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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News Network
November 25,2020

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Melbourne, Nov 25: Dr Gaurav Sharma, one of the youngest and newly-elected MPs in New Zealand, on Wednesday took oath in Sanskrit in the country’s Parliament.

Sharma, 33, hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Hamirpur, was recently elected as the Member of Parliament from the Labour Party for Hamilton West in New Zealand.

India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand and Samoa, Muktesh Pardeshi said on Twitter that Sharma took oath first in “New Zealand’s indigenous Maori language, followed by India’s classical language - Sanskrit, showing deep respect for cultural traditions of both India and New Zealand.”

Sharma, who did his MBBS from Auckland and MBA from Washington, is working as a General Practitioner (GP) in Nawton, Hamilton. He has previously been involved in public health, policy, medicine and consulting in New Zealand, Spain, the US, Nepal, Vietnam, Mongolia, Switzerland and India.

Replying to a Twitter user who asked why he didn't take oath in Hindi, Sharma said it is hard to keep everyone happy so he decided Sanskrit as it pays homage to all the Indian languages.

“To be honest I did think of that, but then there was the question of doing it in Pahari (my first language) or Punjabi. Hard to keep everyone happy. Sanskrit made sense as it pays homage to all the Indian languages (including the many I can’t speak),” he said in a tweet.

Sharma, who had unsuccessfully fought elections in 2017, defeated Tim Macindoe of the National Party this year.

Earlier this month, Priyanca Radhakrishnan became New Zealand’s first-ever Indian-origin minister after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern inducted five new ministers into her executive. Born in India, Radhakrishnan, 41, went to school in Singapore before moving to New Zealand to further her education.

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News Network
November 21,2020

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Two years after wedding, Tina Dabi, who topped the Union Public Service Commission examination (2015 batch), and husband IAS Athar Khan have filed for divorce with mutual consent in a family court in Jaipur.

Their relationship which apparently started at the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy for Administration in Mussoorie and subsequent wedding grabbed the attention of the nation for more than one reason. While Tina ranked first, Athar ranked second. Many people hailed their wedding as a symbol of communal harmony. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had congratulated the IAS couple and had tweeted, “May your love grow from strength to strength and may you be an inspiration to all Indians in this age of growing intolerance and communal hatred. God bless you.”

Venkaiah Naidu, Sumitra Mahajan, Ravi Shankar Prasad had attended their wedding reception in Delhi. There were three wedding receptions — the first in Jaipur which was simple court ceremony, the second in Pahalgam and the third in Delhi.

Both Dabi and Athar were allocated to the Rajasthan cadre of the IAS. Individually too, both of them represent heights of achievement as Tina Dabi was the first ever Dalit woman to top the UPSC examinations. Athar, who is a year older than Tina, is from restive South Kashmir. Tina Dabhi hails from Bhopal and both his parents are in the Indian Engineering Services. She studied Political Science at Lady Shri Ram College. Athar is a BTech from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh.

Initially, both of them were in the same city, but Tina Dabi was later posted to Sri Ganganagar as Chief Executive Officer, Zila Parishad. Athar was posted to Jaipur as the CEO of Zila Parishad. 

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News Network
November 25,2020

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Beijing, Nov 25: China on Wednesday said it was firmly opposed to India's decision to block 43 more Chinese apps on national security grounds, claiming the move violated WTO rules.

India on Tuesday blocked 43 more Chinese mobile apps, including Alibaba Group Holding's e-commerce app AliExpress, in a fresh wave of web sanctions amid its border standoff with China. The banned applications, which include a few dating apps, were a threat to the "sovereignty and integrity of India", an official statement said in New Delhi.

The Ministry of Electronics and IT issued the order for blocking the access of these apps by users in India based on the comprehensive reports received from Indian Cyber Crime Coordination Center, Ministry of Home Affairs, the release said. Earlier on June 29 this year, the government had blocked access to 59 mobile apps and on September 2, another 118 apps were banned under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act.

The ban had come in the backdrop of border tensions with China in eastern Ladakh since May.

Asked for his reaction to the latest ban on Chinese apps by India, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here China expresses serious concern over India’s move.

“Since June this year four times India has imposed restrictions on smart phone apps that have Chinese backgrounds under the pretext of national security,” he said.

"This behaviour violates market principles and World Trade Organisation rules, severely undermines the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies. China firmly rejects it,” the spokesman said.

Zhao said Chinese government always asks its companies to abide by international rules and local laws and regulations when doing business overseas.

“Following the market principles, the Indian government has the responsibility to protect their lawful rights and interests of international investors, including Chinese companies”, he said.

He said the nature of China India economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial.

"We urge the Indian side to immediately correct its discriminatory behaviour and avoid further damage to bilateral cooperation,” he said.

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