Tuesday, October 6, 2020

BJP releases first list for 27 candidates for Bihar polls, fields shooter Shreyasi Singh from Jamui

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New Delhi [India], October 6 (ANI): BJP on Tuesday announced the names of candidates of 27 seats which are going to polling in the first phase of the Bihar Assembly election.

The party has given tickets to Land and Revenue Minister Ram Narayan Mandal from Banka, Labour Minister Vijay Sinha from Lakhisarai and Agricultural Minister Prem Kumar from Gaya.

Shooter Shreyasi Singh, who recently joined the BJP, will contest from Jamui.

Janata Dal-United (JDU) has been allotted 122 seats and BJP has got 121 seats for the Bihar Assembly polls, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said here on Tuesday.

JDU will give 7 seats to Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustan Awam Moarch (HAM) from its quota while BJP will also allot some seats to Vikassheel Insaan Party from its share.

Elections to the 243-seat Bihar assembly will be held in three phases--October 28, November 3, and 7 and the counting of votes will take place on November 10.

Meanwhile, sitting BJP MLA Ravindra Yadav joined the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP). (ANI)

Trump reports no symptoms of COVID-19: White House physician

US President Donald Trump (File photo)


Washington DC [USA], October 6 (ANI): Following his departure from the Walter Reed Medical Center, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday had a restful first night at home, and reported no symptoms of COVID-19, confirmed White House physician Dr Sean Conley.

In a written memorandum, Dr Conley said: "This morning the President's team of physicians met him in the Residence. He had a restful first night at home, and today he reports no symptoms. Vital signs and physical exam remain stable, with an ambulatory oxygen saturation level of 95 to 97 per cent. Overall he continues to do extremely well, I will provide updates as we know more."

On Monday, Trump returned to the White House after departing from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was admitted for treatment of Covid-19.

As soon as he reached the White House he took off his mask despite caution from Dr Conley that Trump was not entirely "out of the woods yet".

"After exiting the presidential helicopter, Trump entered the White House through the Blue Room balcony and walked upstairs from South Portico. He then proceeded to take off his mask and put it in his pocket while he gave a thumbs up to the onlookers from the balcony," CNN reported.

On Thursday, Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus. (ANI)

Bulgadhi village sanitised as many people visited it after Hathras incident

Mayor of Hathras Ashish Sharma distributes mask in Bulgadhi village on Tuesday. Photo/ANI


Hathras (Uttar Pradesh) [India], October 6 (ANI): Bulgadhi village in Hathras district of Uttar Pradesh was sanitised after multiple visits by various organisations and political leaders following the alleged gangrape as a preventive measure against COVID-19.

Mayor of Hathras Ashish Sharma also distributed the masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the village.

He said there is a huge gathering of people from media and police, due to which the fear of spreading of corona also remains.

"We have sanitised the village and distributed mask in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as people from various organisations are visiting the village after the incident. We have also spread awareness among people about the COVID-19 and requested them to maintain peace in the area," Sharma told ANI.

Earlier in the day, a joint delegation of Left-wing parties after visiting the Hathras victim's family raised the demand for Supreme Court-monitored independent judicial inquiry and also requested the Uttar Pradesh government to not try to divert from the principal issue.

The 19-year-old Hathras woman succumbed to brutal assault injuries in Delhi's Safdarjung Hospital last month. The post-mortem report said that the victim suffered a fracture of "cervical vertebra".

Amid enormous outrage by the opposition parties and civil society since the teen's death on September 29, social media too erupted in protests after a video, purportedly showing the administration cremating the body without the presence of family members, went viral. (ANI)

Italy to extend coronavirus emergency until January 31

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Rome [Italy], October 6 (ANI/Sputnik): The Italian government will extend the state of COVID-19 emergency until January 31 next year, Health Minister Roberto Speranza said on Tuesday.

The country initially introduced the emergency on January 31, after first COVID-19 cases among foreign tourists were detected. Under the emergency, the cabinet is not bound to seek parliamentary approval to make key decisions on COVID-19 response, triggering dismay from the opposition.

"Our course should be prudence and caution. Therefore, I believe that the government's choice to extend the emergency situation until January 31 is right. I believe that this fully corresponds to the epidemiological period that we are experiencing," Speranza told the upper house.

Earlier in the day, Speranza also addressed the lower house to present a government decree on COVID-19 measures, which is set to be approved on Wednesday. The minister, in particular, offered to make wearing face masks outdoors obligatory.

Italy has so far confirmed more than 327,000 COVID-19 cases, including over 233,000 recoveries and 36,002 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. (ANI/Sputnik)

Looking forward to October 15 Presidential Debate, says Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump


Washington [US], October 6 (ANI): Day after returning to the White House after being hospitalised for Covid-19, US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said that he is looking forward to participating in the October 15 Presidential Debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

Taking to Twitter, Trump said, "I am looking forward to the debate on the evening of Thursday, October 15th in Miami. It will be great!"

On Monday (local time), he returned to the White House after departing from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, where he was admitted for treatment for Covid-19.

As soon as he reached the White House he took off his mask despite White House physician Dr Sean Conley saying that President Trump is not entirely "out of the woods yet".

"After exiting the presidential helicopter, Trump entered the White House through the Blue Room balcony and walked upstairs from South Portico. He then proceeded to take off his mask and put it in his pocket while he gave a thumbs up to the onlookers from the balcony," CNN reported.

On Thursday (local time), Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus. (ANI)

AT UNGA, 39 countries urge China to shut down Xinjiang detention camps

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New York [US], October 6 (ANI): As many as 39 countries at the United Nations General Assembly Third Committee on Tuesday urged China to close the detention camps in Xinjiang.

"We request that China close the detention camps in Xinjiang, that China stops tearing down mosques, religious sites, that China stops forced labor, and that China also stops forced birth control," Sputnik quoted German Ambassador to the United Nations Christoph Heusgen saying on behalf of the 39 UN member states to reporters.

Xinjiang is home to around 10 million Uyghurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 per cent of Xinjiang's population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious, and economic discrimination.

About seven per cent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang has been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and UN experts.

Classified documents known as the China Cables, accessed last year by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, threw light on how the Chinese government uses technology to control Uighurs worldwide.

China put a million or more Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities into detention camps and prisons in Xinjiang over the last three years under President Xi Jinping's directives to "show absolutely no mercy in the struggle against terrorism, infiltration, and separatism", revealed the documents released in US media.

However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training.

Uyghur activists and human rights groups have countered that many of those held are people with advanced degrees and business owners who are influential in their communities and have no need for any special education.

People in the internment camps have described being subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings, and denial of food and medicine, and say they have been prohibited from practicing their religion or speaking their language.

Now, as Beijing denies these accounts, it also refuses to allow independent inspections into the regions, at the same time, which further fuels reports related to China's atrocities on the minority Muslims. (ANI)

Pompeo expects to reach cost-sharing deal with Japan on US troop presence

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo


Tokyo [Japan], October 6 (ANI/Sputnik): US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in an interview with Japan's NHK broadcaster on Tuesday that he anticipates the United States will reach a cost-sharing deal with Japan on the presence of US troops in the country.

When asked how much Washington would ask Japan to pay to support the US troops' presence in the country, Pompeo said, "There's no number that I'm prepared to talk about or share today. We will come to an arrangement where each of our two countries exhibits goodwill, and I am confident that to be good partners and work alongside each other, to get the outcomes that our two countries need, we will share this tax. We will share this burden in a way that I think each country will find fair and equitable. I'm highly confident that we'll resolve this."

Pompeo added that the issue would not be resolved today, but rather during the course of "serious conversations" that will be held over the coming weeks and months.

The United States under President Donald Trump has ramped up pressure on nations hosting US bases to share a larger part of the financial burden, specifically South Korea and Japan. In June last year, John Bolton visited the two allies while still serving as a national security adviser, with reports claiming he demanded leadership of both countries to increase spending by up to 500 per cent. (ANI/Sputnik)

WHO's Tedros says appointment of IPPR co-chairs expedited to prevent delays

WHO Director_Genral Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. (Photo: ANI)


Geneva [Switzerland], October 6 (ANI/Sputnik): The World Health Organisation's (WHO) decision to appoint two co-chairs to the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) back in July was expedited in order to prevent delays, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday, underscoring that the panel is independent and impartial.

In July, the WHO appointed former Liberian President and Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark as the two IPPR co-chairs. During the WHO Executive Board Special Session on Tuesday, Tedros stated that he chose the two co-chairs in order to allow the panel to begin work without delay.

"I appointed the two co-chairs, that's it, then empowered the two co-chairs to select the rest of the panel, as reported today -- that makes the panel really independent -- and also to hire their own secretariat and to avoid also any influence from any donor," Tedros remarked.

Despite his decision to select the two co-chairs, the director-general added that consultations were held with several of the WHO's member states ahead of their appointment.

"There were some concerns from a few member states ... about the selection of the two co-chairs, the first initial stage, especially with regard to consultation. One thing I'd like to share with you is there was consultation. But the consultation was not like with all 194 countries. It was random and limited ... Otherwise, selecting two people involving 194 countries could be very, very difficult. And we didn't want to delay the process also," Tedros stated.

The WHO announced the creation of the IPPR in July, in accordance with a resolution passed at the World Health Assembly two months prior. The panel has the stated aim of evaluating the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI/Sputnik)

Diplomat Jaideep Mazumdar to be next Indian Ambassador to the Holy See

Diplomat Jaideep Mazumdar (File Photo)


New Delhi [India], October 6 (ANI): Diplomat Jaideep Mazumdar has been concurrently accredited as the next Ambassador of India to the Holy See, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Tuesday.

Mazumdar is from the 1989 batch of the Indian Foreign Service and is presently Indian Ambassador to Austria.

He will have his residence in Vienna.

Earlier, he was Indian Ambassador to the Philippines. (ANI)

US must learn to live with Covid virus, just like Flu: Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to supporters as he rides by in the presidential motorcar in front of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on October 5 (Credit: Reuters)


Washington [US], October 6 (ANI): US President Donald Trump on Tuesday downplayed coronavirus pandemic likening the highly contagious virus to the seasonal flu and said that there people in the United States should "learn to live with it."

President Trump further said that closing down the country is not an option.

In a tweet after returning to the White House after being hospitalised for Covid-19, Trump said: "Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!"

Last week, Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

On Tuesday, he commented "Feeling really good!" and urged people to not be afraid of the virus. (ANI)

India, US, Australia, Japan call for coordinated response to challenges like economic issues due to COVID-19 pandemic

External Affairs Ministers S Jaishankar with US Secretary Michael Pompeo, Australiam Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. (Twitter/S Jaishankar)


New Delhi [India], October 6 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday participated in the second India-Australia-Japan-US ministerial meeting in Tokyo where the foreign ministers called for a coordinated response to the challenges including financial problems emanating from the pandemic; need to share best practices to combat Covid-19; increasing the resilience of supply chains; and enhancing access to affordable vaccines, medicines, and medical equipment.

According to an official statement issued by the ministry of external Affairs, during Tuesday's meeting the Foreign Ministers followed up on their discussions in September 2019 and discussed the post-Covid-19 international order.

"They called for a coordinated response to the challenges including financial problems emanating from the pandemic; need to share best practices to combat COVID-19; increasing the resilience of supply chains; and enhancing access to affordable vaccines, medicines and medical equipment," the foreign ministry statement said.

The MEA further said that the foreign ministers exchanged views about regional issues of mutual interest, and issues related to connectivity; humanitarian assistance and disaster relief; maritime safety and security; health security, and counterterrorism.

"They reaffirmed their collective vision of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. They reiterated their firm support to ASEAN centrality and highlighted their readiness to work towards realising a common vision for the Indo-Pacific. Appreciating the value of these consultations, they agreed to hold them regularly," the ministry said.

The external affairs minister also had bilateral meetings with US Secretary Michael Pompeo. He will be meeting Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi.

"These meetings provided the respective Ministers an opportunity to review ongoing bilateral cooperation and discuss regional, global and other issues of mutual interest," the MEA added. (ANI)

Pharma firm 'Alliance' partners with Alniche to market Nizral and Nizoral in India

Sitting (R-L): Alex Duggan, Girish Arora, Rajiv Ghildiyal, Ritu Hasija, Standing: Alniche Life Sciences Leadership Team.


New Delhi [India], October 6 (ANI/NewsVoir): The healthcare group, Alliance is pleased to announce that it has appointed 'Alniche' as its exclusive marketing partner in India to market and distribute the Nizral/Nizoral range of formulations. Transfer of the business was successfully concluded during September.

"With the acquisition of a great brand comes great responsibility, as we look to take over and maintain the long-standing quality, heritage and brand awareness built by our J and J colleagues over the past decades. Together with the marketing and distribution excellence of our local partner Alniche Life Sciences, we aim to consolidate and expand this awareness and reach beyond Metro's and Class A towns so that more of the Indian population can benefit from this time-tested remedy for scalp and related skin conditions," said Rajiv Ghildiyal, Alliance's Regional Business Director - Central Asia, Middle-East and Pacific.

"Nizral is a welcome addition in our product portfolio. With Nizral's excellent brand equity and seal of quality Alniche is confident to build this brand to attain leader position in Anti-dandruff market," said Girish Arora, Founder and Managing Director of Alniche Lifesciences.

Alliance acquired J and J's Nizoral range of shampoos in 2018 for the Asia Pacific region.

In 2018, Alliance further strengthened its consumer healthcare portfolio with the acquisition of medicated antidandruff shampoo and lotion (lotion currently only available in Japan), Nizoral, from Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (a member of the Johnson & Johnson group) for the APAC (Asia Pacific) region.

This acquisition significantly increased Alliance's presence in the 15 countries where Nizoral is currently registered. In India, Nizoral is registered as Nizral 2 per cent and Nizoral 1per cent, both part of this acquisition.

Nizoral's API, ketoconazole (antifungal) was discovered by Janssen in 1976. With more than 50 clinical studies carried out, it is one of the most widely prescribed anti-fungal medicine in the world, treating seborrheic capitis (dandruff), seborrheic dermatitis, pityriasis versicolor.

Dandruff affects around half of the adult population and India's ethical and over the counter Medicated Shampoo market is estimated to be worth around £70m GBP (roughly Rs 650 crores). Nizral 2 per cent (exclusive to ethical channels) and Nizoral 1per cent (over-the-counter availability) with its strong clinical heritage, well established safety profile and long history of use continues to be one of the top Medicated Anti-dandruff brands in India.

Nizral continues to be manufactured within the same state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities of Encube Ethicals who continue to be the manufacturer for this product.

From its origins in the UK more than 20 years ago, Alliance Pharma plc (AIM: APH) has grown to become a significant international healthcare group, marketing more than 90 consumer healthcare brands and prescription medicines in over 100 countries world-wide and employing over 200 people.

Recent years have seen a broadening in the scope of Alliance's product portfolio. In addition to the established niche prescription products which formed the original focus of the Group's activities, the Group's portfolio now includes a significant number of consumer products, covering a wide range of therapy areas.

In addition to its UK presence, the Group now has eight further offices across Europe, the Far East and the US. This geographic presence is enhanced by a broad network of international distributors, covering more than 100 countries worldwide.

To demonstrate its commitment to the Indian market, Alliance CHC (India) Private Limited was incorporated during August 2020, with its office located in the bustling city of Mumbai.

Alniche Life Sciences is one of India's fastest growing Pharma company based in New Delhi, serves patients and the medical fraternity by offering specialized, high-quality, effective, affordable medicines and wellness products. Alniche has carved a firm position for itself in the Indian Pharma market through a focused approach for key brands and deep engagement with doctors.

Their 700 sales team members are covering 70,000 doctors and 30,000 hospitals with a strong portfolio of both domestic and licensed brands from global partners, in the areas of Nephrology, Critical care, Gastroenterology, Dermatology, Neurology and Advanced wound care. We are ranked one of the top company in Renal care and Critical care.

Alniche has partnered with global pharma organizations to bring novel global brands in India including Alliance (UK), J W Life Science (Korea), Adhezion Biomedical Inc. (USA), FzioMed (USA), PT Dermozone Pratama (Indonesia), Biovite (Australia), and Dongkook (Korea).

This story is provided by NewsVoir. ANI will not be responsible in any way for the content of this article. (ANI/NewsVoir)

Indian envoy meets Kotelawala Defence varsity Vice Chancellor, discusses areas of collaboration with Indian think tanks

Indian Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K Jacob with Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, Major General Milinda Peiris on Tuesday. (Twitter/India in Sri Lanka)


Colombo [Sri Lanka], October 6 (ANI): Indian Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K Jacob on Tuesday met Major General Milinda Peiris, Vice Chancellor of General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University, to discuss potential areas of collaboration, including instutional linkages of the university with Indian think tanks.

"Deputy High Commissioner Vinod K Jacob visited the prestigious @Kotelawala_uni

today," the Indian Embassy in Sri Lanka said in a tweet.

The Embassy further stated that Jacob held discussions with Vice Chancellor Major General Milinda Peiris over the potential areas of collaboration including institutional linkages of the university with the Indian think tanks.

"Held cordial discussions with Vice Chancellor Major General Milinda Peiris and team on ongoing and potential areas of collaboration including institutional linkages of

@Kotelawala_uni with Indian think tanks and academic institutions, student exchanges and Research and Development," the Embassy said.

The relations between India and Sri Lanka was further strengthened when Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa believes in India first policy along with pursuing a neutral foreign policy.

After Mahinda Rajapaksa received a sweeping victory in the recently held elections in Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Narenda Modi was the first to congratulate him over telephone.

Days later PM Modi and Rajapaksa had held a virtual engagement, thus, re-emphasising the deep-rooted civilisational ties and shared heritage between the two neighbouring countries. (ANI)

Three scientists share Nobel Physics Prize for black hole research

Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 laureates Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez (Photo Credits: The Nobel Prize Twitter)


Stockholm [Sweden], October 6 (ANI): The Nobel Prize in Physics 2020 was jointly awarded to three scientists for their discoveries about one of the most exotic phenomena in the universe, the black hole.

The Nobel Assembly on Tuesday said in a tweet, "The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics with one half to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez."

Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez have been jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy", whereas Roger Penrose has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics "for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity."

Black holes are regions of space where gravity is so strong that not even light can escape from them. They are regions of space where matter has collapsed in on itself.

Genzel, who was born in 1952 in Bad Homburg vor der Hohe, Germany, is currently Director at the Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, Garching, Germany. He is also a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Ghez, who jointly received the other half of the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics with Genzel, was born in 1965 in New York and currently is a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.

In a statement, the Nobel Assembly said, "They discovered that an invisible and extremely heavy object governs the orbits of stars at the center of our galaxy for which, a supermassive black hole is the only currently known explanation."

"Using the world's largest telescopes, Genzel and Ghez developed methods to see through the huge clouds of interstellar gas and dust to the center of the Milky Way. Stretching the limits of technology, they refined new techniques to compensate for distortions caused by the Earth's atmosphere, building unique instruments and committing themselves to long-term research. Their pioneering work has given us the most convincing evidence yet of a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way," The assembly added.

Penrose was born in 1931 in Colchester, UK, and is presently a professor at the University of Oxford.

The assembly said, "He invented ingenious mathematical methods to explore Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity. He showed that the theory leads to the formation of black holes, those monsters in time and space that capture everything that enters them.

The statement also highlighted, "In January 1965, ten years after Einstein's death, Roger Penrose proved that black holes really can form and described them in detail; at their heart, black holes hide a singularity in which all the known laws of nature cease. His groundbreaking article is still regarded as the most important contribution to the general theory of relativity since Einstein."

Speaking at the press conference where her Nobel Prize was announced, Ghez said, "I hope I can inspire other young women into the field. It's a field that has so many pleasures, and if you are passionate about the science, there's so much that can be done."

Ghez is the fourth woman to win the physics prize, out of more than 200 laureates since 1901.The other female recipients are Marie Curie, Maria Goeppert-Mayer and Donna Strickland - who won in 2018.

A prize amount of 10 million Swedish kronor is being awarded, with one half to Roger Penrose and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez. (ANI)

Quad countries re-affirm commitment to work for open, inclusive Indo-Pacific region

The Foreign Ministers of India, US, Australia and Japan at the second Quad Ministerial Meeting on Tuesday. (Photo: ANI)


Tokyo [Japan], October 6 (ANI): The United States, Australia, India and Japan on Tuesday re-affirmed their commitment to work towards a "open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific" while exchanging their views during the second foreign ministers' meeting of the Quadrilateral grouping that began on Tuesday.

During the opening remarks at second Quad Ministerial Meeting here, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi asserted that a free and open Indo-Pacific initiative plays a major role in achieving the goal of having domocracy, rule of law and free economy in the region.

"In recent years the existing international order is being challenged in various areas. The outbreak of COVID-19 is accelerating such trend. Our four nations believe in common fundamental values such as democracy, rule of law and free economy. We believe in having a regional responsibility, share the goal of stregthening a rules-based free and open international order. It is indeed the free and open Indo-Pacific initiative that plays a major role towards the achievement of this goal," Motegi said.

He further said this vision is being embraced by many countries as he found out during his recent visit to ASEAN countries and Europe.

"Today this vision is embraced by many nations. Infact upon my visit to the ASEAN countries last month and my visit to Europe last week, commitments towards the Indo-Pacific was demonstrated very clearly. The importance of this vision lies in the fact that many countries that share values have come together to promote this initiative and as a result the vision is being realised at a larger scale," he added.

US State Secretary Michael Pompeo emphasised on the need to collaborate to protect the people and partners from the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) exploitation, corruption and coersion.

"Last year when we met we could not imagine this crisis. The situation was made worse by the CCP's cover-up. The regime's authoritarian leaders silenced the very brave Chinese citizens who attempted to raise the alarm," said Pompeo.

He further said the US "stands in support with each one of you" as the world works to win over the "horrible pandemic and rebuild economies together".

Calling out the urgent need for cooperation among countries, the State Seceratry said, "It is more critical now than ever that we collaborate to protect our people and partners from the CCP's exploitation, corruption and coersion."

In continuance with Pompeo's call for immediate need of cooperation against China, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said the Quad has a positive agenda, which is to promote an open, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific.

"We believe in a region governed by rules not power. We believe in the fundamental importance of individual rights and in a region in which disputes are resolved in accordance with international law and we believe in regional security and recovery from COVID-19 supports sovereign choices for the countries of the Indo-Pacific," she said.

During the meeting, the Australian Foreign Minister asserted that her country has "no more important partners than Japan, the US and India.

"Australia is supporting the regions' economic recovery, strenthging health security, promoting access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines. In these efforts Australia has no more important partners than Japan, US and India. Today we will exchange strategic assessments and agree to support our aligned interests including health cooperation, maritime security, critical minerals and technologies, countering disinformation and humanitarian assistance," she added.

Similarly, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar asserted that the events of this year have clearly demonstrated how "imperative it is for like-minded countries to coordinate responses to the various challenges that the pandemic has brought to the fore".

"As vibrant and pluralistic democracies with shared values, our nations have collectively affirmed the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. We remain committed to upholding the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in the international seas, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputes," he said.

"Our objective remains to advance the security and the economic interests of all countries having legitimate and vital interests in the region. It is a matter of satisfaction that the Indo-Pacific concept has gained increasingly wider acceptance. The Indo-Pacific Ocean's Initiative that we tabled at the East Asia Summit last year is a development with considerable promise in that context," he added. (ANI)

Afghanistan peace negotiator Abdullah Abdullah arrives in Delhi, set to meet PM Narendra Modi, EAM S Jaishankar

Afghanistan Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) Abdullah Abdullah in New Delhi. (Twitter/Abdullah Abdullah)


New Delhi [India], October 6 (ANI): Abdullah Abdullah, the chief negotiator with Taliban in the intra-Afghan peace dialogue on Tuesday arrived in New Delhi for a five-day visit during which he is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, external affairs minister S Jaishankar, and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Abdullah, the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR) in Afghanistan is here to exchange views on the negotiations between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban at Doha, Qatar and bilateral relations.

"Arrived in New Delhi, India, to begin my official visit. During my stay in New Delhi, I will meet the leadership of India, and exchange views on Afghan Peace Process, and bilateral relations," Abdullah Abdullah wrote in a tweet. Abdullah, accompanied by a high-level delegation, is here on an invitation by the Government of India to discuss the peace efforts and the need for regional consensus and support for the Afghan peace process.

During this visit, he is also scheduled to deliver a keynote speech at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses (IDSA) in the national capital. Prior to his departure to India , Abdullah had said: "India is a strategic partner of AFG and has continuously supported the government and people of AFG. Our historical relations with India is very important to us, and the role of India in establishing lasting peace in AFG and the region is vital. I am visiting India up on an official invitation by the Gov. of #India to discuss the peace efforts, and the need for regional consensus & support for the #AfghanPeaceProcess."

This is the first visit of Abdullah to India after the formation of a new government in Afghanistan. His visit comes at a time when the Afghanistan government and Taliban are trying to negotiate a deal in order to restore peace in the country. Abdullah Abdullah had last week visited Pakistan and discussed the Afghan peace process with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister, and other Pakistani officials.

The peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban began on September 12 in Qatar's capital Doha to end decades of war in which tens of thousands have been killed. Violence, however, has not abated in the country even as Afghan negotiators have been engaged in direct talks for the first time.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had participated in the opening ceremony of Afghan peace negotiations in Doha through video conferencing and reiterated that the peace process should be Afghan-led and ensure the interests of minorities and women. He said that Afghan soil should never be used for carrying out anti-India activities and supported the need for an immediate ceasefire in order to establish long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.

On September 25, Jaishankar had met former Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum and said India remains fully committed to an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled peace process. (ANI)

Japan and South Korea lift entry ban on business travel

Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi. 


Tokyo [Japan], October 6 (ANI): Japan and South Korea have agreed to recommence business travel between the countries starting Thursday, in an attempt to improve their historically poor relations.

The bilateral agreement states that visitors on short-term business trips will not be required to observe 14-day self-isolation periods provided they test negative for the novel coronavirus and submit travel itineraries, among other preventive measures, Kyodo News reported.

Foreigners and other long term settlers will only be allowed to enter after completing a two-week quarantine period.

Speaking at a press conference, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said, "Currently, the Japan-South Korea relationship is in an extremely severe situation so exchanges of people from both countries, starting with businesspeople, are important."

A similar deal was also reached with Singapore in August.

Several South Korean courts in the past have ordered Japanese companies to pay compensation for wartime forced labour. In response, Japan has tried to control exports of materials used to manufacture semiconductors. Since then, relations between the two countries have become sensitive.

Japanese and South Korean officials had been negotiating since July on the resumption of business travel, with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and South Korean President Moon Jae last month agreeing in a telephone call to speed up the negotiations, Kyodo News said.

In 2019 alone, about 5.58 million South Koreans visited Japan, out of which about 310,000 traveled for business work.

In an effort to boost its domestic economy, Japan has been reopening its borders following an entry ban on foreigners imposed as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. (ANI)

Bombay HC adjourns to Oct 13 plea of Sushant's sisters to quash FIR against them

Bombay High Court


Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 6 (ANI): The Bombay High Court on Tuesday adjourned to October 13 hearing on a petition filed by the sisters of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput seeking to quash an FIR registered against them by Mumbai Police for forgery and procuring fake medical prescription for their late brother.

A bench of the High Court adjourned the matter after actor Rhea Chakraborty's lawyer sought time to file a reply on the plea.

The FIR was registered on a complaint filed by actor Rhea Chakraborty against Sushant Singh Rajput's sisters -- Priyanka Singh and Meetu Singh -- and a doctor for forging a prescription of medicines supposedly for anxiety prohibited under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985.

Notably, Rhea Chakraborty her brother Showik and several others are currently in judicial custody in the drug case related to the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. (ANI)

686 people injured in clashes between protesters and police: Kyrgyz Health Ministry

Violent protests in Kyrgyzstan after annulment of parliamentary elections.


Bishkek [Kyrgyztan], October 6 (ANI/Sputnik): The number of people injured in Kyrgyzstan in the clashes between protesters and law enforcement agents has grown to 686 and the death toll stands at one, the Health Ministry told Sputnik on Tuesday.


Earlier in the day, the ministry reported 590 injuries.


"As of 15:00 [09:00 GMT], 686 injured people sought assistance in medical centers on October 6, 2020," a spokesperson for the ministry said.


According to the spokesman, 164 injured people were hospitalized, seven of them are in the intensive care units, a 19-year-old man died, and 521 persons were discharged after receiving urgent assistance. (ANI/Sputnik)

Kuwait government resigns ahead of November general elections: State media

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Kuwait City [Kuwait], October 6 (ANI/Sputnik): Kuwait's government, chaired by Prime Minister Sabah Al Khalid Al Sabah, submitted on Tuesday its resignation to Emir Nawaf Al Ahmed Al Jaber Al Sabah in anticipation of the November general elections, according to the state-run Kuwait News Agency.

The emir has praised the efforts of the Prime Minister and his government in fulfilling their obligations and affirmed his confidence that the current cabinet would continue to perform its constitutional duties and finish arrangements for upcoming legislative elections.

The election campaign is due to be held in late November. (ANI/Sputnik)

US-India relations will be advanced to ensure secure, prosperous Indo-Pacific for all: Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State met India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday in Tokyo. (Twitter/Mike Pompeo)


Tokyo [Japan], October 6 (ANI): US State Department Secretary Michael Pompeo on Tuesday met India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on the sidelines of the Quad ministerial meeting and re-affirmed that the US-India relations will be advanced to ensure a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

"Productive meeting today with Indian Minister of External Affairs Dr S Jaishankar. Together we are advancing US-India relations, combatting COVID-19 and ensuring a secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific for all," said Pompeo in a tweet.

Earlier, Jaishankar had said, "Began my Tokyo visit with a bilateral meeting with @SecPompeo. Pleased to see the progress of our partnership in so many fields. Will work together for stability and prosperity in the Indo- Pacific."

Pompeo and Jaishankar are in Tokyo to attend the second foreign ministers' meeting of the Quadrilateral grouping (India, US, Australia and Japan).

This grouping is seen as a response to China's growing military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

It is the first meeting of Quad foreign ministers amid border tensions between India and China.
A meeting of Quad leaders was held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly last year.
The Quad meeting is expected to focus on strategic and security challenges in the region and joint strategy is likely to be discussed.

India- Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims in the South China Sea. Beijing's rising assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented agreement across the Indian-Pacific.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, several nations concerned are already deepening security ties with each other and the US to mitigate the threat.

In recent years, Japan has expressed increasing concerns regarding Beijing's activities in the region especially concerning the situation with the disputed Senkaku islands, known in China as the Diaoyudao islands, and claimed by Beijing to be Chinese territory. (ANI)

India committed to upholding rule-based order in international seas: Jaishankar at Quad meet

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar during Quad ministerial meeting. (Photo: ANI)


Tokyo [Japan], October 6 (ANI): Calling for 'free, open and inclusive India-Pacific', India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday said the country is committed to upholding the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency and freedom of navigation in the international seas.

During his opening remarks at 2nd Quad Ministerial Meeting here, Jaishankar asserted that the events of this year have clearly demonstrated how "imperative it is for like-minded countries to coordinate responses to the various challenges that the pandemic has brought to the fore".

"As vibrant and pluralistic democracies with shared values, our nations have collectively affirmed the importance of maintaining a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific. We remain committed to upholding the rules-based international order, underpinned by the rule of law, transparency, freedom of navigation in the international seas, respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty and peaceful resolution of disputes," he said.

The ministers expressed satisfaction that the India-Pacific concept has gained increasingly "wider acceptance" around the world.

"Our objective remains to advance the security and the economic interests of all countries having legitimate and vital interests in the region. It is a matter of satisfaction that the Indo-Pacific concept has gained increasingly wider acceptance. The Indo-Pacific Ocean's Initiative that we tabled at the East Asia Summit last year is a development with considerable promise in that context," he added.

The second foreign ministers' meeting of the Quadrilateral grouping began today. Speaking after, US Secretary Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne, and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, Jaishankar said he looks forward to the discussions on important issues such as connectivity and infrastructure development, security including counter-terrorism.

"I look forward to our discussions today on important issues such as connectivity and infrastructure development, security including counter-terrorism; cyber and maritime security; and the stability and prosperity in the region," Jaishankar said.

As India assumes membership of the UN Security Council next year, Jaishankar said he looks forward to seeking collective solutions to "global challenges, including global recovery from the pandemic and reform of multilateral institutions".

Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a profound transformation globally, the minister said: "The fact that we are meeting here today, in person, despite the global pandemic, is a testimony to the importance that these consultations have gained, particularly in recent times. Our world is significantly different today than what it was when we last met in New York in September 2019."

"The events of this year have clearly demonstrated how imperative it is for like-minded countries to coordinate responses to the various challenges that the pandemic has brought to the fore. As we collectively navigate these uncharted waters, we seek to emerge from the pandemic more resilient than ever before," he added. (ANI)

Kyrgyz Central Election Commission annuls results of parliamentary elections

Violent protests in Kyrgyzstan after annulment of parliamentary elections (ANI)


Bishkek [Kyrgyzstan], October 6 (ANI/Sputnik): The Kyrgyz Central Election Commission has declared void the results of the parliamentary elections amid violent protests, a member of the commission said on Tuesday.

"The Central Election Commission made a decision to annul the results of the elections. There were 12 votes in favor," Gulnara Jurabaeva wrote on Facebook. (ANI/Sputnik)

Quad foreign ministerial meet begins in Tokyo

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary Mike Pompeo, Australian foreign minister Marise Payne, Japanese foreign minister Toshimitsu Motegi are meeting in Tokyo. (Photo: ANI)


Tokyo [Japan], October 6 (ANI): The foreign ministers of India, United States, Japan and Australia here on Tuesday commenced Quad foreign ministers' meeting.

This is the second foreign ministers' meeting of the Quadrilateral grouping. India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, US Secretary Mike Pompeo, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi participated in the meeting hosted by Japan.

The Quad meeting is expected to focus on strategic and security challenges in the India-Pacific region and joint strategy is likely to be discussed.

India-Pacific region is largely viewed as an area comprising the Indian Ocean and the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the South China Sea.

China's territorial claims in the South China Sea and its efforts to advance into the Indian Ocean are seen to have challenged the established rules-based system.

Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan have counterclaims in the South China Sea. Beijing's rising assertiveness against counter claimants in the East and South Sea has resulted in unprecedented agreement across the India-Pacific region.

According to the Nikkei Asian Review, several nations concerned are already deepening security ties with eah other and the US to mitigate the threat.

In recent years, Japan has expressed increasing concerns regarding Beijing's activities in the region especially concerning the situation with the disputed Senkaku islands, known in China as the Diaoyudao islands, and claimed by Beijing to be Chinese terrotory. (ANI)

Abdullah Abdullah departs for New Delhi, says India role vital for lasting peace in Afghanistan

Chairman of the High Council for National Reconcilliation (HCNR) Abdullah Abdullah. (Photo: ANI) 


Kabul [Afghanistan], October 6 (ANI): India is a 'strategic partner' of Afghanistan and its role in establishing lasting peace in the war-torn country is 'vital', said Afghanistan Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation (HCNR), Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday.

Abdullah Abdullah on Tuesday departed for India for his official visit on an invitation by the Government of India to discuss the peace efforts and the need for regional consensus and support for the Afghan peace process.

He is accompanied by a high-level delegation. During this visit, he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, and deliver a keynote speech at the Institute for Defence Studies & Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi.
"The Chairman of HCNR during his stay will exchange views with the leadership of the Republic of #India on the #AfghanPeaceProcess, peace talks in Doha, regional support for the process, & overall bilateral relations between the two countries," Abdullah wrote on Twitter.

"Abdullah before his departure to India stated: 'India is a strategic partner of AFG, & has continuously supported the government & people of AFG. Our historical relations with India is very important to us, & the role of India in establishing lasting peace in AFG & the region is vital. I am visiting India up on an official invitation by the Gov. of #India to discuss the peace efforts, & the need for regional consensus & support for the #AfghanPeaceProcess," he added.

Abdullah's visit comes at a time when the Afghanistan government and Taliban are trying to negotiate a deal in order to restore peace in the country. Abdullah Abdullah recently had visited Pakistan and discussed the Afghan peace process with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Foreign Minister, and other Pakistani officials.

The peace talks between the Afghanistan government and the Taliban began on September 12 in Qatar's capital Doha to end decades of war in which tens of thousands have been killed.
Violence, however, has not abated in the country even as Afghan negotiators have been engaged in direct talks for the first time.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had participated in the opening ceremony of Afghan peace negotiations in Doha through video conferencing and reiterated that the peace process should be Afghan-led and ensure the interests of minorities and women.

He said that Afghan soil should never be used for carrying out anti-India activities and supported the need for an immediate ceasefire in order to establish long-lasting peace in Afghanistan.

On September 25, Jaishankar had met former Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum and said India remains fully committed to an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned, and Afghan-controlled peace process. (ANI)

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