Israeli raids turned Gaza's al-Shifa Hospital turned into 'death zone': WHO

News Network
November 19, 2023

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The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its new assessment of the situation in the Gaza Strip's al-Shifa Hospital, describing it as a "death zone" and the situation as "desperate."

The United Nations health organization released its report early Sunday, just a day after a short and "very high-risk" mission into the hospital on Saturday.

The regime has turned Gaza's hospitals into a specific target of its ongoing war of genocide against the coastal sliver, alleging that those facilities house Palestinian resistance fighters and their equipment.

On Saturday, Mai Alkaila, the Palestinian health minister in the occupied West Bank, strongly condemned Israel for committing genocide against the healthcare system in the Gaza Strip.

Al-Shifa, Gaza's biggest hospital, has taken the brunt of the Israeli assaults on the territory's healthcare system, with the regime claiming that it houses a "command center" belonging to the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.

The situation has forced "scores of sick and injured, some of them amputees" to flee the hospital towards the seafront without ambulances, along with displaced people, doctors and nurses, the WHO said. It added that only 291 patients, including 32 babies "in extremely critical condition," and 25 health workers have remained inside the complex.

"Signs of shelling and gunfire were evident. The [WHO] team saw a mass grave at the entrance of the hospital and were told more than 80 people were buried there," the world body said in its statement.

A lack of clean water, fuel, medicines, food, and other essential aid has caused the hospital to basically stop functioning as a medical facility, it noted.

"Corridors and the hospital grounds were filled with medical and solid waste, increasing the risk of infection," the WHO said.

Also on Sunday, WHO's chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote on X social media platform that the world body was "working with partners to develop an urgent evacuation plan and ask for full facilitation of this plan."

"We continue to call for protection of health and of civilians," he said, lamenting that "the current situation is unbearable and unjustifiable. Ceasefire. NOW."

The regime launched its devastating war on October 7 following a surprise operation by Gaza-based resistance movements. At least 12,300 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 5,000 children, and over 29,800 people sustained injuries during the war.

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News Network
June 3,2024

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Mumbai: The 27-year-old daughter of senior bureaucrats died after jumping off a Mumbai high-rise in the early hours of Monday, the police said.

Lipi Rastogi, the daughter of Maharashtra cadre IAS officers Radhika and Vikas Rastogi, was taken to hospital but died during treatment.

Officials said Lipi, a law student, jumped from the 10th floor of a building near the state secretariat at around 4 am. 

The police recovered note from her room. Officials said the probe is under way to ascertain the reason behind the act.

Lipi was studying law in Haryana's Sonepat. According to police officers, she was believed to be anxious about exams.

Vikas Rastogi is Principal Secretary in Maharashtra's Education Department, while Radhika Rastogi is Principal Secretary in the state's Home Department.

In a similar case in 2017, Maharashtra cadre IAS officers Milind and Manisha Mhaiskar lost their 18-year-old son after he jumped off a Mumbai high-rise.

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News Network
June 4,2024

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat for a third time. Mr Modi has beaten the Congress' Ajay Rai by over 1.5 lakh votes. In third place was the Bahujan Samaj Party's Ather Jamal Lari, who finished nearly 5.8 lakh behind the Prime Minister.

The party has won this seat nine times since 1991, with only RK Mishra of the Congress, in 2004, breaking that streak. And it was, for some time, another Congressman who raised opposition hopes.

Earlier today Mr Rai - who has contested and lost each of the past three general elections from the temple town - threatened (briefly) to cause, perhaps, the biggest shock in Indian electoral history.

Initially Mr Rai was leading the Prime Minister by 6,223 votes. As the day wore on, though, the PM stretched his legs and disappeared into the distance, finishing with over 6.12 lakh votes.

However, delight over the Prime Minister's win is likely to be tempered by the BJP's less-than-stellar performance across the state in this election, despite having dominated its electoral politics since 2014, when a 'Modi wave' swept UP (and the country) and corralled 61 of its 80 Lok Sabha seats.

Since then the BJP has been nearly unbeatable in UP.

That was followed by a Yogi Adityanath-led BJP scripting a stunning revival at the state level - by winning 312 of the state's 403 Assembly seats. In 2012 the BJP had won only 47 seats.

Yogi Adityanath claimed a second term in 2022, despite the party being heavily criticised over the farmers' protests. And, before that, the BJP amassed 62 seats in the 2019 general election.

The 2024 Lok Sabha election in UP was expected to be no different, at least according to exit pollsters, who handed Mr Modi's party a big win. A poll of exit polls gave the BJP 68 seats.

The Congress-led INDIA bloc was only expected to get 12 seats.

The reality, though, has been starkly different.

Driven by Akhilesh Yadav's Samajwadi Party, the INDIA group has gone head-to-head with the BJP in UP and will, most likely, finish a distant second - an unthinkable result before today.

The SP is set to win 38 seats - a record haul for the party in Lok Sabha polls - if the numbers hold, while the Congress will win seven. Crucially, the Congress is set to win back the Amethi bastion it lost to the BJP's Smriti Irani five years ago; the outgoing Union Minister had beaten Rahul Gandhi.

However, it is not Mr Gandhi who will gain revenge for the Congress.

It will be Kishor Lal Sharma, after Rahul Gandhi opted to contest the Raebareli seat - in addition to defending his Wayanad seat - left vacant by his mother Sonia Gandhi's shift to the Rajya Sabha.

Mr Gandhi is en route to massive wins from both seats.

The turnaround in UP is the story of the day and underlines the INDIA bloc's surprising challenge to the BJP, which includes tight contests in two other battleground states - Bengal and Maharashtra.

In Bengal Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool fought off an early surge from the BJP and is likely to improve on its haul of 22 (of 42) seats from the 2019 election. More importantly, it will knock back the BJP in the eastern state, from which much was expected after a record haul of 18 last time.

Meanwhile, in Maharashtra the Maha Vikas Aghadi, despite being rocked by splits within the Shiv Sena and Sharad Pawar's NCP, has dominated. The MVA, which also includes the Congress, is on course to win 29 of 48 seats in a state in which the BJP was hoping to make big gains.

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Telugu Desam Party supremo, was sworn in as the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh for the fourth term on Wednesday, June 12. Andhra governor S Abdul Nazeer, former Telangana governor Tamilisai Soundarajan were present at the swearing-in.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union home minister Amit Shah, Union ministers JP Nadda and Bandi Sanjay Kumar, and several other leaders attended the oath-taking ceremony.

Chandrababu Naidu took oath around 11.27am near Gannavaram Airport in Kesarapalli on the outskirts of Vijayawada. Along with Chandrababu Naidu, Janasena chief Pawan Kalyan, the TDP supremo's son Nara Lokesh and 22 others also took the oath.

Pawan Kalyan reportedly has been offered the deputy chief minister's post. Janasena is being offered three cabinet berths and the Bharatiya Janata Paty one.

After taking oath as chief minister Naidu shared a hug with PM Narendra Modi on stage. This is the fourth time that Naidu is assuming charge as Andhra chief minister and the second time after the bi-furcation in 2014.

Chandrababu Naidu's son and TDP general secretary Nara Lokesh, Union minister Rammohan Naidu, actors Chiranjeevi, Rajnikanth, Nandamuri Balakrishna were also present on occasion.

Naidu had led the TDP- BJP-Janasena National Democratic Alliance to a landslide victory in the assembly as well as Parliamentary elections.

The TDP holds the majority in Andhra Pradesh's 175-member assembly with 135 MLAs, while its allies, the Janasena Party, have 21 and the BJP has eight. The opposition YSR Congress Party has 11 legislators.

The TDP MLAs who took oaths included Nara Lokesh, Kinjarapu Atchannaidu, Nimmala Ramanaidu, NMD Farooq, Anam Ramanarayana Reddy, Payyavula Kesav, Kollu Ravindra, Ponguru Narayana, Vangalapudi Anita, Anagani Satya Prasad, Kolusu Parthasaradhi, Kola Balaveeranjaneya Swamy, Gottipati Ravi, Gummadi Sandhyarani, BC Janardhan Reddy, TG Bharath, S Savitha, Vasamsetty Subhash, Kondapalli Srinivas and Mandipalli Ramprasad Reddy.

In the 175-member Andhra Pradesh assembly, the cabinet can have 26 ministers, including the chief minister.

The Telugu Desam Legislature Party and NDA partners elected Naidu as their leader in separate meetings on Tuesday, June 11.

Addressing the legislators, Naidu asserted that he is committed to developing Amaravati as the state's sole capital.

"With all your cooperation, I am swearing in tomorrow (as the CM) and I would like to thank you all for that. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is coming for the swearing-in ceremony,” Naidu said, adding he had sought cooperation from the Union government for Andhra Pradesh's development and it was "assured".

South superstars Rajinikanth, Chiranjeevi, and actor-politician Nandamuri Balakrishna also attended the event at Gannavaram Mandal, Kesarapalli IT Park.

Naidu first became the chief minister in 1995 and went on to have another two terms.

His first two terms as chief minister were at the helm of united Andhra Pradesh, beginning in 1995 and ending in 2004, while the third term came post-bifurcation of the state.

In 2014, Naidu emerged as the first chief minister of bifurcated Andhra Pradesh and served it until 2019. He lost the 2019 polls and was the opposition leader until 2024.

Following a landslide victory in the 2024 elections, he is returning as the CM for a fourth term, ousting the YSRCP.

The NDA won a landslide victory in the recently concluded simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the state, winning 164 of the 175 assembly seats and 21 of the 25 Lok Sabha seats. 

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