India’s active covid cases increase as 41,383 new infections outnumber daily recoveries

News Network
July 22, 2021

New Delhi, July 22: India on Thursday recorded 507 coronavirus fatalities in the last 24 hours, pushing the country's death toll to 4,18,987, according to the Union Health Ministry data.

With 41,383 new infections, taking the total tally of cases to 3,12,57,720, and 38,652 persons recovering over the past 24 hours, the number of daily cases outnumbered recoveries.

The active cases in the country have increased to 4,09,394.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday alleged that around 50 lakh Indians died during the second wave of Covid-19 infection due to "wrong decisions" of the Union government.

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News Network
September 28,2022

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Jeddah, Sept 28: King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday named Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman the Kingdom’s prime minister and appointed Prince Khalid bin Salman defence minister in a Cabinet reshuffle by royal decree.

The crown prince had previously been defense minister, and Prince Khalid was deputy defence minister. King Salman will continue to chair Cabinet meetings that he attends, the decree said.

The other major appointment in the reshuffle was that of Yousef bin Abdullah Al-Bunyan, chief executive of the Saudi chemical manufacturing company SABIC, as minister of education.

The ministers who retain their portfolios are the Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Minister of Investment Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, Minister of Interior Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud, and Minister of Finance Mohammed bin Abdullah Al-Jadaan.

Prince Abdullah bin Bandar also remains as Minister of the National Guard, Walid Al-Samaani stays in his role as Minister of Justice, and Abdullatif bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh remains as Minister of Islamic Affairs.

Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan retains his post as Minister of Culture, and Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal keeps his role as Minister of Sports.

Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah will also stay in his role as Minister of Hajj and Umrah, and Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi also remains as Minister of Commerce.

Bandar bin Ibrahim Al-Khorayef remains as Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Ahmed Al-Khateeb as Minister of Tourism, Faisal bin Fadhil Alibrahim as Minister of Economy and Planning, and Fahd bin Abdulrahman Al-Jalajel as Minister of Health.

The new defense minister, Prince Khalid, is a former Saudi ambassador to Washington. He graduated from the King Faisal Air Academy in Riyadh and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force.

The prince received his initial pilot training at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and advanced training at Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi. He also studied advanced electronic warfare in France.

Previously, he was an F-15 pilot and tactical intelligence officer in the RSAF. Before a back injury ended his flying career, Prince Khaled flew more than 50 combat missions as part of the international coalition campaign against Daesh in Syria, and the Decisive Storm and Renewal of Hope operations in Yemen. 

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News Network
September 23,2022

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New Delhi, Sept 23: India has spent nearly $100 billion in the past year to defend the rupee in a battle that has so far failed to staunch the local currency’s drop to a record low against the dollar on Friday.

Data from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) showed that the country’s forex reserves have fallen to $545.7 billion as of September 16, from $550.8 billion a week ago, and a far cry from the $642.45 billion seen exactly a year ago. The reading is the lowest since October 2, 2020. 

To be sure, some of the drop is also due to revaluation changes, given the dollar’s move upwards. 

“The fall in reserves is a combination of factors such as intervention, balance of payments deficit, and the revaluation of reserves held in other currencies vis-a-vis the US dollar,” said Aditi Nayar, chief economist at ICRA in New Delhi. 

India’s currency fell to a record low 81 a dollar and has lost over 8 per cent so far this year against the greenback. The dollar has surged to a two-decade high against major currencies after the Federal Reserve signaled a longer-than-expected tightening cycle. 

The data comes as RBI has mounted a strong defense in the last few weeks to soothe market fears over further currency losses. The decline in the rupee is also raising worries with impact seen on inflation, external deficits and company profits. 

“You buy an umbrella to use it when it rains,” RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das said earlier in July, indicating that the central bank had been using foreign exchange reserves to deal with currency volatility.

While India’s forex buffer should be sufficient to shield the economy against any major external shock, we expect the RBI to become more prudent in the latter part of the current fiscal year, Kotak Mahindra Bank economists lead by Upasna Bhardwaj wrote in a note. 

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News Network
September 23,2022

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Kannur, Sept 23: A group of Popular Front of India (PFI) activists were beaten up by local people when they allegedly tried to forcefully down the shutters of shops here as part of the hartal called by their outfit in the state on Friday.

Angry local people reacted strongly when the protesters asked them to close the shops, beat them up and handed one of them to the police at the Central Bazar in Payyannur in this politically-volatile northern district. 

In the visuals aired by local television channels, it could be seen that one of the hartal supporters was beaten up by a group of local people, who chased him when he tried to run away and handed him over to the police later.

According to local people, the incident happened when a group of PFI workers rushed to the bazaar area knowing that some of the shops were open. Besides the shoppers and local people, those belonging to other political parties also said to have joined in the bid to check the PFI workers' attempt to close the shops.

At least four people were reportedly under the custody of Payyannur police in connection with the incident. Sporadic incidents of violence were reported in various parts of southern state during the hartal called by the radical Islamic outfit. 

The hartal was called by the PFI to protest against the raids in the offices and residences of its leaders and their subsequent arrests on Thursday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and other agencies for allegedly supporting terror activities in the country.

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