FRONT PAGE NEWS
19 Nov 2020
LEADERS UNHAPPY WITH CONGRESS FUNCTIONING FREE TO LEAVE: ADHIR
Congress Lok Sabha leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday slammed party
colleague Kapil Sibal over his Bihar poll debacle introspection remark,
saying those unhappy with the party's functioning are free to leave instead
of embarrassing it in public. Chowdhury stung Sibal for "giving sermons from
AC rooms" and said disgruntled members may join other parties or float their
Wondering why Sibal was not seen campaigning for the Congress during the
Bihar elections, the party's West Bengal chief said, "Speaking without doing
anything doesn't mean introspection."
"Kapil Sibal could have raised the issues inside a party forum instead of
making such embarrassing remarks in public. He is a senior leader and has
access to the party's top brass. Those who are unhappy with the functioning
of the party have the freedom to form a new party or join one if they feel
that the Congress is not the right place for them," Chowdhury, a member of
the Congress Working Committee, told reporters in Kolkata.
Sibal was part of a group of 23 senior Congress leaders who had written to
party chief Sonia Gandhi in August, giving suggestions on ways to revive the
grand old party.
Apart from Chowdhury, other senior Congress leaders have also lashed out at
those calling for introspection.
And now, P Chidambaram has also hit out at the party over its recent poll
performances, opining in a recent interview with Dainik Bhaskar that the
party should have contested far less than 70 seats in Bihar.
Chidambaram has also expressed concern about the by-poll results in Gujarat,
Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka. "These results show that the
party either has no organisational presence on the ground or has been
weakened considerably," he opined.
TWITTER HAS APOLOGISED IN WRITING FOR 'LADAKH IN CHINA' ERROR: LEKHI
Social media giant Twitter has apologised in writing to a key parliamentary
panel for wrongly showing Ladakh in China and has promised to correct the
error by the month-end, the committee's chairperson Meenakshi Lekhi said on
Wednesday. The Indian government on October 22 had warned Twitter about its
location setting that showed Leh in China, saying any disrespect towards the
country's sovereignty and integrity is totally unacceptable.
Twitter's deposition has come in form of an affidavit signed by Damien
Karien, Chief Privacy Officer of Twitter Inc, for wrong geo-tagging of
India's map, Lekhi said.
Last month, the Joint Committee of Parliament on Data Protection Bill had
come down heavily on Twitter for showing Ladakh as part of China, saying it
amounted to treason and had sought an explanation by the US-based parent of
the social media platform in form of an affidavit.
Appearing before the panel, chaired by Lekhi, representatives of Twitter
India had "begged apology", but they were told by the members that it was a
criminal offence that questioned the sovereignty of the country and an
affidavit must be submitted by Twitter Inc, not by its 'marketing arm'
"They have apologised for hurting Indian sentiments and have sworn to
correct the error by November 30, 2020," Lekhi said, adding that people of
India and the government remain committed to the national integrity and
Taking a dig at the BJP's rival parties in Jammu and Kashmir, Lekhi said,
"Physical to digital resources of India will always be protected by its
people while members from Gupkar alliance may be holding meetings in havelis
and nurturing different dreams against the national interest."
AFTER PHASE-3 TRIALS, PFIZER, BIONTECH SAY VACCINE CANDIDATE 95% EFFECTIVE
US pharma giant Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Wednesday
announced that their vaccine candidate, after the final efficacy analysis in
their ongoing phase-3 clinical trial, indicates an efficacy rate of 95 per
cent in volunteers without prior Covid-19 infection.
The company, for the first time, released promising data on incidence of
severe disease: 10 severe cases of Covid-19 observed in the trial, with nine
cases occurring in the placebo group and only one in the group that received
the two-dose mRNA vaccine.
"Efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity
The total no. of cases identified world-wide since the start of pandemic
stands at over 56.5 million while the current active cases are at over 15.8
million. The total no. of deaths so far stands at over 1.35 million.
The last 7 days have seen an average of about 5.88 lakhs new cases a day
while the recoveries have averaged at about 3.81 lakhs a day. The deaths by
Covid-19 have averaged 9000 a day, over the last 7 days.
In the US
The total no. of cases identified in U.S. since the start of pandemic stands
at over 11.8 million while the current active cases are at over 4.4 million.
The total no. of deaths so far stands at over 2.56 lakhs
The last 7 days have seen an average of about 1.66 lakhs new cases a day
while the recoveries have averaged at about 74,000 a day. The deaths by
Covid-19 have averaged 1265 a day, over the last 7 days.
BANNED JAISH THREATENS FRENCH PRESIDENT, CITES EXAMPLES FROM PAK
Calling Emmanuel Macron a "blasphemer", the UN-designated terror group
Jaish-e-Mohammed has warned the French President and "others like him" that
they will be targeted by those ready to be "sacrificed for the honour of the
In an unsigned article on the website of its online journal Al Qalam, the
Jaish said "if not today then tomorrow, if not tomorrow then day after"
there will be "some Abdullah Checheni (the Chechen youth who killed a
teacher in Paris last month), Mumtaz Qadri (who killed Pakistani politician
Salman Taseer in 2011), and Ghazi Khalid (who shot dead Tahir Ahmed Naseem,
an Ahmedi, in a Pakistan courtroom where Naseem was being tried for alleged
blasphemy in July this year)."
Headlined 'Muslims: Sacrifice for the Honour of the Prophet', the article
stated that "if someone commits the sin of blasphemy, it gives birth to the
Abdullah type of young men. no Muslim will allow you to burn the Koran or
blaspheme against the Prophet".
Macron's strong expression of support for the publication of the Prophet
cartoons has triggered protests in Pakistan, with huge crowds gathering in
Rawalpindi under the leadership of Barelvi Sunni preacher Khadim Hussain
Rizvi, and have laid siege to the main highway to Islamabad.
The Deobandi JeM and its leader Masood Azhar are designated terrorist
entities by the UN Security Council, under its Resolution 1267. Pakistan's
National Counter Terrorism Authority lists JeM as a proscribed organisation.
However, Al Qalam, the online website of its publication of the same name,
continues to be available.
TRUMP FIRES OFFICIAL WHO SAID NO FRAUD IN ELECTIONS AS GOP DESERTIONS BEGIN
Humiliated in courts and forsaken by key Republican officials, defeated US
President Trump continued to thrash about on Twitter, insisting he has won
the election while firing a government official who maintained there was no
large scale fraud in the polls.
"The recent statement by Chris Krebs on the security of the 2020 Election
was highly inaccurate, in that there were massive improprieties and fraud -
including dead people voting, Poll Watchers not allowed into polling
locations, "glitches" in the voting machines which changed votes from Trump
to Biden, late voting, and many more. Therefore, effective immediately,
Chris Krebs has been terminated as director of cybersecurity and
infrastructure security Agency," he tweeted, firing the official in his own
Trump and his supporters continued to push bogus claims that courts and even
Republican officials are now rejecting. In one particularly egregious case,
Georgia's Republican secretary of state Brad Raffensperger revealed that GOP
leaders are pressuring him to exclude valid ballots with the aim of
overturning the results that turned the state blue.
In Michigan, a 2-2 deadlock between Republican and Democrat officials over
certifying election results was broken after GOP officials backed down,
ending Trump's joy over the impasse and hopes of snatching back the state's
But the most striking sign that Republican veterans are reconciled to losing
the White House came on the floor of the Senate where several GOP senators
walked up to vice-president elect Kamala Harris to congratulate her, in one
instance Trump acolyte Lindsey Graham giving her a fist bump and a pat on
the back. Harris cast one of her last votes as a Senator (she will have a
tie-breaker vote in the Senate as vice-president) to defeat Trump's nominee
to the Federal Reserve on Tuesday in a roll call that also saw three
Republicans join Democrats.
Most Republicans have indicated they are just waiting for the legal
challenges to conclude so that a formal transition can begin. "We're going
to have an orderly transfer from this administration to the next one,"
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said.
But Trump continued to rage. "I WON THE ELECTION. VOTER FRAUD ALL OVER THE
COUNTRY!" he tweeted.
PUNJAB FARMERS URGE CENTRE TO ALLOW GOODS TRAINS
Punjab's protesting farmers have decided to continue with their agitation
against the Centre's farm laws, and said they will not allow movement of
passenger trains in the state until Railways allows goods trains to run.
The farmers said that in case the Centre agreed to run goods trains in the
state they will immediately hold an emergency meeting and consider the
possibility of allowing passenger trains to run too.
Train services to Punjab have been suspended since 3 October when the
agitating farmers started the 'rail roko' agitation against the Centre's
three farm laws.
In a statement issued Wednesday evening, the CM said in light of their
discussions held last week with the central government he had expected the
farmers to back down from their unyielding approach in the interest of
Punjab, especially in view of the state government's absolute support to
their cause, and also in the light of the Centre's decision to engage with
them on the issue of the farm laws.
Industries in Ludhiana and Jalandhar alone had suffered Rs 22,000 crore in
losses, while more than 13,500 containers were lying at Dhandari Dry Port
from where they could not be sent to other parts of the country due to the
rail transport suspension, he added.
AJIT PAWAR, YEDIYURAPPA IN A WAR OF WORDS
Stoking the 70-year-long border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka
over areas like Belgaum, Karwar and Nipani, Mahrashtra Dy CM and Karnataka
CM locked horns on Wednesday. Maharashtra Dy CM Ajit Pawar was first to
begin as he broached the issue, paying tributes to Balasaheb Thackeray.
Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa slammed Pawar's statement and said
those are meant for "unwanted controversy".
"Late Balasaheb had struggled his entire life for rights of common man. He
always dreamt about the overall development of Maharashtra and make a united
Maharashtra including Belgaum, Karwar and Nipani. So let us decide to fulfil
this dream," the statement from Ajit Pawar's office read. It was issued on
the occasion of Balasaheb's death anniversary on November 17.
Urging Pawar to not make such statements, Karnataka chief minister said,
"Marathi speaking people are just like Kannadigas. They too belong to us.
Maratha Development Authority has been formed for their development.
Statement is just to trigger unwanted controversy. I urge him not to make
Maharashtra claims Belgaum and the other areas which are part of Karnataka
as they were part of Bombay Presidency.
SASIKALA PAYS RS 10 CRORE FINE, RELEASE EXPECTED SOON
A fine of over Rs 10 crore imposed on late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa's
aide VK Sasikala in a disproportionate assets case was on Wednesday
deposited in a Bengaluru court and her release is expected soon, her lawyer
Chief Minister K Palaniswami, meanwhile, asserted that the anticipated
release of Sasikala would not alter the stand of AIADMK to keep her and her
kin at bay, both from the party and the government. There shall be no change
in the party stand as regards Sasikala, he told reporters at Coimbatore.
MADHYA PRADESH TO HAVE 'COW CABINET'
The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has decided to set up a "gau cabinet"
for the protection and promotion of the cow, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh
Chouhan announced on Wednesday.
"It has been decided to constitute a 'gau cabinet' for the protection and
fostering of godhan (cow and its progeny) in the state," Chouhan tweeted in
Hindi. Ministers of Animal Husbandry, Forest, Panchayat and Rural
Development, Revenue, Home and Farmers' Welfare departments will be part of
this cabinet, he said.
"The first meeting will be held at 12 noon on November 22 to mark Gopashtami
at Gau Sanctuary in Agar Malwa," he added.
Opposition Congress had criticised the BJP for having forgotten its election
promise of creating a separate cow ministry.
AVOID INDISCRIMINATE USE OF PLASMA THERAPY: ICMR
The advisory, which was issued on Tuesday, said plasma therapy should be
used only in certain suitable cases that have already been specified by the
IN VIEW of the continued "inappropriate use of convalescent plasma therapy"
for Covid-19 patients, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has
advised all state governments and health authorities to "avoid
indiscriminate use" of this therapy considering that it is beneficial only
in some specific cases.
Convalescent plasma therapy, or CPT, is a procedure in which Covid-19
antibodies in the blood of a patient who has recovered is extracted, and
injected into a patient who is still sick. This procedure has been found, in
some cases, to help the patient build immunity against the disease. This
method has been tried for the treatment of other viral diseases as well,
such as H1N1, Ebola and SARS.
However, an extensive study by the ICMR in September on Covid-19 patients
had found that CPT neither reduced the severity of the illness nor prevented
mortality. It was the world's largest such study, and reinforced similar
evidence from other studies done in countries such as China and the
"Despite all this evidence, inappropriate use of convalescent plasma is
taking place, and we thought the right way to address this issue was through
this advisory," Dr Samiran Panda, head of epidemiology and communicable
diseases division at ICMR, said.
The advisory, which was issued on Tuesday, said plasma therapy should be
used only in certain suitable cases that have already been specified by the
'UPSC JIHAD' SHOW OFFENSIVE, COULD PROMOTE COMMUNAL ATTITUDES - GOVT IN
AFFIDAVIT TO SC
The Centre has indicted Sudarshan TV for violation of Programme Code and
cautioned it for telecasting 'UPSC Jihad' which was not in "good taste" and
"offensive" but allowed the channel to telecast remaining episodes of the
controversial programme after suitable modification and moderation.
In an affidavit filed in the top court, the Information and Broadcasting
Ministry noted that the episodes telecast by the channel "has likelihood of
promoting communal attitudes". "If any violation of the Programme Code is
found in future, stricter penal action would be taken," the ministry said.
Cautioning the channel, the I&B Ministry said, "The channel should review
the contents of the future episodes of the programme 'Bindas Bol - UPSC
Jihad, and the audio-visual content should be suitably moderated and
modified, so as to ensure that there is no violation of the Programme Code."
THERE IS NO NEED TO PANIC, DEPOSITORS' MONEY SAFE: LVB ADMINISTRATOR
The administrator for Lakshmi Vilas Bank (LVB), appointed by the Reserve
Bank of India (RBI), assured depositors on Wednesday that the bank had
enough liquidity and that he was confident the moratorium would be lifted by
December 16 and that withdrawal limits would also go away by then.
"There is no need to panic, every single rupee of customers is safe,"
administrator T N Manoharan said a day after the 94-year old private sector
lender was put under moratorium and the RBI proposed to merge it with DBS
Bank's less than two-year-old India subsidiary.
"There is no cash crunch. ATMs will be operational from Thursday. Gradually
everything is getting relaxed, the system is getting re-calibrated in order
for customers to be able to withdraw by factoring in the cap, and is
expected to be operational by Thursday," said Manoharan. Priority was to
help customers to be able to withdraw within the permissible limits of Rs
25,000 per month, he said.
Meanwhile, LVB shareholders are to make a representation to the RBI today,
seeking that their interests be looked at sympathetically. A bad precedent
was set when shareholders of Global Trust Bank got nothing after it was
merged with the Oriental Bank of Commerce in 2004.
MORGAN STANLEY FORECASTS SENSEX AT 50,000 PTS IN 2021
Morgan Stanley expects the benchmark Sensex top the 50,000 milestone by the
end of next year. The brokerage believes the economic growth cycle is not
fully priced in. It has revised upwards the earnings per share (EPS)
estimate for Sensex.
At 50,000, the Sensex would trade at 16 times its estimated FY21 earnings --
which the brokerage projects will be 15 per cent higher than FY20.
"We remain in a bull market that started in March, and even though one
should expect corrections along the way, the equity market may have more
legs before it tops out. We raise EPS estimates and index target," said
Morgan Stanley equity strategist Ridham Desai and Sheela Rathi in a note.
The brokerage believes a 'bottom-up' approach will be more rewarding for
Sensex 44,180 (+227), Nifty 12,938 (+64), Trading Value NSE ,(Rs.crores)
Nasdaq 11,802 (-98) Dow 29,438 (-345), S&P 3,568 (-42)
US$-Rs. 74.13 GBP-Rs. 98.40, Euro-Rs. 87.96, UAE Dhm-Rs.20.17, Can$-Rs.
56.67, Aus$- Rs. 54.15
GBP 0.75 /US$, Euro 0.84 /US$, Jap.Yen 103.91 /US$, Aus$ 1.36 /US$, Sing
1.34 /US$, Bang Taka 83.30 /US$, Can$ 1.30 /US$, Mal Ring 4.08 /US$,
Pak Re 158.08 /US$, Phil Peso 48.20 /US$, Russian Rouble 75.96 /US$, NZ$
1.44 /US$, Thai Baht 30.23 /US$, Ukraine Hryvnia 27.94 /US$, Norway NOK 9.02
Bitcoin - USD 17,967
Dollar Index 92.44 Brent Crude 44.24 BDI 1,112
Gold world Spot Price USD/aoz 1,871 India (Rs. per gm 24k/22k) 5,089 / 4,989
Silver (Rs. Per KG) 67,700
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to
catch you. - Lolly Daskal
A job applicant was asked, "What would you consider to be your main
strengths and weaknesses?"
"Well," he began, "my main weakness would definitely be my issues with
reality--sometimes I have a little trouble telling what's real from what's
"Okay," said the interviewer. "And what are your strengths?"