Monday, November 16, 2020

Land preparations and designing of Tulip Garden begins in Kashmir

Gardeners prepare the Tulip Garden in Srinagar on Monday. (Photo/ANI)

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], November 16 (ANI): Land preparations and designing of Tulip Garden for the upcoming season have begun at the foothills of Zabarwan hills in Srinagar.

This year, the authorities of the Floriculture Department decided to deploy huge manpower, along with good machinery, to make the process faster.

Assistant Floriculture Officer Dr Inam said the Tulip Garden is opened for tourists for nearly a month.

"The purpose of this land preparation and new design process is to make the garden suitable for the sowing season and thus more attractive for the visitors in the next season. The land preparation and the process of creating new designs is very important as it makes the garden more beautiful," said Inam.

He added since Tulip is a bulbous flower, special attention is needed to the soil.

He thanked the gardeners and workers for making this garden a success year after year.

The department of floriculture engages the local people during the land preparation or designing process.

Head Gardener Ghulam Mohamad said nearly 80 gardeners are working round the clock.

"Presently, nearly a hundred workers are busy with the preparation of land and designing. Sowing of bulbs will be started after a few days. The authorities always monitor this preparation period cautiously for better results," Mohamad added.

Bashir Ahmad, a gardener, said the Tulip Garden not only invite tourists to the state but also provide them with an employment opportunity.

The flowers bloom for about 15 -30 days between end March and early April in the Tulip Garden, established in 2007. (ANI)

Japan and Australia poised to sign defence pact to counter China

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga

Tokyo [Japan], November 16 (ANI): Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, may agree to sign a defence agreement on Tuesday in a bid to counter China's growing influence in the South China Sea and over the Pacific island nations.

South China Morning Post reported PM Morrison's arrival in Japan on Tuesday where security experts expect him to wind up a Reciprocal Access Agreement (RAA) with Suga to establish a legal framework for their troops to visit for to conduct military joint operations and training.

"There will be something to announce from the meeting," a Japanese foreign ministry official told a media briefing, without elucidating further.

According to the SCMP, this defence agreement has taken six years to negotiate and would need to be ratified by lawmakers of both countries.

Defence experts believe that Japan and Australia are seeking closer ties amid growing concerns about Chinese activity in the region, including militarisation in the South China Sea, manoeuvres around disputed islands in the East China Sea, and Beijing's growing sway over Pacific island nations further east.

"It's helpful for other nations to take a more active role in military activities and operations in the region, not least as the Americans are overstretched," Grant Newsham, a research fellow at the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies was quoted by SCMP.

Meanwhile, Japan's Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi on Monday said Tokyo would urge Joe Biden to focus on foreign, including maintaining order in the region.

"Japan has a major challenge [in ensuring that] the United States remains committed to order in the Indo-Pacific region, climate change, security and other global issues," he told a press conference at the Japan National Press Club.

He said Japan must also continue to work to counter China's growing maritime presence in the East and South China seas.

"Japan needs to resolutely prevent China's unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas by force." (ANI)

Pakistan PM Imran Khan announces ban on rallies and gatherings

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan

Islamabad [Pakistan], November 16 (ANI): Amid the growing protest over the emerging election results in the Gilgit Baltistan region, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday announced a ban on rallies and gatherings.

Addressing the country following a meeting of the National Coordination Committee (NCC) on the coronavirus, Imran Khan announced a ban on gatherings and rallies -- particularly ahead of the campaigns during the Gilgit Baltistan polls, Geo News reported.

"We reviewed the rising cases of the COVID-19 and the second wave -- which is being experienced in the entire world, especially Europe and America, where cases are rising rapidly and even more than there were before," Imran Khan said, Geo News quoted.

As the results were seen favouring Imran Khan-led Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the illegally occupied Gilgit Baltistan, the major political parties have hit the streets claiming the polls are rigged.

The elections were held on Sunday in Gilgit Baltistan in 24 constituencies of the Legislative Assembly. Khan's PTI won eight seats while PPP three seats and independent candidates seven, according to unofficial results

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari alleged rigging in three constituencies. Addressing a sit-in in Gilgit, he said rigging was made to snatch the mandate of PPP in Gilgit 1, Ghizer 3 and a constituency in Skardu.

Earlier in a tweet, Bilawal Zardari said that the legislative assembly election in Gilgit-Baltistan "has been stolen" and that he will be shortly joining a protest in the region.

"My election has been stolen. I will be joining the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in their protest shortly," Bilawal tweeted.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Monday claimed that PTI won a few seats in Gilgit Baltistan's elections through 'rigging', 'bullying', and with the help of turncoats.

India has slammed Islamabad for its decision to hold elections in the illegally occupied region of Gilgit-Baltistan, saying that any action to alter the status of the region has no legal basis. (ANI)

Biden says vaccine 'months away', practice COVID-19 norms to combat virus

US President-elect Joe Biden

Washington DC [US], November 16 (ANI): US President-elect Joe Biden on Monday said that the country is still "months away" from the COVID-19 vaccine, adding that Americans need to continue to practice social-distancing and mask-wearing to combat the virus.

"Today's news of a second vaccine is further reason to feel hopeful. What was true with the first vaccine remains true with the second: we are still months away. Until then, Americans need to continue to practice social-distancing and mask-wearing to get the virus under control," Biden tweeted.

This comes after US biotech company Moderna on Monday announced a potential Covid-19 vaccine, which has been shown to be 94.5 per cent effective at protecting people from coronavirus, according to interim results from late-stage clinical trials.

"Once again, I congratulate the brilliant women and men who produced this breakthrough and have brought us one step closer to beating this virus. I am also thankful for the frontline workers who are still confronting the virus around the clock," Stephane Bancel, Moderna's CEO said.

This statement followed announcements by US giant Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech who last week had said their vaccine, was found to be more than 90 per cent effective.

This development comes as the US continues to be the worst affected country by the pandemic with over 11 million cases of coronavirus. (ANI)

Maryam Nawaz says Imran Khan's PTI won few seats in Gilgit Baltistan despite rigging

PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad [Pakistan], November 16 (ANI): Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif on Monday claimed that Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) won a few seats in Gilgit Baltistan's elections through 'rigging', 'bullying', and with the help of turncoats.

Maryam, on her Twitter, wrote that Imran's PTI failing to achieve an absolute majority in the northern region (illegally occupied) is a "shameful defeat" for the incumbent government, the News International reported. "This defeat is a telling sign of what the future has in store."

Maryam said the ruling party was unable to secure a majority despite using state machinery. She added that the people of Gilgit Baltistan have no confidence in the PTI.

Besides Maryam, Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also alleged that the elections were "stolen" from him.

"My election has been stolen. I will be joining the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in their protest shortly," Bilawal Bhutto tweeted.

This comes after Prime Minister Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Party (PTI) is leading on the majority of seats as the counting of votes is underway for the assembly seats in Gilgit Baltistan, the Geo reported quoting unofficial results.

Khan's PTI won eight seats while PPP three seats and independent candidates seven, according to unofficial results. There are 24 seats up for the grabs but polling on one seat was postponed.

India has slammed Islamabad for its decision to hold elections in the illegally occupied region of Gilgit-Baltistan, saying that any action to alter the status of the region has no legal basis.

Earlier this year, the Pakistan Supreme Court allowed Islamabad to amend a 2018 administrative order to conduct general elections in the region.

India has also conveyed to Pakistan that areas of Gilgit and Baltistan are an integral part of the country. (ANI)

Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine is 94.5 pc effective

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Massachusetts [US], November 16 (ANI): US biotech organization Moderna on Monday declared another potential Covid-19 immunization, which has been demonstrated to be 94.5 percent powerful at shielding individuals from Covid, as indicated by between time results from late-stage clinical preliminaries.

This declaration followed declarations by US goliath Pfizer and Germany's BioNTech who said their immunization, was discovered to be more than 90% viable.

The two shots depend on an innovation called courier RNA, which is intended to change the body's own phones to making the antibody.

Stephane Bancel, Moderna's CEO named it as a "significant" second in the improvement of the antibody, on which the organization had been working since early this January.

"This positive interval examination from our Phase 3 investigation has given us the main clinical approval that our immunization can forestall COVID-19 infection, including serious sickness," said Bancel in an assertion.

Moderna likewise said it anticipated that its immunization should stay stable when refrigerated at somewhere in the range of 2C and 8C for 30 days, fundamentally more than the shot created by BioNTech-Pfizer, which can get by in a typical refrigerator for just as long as five days and should in any case be put away at short 75C.

"The autonomous, NIH-delegated Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) for the Phase 3 investigation of mRNA-1273, its immunization up-and-comer against COVID-19, has educated Moderna that the preliminary has met the factual rules pre-determined in the examination convention for adequacy, with an antibody viability of 94.5 percent," the organization said in an assertion.

This investigation, known as the COVE study, selected in excess of 30,000 members in the U.S. also, is being led as a team with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Division of Health and Human Services.

The organization said that the primary break investigation depended on 95 cases, of which 90 cases 90 instances of COVID-19 were seen in the fake treatment bunch versus 5 cases saw in the mRNA-1273 gathering, bringing about a point gauge of antibody adequacy of 94.5 percent (p <0.0001), the organization said.

"These are clearly exceptionally energizing outcomes," said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US' top irresistible sickness specialist was cited as saying by CNN. "It's similarly at least somewhat great - 94.5 percent is really remarkable," CNN announced.

The interval investigation didn't report any critical wellbeing concerns. An audit of requested unfriendly occasions demonstrated that the immunization was commonly all around endured. Most of unfavorable occasions were gentle or moderate in seriousness, the organization said. It said a few members had serious weariness, muscle torment, joint torment and cerebral pains in the wake of getting the immunization, however the results were commonly fleeting.

Then, Russia's Sputnik V is 92 percent successful at shielding individuals from COVID-19 as per the primary break examination delivered a week ago.

"The Sputnik V immunization adequacy added up to 92 percent (computation dependent on the 20 affirmed COVID-19 cases split between inoculated people and the individuals who got the fake treatment)," the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) read a proclamation.

The US outperformed 11 million Covid cases on Sunday. (ANI)

Chirag Paswan congratulates Nitish Kumar on taking oath as Bihar CM again

LJP chief Chirag Paswan (File Photo)

Patna (Bihar) [India], November 16 (ANI): Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) chief Chirag Paswan on Monday congratulated Nitish Kumar on taking oath as the Bihar Chief Minister.

In a tweet in Hindi, Paswan said, "Congratulations to respected Nitish Kumar ji on becoming the chief minister again. I hope that the government completes its tenure and you remain NDA's chief minister."

"I am sending you 'Bihar first, Bihari first' vision document, which has been made by 4 lakh people of Bihar so that you can complete any task from this also. Congratulations again to you and to the BJP for making you the chief minister," he added.

Janata Dal (United) President Nitish Kumar took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar for the fourth straight term on Monday afternoon after closely-fought legislative assembly elections in the state.

Notably, it is the seventh time when Nitish Kumar is being sworn in as Chief Minister of Bihar.

The NDA has secured a 125-seat majority in the 243-seat strong Bihar Legislative Assembly, of which BJP won on 74 seats, JD(U) on 43 while eight seats were won by two other NDA constituents.

The RJD, on the other hand, emerged as the single-largest party with 75 seats while the Congress only won 19 of the 70 seats it had contested on. The LJP, which is part of NDA at the Centre, could win only one seat in the assembly polls. The only seat won by the LJP was Matihani, where Raj Kumar Singh defeated sitting JD(U) MLA Narendra Kumar Singh alias Bogo Singh by a razor-thin margin of 333 votes. (ANI)

France to participate in Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020 on Nov 20

French Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain

New Delhi [India], November 16 (ANI): French officials and companies are set to participate in Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020 to be held on November 20, according to the Ambassador of France to India, Emmanuel Lenain.

"France will participate in force BengaluruTechSummit 2020. Karnataka is home to 150 plus companies and French Tech Community-Bangalore. How do India and France drive innovation together? To know, join us for the French country webinar on November 20!" said Ambassador of France to India, tweeted.

French envoy Emmanuel Lenain said he is looking forward to the summit where several French companies and officials will participate.

"Mr Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India, expresses his regards and looks forward to Bengaluru Tech Summit 2020, the flagship event of the State and encourages all inquisitive minds to participate," Bengaluru Tech Summit tweeted along with a video message from the French ambassador.

French Minister for Digital Cedric O will give a speech at the Summit, among other officials. (ANI)

India's stand at RCEP reflects PM Modi's strong leadership, country's rising stature

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi [India], November 16: With India deciding to quit the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), that was endorsed on Sunday by 15 Asia-Pacific countries, including China, government sources have expressed that India's stand was a solid impression of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's solid authority and the nation's rising height on the planet.

In November a year ago, India chose not to join the RCEP understanding as its key concerns were not tended to. The vital purposes for New Delhi's choice to stay out of the world's greatest economic deal incorporate deficient insurance against import flood, inadequate differential with China, conceivable circumvention of rules of cause, keeping the base year as 2014 and no sound confirmations on market access and non-levy obstructions.

Government sources expressed that India's choice to not join would incredibly help India's ranchers, little scope industry and little business people, and protect interests of poor people and the push to give a favorable position to India's administration area.

India took stands dependent on firm standards, in light of principal gives that India has been raising reliably all through the exchanges, which incorporated the danger of circumvention of rules of starting point because of levy differential, demand for an adjustment in the base pace of Customs Duty, prohibition from Most Favored Nation (MFN) commitments in speculation part, cutting out of nearby measures for pertinence on just the main two degrees of government in venture section, and then some.

India's rising import/export imbalances with China, adding up to USD 50 billion, and the need to open business sectors to Indian administrations and products and low usage of Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) were likewise primary concerns. Along these lines, to consent to the RCEP arrangement, India expected to determine issues in past FTAs and guarantee a reasonable, reasonable and gainful structure in the RCEP.

The public authority sources additionally asserted that the past governments had a more vulnerable record in securing Indian interests in worldwide exchange dealings, portraying India's marking of a FTA with ASEAN and South Korea in 2010, and with Malaysia and Japan in 2011.

India's import/export imbalance with RCEP countries expanded from USD 7 billion out of 2004 to USD 78 billion out of 2014, with India's homegrown industry is as yet staggering from unloading and modest imports, and low usage rates by Indian exporters of FTAs.

In ASEAN, India wiped out levies on 74 percent lines; yet more extravagant nations like Indonesia killed taxes on just 50% lines for India, and Vietnam on 69 percent, which has prompted critical exchange twisting.

In 2009 during the Indo-Korea CEPA understanding, India's fares to Korea was USD 3.42 billion and resulting to marking, India's fares to Korea have scarcely expanded to USD 4.6 billion out of 2014-15 and USD 4.71 billion out of 2018-19, while interestingly, at the hour of consenting to the arrangement in 2009, Korea's fares to India was USD 8.58 billion, which have kept on developing considerably to USD 13.53 billion out of 2014-15 and USD 16.76 billion out of 2018-19.

Helpless dealings under past legislatures of FTAs have made damage the Indian business and prompted the mutilated exchange balance, following which the Modi government has looked for an audit of the FTA in ASEAN and in the CEPA with South Korea, said government sources.

They likewise called attention to various favorable to Indian industry ventures under PM Modi, for example, advantage of ranchers, little scope organizations and handloom area from choices taken on imports, raising Minimum Import Price of cashews, dispatching a Steel Imports Monitoring System (SIMS), saving traditions obligation on maize imports, ensuring the interests of poor people and agribusiness area, making sure about worldwide help for anglers and then some.

India is investigating economic deals with the US and European Union (EU), where Indian items and administrations will really be serious. India will likewise try not to join arrangements, which are in actuality FTAs by secrecy with nations like China, as India is now enduring gigantic exchange unevenness and market mutilations with these nations that have contrarily affected homegrown makers and the Indian economy, said the sources.

The RCEP is a proposed international alliance in the Asia-Pacific area between the 10 part conditions of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to be specific, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam and five of ASEAN's FTA accomplices - Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

In May this year, China said it will invite India back to dealings on the RCEP at a proper time. (ANI)

India reports 30,548 new COVID-19 cases, 435 deaths

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New Delhi [India], November 16 (ANI): India's day by day Covid cases count keeps on plunging further as just 30,548 new diseases were accounted for over the most recent 24 hours, as indicated by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW) on Monday.

India detailed under 50,000 new day by day cases for the ninth consistent day. The last time every day new cases passed the 50,000-boundary was on November 7.

The nation's COVID-19 count arrived at 88,45,127 including 4,65,478 dynamic cases and 82,49,579 recuperations. The combined loss of life contacted 1,30,070 after 435 individuals capitulated to the illness over the most recent 24 hours.

In any case, it is relevant to make reference to that lone 8,61,706 examples were tried on Sunday, as indicated by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). A sum of 12,56,98,525 examples tried for COVID-19 up to November 15.

The Union Health Ministry on Sunday educated that the recuperation rate has improved to 93.09 percent.

Maharashtra has the most noteworthy number of dynamic COVID-19 patients with 85,889, trailed by Kerala with 74,922 and Delhi with 39,990. (ANI)

Singtel Reports H1 USD345 million Profit on Back of Airtel Improvement

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Singapore, November 16 (ANI): Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) reported a net profit of SGD 466 million (USD 345 million) for the half-year that ended 30 September 2020 with help from the11 percent rise in pre-tax profits from regional associates including Bharti Airtel (Airtel).

Airtel had earlier reported its highest ever consolidated quarterly revenue of INR 25,785 crore (USD 3.46 billion), up 22 percent year on year, with mobile ARPU (average revenue per user) rising from INR 128 to INR 162 in Q2. Profit before tax was INR 567 crore (USD 76.1 million) for Q2 2020 versus a loss of INR 623 crore (USD 86.3 million) in Q2 2019. Net income for the quarter improved from a net loss of INR 23,045 crore (USD 3.09 billion) in 2019 to an INR 763 crore (USD 102 million) loss for 2020.

"Airtel's losses narrowed with robust revenue growth in India, boosted by strong 4G net adds and customers upgrading to 4G services as it used its network advantage to gain high-value customers," Singtel stated in its quarterly results news release on November 12. "Its African operations also recorded strong operating momentum with sustained growth across voice, data and Airtel Money by leveraging its increased rural distribution and wider network coverage to support customers through the pandemic."

Last year, Singtel took on an SGD 1.93 billion (USD 1.43 billion) exceptional provision on Airtel due to the (Indian) Supreme Court ruling on licence fees and spectrum usage charges on "adjusted gross revenue" (AGR) which had an SGD 5.49 billion impact on Airtel. Singtel has an approximately 35 percent effective stake in Airtel.

For the Singtel Group, operating revenue fell 10 percent to SGD7.43 billion (USD 5.50 billion) with underlying net profit shrinking 36 percent to SGD 837 million. Pre-tax profits of regional associates, including Airtel, increased 11 percent to SGD 833 million (USD 617 million).

Singtel said in its press statement that its performance for the first half of the year reflected weakness in their Australia fixed-line business amid structural challenges in the industry, the impact from COVID-19 and soft economic conditions. Operating revenue was impacted by lower equipment sales, roaming and prepaid mobile revenue. EBITDA was SGD 1.90 billion, down 19 percent with lower NBN (National Broadband Network) migration revenue, margin pressure from NBN resale in Australia as well as lower equipment margin and roaming services.

The statement added: "Excluding exceptional items, underlying net profit declined 36 percent. With lower exceptional losses, primarily due to significant regulatory losses from Airtel's provision for the adjusted gross revenue matter, the Group recorded a net profit of SGD 466 million for the first half compared to a net loss (of SGD 127 million)in the last corresponding period."

"The impact of COVID-19 was felt across the Group with significant reductions in roaming and prepaid revenues and weaker customer spend," said outgoing Singtel Group CEO, Chua Sock Koong."However, ICT was the bright spot with strong growth from NCS and our cloud and cybersecurity services in the Asia-Pacific as more enterprises adopted and accelerated digitalisation. While the challenging operating environment is expected to continue as uncertainties from the pandemic persist, we are seeing encouraging signs of modest recovery across our businesses with sequential-quarter revenue growth of 10 percent in the second quarter, as lockdown measures ease and customer spending returns."

It was announced on October 1 that Ms Chua will retire, and effective January 1, 2021, will be replaced by Singtel veteran, Yuen Kuan Moon. Yuen is the current head of Singtel's Singapore Consumer Business and the Chief Digital Officer.

Aside from Airtel, performance of regional associates faced challenges. Telkomsel (Indonesia) continued to encounter competitive pricing pressure and saw declines in its legacy business although this was mitigated by cost controls. AIS (Thailand) and Globe's (Philippines) performances were affected reduction in business and consumer spending and reduced roaming due to COVID-19. AIS also recorded higher depreciation from increased network investment and amortisation of the 5G spectrum.

"While COVID-19 cast a shadow over most of our regional associates, Airtel executed strongly in India and Africa, and we expect its strong operating momentum to keep driving its recovery," added Chua. "Across the Group, digitalisation remains central as we move customers to our digital channels and platforms and transform our operating model and processes. We are also making significant investments in 5G and building capabilities, which will serve to create new revenue streams and deliver returns in the mid to long term."

The Board has approved an interim dividend at 5.1 cents per share for the half-year ended 30

September 2020, totalling SGD 833 million which represents approximately 100 percent of Singtel's underlying net profit for the period. The Board also approved the adoption of a scrip dividend scheme and the application of this scheme to the interim dividend.

Earnings per share stood at 2.86 Singapore cents for the quarter, from a loss per share of 0.78 cents the year before.

Singtel did not provide guidance on the business outlook owing to the uncertain economic environment. The company however told shareholders that dividends from the regional associates will be approximately SGD 1.3 billion (USD 960 million) and that the Group's capital expenditure including for 5G networks, will be around SGD 2.2 billion, comprising AUD 1.5 billion (USD 1.09 billion) for Optus and SGD 700 million for the rest of the Group.

After trading at an almost historic intraday low of SGD 2.00 on November 2 before the results were released, the share price of Singtel recovered to close at SGD2.30 on November 13. (ANI)

Silicon Valley looking forward for Biden to reverse Trump's immigration rules

US President-elect Joe Biden

Washington [US], November 16 (ANI): Tech advocates in Washington are reportedly eager to work with the incoming Biden administration and reverse several of US President Donald Trump's immigration policies, especially those that had created barriers for high skilled visa holders.

Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have clashed with the Trump administration in court, suing over his executive orders restricting immigration for foreign workers, and are now prioritising the removal of the President's actions in 2021, reported The Hill.

The Trump administration had announced new immigration rules last month designed to make it more difficult for skilled workers to acquire visas. The rules tighten requirements for employers who hire workers on H-1B visas, which are set aside for skilled workers, particularly in the technology field.

TechNet, a group of industry executives from companies like Apple, Amazon, Google and more, had filed lawsuits challenging the new rules. If unsuccessful, they hope that the rules are rescinded by President-elect Joe Biden.

"They've indicated they are going to be very different than the Trump administration on high-skilled immigration, immigration in general....High-skilled immigration...has led to so much growth and technological superiority and competitiveness for the US," said TechNet CEO Linda Moore.

The Biden transition team declined to comment.

However, before Biden assumes the presidential office, Silicon Valley is worried that Trump could clamp down ever harder on worker visas in the final days of his administration, according to The Hill.

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows reportedly said on a recent call that the president is seeking to finalise a rule to make the standards stricter around H-1B visas, separate from rules announced last month.

The US Chamber of Commerce, which has also been active in the lawsuits against Trump's visa orders, had recently noted that the Biden team has indicated they would reverse some of those policies. (ANI)

Zoom to temporarily lift 40-minute meeting limit on Thanksgiving Day

Zoom logo

California [US], November 14: Communications tech organization Zoom has said that it would lift its standard forty-minute cutoff on free video calls for 'Thanksgiving Day' to make it less difficult for families to invest energy essentially on the US occasion.

The forty-minute time limit has been of the significant limitations all through the Covid pandemic, which powers groups to restart the calls after the specified time.

As indicated by The Verge, a considerable lot of Zoom's rivals have forced comparable limitations, including Google Meet (hour long breaking point) and all suppliers charge extra for big business grade designs that eliminate the restrict and extend the quantity of members permitted.

Zoom's evacuation of the forty-minute breaking point will be from 12 PM on Thanksgiving Day (November 26th) to 6 am ET on November 27. (ANI)

PM Modi greets nation on 'Bhai Dooj'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi [India], November 16 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday welcomed the country on the event of Bhai Dooj.

In a tweet, Prime Minister Modi stated: "All the best to every one of you on the sacred event of Bhai Dooj."

Bhai Dooj, the celebration of an image of sibling sister love is being commended everywhere on the nation today.

On this day, sisters appeal to God for their siblings to have long and glad lives by performing Tika service and siblings offer endowments to their sisters.

Bhaiya Dooj is otherwise called Bhau Beej and Bhathru Dwithiya. According to Hindu conventions. it is accepted that Goddess Yamuna took care of her sibling Yamraj on Kartik Dwitiya at her own home. From that point forward this day is known as Yama Dwitiya. (ANI)

Our Constitution was badly shattered and violated: Trump continues to allege election fraud

US President Donald Trump

Washington [US], November 16 (ANI): US President Donald Trump on Saturday (local time) emphasized his charges on citizen extortion, asserting that the US Constitution was 'severely broken and disregarded' during the ongoing official races, and blamed the Democrats for adjusting a great many votes.

Taking to Twitter, Trump assailed the 'Phony news media' and affirmed that the Republican side was assaulted more than ever.

"For what reason does the Fake News Media persistently expect that Joe Biden will climb to the Presidency, not in any event, permitting our side to show, which we are simply preparing to do, how seriously broke and abused our extraordinary Constitution has been in the 2020 Election. It was attacked,......perhaps more than ever! From enormous quantities of Poll Watchers that were tossed out of vote including rooms in huge numbers of our States, to a great many voting forms that have been modified by Democrats, just for Democrats, to casting a ballot after the Election was finished, to utilizing Radical Left," he tweeted.

He likewise focused on Dominion Voting Systems and expressed that individuals answerable for defending the Constitution can't permit the 'phony' consequences of the political decision to stand.

"....owned Dominion Voting Systems, turned somewhere near Texas and numerous others since it was bad or secure, those answerable for the defending of our Constitution can't permit the Fake consequences of the 2020 Mail-In Election to stand. The World is watching!" he said in another tweet.

Prior, Trump had seemed to recognize out in the open unexpectedly that President-elect Joe Biden had "won" the political race however kept up his declaration that the political decision was "manipulated."

"He won on the grounds that the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS permitted, vote organized by a Radical Left exclusive organization, Dominion, with an awful standing and bum gear that couldn't meet all requirements for Texas (which I won by a great deal!), the Fake and Silent Media, and more!" Trump tweeted.

Since Biden was extended the victor of the official decisions, Trump has wouldn't surrender rout, saying that the political race was "a long way from being done", and has likewise guaranteed lawful difficulties by his re-appointment crusade. (ANI)

SC to hear today plea seeking removal of Andhra CM

Supreme Court of India

New Delhi [India], November 16 (ANI): The Supreme Court will today hear a PIL looking for the expulsion of YS Jaganmohan Reddy from the post of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister over his "outraging" comments against the subsequent senior-most appointed authority of the top court.

A seat of the zenith court, headed by Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, will on Monday hear the public interest case that additionally looked for a clarification from Reddy for composing a letter to Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde making "wild and foolish" charges against Justice NV Ramana.

The PIL, mutually documented by advocates GS Mani, Pradeep Kumar Yadav and SK Singh, fought that Jagan Mohan Reddy is confronting in excess of 20 criminal cases including illegal tax avoidance and defilement in the court which are intense in nature.

Reddy should be taken out as the Chief Minister as he, in broad daylight and media, had leveled such sort of charges against the subsequent senior-most appointed authority of the peak court, Justice NV Ramana, with no premise, the request said.

The request said that proper activity for his evacuation as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh must be taken against him quickly by the top court.

"To get individual addition from the court by manhandling his capacity and post as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, he supposedly transparently made bogus, scandalized comments, obscure, and political claims against a sitting appointed authority of the top court just to discolor the picture of the legal executive in the public brain," the supplication said.

It likewise looked for a definite legal enquiry, by comprising an inward board headed by sitting or resigned judges of Supreme Court or any authority including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), over the obscure charge made by Reddy against Justice Ramana. (ANI)

PTI leads in PoK Gilgit-Baltistan controversial elections

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Gilgit-Baltistan, November 16 (ANI): Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) is in the lead in eight of the 24 electorates of Gilgit-Baltistan territory in the races, as indicated by informal outcomes.

As indicated by a report by Geo News, as of 3:30 am on Monday, the informal outcomes demonstrated Raja Muhammad Zakeria Khan winning the GBA-7, Skardu-I voting public with 5,288 votes, Syed Amjad Ali winning the GBA-11, Kharmang electorate with 6,612 votes, Shamsul Haq Lone winning the GBA-14, Astore-II voting demographic with 5,418 votes and Raja Azam Khan winning the GBA-12, Shigar supporters with 10,349 votes.

After PTI, the Independents are in the number one spot in six voting public.

Then, the Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP) is in the number one spot in five electorates remembering triumphs for four supporters, to be specific, by Jamil Ahmed in the GBA-2, Gilgit-II voting public with 6,848 votes; Muhammad Ismail in the GBA-24, Ghanche-III voting demographic with 6,204 votes; and Amjad Hussain in both the GBA-I, Gilgit-I voting public with 11,178 votes and GBA-4, Nagar-I body electorate with 11,178 votes, Geo News revealed.

It was additionally revealed that the Pakistani Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N) is winning in two electorates and Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (F) (JUI-F) is driving in one voting demographic.

Refering to the informal outcomes Geo News further detailed Majlis Wahdat-e-Muslimeen competitor winning the GBA-8, Skardu-II voting demographic with 7,842 votes.

The democratic cycle in the locale started at 8 am and proceeded until 5 pm with no stretch on Sunday.

The decisions were held in the midst of dissent by individuals of Gilgit Baltistan against the Pakistan government's "unlawful occupation" in the locale.

On November 1, Pakistan Prime Minister Khan had reported giving of temporary common status to Gilgit-Baltistan regardless of the continuous fights against the Pakistan government over its choice to change the status of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Those living in Gilgit-Baltistan hit the roads and said that they will never acknowledge Pakistan's association in their area.

The Pakistan Peoples Party has requested that up-and-comers of the decision PTI be excluded from the political race charging fixing.

PPP administrator Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, who has been in the locale for quite a long time and driving the gathering's political mission, said that the political decision commission must not bomb individuals and ought to guarantee that "each vote is projected and tallied".

"The individuals' energy is a demonstration of their promise to majority rules system," he said.

PPP secretary general Nayyar Bukhari requested that competitors of the decision PTI be precluded from the political race.

"The declaration of improvement ventures during a political decision is an away from of apparatus. The presence of government clergymen in GB is commensurate to impacting the political race," he said in an assertion, adding that PTI competitors from zones where tasks have been declared ought to be precluded.

"Endeavors to impact the political race are demonstrating fears of gear," he said.

Geo News detailed PPP Senator Sherry Rehman had additionally communicated her profound worry over the "conscious limitations on ladies' democratic" in the Gilgit Baltistan Election 2020, and voiced concern over supposed apparatus at the surveying stations. (ANI)

Religious places across Maharashtra to reopen today

A visual from Mahim Dargah in Mumbai on Monday. Photo/ANI

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], November 16 (ANI): Religious places across Maharashtra are reopening for devotees to offer prayers from Monday after several months of closure due to the lockdown imposed in a bid to control the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maharashtra Chief Minister's Office (CMO) had on Saturday informed that all religious places including temples, shrines, churches, dargahs, etc in the state will be allowed to reopen for devotees from November 16.

Notably, the prominent religious places across the state including Sai Baba temple in Shirdi, the Mahim Dargah in Mumbai and the Dagdusheth Halwai Temple in Pune have been prepared for their reopening to the devotees.

The gates of the places of worship were opened after midnight for the management officials to clean and sanitise the premises ahead of its reopening for devotees to offer early morning prayers.

"After midnight, the doors of the Dargah Sharif were opened and the management officials entered the premises. After cleaning, the dargah will be opened for devotees for early morning Namaz," Mahim Dargah trustee Suhail Y Khandwani said.

Khandwani also urged the people to cooperate with the government and Dargah management to ensure people get to offer prayers without risking more exposure to COVID-19.

"People have been waiting for over eight months. Government SOP and internal SOP of the dargah will be followed. We have put up boards with government and Dargah SOPs. Only those with facemasks will be allowed inside the premises and their temperature will be recorded before entry," he said.

The Dagdusheth Halwai Temple in Pune has also carried out a complete sanitisation process for the temple premises and made arrangements for the adherence to COVID-19 protocol.

Speaking to ANI, Sunil Rasne, deputy president of the temple trust said, "For now we will not be allowing devotees to wait outside or offer prasad and flowers here. They are only allowed to take darshan and leave the place immediately."

The management of the Sai Baba temple in Shirdi said it will only allow visitors inside the premises after an online booking for a specific time slot.

"Devotees who want to visit will have to do online booking to get a time-slot for the 'darshan'. Along with this, people will also have to show a COVID-negative RT-PCR result at the gate. Senior citizens, children and pregnant women will not be allowed to enter the temple," a representative of the temple management said.

"We have made arrangements to control the crowd at the temple. People will be allotted time slots online for visit. Only 6,000 people will be allowed to enter the temple in a day. The temple will only remain open for 14 hours," the representative added.

Religious places across the state have remained shut since March this year, when the Central government imposed a complete lockdown to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. (ANI)

Self-serving: PDP's Ghulam Lone on Muzaffar Hussain Beigh quitting party

PDP general secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone speaking to ANI in Srinagar on Sunday. Photo/ANI

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], November 16 (ANI): PDP general secretary Ghulam Nabi Lone on Sunday accused its senior leader Muzaffar Hussain Beigh of being self-serving as he left the party reportedly over seat-sharing in the People's Alliance for Gupkar Declaration for the upcoming District Development Council (DDC) elections.

"You would have to ask Beigh why he left the party. Obviously, it is unfortunate when a member of the party leaves. It is saddening... But of course, if someone leaves over seat-sharing, it is self-serving," Lone told reporters here.

When asked if the PDP leaders are satisfied with the seat-sharing for PAGD alliance, he said that the member parties are contesting the election for a greater cause.

"It is not a question of being satisfied with the seat-sharing within the alliance. We are fighting this election for a greater cause. The seat-sharing process is ongoing and further discussions will be held on several issues," Lone said.

"This election doesn't mean anything. Our greater cause is to bring Article 370 and 35A back. We will work on that. We won't let this election affect the alliance," he added.

Lone said that two meetings, including one at the residence of National Conference leader and PAGD president Farooq Abdullah, were held on Sunday.

Notably, PDP founder member Muzaffar Hussain Beigh on Saturday quit the party reportedly over seat-sharing in the PAGD in a major jolt to Mehbooba Mufti-led People's Democratic Party ahead of the DDC elections. (ANI)

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