EU’s domestic tourism recovers faster than foreign


EU’s domestic tourism recovers faster than foreign

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, the EU saw 66 per cent less international tourist arrivals year-on-year in the first half of 2020.

The European Union’s (EU) domestic tourism has recovered faster than foreign tourism after most countries started easing their Covid-19 restrictions by June, official figures have revealed.

In a report on Friday,the EU’s statistical office Eurostat said during the early part of 2020, the tourism industry suffered as a result of travel restrictions implemented in response to the pandemic.

Tourist numbers dropped sharply during March and April 2020, when compared with the same period a year earlier.

Since June 2020, most EU countries have begun to ease travel restrictions.

However, other restrictions related to Covid-19 have remained in place, such as tourists having to quarantine on return from some foreign destinations.

These have prompted a preference for domestic tourism, which has recovered more quickly than incoming tourism.

After a drop of 93 per cent in April 2020 compared with the same month of the previous year, by July 2020, domestic tourism in the EU almost returned to the level of the previous year.

In July 2020, nights spent by EU residents in tourist accommodation inside their own country were only 22 per cent lower than in July 2019, while nights spent by non-residents were 64 per cent less than the previous year.

According to the UN World Tourism Organization, the EU saw 66 per cent less international tourist arrivals year-on-year in the first half of 2020.

Although the EU interior borders were reopened in the summer to spur the EU-wide tourist industry with precautionary measures taken, the exterior borders have remained been closed to the world.




India, US likely to ink strategic info sharing pact during 2+2 meet


India, US likely to ink strategic info sharing pact during 2+2 meet

In preparation for it on the Indian side, the cabinet approved the BECA, which had been submitted by the Defence Ministry on Wednesday.

The Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), a breakthrough pact for sharing important strategic information, is likely to be signed during the 2+2 ministerial dialogue between the top foreign affairs and defence officials of India and the US next week, a senior official in President Donald Trump’s administration has hinted.

“We’ve made significant progress towards concluding the last foundational defence enabling agreement, the BECA,” the official told reporters on Friday ahead of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Mike Esper’s visit to India for the 2+2 meeting.

“This agreement will allow for expanded geospatial information sharing between our armed forces.

“We are also seeking to expand secure communication capabilities between our respective militaries as well as between our foreign and defence ministries, and that too figures prominently on what we’re trying to accomplish in the information-sharing space,” the official said on the basis of anonymity.

In preparation for it on the Indian side, the cabinet approved the BECA, which had been submitted by the Defence Ministry on Wednesday.

BECA will enable sharing geospatial intelligence and information on maps and satellite images for defence and also have applications in times of disaster to organise relief.

India will be represented by Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at the 2+2, which will be held a week before the November 3 US presidential election.

The official said that the US would welcome greater Indian participation in Southeast Asia through a presence in the South China Sea, but also through security cooperation and development investments.

“We’ve had ongoing dialogue with the Indians about increased cooperation in Southeast Asia writ large, not simply the South China Sea, and we encourage their involvement.

“Given China’s increasingly aggressive behaviour across the Indo-Pacific from the Himalayas to the South China Sea, it’s more important than ever that we work with like-minded partners such as India,” the official said.

Asked if the US election outcome could impact the cooperation between New Delhi and Washington on countering China, the official said: “I fully expect, have no reason to believe that in the event of there being a new administration following the upcoming elections here in the US that the policy with regard to India would change. I think both parties are largely aligned on their interest in supporting and deepening the partnership.”

The official said that Washington was “covering the situation in the Himalayas closely, and understandably. And we certainly want to ensure that the situation doesn’t escalate”.

“Certainly we are providing support, whether through defence sales, exercises a as well as information sharing… These are all areas where we cooperate with the Indians on, and not just as it relates to the tensions in the Himalayas.”

The official said that while Washington is working to enhance maritime security in the Indo-Pacific region India’s invitation to Australia to join next month’s Malabar naval exercise with Japan and the US “signals not only a strategic convergence between the Quadrilateral partners but a recognition that regional security requires strengthening allies and partnerships and working multilateral on issues of mutual concern”.

Asked about its future, the official said that the Quad — made up of India, the US, Japan and Australia — is not a formal alliance with reciprocal obligation among its participants and does not seek members, but “there are many different dimensions in which it can grow and expand, and more… All activities are on the table, and meetings among officials in different places and at different levels and with different subject matter focuses”.

“So I think all of us are open to additional cooperation, coordination, and common activity. And I expect that the next year will see even more alignment of activities among the four countries in the Quad, and hopefully those that will bring in other like-minded nations as well.”

Asked about the Trump administration’s restrictions on student H1-B professional visas that are heavily impacting Indians, the official said the measures were not directed against New Delhi.

“Our current visa policy is based on US interests in protecting some, the American homeland and respect for American immigration law. None of the current restrictions have anything to do with any specific country, and many of them have a lot to do with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“So I think we would be looking to see some changes in global travel patterns and easing of pandemic restrictions globally before we would see a really substantial change in any of our visa and immigration policies at the moment,” he added.

In dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and health issues, the official said: “Joint efforts to develop and produce Covid-19 vaccines have taken off at a remarkable pace. More than half a dozen American companies and institutions are working on vaccine research with Indian partners like the Serum Institute of India.

“We know that going forward, working closely with India and its robust research and pharmaceutical sectors will be critical to finding and implementing a cure for infectious diseases.”

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter at @arulouis)




WHO chief calls for ‘immediate action’ amid Covid-19 resurgence


WHO chief calls for ‘immediate action’ amid Covid-19 resurgence

Ghebreyesus urged leaders to take immediate action, so as to prevent further unnecessary deaths, essential health services from collapsing and schools shutting again.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that the world was still at “a critical juncture” in its fights against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and called for “immediate action” as several countries have reported a resurgence in new confirmed cases.

Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Ghebreyesus said that the next few months are going to be very “tough” and some countries are on “a dangerous track”, reports Xinhua news agency

“We are at a critical juncture in this pandemic, particularly in the northern hemisphere,” he said.

“Too many countries are seeing an exponential increase in cases and that is now leading to hospitals and ICU running close or above capacity and we’re still only in October,” the Who chief added.

Ghebreyesus urged leaders to take immediate action, so as to prevent further unnecessary deaths, essential health services from collapsing and schools shutting again.

Also addressing the briefing, Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for the WHO’s Health Emergencies Program, said that progress is being made on the plans for an international mission to identify the zoonotic source of the coronavirus.

She said the WHO has reached out to a group of international experts and is expected to share more information in the coming days.

“The first cases were detected in Wuhan of China last December, so the early studies will begin there,” she said, adding that then the next phase of the studies will be developed as the evidence and results from the first phase become available.

“We will follow the science and follow the necessary steps that need to be taken,” Van Kerkhove added.

As of Saturday morning, overall number of global coronavirus cases stood at 42,114,524, while the deaths have soared to 1,143,291, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

The US is the worst-hit country with the world’s highest number of cases and deaths at 8,484,991 and 223,914, respectively, the University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update.

India comes in second place in terms of cases at 7,761,312, while the country’s death toll soared to 117,306.




Police officer killed in Houston apartment shooting


Police officer killed in Houston apartment shooting

The police chief said the teenager then saw that his father had a firearm and told the officers.

A police officer was killed during a shooting at an apartment in the US city of Houston, according to officials.

Addressing reporters on Tuesday, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo identified the victim as the 65-year-old Sgt. Harold Preston, who had served in the force for 41 years, CNN reported.

Acevedo said that Preston and two other officers were responding to a call by a woman, who said that her estranged husband was not letting her into the apartment when she went to collect some items.

The officers stayed in the parking lot, speaking with the woman for about an hour until the suspect’s 14-year-old son, who was outside with them, unlocked the door and opened it, Acevedo said.

The police chief said the teenager then saw that his father had a firearm and told the officers.

The suspect then fired multiple rounds which struck Preston and injured one office and the teenager.

He surrendered to authoritiesafter a SWAT team and K-9 units arrived at the apartment complex.




Donald Trump’s rally mic stops working, blames ‘crooked Hillary’


Donald Trump’s rally mic stops working, blames ‘crooked Hillary’

Trump had coined the term, “Crooked Hillary” for his former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton while campaigning for the 2016 election.

US President Donald Trump jokingly blamed “crooked Hillary” after his microphone stopped working at a campaign rally in Pennsylvania.

The incident took place during the rally in Erie on Tuesday, The Hill news website reported.

While Trump was speaking about the law enforcement endorsements his had campaign received, his microphone suddenly went out.

After it was back on, he said: “Is the mic ready? I wonder who did that to our mic? I don’t believe it was Joe. You know who it was? Crooked Hillary. It must’ve been.”

Trump had coined the term, “Crooked Hillary” for his former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton while campaigning for the 2016 election.




India releases Chinese soldier who strayed at LAC


India releases Chinese soldier who strayed at LAC

The astray Chinese soldier was detained two days back in the Demchok sector in the disputed border in Eastern Ladakh.

India in a goodwill gesture ensured the release of a Chinese soldier who had strayed inside Indian territory across the disputed zone of the Line of Actual Control.

The astray Chinese soldier was detained two days back in the Demchok sector in the disputed border in Eastern Ladakh.

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) corporal had told Indian agencies that he had crossed the disputed border to retrieve a yak that had strayed into India.

He was handed over at Chushul Moldo meeting point on Tuesday night.

Earlier, the Indian Army in a statement said: “A PLA soldier identified as Corporal Wang Ya Long was apprehended in the Demchok sector of Eastern Ladakh on October 19, 2020 after he had strayed across the LAC.”

India had said that the PLA soldier has been provided medical assistance, including oxygen, food and warm clothes to protect him from the vagaries of extreme altitude and harsh climatic conditions.

“A request has also been received from the PLA about the whereabouts of the missing soldier,” Indian Army said.

It said that as per established protocols, he will be returned back to Chinese officials at the Chushul – Moldo meeting point after completion of formalities.

India and China have amassed thousands of soldiers, tanks and missiles in the worst-ever border crisis in four decades. Multiple rounds of talks between senior military commanders and diplomats and ministers have failed to resolve the crisis.

Winters are harsh in the Himalayas and soldiers face the prospect of braving sub-zero temperatures even upto minus 30 degrees Celsius.




Schools to reopen in phases in Uttarakhand from 1 Nov


Schools to reopen in phases in Uttarakhand from 1 Nov

In the first phase, class 10 and 12 will resume operation from 1 November. In the next phase, new classes will be included.

Schools will start reopening in Uttarakhand in phases from next month. The Uttarakhand Cabinet today took a decision in this regard and announced it.

In the first phase, class 10 and 12 will resume operation from 1 November. In the next phase, new classes will be included. The Uttarakhand government had plans to restart school in September, but they had to withdraw the decision after facing opposition from parents and school management.

Cabinet minister Madan Kausik announced the decision after the cabinet meeting. Earlier this month, the Uttarakhand government started the process of reopening schools in the hill state. For this the government had asked its 13 district magistrates to send a report by interacting with academicians, parents, etc for resuming academic activities in the schools. The decision to resume classes for class 10 and 12 was taken after receiving reports from the 13 district magistrates.




More services from Bhutan; B’desh flight operations to restart: Kolkata airport


More services from Bhutan; B’desh flight operations to restart: Kolkata airport

The Kolkata airport which serves as one of the vital airports in the Eastern Region of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is expecting increase in flights from Paro airport in Bhutan to Kolkata.

The Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) airport, Kolkata is expecting increase in flight services in the Kolkata-Bhutan route after an air bubble agreement was signed while the airport is also awaiting resumption of flights to and from Bangladesh soon.

The Kolkata airport which serves as one of the vital airports in the Eastern Region of the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is expecting increase in flights from Paro airport in Bhutan to Kolkata. The airport director, Mr. Kaushik Bhattacharya, today told The Statesman, “Pre- Covid period, the Kolkata airport had 10 weekly flights from Bhutan which at present, is two flights a week. An air bubble agreement was signed and now we are hoping the frequency of flights will increase and revert to the pre-pandemic figures.” The Drukair Bhutan airlines generally operate its AirbusA320 aircraft fleet in this route.

The Airports Authority of India has announced that India has created an air travel arrangement with Bhutan. Indian and Bhutanese carriers are now permitted to operate flight services between the two countries while there are criterions that passengers need to fulfill to fly from Bhutan to India.

It said Indian nationals and all Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders holding passports of Bhutan are eligible. Bhutanese nationals /residents and foreigners, including diplomats who hold valid visa issued by an Indian Mission in any category covered under Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines dated 30 June, 2020, are eligible to take the flight.

Commenting on whether flight services between Bangladesh and Kolkata has resumed, the Kolkata airport director said, “An air bubble agreement has been signed. We are expecting the KolkataBangladesh flight services to resume, soon.” The Biman Bangladesh airlines operate flight services in this route which was suspended in the wake of Covid.




‘Feel so powerful, could give you a big fat kiss’: President Donald Trump post Covid recovery


‘Feel so powerful, could give you a big fat kiss’: President Donald Trump post Covid recovery

Trump’s medical team announced he had tested negative and was no longer contagious.

Deprived of his beloved campaign trail for 10 days by Covid-19, President Donald Trump took center stage again Monday in Florida, vowing that he is in “great shape” with 22 days to go until he faces Joe Biden in the election.

“I went through it and now they say I’m immune,” Trump told a cheering crowd in Sanford, near Orlando, few of whom wore masks.

“I feel so powerful. I’ll walk in there, I’ll kiss everyone in that audience. I’ll kiss the guys and the beautiful women, just give you a big fat kiss.”

Trump’s medical team announced he had tested negative and was no longer contagious as he jetted to Florida — the first of four battleground states he plans to visit over the next four days. His claim of immunity is unproven.

Trailing his Democratic challenger by double digits in the polls, Trump is seeking to rally his base on a blitz of key swing states.

In rare form just a week after his release from hospital, Trump’s hour-long speech called on all of his campaign classics: vicious attacks against “Crooked Hillary” Clinton and the “corrupt” press, alarmist warnings against the “radical left” and the “socialist nightmare.”

Trump also mocked his opponent, whom he has nicknamed “Sleepy Joe,” saying that “practically nobody showed up” to Biden’s campaign event.

Unlike Trump, Biden has been following public health guidelines during the pandemic, hosting socially-distanced campaign events that sharply contrast with Trump’s packed, largely maskless extravaganzas — including a recent celebration at the White House described by experts as a “superspreader.”

‘Unconscionable’

“Oh, do I like Florida,” Trump told the crowd. The state could play a crucial role on November 3.

The president brushed aside poll numbers, saying: “Four years ago we had the same thing. We are going to lose Florida, they said four years ago.”

“Twenty-two days from now, we are going to win this state, we are going to win four more years in the White House!” he added.

He also lauded his nominee for Supreme Court justice, Amy Coney Barrett.

The Republican-controlled Senate will begin hearings for the 48-year-old judge, whose confirmation — over which there is little doubt — will shift the nation’s highest court firmly to the right, possibly for generations.

“She’s going to be a fantastic US Supreme Court Justice,” Trump said.

“Who would have thought we’re on number three, you know?” he asked, referring to the justices he has appointed to the court since taking office.

Before Trump, 74, left for Florida, his physician Sean Conley said the president was now negative and no longer “infectious to others” — following consecutive rapid tests and taking into account a number of other health metrics.

Patients are normally classed as negative only after taking the more sensitive PCR test — drawing suspicion from experts on social media that Trump’s doctors had administered these but had not received the results they were looking for.

Biden, meanwhile, attacked the president ahead of the rally for playing down the threat of the virus early in the pandemic.

“Trump knew how dangerous the disease was but did nothing,” Biden said ahead of the rally. “Why didn’t he tell us? Why didn’t he warn us?”

“His reckless personal conduct since his diagnosis has been unconscionable,” Biden added. “The longer Donald Trump is president, the more reckless he seems to get.”

Double-digit lead

Biden specifically attacked Trump’s planned Florida visit, saying he was bringing nothing but “divisive rhetoric, and fear mongering” to the Sunshine State.

“But, equally dangerous is what he fails to bring: no plan to get this virus that has taken the lives of over 15,000 Floridians under control,” Biden said.

The president is also to visit Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina this week as part of a push to make up ground on Biden, who has a double-digit lead in the national polls according to the RealClearPolitics website.

Trump won Florida, Pennsylvania, Iowa and North Carolina — the four states he is visiting this week — in 2016 against Hillary Clinton but is trailing Biden in all four this time around, according to a RealClearPolitics average of state polls.

Biden has razor-thin leads in Iowa and North Carolina, according to RealClearPolitics, but is leading by more substantial margins in Florida and Pennsylvania — 3.7 points and 7.1 points, respectively.

Early in-person voting began Monday in another close state, Georgia, although pictures of hours-long lines that went viral on social media led to accusations of “voter suppression.”

More than 10 million Americans have already cast their ballots in the US presidential contest, a tracking group said late Monday, a record pace three weeks before election day.




First Executive Commiittee meeting of SAARC journalist Forum SJF was concluded today dated 7th october,2020 Meeting Was chaired by President of SJF Mr. Raju Lama and operted by General Secretary of sjf Me. Abdur Rehman.


First Executive Commiittee meeting of SAARC journalist Forum SJF was concluded today dated 7th october,2020 Meeting Was chaired by President of SJF Mr. Raju Lama and operted by General Secretary of sjf Me. Abdur Rehman.

SJF Vice Prisident Mr. Ramnath Vidrohi,Secretary Mr.khalil Omaid, 
Members Mr. Rinzin Wangchuk and Amila Balasooriya were present in meeting and discussed Widely on different agendas endorsed by executive committee.
SJF Treasurer Mr.Sanghirahmad Qamar and Member ismail Shahu were 


adsent due to Some reason.Meeting had taken some of the important decisions Which are listed as below :
1) Congratulatory messages were expressed by each other as every members were newly elected in executive cammittee and they shares their views as a leader of SJF.
2) First internationl canference Will be held on capital city of india new delhi Within 2021 february.if Covid 19 Will become normal.Vice President of SJF Mr.Ramnath Vidrohi Was appointed as a co-ordinator of organising committee of first internationl journalist conference.
3) Every SAARC member country Will Form Sub-committee of SJF With
7 members committee except 11 members committee in india With 1 President, 1Secretary and 5members Within 2020.
4)every Executive committee meeting and internationl journalist conference Will be and virtual meetting of executive Committee once per month. 
Dated: 7th October,2020            Md Abdur Rahman 
# Sjf Executive Committee          General Secretary

 




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