CMYK SATURDAY www.thestatesman.com 27 NOVEMBER 2021 FIND US ONLINE Scan this with your smartphone twitter.com/TheStatesmanLtd facebook.com/thestatesman1875 Pages 12 |` 5.00|LC KOLKATA | NEW DELHI | SILIGURI | BHUBANESWAR WEATHER New variant triggers alert Mainly clear sky. Temperature likely to be in the range of 29-19 degrees Celsius. ASSOCIATED PRESS RAINFALL: Nil RELATIVE HUMIDITY Max.83% Min. 47% TEMPERATURE Max: 29.4 °C(0) SUN RISES 05:56 hrs MOON RISES 22:39 hrs New moon on 04 Min: 19.8 °C(+2) SUN SETS 16:51 hrs MOON SETS 11:23 hrs December THUMBNAILS BKU spokesperson Rakesh Tikait with others during a farmers mahapanchayat held to mark the one year anniversary of the farmers agitation, at Ghazipur border, in the Capital on Friday. SNS Quake of 6.1 magnitude rocks north-east : A e 6.1 magnitude earthquake rocked the northeast region, in the early hours of Friday, the National Seismology Department said. The tremors were also felt in many parts of West Bengal, including in Kolkata. The quake, epicentered near the border with Myanmar near Mizoram, took place around 5.15 a.m. Asthana gets notice : The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana on a plea challenging his appointment, just three days before his retirement. The plea was filed by the NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation challenging the Delhi High Court’s ruling clearing Asthana’s appointment. Many countries ban flights from southern Africa while WHO says not to jump to conclusions BRUSSELS , 26 NOVEMBER slew of nations moved to stop air travel from southern Africa on Friday, and stocks plunged in Asia and Europe in reaction to news of a new, potentially more transmissible Covid variant. “The last thing we need is to bring in a new variant that will cause even more problems,” said German Health Minister Jens Spahn, amid a massive spike in cases in the 27-nation European Union. There are fears that the new variant could be even more contagious than the current predominant one and could bypass the effectiveness of the vaccination campaigns. “Early indications show this variant may be more transmissable than the delta vari- A First identified in South Africa this week, the strain has spread to nearby countries, including Botswana. B.1.1.529 carries a high number of mutations in its spike protein, which plays a key role in the virus' entry into cells in the human body. Scientists say it is the most heavily mutated version yet, which means current vaccines may not be as effective. ant and current vaccines may be less effective against it,” British Health Secretary Sajid Javid told lawmakers. Israel, one of the world’s most vaccinated countries, announced Friday that it has detected the country’s first case of the new variant in a traveller who returned from Malawi. The new variant immediately infected stock markets around the world. Major indexes fell in Europe and Asia and Dow Jones futures dipped 800 points ahead of the market opening in the US. Oil prices plunged, with US crude off 6.7per cent at $73.22 per barrel and the international Brent benchmark off 5.6 per cent at $77.64, both unusually large moves for a single day. Airlines shares were hammered, with Lufthansa off 12.4 per cent, IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia, off 14.4 per cent, Air France-KLM down 8.9 per cent and easyJet falling 10.9per cent. TheWHO cautioned NEW DELHI, 26 NOVEMBER Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit India on 6 December for his annual summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During their talks, the two leaders will discuss ways to further deepen the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries. “The leaders will exchange views on topical issues on the international agenda, including joint work within the G20, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization,” Ministry of Exter- Markets Fall NEW DELHI, 26 NOVEMBER India's key equity indices ~S&P BSE Sensex and NSE Nifty50~ closed sharply lower on Friday as a new variant of Covid emerged in South Africa, analysts opined. The barometer 30-scrip Sensex closed at 57,107 points, down by 1,687 points or 2.87 per cent. Similarly, the broader 50-scrip Nifty closed the day at 17,026 points, down by 509 points or 2.91 per cent. Notably, the Centre told all the states and UTs to be cautious about international passengers travelling from or through Botswana, South Africa and Hong Kong in view of a new variant. Shares of JSW Steel, Tata Motors, Hindalco, Adani Ports, Indusind Bank were the top losers during the session, NSE data showed. Details on Pg8 India to allow int’l flights from 15 Dec INDO-ASIAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 NOVEMBER India will allow resumption of scheduled commercial international passenger services from December 15, it was announced on Friday. The Ministry of Civil Aviation said there will be a calibrated resumption of operations from the countries recognised as "at risk" by the Health Ministry. Passenger air services were suspended in late March 2020 due to the nationwide lockdown to check the spread of Covid. While domestic flight services resumed from May 25, 2020, international flight services were only maintained via 'Bubble Agreements'. In a circular issued on Friday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said: "The matter has been reviewed and the competent Putin to visit India on 6 Dec for summit with PM STATESMAN NEWS SERVICESNS not to jump to conclusions too fast. Speaking before the EU announcement, Dr. Michael Ryan, the head of emergencies at the WHO said that “it’s really important that there are no knee-jerk responses.” The UK announced that it was banning flights from South Africa and five other southern African countries effective at noon on Friday, and that anyone who had recently arrived from those countries would be asked to take a Covid test. Germany said its flight ban could be enacted as soon as Friday night. Italy’s health ministry also announced steps to ban entry into Italy of anyone who has been in seven southern African nations in the past 14 days due to the new variant. The Netherlands is planning similar measures. WARNING authority has decided to resume the scheduled commercial international passenger services to/from India with effect from 15 December, 2021. “Accordingly, the scheduled international commercial passenger services to/from India shall remain suspended till 2359 hours IST of 14 December, 2021." The DGCA circular also said that resumption India invited to US ‘Summit of Democracies’ NEW DELHI,26 NOVEMBER The two leaders will discuss ways to further deepen the special and privileged strategic partnership between the two countries. nal Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.This will be the first in-person meeting between Modi and Putin after their talks at Brasilia on the margins of the BRICS Summit in November 2019. Coinciding with the ModiPutin summit, India and Russia will hold their first-ever “2+2” meeting involving their foreign and defence ministers on 6 December which will provide the two strategic partners an opportunity to review the entire gamut of bilateral ties. External affairs minister S Jaishankar and defence minister Rajnath Singh will lead the Indian delegation while the Russian side will be headed by foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and defence minister Sergey Shoigu. The first such dialogue between the two countries is expected to see progress on the proposed leasing of a second nuclear powered submarine from Russia, procurement of additional 450 T-90 main battle tanks, S-400 air defence systems, additional SU-30 fighter jets and inking of the AK203 rifles deal worth over Rs 6,000 crore. India has received an invitation to the “Summit of Democracies” being convened by US President Joe Biden, sources said on Friday, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to participate in the virtual event. “We have received an invitation for the Summit of Democracies and PM [Modi] is likely to participate in this virtual event,” the sources said. There are 110 participants on the State Department's invitation list for the virtual event, which aims to help stop democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms worldwide. ANI of scheduled commercial international passenger services would imply reversion to bilaterally agreed capacity entitlements and termination of air bubble arrangements. However, it said that due to prevailing Covid situation, the capacity entitlements shall be based on enlistment of countries "at risk" from time to time by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. 3,45,55,431 1,10,133 10,549 9,868 4,67,468 UNION HEALTH MINISTRY FIGURES AS OF 8.00 A.M. FRIDAY 26 NOVEMBER 2021 Bengal registered 710 fresh cases and 9 deaths. NEW DELHI, 26 NOVEMBER Days before Parliament is to hold its Winter Session, strong differences between the government and the opposition came to the fore when 14 Opposition parties boycotted the Constitution Day celebrations addressed by President Ram Nath Kovind in Parliament House. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on his part, used the occasion to target what he called “family-based parties”. Led by the Congress, the Opposition parties criticised the government’s policies and said there was a “growing” attack on Constitutional free- doms. They maintained the Centre was using Constitutional machinery to curtail their functioning. Left parties, All India Trinamul Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and Samajwadi Party were among the parties which stayed away from the Parliament House function. In his speech, the President said that all Members of Parliament are defenders of the dignity of Parliament, whether they represent the ruling party or the Opposition. Referring to the role of the Opposition, he said the Opposition is, in fact, the most important element of democracy. “Without an effective Opposition, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, LS Speaker Om Birla arriving at the Central Hall of Parliament in a ceremonial procession to attend the Constitution Day Celebration on Friday. SNS democracy becomes ineffective,” he said. “It is expected that the government and the Opposition, despite their differences, continue to work together in the best interests of the citizens. Our constitution makers had envisioned this and it is also necessary for nation-building,” Kovind said. Sudarsan Pattnaik makes a sand sculpture to pay tributes to 26/11 victims on its 13th anniversary, in Puri on Friday. ANI SNS &AGENCIES NEW DELHI , 26 NOVEMBER India summoned a senior Pakistani High Commission diplomat on the 26/11 Mumbai attacks anniversary and reiterated its call for an expeditious trial in the terror case. The Ministry of External Affairs, in a statement issued on Friday, said a note verbale was handed over to the senior diplomat calling on the Government of Pakistan to abide by its commitment to not allow territories under its control for terrorism against India. “Senior diplomat from the High Commission of Pakistan in India was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs today. A Note Verbale reiterating India's call for an expeditious trial in the Mumbai terror attacks case, and calling on the Government of Pakistan to abide by its commitment to not allow territories under its control for terrorism against India was handed over to him, the MEA statement read. On the 13th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks, the Indian Government and its people somberly remember the victims of this dastardly attack and the valiant security personnel who laid down their lives to protect the people. According to the MEA, the President, Prime Minister and external affairs minister, in separate messages, have expressed their firm solidarity with the families of the victims. A solemn memorial event was organised earlier today by the State Government of Maharashtra at the Police Memorial in Mumbai, the release added. Senior government representatives from the host Governments, family members of victims and survivors will be participating in these solemn events, the statement read. “It is a matter of deep anguish that even after 13 years of this heinous terror attack, the families of 166 victims from 15 countries across the globe still await closure, with Pakistan showing little sincerity in bringing the perpetrators to justice," it added. India, Russia, China call for inclusive Afghan govt STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE NEW DELHI, 26 NOVEMBER The three RIC (Russia, India and China) countries today reaffirmed the importance of ensuring that Afghan territory was not used to threaten or attack any other nation and called for the formation of a truly inclusive government that represented all the major ethnic and political groups in the war-torn country. The foreign ministers of the RIC countries today held a daylong meeting which was chaired by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi led their respective delegations at the meeting. The three ministers expressed concern over the External affairs minister S. Jaishankar virtually speaks at the Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers meeting, in New Delhi on Friday. ANI deteriorating humanitarian situation in Afghanistan and called for providing immediate and unhindered humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan. They empha- Constitution Day: Opp parties boycott celebrations STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE India asks Pak to expedite trial in 26/11 attacks case “There may be differences of opinion, but no difference should be so great as to hinder the real purpose of public service,” he said. The President said “We all believe that our Parliament is a Temple of Democracy. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of every parliamentarian to conduct themselves in this temple of democracy with the same spirit of reverence with which they do in their places of worship.” Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Speaker Om Birla were present along with members of Parliament. In a veiled attack on the Congress and other Opposition parties, CMYK Modi referred to family-based parties and said “in the form of family-based parties, India is heading towards a kind of a crisis, which is a matter of concern for the people devoted to the Constitution, a matter of concern for those who believe in democracy.” Naidu asserted that with the Constitution required the country to be a democratic republic, the legislatures of the country should be guided by ‘dialogue and debate’ and should not be rendered dysfunctional through persistent disruptions. Birla said the Constitution of India is like a modern version of 'The Gita' that motivates people to work for the nation. sised the central role of the UN in Afghanistan, a joint communique issued at the end of the meeting said. In his opening remarks, Jaishankar reaffirmed India’s continued commitment to foster closer dialogue and cooperation among the three RIC countries. ''I believe that our cooperation in areas like trade, investment, healthcare, education, science & technology and politics etc could significantly contribute to global growth, peace and stability,'' he added. Asked at the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) media briefing if the Ladakh military stand-off between India and China figured at the meeting, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said usually bilateral issues were not taken up at such meetings. The joint communique said the three ministers condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and reaffirmed that terrorism must be comprehensively countered to achieve a world free of terrorism. They called on the international community to strengthen UN-led global counter-terrorism cooperation by fully implementing the relevant UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. The ministers stressed that those committing, orchestrating, inciting or supporting, financing terrorist acts must be held accountable and brought to justice in accordance with existing international commitments. Probe ordered into leakage of President’s security details INDO ASIAN NEWS SERVICE KANPUR, 26 NOVEMBER A probe has been ordered into the leakage of a document containing details of security arrangements for President Ram Nath Kovind's twoday visit to Kanpur. The details had surfaced on some WhatsApp groups. The document with details regarding the security, fleet, deployment of forces at the venues attended by President Kovind and other protocols was distributed to senior officials, but was found in circulation on social media. Kanpur Police Commissioner Asim Arun has now ordered an inquiry in this regard.“The investigation has been given to ADCP (Traffic) Rahul Mithas. The officer has been asked to establish the identities of those responsib le for making the document public and also explore the inte- ntion behind this,” he said. The President was in Kanpur on Wednesday and Thursday.Ahead of his arrival, a blue print for security was prepared by the Commissionerate Police regarding his security. In this booklet of 76 pages, minute to minute protocol of the President, about his fleet, force deployment at various venues, besides intelligence reports were also there.
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