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World News

2220 HRS
06.01.2021

NAMASKAR !  A warm welcome to ‘World News: an Indian perspective’, on All India Radio. This is ADITI LOOMBA and with me is R S RAGHU bringing glimpses of major developments of the day from across the globe. Over the next half an hour, we shall bring for you the latest from the world of politics, economy, sports , entertainment and more. In this edition we have an exclusive interview with Ms. NADIA RASHEED,  Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP, India.

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As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin the programme with a message of precaution to stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps:

⦁ Wear a face mask.


⦁ Maintain social distancing.


⦁ Focus on hand and face hygiene. 

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THE HEADLINES:

  • India gearing up to roll out nationwide COVID19 vaccination next week.
  • WHO expresses disappointment over China delaying the visit of Expert Panel to probe the origin of Coronavirus in Wuhan.
  • India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel through video conferencing.
  • India- France Strategic Dialogue to be held tomorrow
  • Democrat Raphael Warnock wins Run off elections in Georgia, control of US Senate hangs in balance
  • In Sports , Rohit Sharma, Navdeep Saini and Shubhman Gill  join the Indian squad for Sydney cricket test against Australia begining tomorrow.

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WN-INDIA-VACCINATION

India is gearing up to roll out its nationwide COVID-19 vaccination programme by next week. The move comes close on the heels of approval of two Made in India vaccines by the country’s drug regulator, the Drugs Controller General of India. Health Secretary Rajesh Bhushan told that arrangements are in place to introduce COVID-19 vaccine within 10 days from date of emergency use authorisation. He outlined the systems and logistics to ensure the smooth rollout of the vaccination program. These include  include  real time tracking of vaccine inventory,  its temperature and other critical parameters.




[WN-HEALTH SECRETARY]

A priority group of 300 Million people including frontline health workers, persons over 50 years, persons with co-morbid conditions have been identified for Vaccination. Their data has been pre-populated into the CoWIN digital platform. Real time monitoring of any Adverse Even Following Immunization (AEFI) is also in place.

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WN-UK STRAIN

Meanwhile, Indian Government has launched Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium, INSACOG within the country about a new strain of virus. Secretary Biotechnology Renu Swarup said ten laboratories have been identified where genome sequencing work is being done. She said, there is no scientific data to support the higher infectivity of UK SARS-CoV-2.

Member (Health) in NITI Aayog Dr V K Paul said, an optimistic scenario is emerging with the pandemic situation consistently improving in the country in terms of active cases and new deaths declining.

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WN-UK-FLIGHTS

India has started direct flight services to the United Kingdom. Flights were stopped between the two nations in the last week of December amid concerns over the ‘highly infectious’ new Covid-19 strain. Civil Aviation Minister Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri said that while flights from the UK will be able to enter India from January 8, flights from India will start from today. Two Air India flights, one from Delhi and one from Mumbai  to London are scheduled for today. The new strain was first detected in the United Kingdom and prompted British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to announce a nationwide lockdown on Tuesday.

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WN-WHO-CHINA

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that China has denied entry to the international experts’ team due to arrive in Wuhan to investigate the origins of Covid-19. China cited lack of necessary clearances and had denied the two experts entry into the country. However, China today said that details of the visit, including dates, were still being finalized and the issue is not only limited to visa clearances. The long-awaited probe by a 10 members expert team was agreed upon by Beijing after many months of negotiations with the WHO, which was expected to begin investigations in January 2021. More from our Beijing Correspondent.

V/C – ANSHUMAN MISHRA

World Health Organization Chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has expressed disappointment over China not yet granting permission to international experts to enter China to probe the origins of Covid-19. Dr. Tedros said, the members of international scientific team on COVID-19 have already begun their journey, but Chinese officials have not yet given the necessary permissions. He said, the mission is a priority for WHO and the global health body is eager to get the mission underway as soon as possible. WHO Chief said, the experts’ visit was as per arrangements jointly developed between WHO, Chinese government, and countries for which the team was meant to travel through on their way to Wuhan. Beijing had previously said it would give the WHO’s team full access to investigate the origins of the coronavirus. Today, Chinese foreign ministry said authorities and experts are still working to contain recent outbreaks in China and to advance the internal preparations for experts to come to china. Anshuman Mishra for World News, All India Radio, Beijing.

The virus was first detected in Wuhan in late 2019, with the initial outbreak linked to a market. While China has dismissed criticism of its handling of early cases that emerged in late 2019, some leaders including US President Donald Trump have questioned Beijing’s actions during the outbreak. Trump has often called it the ‘ChinaVirus’ and has repeatedly called for the Chinese government to be held accountable for this plague. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also slammed the Chinese Communist Party for continuing to spread disinformation regarding Covid-19, and obstructing the WHO investigation.

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WN-EMA-MODERNA

EU drug regulator European Medicines Agency (EMA) has authorized the use of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. In a statement, the EMA said EMA’s human medicines committee has thoroughly assessed the data on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine. It said that they have granted formal conditional marketing authorisation.  The EMA says trials demonstrated a 94.1% efficacy rate. The statement added that the vaccine provides another tool to overcome the current emergency.

The EU began vaccinations on 27 December. The Netherlands started its inoculation programme today.

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WN-GERMANY LOCKDOWN

Germany has extended the loc kdown in the country. State and federal governments agreed on Tuesday to prolong the lockdown and introduce new restrictions. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that they must be especially careful now in light of the new, more virulent strain of the Coronavirus.

According to the new rules, people arriving in Germany from high-risk areas will be required to submit two negative test results. A minimum five day quarantine period will be mandated, even if the first test is negative.

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WN-BIRD FLU

India’s department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying said that, Confirmed cases of  Avian Influenza, that is  Bird flu, has been reported till now from Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.The flu has been detected among crows in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan and among Migratory Birds in Himachal Pradesh and  among ducks in Kerala. No case has been detected in chickens. Department of Animal Husbandry has issued detailed advisory  to states to further intensify surveillance to detect any case in poultry birds.

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WN-EAM-SRILANKA

India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar has underlined the need to strengthen post COVID cooperation with Sri Lanka. At a joint press conference in Colombo, he described Sri Lanka as India’s India’s closest maritime neighbour and partner.

S/B S JAISHANKER-MARITIME SECURTY

Speaking on the ongoing reconciliation process with the Tamil Population in Sri Lanka, Dr. Jaishankar said that it’s completion is in Sri Lanka’s own interest to fulfil their expectations.

S/B S JAISHANKER-RECONCILIATION

Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka hailed the civilizational ties between the two countries. He expressed gratitude towards the support extended by India during the past several months of the COVID pandemic.

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WN-GEORGIA-ELECTIONS

In Georgia, Democrat Raphael Warnock has defeated Republican Kelly Loeffler in one of two Georgia Senate runoffs. Mr. Warnock, senior pastor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, will be Georgia’s first Black Senator.

If the Democrats win both runoffs, the Senate will be divided evenly between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.  In such a situation, Vice President Kamala Harris has the casting vote, giving Democrats the majority. If Perdue wins re-election in the other Georgia runoff, the Senate will remain in Republican hands.

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WN-ASIAN MARKET

Global stock today traded mixed as investors awaited for the U.S. Senate run-off election results in Georgia. China’s Shanghai Composite index climbed 0.6 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Singapore’s Straits Times, both added up to 0.2 percent. On the other side, South Korea’s KOSPI declined 0.8 percent and Japan’s NIKKEI-225 fell 0.4 percent.

European stocks were up in intra-day trade. Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC, both rose 0.8 percent and London’s FTSC-100 was trading 1.7 percent up.

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WN-PM-GERMANY

India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi interacted virtually with his German counterpart, Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel on Wednesday. The Prime Minister appreciated Chancellor Merkel’s leadership role in Europe and the world and thanked her for the India-Germany Strategic Partnership.

The two leaders discussed key issues of mutual importance including the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, bilateral ties, regional and global issues, particularly India-EU relations.

Mr. Modi welcomed Germany’s decision to join the International Solar Alliance (ISA), and expressed his desire to further strengthen cooperation under the platform of Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI).

The two leaders agreed to hold the sixth Inter-Governmental Consultations (IGC) at an early date in 2021 and to set an ambitious agenda for the same.

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WN-INDIA-FRANCE

India and France will hold their annual Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi tomorrow. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will lead the Indian delegation while the French delegation will be led by Emmanuel Bonne, Diplomatic Advisor to the French President.

In a statement, External Affairs Ministry said, the two sides will hold discussions on wide-ranging bilateral and global issues.

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WN-ASSANGE-BAIL

WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange was denied bail by a British court on Wednesday. District Judge Vanessa Baraitser issued the order while the courts consider an appeal by U.S. authorities against an earlier decision by the judge denying his extradition request by the US. 

On Monday, the judge had denied an American request to send Mr. Assange to the U.S. over espionage charges.

Elsewhere, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is reported to have said Mr. Assange is free to return home to Australia once legal challenges against him are dealt with.

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WN-GUTERRES-AFRICA

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said that fragility and conflict are among the greatest obstacles to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.  He was addressing the Security Council in New York on “Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security in Fragile Contexts, Mr. Guterres stated that COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated these trends and the linkages between conflict and fragility have been particularly visible in the African continent.

WN-GUTERRES-UNSC

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WN-HOTSPOT

Poverty alleviation has been one of the biggest challenges. The spectre of conflicts, hunger and deprivation has added to the woes of the people especially in Africa. Add to it, the effects of climate change and COVID 19, it has been a daunting task. Global institutions are ramping up their efforts to ensure a coordinated and cohesive response to address these issues. The UN Secretary General on Wednesday warned the world about the vicious cycle of climate emergency and poverty in the world in general and Africa in particular.

In today’s HOTSPOT, we are in conversation with Mr. Nadia Rasheed, NADIA RASHEED,  Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP, India. Ms. Rasheed shares her views on the Sustainable Developmental Goals, Multidimensional poverty and the Indian and Global efforts to address it.

WN – OPENING & CLOSING


WN-RASHA-INTERVIEW


WN – OPENING & CLOSING

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WN-KERALA-ECOTOURISM

The Southern Indian State of Kerala is blessed with a wide a richness in biodiversity that few other places in the country can boast of.  Under the India High Range Mountain Landscape project, a community ecotourism project is being implemented in Kerala by the Union Ministry of  Environment Forest and Climate Change, the Global Environment Facility, Kerala’s Haritha Mission and the UNDP. It aims to promote responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, involves and educates the tourists and the community over the ecological significance of the region. The  UN on Wednesday recognized two such projects in Mankulam and Kuttampuzha Panchayats in Kerala through its Twitter handle.

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WN-AR RAHMAN

Academy Award Winning music composer AR Rahman celebrates his birthday today. Dubbed the Mozart of Madras, Mr. Rahman won two Oscars for his soundtrack to the 2009 multi-award winning Slumdog Millionaire by Danny Boyle. To mark the occasion, let us take a listen to this amazing score from the famous Spirit of Unity Concert composed by the musician for India’s national Broadcaster, Doordarshan.

WN-AR RAHMAN

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WN-FPR

Now let us take a look at the major developments around the world, as reported in the foreign press:

Washington Post reports that China is neutralising Hong Kong democracy movement with mass arrests.

According to New York Times, Republican lawmakers plan to object to the votes of some electors. at the joint US congress session on wednesday.

The Guardian writes that thousands of the most vulnerable children have been sent to unregulated care homes during the pandemic.

Sputnik mentions about the clashes that took place in Washington DC on Tuesday between police and Donald Trump’s supporters during protests over alleged election fraud.

Gulf times has reported that UAE has approved the fifth economic stimulus package of 315 Million Dinar.

Himalayan Times writes that  The Election Commission of NEPAL has amended the  rules to formalise the split in the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

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WN-SPORTS


Moving onto sports,

In Cricket, Indian team for the third test match against Australia at Sydney Tomorrow has been announced. Rohit sharma replaces Mayank Agarwal while Navdip Saini comes in place of Umesh Yadav. Rohit Sharma is all set to open the innings with Shubhman Gill.

Pakistan had lost the second and the final test match against New Zealand. With this , New Zealand has now become the number one Test team in the world by winning the series  against Pakistan 2-0.

In Badminton, ahead of the Thailand Open starting next week the entire Indian contingent cleared the COVID-19 test on Wednesday.

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A QUICK LOOK AT THE HEADLINES ONCE AGAIN


UNDERPLAY


THE HEADLINES:

  • India gearing up to roll out nationwide COVID19 vaccination next week.
  • WHO expresses disappointment over China delaying the visit of Expert Panel to probe the origin of Coronavirus in Wuhan.
  • India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi holds talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel through video conferencing.
  • India- France Strategic Dialogue to be held tomorrow
  • Democrat Raphael Warnock wins Run off elections in Georgia, control of US Senate hangs in balance
  • In Sports , Rohit Sharma, Navdeep Saini and Shubhman Gill  join the Indian squad for Sydney cricket test against Australia begining tomorrow.

<<>>

India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to his favourite bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from Uzbekistan.


WN-VAISHNAV JAN–UZBEKISTAN


AND WITH THAT, WE END THIS BULLETIN. SEE YOU AT SAME TIME TOMORROW WITH THE NEXT EDITION OF WORLD NEWS.

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