Categories
Uncategorized

Karnataka, Arunachal, Meghalaya announce mini lockdowns to curb Covid-19 spread | India News


NEW DELHI: A number of states on Saturday imposed lockdowns as part of cluster containment plans in the wake of alarming rise in coronavirus cases with the duration of one of these restrictions as brief as two days.
On Saturday, Karnataka, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya were among some states that announced lockdowns, including area-wise, for varying periods.
Shops and business establishments, other than those dealing with essential services, remained closed. People have been advised to stay at home and not venture out unless it was absolutely necessary.
The Karnataka government in the evening announced complete lockdown in Bengaluru urban and rural for one week from July 14.
“As Covid-19 cases are increasing in the state day by day, based on the advice of experts, complete lockdown will be imposed in Bengaluru urban and Bengaluru rural for one week from July 14 Tuesday 8 pm to 5 am on July 22,” chief minister B S Yediyurappa said in a statement.
As of July 11 evening, cumulatively 36,216 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the state, which includes 613 deaths and 14,716 discharges, a government bulletin said.
Bengaluru urban district tops the list of positive cases, with a total of 16,862 infections.
In Assam, the ongoing lockdown in Kamrup Metropolitan district, under which Guwahati city falls, has been further extended for a week from July 12 due to large-scale spread of Covid-19 cases.
Assam chief secretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna said the 14-day lockdown in the district was scheduled to end at 6 pm on Sunday but the district magistrate reported that rising cases may be a major threat to public health, hygiene and safety of the general population.
“Due to extensive testing, isolation and other restrictive measures, community spread of Covid-19 has been contained to some extent and this necessitates further extension of prohibitory measures to contain the spread of the pandemic,” he stated.
Guwahati city has reported a surge of positive cases with 6,221 since June 24 following which a complete lockdown was imposed in the entire district on June 28. The lockdown in Arunachal Pradesh’s capital complex was extended for another week in view of the spurt in Covid-19 cases in the region, a top official said on Saturday.
The state cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Pema Khandu took the decision to extend the total lockdown in the capital region for another week till 5 am on July 20, Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar said.
The previous lockdown which was imposed in the capital complex comprising Itanagar, Naharlagun, Nirjuli and Banderdewa on July 6 was scheduled to end at 5 pm on July 13.
The total coronavirus caseload in the country on Saturday surged to 8,20,916 while the death toll climbed to 22,123 with 519 people succumbing to the disease in a 24-hour span, according to data updated at 8 am.
The rise in the number of coronavirus cases has gained pace significantly. It took 110 days for the number of cases in the country to reach one lakh but just 53 days more to cross the eight-lakh mark.
In Uttarakhand, a three-day lockdown was imposed from Saturday in Kashipur in Udham Singh Nagar district, which alone accounted for 41 of the 68 cases reported in the state on Friday.
Strict lockdown restrictions were also reimposed on Saturday in parts of Jammu and Kashmir’s Rajouri district following a spike in coronavirus cases. The entire Rajouri city and adjoining areas were sealed and people were asked to stay indoors as part of the efforts to slow the spread of the infection, they said.
“The restrictions were reimposed as a precautionary measure after some locals were tested positive for Covid-19. While in most cases the source of the infection is known, there are some cases where the source is unknown,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Rajouri, Sher Singh, said.
Rajouri recorded the highest single-day spike of 51 cases on Friday.
A 10-day lockdown will be imposed in Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad and a few other parts of the district starting July 13. The decision was taken at a meeting chaired by Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar.
Pune district saw its highest 24-hour period jump in Covid-19 cases with 1,598 people testing positive, taking the count here to 35,997. The death toll crossed the 1000-mark and reached 1,007 as 28 people succumbed to the infection.
Nagaland has decided to extend the ongoing lockdown in the state till July 31. The ongoing lockdown in the state was supposed to end on July 16.
Planning & Coordination Minister Neiba Kronu said the decision was taken after reviewing the existing measures and the rising cases of coronavirus infection in the state.
Till Friday, the number of actives cases in Nagaland was 428 while 304 patients have recovered from the disease.
The Meghalaya government announced a two-day total lockdown in capital Shillong from Monday. Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said the decision was taken to contain the spread of Covid-19, besides ensuring behavioural changes among citizens to follow coronavirus-related guidelines.
Earlier in the day, the state reported 76 new cases, taking the total to 312.
There are 215 active cases in the state at present, officials said.
In West Bengal, a seven-day lockdown was clamped from Thursday on the state’s containment zones, spread across 20 of the 23 districts.
The Uttar Pradesh government had reimposed restrictions in the state from 10 pm on Friday to 5 am on Monday. Chief secretary R K Tiwari said the curbs have been imposed to check the spread of Covid-19 and other communicable diseases.
The Gautam Buddh Nagar administration has warned that a fine of Rs 500 will be slapped each time for non-compliance if people are found without face cover or masks outdoors.
Industrial establishments shall remain open but will have to follow all preventive measures, including setting up of Covid help desk, to operate, District Magistrate Suhas L Y said.



Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

US warns citizens of heightened detention risks in China


Representative image

BEIJING: The US state department warned American citizens on Saturday to “exercise increased caution” in China due to heightened risk of arbitrary law enforcement including detention and a ban from exiting the country.
“US citizens may be detained without access to US consular services or information about their alleged crime,” the State Department said in a security alert issued to its citizens in China, adding that US citizens may face “prolonged interrogations and extended detention” for reasons related to state security.
“Security personnel may detain and/or deport US citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the Chinese government,” it added, without citing specific examples. The state department also did not say what prompted the security alert.
The security alert comes as bilateral tensions intensify over issues ranging from the Covid-19 pandemic, trade, the new Hong Kong security law and allegations of human rights violations against Uighurs in the Xinjiang region.
Washington and Beijing recently exchanged visa bans against each other’s officials, underscoring the deteriorating relations.
The Chinese foreign ministry could not be immediately reached for comment outside of business hours on Saturday. Beijing called on Wednesday a similar warning issued by Australia about the risk of arbitrary detention in China “completely ridiculous and disinformation.”



Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

Kerala gold smuggling case: NIA arrests key accused Swapna Suresh | India News


NEW DELHI: Swapna Suresh, the key suspect in the gold smuggling bid through diplomatic baggage, was on Saturday arrested in Bengaluru by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), along with her family members.
Another accused Sandeep Nair has also been arrested by the NIA in the case.
Swapna Suresh will be taken to Kochi tomorrow and produced before the NIA Special Court.
The NIA had on Friday registered a case against four people, Swapna Suresh, for their alleged involvement in smuggling 30 kg gold worth Rs 14.82 crore in a diplomatic baggage in Kerala, an official said.
The Centre had allowed the NIA to investigate the case in view of the “serious implications for national security”.
Swapna Prabha Suresh, Sarith and Sandeep Nair of Thiruvananthapuram and Fazil Fareed of Ernakulum have been named in the case which relates to the seizure of 30 kg of 24 carat gold worth Rs 14.82 crore at Trivandrum International Airport on July 5 by the Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Kochi
The consignment was found camouflaged in diplomatic baggage from the UAE that is exempted from inspection as per the Vienna Convention, the official said.
The consignment was to be received by Sarith, who had worked in the UAE consulate earlier as a public relations officer, the NIA spokesperson said.
Initial investigation by the Customs department has revealed that Sarith had received multiple such consignments earlier as well, the official said.



Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

India in talks with EU for trade deal, open to pact with UK


NEW DELHI: India has started trade talks with the European Union (EU) and is open to dialogue with the United Kingdom for a free trade agreement, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Saturday.
Goyal said that India is open to engage with the UK for a preferential trade agreement with the ultimate goal of a free trade agreement between the countries.
He said that he is also in dialogue with the European Union’s trade commissioner for a deal that could start with a preferential trade agreement. He added that the ultimate goal here too would be to have a free trade agreement.
India currently has no trade deal with the EU. Trade talks between the two regions stalled in 2013.



Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

Activist Akhil Gogoi tests Covid-19 positive in Guwahati jail | Guwahati News


GUWAHATI: Peasant leader Akhil Gogoi, who was arrested by the NIA for his alleged role in violent protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act last year, tested positive for novel coronavirus inside the Guwahati Central Jail on Saturday, an official said.
A total of 55 inmates, including Gogoi, have tested positive at the jail, forcing the authorities to issue orders for taking samples of all the 1,069 prisoners.
Akhil Gogoi tested positive in the antigen test this evening. He will be shifted to Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) now,” inspector general (Prisons) Dasarath Das said.
The health officials did three tests of Gogoi — two antigen and one swab test (RT-PCR) — and only the last antigen sample came positive, Das said.
Two others — Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leaders Bittu Sonowal and Dhairjya Konwar — have also tested positive and are being treated at the GMCH, while Gogoi’s fourth associate, Manash Konwar, has tested negative, Das said.
He stated that a total of 55 inmates inside the jail had tested positive so far and they had been shifted to three hospitals in the city.
“After this increased number, we have now ordered to test all inmates of the jail,” the IG said.
Civil society groups, eminent persons and opposition parties have been long demanding the release of Gogoi, citing the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gogoi was arrested on December 12 from Jorhat as a “preventive measure” in view of the deteriorating law and order situation in the state during the protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act and his colleagues were taken into custody later.
Reading ‘Communist Manifesto’, Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and Lenin’s works, Mao Zedong’s life, and calling friends ‘comrade’ and greeting them with ‘Lal Salaam’ are few of the grounds the NIA found to charge Gogoi and his three accomplices with terror activities under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.



Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

Live: Total lockdown in Bengaluru from 8pm July 14 to 5am July 22



Fresh infections crossed 27,000 for the first time, the third record high in daily numbers in the past three days. Total Covid-19 infections in India rose to 8,20,916, as per health ministry data. The death toll stands at 22,123. Stay with TOI for live updates



Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

Hardik Patel made working president of Gujarat Congress | Ahmedabad News


NEW DELHI: In a major boost to the party in Gujarat, Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi on Saturday appointed Hardik Patel as the working president of the state unit.
In a statement, Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal said: “Sonia Gandhi has approved the appointment of Patel as Working President of Gujarat Congress with immediate effect.”

Patidar leader Patel, who launched a movement for reservation for his community in the state in 2015, had joined the Congress in 2017 ahead of the assembly polls.





Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

Chinese military further withdraws troops from Pangong Tso area: Sources | India News


NEW DELHI: The Chinese military further thinned down its presence in the ridgeline of Finger Four and removed some boats from Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh ahead of another round of Lt General-level talks between India and China aimed at finalising modalities for complete disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), people familiar with the development said on Saturday.
The escalation in tension in eastern Ladakh was triggered by a violent clash between the two armies in Pangong Tso on May 5 in which a sizeable number of personnel from both sides were injured.
Following the incident, both sides were locked in an eyeball-to-eyeball confrontation in three other locations in the region.
At the military talks, the two sides are expected to specifically focus on completing withdrawal of troops from Pangong Tso and Depsang besides laying out a detailed roadmap for disengagement of large numbers of troops from the rear bases by the two sides in a time-bound manner. Both sides had significantly ramped up troops and weaponry including tanks and artillery guns in eastern Ladakh.
The formal process of disengagement of troops began on Monday morning after a nearly two-hour telephonic conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Sunday.
The Chinese military has already completed moving back its troops from the face-off sites in Galwan Valley, Gogra and Hot Springs in line with the first phase of the disengagement process from the friction points on the LAC in eastern Ladakh, sources said.
The main focus now shifts to Pangong Tso. India has been insisting that China must withdraw its forces from areas between Finger Four and Eight. The mountain spurs in the area are referred to as Fingers.
There has been further withdrawal of Chinese troops in the ridgeline of Finger Four and they have removed some boats from Pangong lake, the sources said.
On Friday, India and China held another round of diplomatic talks during which both sides resolved to push ahead with “complete disengagement” of troops in eastern Ladakh in a timely manner for “full restoration” of peace and tranquility.
At the meeting, it was decided that senior commanders of the two armies will meet “soon” to discuss further steps to “ensure complete disengagement and de-escalation”.
After the online diplomatic meeting under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China Border Affairs, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the two sides agreed that maintenance of “enduring peace” in the border areas was essential for overall development of bilateral ties.
The MEA said the two sides reaffirmed to ensure complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC for “full restoration” of peace and tranquility in the border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols.
Both sides have held several rounds of diplomatic and military talks in the last few weeks to ease tension in the region. However, there was no visible sign of any end to the standoff till Sunday evening.
On June 30, the Indian and Chinese armies held the third round of Lt General-level talks during which both sides agreed on an “expeditious, phased and step wise” de-escalation as a “priority” to end the standoff.
The first round of the Lt General talks was held on June 6 during which both sides finalised an agreement to disengage gradually from all the standoff points beginning with Galwan Valley.
However, the situation deteriorated following the Galwan Valley clashes as the two sides significantly bolstered their deployments in most areas along the LAC. Twenty Indian Army personnel were killed in the clashes on June 15.
The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.
Tensions had escalated in eastern Ladakh around two months back after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.



Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

In India-China crisis, an India-US bonanza in view


File: Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) with US President Donald Trump

WASHINGTON: A border clash has plunged ties between India and China to their lowest point in decades. But one beneficiary looks clear – the US-India relationship.
Experts say India could finally end equivocation about openly aligning itself with the long-eager United States, although there will still be disagreements – which, paradoxically, are now mostly due to Washington.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that China “took incredibly aggressive action” in a hand-to-hand battle in eastern Ladakh on June 15.
The hawkish Pompeo characterized the violence as part of a broader strategy by Beijing to challenge all of its neighbors.
Jeff M Smith, a research fellow at the conservative Heritage Foundation who has written a book on the India-China rivalry, said the United States is known to offer border intelligence to India, which is now likely to pick up the pace on defense acquisitions.
But Smith said that India has asked the United States to be publicly circumspect – in part to show the domestic audience that New Delhi does not need help.
India also does not want “to feed Chinese propaganda narratives that this is all a component of the China-US rivalry and that India is working at America’s behest,” Smith said.
Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, cautioned that neither India nor China wanted a complete rupture and said that both still saw some common interests, especially in international organizations.
“But make no mistake: This current India-China crisis is a watershed for the geopolitics of Asia, and the US-India relationship will be one of the main beneficiaries,” he said.
“Previous Indian concern about antagonizing China if it moves closer to the US is starting to melt away.”
The United States has been seeking warmer ties since the 1990s with India, which insisted during the Cold War on being “non-aligned” on the global stage.
President Donald Trump has appeared to form a bond with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a fellow nationalist who warns of the threat of radical Islam, and the pair have held two joint mega-rallies.
But Trump, his eyes at home ahead of elections, has also taken action detrimental to India, including last year kicking it out of a preferential trade status under which it had exported billions of dollars in goods.
Trump, citing the coronavirus pandemic, more recently has suspended high-tech visas and threatened to expel international students, moves with significant impacts on Indians.
India is happy to see Trump’s tougher stances on China as well as historic adversary Pakistan but also feels demands, especially on trade, said Aparna Pande, director of the Hudson Institute’s Initiative on the Future of India and South Asia.
“It is a semi-transactional relationship. It is not a strategic relationship, as it was in earlier years,” she said.
Trump, who has frequently sparred with Western allies, may not even want a more committed relationship with India, she said.
“I wouldn’t say there is as much reluctance on the Indian side. That has calmed down,” Pande said.
“The two are closer than they have ever been. But are the two ready to take that extra step?”
In another recent shift, US lawmakers, mostly Democrats, have openly criticized India on human rights, including Modi’s revocation of autonomy and controls on the internet in Muslim-majority Kashmir.
Anthony Blinken, a close aide to presidential candidate Joe Biden, said that the Democrat, if he defeats Trump, would seek to “strengthen and deepen” the relationship with India. But Blinken shared concerns on freedoms.
“You’re always better engaging with a partner, and a vitally important one like India, when you can speak frankly and directly about areas where you have differences,” Blinken said at the Hudson Institute.
Trump has stayed mum on rights and has offered, with little detail, to mediate between India and China.
But John Bolton, Trump’s former national security advisor who recently published an explosive memoir, doubted Trump understood the border situation.
“He may have been briefed on it, but history doesn’t really stick with him,” Bolton told Indian news channel.



Source link

Categories
Uncategorized

Lara Dutta to begin shooting for her latest movie ‘Bell Bottom’


The movie is directed by Farhan Akhtar’s ‘Lucknow Central’, fame, Ranjit M Tewari and is produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Jackky Bhagnani, Deepshikha Deshmukh of Pooja Entertainment, in association with Monisha Advani, Madhu Bhojwani and Nikhil Advani of Emmay Entertainment.



Source link