Mahmoud Abbas

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Palestinian President Abbas says accords with Israel, US are void

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Tuesday that his administration considers all agreements signed with Israel and the United States null and void, after Israel declared it would annex parts of the occupied West Bank, according to local media reports. 

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Abbas made the announcement during an emergency meeting held in Ramallah to discuss the Israeli plans.

“The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are absolved, as of today, of all the agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments and of all the obligations based on these understandings and agreements, including the security ones,” Abbas reportedly said.

Source: Aljazeera

Tsai Ing-wen.

Image Source: Wikipedia

Taiwan president rejects Beijing rule, asserts independence

Taipei: Taiwan cannot accept becoming part of China under its “one country, two systems” offer of autonomy, president Tsai Ing-wen said on Wednesday, strongly rejecting China’s sovereignty claims and likely setting the stage for an ever-worsening of ties.

China responded that “reunification” was inevitable and that it would never tolerate Taiwan’s independence.

In a speech after being sworn in for her second and final term in office, Tsai said relations between Taiwan and China had reached a historical turning point.

“Both sides have a duty to find a way to coexist over the long term and prevent the intensification of antagonism and differences,” she said.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Jyoti Kumari

Photo Credit: New Indian Express

Girl, Who Pedalled 1200 km in 7 Days During Lockdown, to be Called For Trial by Cycling Federation

In what could be a life-changing opportunity, the cycling federation will invite 15-year-old Jyoti Kumari to appear for a trial next month, impressed with her sheer doggedness with which she pedalled her way to Bihar from Gurugram, carrying her ailing father.

Stuck in Gurugram due to nation-wide lockdown, a tenacious Jyoti asked her father to sit on the rear side carrier of her cycle and took him to his native place, covering 1200km in seven days.

Cycling Federation of India Chairman Onkar Singh told PTI that if Kumari, a class eight student, passed the trial, she will be selected as a trainee at the state-of-the-art National Cycling Academy at the IGI Stadium complex here.

The academy, under the aegis of Sports Authority of India, is one of the most advanced facilities in Asia and has the recognition of UCI, the world body of the sport.

Source: News18

Rajiv Gandhi

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Remembering former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his 29th death anniversary, PM Modi pays tribute

May 21 marks a sad day in the history of Indian politics. A day that will never be forgotten. On this day, twenty-nine years back, former prime minister and stalwart Congress leader Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated during an election campaign in the year 1991.

As the nation remembers Gandhi on his 29th death anniversary today, here’s revisiting the life of the Bharat Ratna recipient.

Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was born on August 20, 1944, in Bombay, to former prime minister Indira Gandhi and freedom fighter, politician Feroze Gandhi. He served as the sixth prime minister of the country, from 1984 to 1989, and was also the youngest ever to hold the office.

Source: Hindustan Times

Harsh Vardhan

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Harsh Vardhan is India’s nominee for lead role in WHO, takes over on Friday

Health Minister Harsh Vardhan, who is leading the country’s battle against Covid-19 in the country, will be India’s nominee to be the next WHO Executive Board chairman, people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times.

A senior government official said the health minister would be elected at the World Health Organisation‘s Executive Board’s meeting on 22 May. The election is a procedural formality.

“It is not a full time assignment… But Dr Harsh Vardhan will be required to chair the executive board’s bi-annual meetings,” a senior government official told Hindustan Times.

Source: Hindustan Times

Nikki Haley

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US should end reliance on China: Nikki Haley

The coronavirus pandemic has underscored the need for the United States to move away from its reliance on communist China, Indian American Republican politician Nikki Haley said on Tuesday.

“While Beijing has abused the free market in order to destroy it, America must harness the free market to protect our freedom and national security,” Haley, a former Governor of South Carolina and US Ambassador to the United Nations said in an op-ed on Medium.

The United States, she said, should start by setting up stronger guardrails to prevent China from exploiting America’s economic openness and punish it for its predatory actions.

Source: Moneycontrol

David Malpass

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World Bank says Covid-19 to push 60 mn into poverty; announces $160 bn assistance to 100 countries

WASHINGTON: The coronavirus pandemic is expected to put over 60 million people into extreme poverty globally, the World Bank has said as it announced emergency operations worth USD 160 billion in 100 developing countries to fight the deadly virus.

“The pandemic and shutdown of advanced economies could push as many as 60 million people into extreme poverty — erasing much of the recent progress made in poverty alleviation,” World Bank President David Malpass told reporters during a conference call on Tuesday.

“The World Bank Group has moved quickly and decisively to establish emergency response operations in 100 countries, with mechanisms that allow other donors to rapidly expand the programmes,” he said.

Source: The Economic Times

Rajesh Gopinathan

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TCS CEO salary package cut by 16% to ₹13.3 crore in FY20

Pay package of Tata Consultancy Services CEO and MD Rajesh Gopinathan shrank more than 16 per cent to ₹13.3 crore in 2019-20 compared to the previous fiscal, according to the company’s annual report.

In 2018-19, Gopinathan had received a total remuneration of ₹16.02 crore.

According to TCS’ annual report for 2019-20, Gopinathan received ₹1.35 crore in salary, ₹1.29 crore in perquisites, ₹10 crore in commission (at 0.02 per cent of profit) and ₹72.82 lakh in allowances.

Source: Livemint

Savita Bhatti

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Return of ‘Flop Show’ on Doordarshan emotional: Savita Bhatti

Veteran actor-producer Savita Bhatti on Wednesday said she feels “rejuvenated” after Doordarshan announced the re-run of “Flop Show”, the satirical sitcom which is an intrinsic part of her identity.

“Flop Show”, created and directed by Savita Bhatti’s co-star and late husband, satirist Jaspal Bhatti, joins the long list of DD’s iconic old shows such as “Ramayan”, “Mahabharat”, “Buniyaad”, “Shaktimaan”, among others to make a come back on the small screen amid the coronavirus-led lockdown.

On Monday, the national broadcaster revealed that it was bringing back the serial, which first aired in 1989.

“#JaspalBhatti’s all time superhit #FlopShow is back. Watch everyday at 6pm only on @DDNational,” the channel said on Twitter.

Source: The Tribune

Bill de Blasio

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New York City Could Begin Some Re-opening Only Around ‘First Half of June’, Says Mayor de Blasio

New York City, hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, is still weeks away from a phased reopening by the first half of June, Mayor Bill de Blasio has said, as authorities are trying to meet all the seven health-related measures necessary for such a step.

New York City, the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic in the US, has 191,073 coronavirus cases and 15,983 confirmed Covid-19 deaths, which are deaths following positive Covid-19 laboratory tests.

“There’s no way we’re getting to the City and State indicators before June at this rate. So, June is the first opportunity, the first half of June is the first opportunity to relax anything,” de Blasio said Monday at a press briefing.

Source: News18