FRONT PAGE NEWS
26 Oct 2020
REMEMBER SOLDIERS GUARDING OUR BORDERS, LIGHT A 'DIYA' FOR THEM: PM MODI
Asserting that India stands firmly with its brave soldiers, Prime Minister
Narendra Modi on Sunday urged people to light a 'diya' at their homes to
honour security forces guarding its borders while they celebrate festivals.
In his monthly 'Mann ki Baat' radio broadcast, Modi wished people on
Dussehra and said that with various festivals coming up, they need to show
patience and follow health guidelines in celebrating these auspicious
occasions during the COVID times.
The prime minister also asked people to keep the 'vocal for local' resolve
in their mind and give priority to local products while shopping for
The world is taking note of India's products, he said, citing the example of
the rising popularity of Khadi.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said India wants an end to the
border tension with China in eastern Ladakh, but at the same time asserted
that Indian soldiers will never allow even an inch of the country to be
taken away by anyone.
The defence minister made the remarks after performing "Shastra Puja" -- the
customary worship of weapons -- at the Sukna-based headquarters of the
Indian Army's 33 Corps in Darjeeling district of West Bengal on the occasion
"India wants an end to the ongoing border tension with China and the
restoration of peace. This is our objective. But at times, some nefarious
incidents keep happening. I am very confident that our soldiers will never
allow even an inch of our land to be taken away by anyone," Singh said after
performing the "puja".
"I can say with confidence and on the basis of concrete information that the
courage and deeds of Indian soldiers during whatever has happened at the
India-China border in Ladakh recently will be written in golden letters by
the historians," the minister said without elaborating.
CONG PREZ SONIA GANDHI PENS AN ARTICLE IN HINDUSTAN TIMES: SOME EXCERPTS
"The world's largest democracy is at the crossroads. That the economy is in
deep crisis is clear. But what is less appreciated is that all the pillars
of a democratic system of governance are under assault. The fundamental
right to freedom of expression has been systematically suspended through
suppression and intimidation. Dissent is deliberately stifled as "terrorism"
or branded as an "anti-national activity". Many institutions that are meant
to uphold the rights of citizens and society at large have been co-opted or
subverted. The Indian State now diverts attention from real problems of the
people by pronouncing bogus threats to "national security" everywhere. Of
course, some of these threats are real and have to be dealt with
uncompromisingly but the Narendra Modi government and the ruling BJP conjure
up sinister conspiracies behind every political protest, indeed behind any
and everything they see as opposition to them. The system unleashes
investigative agencies on dissenters and deploys proxies through sections of
the media and online troll factories. India's hard-won democracy is being
"Every organ of State that could possibly be used to target political
opposition has already been pressed into service - the Police, the
Enforcement Directorate, the CBI, the National Investigation Agency, and
even the Narcotics Bureau."
"The most cynical attempt to label anti-BJP protests as anti-India
conspiracies is seen in the Modi government's response to the extraordinary
protests against the CAA and the proposed National Register of Citizens. The
CAA-NRC protests, led primarily by women, showed how a genuine social
movement can respond to sectarian and discriminatory politics with a strong
message of peace, inclusiveness, and solidarity."
J&K IS PAST STAGE OF UNEASY CALM, SAYS ARMY CORPS COMMANDER
More than a year after the Central government removed the special status
given to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 and split the state into two
Union Territories, the region is "past that stage of uneasy calm", according
to Lieutenant General B S Raju, Commander of the Army's Chinar Corps (XV
Corps), which is responsible for operations along the Line of Control and
"We have been able to stop infiltration substantially" due to "a combination
of a lot of efforts that is being put in by the ground force", including
"additional personnel, additional technology" along the LoC and "drones to
monitor movement", Raju said.
However, he pointed out, there is "no desire on the part of Pakistan to stop
infiltration" and cited intercepts of infiltrators saying that they are
"unable to go" but still being pushed to do so. On combating militancy, Raju
said: "We have been able to keep the violence level at a threshold where
normal people can continue to do their job. (We) have been able to keep the
terrorist numbers also under a fair amount of control."
Raju said the Army will focus more on surrenders, "because for us, getting a
man back is more important than neutralising him". He said "people who have
already joined, we are saying you can come back" - and just because they
"held a gun and took a photo" does not mean they have to die.
SHARIF AT IT AGAIN; SLAMS ARMY & ISI CHIEFS FOR 'INTERFERING IN POLITICS'
Pakistan's former PM Nawaz Sharif lashed out again at the country's army
chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed on Sunday,
accusing them of "interfering in politics for several years with impunity in
violation of their oath".
Sharif was addressing, via video link from London, the third massive rally
of Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), an alliance comprising 11 opposition
parties with the purpose of ousting PM Imran Khan from office, in Quetta,
the capital of Balochistan province.
Sharif said PDM has risen against "unconstitutional power (military
establishment) that have made Pakistan hollow from inside". "Our struggle is
not against the 'incompetent and selected' person (Imran Khan) but against
the ones who brought him into power. They (military establishment) made him
a PM to provide cover to their unconstitutional political activities. You
(Imran Khan) are irrelevant for us, you are immature in politics, our
competition is not with you," Sharif said.
He said he names individuals "because I don't want the army to be defamed
for the acts of some generals". He called upon the army and the ISI chiefs
to "account" for the country's current situation.
"Gen Bajwa, you will have to answer for record rigging in the 2018
elections, for horsetrading in the parliament, for making Imran Khan PM
against people's wishes and by tearing apart the constitution and laws, for
pushing people towards poverty and hunger," the former Pakistan PM said.
Sharif concluded his speech by giving three messages. "First, for the
soldiers and officers of our army: you have taken an oath to protect the
country, but also to safeguard the constitution of the country," he said,
urging them to honour their oath. The second message was for civil servants.
"It is becoming difficult to get away with wrong doings. You should not come
under pressure," he warned. His third message was for the people. "Protest
and freedom of speech is your right. No one can take it away from you. It's
your right to vote and elect your government," he said.
WHO CHIEF WARNS AGAINST 'VACCINE NATIONALISM'
The head of the World Health Organization on Sunday called for global
solidarity in the rollout of any future coronavirus vaccine, as the number
of cases soared across the world.
In a video address at the opening of the three-day World Health Summit in
Berlin, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the only way to recover from the
pandemic was together and by making sure poorer countries had fair access to
"It is natural that countries want to protect their own citizens first but
if and when we have an effective vaccine, we must also use it effectively.
And the best way to do that is to vaccinate some people in all countries
rather than all people in some countries," he said.
"Let me be clear: vaccine nationalism will prolong the pandemic, not shorten
The WHO on Sunday reported a third straight day of record new infections
across the world, calling on countries to take further action to curb the
spread of the disease.
The agency's figures showed that 465,319 cases were declared for Saturday
alone, half of them in Europe. "This is a dangerous moment for many
countries in the northern hemisphere as cases spike," Tedros said.
COVID-19 DASHBOARD Oct 26
(Nos. IN INDIA / Nos. WORLDWIDE)
(Indian data from covid19india / and World Data from
Total Cases 79,07,710 (+45,147) / 4,33,28,034 (+4,03,668)
Total Deaths 1,19,030 (+463) / 11,59,009 (+4,267)
Total Recovered 71,33,994 (+58,271) / 3,19,00,636 (+2,34,387)
Active Cases 6,54,686 (-13,587) / 1,02,68,389 (+1,65,014)
TOP IMPACTED NATIONS SO FAR
Country, Total Cases / Total Deaths / Recovered Cases / Active
1 USA 88,89,179 / 2,30,510 /
57,72,498 / 28,86,171
2 India 79,09,050 / 1,19,030 /
71,33,994 / 6,56,026
3 Brazil 53,94,128 / 1,57,163 /
48,35,915 / 4,01,050
4 Russia 15,13,877 / 26,050 /
11,38,522 / 3,49,305
5 France 11,38,507 / 34,761 /
1,10,322 / 9,93,424
6 Spain 11,10,372 / 34,752 / N/A
7 Argentina 10,90,589 / 28,896 /
8,94,819 / 1,66,874
8 Colombia 10,15,885 / 30,154 /
9,15,451 / 70,280
9 Mexico 8,91,160 / 88,924 /
6,50,355 / 1,51,881
10 Peru 8,88,715 / 34,149 /
8,07,636 / 46,930
11 UK 8,73,800 / 44,896 / N/A
12 South Africa 7,15,868 / 18,968 /
6,46,170 / 50,730
13 Iran 5,68,896 / 32,616 /
4,55,054 / 81,226
14 Italy 5,25,782 / 37,338 /
2,66,203 / 2,22,241
15 Chile 5,02,063 / 13,944 /
4,78,252 / 9,867
16 Iraq 4,51,707 / 10,623 /
3,81,349 / 59,735
17 Germany 4,37,637 / 10,138 /
3,17,000 / 1,10,499
18 Bangladesh 3,98,815 / 5,803 /
3,15,107 / 77,905
19 Indonesia 3,89,712 / 13,299 /
3,13,764 / 62,649
20 Philippines 3,70,028 / 6,977 /
3,28,036 / 35,015
TOP IMPACTED INDIAN STATES SO FAR
State / Confirmed Cases / Active Case / Recovered / Deceased
Maharashtra 16,45,020 / 1,40,486 /
14,60,755 / 43,264
Andhra Pradesh 8,07,023 / 30,860 /
7,69,576 / 6,587
Karnataka 8,02,817 / 81,050 /
7,10,843 / 10,905
Tamil Nadu 7,09,005 / 30,606 / 6,67,475
Uttar Pradesh 4,70,270 / 27,317 / 4,36,071
Kerala 3,92,931 / 96,585 / 2,94,910
Delhi 3,56,656 / 26,744 / 3,23,654
West Bengal 3,49,701 / 37,017 / 3,06,197
Odisha 2,81,215 / 15,815 / 2,64,102
Telangana 2,31,252 / 19,465 / 2,10,480
Bihar 2,12,192 / 10,222 / 2,00,920
Assam 2,04,171 / 17,510 / 1,85,752
Rajasthan 1,86,243 / 16,668 /
1,67,736 / 1,839
Chhattisgarh 1,75,959 / 23,743 / 1,50,398
Madhya Pradesh 1,67,249 / 11,237 /
1,53,127 / 2,885
Gujarat 1,67,173 / 13,836 / 1,49,648
Haryana 1,58,304 / 10,295 /
1,46,282 / 1,727
Punjab 1,30,640 / 4,277 / 1,22,256
Jharkhand 99,686 / 5,844 / 92,976 /
Jammu and Kashmir 91,861 / 7,565 / 82,858 /
ARE WE FROM BANGLADESH?: UDDHAV THACKERAY IN DUSSEHRA SPEECH
Speaking at the Shiv Sena's annual Dussehra rally, Maharashtra Chief
Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Sunday slammed the BJP over its promise of free
Covid-19 vaccination for the people of Bihar. He asked the BJP-led central
government if people from other states were 'from Bangladesh or Kazakhstan'.
The annual rally was held at the Savarkar hall in Dadar this year due to
coronavirus norms, instead of the usual venue, the sprawling Shivaji Park.
The Shiv Sena chief said he didn't need take lessons on Hindutva from
anyone. "They say my Hindutva is not like Balasaheb Thackeray's Hindutva.
They are asking why I am not opening temples in the state. I say my Hindutva
is not about clanging utensils and bells." Taking a dig at former ally BJP,
he also asked if beef was banned in Maharashtra, why was it not banned in
Thackeray also said the time has come to reconsider the present GST system
and if necessary, to modify it, as states are not benefiting from this
system. "PM should acknowledge it and revert to the old tax regime. We
(Maharashtra) are yet to get our Rs 38,000 crore as GST refund," he said.
In a veiled attack on actress Kangana Ranaut, Thackeray said some people
come to Mumbai for bread and butter and then abuse the city by calling it
Breaking his silence on allegations against his son Aaditya in the Sushant
Singh Rajput death case, Uddhav Thackeray said those "crying for justice for
Bihar's son are indulging in character assassination of Maharashtra's son."
BIHAR CAMPAIGN REACHES FEVER PITCH AS FIRST PHASE DRAWS NEAR
Chief minister Nitish Kumar lashed out at dynastic politics on Sunday in an
apparent reference to the RJD, training his guns on the main rival of his
coalition government on the penultimate day of the campaign for the first
phase of assembly elections in Bihar on October 28. "For others, wife, son,
daughter...are the families, but to me, the whole Bihar is my family,"
Nitish Kumar said at a public rally in Phulparas constituency. "Serving
people is my duty," he said.
He reminded the audience of the situation that prevailed in Bihar before
2005, when the RJD was in power. "Bihar was in a pathetic situation. A lot
of crime happened here. The development rate was almost zero." He asked
young people who were raising slogans against him to ask their parents about
the situation in Bihar before 2005. "One could not dare to go out after
sunset. We improved law and order," he said.
Addressing a public meeting in Islampur, in the home district of Nitish
Kumar, RJD leader Tejashvi Yadav said: "Nitish Kumar has become energy-less,
conservative and narrow-minded."
LJP president Chirag Paswan,who addressed meetings in Sitamarhi, said that
if voted to power his party will construct a temple for the goddess Sita in
the district that will be bigger than the Ram temple being built in Ayodhya,
Uttar Pradesh. "Lord Ram is incomplete without goddess Sita, and vice versa.
So, a corridor connecting Ayodhya's Ram Temple and Sitamarhi should be
constructed," Paswan said.
Opposition Congress and Rahul Gandhi, who is also under attack from the BJP
for "criticising the abrogation of Article 370", is also being accused by
the BJP of forming a "radical syndicate" along with the Jamaat-e-Islami and
the Popular Front of India (PFI) and supporting extremism in the country.
BJP asked the Congress allies, RJD's Tejashwi Yadav in poll-bound Bihar and
Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, if they, too, are part of the "anti-national"
INDIA NEEDS TO GROW BIGGER THAN CHINA, SAYS RSS CHIEF IN DUSSEHRA SPEECH
RSS sarsanghchalak Mohan Bhagwat said on Monday that India will have grow
bigger than China in terms of economic and strategic power and scope to
neutralise its "demonic" expansionist designs and aspirations.
In his traditional Vijayadashami address at Nagpur, which this year was
limited to an indoor event attended by 50 swayamsevaks due to COVID-19, he
said: "India should quickly resolve all disputes with neighbours like
Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Many countries are now standing up
to China," he added, citing Taiwan and Vietnam as examples of the Chinese
COVID-19: INDIA SEES LOWEST SINGLE-DAY JUMP IN COVID TALLY, DEATHS IN 3
India on Sunday reported its lowest single-day spikes in total coronavirus
infection tally and death toll in three months. While the daily jump of
50,129 in total count was the lowest since July 29, the 578 Covid-19
fatalities reported on Sunday were the fewest in a day since July 19.
The country on Sunday reported anotehr net decline in active cases, of
12,526, bringing its number of active cases down to 6.68 lakhs- the lowest
since August 15 and nearly 35 per cent lower than the September 18 peak of
India on Saturday conducted 1.14 million coronavirus tests, taking the total
count of tests conducted so far in the country to over 102 million. The test
positivity rate recorded on Thursday was 4.39%.
AMAZON WINS INTERIM RELIEF; FUTURE-RELIANCE DEAL PUT ON HOLD
Amazon.com Inc on Sunday won an interim award against its partner Future
Group selling retail business to Reliance Industries Ltd for Rs 24,713 crore
after a Singapore-based single judge arbitration panel put the deal on hold.
Amazon, which had agreed to purchase 49 per cent of one of Future's unlisted
firms last year with the right to buy into flagship Future Retail Ltd after
a period of three years to 10 years, had dragged Future to arbitration after
the indebted Kishore Biyani group firm signed pact to sell retail,
wholesale, logistics and warehousing units to billionaire Mukesh Ambani's
Passing an interim award in favour of Amazon, V K Rajah asked the Future
group to put the deal on hold and said that the deal cannot go through until
it finally decides the matter.
Amazon believes Future Group violated the contract by entering into the deal
with rival Reliance. The deal would have helped Reliance almost double its
footprint as India's largest retailer.
With the dispute, Amazon is drawing the battle lines with Reliance in the
race for India's estimated USD 1 trillion retail market, where online
shopping is gaining ground. It needs the Indian partner to strengthen its
foothold after becoming the authorized online sales channel for Future
Retail's stores that sell everything from groceries to cosmetics and
STARLINK PROJECT TAKES MUSK'S SPACEX VALUATION TO $100 BILLION
Driven by its ambitious Starlink project, Elon Musk-run SpaceX has received
a &100 billion valuation by US-based investment bank Morgan Stanley - from
$52 billion just three months ago.
While SpaceX's launch business is valued at $12 billion, its point-to-point
space travel is valued at $9 billion, describing Musk's space business as
"mission control" for the "emerging space economy." A Morgan Stanley
research note said that "the pieces are coming together for SpaceX to create
an economic and technology flywheel".
Last week, SpaceX launched 60 more Starlink satellites aboard Falcon 9
rocket to be deployed in low-Earth orbit, bringing the constellation to 788
as the company gears up for a public beta of the affordable satellite
"Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll
out a fairly wide public beta in the northern US and hopefully southern
Canada," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet earlier this month. "Other
countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval," he added.
It is expected that there will be gigabit speeds on offer, meaning up to
1Gbps Internet speeds, with a fairly low latency of up to 25ms.
Starlink plans to offer these Internet services for around $80 per month.
WITH 92ND WIN, HAMILTON OVERTAKES SCHUMACHER
Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton became the most successful Formula
One driver of all time in terms of race wins with his 92nd career victory at
the Portuguese Grand Prix today.
The Mercedes driver, who took the chequered flag a huge 25.592 seconds ahead
of second-placed teammate Valtteri Bottas, had equalled Ferrari great
Michael Schumacher's record 91 wins at the previous race, the German Grand
Victory, along with a bonus point for the fastest lap, stretched the
Briton's championship lead over Bottas to 77 points with five races
"You are re-writing the history books," Mercedes told Hamilton over the team
radio, with team boss Toto Wolff adding: "Lewis, 92. 92."
IPL: CSK BEAT RCB, BUT KNOCKED OUT AFTER RR BEAT MI
Chennai Super Kings yesterday restricted Royal Challengers Bangalore to a
modest total of 145 for 6 and then returned to overhaul the target with ease
in 18.4 overs.
For CSK, the pace duo of Sam Curran (3/19) and Deepar Chahar (2/31) were
among wickets. Young opener Ruturaj Gaikwad came good with an unbeaten
In the second match yesterday, Ben Stokes' spectacular hundred overshadowed
Hardik Pandya's six-hitting spree as Rajasthan Royals spiced up the IPL
play-offs race with an emphatic eight-wicket win over Mumbai Indians here on
Stokes, who plundered 14 fours and three sixes in his unbeaten 60-ball 107,
found an able ally in Sanju Samson (54 not out off 31) as their unbroken
152-run partnership allowed Royals to make short work of the 196-run target.
They cantered to victory in 18.2 overs.
Mumbai had put up an imposing 195 for five courtesy a 21-ball 60 Hardik
Pandya, who smashed seven sixes and two fours. It was the fourth loss for
Mumbai , who remain in comfortable position at the top of the standings.
The comprehensive win over defending champions not only kept Royals alive in
the tournament, it also eliminated Chennai Super Kings from the competition.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Logicians may reason about abstractions. But the great mass of men must have
images. The strong tendency of the multitude in all ages and nations to
idolatry can be explained on no other principle. - Lord Macaulay
The teacher of the earth science class was lecturing on map reading.
After explaining about latitude, longitude, degrees and minutes the teacher
asked, "Suppose I asked you to meet me for lunch at 23 degrees, 4 minutes
north latitude and 45 degrees, 15 minutes east longitude...?"
After a confused silence, a voice volunteered, "I guess you'd be eating