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Last Updated : Feb 28 2021 10:21PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Nationwide COVID19 Vaccination drive to cover senior citizens, those above 45 yrs with co-morbidities begins tomorrow            PM asks people not to lower guard against Corona            PM emphasizes need to take science forward with mantra of 'Lab to Land'            ISRO successfully launches Brazil's Amazonia 1 satellite, along with 18 other passenger satellites            Hockey: Indian beats Germany 6-1 in first match of European tour           

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World News

2220 HRS
16.01.2021

NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to 'World News: an Indian perspective', on All India Radio. This is NISHIT KUMAR and with me is PRASHANT KUMAR SINHA 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.

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As the world fights the COVID-19 pandemic, we begin the programme with a message of caution 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:

⦁ World's Largest COVID 19 Vaccination rolled out in India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi

⦁ Russia to restart flights between Moscow and New Delhi  from January 27

⦁ Armin Laschet elected as the new Chairman of Germany's ruling Christian Democratic Party

⦁ 51st Edition of International Film Festival of India begins in Goa; India & Bangladesh to jointly produce a movie ,Bangabandhu.

⦁ And in Cricket, India were 62 for two at stumps on the second day of the fourth Test against Australia in Brisbane.

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COVID-PACKAGE-START

PM VACCINATION DRIVE

The world's largest vaccination drive against COVID19  was launched in India by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi through video conferencing.

In his address, Mr. Modi said India's COVID 19 vaccination campaign is based on very humane principles and those exposed to maximum risk get priority.

 The Prime Minister underlined the importance of the largest ever vaccination campaign and said all details will be taken care by the Cowin App.

India is vaccinating 30 million people in the first phase and priority has been given to health workers and front line workers. Indian Prime Minister praised those scientists who had been involved in making the vaccine against Corona for the past several months. He said Indian vaccines are much cheaper than foreign vaccines and equally good. The two made-in-India vaccines have been granted approval on tje basis of safety and efficacy. He urged people not to pay heed to the rumours.

 Prime Minister said India's fight against COVID 19 has been one of self-confidence and self-reliance. He got emotional while talking about the hardships faced by healthcare and frontline workers during the pandemic. Mr. Modi said that India has set the example infront of the world how Center and state governments, local bodies, government and social institutions can work together for a better future.

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VACCINE-MANOHAR

Later at a press conference, India's Health Ministry said that more than one lakh 91 thousand beneficiaries have been vaccinated, on day one. Additional Health Secretary, Dr Manohar Agnani informed that 16 thousand 755 personnel were involved in organizing the immunization session sites. He said, the exercise was conducted successfully across the country and not a single person had to be hospitalized after vaccination.

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BENFICIARY-BYTE

Dr Manoj chaudhary, Executive Director National Health Mission of Assam, who received the jab today said he is proud that he has taken the first vaccine today.

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Vaccination exercise is in full swing  in various states of India. In the north Indian State of Uttar Pradesh,  the vaccination drive has been smooth in all 75 districts.  The vaccination started in time and no report of any untoward situation has been received from any place. More from our Lucknow correspondent..

Doctors, medical superintendents, chief Medical officersas well as the other health workers were the first one to get Vaccination in different districts. The vaccination drive in state is  going on smoothly at 311 centres where 31700 people will be vaccinated today. On an average hundred people are being vaccinated at one centre and there is no report of any untoward situation at any place. in Lucknow Dr Surya Kant the head of the  pulmonary medicine department was among the first ones to get vaccinated. In Prayagraj assistant professor in neurology department of medical college Doctor Prabhat said after vaccination and completion of observation period that he feels completely fit and advised people to not to pay heed to the rumours.

In Prime Minister Narendra Modi's constituency Varanasi vaccination drive is going on smoothly at 6 places. At Deendayal Upadhyay district hospital in Varanasi the first vaccine was given to the Chief Medical Superintendent Dr VK Shukla.

Union and State Ministers ministers inaugurated the vaccination drive. SUSHIL CHANDRA TIWARI, AIR NEWS, LUCKNOW.

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In the Eastern Indian State of West Bengal, immunization drive has generated lot of enthusiasm. Twenty thousand and seven hundred frontline warriors were vaccinated. More from our Kolkata correspondent:

Lots of enthusiasm have been observed among the people of West Bengal regarding the largest vaccination drive of the world. After the Prime Minister virtually inaugurated the drive, the process of administering doses of Covishield was started across the state. Around hundred health workers including doctors and nurses have been given the dose from two hundred and seven centres. In Kolkata, along with five government medical colleges and hospitals and five urban primary health centre of the KMC, the drive is being carried out in five private hospitals. Minister Firhad Hakim has visited SSKM medical college and hospital in Kolkata to supervise the process. All the persons who are taking the shot today, have been asked to maintain the covid protocol even after completion of the second dose. Madhuparna Dhar Chowdhuri for AIR NEWS Kolkata.

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SIKKIM- COVID VACCINATION

Moving on to North Eastern India, Sikkim joined the rest of the nation in launching the COVID19 vaccination programme on Saturday. Chief Minister PS Tamang and Health Minister Dr MK Sharma were present at STNM hospital near Gangtok during the launch. The vaccination drive simultaneously also began at District hospital, Gyalsingh, West Sikkim. More from our Gangtok correspondent -

On the first day, 140 health care workers have been registered for inoculation at the two COVID19 vaccination centres in Sikkim. Speaking after the launch, Chief Minister PS Tamang said that the vaccination programme is a great example of Aatmanirbhar Bharat envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as both the vaccines are manufactured in India. He highlighted that the cost of Indian vaccines is significantly lower than those manufactured outside.  Speaking to AIR News, Sikkim health minister Dr MK Sharma hoped that the vaccines bring an end to the hardships faced by all due to the pandemic.

Sikkim has received 12,500 doses of Covishield vaccine in the first consignment for Phase I. The vaccination drive will subsequently cover primary health centres. With Saikat Sarkar, Parijat Sharma from Gangtok for AIR.

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In the Western Indian State of  Maharashtra, the main vaccination drive was launched  in Covid Care centre at Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai in the presence of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray, BMC commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal and Mayor of Mumbai Kishori Pednekar. Dr. Madhura Patil became the first beneficiary to receive the Covid-19 preventive vaccine in this centre. While former health minister of the state Dr. Deepak Sawant was the first beneficiary in Cooper Hospital. The vaccination drive began at vaious places in the state including Jalna, where state health minister Rajesh Tope was present on the occasion. A report…..

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the launching of Covid vaccine can be termed as the revolutionary step in the life of Mumbaikars and the state. He thanked all the corona warriors who led this fight against the global pandemic. At the Same time he also reminded the people to continue the disciplined lifestyle with Covid-19 guidelines till the end of the pandemic. In Jalna health minister Rajesh Tope launched the vaccination drive and expressed happiness over the smooth process of vaccination without any advert events in the drive. The beneficiaries also expressed satisfaction and sense of security after receiving the first dose of the vaccine. The drive began in the presence of Water resource Minister Jayant Patil in Islampur in Sangli District. Industries Minister, Subhash Desai launched the drive in Aurangabad. PWD minister Eknath Shinde was present in Solapur to launch the vaccination drive. Energy Minister and guardian minister of Nagpur Nitin Raut launched the vaccination drive in the district.  State Covid Task Force Chief Dr. Sanjay Oak has appealed the citizens of the state not to believe rumors about the vaccine on social media and assured that the vaccine is fully safe and has no side effects. Many of the beneficiary doctors who were administered the dose have resumed their duty. Shailesh Patil, Air News, Mumbai.

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TAMIL NADU-VACCINE

The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu also saw the launch of the vaccination drive. 166 centers across the state have began the vaccination drive and each center aims at ensuring 100 individuals receive the vaccine today. More from our correspondent.

The first person to receive the vaccine was the President of the government doctors association Dr.Senthil. Later followed by other doctors, nurses,health workers and the other frontline workers who had pre registered. Vaccination is done at 166 centres in the State today. Each Centre will vaccinate hundred persons per day.  Five health officials present in the Centre will handle the vaccination. A person receiving the first shot today will have to get the second shot after 28 days or four weeks after which they have to be on guard for 42 days. In the first phase four lakh 89 thousand frontline workers will be administered the vaccine. 25 thousand workers have been trained to administer the vaccine. The Tamilnadu Government doctors association has advised all its members to opt for the Covishield vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India as the vector based vaccine is in use for nearly two months without any major side effects reported. Joy, AIR News, Chennai.

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J&K- VACCINATION

In the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha has  launched COVID-19 vaccination drive from the Auditorium of Government Medical College, Jammu in the presence of top brass of the Union Territory administration. AIR Jammu Correspondent reports atleast 4000 health workers across the UT will receive vaccination today at 40 designated immunisation sites 

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GLOBAL COVID

As the fight against Coronavirus gathers momentum, with vaccinations in USA, UK, Israel and India, the number of COVID19 cases has been a cause of concern.

More than 2 million people have died globally due to coronavirus. According to the latest tally by the Johns Hopkins University, Over 93,518,182 people have been infected with the virus till now, after the first reported fatality in China last January. The tragic milestone came just over a year after the first Covid-19 death was reported in Wuhan, China. Till now, the US has reported the maximum number of coronavirus cases and deaths. Meanwhile, 13 World Health Organisation experts have arrived in Wuhan to investigate the origins of the novel coronavirus.

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GUTERRES-COVID

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has denounced the "heart-wrenching milestone" of two million global deaths from COVID 19. He asserted that world’s leading economies have a leading responsibility to make vaccine available to all the people. He also said that "Governments have a responsibility to protect their populations, but 'vaccine nationalism' is self-defeating and will delay a global recovery.

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CHINA-VACCINATION

Amid debates and confusion about the effectiveness of a leading Chinese COVID-19 vaccine, China has been trying to push its vaccines to other countries. Reports about the efficacy of its leading SinoVac vaccine have been inconsistent. Experts say China has been too slow to publish trial data. China has administered more than 10 million vaccine doses at home. China started emergency use of its vaccine in July last year. More from our Beijing Correspondent:

With most countries likely to need more than one type of vaccine to meet demand, China has quickly started exports of its vaccines. The exports come even as China battles its own flare-up in infections, which has put more than 28 million people in lockdown. Continuing its recent three-digit surge, the Chinese mainland on Friday reported 130 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 115 were locally transmitted. Of the locally transmitted cases, 90 were reported in Hebei, 23 in Heilongjiang, and two in Beijing. 79 new asymptomatic cases were also reported. Around 10 provinces are affected. Meanwhile, Hong Kong announced that it is likely to delay the distribution of mainland Chinese producer Sinovac’s Covid-19 vaccine because of a lack of trial data, raising transparency concerns over a vaccine Beijing wants to sell throughout the developing world. Sinovac whose efficacy rates for trials in Brazil were lowered to 50.4 per cent, has been criticised for not releasing enough underlying data to explain varying results. However, experts say, it can prevent deaths from the virus. Anshuman Mishra, for world news, All India Radio, Beijing >>

A World Health Organization(WHO) team in China is reviewing manufacturing practices for Sinovac’s vaccine, and those produced by Chinese state-owned Sinopharm. If the WHO lists the vaccines for emergency use, that will accelerate their global distribution

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GREECE-VACCINATION

Greece kicked off COVID-19 vaccinations among the elderly on Saturday. The country had earlier inoculated tens of thousands of frontline workers to fight the spread of the coronavirus. More than 75,000 healthcare workers and nursing home residents and carers have received the shot of the vaccine produced by Pfizer/BioNTech since Greece rolled out the plan along with other EU countries last month.

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EU-PFIZER

Meanwhile, Several EU countries are receiving significantly fewer doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine than expected, after the US firm slowed shipments. Six nations called the situation "unacceptable" and warned it "decreases the credibility of the vaccination process".

Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia urged the EU to apply pressure on Pfizer-BioNTech. Pfizer said the reduced deliveries were a temporary issue.

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RUSSIA-FLIGHTS

Russian authorities said on Saturday that flights between Moscow and the capitals of India, Finland, Vietnam, and Qatar would restart from January 27. The flights have been suspended since the early weeks of the pandemic and the authorities have said that the services would resume after certain epidemiological criteria were met.

A statement from Kremlin said that the four countries were seeing fewer than 40 new cases per fortnight per 100,000 people.

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UK-TRAVEL

The UK is to close all travel corridors from Monday morning to "protect against the risk of as yet unidentified new strains" of Covid . Speaking at a Downing Street press conference, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was "vital" to take extra measures now "when day by day we are making such strides in protecting the population.'

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US-TERRORIST DESIGNATION

The United States has reviewed and maintained the terrorist designations of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) and Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), along with ISIL Sinai Peninsula (ISIL-SP) and several other organisations.

US Department of State said that it has amended the terrorist designations of LJ and ISIL Sinai Peninsula (ISIL-SP) to include additional aliases.

LeT, which carried out the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, was designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States in December 2001. The State Department said,LeT has repeatedly changed its name and created front organisations in an effort to avoid sanctions, The treasury department earlier this month said that the US blocked $342,000 in funds of LeT in 2019 as part of its crackdown on foreign terror organisations.

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POMPEO-DESIGNATES

The US had designated 7 entities and 2 individuals for allegedly flouting US sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL).

On Friday, the US State Department had increased the scope of State Department-administered Iran metals-related sanctions. In a statement Mike Pompeo justified the move saying that Iran’s nuclear, ballistic missile, and military programs pose continued threats to the world’s safety and security.

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IRAN-BALLISTIC

Meanwhile, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards fired long-range ballistic missiles into the Indian Ocean on on Saturday. Iran is holding a military exercise, following Friday’s testing of surface-to-surface ballistic missiles and locally manufactured new drones in the same area according to state media reports. Saturday’s drill targets were in the Gulf of Oman and the northern Indian Ocean.

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US-HONG KONG

The United States on Friday designated six Chinese and Hong Kong officials for their role in implementing the National Security Law imposed in Hong Kong. The  Hong Kong authorities arrested more than 50 people who were trying to advance fair and open primary elections for Hong Kong's Legislative Council. Thirteen former Legislative Council members, an American lawyer, and a former law professor were among those reportedly detained before being released on bail.

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GERMAN-LASCHET

In Germany, 59-year-old Armin Laschet was elected as the new federal chairman of Germany's center-right Christian Democrats (CDU). He was elected in a runoff against Friedrich Merz by 521 votes to 466.

Laschet stands strongly for a continuation of Angela Merkel's course as the current German Chancellor ends her term in the latter half of this year.

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IFFI-START

The 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) got underway in Panji, Goa this afternoon. The opening ceremony was held at Shyamaprasad Mukherjee stadium in the presence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar, Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant and Kannada film star Sudeep. This year IFFI has been organised in hybrid manner with physical and virtual components due to Covid19 pandemic.

Our correspondent reports that the 51st IFFI was inaugurated in a glittering ceremony at Shyama Prasad Stadium near Panaji Goa. Union Minister of Information and broadcasting Prakash Javdekar,Chief Minister of Goa Dr Pramod Sawant and Chief Guest renowned Kannada actor Sudeep were present on the occasion.

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BANGLA-HIGH

High Commissioner of Bangladesh to India, Mr. Mohammad Imran said that apart from the recognition of the creativity and ingenuity of the film-makers of Bangladesh, it is also a testimony of the depth of relations and a historic bind between the two neighbouring countries.

Speaking on occasion Minister Javadekar said that India and Bangladesh are together working on a film on Banga-bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

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BISWAJIT

The 51st edition of the International Film Festival of India, Goa has conferred Shri Biswajit Chatterjee, veteran actor, producer, director and singer of Hindi and Bengali cinema, with the Indian Personality of the Year Award. The Award has been announced at the opening ceremony of the festival, by Union Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Shri Prakash Javadekar. Making the announcement, the Union Minister said that this award will be presented to him, when National Film Awards are presented in March 2021.

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FPR

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

⦁ New York times has reported that five protesters from Hong Kong arrived in US seeking asylum .

⦁ Washington Post writes tha US troops in Afghanistan has been reduced to lowest levels since 2001.The number of troops has come down  to  2500.

⦁ Wall street Journal has reported that China's  property developers have huge international Debts to refinance in 2021.

⦁ According to Gulf News, Saudi women will soon be appointment as judges .

⦁ Moscow times writes that nearly half of Russian Regions have limited access to Coronavirus vaccine.

⦁ Rio times has reported that opposition parties have decided to lodge New motion for impeachment Against Brazilian President Bolsonaro.

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Moving onto sports,

In Cricket, India were 62 for two at stumps in reply to Australia’s 369 in the first innings, on the second day of the fourth and final Test at the Gabba in Brisbane today.

India lost both their openers early as they went to tea at 62 for the loss of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma’s wickets before heavy downpour stopped the play.

Play will resume half an hour early tomorrow to make up for the lost overs.

Indian Government has approved the appointment of Belarussian coach Nikolai Snesarev as the middle- and long-distance coach of the Indian athletics team. The 72-yr-old has been appointed till the end of Sept, a period which will coincide with the Tokyo Olympics scheduled to take place in July-August of 2021.

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USA-MAJOR SECURITY PARTNERS

United States has  designated  the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain as “Major Security Partners” .

A statement from the White House said that it recognises the exceptional security partnership and the commitment of each country to countering violent extremism across the region.

It added that the move reflects the extraordinary courage, determination, and leadership of the two Arab nations in entering into the Abraham Accords.

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PALESTINE-ELECTIONS

Palestine's President Mahmud Abbas on Friday announced the first Palestinian elections in more than 15 years.

A presidential decree stated that region will "launch a democratic election process in all cities of the homeland,". The region refers to the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

The parliamentary elections will be held on May 22, followed by a presidential vote on July 31. The voters would go to the polls once again on August 31 to elect the National Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which represents Palestinians internationally.

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UGANDA-PREZ

Yoweri Museveni, the sitting president of Uganda, was re-elected as President on Saturday. He got 58% of the vote while his main competition, singer-turned-lawmaker Bobi Wine, trailed with 34% votes amidst allegations of widespread fraud in the elections.

In a tweet, Assistant Secretary for U.S. State African Bureau, Mr. Tibor Nagy,  said that they are deeply troubled by persistent reports of fraud in Uganda’s January 14 elections. It added that the Ugandan authorities' denial of accreditation to election observers, violence and harassment of opposition figures, and the arrest of CSO members makes the electoral process fundamentally flawed.

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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 BANGLADESH.

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

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