Wednesday, November 25TRUSTED FEARLESS INTERNATIONAL & NATIONAL NEWS PORTAL

Opinion

Tarun Gogoi: The man who brought peace and growth to Assam
Opinion

Tarun Gogoi: The man who brought peace and growth to Assam

One of the first things that struck anyone who met Tarun Gogoi, whether in or out of power, was his smile. But behind that beaming exterior was an astute political mind and a strong will. Gogoi, who came up the ranks of the Congress, had a finger on the public pulse.He was all that we know — a three-term chief minister (successive terms and the longest-serving), a six-term Member of Parliament, a minister in Delhi, who held the posts of Congress joint secretary at the national level and was the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee chief before leading the party to victory in the 2001 state elections. But there was much more to Gogoi — a family man who treasured his private moments and valued friendships, but who also believed till the end in dialogue, political respect, and pr...
England offers travellers shorter quarantine with Covid tests
Opinion

England offers travellers shorter quarantine with Covid tests

England said it will chop its 14-day quarantine for arrivals from high-risk countries by almost two-thirds if they take a coronavirus test, easing restrictions on air travel just in time for the Christmas holiday rush.Airline shares surged after the Department for Transport published the new rules, which will come into force on December 15. England’s self-isolation period will be reduced to five days if a passenger tests negative for Covid-19 on or after the fifth day.British Airways owner IAG SA gained as much as 6.6%, while EasyJet Plc soared up to 7.3% in London. Irish discounter Ryanair Holdings Plc and Wizz Air Holdings Plc also advanced.While the announcement is a step forward for an industry battered by the travel slowdown, airlines have been seeking a complete remo...
Many Americans flying for holiday despite CDC pleas
Opinion

Many Americans flying for holiday despite CDC pleas

Millions of Americans bought tickets to fly somewhere for Thanksgiving before the nation’s top public health agency pleaded with them not to travel for the holiday.So what are they doing now? In many cases, they’re still crowding airports and boarding planes. That’s despite relatively lenient cancellation policies that major airlines have implemented since the coronavirus pandemic emerged earlier this year.“Consumers should feel comfortable changing their plans and cancelling their flights if they need to for health reasons,” said John Breyault of the National Consumers League.Most airlines won’t pay cash to refund a flight if you decide to heed national health warnings but they are waiving fees and offering vouchers. Breyault said to “familiarize yourself with the policie...
Sonakshi Sinha soaks in the Maldives sun in a lacy swimsuit-lavender floppy hat
Opinion

Sonakshi Sinha soaks in the Maldives sun in a lacy swimsuit-lavender floppy hat

Heading off for a pampering trip after unleashing her sartorial best at a friend’s wedding, Sonakshi Sinha was seen soaking in the Maldives sun at the onset of this week. As soon as she landed in the island country, the Dabangg star shared oh-so-stunning pictures from the Maldives beach in a sultry swimsuit and a personalized hat which instantly amped up our vacay goals.Taking to her Instagram handle, Sonakshi shared a glimpse of her beach look as she played in the water before a royal backdrop of the setting sun and fans could not keep calm. Donning a black and white lacy swimsuit teamed with a lavender floppy hat from Indian fashion label Myaraa by Namrata Lodha, Sonakshi posed for candids while playing in the sand outside Grand Park Kodhipparu resort which is merely 20 ...
Joe Biden’s win is good for India-US ties
Opinion

Joe Biden’s win is good for India-US ties

Nearly three weeks after the historic presidential election, United States (US) President Donald Trump is yet to concede, clinging on to hope that he can somehow miraculously hold on to power despite losing by a huge margin. However, with even his Republican allies at state and local levels refusing to help him, there is no chance that Trump will succeed in his attempt to overturn the will of the people.But, unfortunately, Trump’s unfounded accusations of election fraud and his refusal to concede have no doubt sullied the spirit of the American democracy, which has always prided itself on smooth and orderly transition of power. The outgoing president is also dragging down the Republican Party, whose leaders largely have stood by him.The president has suffered defeats in a ...
UK to lift quarantine restrictions for holiday travel during Christmas
Opinion

UK to lift quarantine restrictions for holiday travel during Christmas

The UK transport secretary will announce on Monday that blanket quarantine restrictions will end in time for Christmas so that families can travel to high-risk “red list” countries to visit relatives, The Telegraph reported.Restrictions will be slashed from 14 days to five if holidaymakers test negative five days after returning to the country, Telegraph said on Sunday.The regulations will be changed to enact the new five-day regime on December 15 or 16, with people freed from quarantine as soon as they get their test results, according to the newspaper. (This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.)Follow more stories on Facebook and Twitter Source link
The BJP focuses on the local | HT Editorial
Opinion

The BJP focuses on the local | HT Editorial

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s stated aim is to win elections from Parliament to the Panchayat. While a lot of attention is paid to the party’s strategy and success in national elections, its organisational machinery that helps convert support to votes, and the careful branding of Narendra Modi as the leader who is committed to India’s national interests, there is often inadequate attention to how the party builds its strength from the local to the national. Two recent episodes show the extraordinary importance the BJP gives to the local — confirming the adage that all politics is, eventually, local. In Jammu and Kashmir, where district elections are scheduled, the BJP has invested tremendous energy and resources in ensuring that it registers a respectable presence. Th...
To challenge the BJP, the Congress needs a massive surgery
Opinion

To challenge the BJP, the Congress needs a massive surgery

Almost two years back, during a dinner at a minister’s home in Lutyens’ Delhi, I found myself sitting next to a former Congress chief minister (CM) who migrated to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Asked how he liked the BJP, the former CM said: “[The] Congress knows how to govern, but nothing like an organisation exists there. The organisation is strong here, but the skill of running the government is yet to come.” He is a dynast. He got his post in the Congress due to his perceived loyalty. The Congress leadership is unable to accept that in politics, there is no enduring legacy of loyalty. This explains the many turncoats in the Congress. The Congress, as an organisation, was once present in every district. An uninterrupted stint in power and the resulting dynastic stra...
Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble postponed
Opinion

Singapore-Hong Kong air travel bubble postponed

Singapore and Hong Kong on Saturday postponed a planned air travel bubble amid a spike in coronavirus infections in Hong Kong.Flights were originally scheduled to start from Sunday but have been suspended as the pandemic in Hong Kong escalates.Under the original deal which was announced in mid-October, the bubble flights will be suspended for two weeks if the seven-day moving average of the daily number of unlinked local Covid-19 cases is more than five for either Singapore or Hong Kong. Travel bubble has been postponed, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau said, adding that the two governments will announce in early December as to when the flights will restart.Yau said it was a mutual agreement to delay plans by two weeks “for the Hong Kong coronav...
Why India was right in staying out of RCEP
Opinion

Why India was right in staying out of RCEP

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) was signed on November 15 at a virtual meeting of member-states, on the margins of the annual East Asia Summit, eight years after the bloc was launched in Phnom Penh. The timing is neither surprising nor linked to any geopolitical development — it was announced during the East Asia Summit in Bangkok in 2019. India joined the negotiations in 2012 and continued to be part of them until the Bangkok meet. It was flexible in negotiations and made adjustments in pursuit of a comprehensive, fair and a balanced agreement. In the end, the final document did not meet any of the three parameters. For one, it remained weak on services, especially in areas where India had a competitive advantage. But the breaking point was the abse...
A draconian step in Kerala
Opinion

A draconian step in Kerala

Kerala has decided to enforce a new law to give police the sweeping powers to arrest and prosecute people for social media posts deemed intimidating, insulting or defamatory — bringing back a provision that critics say will lead to State overreach and undermine fundamental rights guaranteed to all Indians. The law, being brought in through an executive order the governor signed off on Saturday, says a person can be punished with a prison term of up to three years or a fine of up to ₹10,000 (or both) if they are found guilty under what will be known as Section 118(A) of the Kerala Police Act. The move is necessary to stop hate speech and cyber bullying, the state government has said, citing in particular a recent case of a YouTuber who made purportedly derogatory remarks ta...
Renew commitment to renewable energy
Opinion

Renew commitment to renewable energy

Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated that India is confident of having 175GW of renewable energy (RE) by 2022 and 450GW by 2030. On November 26, the PM will inaugurate the third Global Renewable Energy Investment Meeting and Expo, once again signaling to the global renewable community India’s commitment to the development and scaling up of RE to meet its energy requirements. As of September 30, India’s total installed power capacity is over 373 GW, and, of that, coal accounts for 199.59 GW while renewable is 89.22 GW. With a population of 1.4 billion and a growing economy, India will be vital for the future of global energy markets. Ensuring citizens access to electricity and clean cooking has been at the top of the political agenda. Around 750 million people...
Covid-19 cases in Japan hit record high amid holiday travel
Opinion

Covid-19 cases in Japan hit record high amid holiday travel

The daily tally of confirmed Covid-19 cases in Japan hit a record for the fourth day at 2,508, the Health Ministry said Sunday.Japan has had fewer than 2,000 coronavirus-related deaths so far, avoiding the toll of harder hit nations. But fears are growing about another surge. A flurry of criticism from opposition legislators and the public has slammed the government for being too slow in halting its “GoTo” tourism campaign, which encouraged travel and dining out with discounts.Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on Saturday scrapped the campaign, but only after many people had already made travel reservations for a three-day Thanksgiving weekend in Japan.Airports and restaurants have been packed. Some say the government should have offered to pay for cancellations, or stepped up...
When citizens act against their interest | Opinion
Opinion

When citizens act against their interest | Opinion

As the world continues to grapple with the most extraordinary health crisis of recent times, more than 200,000 people have been fined for not wearing masks and more than 8,000 fined for not maintaining the required physical distance in public spaces in Delhi between September 7 and November 16. And this represents only those who were caught.It appears that only a direct and personal confrontation with Covid-19 may have a powerful enough impact on people to take precautions. Until then, they will neither protect themselves nor others. It is only when their parents test positive that they will run from one hospital to another trying to find a bed for them. Private hospitals will ask them to download an app and receive an online doctor’s consult when asked about the availabil...
Ananya Panday-Gauahar Khan’s Dubai vacay will leave you yearning for a similar Gulf getaway this weekend
Opinion

Ananya Panday-Gauahar Khan’s Dubai vacay will leave you yearning for a similar Gulf getaway this weekend

The lifting of lockdown restrictions on foreign shores came as a freedom call for B-Town birdies who instantly spread their wings and flew off to much-needed excursion trips after all that hardwork. After her stint as a senior in Bigg Boss 14 and her whirlwind engagement to Zaid Darbar, Gauahar Khan whisked away her fiance and his sister, Anam Darbar, to Dubai while Ananya Panday, whose film Khaali Peeli recently released, too followed suit.Gauahar’s travel pictures and videos from her Dubai trip are not for the weak-hearted, especially those working this weekend and as Ananya just touched down in the UAE city, we can’t help but crave a similar Gulf holiday as the divas flood social media with glimpses of their fun. Taking to her Instagram handle, Ananya shared a picture f...
Regional parties fail to cross the final poll hurdle
Opinion

Regional parties fail to cross the final poll hurdle

The current moment in Indian politics masks an interesting paradox. Nationally, the Opposition seems to be in the shadows and has failed to politically mobilise citizens on key issues. Yet, in state elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is increasingly facing challenges. For example, a few months ago, it was considered safe to bet on the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) sweeping the Bihar assembly elections, but eventually, the alliance had to fight hard to retain power.What explains this paradox? The problem lies essentially in our perspective, in which the Congress, despite its diminished stature, seems like the natural opposition to the BJP. And the current disarray in the Congress forces many to think that the Opposition is not in a position to challenge the BJ...
Devise an India-specific Covid vaccination plan
Opinion

Devise an India-specific Covid vaccination plan

With the possibility that several vaccines will be available soon, it is now essential to develop and disseminate a Covid-19 vaccine allocation plan. Those in India infected with Sars-CoV-2 are likely to have developed some form of immunity. Judging by studies around the country that have found under 50% seroprevalence, however, more than half the population remains susceptible to Covid-19. Even at optimistic estimates of production capacity (60 million doses/month), it will take a minimum of a year to produce enough doses for every individual at risk. Some vaccines may require multiple doses, which compounds the problem. Then, there are the challenges of storage and distribution which could cause further delays. It is tempting to look abroad for guidance on how to priorit...
Hong Kong, world’s most visited city, faces tourism bust
Opinion

Hong Kong, world’s most visited city, faces tourism bust

Hundreds of parked tour buses are gathering dust at a northern Hong Kong container port, having been off the road for 10 months since authorities banned non-resident arrivals into the city due to the new coronavirus.The area has turned into a “bus cemetery,” said Freddy Yip, president of Hong Kong’s Travel Agent Owners Association. He said the former British colony – which was the world’s leading tourist city destination last year - faces a similar fate at the end of November, when the government ends a wide-ranging wage subsidy programme that has helped about 2 million employees in all types of industries.The programme was introduced in June and renewed in September, but the Hong Kong government has ruled out an extension beyond the end of November citing the high cost, l...
Creating a robust and effective digital media regulatory mechanism
Opinion

Creating a robust and effective digital media regulatory mechanism

On November 9, the Centre amended the Government of India (Allocation of Business) Rules, 1961, and brought streaming video services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hotstar, and news websites under the ambit of the ministry of information and broadcasting (I&B). There is one point of ambiguity, though, in the notification: The online content can be curated content (as provided by news portals or entities such as Netflix, Hotstar or Amazon), and also user-generated content. The words “providers” and “platforms” must be explained clearly to clarify whether both curated and user-generated content are covered under this notification. This will materially change the scope of the notification. The reactions to this notification from content providers have been adverse and ...
Chhath puja 2020: Delhi’s Anand Vihar railway station makes special arrangement for safety of women commuters
Opinion

Chhath puja 2020: Delhi’s Anand Vihar railway station makes special arrangement for safety of women commuters

On the auspicious occasion of the Chhath festival, Indian Railways has gone the extra mile to ensure the utmost convenience of the passengers amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. In order to maintain the highest degree of safety protocols amidst the health crisis, only those passengers who have confirmed tickets are allowed to enter the waiting room arrangement made outside the station (Pandal), the seating arrangements are made following social distancing norms and all are required to wear masks. A special helpdesk has been also provided at the Anand Vihar Railway Station for passengers and a special arrangement has been made for women commuters for their safety. The Railways has also stationed doctors to tackle any medical contingency among passengers. Basic amenities like clea...