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US consulate in China readies for closure as diplomatic row rages
- Workers removed the US insignia from the consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu on Saturday, a day after Beijing ordered its closure as relations deteriorated in a Cold War-style standoff.
- The Chengdu mission was told to shut in retaliation for the forced closure of Beijing’s consulate in Houston, Texas, with both sides alleging the other had endangered national security.
- The deadline for the Americans to exit Chengdu remains unclear, but AFP reporters saw a worker on a small crane removed a circular US insignia from the front of the consulate, leaving just an American flag flying.
Zee Entertainment posts Q4 net loss at Rs 766 crore
- Zee Entertainment Enterprise Ltd (ZEEL) on Saturday reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 765.82 crore for the January-March quarter of FY 2019-20.
- The company had logged a net profit of Rs 292.53 crore in the January-March quarter a year ago, it said in a BSE filing.
- Total income was down 4.06 per cent to Rs 1,991.74 crore during the said quarter as against Rs 2,076.06 crore a year ago.
Copious monsoon rains spur summer crop sowing in India
- Indian farmers have planted 79.9 million hectares with summer crops so far, according to the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers’ Welfare, up 18.3% from last year as robust monsoon rains spurred sowing in the world’s leading producer of farm goods.
- Farmers generally start planting rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, sugarcane and peanuts, among other crops, from June 1, when monsoon rains typically arrive in India. Sowing usually lasts until July or early August.
- Monsoon rains play a crucial role in agriculture, which employs 50% of India’s 1.3 billion people, as nearly half of the country’s farmland lacks irrigation.
Amid new surge, India tests potential vaccine
- The All India Institute of Medical Sciences, a premier teaching hospital in the capital of New Delhi, says it has administered the first dose of a trial COVID-19 vaccine on Friday.
- The candidate vaccine, Covaxin, is among nearly two dozen that are in human trials around the world. AIIMS is among the 12 sites selected by the Indian Council for Medical Research for conducting the two-phase randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials of Covaxin.
- Countries are making giant bets on various vaccine candidates, entering into purchasing agreements with pharmaceutical companies for delivery if and when regulators deem the doses safe and effective.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has sought time to meet Governor Kalraj Mishra to give a fresh proposal for convening Assembly session.
Quarantining myself according to the doctor’s advice, says CM
मेरे प्रिय प्रदेशवासियों, मुझे #COVID19 के लक्षण आ रहे थे, टेस्ट के बाद मेरी रिपोर्ट पॉज़िटिव आई है। मेरी सभी साथि… https://t.co/pBgM7GXs6i
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) 1595658947000
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tests positive for #COVID19.
Dirty water and industrial waste come in Yamuna river from Badshahpur, Haryana and Sahibabad, UP. We are committed to cleaning the river in the next 3-4 years. If there is any pollution causing factory in Delhi, strict action will be taken
– Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain
The positivity ratio in Delhi is today at 5 per cent. The situation is satisfactory, but we have to be prepared
– Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain
Uttarakhand CM digitally transfers Rs 143.50 crore to panchayats
- Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has transferred Rs 143.50 crore digitally, to all Panchayats of the State under 15th Finance Commission.
- As per an official release of Chief Minister’s Office (CMO), Rawat transferred the money through Public Financial Management System (PFMS), a Central Plan Scheme monitoring system of Union Ministry of Finance
Varavara Rao’s family approaches NHRC; seeks updates on his health
- Family members of poet Varavara Rao, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, have moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking a direction to a Mumbai hospital, where he is being treated for COVID-19, and prison authorities to provide “transparent” updates on his health status.
- The petition filed on Friday stated that the family was compelled to approach the rights body as they were denied any information about his condition or his treatment at the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai.
CM Ashok Gehlot calls a meeting of the council of ministers today.
Indian women files lawsuit against US for delay in work permits
- An Indian woman has filed a lawsuit against the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for the alleged delay in issuing work permits, accusing the authorities of sitting on a backlog of at least 75,000 unprinted Employment Authorisation Documents.
- Ranjitha Subramanya, who is on an H-4 dependent visa and her husband Vinod Sinha on H-1B work visa, in a lawsuit filed before a federal court in Ohio said that while her application to extend her H-4 status and Employment Authorisation Document (EAD) was approved on April 7, she did not receive the work authorisation card till date
Vietnam reports first local coronavirus infection in more than three months
India reports 48,916 new cases
- Total cases stand at 13,36,861 including 4,56,071 active cases.
- The ciuntry also reported 757 deaths in India in the last 24 hours, taking the toll to 31,358.
- India also has 8,49,431 cured/discharged/migrated.
West Bengal BJP leaders meet top leadership in Delhi to decide assembly poll strategy
- After several rounds of discussions with West Bengal BJP leaders in Delhi, the national party leadership will formulate its strategy for the assembly elections in the state.
- The strategy to win West Bengal elections will be formulated by the party’s national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah but to brainstorm the strategy, the central leadership has called the top leaders of Bengal BJP to Delhi who reached the national capital on Friday.
- According to sources, the leaders of Bengal will have a marathon meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah and BJP president JP Nadda on the election strategy.
Encounter breaks out between security forces, militants on outskirts of Srinagar
- An encounter broke out between security forces and militants on the outskirts of Srinagar on Saturday, police said.
- Security forces launched a cordon-and-search operation in the Ranbirgarh area on the outskirts of the city this morning following specific information about the presence of militants there, a police official said.
- He said as the forces were conducting the search, militants fired upon them.
Wanted criminal Tinku Kapala killed in encounter by Uttar Pradesh police
- The Uttar Pradesh police shot dead a wanted criminal Tinku Kapala in an encounter here, police said here on Saturday.
- Kapala, who was carrying an Rs one lakh bounty on his head was injured during an encounter with a team of Special Task Force of the Uttar Pradesh police.
- He has declared brought dead at the hospital.
Congress will hold protests at all district headquarters in Rajasthan today against Bharatiya Janata Party’s “conspiracy to murder democracy”.
Encounter underway at Ranbirgarh, in outskirts of Srinagar. Police and security forces are on the job: Kashmir Zone Police
US: Singaporean national pleads guilty to working as Chinese spy
- A Singaporean national on Friday pleaded guilty to charges of being a spy of China, the US Department of Justice said.
- Jun Wei Yeo, also known as Dickson Yeo, entered a plea of guilty to one count of acting within the United States as an illegal agent of a foreign power without first notifying the attorney general.
- The Chinese government uses an array of duplicity to obtain sensitive information from unsuspecting Americans,” said US Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s National Security Division John C Demers.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath to visit Ayodhya today to take stock of preparations for inauguration of the construction of Lord Ram’s temple.
Trump administration eases drone export standard
- In a significant development, the Trump administration on Friday relaxed standards for exporting drones to friendly countries.
- Under the new policy, drones that fly at speeds below 800 km per hour are no longer subject to the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
- “This action, which is consistent with the MTCR guidelines will increase the US’s national security by improving capabilities of its partners and increase economic security by opening the expanding drones market to the US industry, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in a statement.
US says Chinese fugitive researcher taken into its custody, was part of espionage network
- Tang Juan, the scientist who said that she was focusing on biology, “was a fugitive from justice until last night,” a senior Justice Department official was quoted by CNN as saying. While Tang has been charged, the circumstances of her arrest were unclear. However, she has not been charged with espionage.
- The development came hours before the US’ deadline for China to shut down its consulate in Houston, leading to a retaliatory move from Beijing by demanding Washington to shutter its consulate in Chengdu.
US now says no new foreign students for all-online classes
- The United States announced Friday it will not take in any new foreign students seeking online-only study, after rescinding a hotly contested order to expel those already here and preparing for that because of the pandemic.
- The policy change was announced in a statement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
- President Donald Trump has made a tough line on immigration a cornerstone of his message and has suspended several kinds of visas for foreigners during the coronavirus crisis.
Trump announces new executive orders to lower drug prices, slash healthcare costs
- The orders signed by Trump would allow states to develop plans to import cheaper drugs from Canada, eliminate a system of drug discounts known as rebates in a bid to simplify the system and seek to make epinephrine and insulin more affordable for some patients of certain health providers, The Hill reported.
- The US President also announced an order seeking to slash the price that Medicare pays for drugs to be in accordance with the prices paid in other countries. However, the order’s implementation would be from August 25.
US-China ties fray as Beijing’s Houston consulate is close
- US-China relations deteriorated in a Cold War-style standoff Friday as Beijing ordered a US consulate to shut in retaliation for the closure of its Houston mission — accused of being a hub for espionage and intellectual property theft.
- Chinese officials were seen loading large sacks of objects and documents onto U-Haul trucks and tossing more into dumpster bins at the country’s large mission in the Texas city, given a Friday deadline to vacate the building.
- After the last of Beijing diplomats departed, law enforcement cordoned off the area and US officials were seen entering the consulate after using tools to force open a door.
Facebook, Twitter remove accounts of Bolsonaro supporters following court order
- Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc took down the accounts of several high-profile supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro following a Supreme Court order, a move that underlines the tricky territory the social media titans are navigating in some of the world’s largest jurisdictions.
- Justice Alexandre de Moraes ordered the removal of 16 Twitter accounts and 12 Facebook accounts on Friday, a decision tied to an ongoing probe into the alleged dissemination of disinformation by supporters of the right-wing Bolsonaro.
Brazil’s case count rises by 55,891 to over 2.3 million
- The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil has increased by 55,891 to 2,343,366 within the past 24 hours, the country’s health ministry said on late Friday.
- The death toll has risen by 1,156 to 85,238 within the same period of time. Over 1.59 million people have recovered since the start of the outbreak.
- A day earlier, Brazil reported a record 59,961 new cases of the coronavirus disease and 1,311 new fatalities.
U.S. records over 1,000 coronavirus deaths for fourth straight day
- The United States recorded more than 1,000 deaths from COVID-19 for the fourth day in a row on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, as the Trump administration stressed the need for children to go back into the classroom despite fears about safety.
- Early June was the last time the United States recorded over 1,000 deaths a day for four days in a row, resulting from fallout from infections in April. In the most recent outbreak, cases began rising in early June and deaths increased about six weeks later.