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Last Updated : Jun 19 2021 2:30PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
Over 27.20 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses administered so far            Centre provides over 28 crore 50 lakh Covid vaccine doses to States/UTs so far            India reports 60,753 new covid cases in past 24 hrs; Recovery rate improves to 96.16 per cent            Home Ministry cautions States/UTs not to lower their guard despite relaxation in Covid-19 restrictions            Indian Air Force Chief says Air Force undergoing monumental transformation with rapid infusion of technologies           

Text Bulletins Details

World News

2220 HRS
NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to 'World News: an Indian perspective', on All India Radio. This is RENUKA and with me is MANOJ SINGH RANA bringing glimpses of the major developments of the day from across the globe. Over the next half an hour, we shall bring you the latest from the world of politics, economy, sports, entertainment and more.

Government says, 12 States and Union Territories showing early signs of  reduction in Covid 19 cases.
⦁ Canada authorises Pfizer coronavirus vaccine for children aged 12 to 15
⦁ 4 Protestors jailed after being convicted for rioting during Hong Kong National Day protests.
⦁ External Affairs Minister Dr. S Jaishankar participates virtually in the G7 foreign ministers’ meet.
⦁ Facebook upholds Former President Donald trump’s suspension from the platform indefinitely.
⦁ And, Manchester City reach their first Champions League final beating PSG 4-1 on aggregate.


As the number of Covid cases are on the rise again, we appeal to our listeners not to lower the guard, follow all the precautions and all those above 18 years to get vaccinated without any hesitation. Stay safe and protected by following these three simple steps -

Wear a face mask.
Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing &
Focus on hand and face hygiene.
And now, the news in detail:



The Government has said that 12 States and Union Territories are showing early signs of reduction in COVID-19 cases. These States and Union Territories include Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Ladakh. Briefing reporters in New Delhi, Joint Secretary in Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Lav Agarwal said, around 2.4 per cent day on day growth in COVID cases has been noticed. He said, 12 States and Union Territories  have more than one lakh active cases.



The cumulative share of active COVID cases in the country has declined to comprise nearly 16.87 per cent of the total reported cases. The Health Ministry has informed that currently over 34 lakh 87 thousand people are reported to be suffering from the viral infection and are either hospitalised or are under home isolation. In the last 24 hours, the nation registered 3 lakh 82 thousand 315 new COVID cases. With this, the recovery rate witnessed marginal improvement to stand at 82.03 per cent.

Since Monday,  over 3 lakh 38 thousand people have been discharged from hospitals or are reported to have been completely cured. So far, over 1 crore 69 lakh people have recovered from the COVID-19 infection in the country.

Meanwhile, the Union Government has provided over 17 crore 2 lakh free vaccine doses to the States and Union Territories so far. Out of this,  nearly 16 crore 8 lakh doses have been used by them which also includes some wastage.

The Union Health Ministry has informed that the States and Union Territories  still have more than 94 lakh 47 thousand doses available with them to be administered. It added that in the next three days over 36 lakh COVID vaccine doses will be given to the States and Union Territories to replenish their stocks and continue incessantly with the vaccination drive.



The Government has identified 581 sites for setting up additional Pressure Swing Absorption (PSA) medical oxygen plants in various states. Meanwhile, Indian Railways has made available 70 thousand isolation beds in more than four thousand 400 Covid Care Coaches.



Operation Samudra Setu-II has bolstered India’s oxygen availability. INS Talwar, the first among the ships deployed in the operation, arrived in Mangalore today from Bahrain. Two liquid oxygen cryogenic containers of 20 Metric Tonnes each on board. MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi deeply appreciated the support from Bahrain. It is taking forward the close bilateral ties deep-rooted in shared history and cultural affinities.


Now let’s take a look at the Coronavirus updates from around the world :

Canada has authorized the use of Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccine for children between the ages of 12 and 15. It becomes the first country in the world to do so for the age group. The Country’s Health Ministry announced the decision based on data from phase 3 clinical trials on children of the age group.

The EU drug regulator, the European Medicines Agency has started a rolling review of China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine. This is the first step in assessing the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, leading up to a possible approval for use in the bloc.

The Philippines has approved the emergency use of the Moderna’s  coronavirus vaccine, days after the drugmaker filed an application with the country's food and drug agency. The country expects the delivery of 194,000 doses of the vaccine this month.

The WHO has said that rapid real time dissemination of information can ensure that we are one step ahead of the pandemic of present and the future. Speaking at a press briefing on Wednesday, Director of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said while the virus can move fast, data can move faster and with the right information, WHO’s Hub for pandemic and epidemic intelligence can help with the global health security ecosystem.

The 5th of May is observed as the world hand hygiene day. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, WHO emphasised the importance of good hand hygiene practices to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus.



Four people convicted of rioting in Hong Kong during National Day protests in 2019 have been jailed for up to 56 months, with the presiding judge ruling that those at the scene who did nothing violent still shared the same culpability as active participants. As reported in local media, one convict was slapped with a 56 months sentence after he was caught on camera hurling objects at police and burning a banner on the street during the unrest in Hong Kong on 1st October in 2019. The remaining three were also given jail sentences of 51 months and 53 months despite a lack of evidence showing they had committed any violent acts. The sentences were premised on the legal principle of “joint enterprise”, which was recently upheld by the Court of Appeal as a doctrine capable of indicting a wide range of suspects in a riot or unlawful assembly, Judge Ernest Michael Lin Kam-hung ruled in Wednesday’s hearing at the District Court.

One defendant with no criminal record, was handed a jail term of 53 months after the judge noted she remained adamant following her conviction, claiming she had only walked past the area and “unknowingly” became involved. The judge said a deterrent sentence was required to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future. More than 200 protesters were said to have confronted police in the afternoon of October 1, more than three months into the anti-government protests that year. Ten people have been convicted after trial of rioting in cases stemming from the civil unrest in 2019, triggered by a now-withdrawn extradition bill. Twenty-one riot suspects have pleaded guilty without trial, while 25 defendants were acquitted after trial.



In another development, the Philippines has accused China of blocking coast guard patrols near Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea, just days after Beijing announced its seasonal fishing ban over the resource-rich waterway. In a statement on Tuesday night, Hermogenes Esperon, a national security adviser to President Rodrigo Duterte, said the China Coast Guard conducted “shadowing, blocking, dangerous manoeuvres and radio challenges” to two Philippine Coast Guard vessels in the waters near the shoal late last month. The statement said that Philippine Coast Guard vessels were on their way to the area “to enforce our fisheries laws and protect our fishermen” as part of the rotational patrols of Scarborough Shoal.

Prasar Bharti Special Correspondent in Beijing reports that the protests come as Beijing imposes its annual 3½-month summer fishing ban over the waters of the South China Sea north of the 12th parallel. The ban came into effect on Saturday and China has repeatedly said it is part of an effort to “preserve fishery resources” in the world’s richest fishing grounds. But critics say the ban is part of China’s efforts to assert its territorial claims in the waterway, where Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, and Taiwan make counterclaims. The Philippines’ Department of Foreign Affairs said earlier this week that diplomatic protests had been filed against the Chinese coastguard’s actions at Scarborough Shoal.



Facebook's Oversight Board decided to uphold  former President Donald Trump’s suspension from the  can return to the  Social Media Platform.  Facebook, which removed Mr. Trump from its platform after his implication in the U.S. Capitol siege in January. On January 6th a mob of pro-Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in Washington D.C in a bid to stop the counting of the votes of the US Presidential Elections. With this decisions, Facebook’s oversight board has announced that the ban will hold indefinitely.



External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Wednesday virtually participated in the G7 Foreign Ministers' meeting. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson interacted with the participating Foreign Ministers in between the sessions. Dr Jaishankar assured the British Prime Minister that Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab and he will take forward the 2030 Roadmap. In a tweet, Dr Jaishankar said, India and UK are committed to delivering on the Modi-Johnson vision of the ties. In the G7 Foreign Ministers Meeting, India has been invited as a guest country.



In another devlelopment, Dr S Jaishankar on Wednesday held virtual meeting with Foreign Minister of Canada Marc Garneau on the sidelines of G-7 meeting. Both Ministers discussed the Covid challenges in their countries. They also talked about various aspects of the bilateral relationship. Dr Jaishankar and Mr Garneau also exchanged views on Myanmar.



Amid the second wave of coronavirus, the Defence Research and Development Organization, DRDO is continuously engaged in creating a robust medical infrastructure and equipment.   In today’s HOTSPOT section, we bring you an exclusive interview to AIR News, DRDO Chairman, Dr G Satheesh Reddy. Dr. Reddy talks about the DRDO and its efforts at setting up several Covid specific hospitals in the various parts of the country to provide better health care facilities to the Covid patients.



At the domestic stock markets, key indices posted solid gains and the rupee weakened slightly against the US dollar. In the international markets, Global crude oil futures rose for the third straight day, today.


Moving onto sports

Manchester City reached their first Champions League final as they sealed a commanding 4-1 aggregate win over Paris St-Germain. City won the first leg 2-1 and Riyad Mahrez’s low shot stretched their lead at Etihad Stadium after Kevin de Bruyne’s blocked effort. Mahrez scored again in the second half, finishing off a rapid counter-attack by converting Phil Foden’s low cross. PSG ended the game with 10 men following Angel di Maria’s red card.

In Madrid Open tennis, Russia’s Andrey Rublev overcame a tough challenge on his Madrid Open debut to beat Tommy Paul of the US 6-7, 6-3, 6-4 for a place in the third round on Tuesday. In the women’s division, former doubles partners Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka will have a showdown in the quarter-finals after winning their respective matches on Monday. Mertens came from a break down in both the second and third sets to upset No. 3 seed Simona Halep while, Sabalenka needed only 52 minutes to power past Jessica Pegula

In World Hockey, the Indian men’s hockey team’s preparations for the Tokyo Olympic Games suffered a major blow today as its upcoming FIH Pro League away matches against Spain and Germany were postponed due to “international travel restrictions”.



Now let us take a look at the major developments around the world, as reported in the foreign press:

Washington Post reports that Canada has authorized use of Pfizer-BionTech’s coronavirus vaccine for children ages 12 to 15. This is the first time the country has approved a coronavirus vaccine for adolescents.

Wall Street Journal writes that the U.S. and NATO are concerned that Russia has pulled back only some of the troops and equipment it deployed near Ukraine last month despite announcing a withdrawal.

Telegraph reports that Muammar Gaddafi’s private party boat is being re-launched as a high-speed, zero-emissions hydrogen-powered superyacht.

And, The Sydney Morning Herald writes that the entire Indian G7 delegation is self-isolating after two delegates from India have tested positive for the COVID19.


India is celebrating the 151st birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. Before we end, let us listen to his favourite Bhajan VAISHNAV JAN, by artists from JAPAN.




The Union Cabinet has approved the signing of an  MoU on Migration and Mobility Partnership between India and the UK. It is aimed at liberalising issuance of visas promoting mobility of students, researchers and skilled professionals and strengthening cooperation on issues related to irregular migration and human trafficking between the two sides. The MoU will benefit Indian students, academics, and researchers, migrants for professional and economic reasons and those willing to contribute through various projects to the economic development of both countries. It can support the innovation ecosystem in both countries by facilitating free flow of talent.



Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has announced that a snap parliamentary election will be held on 11th of July. Mr Radev said, next week, he will dissolve the Parliament and appoint an interim government. He linked the setting of the date for the new election with the appointment of a new central electoral commission that is expected to be finalised on 11th of this month.

Outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borissov's centre-right GERB, which has dominated Bulgarian politics over the last decade, again emerged as the largest party after last month's election but it lost seats amid widespread public anger over corruption.



Zhang Xiangchen, Vice Minister in the Ministry of Commerce of China, was appointed Wednesday as deputy director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Zhang has served from 2017 to 2020 as China's Permanent Representative to the WTO. Zhang is one of the four deputy directors-general (DDGs) appointed Wednesday by WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala. The other three are Angela Ellard of the United States, Anabel Gonzalez of Costa Rica, and Jean-Marie Paugam of France.



India has strongly condemned the terrorist attack in Logar province of Afghanistan in which 21 innocent people died and more than 100 were injured during the month of Ramadan. In response to media queries,  External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said India stands firm with the families of victims and with the people of Afghanistan in this hour of grief. He  reiterated the urgent need for a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire leading to sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

India has been steadfast in its call to end the terrorist safe havens and sanctuaries which lead to attacks like these. The spokesperson said India stands with the people of Afghanistan and salutes the courage of brave Afghan forces in their continued fight against terrorism.



President Ram Nath Kovind today said Dr Philipose Mar Chrysostom Mar Thoma Valiya Metropolitan was one of the longest serving bishops in India.  In his condolence message at the demise of the bishop,  Mr Kovind said he had touched millions with his religiosity, compassion and service, specially to needy and downtrodden.



The Government has reviewed the existing procedure of registration and approval of global manufacturers for importing oxygen cylinders and cryogenic tankers containers by Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (PESO). Commerce and Industry Ministry said, in view of the COVID pandemic, PESO will not carry out physical inspection of global manufacturers' production facilities before grant of such registration and approval. The Ministry said, now, such approvals will be granted online without any delay on submission of manufacturer’s particulars, ISO certificate of manufacturer and  List of Cylinders, Tankers and Containers among others.



The US government has approved a major solar energy project in the California desert that will be capable of powering nearly 90,000 homes.The Interior Department said in a statement on Monday, that 550 million dollar Crimson Solar Project will be sited on 2,000 acres of federal land west of Blythe, California. The announcement comes as President Joe Biden has vowed to expand development of renewable energy projects on public lands as part of a broader agenda to fight climate change, create jobs. The project will include a battery storage system and will be sited on land designated for renewable energy development by the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan.



Government has given permissions to Telecom Service Providers for conducting trials for use and applications of 5G technology. The applicant include Bharti Airtel Limited, Reliance JioInfocomm Limited, Vodafone Idea Limited and MTNL. These Telecom Service Providers, TSP have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT. In addition, Reliance JioInfocomm Limited will also be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology.

The Communication Ministry said, at present, the duration of the trials is for a period of six months. This includes a time period of 2 months for procurement and setting up of the equipment. The permission letters specify that each TSP will have to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings also in addition to urban settings so that the benefit of 5G Technology proliferates across the country.

The objectives of conducting 5G trials include testing 5G spectrum propagation characteristics especially in the Indian context, testing of indigenous technology and to test 5G phones and devices. The Ministry said, 5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates, expected to be 10 times that of 4G and up to three times greater spectrum efficiency. The Department of Telecommunications has specified that the trials will be isolated and not connected with the existing networks of Telecom Service Providers. It said, Trials will be on non-commercial basis.


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