Category Archive : Top Stories

Menstrual Hygiene Day: Beauty queens join the ‘Red Dot Challenge’ to talk about periods

Till date the concept of menstruation is still looked down upon in many parts of the world. It is still considered it to be ‘impure’. People should understand that it is nothing but a natural process. It is the sign of a healthy woman and there is nothing impure about it. On that note, the World Menstrual Hygiene Day plays an important role to create awareness.

What is actually the red dot challenge?

It was initiated by the German-based NGO WASH United in 2014 and aims to benefit women and girls worldwide. The 28th was selected to acknowledge that 28 days is the average length of the menstrual cycle.

Dia Mirza: “Not only do we need to put a period on shaming the period, we must ensure we switch to using sustainable products that protect our health and the health of the environment. I use biodegradable sanitary napkins. Many have started using menstrual cups and re-usable/washable cloth napkins. These products need to be made easily accessible and cost effective so many more women can benefit from personal hygiene that secures their health and protects our planet. #DYK regular sanitary napkins are made mostly of plastic? This plastic lasts in the environment for hundreds of years. Most often sanitary napkins are incinerated and are a source of toxic waste. Spread the word and be the change.”

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English Premier League announces June 17 restart | Football News

MANCHESTER: The Premier League season will restart on June 17 provided all safety requirements have been put in place, the league said on Thursday after meeting with all 20 clubs.
The season will get back under way on that Wednesday with Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal, which are both games in hand.
A full fixture list will then be played on the weekend of June 19-21. All games will be played without fans in attendance.
With restrictions on the broadcasting of Saturday 3pm games lifted, the league said all 92 remaining matches will be broadcast live in the UK by its existing broadcast partners: Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon Prime.

The Premier League was suspended on March 13 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic but teams returned to small group training last week and on Wednesday voted unanimously to return to contact training, including tackling.
“Today we have provisionally agreed to resume the Premier League on Wednesday 17 June. But this date cannot be confirmed until we have met all the safety requirements needed, as the health and welfare of all participants and supporters is our priority,” said Premier League chief executive Richard Masters.
Failure to resume the season could cost the league around 750 million pounds ($921.75 million) in lost revenue from broadcasters according to British media estimates.
“Sadly, matches will have to take place without fans in stadiums, so we are pleased to have come up with a positive solution for supporters to be able to watch all the remaining 92 matches,” said Masters.
“The Premier League and our clubs are proud to have incredibly passionate and loyal supporters. It is important to ensure as many people as possible can watch the matches at home,” he added.
Given the additional number of live games on television, the league said kick-offs would “differ from the traditional times.”
Liverpool, bidding to lift their first league title in 30 years, lead the standings by 25 points.

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Coronavirus pandemic: A very bad ‘gift’ from China, tweets Trump

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that coronavirus was a “very bad gift” from China to the rest of the world, as America surpassed the grim milestone of over one lakh Covid-19-linked deaths.
“All over the World the Coronavirus, a very bad ‘gift’ from China, marches on. Not good!” Trump said in a tweet.

“We have just reached a very sad milestone with the coronavirus pandemic deaths reaching 100,000,” he said.
The US reached the painful milestone of 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths – the highest in the world – on Wednesday.
“To all of the families & friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent. God be with you!” said the president.
The New York Times said that the death toll exceeds the number of US military combat fatalities in every conflict since the Korean War.
More on Covid-19

It matches the toll in the US of the 1968 flu pandemic, and it is approaching the 116,000 killed in another flu outbreak a decade before that, it said.
According to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the coronavirus has impacted all age groups and communities in the US. Asian Americans accounts for 4.7 per cent of the total coronavirus cases and Black Americans 26.3 per cent.
Globally more than 355,000 people have died and over 5.6 million tested positive. In the United States more than 1.7 million Americans have tested positive with Covid-19.

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Karnataka Flights News: Karnataka suspends arrival of flights, trains from 5 states to contain Covid-19 | Bengaluru News

Karnataka law minister Madhu Swamy (File Photo)

BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Thursday pitched for down scaling air travel from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, saying a large number of people arriving from these states have tested positive for Covid-19 and it would be difficult to manage quarantine if more arrived.
The government has requested the civil aviation ministry to reduce the number of flights from these states in view of high prevalence of coronavirus cases there, law and parliamentary affairs minister J C Madhuswamy said in a statement.
Earlier, speaking to reporters after a cabinet meeting, the minister said the government has decided to “suspend” air traffic from these states.
“People are coming from other states to Karnataka…. we have decided to suspend air traffic from five states, as cases here (Karnataka) may further increase,” he said.
In the statement released later, he clarified that the government has not sought a ban on flights emanating from these five states.
“Karnataka has appealed to the civil aviation ministry to take steps to lessen the air traffic to the state, with the sacred intention that there may not be adequate quarantine facilities, if there is huge turn out at a short span of time, he said.
Domestic air travel resumed in the country only on Monday after nearly two months of Covid-19 induced lockdown with Karnataka stipulating seven days institutional quarantine for passengers coming from seven states, including Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, which have high prevalence of cases.
During the media interaction, Madhuswamy also said the existing restrictions on entry of people by road from Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat into Karnataka would continue until further orders.
“…because large number of people who have come from these states have tested positive and it wll be difficult to manage quarantine if more people come. Until some people who are currently in quarantine go home after their quarantine period ends, we have decided to stop (arrivals) by imposing restriction,” the Minister added.
Karnataka had on May 18 barred entry of people from Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, which have Covid-19 cases in five figures.
The government is likely to decide on allowing trains from these states once the services resume on June 1.
However, responding to a question, Madhuswamy said there will be restriction on entry of people by road, air and train from Maharashtra for some time as the recent spike in positive cases in Karnataka was due to returnees from the Western state.
Pointing out that the load of cases has increased, particularity among those coming from Maharashtra, he said asymptomatic cases have gone up and it has become inevitable to test all those in quarantine.
He said those already in quarantine were also unhappy over passengers arriving fresh being accommodated along with them.
“So the plan is that after the current set of people are relieved, we will allow the next set of people from these states, until then we will have restrictions,” he said.

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ICC Board defers decision on T20 World Cup till June 10 | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) Board on Thursday deferred a decision on all agenda items, including the fate of the T20 World Cup in Australia, till June 10.
The World Cup is scheduled from October 18 to November 15 but there is intense speculation about the event being postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the window being used by the currently suspended IPL.
“The Board also requested the ICC management continue with their discussions with stakeholders in exploring various contingency options in light of the rapidly changing public health situation caused by the COVID 19 virus,” the ICC said in a statement after the Board’s tele-conference.

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Miss Eco International 2019 to be dethroned due to pregnancy?

However there is a debate over the fact that Maureen should take over the crown or go ahead with her participation in Binibining Pilipinas 2020, because if she accepts the crown and takes over, her reign would last only for 3 months, as Miss Eco International 2020 is supposed to be held in September 2020. While everyone is awaiting an official statement from the organization Maureen mentioned in a post stating that she is in talks with both the organizations to reach a decision.

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Locust attack in India: States step us efforts to tackle locust attack: All you need to know | India News

NEW DELHI: India is battling the worst desert locust outbreak in recent times. The crop-destroying swarms first attacked Rajasthan and have now spread to Punjab, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. According to experts, broadly four species of locusts are found in India – desert locust, migratory locust, Bombay locust and tree locust. The desert locust is considered the most destructive.
It multiplies very rapidly and is capable of covering 150 kilometers in a day.
Here is how the states are making efforts to tackle locust attack:
Jhansi and Sonbhadra in UP
Overnight operations were carried out by the authorities to clear swarms of locusts in Moth and Garautha areas of Jhansi, and in Sonbhadra district, officials said on Thursday.
In Jhansi, a large number of locusts was eliminated with spraying of chemicals all through the night but a smaller number of those who survived has moved towards Pariksha near Jhansi on Thursday morning, deputy director, agriculture, Kamal Katiyar, said.
In Sonbhadra, a swarm of locusts reached Bemauri village in Ghorawal tehsil on Wednesday night where a team of the Agriculture Department sprayed chemicals till late night, killing a large number of insects.
Their further movement will depend on the direction of the wind, he said.
Taking cognisance of the matter, chief minister Yogi Adityanath had on Wednesday issued directions to district magistrates of Jhansi, Lalitpur, Agra, Mathura, Shamli, Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat, Mahoba, Banda, Chitrakoot, Jalaun, Etawah and Kanpur Dehat.
The Delhi government has asked authorities concerned to spray insecticides and pesticides on standing crops, vegetation, gardens and orchards to prevent a probable attack of desert locusts in Delhi.
Agriculture department joint director A P Saini in an advisory issued on Wednesday asked the authorities to organise awareness programmes for public and farmers to prevent the attack of locusts in the national capital.
“As the swarm of locusts flies in daytime, and rests during the night, it should not be allowed to rest at night,” the advisory read.
It asked the authorities to carry out spraying of pesticides chlorpyrifos and malathion.
Palgarh, Maharashtra
With swarms of locusts currently moving in Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, the Palghar district administration on Thursday asked the farmers and officials to prepare themselves to tackle any possible attack on crops by these insects.
In an official message, Palghar district collector Dr Kailas Shinde asked the farmers in the district to remain guarded against the locusts in order to save their standing crops.
“Locust infestation is largely found in Gujarat, Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh. Talasari, Dahanu and Jawhar talukas of Palghar district bordering Gujarat have been alerted about the locust infestation. These insects can pose a threat to crops,” Shinde said.
Gondia, Maharashtra
Swarms of locusts have moved towards Maharashtra’s Gondia district after attacking crops in neighbouring Bhandara, an official said on Thursday.
Authorities in Gondia were alerted while pesticides were sprayed on crops and trees at a village in Bhandara which was affected by the pests, he said.
An agriculture team rushed to Bhandara in the early hours of Thursday and sprayed pesticides with two fire tenders on trees in one-km radius in Temani village of the district, divisional joint director of agriculture Ravi Bhosle.
About 90,000 hectares in 20 districts of Rajasthan have been affected due to the locust attack, an official said on Thursday.
Swarms of locust have moved from Sri Ganganagar, Nagaur, Jaipur, Dausa, Karauli and Swai Madhopur towards other areas in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh after the authorities conducted operations to tackle them.
Crop over 4,000 hectares in Sri Ganganagar and 100 hectares in Nagaur have been destroyed.
Around 90,000 hectares in 20 districts have been affected in the state due to the locust attack, said Om Prakash, commissioner of the agriculture department.
He said the department carried out locust control operations on 67,000 hectares.
Haryana sounds high alert
Haryana has issued a high alert in seven districts after locust swarms attacked crops in neighbouring Rajasthan and a few other states, official said on Thursday, asserting that there was enough insecticide in stock to tackle the pest menace.
Tractors mounted with chemical sprayers have also been deployed.
Authorities in Haryana said that though the locust swarms have not entered the state, but they are maintaining a high alert.
Govt steps up locust control operations
The government has placed an order for buying 60 spraying machines from UK-based company Micron, and two firms have been finalised for supply of drones for aerial spraying of insecticides for effective control over tall trees and inaccessible areas, the Union agriculture ministry said.
Incursions of locust hoppers have been reported since April 11 and that of pink immature adults since April 30 in bordering districts of Rajasthan and Punjab, which are being controlled, it said.
Pink immature adults fly high and cover long distances during day hours along with the westerly winds coming from the Pakistan side. Most of these pink immature adults settle on trees during night, and mostly fly during the day, it explained.
Stating that control operations are in full swing currently, the ministry said so far locusts have been controlled in 47,308 hectare area in total 303 places in Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh by Locust Control Officers in coordination with district administration and state agriculture department.
During 2019-20, India witnessed a massive locust attack which was successfully controlled.
Experts blame the growing menace of desert locusts on climate change. They say breeding of locusts is directly related to soil moisture and food availability.
(With agency inputs)

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Nilkamal: Travelling by bus post-lockdown? This can be new normal

NEW DELHI: With the current scenario of Covid-19, public transportation can be highly risky. It’s clear that the chances of contamination are higher in a public gathering. So, how does one commute, especially on buses?
Social distancing remains to be the only answer but that means fewer riders per ferry. Even that doesn’t justify the idea of ‘distancing’.
To address the social distancing norms while travelling, Nilkamal has devised an innovative TravelGUARD partition. The partition is aimed to provide a gap between fellow passengers sitting on the same bench.

The partition is made with high strength BubbleGUARD sheets and is customisable. It does not require any special installation equipment. The safety partition has high impact resistance and can be sanitized easily, Nilkamal informs.
It can be used by public transport and maybe a plausible solution for office and school buses, airplanes, and public and private buses.

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30 groups in India trying to develop coronavirus vaccines, many working at good pace: PSA Vijay Raghavan | India News

NEW DELHI: Nearly 30 groups in India, ranging from big industry players to individual academics, are trying to develop vaccines to fight coronavirus, principal scientific adviser K Vijay Raghavan said on Thursday.
Of these 30, 20 are working at a good pace, he said.
“About 30 groups in India, big industry to individual academics are trying to develop vaccines to fight Covid-19 of which 20 are keeping a good pace,” VijayRaghavan said at a media briefing.
He said vaccine development currently takes nearly 10 years, but the aim the world over is to find a vaccine for coronavirus in a year.
He said designing new drugs is a “very very big challenge” and just like a vaccine it takes a very long time.
“Most attempts fail and thus you have to try a lot,” he said.
Vijay Raghavan said the council for scientific and industrial research and the AICTE have also embarked on a drug discovery hackathon.

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No fare to be charged from migrant workers returning home: Key points of SC order | India News

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed that no fare for travel either by train or bus be charged from the migrant workers stranded across the country due to the Covid-induced lockdown and they be provided food and water.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan said that the originating state shall provide meals and water at the station and during the journey the Railways would provide the same to the migrant workers.
More on Covid-19

Here are the key points of the SC directive:
* The SC bench of justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and M R Shah observed that it is presently concerned with the miseries and difficulty faced by the migrants workers who are trying to get to their native places.
* It said that there was no clarity as to who will pay for the fare of the migrant workers and this confusion was fully exploited by the middlemen.
* The top court said there is no doubt that the governments have taken steps but there are many deserving persons who did not get benefits meant for them.
* It ordered that the migrant workers shall be charged no fare for rail or road transport to their homes; while they are stranded and waiting for their turn for train or but to go home, the concerned state will provide food shelter and water.
* It asked the Centre and states to give plans on transporting back all migrant workers wanting to return home and the mechanism to provide them with food and shelter.
* The apex court asked the Centre to specify “why migrant workers waited so long despite registering for going home? “Are they asked to pay for ticket and later reimbursed? They should not be charged at all. Are they getting food as they wait for trains to be transported? They must get food.”
* The Centre was asked to specify how many more days would it require for states and Railways to transport those migrant workers who are still waiting for their turn to go home.
* The SC said till all of them, who want, are safely sent back to their homes, the governments must ensure they got food, water and basic amenities.
* It said those migrant workers in relief camps may be getting food but there are many staying in tenanted premises who are suffering due to the lockdown. This appears more acute in Maharashtra, the SC said.
* The bench directed that states shall oversee the registration of migrant workers and ensure that they are made to board the train or bus at the earliest.
* The top court asked the Centre and states to furnish the plan by next Friday.
* In its response, the Centre said the central and state governments have done a lot to control the Covid situation and help the migrant workers. But certain unfortunate incidents were repeatedly telecast or reported to shadow the good work by governments.
* The Centre informed that 91 lakh migrant workers have been transported to their home states in coordinatarion with states through Shramik specials and road transport between May 1-27.
* Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said that because of a proper screening at the boarding and alighting points for migrant workers, Covid-19 has not spread to rural areas.
* The Centre added that initially there was confusion as to who would pay the Railways the fare of migrant workers. Some states charged fare from migrants. But later a consensus was reached that ticket fare for migrants would be paid by either originating or receiving state.
* Mehta said all the state governments irrespective of the party affiliation or ideology have done their best to help transportation of migrant workers to their home states through trains and buses.
* The Centre said that barring few initial problems of blocking entry of migrants from one state by another, the Centre and states are now working in tandem without any discord for transportation of migrant workers.
In Video:SC directs states, Railways not to charge fare from migrant workers returning home

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