7 crows found dead in Mangaluru, triggers bird flu panic

News Network
January 11, 2021

Mangaluru, Jan 11: Amid fears of bird flu spread in neighbouring Kerala, seven crows were found dead at different places in Mangaluru on Monday.

Three crows were found on the road near Pacchanady dumping yard, two near Shaktinagar housing colony and two more near the Kuppepadavu school road, sources in the state health department said. Health officials have visited the spots and collected samples.

It may be recalled that six crows were found dead in Manjanady near here recently and samples collected from them had tested negative for bird flu.

Health Minister K. Sudhakar had stated a couple of days back that there were no cases of bird flu in Karnataka and all the samples tested so far have returned negative.

He had also directed the health officials in the border districts to be vigilant in the wake of an avian flu outbreak in other states, including Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh.

Four districts in southern Karnataka bordering Kerala have been put on alert following the outbreak of bird flu (H5N8) in the neigbouring state.

"We have put four districts bordering Kerala -- Chamarajanagar, Dakshin Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru -- on alert and taken steps to prevent bird flu spread from the adjacent state though no case of the disease has been reported in Karnataka so far," a state animal husbandry department official had told IANS on January 7.

The animal husbandry department has also set up kiosks at border check-posts to monitor vehicles from Kerala to ensure chicken and eggs are not allowed to enter the districts without certification.

The Union Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Dairies on Monday said that avian influenza has been confirmed in 10 states of the country till date. The 10 states are -- Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Maharashtra, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Avian influenza or bird flu is a contagious viral disease caused by influenza type A viruses, which affect poultry birds like chickens and turkeys.

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Agencies
January 15,2021

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Washington, Jan 15: The US government has blacklisted Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi Corp. and China's third-largest national oil company for alleged military links, heaping pressure on Beijing in President Donald Trumps last week in office.

The Department of Defense added nine companies to its list of Chinese companies with military links, including Xiaomi and state-owned plane manufacturer Commercial Aircraft Corp. of China (Comac).

US investors will have to divest their stakes in Chinese companies on the military list by November this year, according to an executive order signed by Trump in November.

Xiaomi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Xiaomi Corp. overtook Apple Inc. as the worlds No. 3 smartphone maker by sales in the third quarter of 2020, according to data by Gartner. Xiaomis market share has grown as Huaweis sales have suffered after it was blacklisted by the U.S. and its smartphones were cut off from essential services from Google.

Separately, the Commerce Department put China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) on the entity list, an economic blacklist that forbids U.S. firms from exporting or transferring technology with the companies named unless permission has been obtained from the U.S. government. The move comes after about 60 Chinese companies were added to the list in December, including drone maker DJI and semiconductor firm SMIC.

CNOOC has been involved in offshore drilling in the disputed waters South China Sea, where Beijing has overlapping territorial claims with other countries including Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan, and Malaysia.

China's reckless and belligerent actions in the South China Sea and its aggressive push to acquire sensitive intellectual property and technology for its militarisation efforts are a threat to U.S. national security and the security of the international community, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement.

CNOOC acts as a bully for the Peoples Liberation Army to intimidate Chinas neighbors, and the Chinese military continues to benefit from government civil-military fusion policies for malign purposes, Ross said.

CNOOC did not immediately comment.

Chinese state-owned company Skyrizon was also added to the economic blacklist, for its push to acquire and indigenise foreign military technologies, Ross said.

Beijing Skyrizon Aviation, founded by tycoon Wang Jing, drew U.S. criticism for an attempt to take over Ukraines military aircraft engine maker Motor Sich in 2017. The concern was that advanced aerospace technology would end up being used for military purposes.

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News Network
January 15,2021

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Dharwad, Jan 15: At least 11 people, mostly women, were killed after a minibus in which they were travelling met with an accident in Dharwad district of Karnataka on Friday morning.

A group of 16 women from Davangere, who were members of the Ladies Club, were travelling to Goa for a vacation, when the incident occurred. 

The Dharwad Rural Police said that the women had decided to visit the residence of their friend in Dharwad for breakfast and had decided to take a detour. 

The minibus was crossing the Hubbali-Dharwad bypass, when it collided into the tipper truck which was coming from opposite direction as there was not enough room on the road to maneuver, Dharwad Sub-urban Police Inspector Yaligar said. 

Among the deceased include Preethi Ravikumar, the daughter-in-law of a former BJP MLA from Davangere’s Jagalur, Guru Siddanagouda. The other victims are Asha, Meerabai, Paranjyoti, Rajeshwari, Shakuntala, Usha, Veda, Veena, Manjula, Nirmala, Rajaneesh and Swati.

The injured were shifted to KIMS Hospital and several of them were said to be critical.

The 32-km Hubballi-Dharwad bypass is a single lane located along NH 48 between Bengaluru and Pune. Inspector Yaligar said that the residents of Dharwad had been complaining of the bypass being dangerous as the stretch is narrow and that it was not being used as a one-way. 

He said that the road widening work had been delayed for the last few months due to differences between the contractors and the government. “An accident case has been registered. We are still investigating the case,” he added. 

Superintendent of Police Krishna Kant supervised the rescue and relief operation. Police have also registered a case at Dharwad rural police station.

In a tweet, PM Narendra Modi said he is saddened by the loss of lives in the road mishap.

"Saddened by the loss of lives due to a road accident in Karnataka's Dharwad district. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray for a quick recovery of those injured," PM Modi tweeted.

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News Network
January 23,2021

Mangaluru, Jan 23: Mangaluru MLA U T Khader has urged the state government to conduct a high-level study to ensure that major and minor dams, bridges in Shivamogga and surrounding districts are safe following the massive explosion that took place in a stone crusher facility, in Shivamogga.

"Any damage to dams, bridges will have an impact when the region receives bountiful of rainfall in monsoon. There is a need to conduct a study on any cracks in hillocks in the vicinity and ensure that all major installations are safe", he told media persons.

Further, he sought to know whether there was no law and order in CM’s home district. "The police book cases when sand is transported in mini lorries. Why vehicles were not seized when huge quantities of explosives were transported? Whether higher officials from the mines and geology department were not aware of the huge quantity of explosives in quarry sites. Mines and Geology Minister should tender resignation owning moral responsibility," he added.

Khader further stated, "Several houses have been damaged in three districts following the tremors felt after the explosion. The government should disburse compensation for the damages immediately."

Meanwhile, MLC Prakash Rathod said that illegal quarries were functioning in Shivamogga district. "Who should be responsible for the loss of lives and damage to properties following the explosion in stone crusher facility? Nearly 60 villages were affected in the explosion", he added.

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