Tuesday, October 13, 2020

UN warns of 'staggering rise' in natural disasters, urge leaders to take action

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New York [US], October 13 (ANI): The United Nations on Monday warned that there has been a 'staggering rise' in natural disasters over the past 20 years due to climate change, and called on political and business leaders to take action to stop the planet from becoming an 'uninhabitable hell for millions of people'.

According to a UN report called 'The Human Cost of Disasters 2000-2019', there were 7,348 major natural disasters between 2000 and 2019, including earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes, that claimed around 1.23 million lives, affected 4.2 billion people and resulted in global economic losses amounting to USD 2.97 trillion, which was almost double the disasters occurring between 1980 and 1999, CNN reported.

A majority of these disasters were climate-related, as researchers reported more flooding, storms, droughts, heatwaves, hurricanes and wildfires in the past 20 years.

Asia was the worst-hit area from climate disasters in the past 20 years, suffering from 3,068 disaster events between 2000 and 2019. That was followed by 1,756 disasters in the Americas and 1,192 in Africa.

The worst affected country over the past two decades is China, which experienced more than 500 natural disasters, followed by the United States with 467 disaster events.

Although UN reported some success in protecting vulnerable communities due to better early warning systems, such as disaster management agencies in countries like Bangladesh and India, which managed to save many lives through better preparedness for cyclones and floods, researchers warned that the odds continue to be stacked against these communities.

Furthermore, the report said that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had exposed the failure of almost all nations to prevent a wave of death and illness despite repeated warnings from experts.

"It is baffling that we willingly and knowingly continue to sow the seeds of our own destruction," CNN quoted UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) chief Mami Mizutori and Debarati Guha-Sapir of Belgium's Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters, in a joint statement in the report.

Mizutori and Guha-Sapir called on countries to do more to strengthen disaster risk governance and to better prepare for future climate catastrophes.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said: "We have seen little progress on reducing climate disruption and environmental degradation. To eradicate poverty and reduce the impacts of climate change, we must place the public good above all other considerations." (ANI)

Human-centric partnership between India, Norway has increasing relevance in world: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday participated alongside Norway counterpart Ine Eriksen Soreide. (Photo: ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday participated in a joint commission meeting with his Norway counterpart Ine Eriksen Soreide and said that the green, clean and human-centric partnership between the two countries has increasing relevance in the contemporary world.

Jaishankar appreciated the progress made in the blue economy and ocean dialogue.

"Thank FM Ine Eriksen Soreide for a productive India-Norway Joint Commission Meeting. Our green, clean and human-centric partnership has increasing relevance in the contemporary world. Appreciate the progress made in our Blue Economy and Ocean Dialogue," Jaishankar said in a tweet.

"Look forward to working with you closely during our shared tenure at UNSC," he added.(ANI)

UK parliament to hold debate on racism towards East Asian people amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Moscow [Russia], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): The UK parliament is set to hold a debate on Tuesday concerning the racism directed towards East Asian people following the onset of the coronavirus disease pandemic, according to the parliamentary agenda.

The debate is scheduled to begin at 16:30 local time [15:30 GMT] and is being led by Sarah Owen, a British-Chinese Labour lawmaker. Earlier in the day, Owen told the Sky News broadcaster that stock photos depicting East Asian people were overwhelmingly used to illustrate news stories on the COVID-19 pandemic that had nothing to do with the region.

"COVID is being given a face, and it's the face of an East Asian person wearing a mask," Owen told the broadcaster.

The Labour lawmaker added that conspiracy theories are being spread online that are derogatory towards East Asian people.

"We're either just being accused of eating bat soup and inhumane practices around food, or we are somehow in charge of some global conspiracy around COVID-19," Owen stated.

Police figures published in May indicated that the number of hate crimes committed against Chinese people in the United Kingdom had surged following the onset of COVID-19. At least 267 offenses were recorded in the first three months of 2020, nearly three times more than the same period in the previous two years. (ANI/Sputnik)

Citing threat from China, Russia, US asks think tanks to disclose funding

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo

Washington [US], October 13 (ANI): Accusing China and Russia of exerting influence over US foreign policy through lobbyists, the United States on Tuesday asked think tanks to disclose prominently on their websites the funding they receive from foreign governments including state-owned or state-operated subsidiary entities.

"Some foreign governments, such as those of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Russian Federation, seeking to exert influence over U.S. foreign policy through lobbyists, external experts, and think tanks," US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said in a statement.

"The unique role of think tanks in the conduct of foreign affairs makes transparency regarding foreign funding more important than ever. To protect the integrity of civil society institutions, the Department requests henceforth that think tanks and other foreign policy organizations that wish to engage with the Department disclose prominently on their websites funding they receive from foreign governments, including state-owned or state-operated subsidiary entities," he added.

Taking at a dig at Beijing and Moscow, Pompeo said that the US hopes that its efforts to promote free and open dialogue about economic and personal liberty, equal citizenship, the rule of law, and authentic civil society, will be possible in places such as China and Russia.

"Disclosure is not a requirement for engaging with such entities. Department staff will, however, be mindful of whether disclosure has been made and of specific funding sources that are disclosed when determining whether and how to engage. This policy is distinct from disclosure requirements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), 22 U.S.C. 611 et seq," the statement added. (ANI)

Foreign Secretary Shringla and American diplomat Biegun hold bilateral consultations over range of issues

Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla (R) with US Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen Biegun

New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI): Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla had a meeting with US Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen Biegun, on Tuesday for bilateral consultations over a diverse range of issues and highlighted convergences and shared interests between India and the United States.

"FS @harshvshringla met US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun for bilateral consultations over a diverse range of issues. Highlighted convergences & shared interests between India-US. Both sides reiterated their commitment to the Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava tweeted.

Biegun, who arrived in India yesterday, participated alongside Shringla in the opening session of the fourth India-US Forum.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Monday met with visiting US Deputy Secretary of State, Stephen Biegun, wherein they exchanged views on world politics and regional issues.

The visit to India comes ahead of the forthcoming Indo-US 2+2 talks at the foreign and defence ministerial level.

According to the State Department statement, Biegun's engagements in India will focus on advancing the United States-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership and how the United States and India can work together to advance peace, prosperity, and security in the Indo-Pacific and around the globe. (ANI)

Tunisian police use tear gas to disperse rally in Kasserine

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Tunis [Tunisia], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): Tunisian law enforcement officers have fired tear gas against protesters in the city of Subaytilah, located in the western province of Kasserine, after they took to the streets in response to the death of a city resident during authorities-approved measures, according to media reports.

A mass rally rocked Subaytilah after a citizen died in the early hours of Tuesday, when a street shop belonging to him was being demolished in line with the authorities' order, a Tunisian radio station, Shems FM, reported.

Demonstrators began throwing stones at the police officers, which prompted the security forces to use tear gas to disperse them. The country's army units have entered the city.

Following the tragic incident with Subaytilah's resident and clashes between protesters and law enforcement officers, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi has decided to dismiss the province's governor, the city's mayor, the chief of the local police department and the head of the region's national security service, the state-run TAP news agency reported.

An investigation into the case has been launched. (ANI/Sputnik)

Man suspected in shooting incident in Russia found dead

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Moscow [Russia], October 13 (ANI): Russian police and National Guard officers on Tuesday found the body of a man, who is suspected of killing three citizens at a shooting incident at the Nizhny Novgorod region, informed the Interior Ministry's regional department.

The body was discovered in a forest near the Bolsheorlovskoye settlement in the Borsky district, reported TASS.

Earlier, a source in the law enforcement agencies had said that the man had committed suicide.

"Police officers together with members of Rosgvardiya [the Russian National Guard] in the region found the body of an 18-year-old resident of Nizhny Novgorod, who is suspected of killing three people," TASS quoted the press service.

Three people were killed, another three were injured in a shooting at a bus stop in the village of Bolshiye Orly in the Nizhny Novgorod Region, a spokesperson for the regional emergency services told Sputnik.

"According to updated information, three dead and three hospitalized", the spokesperson said. (ANI)

Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau to probe closure of Roosevelt Hotel

The Roosevelt Hotel

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 13 (ANI): Pakistan's National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairperson Justice Javed Iqbal has directed the bureau's Rawalpindi Director-General to probe the reasons behind the decision to close the iconic Roosevelt Hotel, informed a press statement on Tuesday.

According to the statement, Iqbal has taken notice of reports that the hotel, owned by the Pakistan government, will be closed by the end of this month, The Dawn reported.

NAB will also look into the reasons behind the alleged loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars borne by the government.

The accountability watchdog will also point out officials who allegedly showed "carelessness in performing their national duties" and failed to play a role in making the hotel into a profitable entity, according to The Dawn.

The Roosevelt Hotel on Thursday had announced that it will permanently close its doors for guests from October 31.

"We at The Roosevelt Hotel have enjoyed being a part of your stories, and an integral part of the history of Midtown Manhattan since 1924. But after almost 100 years of welcoming guests to New York, The Roosevelt Hotel is regretfully closing its doors permanently as of October 31, 2020," the hotel said in its Facebook post.

Located at the corner of Madison Avenue and 45th Street of New York's Manhattan, The Roosevelt Hotel is owned by the Government of Pakistan through PIA Investments Limited.

The hotel originally opened in 1924 and it was taken by the national carrier on lease in 1979 and later purchased in 1999, according to Daily Pakistan.

The hotel in its statement said that the decision has been taken due to economic reasons. (ANI)

No plans to sell Roosevelt Hotel, says Pak Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan


The Roosevelt Hotel

Islamabad [Pakistan], October 13 (ANI): Terming the news of the sale of the iconic Roosevelt Hotel as 'misleading' and 'speculative', Pakistan's Federal Minister for Aviation Ghulam Sarwar Khan on Tuesday said that the government has no plans to sell the hotel. The Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)-owned hotel, which is a popular New York landmark, had announced last week that it will shut its doors permanently as of October 31.

The hotel closed its doors due to the coronavirus pandemic and drop in business activities, Geo News reported. The minister said the hotel was currently operational and had valid contracts till December this year with various other airlines, according to Geo News.

Multiple options were being considered for its future and all decisions were made collectively by the hotel's board and the government of Pakistan, he added. Named after the American President Theodore Roosevelt, the hotel has featured in several big-ticket Hollywood productions.

On Thursday, in a Facebook post, the hotel said: "We at The Roosevelt Hotel have enjoyed being a part of your stories, and an integral part of the history of Midtown Manhattan since 1924. But after almost 100 years of welcoming guests to New York, The Roosevelt Hotel is regretfully closing its doors permanently as of October 31, 2020." Located at the corner of Madison Avenue and 45th Street of New York's Manhattan, The Roosevelt Hotel is owned by the Government of Pakistan through PIA Investments Limited.

The hotel originally opened in 1924 and it was taken by the national carrier on lease in 1979 and later purchased in 1999, according to Daily Pakistan. (ANI)

12 Malian soldiers killed as militants attack security checkpoint

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Bamako [Mali], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): At least 12 Malian army soldiers were killed as a result of attacks conducted by militants in the central region of Mopti, the Malian Armed Forces command (FAM) said on Tuesday.

The first attack took place overnight Tuesday when militants attacked a FAM checkpoint in Mopti, leaving nine soldiers killed.

In the morning, a detachment that was sent to assist the attacked checkpoint was itself ambushed. Three soldiers were killed and 10 others injured while several more count missing.

The clashes resulted in the elimination of nine militants, the army said.

FAM added that all figures are preliminary at this point. (ANI/Sputnik)

India, China agree not to turn differences into disputes

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New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI): India and China have agreed to implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, according to the joint statement released on Tuesday.

"On 12 October, the 7th round of Senior Commanders meeting of India and China was held in Chushul. The two sides had a sincere, in-depth and constructive exchange of views on disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas," the statement said.

"Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas," the statement further read.

Following the 7th corps level talks, both sides were of the view that these discussions were positive, constructive and had enhanced understanding of each other's positions.

Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible.
The seventh Corps Commander level meeting between India and China, to address the situation in Eastern Ladakh, lasted for more than 11 hours and ended around 11:30 PM on Monday.

The transgressions in Eastern Ladakh took place in April-May timeframe.

The political and military leadership including External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane and Air Force Chief RKS Bhadauria have been involved in tackling the issue of Chinese transgressions.

The core security team led by the NSA has been actively involved in preemptive and thwarting Chinese bids to occupy strategic heights in the southern and northern Pangong lake area.(ANI)

Altaf Hussain says, Pakistan is not a 'democracy but a stratocracy'

Muttahida Quami Movement's (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain

London [UK], October 13 (ANI): Pakistan is not a "democracy but a stratocracy" where the army is ruling the country directly or indirectly and any criticism of it has been declared against the law, said Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) founder Altaf Hussain. Taking a dig at the Pakistan Army, Hussain said that the job of the army is to defend the borders of the country and not to do politics. He added that the forces in the country have killed thousands of Baloch, Sindhis and Mohajirs.

"The army has killed thousands of Baloch, Sindhis and Mohajirs, yet Altaf Hussain is still called a terrorist. The job of the army is to defend the borders of the country and not to do politics. Every Commissioned officer of the Army takes an oath that they will not take part in politics directly or indirectly. A military officer who participates in politics plainly violates the Constitution and his oath, too. There is no democracy in Pakistan," Hussain said. "Unfortunately, Pakistan is not a democracy but a stratocracy. The army is ruling the country directly or indirectly. Even today, any criticism of the army has been declared against the law and the one who dares to expose the army is held a traitor. It looks as if the army is not human but angels," he added.

Hussain said that there is no other leader except him, who openly addresses the army in this way. He said that an attempt is being made to occupy the islands of Sindh as well. "The PPP government in Sindh itself wrote a letter to the federal government expressing its consent to sell the islands that belong to Sindh. This way the Zardars (Feudal) has sold islands along with lands. It is imperative for Sindhis to join hands with him (Altaf Hussain) and he will take back these islands and will not allow anyone to take possession of Sindh," he said,

He said that the islands belong to Sindh and the people of Sindh should take back these islands "The islands belong to Sindh. The people of Sindh should support him and he will take back these islands and will not allow anyone to take over the property of Sindh. He said these words while giving a video lecture the other day," Hussain said. (ANI)

Unidentified miscreants vandalise Dr BR Ambedkar's statue in Andhra's East Godavari

Crowd gathered in East Godavri district after unidentified miscreants vandalised the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar (Photo/ANI)

East Godavari (Andhra Pradesh) [India], October 13 (ANI): Some unidentified miscreants vandalised the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar in East Godavari district. According to Krishnamachari, sub-inspector Razole Mandal, the statue of Dr BR Ambedkar has been vandalised in Katrenipadu Lanka village in Razole Mandal of East Godavari district.

"The miscreants broke the nose and ear of Ambedkar's statue late last night. The local Dalit unions noticed the vandalised statue this morning. Later, they held an agitation demanding justice," Krishnamachari told ANI. Local SC union leaders have filed a complaint regarding the matter.

We will file a case and investigate the matter, Krishnamachari added. (ANI

Jammu ropeway project begins commercial operations amid Covid precautions

Jammu Ropeway Project begins commercial operations amid adequate Covid precautions. Photo/ANI

Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], October 13 (ANI): The first phase of the much-awaited Jammu Ropeway Project (JRP) has begun commercial operations amid adequate Covid precautions, a senior official said, adding that the second phase was expected to start soon.

Rakesh Bhat, project manager, Jammu Ropeway said that this project will boost tourism and increase the economic activity here.

Speaking to ANI, Bhat said, "We started this service on October 3. It is a nice initiative to boost tourism and the economy of Jammu. Easing of lockdown has also helped in the operations as now people have started to come in bulk. Till now around 600 people have taken this service and they like it very much."

"We have been taking all the precautionary measures related to COVID-19. We are providing sanitisers to the people and allowing only three people in one cart despite its capacity to carry at least six people. This is the first phase and the second will be coming soon," Bhat added.

The ropeway was a long-pending demand of the people of Jammu and now they are enjoying the service and said that it is a good experience.

"We have been waiting for this service for a long time as it existed everywhere except Jammu. Now we are happy that this service has started here too. I would like to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi for this. This ropeway will also boost tourism here," Anil Bhasin, a resident of Jammu told ANI. (ANI)

Actor Manushi Chhillar begins shooting for YRF's 'Prithviraj'

Manushi Chhillar

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 13 (ANI): Former Miss World and actor Manushi Chhillar joined co-actor Akshay for the shoot of her first and upcoming Yash Raj Films (YRF) project 'Prithviraj'.

The 23-year-old actor will be the leading lady of the historical drama based on the life and heroism of the fearless and mighty King Prithviraj Chauhan.

About her grand Bollywood debut, Chhillar has maintained, "It is a huge honour for me and I am giving my everything and working really hard to try and get a lot of love and appreciation from audiences when my film releases. Sanyogita is a dream role for me and I'm doing my best to do justice to the responsibility that has been entrusted on me."

Earlier, she was repeatedly spotted at the YRF' Mumbai studio in the run-up to the Prithviraj shoot date as she was doing script readings with her director, Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi.

The actor wanted to know the scenes at the back of her hand before the shoot began. She now heads into an intense shooting schedule of the film.

The YRF big-budget entertainer features superstar Akshay Kumar in and as Prithviraj, and Manushi plays the role of the Sanyogita, the love of the king's life. (ANI)

EU leaders agree upon guidelines of COVID-19-related travel measures for all member states

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Moscow [Russia], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): The heads of EU member states have jointly set up common health measures for travel in the wake of the renewed spread of COVID-19 across the European area, which they seek to curb, the European Commission announced on Tuesday.

The meeting of EU envoys who adopted the guideline took place in Luxembourg.

"On 13 October, EU Member States adopted a Council Recommendation on a coordinated approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the COVID-19 pandemic," the European Commission said in a statement.

The agreement includes a ban on movement limits for essential travel and, in particular, cross-border workers within Europe, except for cases meeting the common criteria. It will determine the rates of testing, test positivity and the number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in the last two weeks.

In addition, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control will create a colored map of EU states, based on the data received from their authorities, to show the COVID-19-risk levels of European countries by color from green to grey, the latter for information insufficiency regarding the health situation in the region.

EU member states will be allowed to adopt health measures they consider necessary, including imposing a quarantine or testing for travelers arriving from highly infected areas, provided that governments of these states promptly inform the Commission and other EU countries of such decisions. In addition, those with essential function or need will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.

Europe has been under a surge of coronavirus infections. Governments of the EU member have reported increasing daily numbers, but have been trying to prevent nationwide lockdowns by implementing additional restrictive measures locally. (ANI/Sputnik)

Bhojpuri actors Sudeep Pandey and Deepa Pandey join NCP

Bhojpuri actors Sudeep Pandey and Deepa Pandey join NCP on Tuesday. Photo/ANI

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], October 13 (ANI): Bhojpuri actors Sudeep Pandey and Deepa Pandey on Tuesday joined the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in Mumbai.

Both the actors were inducted into the party in the presence of senior party leaders Praful Patel and Jayant Patil.

"Happy to welcome Bhojp
uri superstar Sudip Pandey and Deepa Pandey into the NCP family," Praful Patel tweeted.

NCP national secretary Hemant Takle was also present on the occasion.

The induction of both the actors assumes significance ahead of the Bihar Assembly polls. Recently, the party had announced that it would contest the Bihar Assembly polls.

The party also informed that NCP president Sharad Pawar will be the party's key star campaigner for the polls.

"NCP will nominate its candidates for Bihar assembly elections. Sharad Pawar will do election campaigning in Bihar," party chief spokesperson Mahesh Tapase said in a statement.

Elections for the 243-member Bihar Assembly will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7 and the counting of votes will take place on November 10. (ANI)

Rajnath Singh, Narendra Singh Tomar hold talks with agriculture experts over Farm Laws

Visual from the meeting (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI): Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and Minister of Agriculture and Farmer Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar held a meeting on Tuesday with agriculture experts over Farm Laws.

"In Haryana, farmers are really happy with the farm laws as these laws fulfil their long-pending demand that they should be allowed to sell their produce freely anywhere across the country at the cost they want to sell it," said Mohanji Saxena, Ayurvet Research Foundation, Sonepat.

Meanwhile, Sanjeev Chadha, MD, National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India Ltd told the reporters that these Acts will provide freedom to farmers to sell their produce anywhere.

"They can sell it even at small mandis, set up by Farmer Producer Orgs (FPOs) and can get a good rate without paying mandi fee," he added.

"The three farm laws introduced by the Centre will boost the development of the seed industry. It will benefit lakhs of farmers involved in the seed industry, they are happy with the decision," said M Prabhakar Rao, President, National Seed Association of India (NSAI).

The Farmers' (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement of Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020, the Farmers' Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act 2020, were recently passed in the Parliament and enacted after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the same.

Meanwhile, several protests are being held at places across the country by the opposition parties against the farm laws, which they claim are against the interests of the farmers.

As per the government, the new law intends to provide a national framework for the farming agreements to protect and empower farmers as they engage with agri-business and food processing firms, wholesalers, exporters and large retailers for farm services and sale of produce at a remunerative price framework in a fair and transparent manner. (ANI)

Longest intrusion by 2 Chinese patrol ships in Japan's territorial waters

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Tokyo [Japan], October 13 (ANI): After the alleged entry of two Chinese patrol ships in Japan's territorial waters off Senkaku islands in the East China Sea, the Japan Coast Guard on Tuesday said that the two vessels were still present in the waters, marking the longest intrusion into the waters in eight years.

The Coast Guard had said that the patrol ships had entered the waters on Sunday, and were still in the waters as of 9 am on Tuesday, in an area near Taisho island, reported NHK World.

This intrusion is the longest since Japan's government purchased some of the Senkaku Islands from a private Japanese owner in 2012.

The Coast Guard has deployed patrol boats to the area and is continuing to warn the vessels to leave Japan's waters.

This was the first time since August 28 that the Chinese government vessels have entered Japan's territorial waters, and 18th time this year, according to NHK World.

China has been increasing its maritime activities in both the South China Sea and the East China Sea over the past few months, partly in response to Beijing's concerns over the increasing US military presence in the region because of escalating Sino-US tensions.

The intrusions have not only been condemned by the US but have also invited the latter to conduct military drills in the South China Sea. (ANI)

Cyberbit survey shows various training deficiencies in India

Organisations know they need cybersecurity training but are not implementing any effective training. 

New Delhi [India], Oct 13 (ANI): A new survey by Israel-based Cyberbit shows that nearly 61 per cent of Indian organisations still do not have well-structured cybersecurity training modules for their employees and mostly rely upon on-the-job training (mentoring, peer review) for their security operations team.

The survey also brought to light the fact that more than 90 per cent of organisations are not exposing their cybersecurity teams to the MITRE ATT&CK framework, a comprehensive collection of various attacker behaviours displayed across the cyberattack lifecycle.

Only 32 per cent of companies are aligning their training to MITRE, creating a gap in experience measurement that could be critical in incident response.

The survey also showed that 89 per cent of organisations still rely on classroom training, external certificates and tabletop exercises that emphasise theory and have limited practical exposure.

These approaches are great to develop knowledge but do not prepare SOC teams with the practical skills required for the experience of a real-world attack. Interestingly, 11 per cent of organisations have deployed a cyber range that exposes SOC teams to simulated cyberattacks.

The findings also indicated that 77 per cent of cybersecurity professionals are working remotely. Organisations know they need cybersecurity training but are not implementing any effective training, creating an even larger need.

According to a study by Data Security Council of India, the country needs 10 lakh cybersecurity professionals. India's qualified candidate count currently stands around one lakh. (ANI)

QAD announces enhancements to QAD Adaptive ERP and related solutions designed to enable adaptive manufacturing enterprises, Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises

QAD Adaptive ERP

New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI/NewsVoir): QAD Inc, a leading provider of adaptive, cloud-based enterprise software and services for global manufacturing companies, today announced the latest enhancements to QAD Adaptive ERP and other solutions in the QAD Adaptive Applications portfolio.

Global manufacturers face ever-increasing disruption caused by many factors that include the COVID-19 pandemic, technology-driven innovation, changing consumer preferences and new and revised government regulations. To succeed in the face of this unprecedented change, manufacturers must be able to quickly adapt by rethinking their business models and processes. QAD calls companies that can do this rapidly, Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises.

QAD Adaptive ERP 2020.1 and the QAD Adaptive Applications portfolio of solutions help Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises to become more:

* Agile: An agile manufacturer is performance-oriented, and has process mobility and system flexibility. It responds rapidly to internal and external business changes.

* Intelligent: An intelligent manufacturer is connected, data-driven and optimized. It uses data to get real-time insights into operations, customers and the market environment.

* Innovative: An innovative manufacturer is aware, dynamic and customer experience-focused. It effectively addresses business turbulence with new processes, services and products.

QAD solutions help Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises drive innovation in the face of change by addressing five critical capabilities:

* Effective Enterprise Management enables manufacturers to operate from a trusted set of essential enterprise processes including integrated multi-currency, multi-GAAP and multi-entity financials, best practice purchasing, shared services, real-time data and flexible data analytics.

* Digital Manufacturing allows manufacturers to leverage digital and advanced technologies to better communicate, analyze and use real-time information to meet cost and quality objectives.

* Complete Customer Management delivers an outstanding customer experience that builds the company's brand and helps acquire, sell to and retain customers with less effort and expense.

* Integrated Supplier Management improves supplier collaboration and supply chain visibility allowing for faster response to changes in supply and demand.

* Connected Supply Chain helps manufacturers effectively collaborate with supply chain partners and address the challenges associated with managing complex and ever-changing global supply chains.

"The latest release of QAD Adaptive ERP continues to enable QAD customers to rapidly adapt to business turbulence and innovate for competitive advantage," said Anton Chilton, CEO, QAD . "The enhancements we've made will improve our customers' user experience, enable them to extend configured solutions, increase user productivity and ultimately help to boost their manufacturing efficiency. They apply across all aspects of manufacturing operations including supply chain, shop floor, production, customer management and finance."

In addition to the latest updates to QAD Adaptive ERP, which features the QAD Enterprise Platform and Adaptive UX, QAD has also enhanced related solutions in its Adaptive Applications portfolio, including QAD Dynasys DSCP (Demand & Supply Chain Planning), QAD EQMS (Enterprise Quality Management System), and QAD Precision GTTE (Global Trade & Transportation Execution).

For details of the enhancements made to QAD Adaptive ERP and its related solutions, please visit the QAD Blog.

QAD Inc. is a leading provider of adaptive, cloud-based enterprise software and services for global manufacturing companies. Global manufacturers face ever-increasing disruption caused by technology-driven innovation and changing consumer preferences. In order to survive and thrive, manufacturers must be able to innovate and change business models at unprecedented rates of speed. QAD calls these companies Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprises. QAD solutions help customers in the automotive, life sciences, consumer products, food and beverage, high tech and industrial manufacturing industries rapidly adapt to change and innovate for competitive advantage.

Founded in 1979 and headquartered in Santa Barbara, California, QAD has 29 offices globally. Over 2,000 manufacturing companies have deployed QAD solutions including enterprise resource planning (ERP), demand and supply chain planning (DSCP), global trade and transportation execution (GTTE) and quality management system (QMS) to become an Adaptive Manufacturing Enterprise.

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

China's ban on Australian thermal, coking coal imports likely to remain indefinitely: Report

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Beijing [China], October 13 (ANI): China's ban on Australian thermal and coking coal imports is likely to remain in place indefinitely amid deteriorating relations between the two nations, The South China Morning Post reported citing analysts.

China had communicated the ban verbally, which has left several Australian vessels stranded at Chinese ports.

Commodities analysts believe that the informal approach was politically motivated though it also aligned with tightening coal import quotas and Beijing's goal to reduce consumption and carbon emissions.

Coal import quotas at some Chinese ports have now been exhausted for 2020.

"There are several vessels carrying Australian coal waiting at Chinese ports for more than a month now as generally custom clearances have been very slow," said Deepak Kannan, a thermal coal analyst S&P Global Platts.

"Indications from sources are that the number of vessels waiting at Chinese ports has increased quite a bit of late. Some reports have suggested that as much as 7 million tonnes of coal are on board vessels waiting along the Chinese coast, up from the usual 4 to 5 million tonnes normally seen during this period of time along the coast."

Chinese state-owned utilities including Huaneng Power International, Datang International Power Generation Company, Huadian Power International and Zhejiang Electric Power were notified of the import suspension, S&P Global Platts said. One of the utilities cancelled an order for high-ash 5,500 kcal/kg NAR Australian coal.

The ban comes at the time when Chinese and Australian relations have deteriorated after Canberra called in April for an investigation into the origins of the coronavirus without first consulting Beijing.

Beijing has since imposed a large anti-dumping duty on Australian barley, banned beef exports from five abattoirs and instigated anti-dumping and subsidy investigations into cheap Australian wine in China. (ANI)

UK Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss to visit Japan for signing free trade agreement

UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss

Tokyo [Japan], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): UK Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss is scheduled to travel to Japan next week to sign a bilateral free trade agreement between the two countries on behalf of London, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the talks on the matter are in their final phase.

The signing of the agreement will reportedly take place on October 23. The Japanese parliament will then have until year-end to ratify it.

As the United Kingdom is due to cut the previous international trade arrangements after withdrawing from the European Union, the issue of negotiating barrier-free bilateral trade agreements with other countries has been a focus of London's international activities post-Brexit.

A framework agreement for this between the UK and Japan was reached in September. (ANI/Sputnik)

UK police dealing with security alert in Central London Hospital

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London [UK], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): The London Metropolitan Police said on Tuesday that it was dealing with a security alert at the St. Thomas Hospital in central London, and would provide further information as soon as it had more details about the incident.

"Police are dealing with a security alert at St Thomas' Hospital, SE1. We will provide further info when known," the Lambeth borough Police said on Twitter.

The Westminster bridge had been closed to traffic. (ANI/Sputnik)

ASEAN-India summit focuses on cyber security during COVID-19 pandemic

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New Delhi [India], October 13 (ANI): The 2nd ASEAN-India Track 1.5 Dialogue on Cyber Issues held virtually focussed upon cooperation and security in the digital and cyber domain in the backdrop of coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the 'digitization' and 'cyberization' of engagements - work from Home has become a new norm. There is a greater dependence on digital payment platforms due to reduced cash handling. Presence on social media has also increased.

It was discussed in the meeting that with increased interconnectedness, the dangers related to cybercrime is also on the rise. COVID-19 related frauds, phishing campaigns, and online sale of fake medical supplies and PPEs are on the rise too.

Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) in External Affairs Ministry highlighted the dangers involved with cybercrimes.

"Increased dependence on digital technologies has created both pressures and opportunities for creative policy solutions and regional collaboration to foster a secure, resilient and equitable cyberspace," he said.

In view of the lurking dangers involved with it, Singh laid stress on the enhanced need to formulate and implement measures for securing cyber domain from the malicious actors.

He also stressed on the Indian initiative to tackle the situation with flagship Digital India programme - Pradhan Mantri Grameen Digital Shaksharta Abhiyan (Prime Minister's Rural Digital Literacy Campaign) and National Cyber Security Strategy 2020 for the next five years.

ASEAN too has come up with its own sets of solutions to curb the cyber crimes, e-ASEAN Framework Agreement, ASEAN Economic Community 2025, and Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC 2025).

Meanwhile, India launched India's Centres of Excellence in Software Development and Training (CESDTs) in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam to enhance digital cooperation. India is also funding 'Child Online Risks Awareness Campaign' and 'Building Capacity on Digital Public Services Implementation and Cyber Security for Government Agencies' as Quick Impact Projects in Cambodia in 2020.

The summit was attended by Dato' Suryodipuro, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to India, Akshay Mathur, Director Observer Research Foundation, Vijay Thakur Singh, Secretary (East) in External Affairs Ministry, and eminent cyber experts representing governments, think-tanks, academia, and industry from the ASEAN member states and India. (ANI)

Culture minister bestows honours at 50th Kerala State Film Awards

Kerala Culture Minister AK Balan (file)

Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) [India], October 13 (ANI): Culture Minister AK Balan announced the 50th Kerala State Film Awards here on Tuesday with 'Vasanthi' directed by Rahman Brothers winning big as the best movie.

Actor Suraj Venjaramoodu took home the award for the best male actor for his performance in 'Android Kunjappan' and Kani Kusruti got the award for the best female actor for her role in Sajin Babu's 'Biriyani.'

The award for the best director went to Lijo Jose Pellissery, for the movie 'Jallikkettu' while, the award for the best actor in character role went to Fahadh Faasil for his performance in 'Kumbalangi Nights.'

Swasika was honoured as the best actor in a character role for her portrayal in the film 'Vasanthi'.

Debutant director Ratheesh Pothuval won the best debut director award for his film 'Thottappan' and PS Rafeeq won the award as the best screenwriter for the same film.

On the music front, Sushin Shyam won in the best music composition category for the movie 'Kumbalangi Nights,' while Najim Arshad was adjudged best male playback singer and Madhushree Narayan was given best female playback singer award.

Sidharth Priyadarshan won a Special Jury Award, while actors Nivin Pauly and Anna Ben received special jury mention. (ANI)

Safety Paramount: WHO on Johnson & Johnson halting COVID-19 vaccine trial

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Geneva [Switzerland], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): The World Health Organisation (WHO) believes that safety in research is crucial and is pleased to see developers acting by the rules, the WHO spokesperson told Sputnik regarding Johnson & Johnson suspending its vaccine trials.

The company paused the trials earlier this week due to unexplained illness of one of the participants.

"Safety is the primary focus for vaccine clinical trials. When a potentially unexplained illness occurs in a trial participant, which may or may not be related to the vaccine being evaluated, it is rigorous, routine practice to investigate," the spokesperson said.

WHO pointed out that suspensions were not unusual during vaccine clinical trials.

"We are pleased to see vaccine developers ensuring the scientific integrity of the trials and abiding by the standard guidelines and rules for the development of vaccines," the spokesperson said. (ANI/Sputnik)

Hotel owners rally in Paris, demand State aid amid COVID-19 crisis

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Paris [France], October 13 (ANI/Sputnik): Hotel owners have partially blocked traffic on the Ring Road in the French capital of Paris, demanding that authorities provide support packages to the crisis-hit industry after restrictive measures were intensified following a surge in COVID-19 infections, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Tuesday.

Paris city administration declared a maximum coronavirus alert last week and ordered closures of bars, swimming pools and gyms for 14 days to prevent further spread of the virus. Other health measures, such as the requirement to wear masks in shared spaces, and social distancing rules, were reintroduced in July.

In video footage provided by the correspondent, protesters can be seen holding posters with inscriptions like: "Aid to companies, partial unemployment to IDC [indeterminate employment contract], 'white year' [year free of income tax] for spectacles, and what about us???"

France has seen a resurgence in coronavirus cases, with the daily numbers steadily increasing since mid-summer. The most recent daily record high of 26,896 new infections was confirmed on October 10. To date, France has registered 776,097 COVID-19 cases with a death toll at 32,703. (ANI/Sputnik)

Japan, China and South Korea summit under a cloud over court order on 'forced labour during World War 2'

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Tokyo [Japan], October 13 (ANI): The trilateral summit between Japan, China, and South Korea is under a cloud over South Korean court order on 'forced labour during World War Two'.

The issue is related to the Seoul court procedure which seized and liquidated the assets of Nippon Steel to compensate plaintiffs, who alleged forced labour during World War Two, reported NHK World.

Japanese government refuted the claims and said that the issue was already solved in 1965 when Japan and South Korea normalised ties. Japanese officials are of the view that Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide will not take part in the summit unless Seoul handles the issue of wartime labour appropriately.

The Suga administration, which was launched last month, is apparently continuing its predecessor's stance of urging Seoul to rectify a situation that violates international law, added NHK World.

Suga during his first interaction by phone with South Korean President Moon Jae-in had urged to restore healthy relations amid the strained issue.

The three countries take turns hosting the summit. It's set to take place in South Korea this year, but no date has been decided yet. (ANI)

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