Russia to sell 100 million doses of covid vaccine to India

News Network
September 16, 2020

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Moscow, Sept 16: Russia's sovereign wealth fund has agreed to supply 100 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, Sputnik-V, to Indian drug company Dr Reddy's Laboratories, the fund said on Wednesday, as Moscow speeds up plans to distribute its shot abroad.

The deal comes after the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) reached agreements with Indian manufacturers to produce 300 million doses of the vaccine in India, which is a major consumer of Russian oil and arms.

Dr Reddy's, one of India's top pharmaceutical companies, will carry out Phase III clinical trials of the vaccine in India, pending regulatory approval, RDIF said in a statement.

Deliveries to India could begin in late 2020, it said, adding this was subject to the completion of trials and the vaccine's registration by regulatory authorities in India.

Russia was the first country to license a novel coronavirus vaccine before large-scale Phase III trials were complete, stirring concern among scientists and doctors about the safety and efficacy of the shot.

The Phase I and II results had shown promise, G V Prasad, co-chairman of Dr Reddy's, was cited in the RDIF statement as saying.

"Sputnik V vaccine could provide a credible option in our fight against COVID-19 in India," he said.

There was no detail about the price of the vaccine but RDIF has said previously it was not aiming at making a profit, just covering costs.

The agreement comes as India's coronavirus cases surged past 5 million on Wednesday, piling pressure on hospitals grappling with unreliable supplies of oxygen that they need to treat tens of thousands of critical patients.

India is only the second country in the world to cross the grim milestone and said this week it is considering granting an emergency authorisation for a vaccine, particularly for the elderly and people in high-risk workplaces.

The RDIF has already reached vaccine supply deals with Kazakhstan, Brazil and Mexico. It has also signed a memorandum with the Saudi Chemical company.

Russia has billed Sputnik-V as the first vaccine against the coronavirus to be registered in the world. Phase III trials, involving at least 40,000 people, were launched in Russia on Aug. 26 but have yet to be completed.

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News Network
October 27,2020

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Kochi, Oct 27: United Arab Emirates (UAE) Consul General Jamal al Zaabi and Admin Attache Rashid knew about the smuggling of gold into Kerala through diplomatic channels, accused Ramees KT said in his statement to the Customs department.

The statement of Ramees KT, an accused in the high-profile Kerala gold smuggling case, was accessed by news agency.

"UAE Consul General Jamal al Zaabi and Admin Attache Rashid had knowledge about this smuggling," Ramees KT had told the Customs department during his interrogation in connection with the case.

He also revealed that the gold was smuggled to India through a UAE citizen named Dawood Al Arabi 12 times.

"Once I had seen (co-accused) Shameer concealing the gold in a cutting machine and packing the same while he was in Dubai. They had sent gold through Sadam Hussain, Mohammed Hasim, Saleem and Faisal Fareed," Ramees KT said in the statement.

"I had received a total of 4500 AED as remuneration and Rs 50,000 was paid to Sandeep out of the money i.e. 1500 USD per kilogram which the investors had given which is to be paid to Consul General. USD 1,000 per kg was been kept for Consul General," it added.

Ramees KT had told the Customs department that he had not met Al Zaabi in person but had tried to meet him in person through Sarith PS and Swapna Suresh.

The case, which is currently being probed by the Enforcement Directorate, the National Investigation Agency and the Customs Department, pertains to the smuggling of gold in the state through diplomatic channels.

The matter had come to light after 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore, smuggled in a diplomatic cargo, was busted by the Customs in Thiruvananthapuram on July 5.

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News Network
October 17,2020

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Ramanagara, Oct 17: In a dramatic turn of events, a case of gang rape turned out be case of honour killing with the arrest of victim's father and her elder brother along with her minor brother on Friday in Magadi.

This case made social media highlights as it coincided with the Hathras rape case. As a result, the Karantaka government even handed over the case Bengaluru Rural Superintendent of Police (SP), Ravi Channennavar, in the wake of Ramanagara SP S. Girsh testing Covid positive.

According to the police, the deceased identified as Hemalata (19) was a resident of Bettadahalli village in Magadi Taluka of Ramanagara district.

Her father, Krishnappa, filed a missing complaint on October 9, but on October 10 he filed a complaint of gang rape and murder. This had led to an outrage by upper caste and dominant Vokkaliga community on social media to lash out at the lower caste groups.

Acting swiftly, the state government directed neighbouring district Bengaluru SP, Channannevar to take over the case four days ago.

Soon after he took over the case, Magadi police started probing into various angles, including honour killing.

Speaking to media persons, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) of Magadi taluka, Omprakash said, "It was a challenging case as the family members had destroyed the evidences. She was killed using stone by her elder brother Chetan and her father Krishnappa, who had taken her to their farm to convince her not to shame their family by going out with her boyfriend, Puneet, who allegedly belonged to lower caste."

While the father was convincing the girl, her brother took a stone and hit her on the head and her younger brother (a minor) gave assistance in burning the body in their own farm.

The police have registered a case and are further investigation is on.

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News Network
October 27,2020

Bengaluru, Oct 27: Karnataka will go for its first elections on Wednesday for four legislative council seats amid the Covid-19 pandemic scare and the recent flood fury in several parts of the state.

The retirement of the four members of the legislative council necessitated the election.

The election should have taken place before June 30.

However, in the wake of the pandemic, it was postponed for an indefinite period. Subsequently, the Election Commission in September decided to conduct the elections on October 28.

These MLC elections are taking place for Karnataka South-East Graduates, Karnataka West Graduates', Karnataka North-East Teachers' and Bangalore Teachers' constituencies, which fell vacant due to the retirement of R Chowda Reddy Thoopalli, S V Sankanur, Sharanappa Mattur and Puttanna respectively.

Forty candidates are trying their luck in the elections in the four seats.

According to the Election Commission, Karnataka South-East Graduates constituency has 1.09 lakh voters who will cast their votes at 187 polling stations.

There are 15 candidates in the fray.

The BJP has fielded Chidanand M Gowda, Congress Ramesh Babu and JD(S) R Chowda Reddy Thoopalli.

In Karnataka West Graduates' constituency there are 11 candidates trying their luck and the fight is between S V Sankanur of BJP and R M Kuberappa of the Congress.

The constituency has 74,268 voters and 146 polling booths.

The Karnataka North-East Teachers' constituency has 29,234 voters who will vote at 147 polling stations.

Five candidates are contesting the elections there but the fight is primarily between Shashi G Namoshi of BJP, Sharanappa Mattur of Congress and Timmaiah Purle of JD(S).

The Bangalore Teachers' Constituency has 22,089 voters who will exercise their franchise at 69 polling booths. The fight is mainly between Puttanna of BJP, Praveen Peter of Congress and A P Ranganath of JD(S).

The election is crucial for the Bharatiya Janata Party as it lacks a majority in the state Legislative Council.

In the council with a strength of 75 members, Congress has 28 members, BJP -- 27 members, Janata Dal (Secular) -- 14 members, one independent, one chairman and four vacant seats.

All those who retired from the council are in the fray again.

The counting of votes will be held on November 2.

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