Spain closes 4 more regions amid worsening COVID-19 situation

News Network
October 29, 2020

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Madrid, Oct 29: The Spanish authorities have restricted movement in the regions of Andalusia, Castile-La-Mancha, Castile and Leon and Murcia due to the worsening epidemiological situation amid the pandemic, according to the regional governments.

The provinces of Granada, Jaen and Seville in Andalusia -- the country's largest autonomous community -- were put on a partial lockdown, following in the steps of the regions of Navarre, Aragon, Asturias, Basque Country and Rioja.

Exceptions to leave or enter the territory of the autonomous communities are visits to medical institutions, work or study-related issues, as well as visits to relatives.

Murcia closes borders for 14 days, while Andalusia, Castile and Leon and Castile-La-Mancha until November 9.

Community leaders in Madrid want to restrict movement during the long weekend due to the holidays.

Over the past two weeks, Spain confirmed more than 170,000 cases of the coronavirus, with over 34,000 of the infections being registered in Catalonia. On Sunday, a new curfew came into force across Spain. In Catalonia, residents are ordered to stay at home from 10 p. m. to 6 a. m. (from 21:00 to 05:00 GMT).

Last week, Spain became the sixth country in the world to register a total of over 1 million coronavirus cases.

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News Network
November 25,2020

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Islamabad, Nov 25: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday approved in principle a law on chemical castration of rapists and fast tracking of sexual assault cases, a media report said on Tuesday.

The decision was made during a federal cabinet meeting where the law ministry presented a draft of the anti-rape ordinance, Geo TV reported.

However, there was no official announcement about it.

The report said the draft includes increasing women’s role in policing, fast-tracking rape cases and witness protection.

Stressing that this was a serious matter, Khan said no delay will be tolerated.

“We need to ensure a safe environment for our citizens,” he said.

The premier said the legislation will be clear and transparent with strict enforcement.

He said the rape survivors will be able to register complaints without fear, adding that the government will protect their identity.

Some federal ministers also recommended public hanging for the rape convicts, the report said.

But the premier said castration will be a start. The federal cabinet has, in principle, approved strict severe punishment for rape convicts.

Taking to Twitter, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf senator Faisal Javed Khan said the law will soon be presented in Parliament.

There has been much debate around rape laws in Pakistan.

The rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl in Lahore in January 2018 and more recently the motorway gang-rape in Lahore sparked a debate on the severity of punishment to prevent sexual assaults.

Speaking at a joint sitting of Parliament recently, Khan had said that the government will soon introduce a three-tier legislation including registration of sex offenders, exemplary punishment for rape and child abuse and effective policing.

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News Network
November 17,2020

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Bengaluru, Nov 17: After months of closure due to coronavirus-induced lockdown, colleges across Karnataka reopened on Tuesday following all COVID-19 health protocols.

Every student has been asked to undergo an RT-PCR test and they will be allowed to join the varsity only if they tested negative for the infection.

"We had to submit the COVID-19 test result before joining. We have been given certain instructions to be followed. I am feeling good but a little tense too," said Ritika, a student of St Joseph's College.

St Joseph's College has begun conducting examinations and students are coming back from their homes to appear for the same.

"I am happy but tensed too. It took a lot of time for us to adjust to the online scheduling of classes. I do not know If I am ready for the examinations but I hope for the best," said another student.

Thermal screening and sanitisation are mandatory at the entrance gate of the university. Students are directed to wear masks and maintain social distancing inside the college premises.

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News Network
December 2,2020

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Leader of Opposition in the Karnataka assembly Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said the Congress will oppose if the government tries to bring in legislation against "love jihad" and cow slaughter in the state during the coming winter session. His comments come in the wake of the Uttar Pradesh governor giving assent to an ordinance against forcible or fraudulent religious conversions, which provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine of up to Rs 50,000 under different categories.

"Love jihad" is a coinage used by right wing activists to refer to the alleged campaign of Muslims forcing Hindu girls to convert in the guise of love. A delegation of Muslim leaders today met Siddaramaiah and held discussion as the government has decided to introduce the anti-cow slaugher bill during the state legislature session starting from December 7.

"Why has anti-cow slaughter legislation not been implemented in BJP ruled state of Goa? Why Karnataka? Muslim leaders had come to meet me expressing fear that if the law is enacted some of them will have to face difficulty and losses. We will oppose it strongly if the matter comes up for discussion during the session," Siddaramaiah was quoted as saying by his office in a release.

The Animal Husbandry Minister Prabhu Chavan had recently said the anti-cow slaughter bill will be introduced during the winter session. He had also said if the law was enacted, along with prohibition on slaughter, sale and use of beef, illegal transportation of animals for slaughtering would be stopped.

Terming the ordinance enacted in Uttar Pradesh, which among others also curbs religious conversions only for the sake of marriage, as unconstitutional, Siddaramaiah said after crossing a certain age everyone has the right to marry a person of choice. He said there is nothing in the constitution which specifies that a person has to choose a life partner from a specific community.

"This ordinance is without any sanity or discretion," he claimed. Stating that inter-religious marriages have been happening in the county between Hindus and Muslims from the time of the Mughals, the former Chief Minister said the constitution does not provide for implementing such a law.

If such a law is questioned in the court, it will get dismissed.If the government goes ahead with bringing in such a law despite it being against the constitution, it will prove the true intentions of the government, he said. "It makes clear the malicious intent of the BJP to disturb peace in the society," he said.

Last month Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had said that the government will take strong measures to put an end to religious conversion in the name of love and marriage. Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai too had said the government was considering a law against religious conversion for the sake of marriage, even as several BJP leaders had put forward similar demands.

However, reacting to Siddaramaih's statement, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J C Madhuswamy said there was no proposal of enacting a law against religious conversion for the sake of marriage before the government for now. "I don't know why he (Siddaramaiah) is issuing statements by guesswork. Being the scrutiny committee chairman,I can say that no such proposal has come before me yet," he added.

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