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Last Updated : Jun 19 2021 3:15PM     Screen Reader Access
News Highlights
India administers over 27 crore 23 lakh COVID vaccine doses to eligible beneficiaries in country            Centre provides over 28 crore 50 lakh Covid vaccine doses to States/UTs so far            Over 60 thousand new cases reported in last 24 hours; National Recovery Rate touches 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           

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World News

2220 HRS

NAMASKAR ! A warm welcome to 'World News: an Indian perspective', on All India Radio. This is ABHINEET SHUKLA  and with me is R.S.RAGHU 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.


·  India’s National COVID Recovery Rate improves to 94.55 per cent.; Over 24 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered in the country so far.

·  European Parliament approves EU digital COVID-19 vaccine certificates for facilitating travel within Bloc.

·  External Affairs Minister of India Dr. S. Jaishankar meets Qatar’s National Security Adviser Mohamed Bin Ahmed Al Mesned.

·  US President Joe Biden embarks on visit to Europe.

·  Indian Institute of Science-Bengaluru ranked top research university in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2022; Three Indian universities make the top-200 rankings.

·  And in French Open Tennis; Rafael Nadal marches into the Semi-Finals of the Men’s singles.



As many states are relaxing lockdown norms, we advise our listeners not to lower their guard as the COVID-19 pandemic remains a threat to our health. Please stay at home unless it is essential to go out and continue to follow the four simple steps --

·  Wear a face mask.

·  Maintain Do Gaz Ki Doori for social distancing

·  Focus on hand and face hygiene.

·  And, get vaccinated.

For any COVID related information and guidance contact National helpline numbers -- 011-23978046 and 1075. And now the News in detail



India’s National COVID recovery rate has improved to 94.55 per cent on Wednesday. The Health Ministry informed that the country reported 92,596 new COVID19 cases in the last 24 hours, during the same period, over 1.62 lakh people recovered. Till now, over 2.75 crore people have been discharged. The country now has over 12.31 lakh Active cases. In the last 24 hours, 2,219 deaths were reported taking the death toll in the pandemic to 3,53,528.On the vaccination front, India has crossed a major landmark with more than 24 crore COVID vaccine doses administered so far. The Union Health Ministry said, more than 31 lakh 31 thousand vaccine doses were administered till 7 P.M. Wednesday. Out of these, more than 28 lakh 37 thousand beneficiaries were vaccinated for the 1st dose and more than two lakh 94 thousand beneficiaries received the 2nd dose of the vaccine. The country had launched the world’s largest vaccination drive on the 16th of January this year.



The Indian Air Force has contributed immensely in the fight against COVID-19. In the second wave, IAF began operations for COVID relief on 16th April this year. Talking to AIR News, IAF’s PRO Wing Commander Ashish Moghe said, the IAF has trained its crew to keep themselves safe from COVID-19. More details in this report --

The Indian Air Force has undertaken 1,800 sorties till date and has flown almost 3,600 hours for the COVID relief. More than 14,900 metric tonnes of load was airlifted which includes oxygen containers, oxygen tankers, cylinders and concentrators and other medical equipment from within the country and abroad. IAF PRO Ashish Moghe says, more than 42 transport aircrafts were used for the purpose and helicopters too were deployed as and when required.

Indian Air Force was praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their service. In a tweet, the PM had written that, Jal, Thal and Nabh, the armed forces have left no stone unturned in the fight against COVID-19. In the first wave too the Indian Air Force had pitched in to supply essentials throughout the country. Deeksha Saksena, AIR News, Delhi.



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

The European Union Parliament has given its final nod to the EU COVID vaccine certificates on Wednesday. The members of the European Parliament (MEPs) plenary meeting was held on Tuesday. The MEPs completed the legislative work on the certificates, which intend to recover restriction-free travel within the block. The EU-wide scheme for travel within the bloc, also known as an "immunity pass" or "health pass," officially starts on July 1st. The certificate will show vaccination status, negative tests & prior diagnosis.The EU has said that holders "should in principle be exempted from free movement restrictions," and asked that member states "refrain from imposing additional restrictions" on holders "unless they are necessary and proportionate to safeguard public health" -- for example if a new variant causes concern.

Meanwhile, France entered its third and penultimate phase of easing Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday. The nationwide curfew in effect across France  is pushed back from 9pm to 11pm. The easing of restrictions comes as indicators continue to show the country's rate of infections subsiding.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has eased travel recommendations for more than 110 countries and territories. The countries include Japan ahead of the Olympics. The CDC's new ratings include 61 nations that were lowered from its highest "Level 4" rating. The rating now recommends travel for fully vaccinated  individuals The CDC said the change came after it revised its criteria for travel health notices.

Celebrities are urging the G7 countries to pledge some of their Coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries  ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall in England this weekend. Nearly 30 celebrities, including actors Liam Neeson, Orlando Bloom, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Whoopi Goldberg and football star David Beckham made the appeal in an open letter.

Meanwhile, in Bangladesh, The COVID 19 infection continued to show an upward trend in Bangladesh as 2537 new corona positive cases were detected in the country on Wednesday. This is the highest number of cases in a single day since April 28.



External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar on Wednesday met Qatari National Security Adviser Mohamed Bin Ahmed Al Mesned. In a tweet, Dr Jaishankar appreciated his insights on developments in the region and beyond. He thanked Qatar's NSA for the support and solidarity in India’s fight against COVID. 

Dr. S. Jaishankar also had discussions with  Federal Councillor of Switzerland Ignazio Cassis. He appreciated the increased supplies of Tocilizumab from Switzerland. They also discussed bilateral cooperation. Dr Jaishankar also had a conversation with his Lithuanian counterpart Gabrielius Landsbergis. They discussed regional and global developments including the Indo-Pacific. They also exchanged perspectives on the COVID challenge.

Dr. S. Jaishankar is on a three day visit to Kuwait from Wednesday. During the visit, he will hold high level meetings and also address the Indian community in Kuwait. The year 2021-22 marks the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Kuwait. In recent weeks, the Government of Kuwait has been in the forefront to ensure reliable supply of liquid medical oxygen to India to help in its fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.



US President Joe Biden commenced his first foreign visit of his presidency on Wednesday. Mr. Biden will have a meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday in Cornwall. After his meeting with the British Prime Minister, Mr. Biden will attend the G7 Summit scheduled to start on Friday. Following the G7 Summit President Biden is expected to shore up alliances by meeting the NATO leaders.The visit is expected to culminate with Mr. Biden’s first face to face meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two leaders are to meet in Geneva.  The immediate challenges of  boosting vaccine donations to poorer regions and reinvigorating post-pandemic economies loom large over the visits. Other issues such as the  continuing  U.S-European friction over the Nord Stream 2 pipeline being built to bring gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea also foreground the visit.

Meanwhile US Vice President Kamala Harris concluded her visit to Mexico on Tuesday. Ms. Harris was on a visit to Mexico and earlier to Guatemala to shore up the Biden administration’s immigration policy and tackle illegal immigration. Ms. Harris reportedly defended her decision not to visit the U.S-Mexico border as part of the visit.



Israel justified its airstrike of a building in Gaza that housed the Associated Press (AP) news agency and Al Jazeera, a Qatari television network on Tuesday. The  high-rise building was bombed on May 15, as the conflict between Israel and Hamas escalated. Its destruction had sparked international outrage. At the time, Israel said that Hamas' military intelligence services were using the building. On Tuesday, Israeli Ambassador to the United States and United Nations Gilad Erdan offered more detail, saying that the unit was developing an electronic jamming system to be used against the Iron Dome. Iron Dome is Israel’s anti-missile defence system. In a tweet, Israel’s Ambassador to the US, said that he visited the Associated Press headQuarters in New York to explain to top executives the bombing of the  building housing their Gaza operation. He tweeted that its was being used by Hamas terrorists trying to jam the Iron Dome and therefore was prioritized in last month’s operations.



Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden applauded the passage of the  U.S. Innovation and Competition Act in the Senate on Tuesday. In a statement from the White House, Mr Biden said that the development can lay the foundation for the next generation of American jobs and American leadership in manufacturing and technology. The legislation is intended to boost the country's ability to compete with Chinese technology according to reports. The US Senate voted 68-32 in favour of the legislation on Tuesday. The measure authorises about 190 billion Dollars for provisions to strengthen US technology and research. It would separately approve spending 54 billion Dollars to increase U.S. production and research into semiconductors and telecommunications equipment. The package includes funds dedicated to chips used by automakers. China's parliament has reportedly expressed strong indignation and resolute opposition to the bill.



In another development, Mr. Biden said that the United States welcomes foreign investment. In a statement on the unveiling  the Open Investment Policy of the United States, Mr. Biden said that it is a pledge to treat all investors fairly and equitably under the law.



United Nations war crimes judges on Tuesday upheld a genocide conviction and life sentence against former Bosnian Serb army chief Ratko Mladic, confirming his central role in Europe's worst atrocities since World War Two. 79-year-old Mladic led Bosnian Serb forces during Bosnia’s 1992-95 war. The UN tribunal in The Hague rejected the former general's appeal against his convictions in 2017 on charges of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes including killing more than 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995. He was arrested in 2011 after 16 years on the run. This decision ends the last major Balkan war crimes trial before a United Nations court. More than 100,000 people were killed and over two million displaced during the conflict as Yugoslavia fell apart. He was found not guilty on one charge of genocide, but received a guilty verdict on each of the other 10 counts.



The UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar has warned of “mass deaths” from starvation and disease as fighting continues between rebel groups and junta forces in the country. Clashes have escalated in Kayah state near the Thailand border in recent weeks. UNs special rapporteur Tom Andrews in a statement called for immediate action to avoid a massive loss of life in the Kayah State. In the statement, Mr. Andrews condemned the Military Junta’s indiscriminate attacks against the civilian population in Myanmar.



Police in France have made two arrests  after the French president was slapped in the face by a man on Tuesday. In a widely circulated video, a man in the crowd is seen slapping Mr. Macron during a walkabout session in France's Drome region. French Prime Minister Jean Castex condemned the incident as "an affront to democracy."



Thousands of protesting students held a school principal hostage over fears their degrees would be devalued, Chinese police said on Tuesday. The protests were over a plan to merge a Nanjing college in Jiangsu province with a vocational institute - which are seen as less prestigious. A video on Twitter showed thousands of chanting undergraduates surrounded by officers outside, as police chased after them and dragged individuals out of the crowd.



US and Australian authorities hacked into an app used by criminals to read millions of encrypted messages, leading to hundreds of arrests of suspected organised crime figures in 18 countries. "Operation Ironside" by Australian police and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation ensnared suspects in Australia, Asia, South America and the Middle East involved in the global narcotics trade. Australia said it had arrested 224 people, including members of outlawed motorcycle gangs, while New Zealand said it had detained 35 people. The operation, which was conceived by Australian police and the FBI in 2018, saw officials in the United States take control of the ANOM messaging app, which is popular with organised crime networks.



The World Bank has predicted a GDP growth rate of 5.1 percent for Bangladesh in the financial year 2021-22 starting July this year. In its latest report on the Global Economic outlook, the World Bank noted that Bangladesh's economy grew at 3.6 percent in the current financial year.

The report says that the pandemic is expected to leave a legacy of higher poverty in the South Asian region where tens of millions of people are anticipated to fall below the USD 1.90 per day extreme poverty level this year.



The UK on Tuesday became the first major economy to push forward plans to make pension schemes mitigate the risks of climate change. The new regulations outline how pension scheme trustees will in future be required to assess and publicly report on the risks of climate change to their investments.



The Sensex and the Nifty today fell more than half a percent amid mixed global cues. The Sensex closed below the 52,000 mark while the Nifty settled below the 15,700 level. The rupee depreciated nine paise against the US currency and Brent crude prices extended gains to trade near 72 dollars per barrel. A report from the business world--

The Sensex at Bombay Stock Exchange declined 334 points, or 0.64 per cent, to finish at 51,942. The Nifty at the National Stock Exchange also fell 105 points, or 0.67 per cent, to close at 15,635.

In the forex market, the rupee weakened nine paise to finish at 72 rupees and 98 paise against the US dollar.

Gold prices fell 50 rupees at Multi-Commodity Exchange for August contracts amid fall in the prices in the international markets. Gold was trading at 49,075 rupees per 10 grams. Silver prices also declined marginally by 30 rupees to trade at 71,200 rupees per kilogram for July Contracts when reports last came in.

And...  Oil prices continued its winning rally on signs of strong fuel demand in western economies. In intra-day trade, Brent crude prices were trading around 71 dollars and 90 cents per barrel.  ................. for AIR news.



El Salvador has become the first country in the world to adopt bitcoin as legal tender. President Nayib Bukele proposed the bill last week to embrace the cryptocurrency. Sixty two lawmakers voted in favour of the bill, out of 84 votes cast.

Mr Bukele has touted the use of Bitcoin for its potential to help Salvadorans living abroad send remittances back home. He said, the US dollar will also continue as legal tender. Shortly before the vote, he tweeted that Bitcoin will bring financial inclusion, investment, tourism, innovation and economic development for the country. He added that its use will be optional and would not bring risks to users.

The cryptocurrency has been adopted in the Central American country despite concern about the potential impact on its programme with the International Monetary Fund. 



In Sports roundup, All India Radio brings you the latest news updates from the world of sports through the day.

And as we countdown to the Tokyo Olympic, we profile some of the promising Indian medal contenders. Today we bring you this story on India’s prominent shooter, Abhishek Verma…

·  In the French Open Tennis, Defending Champion Rafael Nadal continued his imperious form as he defeated Argentine Diego Schwartzman to seal a place in the semi-finals. Nadal overcame a slight hiccup in the second set to win 6-3,4-6,6-4,6-0. Nadal will face the winner of the quarterfinal match between top seed Novak Djokovic and Italian Matteo Berrettini in the Semi-Finals. The match is currently underway. Earlier, fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas set up a clash with German sixth seed Alexander Zverev for a place in the finals. Greek Tsitsipas advanced to the Semi-finals after defeating Russian second seed Daniil Medvedev 6-3,7-6,7-5 in the quarterfinals. German sixth seed Alexander Zverev secured a spot in the Last Four after beating  Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

·  Defending Champion Iga Swiatek was knocked out of the quarterfinal of Women's Singles after she lost to Greece player Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-4 at Court Philippe Chatrier in Paris today. 17th seed Sakkari will face unseeded Barbora Krejcikova tomorrow for a place in the final. Krejcikova of Czech Republic reached her first Grand Slam semi-final after defeating 24th seed seventeen-year-old Coco Gauff of United States in the quarterfinals 7-6, 6-3.

·  Another semi-final clash has been set up between Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Slovenian Tamara Zidansek. Pavlyuchenkova defeated Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina while Zidansek routed World No. 35 Spaniard Paula Badosa in  the quarter-final clash

·  India’s  Rohan Bopanna and his Croatian partner Franko Skugor lost 5-7, 3-6 to the Spanish duo of Pablo Andujar and Pedro Martinez in their men’s doubles quarter-final.

·  In the men’s section, world No. 6 Alexander Zverev brushed aside the challenge of Spaniard Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 6-4, 6-1, 6-1 to secure a spot in the semi-finals for the first time in Paris.

·  Zverev will take on the winner of the quarterfinal match between second seed Russian Daniil Medvedev and fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece on Friday.



In the World Cup football qualifying, Neymar scored one goal and created the other as Brazil maintained their perfect start with a 2-0 win over Paraguay. Substitute Lucas Paqueta sealed the win deep into injury time in Asuncion as Brazil opened up a six-point lead at the top of South America’s single qualifying group after a sixth win out of six. 



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

·  Wall Street Journal reports President Biden revoked former President Trump's actions targeting TikTok and WeChat.

·  New York Times writes that NASA released two images from a recent flyby, Ganymede is the largest of Jupiter’s 79 known moons

·  The globe and the mail reports Ottawa is to lift 14-day quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated Canadian travellers.

·  The guardian writes that Poland to close Europe’s most polluting power plant by 2036.

·  Gulf Times reports that Three people have died in a fire at a hospital in the Russian city of Ryazan.

·  And South China Morning Post writes that the breeding season for sea turtles has arrived in southern China.



Leh in Union Territory Ladakh is the only place where one can see double hump camels in India.  This species of camel  known as Bactrian Camel is a living remnant of  India's connection with famous  silk route and Ladakh as the link of this ancient trade route. Here is a story on how the Animal Husbandry Department of Ladakh has stepped up to preserve it from the threat of extinction in the country.

Double Hump Camel was heavy load carrier of the Silk Route Traders. However, with the closure of the route  in 1950s and introduction of modern transport facilities,  this tough camel once become stray animal and remained abandoned by its owners. As they lost attention, population fell to mere 64 in 2003 and 2004. With the intervention of Animal Husbandry Department, it is now a treasure for breaders as it is  one of the main tourists attraction for camel safari on Sand Dunes of Nubra. The Conservation efforts by the Animal Husbandry  with financial support of the Centre and Technical guidance of National Institute of Camel Research,  Bikaner has paved the way for growth in  its population from mere 64  in 2004  to 298 in 2020. The Department is also running a  farm  for its research studies  at Chushot in Leh.  After successful conservation of the species, department has started working on its wool to create income for the breeders during the off season of tourism. The Breeders through formation of Self Help Groups are encouraged to manufacture products from Camel wool. Chief Animal Husbandry,  Leh Dr Mohd Iqbal says on preservation of Bactarian Camel.

Bactrian camels are cultural heritage of historic silk route trade. They're part of Nubra culture. Rythmic ride on double humped camels on sand dunes is a memorable experience.



Three Indian universities have achieved top-200 positions in QS World University Rankings-2022. IISc, Bengaluru ranked number one in the world ranking for research. QS Quacquarelli Symonds, global higher education analysts on Wednesday released the 18th edition of the World’s International University rankings. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc) was started in 1909 by the visionary Indian industrialist J.N.  Tata. Since then, it has grown into a premier institution of research and  education spanning  almost all the frontier areas of science and technology. It is one of the oldest and finest centres of its kind in India, and has a high international standing in the academic world as well.  IISc is renowned for its academic freedom, focus on research excellence, and the high quality of its faculty and students. Student selection is based on highly-competitive examinations and detailed technical interviews.

The Three Indian institutes which secured the rankings are -  IIT Bombay which secured 177th position, IIT, Delhi which was ranked 185th and IISc, which was ranked 186th position in the overall universities rankings. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ congratulated the universities on the achievement.



Union Minister Dr. Jitendra Singh on Wednesday said that Indian Space Research Organisation, ISRO, will assist development projects in the Northeast through Space Technology. He said, ISRO will contribute by offering optimum utilization of Satellite Imaging and other Space Technology applications for better accomplishment of infrastructural projects in all the eight states of the North Eastern Region.


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 CHINA.



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