India

Regional News • Asia • India
Fridays for Future climate activist arrested in India
Fridays for Future climate activist arrested in India
Credit: unsplash.com/Markus Spiske

In India, "Fridays for Future" activist Disha Ravi has been arrested for supporting farmers' protests. She is accused of spreading calls for protests that are part of a "conspiracy".

The arrest of Indian climate activist Disha Ravi has triggered a wave of outraged reactions. Well-known politicians and celebrities from different parts of society spoke of an attack on democracy and demanded the immediate release of the 22-year-old. Even the head of the government of the Indian capital, Arvind Kejriwal, wrote on Twitter that supporting the farmers was not a crime after all.

Regional News • Asia
India and China agree to withdraw troops from Himalayan lake

After months of tension, China and India have agreed to withdraw troops from their border dispute in the Himalayas. After several talks, an agreement had been reached, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament. He said an agreement had been reached to withdraw troops from the disputed border on the northern and southern shores of Lake Pangong Tso.

China had already said Wednesday that both sides had begun withdrawing their border troops there. Clashes had last occurred near the lake in May.

Regional News • Asia • India
Indian farmers go on hunger strike in protest against new agricultural laws

In protest against new agricultural laws, farmers in India have begun a hunger strike. The action, scheduled for one day, coincided on Saturday with the death anniversary of independence fighter Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948). The hunger strike is meant to underscore the peaceful element of the protests, farmer leaders said.

Regional News • Asia • India
Indian court rules that groping minors without "skin to skin contact" doesn't qualify as sexual assault

The Bombay High Court ruled that groping without "skin to skin" contact does not qualify as sexual assault under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act. The court stated that touching a minor's breast without removing the child's clothes is not considered sexual assault.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazil paid twice as much as EU for first AstraZeneca vaccine delivery
Brazil paid twice as much as EU for first AstraZeneca vaccine delivery
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Brazilian government will pay the Serum Institute in India more than twice as much as European Union have earmarked for AstraZeneca vaccines. In a statement at the beginning of January, Fiocruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) confirmed the negotiation and indicated that "the institute will offer the ready vaccines to the market for US$5.25 each".

In recent weeks, an alleged error by the Belgian Minister for the Budget has allowed the prices of different doses of vaccines to be revealed to the European public, with a value of US$2.16 for AstraZeneca doses.

Health
India says Brazil rushed to send plane for vaccine
India says Brazil rushed to send plane for vaccine
Credit: Tony Winston/MS (Public Domain)

A spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry told the Hindustan Times that it was "too early" to send the batches of the vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute in partnership with Oxford University and pharmacist AstraZeneca.

On 5 January, Brazil's Foreign Ministry confirmed the purchase of Oxford vaccine doses produced in India, despite the Indian government's announcement that the vaccine's export was banned. The statement also mentioned plans to distribute the vaccines to Brazilian states within a few days of authorization from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and highlighted the successful acquisition of the doses with an example of the "excellent relations" between the two countries.

Regional News • Americas • United States
World Leaders condemn DC protests

Political leaders across the globe, have expressed their concern and shock as Pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol and condemned the violence happening on the day the US Senate was to certify the Electoral College results.

"The right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob," so Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and said she and her countrymen were "devastated" by the events.

Leader of the nationalist League party in Italy, Matteo Salvini, who has been a vocal supporter of Trump, said on Twitter that "violence is never the solution" and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India called for an "orderly and peaceful transfer of power."

Regional News • Asia • India
India approves Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for emergency use

An expert panel of India's Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) approved the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine for emergency use on Friday, making it the third country to approve the vaccine. The CDSCO may also approve a locally developed vaccine by Bharat Biotech and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) soon.

Regional News • World
Number of global Covid-19 cases surpass 80m
Number of global Covid-19 cases surpass 80m
Credit: Ashles Winkler for Pendect

The number of confirmed Covid-19 cases has surpassed 80 million infections worldwide on Saturday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. At least 1,753,313 people have died from the novel coronavirus globally. The highest infections have been recorded in the United States, India, Brazil and Russia.

Regional News • World
More than 40 countries ban British flights over new Covid-19 strain, EU members discuss co-ordinate response

More than 40 countries have imposed a ban on UK arrivals, include Belgium, Canada, India, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland. On Monday, European Union member states meet to discuss a co-ordinated response and France is planning to establish a protocol "to ensure movement from the UK can resume.

Climate & Environment
Road bridge in Indian jungle saves animal life
Road bridge in Indian jungle saves animal life
Credit: BBC

Employees of a forestry authority in India have built a bridge made of jute ropes and bamboo planks over a road in the jungle. This should make the way to the other side safe for small animals.

Further large green bridges are being planned - the first is to be built over the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway. A total of five such green bridges are to be built by 2024.

Technology • Internet & Web
WhatsApp launches payment service in India
WhatsApp launches payment service in India
Credit: Courtesy of WhatsApp

After testing WhatsApp payments in India for some years, Facebook has been granted a legal permit to roll out the payment service across the country.

The service uses the Indian Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and users are able to make payments to any user using an app that is built on that standard.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Coronavirus: 47.5 million global cases, 1.2 million deaths worldwide

There are now 47.5 million cases of Coronavirus globally. 1.2 million people have died of the virus. America is the country with the highest case count, followed by India, Brazil and Mexico.

This data comes from the Johns Hopkins University.

Regional News • Americas • United States
US reports over 100,000 cases in 24-hour-period, global daily record
US reports over 100,000 cases in 24-hour-period, global daily record
Credit: Navy Medicine from Washington, DC, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The United States have reported 100,233 Covid-19 cases in a 24-hour-period, setting a global single day record, according to Reuters. India previously set a single day record in September with a total of 97,894 cases.

Regional News • Asia • India
India surpasses 8 million Coronavirus cases
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment while caring for patients with coronavirus infection in the Indian state of Kerala.
Healthcare workers wearing personal protective equipment while caring for patients with coronavirus infection in the Indian state of Kerala. Credit: Javed Anees (Public Domain)

Over 8,040,000 Coronavirus cases have been recorded in India, making it the second-worst hit country. 120,527 people have died due to the Coronavirus.

Regional News • Asia • India
India: Schools reopen following a drop in Coronavirus cases
India: Schools reopen following a drop in Coronavirus cases
Credit: Barry Pousman from New York, NY / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Schools in India will reopen on Thursday after a drop in Coronavirus cases. Schools in the Dehli region and the western Maharashtra state will remain closed until October 31.

Health
India: Coronavirus cases surpass 7 million mark
India: Coronavirus cases surpass 7 million mark
Credit: Javed Anees / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

India's Health Ministry confirmed the country has surpassed 7 million Coronavirus cases, after registering another 74,383 infections on Sunday. It's expected that India will surpass the United States as the worst-hit country in the coming weeks.

Government health expert Dr. Randeep Guleria: “We have been able to keep the curve rise slow, but I do agree that we have not been able to get it to move aggressively down. That’s related to our population density, diversity of our country and socioeconomic challenges in our country.”

Regional News • Asia • India
Amnesty International to halt operations in India
Amnesty International Logo
Amnesty International Logo Credit: Amnesty International

Amnesty International said Tuesday it is halting work in India due to a "continuing crackdown" and "harassment" by the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The human rights watchdog said the bank account of its India branch has been frozen by the right-wing government.

In a statement, Avinash Kumar, Executive Director of the organization, said: "The continuing crackdown on Amnesty International India over the last two years and the complete freezing of bank accounts is not accidental."

Health
Covid-19: More than 1 million people worldwide have died
Covid-19: More than 1 million people worldwide have died
Credit: Alex Pazuello/Semcom

As of Monday, 1,000,555 people worldwide have died from Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University's data.

The first coronavirus-related death recorded was on January 9, the world reached half a million deaths 24 weeks later, and 13 weeks after it reached 1 million.

Johns Hopkins' tally shows the United States, Brazil, India and Mexico account for more than 50% of the deaths worldwide.

Health
India surpasses 6 million Coronavirus cases
India surpasses 6 million Coronavirus cases
Credit: unsplash.com / Lisa Therese

As of Monday, India has over 6 million confirmed Coronavirus cases and almost 100,000 deaths. Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to keep wearing face masks when outside. These rules are weapons in the war against corona. They are potent tools to save the life of every citizen," Modi said.