10 dead as fire breaks out at makeshift COVID-19 facility in Vijaywada

Agencies
August 9, 2020

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Vijayawada, Aug 9: The number of those killed in the fire at a hotel being used as a COVID-19 facility in Vijayawada rose to 10 on Sunday, said Vikrant Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government announced Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia each to the families of those who lost their lives in the incident.

According to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister's Office (CMO), Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also ordered an in-depth probe into the accident and directed authorities to take steps to ensure better medical services to the victims of the accident.

"The hotel was taken on lease and run by Ramesh Hospitals, a private hospital where COVID-19 patients were being treated. 40 patients and 10 medical staff were at the hotel at the time of the incident. 

Officials were directed to launch immediate rescue measures," said Mekathoti Sucharitha, Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the loss of the lives in the fire mishap and spoke to Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy over the phone and enquired about the accident.

The mishap took place in hotel Swarna Palace which was taken on lease and run by a private hospital for COVID patients.

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Agencies
January 14,2021

Bhartiya Kisan Union president recuses himself from SC committee on farm  laws | farmers protest| SC committee on farm laws

New Delhi, Jan 14: Bharatiya Kisan Union President Bhupinder Singh Mann, who was one of the four members of the Supreme Court-appointed committee on farm laws, on Thursday said that he is recusing himself from the panel.

Mann added that he is thankful to the apex court for nominating him on the committee but would sacrifice any position offered to him so as not to compromise the interests of farmers. 

More to follow...

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Agencies
January 13,2021

FBI opens more than 160 cases over riots, tightens inauguration security

Washington, Jan 13: The FBI has opened more than 160 investigations against the January 6 Capitol Hill rioters, officials said, and asserted this is just the tip of the iceberg.

The agency has worked hand-in-hand with the United States Attorney's Office and law enforcement partners in DC and across the country to arrest and charge multiple individuals who took part in last week's breach of the US Capitol, FBI Washington Field Office Assistant Director In-Charge Steven M D'Antuono told reporters at a news conference.

"In six days, we have opened over 160 case files, and that's just the tip of the iceberg," he said, adding the FBI has received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media.

D'Antuono said the FBI will be knocking on the doors of the people who participated in the attack on the Capitol. "But before we do this, this is your opportunity to come forward as several individuals involved in Wednesday's riots have done," he added.

In the weeks leading up to the January 6 rally, the FBI, D'Antuono said, developed some intelligence that a number of individuals were planning to travel to the DC area with intentions to cause violence.

This was immediately shared and action was taken as demonstrated by the arrest of Enrique Tario by the Metropolitan Police Department the night before the rally, he said.

Other individuals were identified in other parts of the country and their travel subsequently disrupted, D'Antuono noted.

Acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia, Michael Sherwin, said the scope and scale of the investigation in these cases are really unprecedented not only in FBI history but also probably in the history of the Department of Justice in which the Capitol grounds outside and inside are essentially crime scenes.

"And a scale in which we have literally thousands of potential witnesses and a scenario in which we are going to have, I believe, hundreds of criminal cases both filed with our local courts, our superior courts, and through the federal court system," he said, noting this is going to be a long-term investigation.

Sherwin said as many as 170 cases of investigations have already been opened. "And I anticipate that's going to grow to the hundreds in the coming weeks," he said.

Federal prosecutors, he said, are looking at everything from simple trespass to theft of mail and digital devices inside the Capitol to assault on local and federal officers, both outside and inside the Capitol, and also theft of potential national security information or national defence information, felony murder and even civil rights excessive force investigations.

Sherwin said that two pipe bombs were found outside the RNC and the DNC offices near the Capitol grounds. "They were real devices. They had explosive ignitors. They had timers. We don't know exactly why they did not go off. That's being investigated. They were destroyed, disabled by Capitol Police with the assistance of the ATF, and that is all obviously being vetted and investigated," he said.

The FBI has announced a reward of USD 5,000 for any information leading to identification of the individual or individuals that left the pipe bombs.

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Agencies
January 14,2021

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Riyadh, Jan 14: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the kingdom offers investment opportunities worth $6 trillion over the next decade, with new projects representing half of this value, the state news agency reported, citing his speech at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.

The opportunities are part of the young prince's Vision 2030, aimed at ending the kingdom’s dependence on oil and transforming it into a global investment power.

The prince, known in the West as MbS, plans to create new sectors and develop domestic projects that would create jobs for millions of Saudis, through the Public Investment Fund (PIF), the kingdom's sovereign investment fund that acts as the main vehicle boosting investments at home and abroad.

PIF will finance 85% of these opportunities along with the Saudi private sector, while the remaining financing will come from capital investments from investors in the Gulf and globally, Saudi Press Agency said, quoting the prince's speech.

The PIF is the cornerstone investor in a number of mega projects including a high-tech economic zone dubbed NEOM planned for an area close to the size of Belgium, an entertainment park outside Riyadh called Qiddiya being built on a site 2-1/2 times larger than Disney World, and a luxury tourist resort off the Red Sea coast that will span 50 islands.

This week, Prince Mohammed unveiled plans to build a zero-carbon city at NEOM, with infrastructure costs of $100 billion to $200 billion.

The world’s top oil exporter is expected to borrow tens of billions of dollars this year to fill state coffers hit by lower oil prices and to boost liquidity at the PIF.

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