FRONT PAGE NEWS
8 August 2020
AIR INDIA FLIGHT FROM DUBAI CRASHLANDS IN KOZHIKODE, BOTH PILOTS AMONG 17
At least 17 people were killed, including the pilot and co-pilot, and around
100 injured when an Air India Express flight from Dubai skidded off the
table-top runway in Kozhikode on Friday evening. The aircraft, with 190
people on board, was attempting to land in bad weather when it shot the
runway around 7.40 pm and split into two after nosediving into a valley 35
An air traffic control official at Kozhikode airport said, "It had been
raining incessantly for several hours. The fight went around the airport
twice and then tried to land." He said luckily the aircraft, which took off
from Dubai at 2 pm and was scheduled to land in Kozhikode at 7.27 pm, didn't
catch fire. "We immediately started rescue efforts with the support of local
Deepak Vasanth Sathe, who died along with co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar, was a
former Wing Commander of the Indian Air Force. Officials said he had also
flown often to the Kozhikode sector.
While international passenger flights remain suspended since March 23 due to
the coronavirus, since May 6, Air India and Air India Express have been
running repatriation flights to help stranded people reach their
destinations under the Vande Bharat Mission.
An Air India Express spokesperson said they were setting up help centres in
Sharjah and Dubai. Indian consulates there have also set up helplines.
MAJOR GENERALS LIKELY TO MEET AT DBO OVER DEPSANG TENSIONS
After the breakdown of talks at the level of the Corps Commander to restore
status quo ante at friction points on the LAC in Ladakh, the division
commanders of India and China are likely to meet in the coming days to
arrive at a plan to reduce tensions in the strategic Depsang Plains. The
Indian delegation will be led by the General Officer Commanding of 3
Mountain Division, Major General Abhijit Bapat, at the meeting which is
likely to happen "in the next few days," sources said.
More than 15,000 Chinese troops are estimated to have been deployed opposite
Depsang, where India has also mobilised matching troops on its side,
including an armoured brigade.
The meeting is expected to discuss a plan for de-escalation by both the
sides in an area considered strategically important by both armies. In all
the games, sources said, Depsang is seen as an area of highest priority by
the Army because of its location in northern Ladakh: access to DBO airstrip,
the Karakoram region, and the 255-km Darbuk-Shyok-DBO (DSDBO) road, besides
providing depth to China's western highway, its main link between the two
restive provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet.
The area of Depsang Plains has been disputed by both countries, with a large
number of transgressions by Chinese patrols recorded by the Indian side: 157
in 2019, up from 83 in 2018 and 75 in 2017. The contentious nature of the
LAC has led to the armies often blocking patrols of the other side, but
there has been complete denial of erstwhile patrolling rights to the Indians
since May, adding to the tensions.
DAWOOD ENJOYS PATRONAGE IN 'NEIGHBOURING COUNTRY': INDIA
India on Friday drew the UN Security Council's attention to underworld don
Dawood Ibrahim's D-Company and said collective action by the international
community towards threats such as the IS would serve well against similar
"An organized crime syndicate, the D-Company, that used to smuggle gold and
counterfeit currencies transformed into a terrorist entity overnight causing
a series of bomb blasts in the city of Mumbai in 1993," the Indian statement
said. "The success of collective action against the ISIL serves as an
example of how focused attention by the international community yields
results. A similar focus on addressing threats posed by proscribed
individuals and entities such as Dawood Ibrahim and his D-Company, the
Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammad, will serve humankind well," it
JAISHANKAR, POMPEO AGREE ON EARLY MEETING OF QUAD
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his American counterpart Mike
Pompeo yesterday discussed the need to hold an early meeting of the Quad.
The Quad comprises the US, India, Australia and Japan and it aims to ensure
freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, besides promoting sustainable
infrastructure projects in the region. Talk for holding a meeting of the
Quad is significant, considering the tension on the LAC and the increased
Chinese and US military presence in the South China Sea.
Later in the day, Jaishankar and Pompeo were again at a videoconference,
this time with foreign ministers of Australia, Brazil and Israel on measures
to combat Covid.
The Quad meetings were upgraded from official to the ministerial level in an
indication of the seriousness behind the vision to provide an alternative
approach in South China Sea.
COVID-19 DASHBOARD - (Nos. IN INDIA / Nos. WORLDWIDE)
(Indian data from covid19india / and World Data from
Total Cases 20,86,407 (+61,452) / 1,95,42,626 (+2,84,977)
Total Deaths 42,578 (+940) / 7,24,075 (+6,388)
Total Recovered 14,27,669 (+50,285) / 1,25,44,638 (+1,86,984)
Active Cases 6,16,160 (+10,227) / 62,73,913 (+91,605)
TOP IMPACTED NATIONS SO FAR: (AND SOME OF INDIA'S NEIGHBOURS)
Country, Total Cases / Total Deaths / Recovered Cases / Active
1 USA 50,95,524 / 1,64,094 /
26,16,967 / 23,14,463
2 Brazil 29,67,064 / 99,702 /
20,68,394 / 7,98,968
3 India 20,86,864 / 42,578 /
14,27,669 / 6,16,617
4 Russia 8,77,135 / 14,725 /
6,83,592 / 1,78,818
5 South Africa 5,45,476 / 9,909 /
3,94,759 / 1,40,808
6 Mexico 4,69,407 / 51,311 /
3,13,386 / 1,04,710
7 Peru 4,63,875 / 20,649 /
3,14,332 / 1,28,894
8 Chile 3,68,825 / 9,958 /
3,42,168 / 16,699
9 Colombia 3,67,196 / 12,250 /
1,98,495 / 1,56,451
10 Spain 3,61,442 / 28,503 / N/A
11 Iran 3,22,567 / 18,132 /
2,79,724 / 24,711
12 UK 3,09,005 / 46,511 / N/A
13 Saudi Arabia 2,85,793 / 3,093 /
2,48,948 / 33,752
14 Pakistan 2,82,645 / 6,052 /
2,58,099 / 18,494
15 Bangladesh 2,52,502 / 3,333 /
1,45,584 / 1,03,585
TOP IMPACTED INDIAN STATES SO FAR
State / Confirmed Cases / Active Case / Recovered /
Maharashtra 4,90,262 / 1,45,582 /
3,27,281 / 17,092
Tamil Nadu 2,85,024 / 52,759 / 2,27,575
Andhra Pradesh 2,06,960 / 84,654 /
1,20,464 / 1,842
Karnataka 1,64,924 / 77,685 / 84,232
Delhi 1,42,723 / 10,409 / 1,28,232
Uttar Pradesh 1,13,378 / 44,563 / 66,834 /
West Bengal 89,666 / 24,652 / 63,060 /
Telangana 75,257 / 21,417 / 53,239 /
Bihar 71,794 / 25,128 / 46,265 / 400
Gujarat 68,885 / 14,489 / 51,792 / 2,604
Assam 55,497 / 16,552 / 38,810 / 132
Rajasthan 50,157 / 13,195 / 36,195 /
Odisha 42,550 / 13,560 / 28,698 / 292
Haryana 40,054 / 6,143 / 33,444 /
Madhya Pradesh 37,298 / 8,715 / 27,621 /
Kerala 31,700 / 12,411 / 19,147 / 103
Jammu and Kashmir 23,927 / 7,260 / 16,218 /
Punjab 21,930 / 7,351 / 14,040 / 539
BEIRUT BLAST: POSSIBILITY OF 'EXTERNAL INTERFERENCE', SAYS LEBANON PREZ
Three days after a massive explosion rocked Lebanon's capital city Beirut,
the country's President Michel Aoun said that an investigation committee is
presently looking into whether the blast was deliberately caused by a
rocket, bomb or other external interference.
"The cause has not been determined yet. There is a possibility of external
interference through a rocket or bomb or other act," President Aoun told
local media yesterday. The ongoing investigation is being conducted at three
levels: "First, how the explosive material entered and was stored.second
whether the explosion was a result of negligence or an accident.and third
the possibility that there was external interference," he added.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah says the explosion at the Beirut port
reveals nepotism and corruption that can't be ignored in Lebanon and that
those responsible should be brought to justice. Nasrallah denied in a speech
on Friday that his group was responsible for Tuesday's blast or exercised
any power at the port. Nasrallah also said his group's domestic opponents
are using the blast to blame Hezbollah and to turn public opinion against
it. "You will see no results," he said.
SRI LANKA ELECTION: RAJAPAKSA BROTHERS WIN 'SUPER-MAJORITY'
Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has declared victory in the
country's parliamentary election. His brother Mahinda Rajapaksa is expected
to be installed as prime minister, having held the role as caretaker since
The brothers' party, Sri Lanka People's Front, has secured a two-thirds
"super majority" of seats needed to carry out its promised constitutional
The party won 145 of the 225 seats, plus five more seats from its allies.
The controversial Rajapaksa family has dominated Sri Lankan politics for two
decades. Mahinda Rajapaksa was previously president, from 2005 to 2015.
The opposition of former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been
trounced, having lost all but one of the 106 seats it held in the outgoing
The main opposition party is now a new group established by the son of
Ranasinghe Premadasa, a former president who was assassinated in 1993.
With their dominant majority, the Rajapaksas could attempt to change the
constitution, increase the powers of the president so reversing the work of
the previous government to introduce more checks and balances.
PAKISTAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES FATF-RELATED BILL
Amidst vociferous protests from Pakistan's religious parties, the Parliament
has approved a third Bill related to the tough conditions set by the global
money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog FATF.
The legislation is part of the efforts by Pakistan to move from the
Paris-based Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list to the white list.
The FATF put Pakistan on the grey list in June 2018 and asked Islamabad to
implement a plan of action by the end of 2019 but the deadline was extended
later due to COVID-19 pandemic.
The Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matter) Bill, 2020 - which calls for
exchange of information and criminals with countries - was passed late
Thursday evening in a joint sitting of Parliament after a hectic two-day
consultation with the two major Opposition parties - Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Peoples Party.
KERALA: IDUKKI LANDSLIDE LEAVES 15 DEAD, OVER 40 MISSING
At least 15 persons were killed after a river of mud and debris washed over
lines of settlements of tea plantation workers near the popular hill station
of Munnar in Kerala's Idukki district Friday. A total of 15 persons have
been rescued so far even as efforts are underway to find the missing, Chief
Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said in a press briefing.
The mudslide, caused by a bout of extreme rainfall in the area, was reported
at the Nyamakad estate of the Kannan Devan Hills Plantation Company near
Rajamala in Devikulam Taluk around 7 am Friday, though it is believed to
have occurred late Thursday night. The debris has buried at least 30
settlements in which nearly 78 people resided.
Due to paucity of good hospitals in the area and several roads damaged, the
state government has placed a request before the Indian Air Force to use its
choppers to air-lift critically injured to major hospitals in Idukki and
Ernakulam, CM Vijayan said. However, reports say that the conditions in the
area are not conducive for airlift operations.
CENTRE ENGAGES NSCN-IM LEADERS FOR NAGA PEACE TALKS
The Centre yesterday resumed negotiations with the NSCN-IM leadership as
part of the last leg of talks for the Naga peace as the efforts are on to
resolve the three contentious issues - flag, constitution and territory -
and ink a "final settlement" before the Independence Day.
The talks between senior officials and NSCN-IM leaders, led by its
86-year-old general secretary Thuengaleng Muivah, are reportedly being held
at an undisclosed location in the national capital where representatives of
Assam, Manipur and Arunachal were also present.
According to an MHA official, the presence of three north-eastern states'
representatives is significant as the NSCN-IM has been claiming parts of
their territories for Greater Nagalim.
COVID-19: HEALTH MINISTER UPBEAT ON CONTAINMENT
Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said yesterday that the spread of Covid-19 had
been contained even as the virus tally touched 20,27,274 after a surge of
62,538 cases in 24 hours.
"High-impact interventions have made it possible to reduce the mortality
rate from 3.33 per cent on June 18 to 2.05 per cent today. Our containment
strategy has been successful. Over 50 per cent cases are from three states,
while 32 per cent are from seven others. The spread of the virus thus has
been contained," the minister said.
Even as cumulative cases continued to rise, the recovery rate jumped to a
new high of 68 per cent today, with daily recoveries rising from 26,000 to
44,000 in two weeks.
"The upgrade of hospital infrastructure and emphasis on efficient treatment
of patients have ensured improvement in the recovery rate. The average daily
recovered cases (seven-day moving average) have increased from around 26,000
to 44,000 in the last two weeks," the Health Ministry said.
World's leading vaccine maker, the privately owned Serum Institute of India
yesterday said it would produce up to 100 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for
India and low and middle income countries as early as 2021. The institute
said it would price each dose of the vaccine for US $3.
PILOT OF ILL-FATED PLANE WAS PGM AND 'SWORD OF HONOUR' WINNER
Deepak Vasant Sathe, the captain of the ill-fated Air India Express Boeing
737 aircraft that crashed at Kozhikode on Friday, had bagged the coveted
'Sword of Honour' on passing out from the Air Force Academy.
The former IAF fighter pilot belonged to the 58th Course of the National
Defence Academy, Kharakvasla, where he was a gold medalist. Thereafter, he
moved to the AIr Force Academy, Dundigal, and was part of the 127th Pilot's
Course, where he was awarded the 'Sword of Honour' for topping the course.
He was commissioned in June 1981 and retired in 2003.
DELHI AIRPORT LAUNCHES PORTAL, FLYERS CAN OPT FOR ONLINE QUARANTINE
The Delhi International Airport has launched a portal to facilitate inbound
passengers to file their mandatory self-declaration form and eligible
passengers to apply for exemption from compulsory institutional quarantine
"The portal will help make passengers' journey contactless as they won't
have to fill physical copies of the self-declaration form and quarantine
exemption form at the time of arrival in India," airport authorities said.
According to the government guidelines from August 8 onwards, five
categories of passengers can get exemption from the mandatory seven-day
institutional quarantine - pregnant women; those who have suffered death in
the family; those suffering from a serious illness; parents accompanying
children below 10 years of age; those who have Covid-negative certificate
from a test done 96 hours prior to the journey.
OCI CARD HOLDERS FROM US, UK, GERMANY, FRANCE CAN VISIT INDIA: GOVT
Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holders from the US, UK, German and
France, with whom India has signed 'air bubble' arrangements, will be
allowed to visit the country, the Home Ministry announced on Friday.
Other foreigners from these countries have also been allowed to avail Indian
visa facility for business, medical and employment purposes.
India so far has bilateral air travel arrangements or 'air bubbles' with the
US, UK, Germany and France during the coronavirus pandemic-related
international travel restrictions.
RHEA GAVE DRUG OVERDOSE TO SUSHANT, SUPREME COURT TOLD
The Bihar Government on Friday alleged before the Supreme Court that Rhea
Chakraborty gave drug overdose to actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
Chakraborty, said to be the deceased actor's girlfriend, is now being probed
as an accused in the case by the CBI after an FIR lodged against her in
Patna got transferred to the CBI.
"She overdosed him with drugs and then spread the word that he was mentally
ill," the affidavit said, citing Sushant father's complaint. It is further
stated that the petitioner and her relatives namely Indrajeet Chakraborty,
Sandhya Chakraborty and Shovik Chakraborty used to interfere in the actor's
"The petitioner also took his bank account details and started using it
according to her wishes. The actor wanted to leave the film industry and do
organic farming in Coorg, but the petitioner started blackmailing the actor
by saying that she will give his medical report to the media and prove him
'mad' after which he will not get any kind of work," the affidavit stated.
"The actor had informed his sister that the petitioner (Rhea) will falsely
implicate him, if the deceased did not pay heed to her," the affidavit
ENGLAND VS PAKISTAN 1ST TEST DAY: 14 WICKETS ON DAY 3
After a lone wicket in the first session of day 3, thirteen wickets fell in
the next two frantic sessions of play, as Pakistan veered from being in a
winning position to be rattled late in the day. At stumps, they were 137/8,
with a lead of 244 runs.
Scores at end of day 3: Pakistan 326 & 137/8, England 219
INDIA TO HOST 2021 T20 WORLD CUP, AUSTRALIA GETS TO HOLD IT IN 2022: ICC
India on Friday retained the right to host the 2021 T20 World Cup while
Australia will conduct this year's postponed edition in 2022, the ICC
announced after its board meeting.
"The ICC today confirmed that the T20 World Cup 2020 that was postponed due
to Covid-19 will be held in Australia in 2022. India will host the T20 World
Cup 2021 as planned," the ICC stated in a press release.
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THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
There is nothing so agonizing to the fine skin of vanity as the application
of a rough truth. - Edward Bulwer-Lytton
One day, Little Johnny visited a doctor for a vaccination. After the doctor
gave him an injection, he tried to bandage around Johnny's arm.
"I think you'd better bandage around the other arm, Doc!"
"But, why? I'm supposed to bandage around the injected part of your arm to
let your friends know not to touch it."
"You really don't know anything about how my friends behave!"