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India, China Resume Military Talks After 2 Months Amid Border Standoff, Round 9 Lasts 15 Hours


Multiple rounds of talks have failed to yield any significant result in defusing border tensions.

New Delhi:

The ninth round of Corps Commander Level talks between India and China ended at 2:30 am on Monday.

The meeting lasted for more than 15 hours after starting on Sunday morning at Moldo opposite Chushul in the Eastern Ladakh sector to address the ongoing military standoff.

The two countries have been engaged in a standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) since April-May last year. While China began amassing massive military strength along the LAC, India responded with a befitting build-up.

Multiple rounds of talks have failed to yield any significant result in defusing border tensions. The last round of Corps Commander-level talks between both countries were held on November 6, 2020 in Chushul in Eastern Ladakh.

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On August 29-30, India occupied heights along the northern and southern bank of the Pangong Lake which includes dominating positions overlooking the Chinese military deployed in that area.

The Chinese have been asking India to withdraw troops and tanks first from the southern bank but India has been asking for disengagement from all the friction points.



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Big Story Politics

In Pics: PM Modi Pays Tribute To Subhas Chandra Bose At Netaji Bhawan


PM Modi visited the Netaji Bhawan today on Subhas Chandra Bose’s 125th birth anniversary

Kolkata:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited the Netaji Bhawan in Kolkata and paid tribute to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose on his 124th birth anniversary.

The prime minister was given a tour of the house by the freedom fighter’s grand nephews, Sugato Bose and his brother Sumantro Bose, news agency Press Trust of India reported. He was also accompanied by West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

PM Modi was shown the ‘Wanderer car’, used by Netaji as well. He was also given a quick walkthrough of the museum, which houses the photographs of the Azad Hind Fauj and the table used by Netaji in Singapore.

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Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee attacked the centre for failing to declare the day a national holiday and build a memorial for the freedom fighter.

“I protest the centre’s decision to not yet declare Netaji’s birth anniversary as a national holiday. You are building new parliament and buying new planes… why no memorial for Netaji?” the Chief Minister questioned.

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PM Modi pays homage to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Netaji Bhawan in Kolkata.

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PM Modi tours Netaji Bhawan along with West Bengal governor Jagdeep Dhankhar.

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PM Modi sees Netaji’s memorabilia at the freedom fighter’s house.



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Big Story Delhi

“Misconception That Only Punjab, Haryana Farmers Against Farm Laws”: Hemant Soren


“Misconception That Only Punjab Farmers Against Farm Laws”: Hemant Soren. (FILE)

New Delhi:

Raising questions over the Centre’s offer to suspend the farm laws instead of repealing them, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Thursday said the government is under a “misconception” that only the farmers of Punjab and Haryana are in this “battle” and asserted that tillers across the country want the scrapping of the “repressive” legislations.

He said that if the farmers’ agitation is not dealt with empathetically by the government, it will soon spread to different parts of the country.

In an interview with PTI, Mr Soren also said the impasse between the government and the farmers over the new agri laws was tarnishing India’s image at international forums.

After making the farmers suffer on the streets for months, the central government has suggested to suspend the three contentious farm laws for one and half years instead of repealing them completely, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) executive president said.

“The government is under the wrong impression that only the farmers from Punjab and Haryana are in this battle. They are living with a big misconception. Farmers across the country, be it Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Northeast or any other place, have the same sentiment,” Mr Soren said.

“They (farmers) are all connected to the ground. We have seen similar protests last year on NRC-CAA, which started at the university level but later engulfed the whole country,” he said.

If farmers feel so strongly why doesn’t the government withdraw the laws, asked Soren and alleged that the Centre was showing a “dictatorial attitude”.

The farm agitation if not empathetically dealt with and resolved by the Centre, will soon spread to different parts of the country, he asserted.

“The new farm laws are repressive. They legitimise black marketing and hoarding. I can’t support these laws. How is it possible that the highest offices of the central government can’t figure out a working solution to the demands being put by the protesting farmer bodies in almost two months?” Mr Soren said.

Asked if the Jharkhand government will pass a legislation to nullify the farm laws as done by some states ruled by the Congress, he said his government is closely observing the developments and will wait to see the final decision of the Centre in this regard.

“Farmers feed the people of the country; they are only demanding a fixed Minimum Support Price (MSP) for their crops. If necessary, we will constitute a high-level committee to look into the matter and recommend a concrete resolution,” he said.

Mr Soren highlighted that his government recently approved a farm loan waiver scheme benefiting over 8 lakh farmers with an initial budget of Rs 2,000 crore and also gave the nod for a crop insurance scheme for farmers.

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“Our government has also increased the MSP for paddy from Rs 1,868 to Rs 2,050 per quintal,” the Jharkhand chief minister said.

Soren”s remarks come a day after the government proposed to suspend the three contentious farm laws for 1-1.5 years and set up a joint committee to find an amicable solution in the interest of the farming community.

During the tenth round of negotiations between three central ministers and protesting farmer unions, the two sides decided to meet again on Friday after the union leaders hold their own internal consultations on Thursday to decide on the government’s new proposal.

Thousands of farmers, mostly from Haryana and Punjab, have been protesting at several border points of Delhi since November 28 last year, demanding a repeal of the three laws and a legal guarantee to the MSP system for their crops.

Enacted in September last year, the three laws have been projected by the Centre as major reforms in the agriculture sector that will remove middlemen and allow farmers to sell their produce anywhere in the country.

However, the protesting farmers have expressed their apprehension that the new laws would pave the way for eliminating the safety cushion of the MSP and do away with the “mandi” (wholesale market) system, leaving them at the mercy of big corporates.

Mr , who last month completed one year in office, said his government’s priority has been the holistic development of the state to ensure that no section is left behind.

“Immediately after the swearing-in, we approved the decision to withdraw all cases relating to the Pathalgadi movement. In November 2020, the state assembly passed a unanimous resolution recommending the central government for including Sarna adivasi as a separate religion code in Census, 2021,” he said highlighting some of the achievements of his government.

“During the pandemic, we learnt how to deal with a widespread infectious disease and at the same time, gained the trust of the citizens by bringing back stranded workers, running community kitchens, connecting them to MNREGA and other livelihood programmes,” Mr Soren said.

Mr Soren said his government is consistently working to boost the state”s economy as well as livelihoods of people in the wake of the lockdown impact.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)



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Donald Trump Halts Deportation Of Venezuelans For 18 Months


Donald Trump signed an order suspending the deportation of Venezuelans from US for 18 months

Washington:

On his last night in the White House, outgoing President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday suspending the deportation of Venezuelans from US territory for a period of 18 months, citing the ongoing crisis in their own country.

“I have determined that it is in the foreign policy interest of the United States to defer the removal of any national of Venezuela, or alien without nationality who last habitually resided in Venezuela,” for 18 months, the executive ordered signed by Trump said.

The move had been pushed by the president’s Republican allies in Florida, where many Venezuelans have settled after fleeing the economic collapse and political turmoil in their native country, ruled for more than two decades by a socialist regime.

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The Miami Herald said the order could aid up to 200,000 Venezuelans who live under threat of detention and deportation.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)



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Kerala Woman Dies In UAE After Husband Accidentally Hits Her With Car


The woman died after her husband hit her with a car accidentally (Representational)

Dubai:

A 45-year-old Indian woman died after her husband accidentally rammed their car into her while parking at a vehicle enclosure in the UAE’s Ajman emirate, according to a media report on Monday.

Liji and her husband (name withheld) had gone for a health check-up at a community hospital on Saturday, The Gulf News reported quoting a source close to the family.

Liji was standing in front of the car, giving her husband directions to park it, when the vehicle accidentally raced forward, trapping Liji against the compound wall, said Sajad Nattika, president of the Indian Association, Umm Al Quwain.

Liji and her husband — both natives of Kerala — have two children, the newspaper reported.

Their son is an engineering student in India. Their daughter, who is the younger amongst the two, studies at a school in Umm Al Quwain, where the family has settled for nearly a decade now.

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Nattika said the Indian community in Ajman was in shock after the tragic accident.

Ajman Police is investigating the case. The Indian association is supporting the family to repatriate the remains, the daily reported.

Consul for Press, Information and Culture, at the Indian Consulate in Dubai Neeraj Agrawal said, “The Consulate offers its heartfelt condolences to the family and all the assistance required from our side.”



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US Re-Designates Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, Lashkar-e-Taiba As Terror Groups


Pakistan is on the FATF’s grey list since June 2018. (Representational)

Washington:

Ahead of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) meeting in February, the United States has re-designated Pakistani terrorist groups as Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ) and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) as foreign terrorist organisations.

The designation of the Pakistani terror groups as foreign terrorist organisations by Washington comes just weeks before the Financial Action Task Force’s meeting in February wherein the status of Islamabad in the grey list would be discussed.

“The Department of State has amended the terrorist designations of Lashkar- i- Jhangvi (LJ) and ISIL Sinai Peninsula (ISIL-SP) to include additional aliases. These aliases have been added to LJ and ISIL-SP’s designations as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO) under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act and as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGT),” the department of State said in a release.

“The State Department “has reviewed and maintained the FTO designations of LJ, ISIL-SP, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al Naqshabandi, Jama’atu Ansarul Muslimina Fi Biladis-Sudan (Ansaru), al-Nusrah Front, Continuity Irish Republican Army and the National Liberation Army, pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA),” it added.

FTO and SDGT designations seek to deny these terrorist organizations the resources to plan and carry out terrorist attacks.

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“Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate them and deny them access to the US financial system. Designations can assist the law enforcement actions of other US agencies and governments,” the statement said further.

As things stand, Pakistan is on the FATF’s grey list since June 2018.

The country is facing the difficult task of clearing its name from the FATF grey list. Islamabad is finding it difficult to shield terror perpetrators and implement the FATF action plan at the same time.



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Big Story Delhi

Taapsee Pannu Wanted To Try This Trend And Now She’s Wondering Why


Taapsee Pannu shared this photo (courtesy taapsee)

Highlights

  • Taapsee shared a glimpse of her photoshoot
  • “Cheap thrills,” she wrote
  • “Let me just see what exactly the thrill is about,” she added

New Delhi:

Taapsee Pannu has a thing for cheap thrills, you know. In her latest venture to try something new, Taapsee decided to give a certain photoshoot trend a try. The 33-year-old actress picked a rather unusual spot – though often seen in modelling photos – for a photoshoot. However, sharing a glimpse of it, she made this confession on Instagram and wrote: “Still thinking why.” In Taapsee Pannu’s post, she can be seen chilling in bath tub, all dressed up in an olive green ensemble with her hair let loose. “Coz sitting in the tub to get pictures clicked seems to be the new in thing so thought let me just see what exactly the thrill is about! #CheapThrills #StillThinkingWhy,” Taapsee captioned her post.

Here’s what she posted:

Taapsee Pannu, known for being fiercely outspoken on social media, often shares interesting posts on Instagram. Here’s when she wrote about the secret behind being confident: “Confidence is not walking into a room thinking you are better than everyone else. It’s walking into a room and not having to compare yourself to anyone else in the first place.”

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Like all of us, Taapsee too is hopeful that 2021 turns out to be better than the year gone by. Here’s how she welcomed the new year:

Taapsee Pannu has a busy schedule ahead of her. Last seen in Thappad, Taapsee has films such as Haseen Dillruba, Rashmi Rocket and Looop Lapeta to look forward to. She will also headline Shabaash Mithu, which is based on the life of Indian women’s cricket team captain Mithali Raj.





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BS Yediyurappa’s Cabinet Reshuffle Triggers Resentment In Karnataka BJP


Bengaluru:

Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa’s announcement of the list of seven ministers to be inducted into his 17-month-old cabinet has triggered resentment within the state BJP.

Several ruling party legislators have expressed serious reservations about MLCs not elected by the people being made ministers, lack of representation to certain regions – with most ministers still from Bengaluru and Belagavi districts – and that their “seniority or sacrifice” was not considered.

Mr Yediyurappa, earlier in the day, announced that MLAs Umesh Katti, Arvind Limbavali, Murugesh Nirani, CP Yogeshwar, S Angara, and MLCs MTB Nagaraj and R Shankar will be sworn-in as ministers, following which several BJP MLAs expressed their discontent.

Vijayapura City MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal, who has been critical of Mr Yediyurappa, accused the Chief Minister of making appointments under blackmail, without considering seniority or honesty.

Ministerial aspirant and MLC, AH Vishwanth, who was among the MLAs from the Congress-JD(S) coalition that resigned in 2019 and switched over to BJP, hit out at Mr Yediyurappa for not keeping his promise.

Demanding to know why Excise Minister H Nagesh was dropped and RR Nagar MLA Munirathna was not inducted, he said, “It is because of their sacrifice you are CM today…instead, you are making Yogeshwar a minister, who has fraud and cheating cases against him. Why are you making him minister, is he blackmailing you?” he asked.

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Honnali MLA and Chief Minister’s Political Secretary, MP Renukacharya, another ministerial aspirant, has expressed his displeasure, stating that the government was limited to two districts and that the CM and party leaders have to look into it.

“Injustice has happened to Hyderabad Karnataka, central and coastal Karnataka regions. It (government or cabinet) is limited to Bengaluru and Belagavi… I’m upset, to whom should I tell this,” he told reporters, adding that he has never lobbied for a ministerial post and cannot set aside his self-respect.

Considered a Yediyurappa loyalist, Mr Renukacharya, who met party General Secretary in-charge of the state, Arun Kumar, on his arrival at the airport today, also expressed reservations about five MLCs in the cabinet. “We have been elected by the people (As MLAs), what’s the use?”

Six-time MLA GH Thippareddy, who represents Chitradurga constituency and has been sulking for some time now said he feels “let down” after being in politics for five decades and as legislator for 30 years, as he did not get an opportunity to serve the people as minister.

Expressing surprise over MLC Yogeshwar being named as minister, he said more than half the ministers in the cabinet are either from Bengaluru or Belagavi and that some who worked against the interest of the party during elections have also been made ministers.



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Big Story Coronavirus COVID-19

Russia To Trial “Light” One-Dose Version Of Sputnik Jab


Russia will trial a one-dose version of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, officials have said.

Moscow, Russia:

Russia will trial a one-dose version of its Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, officials said on Monday, as they aim to provide a stopgap solution for badly hit countries.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), which financed the development of the two-dose Sputnik V jab, said it was also financing clinical trials of “Sputnik Light”, a less effective single-dose version.

RDIF head Kirill Dmitriyev told journalists the “one-component” version of Sputnik V could be an “effective temporary solution” for countries facing a high caseload of coronavirus infections.

Russia in August registered Sputnik V — named after the Soviet-era satellite — months ahead of Western competitors and before the start of large-scale clinical trials.

The country began vaccinations with Sputnik in early December even though it was still in its third phase of clinical trials.

The rushed procedures raised concerns that the vaccine was part of Moscow’s efforts to bolster its geopolitical influence.

The vaccine’s developers boasted an efficacy of more than 90 percent and announced that over one billion doses of the vaccine had been pre-ordered worldwide.

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In a December interview with state television, Dmitriyev said that the “light” version of the vaccine would be around 85 percent effective.

Earlier on Monday, the RDIF confirmed that more than 1.5 million people around the world had been inoculated with Sputnik V, without providing a breakdown of where the jab had been distributed.

Moscow has sent batches of its vaccine to Belarus, Serbia and Argentina where the jab was registered under an emergency use authorisation procedure.

The RDIF said in a statement on Monday that Palestinian authorities had also approved the vaccine for emergency use, with delivery planned for the first quarter of this year.



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Big Story Delhi Jammu and Kashmir

40-Year-Old Farmer Dies By Suicide At Epicenter Of Protest In Delhi


Amarinder Singh had earlier been rushed to Sonipat’s FIMS Hospital but he died during treatment.

New Delhi:

A 40-year-old farmer from Punjab’s Fatehgarh Sahib – one of tens of thousands who have been protesting against the centre’s agriculture laws for nearly two months now – died by suicide at Singhu on the Delhi-Haryana border on Saturday after consuming a poisonous substance.

The farmer – identified as Amarinder Singh – told friends he was forced to take this step because the government had refused to listen to their demands – that the agriculture laws be repealed and the legal guarantees be offered for MSP (minimum support price).

He said that he hoped his death would bring success to the farmers’ movement.

Mr Singh had earlier been rushed to Sonipat’s FIMS Hospital but he died during treatment.

His body was then sent to the mortuary at the Government Hospital, where a post-mortem has been scheduled for Sunday morning. The body will then likely be handed over to other farmers at the protest site because police have, so far, been unable to trace Amarinder Singh’s family.

This is the second farmer death to have been reported this month; last week a 75-year-old farmer was found dead at a protest site near the Delhi-Ghaziabad border.

The body of Kashmir Singh Ladi, from Uttar Pradesh, was found with a note that said: “Till when shall we sit here in the cold? This government isn’t listening at all. Hence, I give up my life so that some solution emerges.”

Farmers say dozens have died – several by suicide – since the agitation began in November.

The farmers braved tear gas and lathi charges to reach the borders of the national capital, where they remain despite a freezing winter, and say they will not budge till their concerns are addressed.

The centre says these laws will help farmers eliminate middlemen and sell at markets and prices of their choice. The farmers fear it will rob them of MSPs (minimum support price) and, by dismantling government-controlled mandis, or wholesale markers, leave them at the mercy of the corporates.

Multiple rounds of talks have failed to yield a breakthrough, with the farmers insisting on legal guarantees for MSP and the scrapping of the laws. The centre has said the laws will remain, but has offered to form a committee to study other grievances – an offer the farmers have rejected.

The farmers have made little secret of their growing impatience at the stalemate; during the eighth round of talks, which were held Friday, placards appeared at the meeting with union ministers, reading: “We will (succeed in repealing the laws) or die”.

A ninth round has been scheduled for January 15 – less than two weeks before the farmers take out a tractor rally – on Republic Day – to enter Delhi.



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