International

Indian-origin MP in NZ takes oath in Sanskrit

DOCTOR Gaurav Sharma, one of the youngest and newly-elected MPs in New Zealand, on Wednesday took oath in Sanskrit in the country’s Parliament. Sharma, 33, hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur, was recently elected as the Member of Parliament from the Labour Party for Hamilton West in New Zealand. India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, Muktes..

Russia says, Sputnik V vaccine over 95 pc effective

RUSSIA on Tuesday said that the efficacy of its Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine is over 95 per cent and the cost of one dose of the shot for international markets will be less than USD 10 (around Rs 740). Preliminary data from volunteers obtained 42 days after the first dose (corresponds with 21 days after the second dose) indicates the efficacy of the vaccine above 95 per cent, the Gamelya National Centre and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) said in a joint statement...

Charli D’Amelio 1st to hit 100 mn TikTok followers

AMERICAN social media personality and dancer Charli D’Amelio has become the first creator to hit 100 million followers on the Chinese short-video making app TikTok. To date, only two other TikTok creators have reached 50 million folllowers. On TikTok, that makes her more than twice as big as Will Smith, three times as big as The Rock, four times as big as Selena Gomez, and five times as big as Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande...

COVID biggest challenge after WW-II: Modi at G-20

THE COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest challenge the world is facing since World War-II and is an important turning point in the history of humanity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the G-20 summit on Saturday, as he offered India’s IT prowess for efficient functioning of the grouping. Modi also said that “Work from Anywhere” is a new normal in the post-COVID world and suggested creation of a virtual G-20 Secretariat. The Prime Minister also ..

India will send Bhutan satellite in space next year: Modi to Tshering

LAUNCHING the second phase of RuPay card, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday announced that India will soon be sending Bhutanese satellite to space. “India opened its space sector for private enterprises. It will boost innovation, capacity and skills. ISRO will be sending Bhutan’s satellite next year and work on that is progressing fast,” he said. “Like other Indians I have great love and friendship with Bhutan, when I meet you all its like meeting our own,” Prime Minister told the Bhutanese audience ..

Scientists solve 16-year-old Blue Ring Nebula mystery

AFTER studying the mysterious Blue Ring Nebula with multiple Earth- and space-based telescopes for 16 years, scientists may have finally discovered what led to its formation...

ISS gets ready for new module after six-hour 48-minute spacewalk

TWO Russian cosmonauts have conducted a six-hour 48-minute spacewalk to prepare the International Space Station for a new module. “The main task of the exit was to prepare the station for the arrival of the Nauka module: for this, the cosmonauts switched the Transit-B antenna of the telemetry system from the Pirs module to Poisk,” Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a tweet...

Modi, Biden discuss COVID-19, climate change, Indo-Pacific

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi spoke with US President-elect Joe Biden on Tuesday, as the two leaders discussed the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, while reiterating firm commitment to strategic bilateral partnership. This was the first interaction between the two leaders after Democrat Biden defeated incumbent President Donald Trump in the US presidential election. “Spoke to US President-elect Joe Biden on phone to congratulate him...

Microsoft to develop over 500 mn new apps in next 5 years

WITH the COVID-19 pandemic leading to digital transformation at a speed never seen before, software giant Microsoft expects to develop more than 500 million new applications over the next five years. With every business organisation turning into a technology entity during the current pandemic, the world is expected to see the development of more and more applications. The majority of the apps are expected to be developed on low-code platform, said Rajiv Sodhi, Chief Operating Officer, Microsoft India...

People magazine names Michael B Jordan as Sexiest Man Alive

ACTOR Michael B Jordan has been crowned as 2020’s Sexiest Man Alive by People magazine. Jordan, known for his critically-acclaimed performances in “Fruitvale Station,” “Creed” and “Black Panther,” was revealed as this year’s winner Tuesday night on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” The actor tells the magazine in an issue out Friday that the honour is a “cool feeling.”..

Bezos to give $791 mn to protect environment

AMAZON founder Jeff Bezos announced on Monday in an Instagram post that he will give USD 791 million in grants as part of his Bezos Earth Fund to 16 organisations that are working to protect the environment, CNN reported. “I’ve spent the past several months learning from a group of incredibly smart people who’ve made it their life’s work to fig..

Nations sponsoring terror need to be held guilty: Modi

ASSERTING that terrorism is the “biggest problem” facing the world, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said there was a need to ensure that countries supporting and assisting terrorists are held guilty, in an oblique reference to Pakistan. Addressing the summit of five-nation grouping BRICS via video conferencing, the Prime Minister also said there was a need to tackle the problem of terrorism in an organised manner. The 12th BR..

15 Asia-Pacific nations sign world’s biggest trade pact sans India

FIFTEEN Asia-Pacific nations, including China, on Sunday signed the world’s biggest trade agreement, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), sans India with hopes that it will help recover from the shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The RCEP was signed after eight years of negotiations at the conclusion of annual summit of Southeast Asian leaders and their regional partners, held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic...

Referendum on Trump shatters turnout records in US presidential elections

WITH votes still being counted, turnout in the 2020 presidential election has hit a 50-year high, exceeding the record set by the 2008 presidential election of Barack Obama — an extraordinary engagement in what amounted to a referendum on President Donald Trump’s leadership. As of Sunday, the tallied votes accounted for 62 per cent of the eligible voting-age population in the US. That’s a 0.4 percentage point increase so far over the rate hit in ..

It’s a victory for ‘We the People’ of America: Biden

PLEDGING to be the President of all Americans, Joe Biden has sought an immediate end to the “grim era of demonisation” in the deeply-polarised nation, as he and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris celebrated their historic triumph over Donald Trump in a bitter and closely-fought presidential election. “I pledge to be a President who seeks not..

Biden bid wins favour with 273 against Trump’s 214

DEMOCRAT Joe Biden on Saturday defeated incumbent Republican US President Donald Trump in the closely-fought presidential election, according to American media projections. The 77-year-old former US Vice President will become the 46th President of the United States, CNN reported, after a victory in Pennsylvania, the State where he was born put him over the 270 electoral votes needed to win. With Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, Biden now has a total of 273 electoral votes. Before becoming the Democratic ..

WhatsApp starts payment service in India

WHATSAPP on Friday said it is rolling out its payments services in India after receiving nod from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI). In 2018, the Facebook-owned company had started testing its UPI-based payments service in India, which allows users to utilise the messaging platform to send and receive money. The testing was limited to about a million users as it waited for regulatory approvals to come in. ..

First phase of Malabar exercise concludes

PHASE I of the 24th edition of the four-nation naval exercise Malabar 2020 in the Bay of Bengal concluded on Friday. Indian Navy, United States Navy, Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force, and Royal Australian Navy are participating in the naval exercise that started on November 3. The 24th edition of the Malabar naval exercise is scheduled in two phases this month. ..

Greta mocks Trump in his own words

AMID ongoing tensions over the results of the US presidential election, Swedish environment activist Greta Thunberg has mocked US President Donald Trump in his own words in the ultimate social media revenge. ..

Talks will solve problems: Oli assures General Naravane

PROBLEMS between Nepal and India would be resolved through dialogue, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli said on Friday during a meeting with Indian Army chief General M M Naravane who paid a courtesy call on him. General Naravane’s three-day visit to Nepal was largely aimed at resetting bilateral ties that came under severe strain following a bitter border row between the two countries. ..

Biden a step away from US presidency

DEMOCRATIC presidential candidate Joe Biden on Friday took crucial leads over US President Donald Trump in the key battleground States of Georgia and Pennsylvania, bringing him on the cusp of a historic victory in the closely-fought election. ..

Biden nearing magical figure; Trump says, ‘stop the count’

WEARY Americans will have to wait for some more time to know the clear winner of the closely-fought election between Republican President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden, as the final outcome hinged on a few States on Thursday where a flood of mail-in ballots triggered by the coronavirus pandemic were still being counted. Two days after the presidential election, Biden is nearing the magical figure of 270 electoral votes to win the race to the White House, with the former US Vice President ..

India seeks expeditious extradition of Mallya, Nirav during Shringla’s UK visit

FOREIGN Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla held talks with British Home Secretary Priti Patel in London during which he strongly underlined India’s interest in the expeditious extradition of former Kingfisher Airlines chief Vijay Mallya, who has completed all the legal processes related to extradition from the UK, and fugitive diamond merchant Nirav Modi...

Cabinet nod to MoU between India-Israel in health sector

THE Union Cabinet has approved the signing of an MoU between India and Israel for cooperation in the field of health and medicine, according to an official statement issued on Wednesday. The MoU covers areas of cooperation such as exchange and training of medical doctors and other health professionals, assistance in development of human resources and setting up of health care facilities and exchange of information regarding regulation of pharmaceutical, medical devices and cosmetics, the statement ..

PM to chair global investor meet today

TO attract investment into the country, PM Modi will on Thursday chair the Virtual Global Investor Roundtable (VGIR) 2020, which will be attended by heads of 20 top institutional investors from various parts of the world. VGIR 2020 will focus on discussions around India’s economic and investment outlook, structural reforms and the Government’s vision for making the country a USD 5-trillion economy...

US presidency dangles on knife’s edge

THE closely-fought US presidential election appeared to be headed into an uncertain phase with Republican incumbent Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger Joe Biden fighting it out in the key battleground States. When reports last came in, Biden had earned 220 electoral college votes, with Trump following closely with 213 votes. As per Fox News, Biden has 238 of the 538 electoral college seats, while Trump has 213. On the other hand, CNN has projected 220 electoral college votes to Biden and 213 ..

Hindu temple vandalised in Pak, Hindu families saved by Muslims from angry attackers

A HINDU temple in Pakistan’s Sindh province was vandalised by an angry mob that also attempted to attack over 300 Hindu families, but were stopped by Muslims from entering the century-old neighbourhood, a media report said on Wednesday...

TN village prays for Kamala Harris’ victory in US polls

AS MILLIONS of US citizens queue up to vote for their next President and his Deputy, the people of Thulasenthirapuram in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday prayed for the success of Kamala Harris, Democratic Vice-Presidential nominee, who has a connect to this small village...

‘Priyanca Radhakrishnan becomes NZ’s first-ever Indian-origin minister’

PRIYANCA Radhakrishnan on Monday became New Zealand’s first-ever Indian-origin minister after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern brought five new ministers into her executive. Born in India, Radhakrishnan, 41, went to school in Singapore before moving to New Zealand to further her education...

Trump hints at legal battle against prolonged vote count

Just before the US election on Tuesday, the nation is bracing itself for possible unrest that could arise from the country’s sharp political polarization. With just a day left for the much-anticipated US presidential election, security measures have been heightened all across the country in the wake of poll-related violence...

ISS marks 20 yrs of people living in orbit

NOVEMBER 2 marks 20 years since the first residents arrived on the International Space Station (ISS). The orbiting habitat has been continuously occupied ever since. Twenty straight years of life in space makes the ISS the ideal “natural laboratory” to understand how societies function beyond Earth. NASA has said the orbiting laboratory has turned into a world-class facility for research which has conducted thousands of investigations from over 100 different countries...

Earth-sized rogue planet found floating in the Milky Way

SCIENTISTS have discovered in the Milky Way an Earth-sized free-floating rogue planet which does not orbit any star. Rogue planets are a bit uncommon as although many of the known exoplanets discovered so far do not resemble those in our solar system, they have one thing in common -- they all orbit a star. However, theories of planet formation and evolution predict the existence of free-floating (rogue) planets, gravitationally unattached to any star...

Iconic James Bond star Sean Connery no more

LEGENDARY Scottish star Sean Connery, who became a global sensation as the first James Bond and featured in a string of cult hits in his five-decade-long career, has died. He was 90. According to BBC, the actor passed away overnight in his sleep while in the Bahamas. He had been unwell for quite some time. In the career spanning half a century, the actor featured in many critically-acclaimed and commercial blockbusters such as “The Hunt for Red October”, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, “Murder ..

NASA spacecraft stows asteroid sample successfully

NASA on Friday said that its OSIRIS-REx spacecraft has completed the most challenging phases of its mission after it successfully stowed samples of asteroid Bennu. The mission team sent commands to the spacecraft on Wednesday, instructing it to close the Sample Return Capsule (SRC)...

US court asks Antrix to pay $1.2 bn compensation to Bengaluru start-up

A US court has asked Antrix Corporation, the commercial arm of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to pay compensation of USD 1.2 billion to a Bengaluru-based startup, Devas Multimedia, for cancelling a satellite deal in 2005. As per the agreement in January 2005, Antrix agreed to build, launch and operate two satellites and to make available 70 MHz of S-band spectrum to Devas, which the latter planned to use to offer hybrid satellite and terrestrial communication services throughout India. ..

Jewels from Maharaja Ranjit

JEWELS that once belonged to Maharani Jindan Kaur, the last wife of Sikh Empire ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and which were later inherited by her granddaughter, Princess Bamba Sutherland, were among the highlights of an auction in London. ..

US’ vision on Lanka very different from ‘predator’ China: Pompeo

AMERICA’S vision on Sri Lanka is “very different” from that of “predator” China, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said here on Tuesday as he met the leadership here and reaffirmed US’ commitment to the island nation’s sovereignty and security...

Saudi Arabia removes PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan from Pak map

SAUDI Arabia has removed Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan’s map, said PoK activist Amjad Ayub Mirza on Wednesday. “Saudi Arab removes Pakistani occupied Jammu Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan from Pakistan’s map!!!!,” he tweeted. He also tweeted a picture that was captioned, “Saudi Arabia’s Diwali gift to India-- removes Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir from Pakistan’s map,” the picture’s text read. According to the media reports, Saudi Arabia released a 20 Riyal banknote to commemorate ..

NASA finds ‘unexpected’ molecule around Titan

NASA scientists have discovered a molecule in Saturn moon Titan’s atmosphere that has never been detected in any other atmosphere. In fact, many chemists have probably barely heard of this molecule called cyclopropenylidene, or C3H2...

Scientists find water on sunlit surface of Moon

SCIENTISTS have confirmed, for the first time, the presence of water on the sunlit surface of the Moon, a discovery which indicates that water molecules may be distributed across the lunar surface, and not limited to the cold, shadowed places as previously thought. Using NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the researchers, including those from the University of Hawaii in the US, detected water molecules (H2O) in Clavius Crater -- one of the largest craters visible from ..

Maryam Nawaz refuses to ‘back down’ against Imran Khan Govt

AMID the nation-wide anti-Government movement, Opposition party leader and PML-N Vice President, Maryam Nawaz has refused to “back down”, saying that the ongoing demonstrations in the country are about principles. In an interview with ‘Khaleej Times’, Maryam said the only thing the Imran Khan Government is interested in is ‘political victimisation’. She said, “No way, I will never back down!” “This is about principles and outside forces have no business to meddle in politics. It’s time to let politicians ..

Sindh Police rise in defiance against Army in Pak

IN A MAJOR show of open defiance against Pakistan Army, police officers in Karachi have threatened to go on mass leave after the Sindh Police chief was allegedly kidnapped and coerced to act against PML(N) Vice President Marayam Nawaz Sharif. Sources in Islamabad said that Pakistan is rapidly slipping into a civil war-like situation with the ongoing tussle between the Opposition parties and the Army. In Karachi in Sindh province, headed by Chief Minister Syed M..

NASA spacecraft collects samples on asteroid Bennu

AFTER a four-year-long journey, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft successfully touched down on the rugged surface of asteroid Bennu on Tuesday, and unfurled its robotic arm to collect a sample of rocks dating back to the birth of our solar system to bring back to Earth, the US space agency said. The Origins, Spectral Interpretation, Resource Identification, Security, Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) spacecraft briefly touched the near-Earth asteroid to collect dust and pebbles from its surface for delivery ..

SRK, Kajol’s statue from ‘DDLJ’ to be unveiled in London

A BRONZE statue of Shah Rukh Khan and Kajol will be unveiled in London’s Leicester Square in 2021 to celebrate the silver jubilee of one of Hindi cinema’s most iconic love stories, “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge” (“DDLJ”). “DDLJ”, starring Khan and Kajoj as lovers Raj and Simran, released on October 20, 1995. The film, which marked Aditya Chopra’s foray into direction, was produced by Yash Raj Films. In an announcement shared on Monday, Heart of London Business All..

Pak fails to fulfill 6 key mandates of FATF; likely to remain in ‘grey list’

PAKISTAN’S failure to fulfill six key obligations of the FATF, including action against two of India’s most wanted terrorists Maulana Masood Azhar and Hafiz Saeed, and the sudden disappearance of more than 4,000 terrorists from its official list will most likely lead to its continuation in the ‘grey list’ of the Global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, officials said on Sunday. The virtual plenary of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), to be held on October 21-23, will take the ..

Climate change spells disasters: UN

IN THE wake of heat waves, global warming, forest fires, storms, droughts and a rising number of hurricanes, the UN weather agency is warning that the number of people who need international humanitarian help could rise 50 per cent by 2030 compared to the 108 million who needed it worldwide in 2018. In a new report released with partners on Tuesday, the World Meteorological Agency says more disasters attributed to weather are taking place each year...

COVID-19 school closure may cost over $400 bn to India: World Bank

THE prolonged closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic in India may cause a loss of over USD 400 billion in the country’s future earnings, besides substantial learning losses, according to a World Bank report. South Asia region stands to lose USD 622 billion from the school closures in the present scenario or up to USD 880 billion in a more pessimistic scenario, it said, adding while the regional loss is largely driven by India, all countries will lose substantial shares of their GDP...

Americans Milgrom, Wilson win Nobel prize in Economics

AMERICANS Paul R Milgrom and Robert B Wilson have won the Nobel Prize in Economics for “improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats.” The winners were announced on Monday in Stockholm by Goran Hansson, secretary-general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The award caps a week of Nobel Prizes at a time when much of the world is experiencing the worst recession since World War II because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic...

Scientists record top speed of sound at 36 km/second

THE fastest possible speed of sound has been recorded for the first time which is about 36 km per second. The result is around twice as fast as the speed of sound in diamond, the hardest known material in the world, said the researchers from Queen Mary University of London, the University of Cambridge and the Institute for High Pressure Physics in Troitsk, Moscow...

N Korea displays new ballistic missile at military parade

NORTH Korea displayed a new Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) and other weapons during a massive military parade to mark the 75th founding anniversary of the ruling Workers’ Party, state-media reported on Sunday. Besides the night-time parade on Saturday, there was also fireworks display, a car parade and other celebratory events to mark the occassion, Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency said. The new ICBM was carried on a transporter erector launcher (TEL) with 22 wheels, indicating that ..

‘China to pay a big price for spreading COVID-19 globally’

WASHINGTON, US President Donald Trump has warned that China will have to “pay a big price” for the spread of coronavirus globally. Less than 50 hours after he returned to the White House from a military hospital where he was treated for the deadly virus, Trump in a video posted on Twitter from the Rose Garden outside the Oval Office blamed China for the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadly coronavirus originated from th..

American poet Louise Glück wins Nobel literature prize

AMERICAN poet Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday for her “candid and uncompromising” work, becoming the first US winner since Bob Dylan in 2016. The Nobel Committee praised the writer “for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.”..

India, Japan to cooperate in 5G tech, AI

INDIA and Japan have finalised an ambitious agreement that provides for cooperation in 5G technology, Artificial Intelligence and an array of other critical areas as the two strategic partners vowed to further broadbase their ties including in the Indo-Pacific region. After a meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Japanese coun..

2 women scientists win Nobel Chemistry Prize for genome editing method

TWO scientists won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday for developing a method of genome editing likened to “molecular scissors” that offer promise of one day curing inherited diseases and even cancer. Working on opposite sides of the Atlantic, Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Charpentier and American Jennifer A Doudna developed a method known as CRISPR/Cas9 that can be used to change the DNA of animals, plants and micr..

Quad shows concern about China’s ‘malign power’

JAPAN’S new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said on Tuesday at a meeting with the US and other diplomats that their “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” initiative, a concept to counter China’s growing assertiveness, is more important than ever amid challenges from the coronavirus pandemic. The Foreign Ministers from the Indo-Pacific nations known as the Quad group — the US, Japan, India and Australia — were gathering in Tokyo for their first in-person talks since the coronavirus pandemic began. The international ..

3 scientists share Nobel Physics Prize for black hole research

THREE scientists won this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for advancing our understanding of black holes. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that Briton Roger Penrose will receive half of this year’s prize “for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.” Goran K Hansson, the academy’s Secretary-General, said German Reinhard Genzel and American Andrea Ghez will receive the second half of the prize “for the discovery of a supermassive ..

3 win Nobel medicine prize for discovering hepatitis C virus

AMERICANS Harvey J Alter and Charles M Rice and British-born scientist Michael Houghton won the Nobel Prize for medicine on Monday for their discovery of the hepatitis C virus, a major source of liver disease that affects millions world-wide. Announcing the prize in Stockholm, the Nobel Committee noted that the trio’s work identified a major source of blood-borne hepatitis that couldn’t be explained by the previously discovered hepatitis A and B viruses. Their work, dating back to the 1970s and 1980s, ..

NASA spacecraft named after Kalpana Chawla lifts off for ISS

A COMMERCIAL cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station (ISS) launched on Friday night carrying the name of deceased NASA astronaut Kalpana “K C” Chawla, the first Indian-born woman to enter space, for her key contributions to human spaceflight. The S S Kalpana Chawla launched from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia at 09:38 pm. The spacecraft, a Northrop Grumman Cygnus, will arrive at and be attached to the space station two days ..

Legislation in US House seeks to overhaul H-1B visa system

AN influential American lawmaker has introduced a legislation in the House of Representatives to overhaul the H-1B visa system to prevent the firing of domestic workers. Introduced on Thursday by Congressman Mo Brooks from Alabama, the American Jobs First Act seeks to stop employers from hiring foreign H-1B workers if they have recently, or plan to, furlough their US workers. ..

Armenia ready to talk ceasefire amid Azerbaijan clashes

OFFICIALS in Armenia said Friday the country is ready to discuss a ceasefire in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh, where heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces has continued for six straight days, killing dozens and leaving scores wounded. ..

India committed to build just and equal post-COVlD-19 world for women, daughters: Smriti Irani at UN

THE Indian Government took a series of measures for ensuring safety, security and well-being of women during the coronavirus pandemic and the country is committed to building a just and equal post-COVlD-19 world for women and daughters, Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani has said. ..

US President Trump and First Lady test positive for COVID-19

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump said on Friday that he and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for the coronavirus, a development that is likely to affect his hectic election campaign just weeks before the presidential polls. ..

Pentagon okays $90 mn sale of spares for C-130J Super Hercules aircraft to India

THE Pentagon has approved India’s request to buy USD 90 million worth of equipment, spare parts and logistical support for its fleet of C-130J Super Hercules cargo aircraft. ..

‘SAARC must deal with terrorism, obstruction in trade, connectivity’

THE SAARC must overcome three key challenges of cross-border terrorism, blocking of connectivity and obstruction in trade, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday in a clear criticism of Pakistan at a virtual meeting of the regional grouping. In his address at the SAARC Foreign Ministers informal meeting, Jaishankar also called for a collectively resolve to defeat the scourge of terrorism, including the forces that nurture, support and encourage it. Jaishankar reaffirmed India’s commitment ..

Pak banks named in global money laundering list

AT LEAST six Pakistani banks have been named in an investigation on the role global banks play in money laundering, which make up to at least $2.5 million. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and Buzzfeed News carried out an investigation and found that at least 29 suspicious transactions worth about $2.5 million related to Pakistani banks, that may have been used for money laundering...

UN faces crisis of confidence, must fix outdated structures: Modi

IN AN under-4 minute video message, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi showed United Nations the mirror and urged it to take a long, hard look at its “crisis of confidence” while ratcheting up the call for a new template of multilateralism that “reflects today’s realities” on Day One of the United Nations high level week being live streamed to the world from the UN headquarters in New York City. Modi’s remarks came at a “high-level meeti..

NATURE’S FURY: Arctic Ocean ice shrinks to 2nd lowest level

ICE in the Arctic Ocean melted to its second lowest level on record this summer, triggered by global warming along with natural forces, US scientists reported on Monday. The extent of ice-covered ocean at the North Pole and extending further south to Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia reached its summertime low of 1.4 m..

India committed to ensure water, sanitation to all: India at UNHRC

INDIA is committed to ensuring access to water and sanitation in all spheres of life beyond the household, particularly in public spaces, which is an essential element of the human rights to water and sanitation, said Vimarsh Aryan, First Secretary, India’s permanent mission to United Nation’s Office at Geneva (UNOG), at the 45th Session of the Human Rights Council. Speaking in an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur (SR) on ‘Human Rights to Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation, Vimarsh ..

Putin calls PM Modi; both vow to strengthen bilateral ties In a telephonic

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday voiced strong commitment to further strengthen the ‘special and privileged strategic partnership’ between India and Russia, during a telephonic conversation. The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Modi thanked Putin for his personal commitment to strengthening bilateral ties, and said he looked forward to welcoming him in India for the next India-Russia summit at a mutually convenient date. ..

Experts warn of 2nd wave as COVID-19 cases rise in UK

SCIENTIFIC experts have warned of a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic and another complete nation-wide lockdown in the UK unless stricter measures are adhered to amid a rising number of infections in the country over the past week. Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine and an expert respiratory medicine at Imperial College London, said the new “rule of six” restrictions on large gatherings which comes in force from Monday is extremely c..

Trump breaks another deal as Bahrain announces to normalise ties with Israel

UNITED States President Donald Trump on Friday brokered another peace deal in the Middle East with Bahrain announcing that it would normalise diplomatic ties with Israel. The announcement by Trump after he hosted a historic call between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain came a month after he had mediated between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to do the same. Leaders of the UAE and Israel are scheduled to sign an agreement in this regard at ..

Major ecological disaster averted by Indian Navy, CG: IOC after fire on oil vessel doused

IN A massive effort, Indian Navy and Coast Guard in association with Sri Lankan Navy averted a major environmental disaster when they put out a fire onboard a fully laden Indian Oil Corp (IOC) chartered super tanker, saving the entire cargo and preventing an oil spill. ..

Antarctica only continent still free of COVID-19

AT THIS very moment a vast world exists that’s free of the coronavirus, where people can mingle without masks and watch the pandemic unfold from thousands of miles away. That world is Antarctica, the only continent without COVID-19. Now, as nearly 1,000 scientists and others who wintered over on the ice are seeing the Sun for the first time in weeks or months, a global effort wants to make sure incoming colleagues don’t bring the virus with them. From the UK’s Rothera Research Station off the Antarctic ..

UN General Assembly adopts pandemic resolution

THE UN General Assembly has overwhelmingly approved a resolution on tackling the coronavirus pandemic over objections from the United States and Israel, which protested a successful last-minute Cuban amendment that strongly urges countries to oppose unilateral economic, financial or trade sanctions. ..

China hands over five missing youths from Arunachal to India

FIVE youths from Arunachal Pradesh, who went missing on September 2 and were later found to be in Chinese territory, were handed over to India by the People’s Liberation Army on Saturday amid the ongoing stand-off between the two sides at the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh area. ..

China starts fresh build up north of Pangong Lake

AS India dominates south of Pangong Lake in Eastern Ladakh, China has started fresh build up at Finger area north of the Lake, sources said on Wednesday. It started soon after the skirmish on the southern bank took place on September 7 where warning shots were fired by both sides. The deployment of People’s Liberation Army troops have increased since Tue..

Republican campaign video featuring PM Modi woos Indian-American voters

A REPUBLICAN campaign video that includes visuals from the two historic rallies of President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the last one year -- “Howdy, Modi!” and “Namaste Trump” -- is making waves in the US ahead of the November 3 Presidential election, particularly among Indian-Americans whose votes may be the deciding factor in some of the battleground states. Titled “4 More Years”, the 107-second video ..

Russia produces 1st batch of vaccine for civilians

IN SOME good news for millions living in hope for a COVID-19 vaccine shot, the Russian Health Ministry said on Tuesday that the first batch of Sputnik V vaccine has been produced for civilian circulation. The supplies of the medication to the Russian regions are expected soon, Health Ministry said, reports ‘Tass’ news agency. “The first bat..

India, Russia hold maritime exercise in Bay of Bengal

TO BOOST mutual confidence and cooperation, a bilateral maritime exercise between the Indian Navy and the Russian Navy got underway in the Bay of Bengal on Friday. The exercise is taking place amid dispute over border issues between the two countries. “The exercise is aimed at enhancing interoperability, improving understanding and imbibing best practices between the two navies,” Indian Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal told IANS. He also said the exercise will help further boost mutual confidence ..

‘Black Panther’ star Boseman dies of cancer

AMERICAN actor Chadwick Boseman, best known for his titular superhero role in “Black Panther” and as baseball icon Jackie Robinson in “42”, has died after a four-year-long secret battle with colon cancer. He was 43. In a statement posted on his official Twitter handle, the actor’s family said, Boseman was diagnosed with the disease in 201..

6 killed as hurricane Laura makes landfall in Louisiana

ONE of the most powerful storms to ever hit the US, hurricane Laura has made landfall in Louisiana, bringing catastrophic storm surge, extreme winds and flash flooding that killed at least six people and left a trail of destruction across the State. ..

Trump accepts Republican nomination for President

US PRESIDENT Donald Trump has officially accepted the Republican Party’s renomination for the November 3 election, while preaching his gospel of America First and casting his Democratic rival Joe Biden as a dangerous radical. ..

Japan’s ‘flying car’ gets off ground with a person aboard

THE decades-old dream of zipping around in the sky as simply as driving on highways may be becoming less illusory. Japan’s SkyDrive Inc., among the myriads of “flying car” projects around the world, has carried out a successful though modest test flight with one person aboard...

Japan PM Abe resigns due to health reasons

Japan’s longest-serving Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, said on Friday that he intends to step down because a chronic health problem has resurfaced. He told reporters that it was “gut wrenching” to leave so many of his goals unfinished. Concerns about Abe’s health began this summer and grew this month when he visited a Tokyo hospital two weeks in a row for unspecified health checkups. Abe has acknowledged having ulcerative colitis since he was a teenager and has said the condition was controlled with ..

Jeff Bezos 1st person ever to be worth over $200 billion

AMAZON Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has become the first person ever whose net worth soared over $200 billion, according to Forbes and Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The net worth of the world’s richest person went up by $4.9 billion after Amazon stock edged up two per cent as of Wednesday afternoon, Forbes reported. Bezos also owns aerospace company Blue Origin, the Washington Post and other private investments...

Over 70 killed in Afghan floods

HEAVY flooding has killed at least 70 people and injured dozens of others as heavy seasonal rains drenched northern and eastern Afghanistan, officials said Wednesday. Spokesperson for northern Parwan province Wahida Shahkar said that the number of casualties may rise as rescue teams work to locate people buried under destroyed houses...

China launches advanced warship for Pakistan Navy

CHINA has launched first of the four advanced naval warships it is building for Pakistan, amid deepening economic and defence ties between the two all-weather allies. The launching ceremony for the first warship was held at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai on Sunday. Pakistan-China defence ties turn a new chapter with the launch of the first ship of Type-054 class frigate, Pakistan’s state-run APP news agency reported...

Trump campaign releases first commercial for Indian-Americans featuring PM Modi

AIMING to woo the influential Indian-American voters numbering over 2 million, the Trump campaign has released its first video commercial that has short clips from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches and US President Donald Trump’s historic address in Ahmedabad. Modi and Trump addressed a huge crowd in Ahmedabad during the US president’s visit to India in February this year. Trump was also accompanied by his wife Melania, daught..

COVID-19 pandemic could be over within 2 yrs: WHO

TEDROS Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said that the ongoing global coronavirus pandemic could be over within two years. Addressing a virtual press briefing from Geneva on Friday, the WHO chief said that the Spanish flu of 1918 had also taken two years to overcome, but current advances in technology could enable the world to halt the COVID-19 pandemic “in a shorter time”, the BBC reported...

Plane carrying comatose Russian Opposition leader lands in Germany

Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who is in a coma after a suspected poisoning, arrived in Berlin on a special flight Saturday for treatment by specialists at the German capital’s main hospital. A representative of the NGO that arranged the flight confirmed that the plane had landed and that Navalny was in stable condition. “Navalny is in Berlin,” Jaka Bizilj, of the German organisation Cinema For Peace, told The Associated Press. “He survived the flight and he’s stable.”..

Malaysian strain of COVID-19 not more virulent: Scientists

THE mutant form of the novel coronavirus reported from Malaysia as being “10 times more infectious” is not a concern for India as it is widely prevalent here and isn’t any more virulent than the strain originating in Wuhan, say scientists...

Mali President resigns after armed mutiny

MALI’S President announced his resignation late Tuesday hours after mutinous soldiers detained the President and Prime Minister on Tuesday after surrounding a residence and firing into the air in an apparent coup attempt after several months of demonstrations calling for President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s ouster. The news of President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s departure was met with jubilation by anti-Government demonstrators and alarm by former colonial ruler France, and other allies and foreign nations...

China builds toilet on Xinjiang mosque site, orders forcible abortion of Muslim women

AUTHORITIES of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime have built a public toilet on the site of a mosque after demolishing it in Xinjiang province and also ordered forcible abortions of pregnant women as part of a campaign against the Uyghur Muslims. As per the reports of Radio Free Asia (RFA), a public toilet has been erected on the site of the demolished Tokul mosque in Suntagh village of Atush city and hospitals have been “forced to abort an..

Tricolour hoisted at NYC’s Times Square during I-Day celebrations

THE Indian Independence Day celebrations reached its pinnacle on Saturday morning at the iconic Times Square in New York City. For the first time, the tricolour was unfurled with pride and patriotism alongside the US flag at Times Square. Over two hundred Indian Americans participated in the event to witness the tricolour soaring high and wide in the skies of New York...

Indian envoy meets Chinese Major General, discusses Ladakh issue

INDIAN Ambassador to China Vikram Misri on Friday met Major General Ci Guowei, Director of the Office of International Military Cooperation of the Central Military Commission, and briefed him on India’s stance on the borders in eastern Ladakh. ..

We expect China to sincerely work to achieve complete disengagement: MEA

INDIA on Friday said it expects China to sincerely work with it towards the objective of achieving “complete disengagement” of troops and de-escalation of tension in the border areas in eastern Ladakh. External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas as agreed to by the two sides is essential in the context of overall development of the bilateral relationship..

Scientists sceptical about Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine, cite lack of evidence for efficacy

RESPONDING with scepticism to Russia’s approval of a COVID-19 vaccine, several scientists around the world, including in India, suggest it hasn’t been tested properly given the time constraint and there may not be enough evidence to prove its efficacy. Announcing the “breakthrough” on Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin vouched for the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, named Sputnik V, and said one of his daughters has already received a shot. While the country hopes to start mass-producing ..

Pasteurising human milk inactivates COVID-19 virus, says study

NEW research adds to the growing body of evidence that pasteurising human milk inactivates the virus that causes COVID-19. “While there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk, there is always a theoretical risk,” said study lead author Greg Walker from the University of New South Wales in Australia. According to the study published in the ‘Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health’, there are five human milk banks in Australia...

NASA’s hunter satellite finds 66 new exoplanets, 2,100 more ‘candidates’

DURING its two-year-long primary mission, NASA’s planet hunter TESS has found 66 new exoplanets, or worlds beyond our solar system, as well as nearly 2,100 candidates astronomers are working to confirm, the US space agency has said. TESS, short for Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, scanned about 75 per cent of the starry sky during its primary mission that ended on July 4, NASA said on Tuesday. “TESS is producing a torrent of high-quality observations providing valuable data across a wide range ..

Russia develops first corona vaccine; Putin’s daughter given the shot

RUSSIAN President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday announced that his country has developed first vaccine that “works quite effectively” and “forms a stable immunity” against COVID-19 as he disclosed that one of his daughters has already been vaccinated. Putin made the claim during a Government meeting where he described it as “a very important step for the world”, the Sputniknews reported. He said that one of his daughters took part in the experiment and she was vaccinated against the coronavirus...