Blast in cylinder while filling gas in balloon, three people seriously injured


Blast in cylinder while filling gas in balloon, three people seriously injured

South 24 Parganas: On Friday night, a big event has been held in Kulti area of South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal on the Kali Puja for several days. It is said that while filling air in the balloon, the gas cylinder exploded, after which three people were injured in it. The injured are currently admitted to a hospital in Kolkata for treatment.




Pfizer’s record breaking 9 month sprint to Covid-19 vaccine: A timeline


Pfizer’s record breaking 9 month sprint to Covid-19 vaccine: A timeline

That prompts the immune system to churn out antibodies against the virus. In virology, generating neutralising antibodies is a good surrogate of our bodies’ ability to protect from sickness.

New York, Nov 20 (IANS) Pfizer announced Friday it is seeking emergency approval from US regulators for its Covid-19 vaccine, which has shown 95 percent efficacy in a totality of two data sets released in the last 10 days. The chief of the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed vaccine programme says all systems are ready to ensure the vaccines get to states as soon as they figure out their distribution plan.

Seen purely from a clock time perspective, Pfizer’s dash to the finish line has broken all vaccine development speed records, and on a totally new technology platform called mRNA – which has no benchmarks yet.

The coronavirus itself isn’t there inside the mRNA vaccine. Instead, it is embedded with a piece of genetic code that trains our bodies to recognize imminent enemy action from the spike protein on the surface of the virus. When the mRNA enters our cells, it begins to spew copies of the coronavirus’ spike protein.

That prompts the immune system to churn out antibodies against the virus. In virology, generating neutralising antibodies is a good surrogate of our bodies’ ability to protect from sickness.

Below is a timeline of Pfizer’s run up to this historic moment:

March 17: Pfizer and BioNTech announce plans to develop a Covid-19 vaccine using BioNTech’s technology platform.

April 29: Testing of four vaccine candidates begins with volunteers in Germany. Five other countries are part of the testing pool.

May 5: Testing expands to include the US.

July 1: One of four vaccine candidates appears to rev up the immune system, is well tolerated.

July 22: Trump administration agrees to buy 100 million vaccine doses, with an option for 500 million more.

July 27: Late-stage testing begins for 30,000 volunteers.

September 8: CEOs of 9 pharma giants, including Pfizer and BioNTech, pledge they will not be rushed by politics or extraneous factors.

November 8: Pfizer receives data from independent trial monitors who analyse test results.

November 9: Pfizer announces the vaccine appears to be about 90 per cent effective, based on 94 infections in a pool of more than 43,000 volunteers.

November 18: Pfizer and BioNTech release a second batch of interim results saying their two-dose coronavirus vaccine candidate is 95 per cent effective and also protects the most vulnerable people in older age groups from the risk of dying from the virus.

Nov 20: Pfizer announces intent to submit application to US regulators for emergency use authorisation.




Canada visa application centres to re-open on Nov 25


Canada visa application centres to re-open on Nov 25

Effective from December 2, visa applicants who have submitted online applications for student category and family class priority can enroll their biometrics at the visa applications centres.

Canada visa applicants who have submitted online applications for family class priority — spouses, partners and children category — can enroll biometrics at the Canada Visa Applications Centres in six cities from November 25, it was announced by VFS Global on Friday.

The cities are Delhi, Jalandhar, Chandigarh, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

As per the directive, limited visa services will resume across India.

An appointment is mandatory to visit the visa application centre to enroll biometrics. Appointments can be booked online from Friday by filling in the web form available.

Effective from December 2, visa applicants who have submitted online applications for student category and family class priority can enroll their biometrics at the visa applications centres.

Customers who have already submitted their applications for these categories will receive a biometric instruction letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada to enroll their biometrics.

This letter must be carried for their appointment.

For all other categories, biometric enrolments are not being accepted until further notice. If you have booked an appointment for categories other than student and family class priority, you will be turned away and your biometrics will not be enrolled, said the statement.

For emergency applications, customers can write to delhiimmigration@international (dot) gc (Dot) ca

Due to increased health and safety measures, enquiries, walk-in requests for appointments, and visitors accompanying applicants will not be permitted inside the visa application centres.




Tejpal’s rape trial delayed as complainant tests Covid positive


Tejpal’s rape trial delayed as complainant tests Covid positive

Tejpal has been accused of sexually assaulting a junior female colleague in the elevator of a hotel in north Goa during an event in November 2013.

The rape trial of Tarun Tejpal, former editor-in-chief of Tehelka, has been delayed further after the complainant informed a Goa court through her counsel on Friday that she has tested positive for Covid-19.

The trial, which has been delayed on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, was to resume in the trial court at Mapusa in north Goa on Friday, with the cross-examination of the complainant.

“She informed the court that she has contracted Covid-19 and hence could not be present in court today,” special public prosecutor Francisco Tavora told reporters.

“Her cross-examination and that of her husband has now been scheduled for December 7. The trial will continue with the examination of other witnesses from Monday onwards,” he added.

Tejpal has been accused of sexually assaulting a junior female colleague in the elevator of a hotel in north Goa during an event in November 2013. He faces charges under Sections 341 (wrongful restraint), 342 (wrongful confinement), 354 (b) (criminal assault with intent to disrobe) and 376 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code.




Two women accuse BJP leader of physical abuse, sexual assault in West Bengal’s Basirhat


Two women accuse BJP leader of physical abuse, sexual assault in West Bengal’s Basirhat

The BJP leader has denied all the allegations against him and claimed that it was a woman member of his family who was assaulted.

Two women in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas district have accused a local BJP leader of physical abuse and sexual harrassment. The BJP leader from Basirhat has denied the allegations against him.

Kalyani Ruidas and Soma Ruidas, residents of Gopalpur village in Basirhat, have complained that BJP leader, Toofan Ruidas, had blocked their job cards.

On being asked to hand over the cards, Toofan allegedly harrassed both the women and tried to sexually assault them. They suffered serious injuries and had to be admitted at the local Haria Gramin Hospital, reported Bengali portal The Wall.

Other than Toofan, Kalyani and Soma have also accused his associates Bittu Das, Suman Das and Shukdev Das. They lodged a complaint at the Haroa Police Station against all of them.

Meanwhile, the BJP leader has denied all the allegations against him and claimed that it was a woman of his family who was assaulted by Soma and Kalyani’s kins.

Toofan said that Kalyani and Soma conspired to attack his family member. He has lodged a complaint against them at the Haroa Police Station as well.

After hearing both sides and taking cognizance of their complaints, the local police has started their investigation. The police is looking to figure if the incident has any political aspects or it escalated solely from the job card issue.

Meanwhile, the Basirhat region was on the news for political violence last month when a local BJP leader had succumbed to injuries sustained during clashes with TMC workers.

BJP’s deputy secretary of booth number 234 in Hingalganj Rabindranath Mondal was allegedly attacked by a group of TMC supporters.

Reportedly on October 12, BJP held a public meeting in the area that was not allowed by the local police. TMC had followed it up with rally on the next day.

It was at the end of TMC’s rally when violence had erupted, injuring Mondal and six others. All of them were taken to local municipality hospital in Basirhat.

With Mondal’s condition not improving, he was first transferred to the Nil Ratan Sarkar Hospital in Kolkata before being moved to the SSK Hospital, where he breathed his last on Monday night.

A local TMC leader Dinabandhu Koyal was also heavily attacked in Hingalganj area in the aftermath of the rally. The ruling party has alleged that Koyal was beaten up by miscreants backed by BJP iron rod and sticks, making him unconscious.




Something may happen before election: Babul Supriyo hints at President’s Rule in Bengal


Something may happen before election: Babul Supriyo hints at President’s Rule in Bengal

Babul Supriyo warned that if the killings of BJP worker didn’t stop, Mamata Banerjee and TMC might be removed before the Assembly Elections next year.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, Babul Supriyo, has hinted at the President’s Rule in West Bengal in near future, saying that there are “provisions in the Constitution, using which Mamata Banerjee can be removed” before the Assembly Elections next year.

Supriyo stressed that the saffron party would like to beat Mamata Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) in the democratic manner. However, he warned that if the killing of BJP workers did not stop in West Bengal, the Central would take different action.

“More than 130 BJP workers have been killed in West Bengal in the last 2-3 years. She was elected to power by people. Even we want to follow the similar democratic process of throwing Mamata didi’s government out of Bengal,” Supriyo was seen speaking on ABP Ananda.

“But if Mamata didi thinks that she can threaten people and scare them away from electoral booths, there are provisions in the Constitution, which can be used to remove Mamata didi from this path.

“Didi should be careful for the next six months till the elections and keep the essence of democracy and the Constitution alive in the state. Otherwise people have already decided what to do in 2021. But you never know something might happen before that,” the lawmakers from Asansol added.

Denouncing his statement entirely, heavyweight TMC leader Saugata Roy urged the “two-penny, four-penny” BJP leader to read the Constitution before speaking on the President’s Rule.

“All these small, two-penny and four-penny BJP leaders are trying to scare us. There are nothing in the Constitution (abouth President’s Rule) other than the Article 356, which falls under the Emergency provision and using which the President’s Rule can be established,” the Dum Dum MP said.

“And his the President’s Rule actually needs to brought into effect that has already been directed by the Supreme Court in a judgement. Other than that there’s nothing. Babul Supriyo hasn’t read the Constitution properly,” he added.

Meanwhile, political violence is on the rise in the election-bound state. On Thursday, both sides have accused each other of killing their party workers. While the BJP claimed TMC murdered its cadre in Coochbehar, the ruling party has put up similar allegations against the central party in North 24 Parganas.

Political violence throughout West Bengal ahead of the Assembly Elections next year has been a major hindrance before for the law and order of the state.

Opposition parties like the BJP, CPIM and Congress have, time and again, blamed the TMC government for failing to maintain the law and order situation in the election-bound state.

It has also been revealed by the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) data that in terms of political violence and killings, West Bengal stands top among all the Indian states.




‘Sasikala’s early release from jail will have no impact on AIADMK’


‘Sasikala’s early release from jail will have no impact on AIADMK’

Responding to a question on whether Sasikala’s early release will have any impact on AIADMK, the CM said: “You tell us what changes will happen. As far as we are concerned, no changes will happen.”

Chief minister Edappdy K Palaniswami on Thursday said V K Sasikala’s release from Parappana Agrahara Jail in Bengaluru would not have any impact on AIADMK.

His comment comes as Sasikala’s lawyers have started the process of depositing a fine of Rs 10 crore on her behalf in the court, to facilitate her early release from prison.

Sasikala, closest aid of late AIADMK chief minister J Jayalalithaa, has been serving her four-year sentence in prison since February 2017 after she was convicted in the Disproportionate Assets case.

Responding to a question on whether Sasikala’s early release will have any impact on AIADMK, the CM said: “You tell us what changes will happen. As far as we are concerned, no changes will happen.”

According to an RTI reply provided to Bengaluru-based lawyer and activist Narasimha Murthy, Sasikala is likely to be released from the prison in January 2021 if she paid a fine of Rs 10 crore. Otherwise, her release date could be pushed to February 2022.

Most political observers dismiss Sasikala as a political force which could topple the hold Edappdy has over the party. But the fact is Sasikala had chosen Palaniswami to take over as CM when the AIADMK split into two factions after Jayalalithaa’s demise.

With the wealth and power she is still holding, Sasikala could spell a doom for Edappdy and team, say some close confidants and political analysts.




Gupkar Alliance will doom Congress: Jitendra Singh


Gupkar Alliance will doom Congress: Jitendra Singh

Dr Jitendra Singh said, Congress and National Conference are trying to sell the name of Maharaja Hari Singh to the new generation of Jammuites who, they think, may not be fully abreast with history.

Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh on Monday dared the Congress party to explain to the people whether it subscribed to the manifesto of the Gupkar Alliance of which it had chosen to be a partner and whether it would restore Article 370 and 35-A, if ever voted to power.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, the Gupkar Alliance will spell the doom for Congress Party not only in Jammu & Kashmir but across the whole of India. He also dared the National Conference (NC) to explain to the people of Jammu region whether it endorsed the Gupkar Resolution to restore Article 370.

Accusing these political parties of playing with the sentiments of people through misleading statements, Dr Jitendra Singh expressed surprise that both the National Conference and Congress are today crying hoarse for the honour of Dogras, whereas these two political parties are precisely responsible for having perpetually compromised the Dogra pride. He accused NC and Congress of not only unleashing oppression against Dogras but also putting behind the bars the tallest Dogra of our times, namely Pandit Prem Nath Dogra.

Dr Jitendra Singh said, Congress and National Conference are trying to sell the name of Maharaja Hari Singh to the new generation of Jammuites who, they think, may not be fully abreast with history. But, it is on record that Congress led by Jawaharlal Nehru and National Conference led by Sheikh Abdullah were responsible for the humiliating ouster and banishment of Maharaja Hari Singh, he said.

The politically expedient opposition leaders, said Dr Jitendra Singh, have conveniently come to the conclusion that the Dogras of Jammu do not read their own history and can, therefore, be easily manipulated by opportunistic rhetoric. He asked the Congress and the National Conference, which had ruled Jammu & Kashmir for over half a century, to come out with a White Paper to explain as to how the number of employees in the J&K government services as well as the Civil Secretariat had systematically and progressively declined over the years.

Dr Jitendra Singh accused these political parties of not only physical discrimination against the Jammu region but also leading a psychological warfare resulting in mental enslavement of the people of Jammu region.

He said, for the first time, people in every region of Jammu & Kashmir have begun to experience the feeling of being equal citizens and not being subservient to any other region.




Heavy snowfall leaves Yogi Adityanath, Trivendra Rawat stuck in Kedarnath for over 9 hours


Heavy snowfall leaves Yogi Adityanath, Trivendra Rawat stuck in Kedarnath for over 9 hours

Over 450 people attended the portal closing ceremony of Kedarnath on Monday morning.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat remained stuck in Kedarnath, due to heavy snowfall, for over nine hours on Monday. Continuous snowfall started in the pilgrimage town on Sunday night and continued all day on Monday to disrupt chopper service. The weather cleared for a brief period, around 4.30 pm, allowing the CMs and their team to fly for Gauchar in district Chamoli for night stay. The portals of Kedarnath shrine, located in district Rudraprayag, was closed for a six-month winter break on Monday.

After attending the portal closing ceremony of Kedarnath temple, on Monday morning, both the CM walked towards the helipad ground at 7.30 am. Bad weather with low visibility disallowed any chopper flying and Yogi and Trivendra had to return to GMVN tourist lodge. Due to heavy snowfall, with the pilgrimage centre covered with about two feet snow, even undertaking the 14 km trek from Kedarnath to Gaurikund was not possible for the UP and Uttarakhand Chief Ministers. So they waited for the weather to clear.

Over 450 people attended the portal closing ceremony of Kedarnath on Monday morning. The ‘Panchmukhi Doli’ moved from Kedarnath to Rampur amidst snowfall, to thrill the devotees. U.P Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Rawat were to attend a foundation stone laying function of the U.P Tourism at Badrinath on Monday. But, it got cancelled as the CMs got stuck in Kedarnath. The function is likely to take place on Tuesday.

Despite Covid-19 pandemic, over 1.35 Lakh pilgrims visited Kedarnath, in district Rudraprayag, this year. Located at an altitude of 11,755 ft above sea level, Kedarnath will reopen after six months of break in the summer next year.




Andhra Pradesh estimates flood damages at Rs 8k crore


Andhra Pradesh estimates flood damages at Rs 8k crore

Amaravati, Nov 12 : Andhra Pradesh has suffered agricultural and infrastructural damages worth Rs 8,084 crore in the recent heavy rains and floods.

“The estimated loss is about Rs 8,084 crore, of which Rs 5,000 crore occurred due to infrastructure damages. Also, agriculture and allied sectors suffered flood damage of Rs 3,000 crore as incessant rains occurred right before the harvesting period,” said a government statement.

On Wednesday, the Central government team which visited five districts to assess flood damages in the southern state called on Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

For the last two days, the team toured flood-affected East Godavari, West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Anantapur districts.

On a request from Reddy, the team visited Anantapur, considering the groundnut crop was extensively damaged.

Reddy requested the team to help as much as possible on humanitarian grounds to cope with the damage.

He asked the team to relax frequently asked questions while buying damaged crops from farmers as they may suffer even bigger losses.

The Chief Minister explained to the central officers that the state government has been providing input subsidy to farmers to cover up losses in the same crop season, even as the subsidy for Kharif losses between May and September has already been paid.
Reddy appealed to the team to compensate the flood damages as soon as possible.

He also thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah for deputing a central team to Andhra Pradesh.

Source: BY AGENCY 




Top