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Live: Tejashwi Yadav says 'everything will be fine' amid reports of friction in RJD

According to the WHO, just 10 countries have administered 75% of all vaccine supply, while low-income countries have vaccinated barely 2% of their people. Now, a new strain has been reportedly found in Sweden. In other developments, the world's eyes remain on Afghanistan, which is in a state of chaos since the Taliban took over 

Live: Tejashwi Yadav says 'everything will be fine' amid reports of friction in RJD
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Lashing out on nations who have and are planning to roll out booster vaccines against COVID, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the Delta variant is creating hotspots of hospitalisation and death in places with low levels of vaccination and limited public health measures. "Vaccine injustice is a shame on all humanity," he added.

A new strain of COVID-19 Delta variant is causing worry among experts. While much is not known about this strain which has been found in Sweden, many are worried if this is more transmissible.

A footage which showed a young child being handed over a wall to Western soldiers at Kabul airport surfaced and the British Defence secretary Ben Wallace admitted that they can't evacuate unaccompanied minors. Afghan nationals have been gathering outside the Australian embassy in New Delhi. They said that they have heard that Australia is giving visa to refugees, but they have no clear answer in the India capital.

Meanwhile, Joe Biden stands by his decision in Afghanistan even as Democratic-led congressional committees in the United States are vowing to press President Biden's administration on what went wrong as the Taliban swept to power in Afghanistan and the United States left scores of Americans and thousands who helped them over the years in grave danger. The anger from members of both parties is palpable and will test an administration seeking to notch signature domestic policy achievements on infrastructure, health and social programs before next year's midterm election.

In other developements around the world, US President Joe Biden announced that his administration is taking new actions on masks, vaccination and booster shots amid a Covid-19 resurgence driven by the highly contagious Delta variant across the country. Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, Biden said he is directing the Education Department to use its legal authority against some governors who are trying to block local school officials from requiring students to wear masks to prevent the spread of the virus, reports Xinhua news agency.

Also read: Afghanistan won't be a democracy, says senior Taliban leader

The global coronavirus caseload has topped 209.2 million, while the deaths have surged to more than 4.39 million and vaccinations soared to over 4.78 billion, according to the Johns Hopkins University. 

 
19 August 2021
15:58 PM

CISF recovered three gold bars weighing about 500 gm worth approximately Rs 23 lakh from a passenger at Imphal Airport on August 18. On questioning, the passenger confessed that he was carrying gold bars concealed in body cavity (rectum): CISF

15:57 PM

I welcome Calcutta High Court's decision on West Bengal post-poll violence. It's the first step in getting justice for those who suffered punishment for choosing a political party and endured crimes like violence, murder, rape etc: NHRC fact-finding team member Atif Rasheed

15:55 PM

Hundreds of Muslims attended a procession marking Muharram in Jammu and Kashmir's Srinagar.

15:54 PM

Woman abducted, raped by 4 in UP's Sultanpur

 

A woman was allegedly raped by four men and later thrown out of a vehicle in a village in Uttar Pradesh's Dostpur area, police said. The woman, aged about 25 years, was found by villagers in an unconscious state on Tuesday late night, Dostpur Station House Officer Sayed Niyazi said.

15:46 PM

A powerful roadside bomb exploded among a procession of Shiite Muslims in central Pakistan on Thursday, killing at least three and wounding over 50 people, local police said. Videos circulating on social media showed police and ambulances rushing toward the site of the explosion. 

15:42 PM

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh defends Centre’s three contentious farm laws but says his government is ready to talk to farmers if they feel there is any clause in legislations against their interests.

15:41 PM

United States President Joe Biden says its troops would remain in Afghanistan until all Americans are evacuated.

15:39 PM

Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has expressed fear for women and girls in Afghanistan as the Taliban has once again taken control of the war-torn country after 20 years of US military operations. "The Taliban, who until losing power 20 years ago barred nearly all girls and women from attending school and doled out harsh punishment to those who defied them, are back in control. Like many women, I fear for my Afghan sisters," Malala wrote in an op-ed published in New York Times on August 17.

15:38 PM

Welcoming the decision of Calcutta High Court of court-monitored CBI probe into the incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal, the BJP said that only aim of the party was to bring justice to the families of the victims. BJP also slammed the ruling TMC government stating that the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was not able to prevent the post-poll violence in the state, nor she was able to bring justice to the victims.

15:36 PM

An 11-year-old interfaith marriage came to a grisly end, when a man allegedly attacked his 27-year-old wife with a knife at a public place in Kota, killing her on the spot, police said. Irfan, a daily wager, was arrested and the body of his wife has been handed over to family members after post mortem.

15:35 PM

One junior commissioned officer (JCO) of the Army and a terrorist were killed in an ongoing gunfight between the security forces and the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district. Defence ministry spokesman, Lt. Colonel Devender Anand said, "One terrorist has been neutralised. The operation is still on".

15:34 PM

In a joint operation, sleuths from the state Excise Enforcement Squad and Customs (Preventive) unit conducted a raid at a flat in Kakkanad near Kochi and arrested five people who were allegedly in possession of high quality synthetic drugs, officials said.

15:34 PM

69 villages in Maharashtra's Mahad vulnerable to landslides

 

At least 69 villages in Mahad of Maharashtra's Raigad district are vulnerable to landslides, an official from the tehsildar's office said. A circular has been issued to residents of these 69 villages in Mahad taluka, informing them about their susceptibility to landslides during monsoon, the official said.

14:26 PM

Vaccine nationalism by developed countries would prolong the COVID-19 pandemic, when it could be ended in a matter of months by sharing doses and scaling up manufacturing equitably, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said. According to the WHO, just 10 countries have administered 75 per cent of all vaccine supply, while low-income countries have vaccinated barely 2 per cent of their people. "Vaccine injustice is a shame on all humanity," said WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

14:22 PM

Mahant Dharam Das, the seer of Hanuman Garhi temple in Ayodhya, has filed a police complaint against Ram Mandir Trust secretary Champat Rai, all trustees, MLA Deep Narayan Upadhyay, Ayodhya mayor's nephew Rishikesh Upadhyay and sub-registrar of Faizabad tehsil for criminal conspiracy, fraud and misusing the funds donated by devotees of Lord Ram in buying Nazul land.

14:19 PM

Several people were killed on Thursday (August 19) in the Afghan city of Asadabad when Taliban fighters fired on people waving the national flag at an Independence Day rally, a witness said. This was a day after three people were killed in a similar protest. It was unclear if the casualties in Asadabad resulted from the firing or from the stampede that it triggered, witness Mohammed Salim said from the eastern city, the capital of Kunar province. (Reuters)

13:11 PM

A new strain of the COVID-19 Delta variant has been found in Sweden, with some cases being among fully vaccinated individuals, local media reported. Eight infections caused by the Delta variant with the E484Q mutation have been found in Uppsala, some 70 km north of capital Stockholm, Xinhua news agency quoted Swedish Television as saying in a report. Although little is known about the new strain, studies indicate that it may be more transmissible. All the new cases are reported to be linked to travel abroad.  (IANS)

12:21 PM

Britain is unable to evacuate unaccompanied children from Afghanistan, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said on Thursday (August 19) when asked about footage which showed a young child being handed over a wall to Western soldiers at Kabul airport. "We can`t just take a minor on their own," Wallace told Sky News when asked about the footage. (Reuters)

11:56 AM

More than 58.31 crore COVID-19 vaccine doses have been provided to states and union territories so far, and another 81,10,780 doses are in the pipeline, the Union Health Ministry said on Thursday (August 19). Of this, the total consumption, including wastage, is 56,29,35,938 doses, according to data available at 8 am. More than 38 lakh balance and unutilised vaccine doses are still available with the states, UTs and private hospitals to be administered, the ministry said. (PTI)

10:59 AM

Afghan nationals have been gathering outside Australian Embassy in New Delhi "I heard that Australian government has announced to accept refugees and grant them immigration visas. But the embassy here is not giving us any clear answer. I don't know what to do," says Syed Abdullah, an Afghan national. (ANI)

10:30 AM

US President Joe Biden said that he did not see a way to withdraw from Afghanistan without "chaos ensuing". Biden, who is facing mounting criticism from the public over the chaotic evacuation, defended his decision to withdraw the US troops from Afghanistan while speaking to ABC News on Wednesday (August 17), reports Xinhua news agency. Asked if the US drawdown could have been handled better, Biden replied: "No, I don't think it could have been handled in a way that ... but the idea that somehow, to have gotten out without chaos ensuing, I don't know how that happens." (IANS)

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