Categories
Delhi The Buzz

Govt-farmers talks to take place as scheduled on Friday; Tomar says hopeful of positive discussion


Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 14

Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday confirmed tomorrow’s talks with farmers as union leaders also said that they will be attending the meeting.

The government’s ninth round of negotiations with protesting farmer unions will take place as scheduled on Friday and the Centre is hopeful of positive discussions, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar said.

“The government is ready to hold talks with farmers’ leaders with an open mind,” Tomar told reporters here.

Clearing the confusion over the fate of the ninth round of talks, which was the only outcome in the last meeting on January 8, in the wake of the Supreme Court on January 11 appointing a four-member panel to resolve the impasse and a key member of the proposed committee subsequently recusing himself, Tomar said the talks between the government and the union representatives will take place as scheduled for 12 pm on January 15.

The farmer unions have been maintaining that they were ready to attend the scheduled talks with the government, even as they have said they do not want to appear before the court-appointed panel and have also questioned its composition.

Earlier in the day, Bhartiya Kisan Union president Bhupinder Singh Mann said he is recusing himself from the four-member committee.

Farmer unions and opposition parties had called it a “pro-government” panel, insisting that its members have been in favour of the three laws in the past.

Mann said he is thankful to the apex court for nominating him on the panel but would give up any position to prevent farmers’ interests from being compromised.

“As a farmer myself and a union leader, in view of the prevailing sentiments and apprehensions amongst the farm unions and the public in general, I am ready to sacrifice any position offered or given to me so as to not compromise the interests of Punjab and farmers of the country,” he said in a statement.

“I am recusing myself from the committee and I will always stand with my farmers and Punjab,” Mann added.

The apex court had on Tuesday stayed the implementation of the three central laws till further orders and announced the formation of a committee to hear the grievances of the farmers and the opinion of the government.

Apart from Mann, Shetkari Sanghatana (Maharashtra) president Anil Ghanwat, International Food Policy Research Institute’s Pramod Kumar Joshi and agriculture economist Ashok Gulati were appointed on the panel.

Thousands of farmers, mainly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at the border of Delhi for several weeks, demanding the repeal of the laws they say will lead to the weakening of the minimum support price (MSP) system.

The three contentious laws are the Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020 and the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Act, 2020. — With PTI





Source link

Categories
Headlines UK London

Archbishop of Canterbury finds ‘reasons to be hopeful’ for 2021 in his New Year message

Archbishop of Canterbury draws on his time working as a hospital chaplain during the pandemic as he finds ‘reasons to be hopeful’ for 2021 in his New Year message

  • Justin Welby drew on his experience working as a chaplin in St Thomas’ Hospital
  • The Archbishop said the crisis shows how fragile we are but also how to respond 
  • He also understands people’s grief who may have lost loved ones this year 

The Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday (Thurs) that he drew hope for the New Year from his experience of working as a junior hospital chaplain during the pandemic.

The Most Reverend Justin Welby has been volunteering as an assistant chaplain in St Thomas’ hospital since the first wave of the virus struck in the spring.

He said in a New Year message: ‘This year has seen tremendous pain and sadness. Many of us have lost family members or friends, often without being able to say goodbye.

‘It is at St Thomas’ that, alongside acknowledging this darkness, I find reasons to be hopeful for the year ahead. Because what I see here teaches me something about human beings – and about God.’

The Archbishop, who is to deliver his message in a BBC One broadcast today(Fri), has been spending time with patients, relatives and staff, and visiting Covid wards in the hospital, which neighbours Lambeth Palace. 

St Thomas, which also sits a few hundred yards from the Palace of Westminster, was the hospital which treated Boris Johnson in its intensive care unit after the Prime Minister went down with the virus in April.

Archbishop Welby, who was working for the senior hospital chaplain, the Reverend Mia Hilborn, said: ‘One evening, I might be with a young child, praying with him and his mother. On another I could be sharing a joke with someone – finding a moment of warmth and connection in a frightening time.

‘Sometimes the most important thing we do is just sit with people, letting them know they are not alone.’

Speaking from the hospital chapel, Archbishop Welby said: ‘This chapel is at the heart of Guys and St Thomas’ in central London – one of Britain’s largest and busiest hospitals.

‘Like health workers across the country, the staff here have been on the front line of the coronavirus crisis and have responded with incredible bravery, skill and care.’

He added: ‘This crisis has shown us how fragile we are. It has also shown us how to face this fragility.

‘Here at the hospital, hope is there in every hand that’s held, and every comforting word that’s spoken. Up and down the country, it’s there in every phone call. Every food parcel or thoughtful card. Every time we wear our masks.

‘For anyone who is on the dark and difficult journey of grief – a path I know myself – I want to assure you that I am praying for you.’

The Archbishop suffered the death of his seven-month-old daughter Johanna in a car crash in France in 1983.

He continued: ‘The Bible tells us that God rejoices in these small acts of love – because they reveal who we truly are: human beings made in God’s image, deeply connected to one another.

‘Such gestures speak to me of Jesus – the one who shows us what God’s love looks like.

‘And for this reason, we can have hope for each and every month ahead. May God bless you, and all those you love, in this coming year.’

Categories
Headlines UK London

Conservative mayoral hopeful urges Boris Johnson to delay school opening

Pressure was growing on Boris Johnson last night from within his own party to keep pupils out of school at the start of the new term as it was revealed students in Tier 4 may be at home until mid-February.  

Schools in Tier 4 areas could be set to remain closed until February half term as Scientists warn that the new coronavirus mutation appears to spread quickly among youngsters.

Education minister Gavin Williamson is set to formulate plans in crunch talks with Downing Street officials and the Department for Education today.

Under current plans, all primaries will return as normal on January 4, along with GCSE and A-level pupils and those on vocational courses.

Mr Williamson has warned allies he faces an ‘enormous battle’ to keep children attending secondary schools, with one Whitehall source telling The Sun that schools in stay home areas will be closed until February 15.

Scientists have warned that the new coronavirus mutation appears to spread quickly among youngsters, and schools had high rates of infection before the Christmas holidays

Yesterday the Tory candidate for London mayor, Shaun Bailey (pictured with former Prime Minister David Cameron), said the Government should delay pupils’ return for a fortnight to give a ‘fighting chance against the virus’

Yesterday the Tory candidate for London mayor, Shaun Bailey (pictured with former Prime Minister David Cameron), said the Government should delay pupils’ return for a fortnight to give a ‘fighting chance against the virus’

Scientists have warned that the new coronavirus mutation appears to spread quickly among youngsters, and schools had high rates of infection before the Christmas holidays.Yesterday the Tory candidate for 

London mayor, Shaun Bailey, said the Government should delay pupils’ return for a fortnight to give a ‘fighting chance against the virus’.

Teaching unions have already called for a return to online lessons for at least two weeks and for teachers to be vaccinated before they go back to classrooms. 

All lessons were due to restart on January 4, but Education Secretary Gavin Williamson then announced plans for a staggered return for some secondary school pupils.

Senior education leaders fear pupils have already lost months of schooling and youngsters sitting exams this year risk being unfairly penalised.

But Mr Bailey, below, who has claimed he has Mr Johnson’s personal backing as the mayoral candidate, said schools were one of the main transmission points for the virus.

He added: ‘We must make the most of the Christmas break to defeat Covid-19 where we can.

‘I am proposing a two-week circuit-breaker for schools. During this time we can stop our children mixing and get our teachers tested.

‘This gives us a fighting chance against the virus without causing maximum disruption.’

Pressure was growing on Boris Johnson (pictured) last night from within his own party to keep pupils out of school at the start of the new term

Pressure was growing on Boris Johnson (pictured) last night from within his own party to keep pupils out of school at the start of the new term

Up to 11million lateral flow tests will be made available for schools and colleges from January 4, providing testing capacity for up to 5.5million.

The National Education Union called on the Government to go further, and said it wanted all children to be tested before they returned.

It said all lessons should take place online for two weeks while testing was set up and teachers had their vaccinations.

Former defence minister Tobias Ellwood said troops should be deployed to carry out tests and keep schools open. He said soldiers had successfully helped test hauliers queuing at Dover to clear the backlog of lorries waiting to cross the Channel.

Conservative MP Robert Halfon, chairman of the Commons education committee, believes the new rapid testing regime ‘will make a difference’.

He said school closures risked ‘damaging the life chances of our next generation’.

Former defence minister Tobias Ellwood (pictured) said troops should be deployed to carry out tests and keep schools open

Former defence minister Tobias Ellwood (pictured) said troops should be deployed to carry out tests and keep schools open

A mass testing study in England’s schools revealed that one in every 79 people tested positive in November, without knowing they were infected.

The Office for National Statistics data showed 1.24 per cent of pupils and 1.29 per cent of staff went in because they did not know they had the virus.

Infection rates were highest in secondary schools, and tests in the worst-affected areas of the country found around one in every 67 tested positive.

A Government spokesman said rapid testing would help keep secondary schools open, while reducing the risk of transmission in communities.

They said: ‘We want all pupils to return in January as school is the best place for their development and mental health. But as the Prime Minister has said, it is right we follow the path of the pandemic and keep our approach under constant review.’ 

Categories
Sports UK

Barcelona presidential hopeful makes Arsenal’s Bellerin his top transfer target

Joan Laporta wants to take Hector Bellerin back to Barcelona if he wins his bid to be re-elected as president at the Nou Camp.

Laporta, who spent seven years in Barca’s big office until 2010, is the favourite to land the role next month.

And sources in Spain say an agreement is already in place between him and Bellerin’s representatives to try to negotiate a deal with Arsenal that would see the right-back return to the club with whom he began his youth career.

A figure just north of £22million, with add-ons, has been discussed.

Right-back Bellerin, 25, arrived in north London to join Arsenal’s academy as a 16-year-old, and has made over 200 appearances for the club.

Laporta is keen to bring Bellerin back to Barcelona

His contract runs until June 2023 but it is understood he is open to rejoining his old club and returning to his home city.

Laporta initially wanted to do a deal while the transfer window is open next month.

But Bellerin has rejected any notion of moving mid-season and Barca must now wait until this season is over to pull off the transfer.

Laporta is the front-runner in January’s Barcelona presidential election

It has been a hectic season so far – so make sure you don’t miss a single thing by signing up for the brilliant new Mirror Football newsletter!

All the latest transfer news and big stories will land straight into your inbox. You won’t miss out.

To sign up, put your email at the top of this article or follow the instructions on this link.

The Spaniard, who has captained Arsenal on occasions, was one of a number of young players plucked from Barcelona ’s La Masia academy by Arsene Wenger.

He arrived with Jon Miquel Toral, following in the footsteps of Cesc Fabregas, Fran Merida and Ignasi Miquel.

He and Fabregas went on to enjoy the most success with the Gunners, with Bellerin winning three FA Cups and four caps for Spain during his near-decade in England.

Bellerin spent a spell on loan in the Championship with Watford shortly after his arrival in north London, before he was recalled in February 2014.

He then established himself in the first team and was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year in the 2015/16 season.

Should Arsenal accept a bid of £22million for Hector Bellerin? Have your say here.

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip.

Categories
Cricket Sports

Robin Uthappa still hopeful of Team India comeback: I look for silver linings even in negative situations


IPL 2020: Robin Uthappa will be plying his trade for the Rajasthan Royals this season after being offloaded by Kolkata Knight Riders last year.

Robin Uthappa Instagram Photo

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Robin Uthappa was bagged for Rs 3 crore by Rajasthan Royals at the IPL auctions last year
  • Uthappa has played 177 matches in the IPL in which he has scored 4411 runs with 24 fifties
  • Uthappa was with KKR from 2014 to 2019 during which time he won the IPL title once

Robin Uthappa is still hopeful of making a comeback in the Indian team and is looking at the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League to get back in the reckoning.

Uthappa will be plying his trade for the Rajasthan Royals this season after being offloaded by Kolkata Knight Riders last year. He is now hoping that a good stint in IPL 2020 can hopefully get him back on the selectors’ radar.

“I certainly believe that if we have a great season in the IPL, wonderful things could happen to me and even bring me back into the reckoning for the Indian team,” Uthappa said in a video reply to a fan question posted by Rajasthan Royals on social media.

Uthappa played 46 ODIs and 13 T20Is for Team India between 2006 and 2015 before being committed from side due to his drop in form and fitness. He averaged over 25 in 50-overs cricket, scoring 934 runs with 6 fifties and managed 249 runs at 24.90 in the shortest format.

Uthappa was part of the 2007 World T20-winning Indian side under MS Dhoni and last played for the national team in the limited-over series in Zimbabwe over 5 years ago.

“I am someone who is always positive as a human being and I look for silver linings even in negative situations. So my conviction is really strong that god willing, that I will be able to represent my country again and bring laurels to it. I hope that happens.x

”Anyone who plays competitive cricket hopes to play for the country and bring laurels to the country. So the dream is very much alive,” he said.

Uthappa, 34, was bagged for a whopping Rs 3 crore, twice his base price, by Rajasthan Royals in the IPL auction in December last year. The Karnataka batsman has played 177 matches in all the editions of the IPL in which he has scored 4411 runs at a strike rate of 130.50, including 24 fifties.



Source link