World Health Organisation says global coronavirus tally topped 10.3 million

News Network
July 2, 2020

Geneva, Jul 2: The World Health Organization (WHO) has estimated the overall number of coronavirus cases globally at 10,357,662, with 508,055 people having died from the disease.

The UN health agency said in the situation report published on late Wednesday that 163,939 new cases had been recorded in the past day, while further 4,188 patients had died.

Americas continue to lead the count with over 5.2 million cases, followed by Europe with more than 2.7 million.

The WHO declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic on March 11.

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Agencies
January 5,2021

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New Delhi, Jan 5: Camping at Delhi borders for over a month now, protesting farmers seem undeterred in the face of severe cold, rains and waterlogging, and firm on their demands for repeal of farm laws and legal backing for MSP even as talks with the government remained inconclusive.

On Monday, the seventh round of talks were held to resolve the deadlock. The unions stuck to their demand for a complete repeal of the new farm laws they find pro-corporate, while the government wanted to discuss only "problematic" clauses or other alternatives. The two sides will meet again on January 8.

Speaking to reporters after the meet, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said he expected positive talks and a possible resolution in the next meeting, but asserted that "efforts need to be made from both sides for a solution".

The protesting farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been at the border points of the national capital for almost 40 days now, braving the bone-chilling cold weather in the region.

Sporadic rains have also lashed the city in the last couple of days, following which the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) arranged makeshift elevated beds in a tent provided by the organisation at the demonstration site near Singhu border.

The tent, located right beyond the main stage at the site, is pitched on the lower end of the highway, making it susceptible to waterlogging.

Since the farmers arrived at the national capital's borders in late November, the Delhi Traffic Police has been posting alerts on its official Twitter handle to inform commuters about road closures across the city.

In a series of tweets on Tuesday, the traffic police said Singhu, Auchandi, Piau Maniyari, Saboli and Mangesh borders are closed for traffic movement.

"Please take alternate route via Lampur Safiabad, Palla & Singhu school toll tax borders. Traffic has been diverted from Mukarba & GTK road. Please avoid Outer Ring Road, GTK Road & NH-44," it said.

"The Chilla and Ghazipur borders are closed for traffic coming from Noida & Ghaziabad to Delhi because of farmer protests. Please take alternate route for coming to Delhi via Anand Vihar, DND, Bhopra & Loni Borders," it added.

The traffic police said Tikri and Dhansa borders are also closed for traffic movement.

"Jhatikara Border is open only for LMV (Cars/Light Motor Vehicles), two wheelers and pedestrian movement," it said in another tweet.

According to the traffic police, people travelling to Haryana can take the routes via Jharoda (only single carriageway), Daurala, Kapashera, Badusarai, Rajokri NH-8, Bijwasan/Bajghera, Palam Vihar and Dundahera borders.

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News Network
January 10,2021

Washington, Jan 10: China and other countries in Asia like Vietnam have shown that there is a way of dealing with a pandemic even in the absence of a vaccine, allowing the economy to get back on track, according to a top IMF official.

The playbook here is the one that includes local restrictions, rapid testing, rapid tracing and seeing these measures through until the end, until localised outbreaks subside, said Hlge Berger, Mission Chief for China and Assistant Director, Asia and Pacific Department of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“I think China, but not only China, but other countries in Asia, look, for example, at Vietnam, have shown that there's a way of dealing with a pandemic even in the absence of a vaccine, that will allow the economy to get back, at least close to normal operating capacity by learning how to deal with local outbreaks,” Berger told reporters during a conference call.

That’s an important takeaway in a narrow sense from the experience of China that is particularly applicable to low-income countries that are facing pressures for the vaccine, he asserted.

“Other developments that I would stress have to do with digital enhancements of otherwise not online businesses; for example, in many low-income countries you do have well-developed electronic communication networks through cell phones. So, progress along these lines is helpful as well,” he said.

Vaccines, of course, are ultimately what will be needed to make sure so that all economies and the global economy gets back to normal, defined as the pre-pandemic normal, he noted.

“And here, I note that China has pledged to help facilitate the supply of vaccines to low-income countries; together with other economies, of course, it's not just China. But that is an important endeavour and at the Fund we encourage this, and we think it's important for the global economy and to help us all to overcome the pandemic, ultimately and go back to normal,” Berger added. 

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Agencies
January 7,2021

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Washington, Jan 7: Several US lawmakers have demanded immediate removal of President Donald Trump from office, alleging that he incited his supporters who stormed the Capitol in an unprecedented incident that has dented the democracy of America.

Thousands of pro-Trump rioters on Wednesday stormed the US Capitol, interrupting a joint session of Congress where lawmakers were set to certify President-elect Joe Biden's win.

As duly-elected members of Congress, we have the awesome responsibility to report the certification of the Electoral College on January 6 as outlined in the Constitution. Today, President Trump attempted to prevent us from completing this responsibility and disrupted democracy, Congressman Steven Horsford said.

His words were echoed by dozens of other lawmakers.

For the first time since the War of 1812, the United States Capitol was breached today. The violence and insurrection that I witnessed was in direct conflict with the ideals and principles that uphold our democratic institutions, and they are unprecedented in modern times, Horsford said.

"After today's violence, I have no other choice but to fulfil my own Constitutional responsibility and call for President Trump's removal. President Trump must be impeached and removed from office immediately, he said.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer called for Articles of Impeachment against Trump. He also urged Vice President Mike Pence and members of the US Cabinet to use the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove the president from office as quickly as possible.

Let's be clear about what happened here. The President of the United States sent a mob of domestic terrorists down Pennsylvania Avenue to attack and take over the US Capitol in order to stop the certification of an election that he lost badly, Blumenauer said, adding, This man needs to be removed immediately and I am hopeful he will face further consequences for his actions.

The 25th Amendment, adopted more than 50 years ago in the wake of President Kennedy's assassination, provides a mechanism for the succession of the president for his or her replacement in the event he or she proves unfit to serve.

Under the amendment, the vice president and a majority of either the Cabinet or some other body designated by Congress may remove the president from office.

This is not a one-off incident. It is the result of years of collaboration on the part of the Republican Party, who have aided and abetted Trump's criminal attempts to destroy our republic, and the cause of democracy around the world, said Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

"All leaders should denounce this coup. And the President should be impeached and removed from office for his open sedition, she said.

According to Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, the acts of "domestic terrorism" at the Capitol makes it clear that Trump is a "grave threat to our democracy who must immediately be removed from office".

"By actively inciting a violent insurrection, he has endangered the lives of members of Congress and staff, and once again demonstrated his contempt for democratic rule of law and the will of the American people," she said.

Asserting that Trump presents a clear and direct threat to the democracy and national security, Pressley said, "Our nation cannot afford one more day with him in office. As such, Trump must immediately be impeached by the House of Representatives and removed from office by the United States Senate."

Congressman Jimmy Gomez also demanded that Trump be removed from office as he called on Congress to finish certifying the 2020 presidential election results immediately.

If Vice President Mike Pence and the Trump cabinet lack the sound judgement and moral fortitude to exercise the 25th Amendment, I respectfully call on my House Judiciary Committee colleagues to quickly introduce articles of impeachment against the president, he said.

President Trump must be removed from office immediately. He is unfit to lead the nation, said Congresswoman Kathy Manning.

Meanwhile, 17 House Judiciary Democrats in a statement called on Vice President Pence to use the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.

President Trump is a rogue Commander-in-Chief who represents a credible threat to our national security, our democratic institutions and the people of this country, said Congressman Anthony Brown.

Today, Americans and people around the globe witnessed the shameful display of the president encouraging a mob to incite rebellion and overturn the results of a free and fair election. President Trump has once again betrayed his oath of office and demonstrated his extreme unfitness to lead. We cannot have a man actively orchestrating sedition leading our nation's government for another fourteen days, let alone giving orders to our men and women in uniform, he said.

Brown said as the world's most powerful democracy, the US cannot turn a blind eye to Trump's dangerous behaviour to undermine the Constitution and subvert the will of the American people.

"We cannot wait until January 20. Donald Trump is a subversive and must be removed from office, he said.

Congresswoman Sara Jacobs and Congressman Don Beyer also called for the immediate impeachment of Trump and the expulsion of those members of Congress who continue to stand in the way of the certification of the free and fair election.

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