Monday, August 24, 2020

Chinese Foreign Minister to embark on week-long European tour from August 25

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (File Photo)

Beijing [China], Aug 24 (ANI/Sputnik): Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany as part of his European tour from August 25 to September 1, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday.

"At the invitation of Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Luigi Di Maio, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Soreide, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian and German Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay official visits to Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, France and Germany from August 25 to September 1," Zhao said at a briefing.

The spokesman noted that the trip to Europe would be the foreign minister's first overseas travel after the outbreak of the coronavirus, which shows the importance attached to China-European relations by both sides.

Through this visit, China expects to advance major political and economic agenda of bilateral relations, deepen cooperation on combating the pandemic and discuss further interaction in emerging sectors like the digital economy and green economy, the diplomat added. (ANI/Sputnik)

Indian officials to train Nepali technicians for operating Janakpur-Jaynagar railway line

26 Indian officials will provide training to Nepali technicians for the operation of the Janakpur-Jaynagar railway line. Photo/ANI

Janakpur [Nepal], August 24 (ANI): Indian officials will provide training to Nepali technicians for the operation of the Janakpur-Jaynagar railway line. A total of 26 officials from India will come to Nepal along with rolling stock, according to a contract.

To bring officials from India, an agreement has been reached between Nepal and Indian Railway Board, Director General of Rail Department of Nepal, Balram Mishra said.

"We asked for the officials from India in an online video conference held between the Railway Department of India and Nepal. There is a vacancy for various posts in Nepal but no applications have come forward. For now, we will bring officials from India who will also provide training to Nepali officials once the recruitment is done," Mishra said.

Nepal's Railways Department has already started completing the procedure to hire Indian officials for a fixed term.

"Indian side is also supportive and they are keen to provide the resources so that the rails (project) could hit the track as soon as possible. We have consulted with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about it. The Board of Directors of Department has given the go-ahead for it, and it would be completed soon when the COVID-19 situation improves," Mishra said.

For the time being, Nepal will hire Senior Sectional Engineer (one), Station Master (eight), Chief Power Controller (one), Chief Loco Inspector (one), Loco Pilot (one), Deputy Loco Pilot (one), Supervisors (one), Mechanics (one) and Point Man (one) by mid-September.

All the coaches for the broad gauge railway have already arrived in Bihar but they have not been handed over to Nepali authorities because of the COVID-19 restrictions.

Nepal has allocated 84.65 crore Nepali rupees as budget to procure the railway set from India, out of which 20 per cent payment has been made while the remaining 80 per cent will be made after the completion of the project. (ANI)

Amid India-China tensions, Indian Ambassador calls for mutual understanding on basic principles

Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri during the second China-India roundtable. (Photo credits: Indian Embassy in Beijing Twitter)

Beijing [China], August 24 (ANI): Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri delivered the keynote address of the second China-India roundtable, in which he outlined India's position on recent developments in bilateral relations and called for promoting mutual understanding on the basis of basic principles.

The roundtable was held by the Indian Embassy in Beijing in association with Tsinghua University on August 22.

"Indian Embassy in Beijing in association with Tsinghua University held second China-India roundtable on August 22. Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri delivered the keynote address and outlined India's position on recent developments in bilateral relations," the Embassy said in a tweet.

"In his interaction with Chinese scholars, the Ambassador called for promoting mutual understanding on the basis of basic principles," read another tweet.

The roundtable was held in the backdrop of tensions between India and China, as the two countries are engaged in a standoff since April-May over the transgressions by the Chinese Army in multiple areas including Finger area, Galwan valley, Hot springs and Kongrung nala.

The talks between the two sides have been going on for the last three months including five Lieutenant General-level talks but have failed to yield any results, so far.

The Chinese Army has refused to withdraw or disengage completely from the Finger area and seems to be buying time to delay its disengagement from there.

While efforts are underway to resolve the ongoing border dispute, India has rejected China's suggestion to disengage equidistantly from the Finger area in Eastern Ladakh. (ANI)

FM Wang Yi greeted members of Pakistan Foreign Minister's delegation in China with 'Namaste'

A screengrab from video posted by Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson. (Photo: ANI)

Beijing [China], August 24 (ANI): Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, during his visit to China was welcomed by the Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

As per a picture, doing rounds on social media, the Chinese Foreign Minister welcomed the members of Pakistan Foreign Minister's delegation with Namaste, the Indian style of greeting.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lijian Zhao on August 21 tweeted a video which shows Wang Yi welcoming the Pakistani Foreign Minister and his delegation.

"Warm welcome by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Foreign Minister Qureshi at Hainan. It is such a delight to have friends coming from afar!" tweeted Lijian Zhao.

The Indian greeting style has gone global in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

A recent video tweeted by French President Emmanuel Macron shows him and German Chancellor Angela Merkel greeting each other with 'Namaste'.

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and exchanged views on the coronavirus pandemic, bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest, Dawn earlier reported.

Qureshi was on a two-day visit to China to hold the second round of the China-Pakistan Foreign Ministers' Strategic Dialogue in the Chinese province of Hainan.

Citing a press release, Dawn reported that both leaders "reached consensus to collectively take measures to safeguard their common interests and promote peace, prosperity, and development in the region." (ANI)

Monetise your passion with these technology platforms

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New Delhi [India], August 20 (ANI): While many settle for a good-paying job, there are few who hustle and chase their passion to convert their dream to a steady income. With better technological advances over the years, people are learning to monetise their talents and also pave a way to reach their target audience.

In the current scenario, the COVID-19 pandemic has instantly blocked physical connectivity among humans and has left many jobless.

However, technology has facilitated the idea among people that passion can be converted into a source of income. Here are some tech platforms that can help skilled people to pursue their passion and make a living out of it.

1. Knorish
Knorish is a technology company with an all-in-one online course platform that allows people to launch their online academies that sell courses and content. It enables individuals such as artists, trainers, coaches, professionals, consultants, experts, and institutions to build and launch their entire online business and earn a steady income based on their passion or interest.

The feature-packed platform offers full-stack course creation tools for launching online courses and businesses. The platform comes with a custom website builder along with a course builder tool that helps create multimedia-rich content including Videos, PPTs, Word docs, Prezi presentations, embed videos from YouTube or Vimeo, conduct automated assessments, and more.

Additionally, the platform automates payment collection via a pre-integrated payment gateway and has been built specifically to ensure that anyone and everyone with a hobby or skill can build and launch their online academy.

2. Shiprocket
Shiprocket is India's largest e-commerce shipping and enablement platform for SMBs. With 20 courier partners on board, the brand enables pan-India as well as international shipping deliveries. COVID-19 induced lockdown caused several people to work from home and motivated them to create products like handicrafts, masks, sanitisers, etc.

People started selling these items on social Commerce and E-commerce mediums along with the existing category of Kirana stores, grocery sellers, etc. Tech-enabled logistic companies like Shiprocket actively helped these small sellers in maintaining business continuity by making pickup and delivery seamless during this phase.

The platform also helps such small sellers with its variety of services from Website developments, Live tracking of package, packaging solution, and act as a fulfillment partner to its sellers right from where the order is placed to customer doorstep.

3. Instagram
The Facebook-owned picture and video-sharing social networking service that allows users to upload media, which can be edited with filters and organized with tags and location information and shared among users across countries.

Instagram has been proven to be a very good medium for various sellers and experts to monetise their skills. Be it a food lover, painter, a fitness enthusiast, small seller, or a photographer, Instagram has generated business for millions through brand associations in a very unique way and helped people create and establish a business.

4. YouTube
The American online video-sharing platform allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated videos pertaining to different concepts, facts, and sectors and helps people monetise according to the interest generated on the platform in the form of likes and views.

For years and even in the COVID-19 era, YouTube stood out to be one of the best platforms for various bloggers and content creators to monetise their interests and generate business for them in this difficult phase.

5. Meesho
Meesho is an Indian-origin social commerce platform incepted in 2015. It enables small businesses and individuals who can turn their hobby into a business by starting their online stores via social channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram etc.

The company is headquartered in Bengaluru and aims to soothe some of the WhatsApp commerce pain points by moving much of the buying experience to its dedicated mobile shopping app. (ANI)

Joe Biden hits out at President Trump over handling of COVID-19 pandemic

Joe Biden (File Photo)

Washington D.C. [US], August 24 (ANI): Former US Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday (local time) hit out at President Donald Trump over the handling of coronavirus pandemic.

"President Obama and I established a White House office to prepare our nation for future pandemics. Donald Trump eliminated it -- and we've been paying the price every single day," Biden, who is also the Presidential nominee of Democratic Party said in a tweet.

According to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of coronavirus cases in the US stands at 5,700,487 while the death toll has risen to 176,774.
As a measure to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the United States, Democratic Party's presidential candidate Joe Biden had on Friday said he would shut the country down if scientists recommend so.

In an interview to ABC, Biden said, "I would shut it down; I would listen to the scientists. I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to save lives because we cannot get the country moving until we control the virus."

This comes after US President Donald Trump urged the country to reopen businesses and educational institutions despite the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In July, Trump said, "We're very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open... We're going to be putting a lot of pressure to open the schools in the fall." (ANI)

Chinese mainland reports 16 new imported COVID-19 cases

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Beijing [China], August 24 (ANI/Xinhua): The Chinese mainland reported 16 new imported COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the total number of imported cases to 2,418, the National Health Commission said Monday.

Among the imported cases, five were reported in Shanghai, three each in Fujian, Sichuan and Yunnan, and one each in Shanxi and Shandong, the commission said in its daily report.

Among all the imported cases, 2,203 had been discharged from hospitals after recovery, and 215 remained hospitalized, with two in severe conditions, the commission said.

No deaths had been reported from the imported cases. (ANI/Xinhua)

Third Israeli minister tests positive for COVID-19

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Tel Aviv [Israel], August 24 (ANI/Xinhua): Israeli Minister of Immigration and Integration Pnina Tamano-Shata tested positive for coronavirus, according to a statement issued by the Israeli parliament spokesperson on Sunday.

"According to a preliminary investigation, the minister was last at the parliament on Wednesday. The parliament will continue the epidemiological investigation, in coordination with the Health Ministry," the statement said.

At the end of the investigation, the health ministry is supposed to decide which government and parliament members will have to enter home quarantine.

Tamano-Shata is the third Israeli minister who has tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic in the country in late February.

Also on Sunday, it was announced that Walid Taha, a parliament member of the Arab-Israeli party Joint List, had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. (ANI/Xinhua)

US President approves emergency aid for Lousiana

US President Donald Trump (File Photo)

Washington D.C. [US], August 24 (ANI): US President Donald Trump has approved federal aid for Louisiana which is threatened by two storms simultaneously, White House said on Sunday (local time).

"Today, President Donald J. Trump declared that an emergency exists in the State of Louisiana and ordered Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from Tropical Storms Laura and Marco beginning on August 22, 2020, and continuing," White House said in a statement.

According to a Sputnik report, during a White House briefing, Trump said both storms have potential to cause substantial damage.

"This is somewhat unprecedented, the scope of the storms and also the fact that they come so quickly after one another, both storms have the potential of gathering strength before they make landfall and could cause significant damage," Trump was quoted as saying.

According to Sputnik report, Tropical Storm Marco was declared a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday and is expected to make landfall on Monday. Storm Laura is expected to hit Louisiana 48 hours after Marco, the report said.

Governor of the U.S. state of Texas Greg Abbott on Sunday issued a state disaster declaration for 23 counties as Hurricane Marco and Tropical Storm Laura are forecast to impact the state in the coming days, according to a Xinhua report. (ANI)

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