Mon, 26 October 2020
4 more years of Trump makes me sick: Clinton
21:14 4 more years of Trump makes me sick: Clinton
US former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she cannot "entertain" the idea of US President Donald Trump winning the 2020 election and it makes her "sick to my stomach" to think there could be four more years of abuse and destruction of Americans institutions and lessening of US leadership if Trump is re-elected.
Clinton, 73, who lost the 2016 presidential election to Trump, 77, despite winning nearly three million more votes, said, in his abuse of power the Republican leader, if re-elected, would be aided and abetted, "sadly", by both elected and appointed officials.
"Look, I mean, I can't entertain the idea of him winning...It would cause cognitive dissonance of a grave degree," Clinton said in an interview with The New York Times.
"It makes me literally sick to my stomach to think that we'd have four more years of this abuse and destruction of our institutions, and damaging of our norms and our values, and lessening of our leadership, and the list goes on. But there's no doubt that he would do everything he could to attack and punish anyone who was, in his view, an adversary," she said.
In the November 3 presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden, 77, will challenge incumbent US President Trump.
"One of the most important accomplishments that I hope we see in this election is a Democratic Senate, where that would be the check that we would need against further abuse of power," Clinton said.
Clinton, who is also the former First Lady, asserted that Trump does not have any boundaries at all and "I don't think he has any conscience. He's obviously not a moral, truthful man. So he will do whatever he can to lift himself up. And remember, as I said, he lives with this specter of illegitimacy. He knows more about how he got really elected than we still do. Hopefully, we'll learn more in the years ahead."
21:04 BCCI announces India's squads for Australia
BCCI announces India's T20I, ODI & Test squads for Australia tour.
Virat Kohli (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vc & wk), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish, H Pandya, Sanju Samson, Ravindra Jadeja, W Sundar, Y Chahal, J Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, D Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy.
Virat Kohli (Capt), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar, Ajinkya (vc), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Saha (wk), Rishabh Pant (wk), Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Mohd Siraj
Four additional bowlers - Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi, Ishan Porel and T. Natarajan - will travel with the Indian contingent for the tour of Australia.
The limited overs is likely to be held entirely in Sydney and Canberra which will be followed by a four-match Test series. The dates and schedule for the tour is yet to be officially confirmed by Cricket Australia and BCCI.
20:39 Trump's aide admits US can't control COVID
Donald Trump's top aide has conceded that the US is "not going to control" the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing sharp criticism from the president's Democratic rival Joe Biden that the Trump administration has waived "the white flag of defeat" against the deadly virus.
The raging coronavirus outbreak has become a key issue in the November 3 presidential election between Trump, a Republican, and Biden, a former US vice president.
"We are not going to control the pandemic," White House chief of staff Mark Meadows told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, arguing that "proper mitigation factors" like therapies and vaccines should be the priority.
Meadows said control of the virus was not a realistic goal because "it is a contagious virus just like the flu."
About 225,000 Americans have died since the pandemic began, the highest figure of any country. The US has also reported over 8,638,000 positive cases.
20:05 India-US to sign pact on satellite data sharing
India and the United States will sign a military agreement on sharing of satellite data during the current visit by US Defense Secretary Mark Esper, the Indian defence ministry said on Monday, deepening strategic ties.
The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on Geospatial Cooperation will allow India access to topographical, nautical and aeronautical data for better accuracy of weapons like missiles and drones.
The two ministers expressed satisfaction that agreement of BECA will be signed during the visit, the Indian defence ministry said following Espers talks with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
19:28 US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo meets EAM Jaishankar
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo meets External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, ahead of the third India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue tomorrow.
19:10 Maha govt reduces COVID test rates for 4th time
The Maharashtra government has brought down the rate for COVID-19 tests conducted at private laboratories by Rs 200, state health minister Rajesh Tope said on Monday.
Tope, in a statement, said the new rates will be Rs 900, Rs 1,400 and Rs 1,800 per test, adding it was the fourth time rates had been revised from the original Rs 4,500.
"While Rs 900 will be the cost that can be levied by pathological laboratories, charges for tests conducted through laboratories at COVID-19 centres, hospitals and quarantine centres will be Rs 1,400. A rate of Rs 1,800 has been allowed for testing samples collected from homes," the statement quoted Tope as saying.
He added that the state was carrying out 70,000 tests per one million people now and efforts were on to raise it further.
18:37 PNB Case: Nirav Modi's bail rejected in UK court
In a major setback to the fugitive diamantaire Nirav Modi, the UK court yet again rejected Modi's bail plea on Monday.
Earlier this month, the UK court extended the remand of Modi till the next scheduled hearing in his ongoing extradition trial on November 3. Last month, Modi's legal counsel told the UK Court that Nirav Modi is unlikely to get a fair trial in India due to the politicisation of his case and that he faces a "high risk of suicide" due to the lack of adequate medical facilities in Indian prisons.
The 49-year-old jeweller is wanted in India on charges of fraud and money laundering in the estimated $2 billion Punjab National Bank scam.
18:24 UK hospital told to prepare for vaccine in Nov
Staff at a major London hospital trust have been told to be ready to receive the first batches of the vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc, The Sun newspaper reported on Monday.
The Sun said the hospital was told to prepare for the vaccine from the "week commencing the 2 November."
18:12 COVID rate can come down by 24% with ban on public events: Study
Ban on public events can bring down the COVID-19 reproduction number (R) number -- a key measure of virus transmission -- by 24 per cent in less than a month, according to a modelling study published in The Lancet journal.
An R value above 1 indicates a growing outbreak, whereas an R value below 1 indicates a shrinking outbreak.
The research using data from 131 countries suggests that individual measures, including closure of schools and workplaces, ban on public events and gatherings of more than ten people, requirements to stay at home, and internal movement limits, are associated with a reduction in transmission of SARS-CoV-2.
However, combined measures are more effective at reducing transmission, the researchers said.
"We found that combining different measures showed the greatest effect on reducing the transmission of COVID-19. As we experience a resurgence of the virus, policymakers will need to consider combinations of measures to reduce the R number," said Professor Harish Nair from the University of Edinburgh, UK.
"Our study can inform decisions on which measures to introduce or lift, and when to expect to see their effects, but this will also depend on the local context -- the R number at any given time, the local healthcare capacity, and the social and economic impact of measures," Nair said.
When looking at the measures individually, a ban on public events was associated with the greatest reduction in R -- 24 per cent reduction after 28 days -- which the researchers suggest may be because they are likely to prevent super spreader events and it was often the first measure to be introduced in countries.
17:54 Italy re-shutter theatres as second wave of COVID-19 hits Europe
As the second wave of coronavirus hit Europe, theatres are re-shuttered to arrest the virus spread in Italy.
Theatres were closed in February and after relaxation in lockdown, it was reopened in June.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte responded to a spike in COVID-19 infection and announced that cinemas along with live theatres, discos, and gaming halls, will be forced to close their doors.
The government hopes the partial-shutdown will curb the infection rate and avoid the necessity of another total lockdown.
Italy also introduced a new curfew for bars and restaurants, which will have to stop service after 6 pm.
Even, Spain and France have introduced curfews as COVID-19 numbers spike.
Spain has also introduced a nationwide curfew starting from 11 pm to 6 am.
However, the United Kingdom has exempted theatres from the curfew rule since it will only apply to films that start after 10 pm, not for screenings that begin before then and extend after the curfew, as per The Hollywood Reporter.
17:22 3 leaders quit PDP over Mehbooba's remarks
Three leaders have quit Mehbooba Mufti's party in Jammu-Kashmir, saying her remarks "hurt patriotic sentiments".
PDP leaders TS Bajwa, Ved Mahajan, and Hussain A Waffa in a letter to party president Mufti, stated that they are 'feeling quite uncomfortable over some of her actions and undesirable utterances especially which hurt patriotic sentiments'.
PDP chief and former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday said that she was not interested in contesting elections or holding the tricolour till the constitutional changes enforced on August 5 last year were rolled back.
16:54 Kamal Nath, Digvijaya biggest gaddars: Scindia
Accusing former chief ministers Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh of being the "biggest traitors" in Madhya Pradesh, BJP leader Jyotiraditya Scindia on Monday said they betrayed voters' trust by running a "corrupt" government and he had to leave the Congress after people's issues raised by him were not addressed despite approaching "every port of call".
He also expressed confidence that the BJP will "win a majority", if not all, of the 28 assembly seats where bypolls will be held on November 3.
Scindia said 27 out of the 28 assembly seats which are going to polls were Congress seats, so the BJP has everything to gain, while the Congress has everything to lose.
"The Congress needs to win 28 out of 28 seats to be able to even think of coming close to forming the government and they have just lost another MLA (in Rahul Lodhi) who has joined the BJP. It is very clear that people do not have any hope in the Congress party, not only at grassroots, but also in sitting MLAs of the Congress," Scindia said.
"I do not think in any other state you would have seen MLAs in such a large number -- almost about 30 per cent -- leaving. It very clearly shows the lack of trust and faith in the state leadership of the Congress party which is Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh, and who are in a partnership," the Rajya Sabha MP said.
Asked about the Congress campaign narrative of betrayal and being called 'gaddar' by Congress leaders during canvassing, Scindia said it is not a term that he normally uses in politics as he believes that there must be a certain level in politics that should be adhered to.
"If they indeed are using that term then the biggest gaddars (traitors) in Madhya Pradesh are Kamal Nath and Digvijaya Singh who have been 'gaddars' towards seven and a half crore people because none of the poll promises were fulfilled, they were busy in rent-seeking activities and holding on to power and chair rather than serving the people of the state," Scindia said.
16:25 Mahesh Bhatt sues Luviena Lodh, seeks Rs 1 cr
Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt and his brother Mukesh Bhatt on Monday filed a defamation suit in the Bombay High Court against aspiring actor Luvienna Lodh for making defamatory, slanderous and false allegations against
The Bhatts have sought Rs one crore in damages from Lodh and also an order restraining her from making any such false claims in future.
The plea was taken up for urgent hearing on Monday by a single bench of Justice A K Menon which directed Lodh to file a reply, and posted it for hearing after three weeks.
Lodh's advocates assured the court she would not publish or make any such statement against the plaintiffs (Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt).
Lodh last week posted a video on social media claiming to be married to one Sumit Sabharwal, who is allegedly Mahesh Bhatt's nephew.
In the video, Lodh alleged that Sabharwal was in the business of supplying drugs and human trafficking.
Lodh also alleged that Mahesh Bhatt operates this business.
After the video was posted, Mahesh Bhatt, through his counsel Ameet Naik, sent a legal notice to Lodh asking her to stop making such false statements.
On Monday, the Bhatts filed a suit in the Bombay High Court seeking Lodh to be restrained from making, publishing and circulating any defamatory and slanderous comments against them.
"The suit is also seeking damages to the tune of Rs one crore from the respondent (Lodh) for making various grossly defamatory, slanderous, distasteful and false allegations and statements against the applicants (Bhatts)," the suit said.
It also sought a direction to Lodh to delete her video.
The suit further claimed Sabharwal was not directly related to the Bhatts and that he was "the son of the applicants' sister's husband's brother".
The suit further said Lodh had made false allegations against Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt, who are famous personalities, with malafide intentions to obtain best settlement in her divorce proceedings with her estranged husband.
15:31 Rahul to address 2 rallies in Bihar on Oct 28
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will be addressing two rallies in Bihar on October 28, in Valmikinagar and Kusheshwar Asthan.
The Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7. The counting of votes will be held on November 10.
While BJP is fighting the elections along with Janata Dal-United, and two other parties, the Congress is fighting the elections under the banner of Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) led by Rashtriya Janata Dal, along with the Left parties.
15:08 India's COVID fatality rate lowest since Mar 22
India's COVID-19 fatality rate has dropped to 1.50 per cent, the lowest since March 22, the Union health ministry said on Monday crediting the focused efforts of the Centre, states and UTs on effective clinical management of hospitalised cases.
There are 14 states and Union Territories including Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and Kerala where the Case Fatality Ratio is lower than 1 per cent, the ministry said.
Less than 500 deaths (480) have been reported in a span of 24 hours in the country, according to the data updated at 8 am on Monday.
"India has one of the lowest fatality rates in the world. The case fatality rate is lowest since March 22 and is continuously declining," the ministry said as it underlined that the case fatality rate was 3.23 per cent on May 4.
14:34 Stubble burning: SC keeps in abeyance its Oct 16 order appointing Justice M B Lokur panel
The Supreme Court Monday kept in abeyance its October 16 order appointing one-man panel of retired apex court judge Justice Madan B Lokur to monitor the steps taken by neighbouring states to prevent stubble burning, which is a major cause of pollution in the Delhi-national capital region.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde passed the order while considering the Centre's stand that it is coming out with a comprehensive legislation to deal with air pollution, including the aspect of stubble burning.
"The only issue is people are choking because of pollution and it is something which must be curbed," said the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the bench that the Centre has taken a 'holistic view' of the matter and the draft of the proposed law on curbing pollution would be submitted in the apex court within four days.
In its October 16 order, the top court had ordered deployment of National Cadet Corps, National Service Scheme and Bharat Scouts and Guides for assisting in the monitoring of stubble burning in the agricultural fields of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi-NCR, saying all it wants is that "people of Delhi-NCR can breathe fresh air without any pollution".
14:25 Actor who accused Kashyap of rape joins RPI-A
Actor Payal Ghosh, who accused filmmaker Anurag Kashyap of raping her, joined the Republican Party of India-Athawale on Monday.
She joined the party in the presence of party chief and Union minister Ramdas Athawale.
"I thank her for joining the party and I welcome her," he said.
Kashyap has denied allegations levelled by Ghosh.
14:16 Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has never respected office of the PM: Nadda
Bharatiya Janata Party chief JP Nadda on Monday slammed the incident of burning the effigy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Punjab and said that it a shameful act directed by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi-directed as Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has never respected the office of the prime minister.
Taking to Twitter, Nadda slammed Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi for indulging in "politics of hatred" against Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government.
"The Rahul Gandhi-directed drama of burning PM's effigy in Punjab is shameful but not unexpected. After all, the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has NEVER respected the office of the PM. This was seen in the institutional weakening of the PM's authority during the UPA years of 2004-2014," Nadda tweeted.
He further wrote that the combination of despondency and shamelessness is dangerous. Congress possesses both.
"Empty rhetoric of decency and democracy by the Mother is 'complemented' by live demonstrations of politics of hate, anger, lies and aggression by the Son. Double standards galore!" he added.
"If there is one party whose conduct reeks of disgust, it is Congress. Atrocities against SC/ST communities are at an all-time high in Rajasthan, women are unsafe in Rajasthan as well as Punjab, and their Punjab Ministers are committing scholarships scams," he added.
On freedom of speech, Congress can never pontificate to others. They have contempt for dissenting voices for decades. We saw glimpses of it during the Emergency. Later on, the Rajiv Gandhi government made a brazen attempt to weaken press freedom. A free press rattles Congress, Nadda stated.
"If anyone wants to see a laboratory of usage of brute state power, troubling opponents, curbing freedom of speech in trademark Congress style, see the working of the Congress blessed Maharashtra Government. Except governing, they are doing everything else," Nadda tweeted.
"One dynasty's deep personal hatred against a person who was born in poverty and became PM is historic. Equally historic is the love people of India have showered upon PM Narendra Modi. More Congress' lies and hate increases, the more people will support PM Modi!" he added
13:40 3 held for hoisting tricolour at J-K's Lal Chowk
Three people, claiming to be BJP workers from Kupwara district of Jammu and Kashmir, were on Monday detained while trying to hoist the tricolour at the historic clock tower near the city centre.
Three people tried to hoist the tricolour at 'Ghanta Ghar' (clock tower) in the commercial hub of Lal Chowk here early Monday morning, the officials said.
They said the trio, claiming to be BJP workers from Kupwara district of north Kashmir, raised slogans of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and in favour of the party and tried to hoist the tricolour at the clock tower.
However, the police swung into action and took them into custody, they added.
Before being whisked away, one of the three said that he will hoist the tricolour in every part of Kashmir.
"Tell this to Mehbooba Mufti that I will hoist the flag in every part of Kashmir," he said, in reference to the PDP president's recent statement that she will not hold the tricolour till the flag of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir was restored.
13:04 Kangana calls Uddhav Thackeray 'worse product of nepotism'
Actor Kangana Ranaut has gone all out against Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray after he defended his state and launched a veiled attack on Kangana and Himachal Pradesh, calling it the place where ganja is cultivated.
Without naming Kangana Ranaut or Himachal Pradesh, Uddhav had said during his Dussehra speech on Sunday that some people come to Mumbai for bread and butter and abuse the city by calling it Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. Mumbai is PoK, there are drug addicts everywhere they are painting such a picture. They dont know in our house we grow tulsi, not ganja. Ganja fields are in your state, you know where, not in our Maharashtra, he said.
Kangana took to Twitter and responded, Chief Minister you are a very petty person, Himachal is called Dev Bhumi it has the maximum number of temples also no zero crime rate, yes it has a very fertile land it grows apples, kiwis, pomegranate, strawberries one can grow anything here.
She continued, You being a leader having such a vengeful, myopic and ill informed views about a state which has has been the abode of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati along with many great saints like Markandya and Manu Rishi, Pandavas spent large part of their exile in Himachal Pradesh.
You should be ashamed of yourself chief minister, being a public servant you are indulging in petty fights, using your power to insult, damage and humiliate people who dont agree with you, you dont deserve the chair you have acquired by playing dirty politics. SHAME, she added.
Correcting a typo and claiming that there were no crimes in Himachal Pradesh, she said, I am overwhelmed at this open bullying by a working CM so there is a typo in first tweet, it should be no crime in Himachal, yes clarifying again we dont have poor or very rich people or any crimes in Himachal, its a spiritual place with very innocent and kind people.
Again charging her guns at the CM, she said, Look at the audacity of a working CM he is dividing the country who has made him Maharashtra ka thekedaar? He is just a public servant there was someone else before him soon he will be out someone else will come to serve the state, why is he behaving like he owns Maharashtra?
Chief Minister I am not drunk on my fathers power and wealth like you, if I wanted to be a nepotism product I could have stayed back in Himachal, I hail from a renowned family, I didnt want to live off on their wealth and favours, some people have self respect and self worth, she added.
12:52 Physical poll rallies in MP can be held: SC
Physical election rallies in Madhya Pradesh can be held for now, the Supreme Court said today, putting on hold the Madhya Pradesh high court's move to restrict physical political rallies in nine districts in the state in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Ahead of the coming by-elections in 28 seats, the Gwalior bench of the HC last week asked that magistrates of the districts under its jurisdiction not give permission to any candidate or political party for public gatherings unless they can prove that virtual election campaign is not possible.
The top court today said it is the Election Commission which needs to look into these issues. "You take initiative, set right the situation. If there is any illegality going on, it's for you to ask the authority to take action. We will say whatever illegality has been flagged by the high court, you will take cognizance of that. You must take responsibility," a bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar said.
The Supreme Court also pulled up political parties for what it said was creating a situation that compelled the high court to intervene. "Had political parties maintained the protocol, this situation wouldn't have arisen," the top court said.
12:37 SARS-CoV-2 disables key components of human cells' defence system
Viral proteins encoded by SARS-CoV-2 disrupt critical components of human cells molecular machinery and disable responses to infection, according to a study published October 8 in Cell.
Researchers in the US describe how specific viral proteins bind to human RNAs involved in RNA splicing, protein translation, and protein trafficking, and in doing so suppress the host cells coordination of a key antiviral defense known as the type I interferon response.
Read full HERE
12:27 Ananya Birla slams US restaurant for being 'racist'
Ananya Birla, the daughter of Aditya Birla Group's billionaire chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, has slammed a US restaurant for being 'racist', saying the Italian-American dining place in California "literally threw" her and her family out of their premises.
The singer and artist took to Twitter to share her ordeal on Saturday, saying "this is not okay".
"This restaurant @ScopaRestaurant literally threw my family and I, out of their premises. So racist. So sad. You really need to treat your customers right. Very racist. This is not okay," she said in a tweet.
The Scopa Italian Roots restaurant is an Italian-American dining place by chef Antonia Lofaso in California.
"We waited for 3 hours to eat at your restaurant. @chefantonia Your waiter Joshua Silverman was extremely rude to my mother, bordering racist. This isn't okay," Ananya said in another tweet, in which she tagged Lofaso.
She is the daughter of Aditya Birla Group Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla and educationist and mental health activist Neerja Birla.
In a tweet, Neerja also lashed out at the restaurant for ill-treating them.
"Very shocking, absolutely ridiculous behaviour by @ScopaRestaurant. You have no right to treat any of your customers like this," she said.
"I have never experienced anything of this sort. Racism exists and is real. Unbelievable. ScopaRestaurant," their son Aryaman Birla also tweeted.
12:05 Coal scam: Ex-min Dilip Ray gets 3-yr jail term
Former union minister Dilip Ray was on Monday awarded three-year jail term by a Delhi court in a coal scam case pertaining to irregularities in the allocation of a Jharkhand coal block in 1999.
Ray was Minister of State (coal) in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government.
Special Judge Bharat Parashar also awarded three-year jail term each to two senior officials of the ministry of coal at that time, Pradip Kumar Banerjee and Nitya Nand Gautam, and Castron Technologies Ltd's director Mahendra Kumar Agarwalla.
The court also imposed a fine of Rs 10 lakh on each on them.
The court further imposed Rs 60 lakh on CLT and Rs 10 lakh on Castron Mining Ltd, also held guilty in the case.
11:38 Maha Dy CM Ajit Pawar in hospital due to Covid
Maharashtra's Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has been hospitalised after he tested positive for coronavirus.
Pawar was under home quarantine recently after he complained of fever and fatigue after touring flood-hit Pune and Solapur districts.
He had tested negative on Thursday, but a retest confirmed he has COVID-19.
Over a dozen Maharashtra ministers have tested positive in the last few months.
11:23 WHO chief warns against vaccine nationalism
As the number of cases continues to surge across the world, the World Health Organization chief, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, called for solidarity in the rollout of future coronavirus vaccines.
The WHO chief noted that it was natural for the countries to want to protect their own citizens first but, he urged, "we must also use it effectively". The WHO chief warned, "vaccine nationalism will only prolong the pandemic, "not shorten it".
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, "It is natural that countries want to protect their own citizens first but if and when we have an effective vaccine, we must also use it effectively. And the best way to do that is to vaccinate some people in all countries rather than all people in some countries."
"Let me be clear: vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten it," he said.
The WHO chief also said the only way to recover from the coronavirus pandemic was together and by making sure poorer countries had fair access to a coronavirus vaccine.
The WHO chief's comments came at a time when scientists around the world are racing to develop a vaccine against coronavirus, which has killed over 1.1 million people. While several dozen coronavirus vaccine candidates are currently being tested in clinical trials, 10 of those are in the most advanced "phase 3" stage involving tens of thousands of volunteers.
11:02 Pompeo leaves for India for 2+2 talks
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has left for India for the third edition of the 2+2 ministerial dialogue to be held in New Delhi on Tuesday during which the two sides are expected to explore ways to further bolster bilateral defence ties and security cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, amidst China flexing its muscles in the strategic region.
The visit comes a week before the US presidential election on November 3.
"Wheels up for my trip to India, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and Indonesia. Grateful for the opportunity to connect with our partners to promote a shared vision for a free and open #IndoPacific composed of independent, strong, and prosperous nations," Pompeo tweeted on Sunday.
Pompeo will be accompanied by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. The Indian side at the talks will be represented by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
The high-level talks are taking place in the midst of India's festering border row with China in eastern Ladakh as well as the renewed global focus on the growing Chinese military assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region. Both issues are expected to figure in the talks.
India, the US and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open, and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China's rising military maneuvering in the region.
In November 2017, India, Japan, the US and Australia gave shape to the long-pending proposal of setting up the "Quad" to develop a new strategy to keep the critical sea routes in the Indo-Pacific free of any influence.
In the midst of growing global concern over China's expansionist behaviour, the foreign ministers of the Quad member nations met in Tokyo on October 6 and reaffirmed their collective vision for a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific.
The evolving situation in the Indo-Pacific region in the wake of China's increasing military muscle-flexing has become a major talking point among leading global powers.
The US has been favouring making Quad a security architecture to check China's growing assertiveness.
Ahead of the meeting, the US State Department said America welcomes India's emergence as a leading regional and global power.
It also said the US was looking forward to working closely with India during the latter's upcoming UN Security Council term, starting January 1, 2021.
"The United States welcomes India's emergence as a leading regional and global power. The United States looks forward to collaborating closely with India during its upcoming term on the UN Security Council," the State Department said. -- PTI
10:56 NCB arrests TV actress for procuring drugs
A 30-year-old television actress was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau after she was allegedly caught buying drugs in Mumbai, an official said on Monday.
Acting on a tip-off, the NCB officials apprehended the actress while she was allegedly receiving ganja from a person at Machimar locality in Versova area of Andheri on Saturday.
The anti-drug agency seized 99 gm ganja from their possession, the official said.
The actress and the drug supplier, identified as Faisal (20), were subsequently arrested, he said.
During their questioning, it came to light that the seized drug was sourced from one Deepak Rathaur, a resident of Versova, who was also later arrested, the official said.
A case was registered against all the accused under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, he said, adding that the NCB was conducting a probe into the case. -- PTI
10:30 Over 58.7 mn Americans have already voted: Report
More than 58.7 million Americans have voted in the 2020 presidential election so far, surpassing all early ballots cast in the 2016 polls, but an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots has given rise to the possibility that the result could be delayed as counting of votes may stretch beyond November 3, according to a media report.
The report in the CNN said that according to a survey of election officials in all 50 states and Washington DC conducted by the US-based network, Edison Research and Catalist, more than 58.7 million Americans have voted so far in the election, with still 9 days left for November 3.
The report said in 2016, around 58.3 million pre-election ballots were cast, including ballots in the three vote-by-mail states that year. That early vote accounted for about 42 per cent of all ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election.
"Pre-election voting for the November election has surpassed all 2016 early ballots cast with 9 days left until Election Day," the report said.
"Pre-Election Day voting is skyrocketing nationwide amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and states are reporting record-breaking turnout as voters are energised to vote by mail or early in person before November,' it said.
Another CNN report, however, noted that despite the unprecedented mail-in voting, there is a possibility that full results of who between President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will win the Presidential election may not be known on election night.
"Election night can be synonymous with unpredictability - just look at 2016 - but this year might be even murkier than usual. The pandemic has changed the way millions of Americans vote for president," the report said.
While voters have already cast an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, in many locations, including potential battleground states, the mail-in ballots will not be counted until after the election, "potentially leading to long delays in the news media's ability to call the election on election night," it said.
CNN cited media experts to say that the counting could go longer than election night and "could last until the next morning or until the next afternoon or even later.
It said that 54 per cent of those 58.7 million votes already cast this cycle comes from 16 most competitively ranked states, which will play a crucial role in determining who wins the presidency this year.
Among those states, Minnesota has currently seen the largest percentage increase in early voting turnout compared to last cycle, according to Catalist data from both years in 14 key states.
The report added that younger voters (aged 18-29) are also casting significantly more ballots and make up a greater share of the pre-Election Day vote than they did around the same time four years ago in all of the key states with information available.
Across all 14 of these key states, voters below the age of 30 have seen upticks in their share of the early vote compared to this point in 2016, it said.
The report analyses the turnout in several key states that Trump had won by the narrowest of margins in 2016.
Trump had won Florida by a little over one percentage point in 2016 and capturing the state again this year is critical to his reelection prospects, it said. -- PTI
10:21 India's daily COVID-19 count falls to 45,148
India reported 45,149 new coronavirus infections, taking the total tally to 79,09,960.
The death toll rises to 1,19,014 with 480 new fatalities.
Total active cases in the country now are 6,53,717 while 71,37,229 people have been recovered from the disease.
10:02 All citizens to get free Covid vaccine: Union minister
Union minister Pratap Sarangi on Sunday said that all people of the country will be given free COVID vaccine, amidst the demand by opposition parties in the country for it and not only in poll-bound Bihar as announced by the Bharatiya Janata Party.
The BJP announcement of free COVID vaccine for Bihar, where assembly polls begin this week, had kicked up a controversy with the opposition parties tearing into the National Democratic Alliance government alleging that the ruling party was using the pandemic for political reasons.
Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had said the announcement was in order as it was an election manifesto announcement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced that all people will be provided free of cost vaccines. An estimated Rs 500 odd will be spent on vaccination of each person, Sarangi told reporters after addressing a campaign meeting for the November 3 assembly by-poll in Balasore.
Modi had in a televised adddress to the nation on October 20 said that Indian scientists are in the process of developing several vaccines that are at different stages of clinical trials and the results seem encouraging.
Sarangi, the Union minister of state for animal husbandry, dairy, fisheries and micro, small and medium enterprises spoke in reply to question raised by Odisha food supplies and consumer welfare minister, R P Swain.
Swain had earlier in the day sought clarification from Dharmendra Pradhan and Sarangi, the two Union ministers from Odisha questioning them for their silence on their party BJP's stand on free COVID-19 vaccination for the people of the state along the lines of the one being promised in Bihar.
The governments of Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Assam and Puduchchery have already announced free of cost COVID vaccines for the people of their states, while Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has demanded free vaccine for all citizens across the country.
Swain had tweeted "I am asking questions to two Odisha union ministers from Balasore soil to clarify as to why the people of the state will not get free of cost COVID vaccine. The union ministers should clarify BJPs stand on the corona vaccination in Odisha.
On the state governments steps for vaccination, Swain said it has signed an agreement with a vaccine manufacturer and is committed to extend the facility to all people of the state.
He, however, did not say whether the state government will provide the vaccine to the people free of cost. -- PTI
09:39 RBI Guv Shaktikanta Das tests positive for COVID-19
Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das on Sunday said he has tested positive for coronavirus and will work from isolation while the central bank will continue to function normally.
Das said he is asymptomatic and has alerted those who came in contact with him in recent days.
"I have tested COVID-19 positive. Asymptomatic. Feeling very much alright. Have alerted those who came in contact in recent days. Will continue to work from isolation. Work in RBI will go on normally. I am in touch with all Dy. Govs and other officers through VC and telephone," he tweeted.
Currently, the RBI has full strength of four deputy governors -- BP Kanungo, MK Jain, MD Patra and M Rajeshwar Rao.
The RBI governor, 63, has been quite active during the lockdown period and post unlock period to keep the economy and financial market in good shape.
He used both conventional and unconventional monetary policy tools to support economic recovery hit by COVID-19 crisis.
Last week, Das said the country is at the doorstep of economic revival on the back of accommodative monetary and fiscal policies being pursued by the central bank and the government.
"We are almost at the doorstep of revival process and it's very important that the financial entities have adequate capital (to support growth)," he had said.
On Friday, the Governor chaired the 585th central board of RBI meeting via video conference to discuss, among other things, the economic situation and other challenges. -- PTI
09:34 China's Xinjiang province reports 137 new coronavirus cases
Coronavirus cases spiked suddenly in China with Xinjiang province recording 137 new asymptomatic cases on Sunday, a local health official said.
All the new cases were reported in south Xinjiang's Kashgar Prefecture after a 17-year-old female villager from Shufu County was confirmed as an asymptomatic carrier of the virus on Saturday during a routine nucleic acid testing.
Kashgar, which borders Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), has tested samples from over 2.83 million residents since Saturday, with test results obtained for 334,800 people.
The prefecture vowed to conduct tests of about 4.75 million people, including 245,000 in Shufu, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The cases were all found related to a factory in Shufu where the parents of the female villager work, regional health commission deputy director Gu Yingsu was quoted as saying by the report.
The female villager was placed under quarantine for medical observation at a designated hospital in Kashgar, and has yet developed symptoms such as fever or cough, according to the health commission.
As of Saturday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland had reached 85,790, including 265 patients still being treated.
Altogether 80,891 patients have recovered and 4,634 others died of the disease on the mainland, the commission said.
There were five suspected COVID-19 cases on the mainland, while 7,871 close contacts were still under medical observation after 886 were discharged on Saturday, it said. -- PTI
09:25 Soumitra Chatterjee very critical
The health condition of legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee deteriorated to "very critical" on Sunday, doctors treating him at a private hospital here said.
The 85-year-old thespian is not responding to treatment and his platelet count has dropped further in the last 24 hours, a doctor at the facility said.
"There is a deterioration in his neurological condition and he has very little consciousness. He is not responding to treatment. His condition is very critical," a senior doctor at the hospital told PTI.
A hospital spokesman said in a statement, "On the 20th day of hospitalisation and 17th day of ICU care, the consciousness of the octogenarian is not improving despite all our efforts. Rather it has gone down."
"His platelet count is little on lower side and his haemoglobin has gone down. We have begun transfusion, we are correcting the platelet count. We are trying definitive therapy to end Covid encephalopathy which is the crux of matter," the statement said.
"Our neuro board discussed ways like giving him invasive air way support after talking to his family," the spokesman said.
The level of urea and sodium in his blood has gone up, he said.
Stating that Chatterjee was "maintaining well on other organ functions," he said with prolonged ICU stay and invasive support there is always a chance of secondary complications due to his advanced age and co-morbidities.
Encephalopathy is a general term to describe a disease that affects the function or structure of the brain.
"His organs like lungs and heart are working well and his blood pressure is normal but his consciousness is a cause of concern," the spokesman said.
The critically acclaimed actor was admitted to the hospital on October 6 after he tested positive for COVID-19.
Chatterjee, a Dada Saheb Phalke awardee, had tested negative for the infection last week after which he was shifted to a non-COVID ITU. -- PTI
09:01 2+2 meet: Pompeo, Esper to arrive in India today
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mark T Esper will arrive in New Delhi on Monday for the third edition of the two-plus-two ministerial dialogue which is taking place just a week ahead of the American presidential election and in the midst of India's festering border row with China.
The two-plus-two dialogue will be held on Tuesday.
The Indian side at the talks will be represented by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
A host of crucial bilateral, regional and global issues including China's efforts to expand influence in the Indo-Pacific region as well as its aggressive behaviour in eastern Ladakh is likely to figure in the talks.
In the last few months, the US has been ramping up attack on China over a range of contentious issues including the border row with India, its military assertiveness in the South China Sea and the way Beijing handled the anti-government protests in Hong Kong.
Pompeo and Esper will have bilateral meetings with their Indian counterparts as well.
They are also scheduled to make a joint call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
08:17 US welcomes India's rise as a global power
The United States welcomes India's emergence as a leading regional and global power, the US State Department said ahead of the 2+2 ministerial in New Delhi.
It also said the US is looking forward to work closely with India during the latter's upcoming UNSC term, starting January 1, 2021.
"The United States welcomes India's emergence as a leading regional and global power. The United States looks forward to collaborating closely with India during its upcoming term on the UN Security Council," the State Department said in a fact sheet before the start of the 3rd 2+2 India US ministerial in New Delhi.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper will hold meetings with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defense Minister Rajnath Singh for the US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue.
The visiting leaders will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and hold discussions with other government and business leaders on ways to advance the US-India Comprehensive Global Strategic Partnership, it said.
In a fact sheet, the State Department said the two countries have a strong and growing bilateral relationship built on shared values and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific.
As the world's oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India enjoy deeply rooted democratic traditions, it added.
"The growth in the partnership reflects a deepening strategic convergence on a range of issues. Our cooperation is expanding in important areas including health, infrastructure development, energy, aviation, science, and space," it said, adding that holding the third US-India 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue in just over two years demonstrates a high-level commitment to their shared diplomatic and security objectives.
President Donald Trump made a historic visit to India earlier this year, speaking in Ahmedabad before over 100,000 people.
Pompeo's visit marks the fourth visit to India by a Secretary of State during the Trump Administration.
According to the State Department, the recent Quadrilateral Ministerial meeting in Tokyo convened by Pompeo and his counterparts from India, Japan, and Australia, demonstrated the strong cooperative ties among Indo-Pacific democracies interested in strengthening a rules-based order in which all nations are sovereign, strong, and prosperous.
"The Quad has proven to be an effective multilateral mechanism, helping to create resilient supply chains, promote transparency, counter disinformation and increase maritime security," it said.
India, with its large economy, strong support for entrepreneurship and innovation, and its growing international trade, is one of the world's leading economic powers and is well-positioned to promote our shared vision for a free and rules-based Indo-Pacific where all nations can prosper, it said.
Observing that India and the US are expanding cooperation between the two militaries, the fact sheet said this includes the navies, which play a critical role in ensuring freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific. -- PTI