became inaccessible, with an error message informing users: 'This app is no longer shared with you."

The quick fix to get the app working again without losing its settings and data is to offload the app via Settings > Genral > iPhone Storage, and them reinstall it.

The outlet isn't aware what's causing this particular "no longer shared with you" error, but the wording suggests some sort of authentication or certification issue. These is a possibility that the reissuing of app updates is meant to fix this bug, but that's just a theory. The problem doesn't seem to be breaking any app functionality.
By: ANI.

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