Pulitzer-winning photojournalist Danish Siddiqui killed while covering Army-Taliban clash in Afghan

News Network
July 16, 2021

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Kabul, July 16: Acclaimed journalist Danish Siddiqui was killed on Friday while covering a clash between Afghan security forces and Taliban fighters near a border crossing with Pakistan, an Afghan commander said.

Afghan special forces had been fighting to retake the main market area of Spin Boldak when Siddiqui and a senior Afghan officer were killed in what they described as Taliban crossfire, the official told Reuters.

Siddiqui had been embedded as a journalist since earlier this week with Afghan special forces based in the southern province of Kandahar and had been reporting on fighting between Afghan commandos and Taliban fighters.

"We are urgently seeking more information, working with authorities in the region," Reuters President Michael Friedenberg and Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni said in a statement.

"Danish was an outstanding journalist, a devoted husband and father, and a much-loved colleague. Our thoughts are with his family at this terrible time.”

Siddiqui told Reuters he had been wounded in the arm by shrapnel earlier on Friday while reporting on the clash. He was treated and had been recovering when Taliban fighters retreated from the fighting in Spin Boldak.

Siddiqui had been talking to shopkeepers when the Taliban attacked again, the Afghan commander said.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the details of the renewed fighting described by the Afghan military official, who asked not to be identified before Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry made a statement.

Siddiqui was part of the Reuters photography team to win the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography for documenting the Rohingya refugee crisis.

A Reuters photographer since 2010, Siddiqui's work spanned covering the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Rohingya refugees crisis, the Hong Kong protests and Nepal earthquakes.

Taliban fighters had captured the border area on Wednesday, the second-largest crossing on the border with Pakistan and one of the most important objectives they have achieved during a rapid advance across the country as U.S. forces pull out.

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Agencies
July 22,2021

Washington, July 22: More than 1.5 million children in 21 countries, including 1,19,000 from India, lost their primary and secondary caregivers to Covid-19 during the first 14 months of the pandemic, according to a study published in The Lancet.

The study funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), stated that 25,500 children in India lost their mother to Covid-19 while 90,751 lost their father and 12 lost both their parents.

The study estimates that 11,34,000 children lost a parent or custodial grandparent due to Covid-19. Of these, 10,42,000 children lost their mother, father or both. Most lost one, not both parents.

Overall, 15,62,000 children are estimated to have experienced the death of at least one parent or a custodial or other co-residing grandparent (or other older relative), the NIH said in a media release.

The countries with the highest number of children who lost primary caregivers (parents or custodial grandparents) include South Africa, Peru, United States, India, Brazil, and Mexico, it said.

The countries with rates of Covid-associated deaths among primary caregivers (>1/1000 children) include Peru, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Iran, United States, Argentina, and Russia, it added.

"Though the trauma a child experiences after the loss of a parent or caregiver can be devastating, there are evidence-based interventions that can prevent further adverse consequences, such as substance use, and we must ensure that children have access to these interventions," said NIDA Director Nora D Volkow.

According to the report, 2,898 Indian children lost either of their custodial grandparents while nine lost both of their custodial grandparents.

However, the 0.5 rate of loss of primary and custodial parents per 1,000 children in India is much less than other countries like South Africa (6.4), Peru (14.1), Brazil (3.5), Colombia (3.4), Mexico (5.1), Russia (2.0), and the US (1.8).

"When examining how variations by sex and age in deaths and average numbers of children influenced estimates of paternal versus maternal orphans, we found that, with the exception of South Africa, deaths were greater in men than women in every country, particularly in middle-aged and older parents," the report said.

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News Network
July 28,2021

Bengaluru, July 28: Karnataka Chief Minister designate Basavaraj S Bommai has played down corruption charges and possible interference of BY Vijayendra, BS Yediyurappa's son and BJP vice-president, in administrative affairs and called the outgoing CM as his political guru.

"Everything is transparent. Therefore, I would not like to comment on this issue. My administration will be authentic. This is the BJP government. I will have all the freedom. I will give pro-people's administration. From time to time, I will take guidance from senior party leaders," Mr Bommai said yesterday night when he was asked on the issue of Vijayendra's administrative interference and if he would look into the allegations of corruption charges against him.

Vijayendra has been accused of interfering in the administration by several BJP leaders, especially senior leader and former union minister Basanagouda Patil Yatnal. His administrative interferences were the main reasons for growing disgruntlement against Yediyurappa's leadership within the party.

He has also been accused of moving files after receiving kickbacks. MLC H Vishwanath of BJP said, "The files are being cleared after receiving kickbacks, This is the system of Vijayendra. Ten per cent kickbacks were received out of a tender worth more than Rs 20,000 crore. Is this government pro-contractors? This is a people's government," he said.

Vishwanath is one of the 16 leaders who had deserted the JDS and Congress to form the Yediyurappa government.

Speaking to reporters after meeting Governor Thawarchand Gehlot at Raj Bhavan, Bommai, whose candidature as the chief minister was proposed by Yediyurappa in the BJP Legislature Party meeting yesterday, said the Lingayat strongman is his political guru and would seek his guidance to fulfil his dreams of giving a pro-people's, pro-farmers, pro-Dalits and pro-women's administration.

"It is because of Yediyurappa I have reached this position. He is the reason for my growth in politics. He is my political guru. Yediyurappa has built this party by working day and night and dropping his sweat," he said.

Bommai said, on priority basis, he wants to make all dreams of Yediyurappa come true, especially the schemes announced in the state budget. He also wants to rescue and provide relief measures to people facing severe floods and Covid.

Asked if he was in the race for the coveted post, Bommai said he does not believe in race, but decisions. "I don't believe in race, but believe in decisions. The party seniors decided and legislators proposed, and I have received our leader Yediyurappa's blessings," he said.

Today at 11 am, Bommai is scheduled to take oath as the 23rd chief minister of Karnataka at Raj Bhavan. After that he plans to initiate programmes including ministry formation in the coming week.

"I am getting in touch with all the leaders on the phone. By morning, I will complete the job of contacting them. After the swearing-in ceremony, I will take up whatever programmes (including forming new council of minister) are there in the coming week," Chief Minister designate Basavaraj Bommai told reporters when he was asked about formation of the new ministry after he was chosen as the successor to Yediyurappa at BJP Legislature Party Meeting.

The council of ministers led by caretaker chief minister BS Yediyurappa was dissolved by Karnataka Governor Gehlot immediately after the Lingayat strongman tendered his resignation.

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News Network
July 24,2021

The Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) has declared both the class 10 or ICSE and class 12 or ISC results today, July 24. Nearly 3 lakh students had registered for the exams. 

99.98 per cent Class 10 students pass ISCE exams. The pass percentage for class 12 is 99.76 per cent.

The results were prepared using the previous years’ performances for both class 10 and 12 students. While for ISC, the past six years’ performances will be considered, for ICSE students classes 9 finals and 10 pre boards and practical marks will be taken into account.

The results will also be available via SMS. This will be the first time that the CISCE will be declaring the results without exams. This year none of the board exams could take place due to the pandemic. In another first, students will not be allowed to apply for re-evaluation, however, those unhappy with results will have a chance to appear for exams. 

How to check the results

1. Go to the CISCE website: cisce.org 

2. Fill the UID number.

3. Fill the index number.

4. Enter the capcha mentioned.

5. Click on "show result".

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