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Opinion

After anarchy in the US, reimagining the middle ground
Opinion

After anarchy in the US, reimagining the middle ground

Indians are not the only ones claiming gloating rights over the anarchist violence in America. From Turkey to Zimbabwe, this is the world’s schadenfreude moment — a sort of payback for the countless times America has lectured the world on democracy.As Dr Faheem Younus, a Covid-19 expert, known for his people-friendly interventions, wryly tweeted, “This is why I had left Pakistan.”What other, newer democracies find relatively easy — conducting an election, the counting of votes, the peaceful transition of power — seems to have befuddled the United States (US).That said, once we are done making the barbs, the jokes and the asides — as well as the earned right to call out systemic hypocrisy and humbug — it might be instructive to look at the takeaways for the rest of us.For s...
Here’s why Amsterdam wants to restrict tourists from its marijuana shops
Opinion

Here’s why Amsterdam wants to restrict tourists from its marijuana shops

In an effort to clean up its image, Amsterdam aims to restrict a key tourist attraction: its coffee shops.Only Dutch residents would be allowed to enter the cannabis-dealing outlets under a proposal by Mayor Femke Halsema. The plan, backed by local police and prosecutors, is aimed at tackling the flow of hard drugs and organized crime linked to the marijuana trade.“The cannabis market is too big and overheated,” Halsema said in emailed comments. “I want to shrink the cannabis market and make it manageable. The residence condition is far-reaching, but I see no alternative.”Halsema submitted the plan to the Amsterdam council on Friday, kicking off a political debate, including discussions over a transitional agreement with shop owners. She expects the policy to go into force...
Majority people want suspension of flights from countries with new virus strain: Survey
Opinion

Majority people want suspension of flights from countries with new virus strain: Survey

As India resumes flights to the UK from Friday, though in a restricted manner, after keeping them suspended for about a fortnight in the wake of detection of new variant of coronavirus, a majority of people want flights banned from the countries having cases with new variants, according to a survey. The findings are based on the responses received from over 8,000 citizens across 207 districts in the country, online platform LocalCircles said on Friday. Significantly, Aam Aadmi Party chief and Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal too had on Thursday urged the Centre to suspend the flights between India and the UK till January 31 in view of the “extremely serious” COVID-19 situation in that country. India temporarily suspended flights to the UK following similar moves by ma...
International travellers will have to show negative Covid-19 test before boarding flight to Australia
Opinion

International travellers will have to show negative Covid-19 test before boarding flight to Australia

Australia will require all international travellers to test negative for Covid-19 before boarding flights to the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday, as it tightened travel rules to stop the spread of the UK Covid-19 variant.Australia would also reduce by half the cap on international arrivals to some states until February 15, Morrison said. (This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter Source link
Sonakshi Sinha’s Kerala pics will serve as itinerary for your next visit to God’s own country
Opinion

Sonakshi Sinha’s Kerala pics will serve as itinerary for your next visit to God’s own country

Since March, most of us have been at home in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. But now we have gotten accustomed to this new normal and are learning to live with it. People have started going out again and taking vacations while following all the necessary safety protocols. Even a lot of celebrities rang in the New Year in some of the most exotic places around the world. Disha Patani, Tiger Shroff, Ananya Panday, Ishaan Khatter, Kiara Advani and Sidharth Malhotra were in the Maldives. Malaika Arora and Arjun Kapoor spent the New Year’s Eve together in Goa at Amrita Arora’s home. Sonakshi Sinha bid adieu to 2020 while soaking in the sun and enjoying the backwaters in Kerala.The Dabangg actor has been posting some really gorgeous images from heaven on earth ...
Maharashtra: Most commuters not allowed on suburban trains, ticketless travel on the rise
Opinion

Maharashtra: Most commuters not allowed on suburban trains, ticketless travel on the rise

With a limited section of commuters allowed on suburban local trains, the number of ticketless, unauthorised passengers has gone up significantly. The Railways has increased surveillance to book and has found a sharp rise in ticketless commuters compared to pre-Covid times.Central Railways has booked 77,500 unauthorised commuters attempting to travel by local trains between July 2020 and January 5, 2021. The daily number of ticketless commuters booked was 1,000 against around 4.5 million commuters before the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020. It has increased to 1,500 unauthorised commuters booked daily when the number of commuters is restricted to 800,000 daily. Also Read: Maharashtra realty boost: Construction premiums are slashed by 50%A fine of Rs1.67 crore has been reco...
Kashmiri meat delicacy ‘Harisa’ in high demand during winter in Valley
Opinion

Kashmiri meat delicacy ‘Harisa’ in high demand during winter in Valley

Amid the winter season, a Kashmiri meat delicacy, Harisa, is in high demand in the Valley, especially after snowfall in several places. The traditional dish is commonly known to keep the body warm in the harsh winter.The dish is made with a mixture of Kashmiri saffron, aromatic spices, rice, meat and salts. High in calorie and protein content, Harisa gets digested easily and is made in a big earthen pot known locally as a ‘Mat’ which is kept warm by firewood all night and tastes best when eaten fresh. “It takes about 17 to 18 hours to make a really good Harisa. First, you have to make rice and mix it with masala, and spices. Then the meat is added. We then wake up at 4 in the morning and take out the bones. Along with that, we have to run the shop and all this takes a lot ...
Pandemic drives down Tunisia’s tourism revenue by 65%
Opinion

Pandemic drives down Tunisia’s tourism revenue by 65%

Tunisia’s tourism revenue plunged by 65% in 2020 compared to 2019, to around $746 million, official figures showed on Thursday, as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow to the country’s economy.In 2020, the number of visitors fell by 78%, as western tourists deserted Tunisia’s hotels and resorts, a government official told Reuters. Tunisia had received a record 9.5 million visitors in 2019.The contraction of Tunisia’s economy is expected to be at least 7% in 2020 as a result of the loss of revenue from tourism, which accounts for about 8% of GDP and is a major source of foreign currency.Central bank data showed that tourism revenues fell to 2 billion Tunisian dinars ($746 million), compared to 5.6 billion dinars the previous year.Travel restrictions and t...
To secure India’s energy future, create a sovereign wealth fund and invest
Opinion

To secure India’s energy future, create a sovereign wealth fund and invest

Indians pay among the highest prices for petrol globally, because of taxes, even as oil is close to multi-year lows. How can these two extremes be aligned? The ongoing turmoil in the oil markets due to the pandemic and under-utilised supply presents a long-term opportunity for India to secure its energy future. Simply, India can take small stakes in the listed oil and gas companies of democracies such as the United States (US), Canada and Australia, via a specially created sovereign wealth fund (SWF). India is currently the world’s third- largest consumer of oil with growing demand and limited domestic supplies. Import in 2019-20 was 1.6 billion barrels and will increase as its economy expands. Some analysts believe that the big thrust on electric vehicles (EVs) will spell...
The destructive legacy of Donald Trump | HT Editorial
Opinion

The destructive legacy of Donald Trump | HT Editorial

On Wednesday, what was once unimaginable happened on the streets of Washington DC. After having conclusively lost the presidential elections, Donald Trump — who has, baselessly, claimed the process was riddled with fraud and he was cheated out of a victory — incited a mob to march to the Capitol Hill. Mr Trump first tried to block the election certification process by telling his Vice President, Mike Pence, the presiding officer of the Senate, to block the results. When Mr Pence, rightly, did not do so, he resorted to egging his supporters on to do so through mob action. In the process, he disrespected the electoral mandate; undermined a fundamental tenet of democracy — the peaceful transfer of power; eroded America’s moral authority globally; indirectly caused outright vi...
Farm unions must be flexible | HT Editorial
Opinion

Farm unions must be flexible | HT Editorial

On Friday, the government and protesting farm organisations will have the eighth round of talks to find a resolution to the standoff over the new farm laws. The agitation, led primarily by farmers from Punjab and Haryana, at Delhi’s borders, is now in its second month — and they have continued in severe cold, facing unseasonal rains, and at great cost to human lives and comfort. And the farm unions have a singular demand — repeal the laws. This maximalist approach, however, could be counterproductive.This newspaper believes that the government erred in not ensuring a process of adequate consultation and legislative scrutiny before the passage of the laws. It also should have read the mood on the ground in Punjab, refrained from a coercive response at the beginning, and und...
Chronicling the role of institutions | HT Editorial
Opinion

Chronicling the role of institutions | HT Editorial

In his final memoir, The Presidential Years; 2012-2017, published posthumously this week, the late former president Pranab Mukherjee has candidly written of the decline of his former party, the Congress, and its political mismanagement in the final years in power. He has enumerated the strengths and weaknesses of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. And he has given a glimpse of his own decision-making process — of advising the government privately, while being publicly supportive of it. And he has offered views on demonetisation — which he believed did not meet its objectives — and the Goods and Services Tax — which he saw as transformative.The book’s value lies in the behind-the-scenes accounts the late President offers into conversations at the highest levels of the Indian Sta...
You will add Mukteshwar to your bucket list after going through Neena Gupta’s Instagram
Opinion

You will add Mukteshwar to your bucket list after going through Neena Gupta’s Instagram

During the lockdown, which began in March in order to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, people stayed inside their homes and followed all the safety protocols . Neena Gupta also self-isolated in her holiday home in Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand. The Badhaai Ho actor spent a lot of time with her husband Vivek Mehra and their pet dog Mila. In those months, the actor often shared picturesque views from the lush green mountains and made us want to go to for a vacation in the lap of nature. From her morning walks with snow-capped mountains in the background to a casual stroll to the market, Gupta posted a lot on her social media and seems like she took us along with her virtually. We are not complaining.  From experimenting with food to cutting her husband’s hair and celebrat...
Goa’s Aguada jail to be revamped as tourist spot by March: CM
Opinion

Goa’s Aguada jail to be revamped as tourist spot by March: CM

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said the renovation of the historic jail at Aguada, which no longer houses prisoners and is being developed as a tourist spot, will be completed in March this year following which it be will be opened for visitors.Talking to reporters on Tuesday after a review meeting on the renovation of the 17th century structure, Sawant said around 90 per cent work of the project has been completed.“We will complete the project in March this year after which it would be an important tourist attraction,” he said.The Portuguese-era structure, part of the historic Aguada Fort at Sinquerim village near the Mandovi river in North Goa district, will have a museum depicting the state’s liberation struggle, he said.Two special cells dedicated to freedom figh...
UK music festivals call for help to survive until summer amid coronavirus
Opinion

UK music festivals call for help to survive until summer amid coronavirus

Britain’s music festivals will have to start pulling the plug on events for the second year in succession if they do not get government support to give them the confidence to book acts and contractors, the industry said on Tuesday.Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive at music industry trade body UK Music, said event organisers needed a date for when live music could resume and also for the government to back an insurance policy in case the pandemic caused new cancellations.Ranging from Glastonbury, the world’s largest greenfield festival, to events dedicated to opera, folk, rock and everything in between, live music contributed 1.3 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) directly to the British economy in 2019, UK Music said.Njoku-Goodwin said it might seem strange to talk about sa...
Pandemic empties blue-hued Moroccan tourist town
Opinion

Pandemic empties blue-hued Moroccan tourist town

When Covid-19 hit Morocco, the mountainous town of Chefchaouen was one of the few that registered no cases. The picturesque town, its facades painted in distinctive hues of blue, shut its small population off from the world, and kept the virus out for months.Now, as the North African nation cautiously reopens and tries to resuscitate its struggling economy, Chefchaouen stands subdued, deserted by the tourists that have long been its lifeblood.In the narrow streets, idle youth light cannabis joints and chat, pausing to offer to sell some to passers-by. Fishermen bring their catch of the day from nearby rivers, selling sardines on street corners, as cats linger, waiting to be rewarded with the leftovers. Kids carry trays of pastries made by their families to sell.During the ...
Sidharth Malhotra’s scuba diving and seabob adventure makes us crave for a Maldives vacay
Opinion

Sidharth Malhotra’s scuba diving and seabob adventure makes us crave for a Maldives vacay

Raising the bar of beach holiday goals right at the onset of New Year 2021, Bollywood hunk Sidharth Malhotra has made the exotic Maldives top our travel bucket list with his swoon-worthy videos on the gram. Be it surfing the ocean waters on a seabob or finding peace by diving underwater, away from the cacophony of the world, Sidharth has not only kicked our travel bug but also made us go weak in the knees as we crave a similar getaway.Though the actor is back in Tinsel town and was papped at Mumbai airport with rumoured girlfriend, Kiara Advani, his social media handles provide enough visual treats for sore eyes. Embracing the luxury of nature while disconnecting from daily life, Sid was seen splashing in the turquoise blue waters of the barefoot luxury resort, Soneva Fush...
Gujarat: Sabarmati Ashram reopens for visitors after 9 months
Opinion

Gujarat: Sabarmati Ashram reopens for visitors after 9 months

The historic Sabarmati Ashram here has reopened its doors for visitors, after remaining closed for over nine months due to the coronavirus outbreak, an ashram official said on Tuesday.With social distancing and other Covid-19 protocols in place, the premises has been opened for the public from Monday, the ashram’s director, Atul Pandya, told PTI.Before the outbreak of Covid-19, the ashram, a former home of Mahatma Gandhi and a historic centre linked to India’s Independence movement, used to receive a large number of visitors every day.It is managed by the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust.“The ashram was shut for visitors since March 20 last year following the coronavirus outbreak. From Monday, we have once again opened the premises for visitors,” Pandya sai...
Air travel to continue to be impacted in 2021, predicts CAPA
Opinion

Air travel to continue to be impacted in 2021, predicts CAPA

Aviation consultant Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) has predicted that demand recovery will remain uncertain even in 2021, especially for international traffic. According to CAPA, international traffic is only expected to recover 35-40% of financial year 2020 levels, while domestic traffic in financial year 2021-22 is expected to reach 70-80% of financial year 2020 levels.It stated that discretionary domestic travel segments (business, institutional, MICE, leisure and foreigners travelling on the domestic network), that accounted for an estimated 55% of the market before the Covid-19 outbreak, is unlikely to return until the pandemic is under greater control or deployment of a vaccine is widespread. CAPA also said that even outbound travel will continue to be impac...
Bhitarkanika National Park to  shut from January 15 for crocodile census
Opinion

Bhitarkanika National Park to shut from January 15 for crocodile census

With the annual headcount exercise of estuarine crocodiles getting underway, Bhitarkanika National Park in Odisha would remain out of bounds for nine days of this month for nature lovers who long for savouring the warmth of congenial wetland spots, officials said.The national park is being shut from January 15 to 23 for the annual census of the estuarine crocodiles. As many as 22 teams have been constituted to count the crocodiles in the creeks, nullahs and rivers within the park and its nearby areas.The national park’s closure during the period will ensure the smooth and human interference-free census operation. Any form of human activity would come in the way of the meticulous census of these reptiles. That’s why the curb on tourists’ footfall has been imposed, said the ...