‘Most challenging’ and delayed Tokyo Olympics declared closed

News Network
August 8, 2021

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Tokyo, Aug 8: The Tokyo 2020 Games were declared closed by IOC chief Thomas Bach on Sunday, ending the "most challenging Olympic journey" after a year's pandemic delay and threats of cancellation.

Bach called them "unprecedented Olympic Games" as he addressed the 68,000-seat Olympic Stadium, which was bereft of fans as Japan battles to contain a record coronavirus outbreak.

"In these difficult times we are all living through, you give the world the most precious of gifts: hope," the International Olympic Committee president told athletes at the ceremony.

"And now I have to mark the end of this most challenging Olympic journey to Tokyo: I declare the Games of the 32nd Olympiad closed," he added.

It marked a low-key end to an extraordinary Olympics that have mostly played out in empty venues with only athletes, team officials and media present.

Athletes have lived in strict biosecure conditions with social distancing at the Olympic Village and instructions to wear masks unless eating, sleeping, training or competing.

Bach has described how the IOC considered cancelling the Olympics and claiming the costs on its insurance policy but said officials ploughed ahead with holding the Games "for the athletes".

"Some were already speaking of 'Ghost Games'," he told an IOC session earlier on Sunday.

"What we have seen here is that on the contrary the athletes have brought soul to the Olympic Games."

On Sunday, the climax of the biggest sports event since the pandemic, Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge won the men's marathon and the USA edged China at the top of the medals table.

The United States scored victories in volleyball, track cycling and basketball to top the tally with 39 gold medals, just one ahead of China.

The Olympics were plagued by low Japanese support as they went ahead with Tokyo and other regions under a state of emergency and with infections multiplying to new highs.

But Japan's record haul of 27 golds to finish third on the table has won hearts. Britain were fourth with 22 and the Russian Olympic Committee, the team for Russian athletes after their country was banned for systematic doping, were fifth with 20.

"We believe our athletes' earnest spirit and all-out performance moved people," said Tsuyoshi Fukui, chef de mission for the Japanese team.

A succession of big names have failed to perform in Japan, where new sports skateboarding, surfing, sport climbing and karate have brought young new stars to the fore.

But marathon world record holder Kipchoge showed his class, kicking in the closing stages and clocking 2hr 08min 38sec to retain the title he won in 2016.

"I know there were a lot of people against holding this Olympics due to the coronavirus," said a flag-waving, 47-year-old fan on the marathon route who gave his name as Tsujita.

"But I am glad it took place. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for everyone."

The marathon, moved north to Sapporo to avoid Tokyo's summer heat, was one of the few events to allow spectators.

Fears of a major outbreak among the mostly vaccinated Olympic athletes and officials proved unfounded and 430 cases were picked up during the Games, including 32 in the Olympic Village.

But the virus has lurked as an ever-present threat. Victory celebrations were muted, with lonely laps of honour. But the athletes' emotions were on full view.

Superstar gymnast Simone Biles provided the most jaw-dropping moment when she abruptly pulled out of competition over a bout of the "twisties", a disorientating mental block.

Biles, widely acknowledged as the greatest gymnast in history, recovered sufficiently to claim a redemptive bronze medal in her final event, the beam.

Weightlifter Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand became the first openly transgender woman to compete at the Games and Canada's Quinn became the first openly transgender Olympic medallist, with gold in the women's football.

In other highlights, the US men's team won their fourth consecutive men's basketball crown, US swimmer Caeleb Dressel assumed the mantle of Michael Phelps with five gold medals in the pool and Jamaica's Elaine Thompson-Herah achieved a sprint double on the track.

Among the final events on Sunday, Jason Kenny claimed the men's keirin to become the first Briton to win seven Olympic titles.

The Americans started the day two golds behind China but the women's basketball and volleyball titles and US track cyclist Jennifer Valente's omnium victory put them top of the table.

The Olympic flag was passed to 2024 hosts Paris at the ceremony. But the Olympic circus will reconvene in just six months when Beijing, faced with boycott threats and a renewed coronavirus emergency, holds the Winter Games in February. 

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News Network
September 6,2021

Bengaluru, Sep 6: It was a sweet and sour day for the BJP on results day of the municipal corporation polls held in three cities of Karnataka.

While the party registered a historic win in Belagavi municipal corporation election, the party failed to get a clear majority in Hubballi-Dharwad and Kalaburagi municipal corporations.

The BJP emerged as the single-largest party in Hubballi-Dharwad corporation by winning 39 seats out of 82 seats and came a close second to the Congress in Kalaburagi civic body by winning 23 seats out of 55 seats.

However, the BJP is satisfied with its performance in Kalaburagi as the party had just won seven seats in the last elections.

This election, it put up a ground breaking performance by tentatively winning 23 seats. The Congress won 26 seats and the remaining seats were won by others.

However, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai exuded confidence of sewing up majorities in Hubballi-Dharwad and Kalaburagi city corporations, with the support of other candidates, including JDS.

"The municipal corporation elections were almost a sample test for me after one month of my taking over as the chief minister. Out of the three municipal corporations, we have got a majority in two of the municipal corporations," he told reporters here.

"In the third one also (Kalaburagi), we are going to make the majority. We are in a very close race, but we are going to make the majority there also. So, all three corporations will have BJP mayors," he added.

Bommai also said it is a clean sweep for the party and a drubbing for the Congress.

These polls were a litmus test for Bommai, more so in Hubballi-Dharwad, which is his hometown. It also is the hometown of Union Minister Pralhad Joshi and senior BJP leader Jagadish Shettar.

Despite the presence of these leaders, the party failing to get a clear majority is a setback for Bommai as some voices within the party would target him, questioning his electoral leadership.

For BJP, Hubballi-Dharwad has been its stronghold for more than two decades and it was looking to complete a hat-trick this election, but could not as factionalism played spoilt sport.

Ahead of the election, the BJP had expelled 16 leaders for anti-party activities. The rebels had raised voice against the party for not giving them tickets.

Out of these rebel candidates, two of them won their respective wards. The party fell three short of the required majority of 42 out of the toral 82 seats.

The Congress managed to get the second largest share of 33 seats while the remaining went into the kitty of Independents, two of them were revel BJP aspirants.

To get a clear majority, the BJP will either have to get support from three Independents including two rebel BJP aspirants who won the election.

In Kalaburagi, JDS has emerged kingmaker as it won four seats, which has almost decided to lend support to the BJP, which garnered 23 seats.

Also, one rebel BJP candidate is expected to support the saffron party, which would take the total to 28 seats, which is a majority mark for any party to win an election.

BJP registers historic win in Belagavi

However, BJP registered a historic win after the party got a clear majority in the Belagavi city corporation election.

BJP got a clear majority in Belagavi city corporation elections, which has attracted the attention of the entire Maharashtra including Karnataka.

According to the results so far, the BJP won 39 wards, while Congress won ten out of the total 58 wards. Other parties managed to bag 13 seats, out of which, MES won just two seats.

The BJP had campaigned vigorously and aggressively in this election, which bore fruits for the party.

On the resounding win in Belagavi corporation polls, senior BJP leader and minister KS Eshwarappa said he was sure of the party winning in Belagavi because people there are staunch nationalist supporters.

Also, Belagavi has been BJP's stronghold in general and assembly elections, he said.

Asked if the results were in favour of BJP in two corporation polls, Eshwarappa said the victories suggest that the people of the two cities have acknowledged the good work carried out by Bommai in ministerial capacities.

However, BJP's politics does not revolve around individual politics, but around party, sangh parivar and leadership, he stated. "Because of these three factors, the party wins most of the elections. People have tremendous faith in the party, leadership and sanghatane," he added.

On Kalaburagi poll results, Eshwarappa said though people are benefiting from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas, Muslims have not been voting for the party.

"Looking at what is happening in Afghanistan which is under Taliban's control, Muslim voters one day pin faith in PM Modi's Sab Ka Saath Sabka Vikas, and they will vote for BJP," he said.

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News Network
September 15,2021

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Days after his Taliban-RSS remark sparked a row, screenwriter and lyricist Javed Akhtar said that ‘Hindus are the most tolerant majority in the world’ in Shiv-Sena mouthpiece ‘Saamna’.

In his earlier statement, Akhtar had said that Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Bajrang Dal and the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) were similar to the Taliban in their form of extremism.

Clarifying his remarks, Akhtor wrote, “Actually, in the recent interview, I have said ‘Hindus are the most decent and tolerant majority’ in the world. I have repeated this time and again and also emphasised that India can never become like Afghanistan because Indians by nature are not extremists. It is in their DNA to be moderate, to keep to the middle of the road.”

Further, Akhtar went on to explain what according to him was similar between the Taliban and Hindu right-wing. 

“As a matter of fact, there are a lot of similarities. While the Taliban is forming an Islamic government based on religion, the Hindu right-wing wants a Hindu Rashtra. The Taliban wants to curb women’s rights and put them on the margin, the Hindutva right-wing has also made it clear that they don’t like the freedom of women and girls,” he said.

Akhtar was earlier criticised by the Shiv-Sena for his controversial comment. An editorial in Saamna said that even though Akhtar was secular and spoke against fundamentalism in general, he was completely wrong in comparing the RSS with the Taliban.

In his piece, Akhtar praised Uddhav Thackeray and said that even Thackeray's worst critics could not accuse the chief minister of discrimination and injustice -- so it was beyond his understanding why the Thackeray government might be referred to as ‘Talibani’.

“My detractors have said that while I am criticizing the Hindu right-wing I have never stood against fanatics among the Muslim fold. They have accused me of not saying anything about triple talaq, of not speaking on purdah or any other regressive practice within the Muslim community. I am not surprised at the fact that they are totally unaware of my activities over the years,” he also said.

“Over the past two decades, I have been given police protection twice because of the threats to my life from fanatical Muslims: first, because not only had I vociferously opposed triple talaq when the issue was not on the national radar, but I had, along with an organisation named Muslims for Secular Democracy (MSD), toured several cities across India like Hyderabad, Allahabad, Kanpur and Aligarh and from a variety of public platforms spoken out against this retrograde practice,” he said.

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News Network
September 14,2021

Dubai, Sept 14: The UAE Cabinet has issued Resolution No 83 of 2021, designating 38 individuals and 15 entities on its approved list of persons and organisations supporting terrorism (Local Terrorist List).

The resolution underscores the UAE's commitment to target and dismantle networks that finance terrorism and its related activities.

The resolution demands that regulatory authorities monitor and identify any individuals or entities affiliated with or associated with any financial, commercial or technical relationship and take the necessary measures according to the laws in force in the country in less than 24 hours.

Following is the full list of added individuals:
1. Ahmed Mohammed Abdulla Mohammed Alshaiba Alnuaimi (UAE)
2. Mohamed Saqer Yousif Saqer Al Zaabi (UAE)
3. Hamad Mohammed Rahmah Humaid Alshamsi (UAE)
4. Saeed Naser Saeed Naser Alteneiji (UAE)
5. Hassan Hussain Tabaja (Lebanon)
6. Adham Hussain Tabaja (Lebanon)
7. Mohammed Ahmed Musaed Saeed (Yemen)
8. Hayder Habeeb Ali (Iraq)
9. Basim Yousuf Hussein Alshaghanbi (Iraq)
10. Sharif Ahmed Sharif Ba Alawi (Yemen)
11. Manoj Sabharwal Om Prakash (India)
12. Rashed Saleh Saleh Al Jarmouzi (Yemen)
13. Naif Nasser Saleh Aljarmouzi (Yemen)
14. Zubiullah Abdul Qahir Durani (Afghanistan)
15. Suliman Saleh Salem Aboulan (Yemen)
16. Adel Ahmed Salem Obaid Ali Badrah (Yemen)
17. Ali Nasser Alaseeri (Saudi Arabia)
18. Fadhl Saleh Salem Altayabi (Yemen)
19. Ashur Omar Ashur Obaidoon (Yemen)
20. Hazem Mohsen Farhan + Hazem Mohsen Al Farhan (Syria)
21. Mehdi Azizollah Kiasati (Iran)
22. Farshad Jafar Hakemzadeh (Iran)
23. Seyyed Reza Mohmmad Ghasemi (Iran)
24. Mohsen Hassan Kargarhodjat Abadi (Iran)
25. Ibrahim Mahmood Ahmed Mohammed (Iran)
26. Osama Housen Dughaem (Syria)
27. Abdurrahaman Ado Musa (Nigeria)
28. Salihu Yusuf Adamu (Nigeria)
29. Bashir Ali Yusuf (Nigeria)
30. Muhammed Ibrahim Isa (Nigeria)
31. Ibrahim Ali Alhassan (Nigeria)
32. Surajo Abubakar Muhammad (Nigeria)
33. Alaa Khanfurah - Alaa Abdulrazzaq Ali Khanfurah - Alaa Alkhanfurah (Syria)
34. Fadi Said Kamar (Great Britain)
35. Walid Kamel Awad (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
36. Khaled Walid Awad (Saint Kitts and Nevis)
37. Imad Khallak Kantakdzhi (Russia)
38. Mouhammad Ayman Tayseer Rashid Marayat (Jordan)

Following is the full list of the added entities:
1. Ray Tracing Trading Co LLC
2. H F Z A Arzoo International F Z E
3. Hanan Shipping L.L.C
4. Four Corners Trading Est
5. Sasco Logistic L.L.C
6. AlJarmouzi General Trading LLC
7. Al Jarmoozi Cargo & Clearing (L.L.C)
8. Al Jarmoozi Transport By Heavy & Light Trucks (L.L.C)
9. Naser Aljarmouzi Ceneral Trading (L.L.C)
10. Naser Aljarmouzi Cargo & Clearing LLC
11. Wave Tech Computer LLC
12. NYBI Trading - FZE
13. KCL General Trading F Z E
14. Alinma Group

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