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Carrie to Wed Boris

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Boris Johnson#UKPM announces he’s to marry Carrie Symonds as couple announce she’s pregnant.

The couple in relations from years and Carrie expecting in early summer and are engaged, couple announce.

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Mecca-Madina entry restricted

 

20200223_144538Saudi Arabia yesterday barred citizens from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council from entering two of Islam’s holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, amid fears over the Novel Corona virus, the Foreign Ministry said.

The GCC states include Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar. The Ministry said, the decision excludes GCC citizens who have been in the kingdom for 14 consecutive days and did not show signs of Corona virus infection. Saudi Arabia has so far reported no cases.

Iraq yesterday announced a new case of the Novel Corona virus disease in the capital Baghdad, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to eight. A statement by the Iraqi Health Ministry confirmed the case of a 32-year-old Iraqi woman who returned earlier to Iraq from neighboring Iran.

Iran’s Parliament, the Majlis, stopped work yesterday and was closed until further notice over the outbreak of COVID-19, official IRNA news agency reported. In all, 34 out of 388 people infected with COVID-19, including two Iranian lawmakers, have died so far.

Mexico’s Health Ministry confirmed the country’s first cases of Corona virus yesterday, saying two men who recently returned from Italy tested positive for the virus.  Italy is Europe’s epicentre with 650 cases and 17 deaths centred around cities in the north.

Iceland confirmed the Novel Corona virus had reached the subarctic island after a man in his forties, who had recently returned from a trip to northern Italy, tested positive for COVID-19. Authorities said that efforts were underway to trace the infection path of the virus, as well as anyone exposed to it from the Icelandic patient.

India yesterday pulled out of next month’s shooting World Cup in Cyprus, citing the Novel Corona virus threat there. The shotgun world cup, recognized by the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF), is scheduled to be held in Nicosia from 4th to 13 th of March.

Major sporting events across the world are being either postponed or cancelled due to the ongoing threat of the Corona virus. The clash between Juventus and title rivals Inter Milan is among five Series A games that will be played behind closed doors this weekend because of the Corona virus outbreak in Italy.

Among the events affected are several football matches, including in Japan and Italy, boxing’s Olympic qualifiers, badminton tournaments, and archery events. Europa League matches are being played behind closed doors, while boxing’s Olympic qualifier has been shifted from Wuhan to Jordan.

The outbreak of the disease has also affected the New Delhi shooting world cup, with seven countries already withdrawing. China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea, Turkmenistan and Bahrain have opted out due to the Corona virus crisis in these countries.

The Swiss Government also announced it was suspending all events in the country involving more than 1,000 participants.

The Novel Corona virus has infected 83,670 people and killed 2,865 around the world so far. The World Health Organization (WHO) yesterday raised its global risk assessment of the virus to its highest level after the epidemic spread to sub-Saharan Africa and caused financial markets to plunge.

China today reported 47 more deaths from the Novel Corona

virus, raising the death toll in the country to 2,835.

The National Health Commission also tallied 427 new cases, an increase from the previous day, bringing the total of number of infections to 79,251.

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Marin to travel to New York

Prime Minister Sanna Marin will travel to New York for the UN International Women’s Day event on 5–6 March

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While in New York, Prime Minister Marin will also meet with UN Secretary General António Guterres at the UN headquarters. The topics of discussion at their bilateral meeting will include equality, global measures to mitigate climate change and Finland’s strong role in the UN.

At the UN Women’s Day event, Prime Minister Marin will participate in a panel discussion on women’s rights and equality.  The Finnish Mission to the UN in New York will also hold an event on the theme of equality, which will be opened by the Prime Minister. The event will be moderated by Thomas Blomqvist, Minister of Nordic Cooperation and Equality in the Marin Government.

Prime Minister Marin will also give an open lecture at Columbia University entitled “The Climate Sustainable Welfare Society: Is it the Model of the Future?” and will meet with Finnish students at the university.

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Winston: India Eco fastest growing

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Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of New Zealand Winston Peters said that his country recognizes India as one of the fastest growing economies with second largest population.

Peters and New Zealand Minister of Trade and Export Growth David Parker chaired the New Zealand-India Trade for All session at Bombay Stock Exchange in Mumbai on Friday.

Peters added that India plays an important role on world stage. He also said that New Zealand is committed to invest more in its relationship with India.

David Parker said New Zealand is expertise in renewable energy and it is 85 per cent renewable energy moving towards 100 per cent.

They have the capability in these areas and with such linkages, he added they are not just making profits but making the world a better place. The ministers along with Ashish Chauhan, MD and CEO of BSE rang the Opening Bell of the stock exchange.

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PM Malaysia Muhyiddin Yassin

Malaysian King appoints seasoned politician Muhyiddin Yassin as new PM

In Malaysia, the King has appointed seasoned politician Muhyiddin Yassin as the new Prime Minister, the latest twist to a weeklong political crisis.

In a statement issued by the palace today, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said Muhyiddin, a former interior minister and president of the Bersatu party, will be sworn in tomorrow.

The appointment came after this week’s shock resignation of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a move that plunged the country into crisis following a weekend of political wrangling and the collapse of the ruling alliance.

The announcement came hours after Mahathir struck a new deal to work with his former ruling alliance led by rival Anwar Ibrahim and threw his name into the fray again.

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US Taliban sign peace

 

EOd-sKGXUAE-hPXUnited States  today  sign a peace deal accord today with the Talibans to get a breather from what is being termed as the ‘longest war’ which America has fought. India has been invited to witness the historic event as “Observer”.

The Peace deal will be signed in Doha, capital of Qatar. India’s envoy in Qatar, P Kumaran will attend the historic event. India has been an important stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

The landmark peace deal will see phased withdrawal of thousands of US soldiers from Afghanistan.

As part of the deal, the Talibans are required to initiate a dialogue with the Afghan government and other civil society and political groups for a permanent ceasefire and power sharing in post war Afghanistan.

It was more than 18 years ago that US president Bush had ordered an attack on the Talibans following the tragic 9/11 happening in America which changed the way it looked at terrorism. US had lost more than 3000 citizen in this deadly terrorist attack on its twin tower.

The U.S. has reportedly spent more than 750 billion dollars, and on all sides the war cost tens of thousands of lives lost . According to a report more than 2300 US soldiers have lost their lives since 2001 in this ’endless war’. Today , America’s top diplomat will stand together to sign this historic accord with leaders of Taliban , the former rulers of Afghanistan who were accused of harbouring Osama bin Laden and his Al Qaida network.

Although India has been against negotiating with any terrorist group but it has been an important stakeholder in Aghanistan’s peace and reconciliation process. It was during the recent Trump’s visit, that India was taken on board. US President in the press conference in New Delhi said that he had spoken to PM Modi about it and India would like to see it happen. India sent the Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringlaa as a special envoy to Afghanistan yesterday with PM Modi’s special message.

“Foreign Secretary conveyed India’s support to government and people of Afghanistan in their efforts to bring peace and stability through an inclusive & Afghan-led, Afghan-owned & Afghan-controlled efforts,” Foreign Minister Raveesh Kumar said in a series of tweets. Ahead of the signing of the deal, the US and the Taliban had agreed to a seven-day  cooling-off period which passed peacefully. The truce came last Friday night.

In November 2018, India had sent two former diplomats in “non-official” capacity to a Russia-organised conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow. A high-level Taliban delegation, representatives of Afghanistan as well as from several other countries, including the US, Pakistan and China, had attended the conference. Though Observers are a little skeptic of this deal , peace should always be given a chance.

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Finland low-emission vehicles

Preparation of legislation on public vehicle procurement proceeds. low-emission vehicles and services to Finland. Electric vehicles (or EV’s) have a high profile at this weekend’s Auto 2016 car fair in Helsinki. The Purosuos, a couple from Vantaa, are test-driving an electric car for the first time.Pasi Pennanen Toroidion 1MW Concept sähköauto

The government aims to significantly boost sales of low-emissions cars. Yle has learned that the cabinet wants to earmark 100 million euros in subsidies for electric and biogas cars in an effort to bring hundreds of thousands of them onto the road in the next decade or so.

Ministry of Transport and Communications  24.2.2020

A working group is preparing the implementation of the EU Directive concerning the promotion of clean vehicles in public procurement in Finland. The aim is to increase the proportion of zero- and low-emission vehicles in public procurement concerning vehicles and transport services. A study on the matter was completed just recently, and now the working group will use this to assess different options to draft the national legislation in a way that is cost-efficient and takes regional differences into account.

The study examined the volumes of public procurement and regional differences in this, as well as the distribution infrastructure of alternative fuels. Alternatives ways are proposed how Finland could increase the proportion of a clean vehicle fleet and services in the transport sector. The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and conducted by Ramboll Finland.

Clean vehicles have an important role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reaching the targets set in the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Transport accounts for about a quarter of total emissions within the EU, and it is the only sector in the EU area where emissions are still growing.

Public procurement offers excellent opportunities to renew vehicle technology and reduce emissions from the transport sector. The new legislation will mean that the use of fossil fuels will be decreasing, while there will be a growing demand for alternative fuels such as electricity, gas and biofuels. The requirements set in the Directive will also contribute to achieving the climate objectives included in the Government Programme.

Which public procurement operations will the legislation apply to?

– The requirements concern the procurement of vehicles and services in the public sector.

– The requirements apply when a contracting entity buys, hires, leases, hire-purchases or acquires certain transport services, including waste collection or postal services.

– The Directive only applies to new procurement operations or contracts where the value exceeds the thresholds set in the EU procurement legislation.

What is a clean passenger car or van (M1, M2, N1)?

– CO2 emissions no more than 50 g/km until the end of 2025 and 0 g/km as from 2026. In practice this means full electric cars and, until the end of 2025, plug-in hybrids.

– The quantitative obligation set for Finland is that 38.5% of the new passenger cars or vans procured must be clean.

What is a clean heavy duty vehicle (N2, N3)?

– A vehicle that runs with biofuel, electricity, gas or hydrogen.

– The quantitative obligation set for Finland is that 9% of the new heavy duty vehicles procured between August 2021 and 2025 and 15% of those procured as from 2026 must be clean.

What is a clean bus (M3)?

– A vehicle that runs with biofuel, electricity, gas or hydrogen.

The quantitative obligation set for Finland is that 41 % of the new buses procured between August 2021 and 2025 and 59 % of those procured as from 2026 must be clean.

What is excluded from the scope of the Directive?

The Directive does not apply to coaches used in long-distance transport or charter services or e.g. to vehicles used in agriculture and forestry or to two or three-wheel vehicles. In addition, a Member State may exempt certain vehicles from the requirements laid down in the Directive. These include emergency vehicles and vehicles used by the armed forces or on construction sites.

What are the next steps?

The Ministerial Working Group on Climate and Energy Policy will discuss the content of the new legislation during the spring. The legislative proposal will be circulated for comment and a public consultation will be held on it in May-June 2020. The requirements of the Directive will be applicable as from August 2021.

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WHO: Fail Coronaless

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WHO appears to have its interest in giving adjectives to name of virus epidemic or pandemic but it lack its expertise to caution the thirty nations where it is spreading rapidly to gives its guidelines to tackle the enormous horrendous health harazrd  history in making across  world.

WHO pose the Global regulator of health services across world with statistic and sermons round the clock but no  action on the ground with coordination of NHS of nations and let the epidemic spread to thirty countries each week countries are added to the list.

With such inaction from the date of Coronavirus detected WHO has failed in its empirical object to provide anything substantive to decimate virus spreading such spraying disinfectants or cleanliness, washing bathing  each day with antiseptic solvents in place.

Michael Ryan, head of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said it was “unhelpful” to ask if the outbreak could now be considered a pandemic. If the WHO called it a pandemic “we’re essentially accepting that every human on the planet will be exposed to that virus. The data does not show that,” he said. “If we don’t take action… that may be a future that we have to experience,” he said, adding that “a lot of the future of this epidemic is in the hands of ourselves.”

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Monitoring of Foreign Corporate Acquisitions

Act on the Monitoring of Foreign Corporate Acquisitions

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment requests for comments on the amendments to the Act on Foreign Corporate Acquisitions in Finland. The Act will be amended to meet the requirements of the EU Regulation establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union. Needs for amendments due to national considerations that have arisen when implementing the Act will also be assessed.

The Act on the Monitoring of Foreign Corporate Acquisitions has been in force for almost eight years. Because of the changes in the national security environment, it is necessary to assess on a regular basis whether the national legislation is up-to-date and functions as it should.

In October 2020, the EU will start to use a common framework for the screening of direct foreign investments and a cooperation mechanism to improve the exchange of information between the Member States and Commission. The EU Regulation was adopted on 10 April 2019 and it will be applied in its entirety from 11 October 2020.

New tasks to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment

Purpose of the Act is to monitor foreign corporate acquisitions

  • The objective of the Act is to promote foreign investments and a positive attitude to foreign ownership. Primarily, the Act is intended as a tool for screening and monitoring foreign corporate acquisitions.
  • In practice, the Act aims to secure key national interests, in particular, national defence, security of supply and functions vital to society.
  • The Act enables to restrict the shift of corporate control to foreign owners in the companies covered by the monitoring, should an overriding national interest so require.

New provisions are proposed to be included in the Act concerning circumvention of the Act and disclosure of secret documents to an authority. Similar provisions are contained in the EU Regulation on screening foreign direct investments. As a new obligation, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment would serve as the national contact point in the cooperation between Member States and the EU, exchange of information and matters relating to the implementation of the Regulation.

The definitions would be specified in more detail to clarify the application of the Act. Corporate acquisitions in the security sector would be added to the provision concerning corporate acquisitions in the defence sector, which are subject to advance confirmation by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. A new provision on decisions not to screen a particular matter would be added to the Act.

The draft legislative proposal also contains a new provision that would enable the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment to establish conditions for the confirmation of a corporate acquisition and, where necessary, enforce the compliance with the conditions by a conditional fine.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment requests comments to the draft government proposal by 3 April 2020 at the latest. After that, the preparation of the Act will continue as part of official duties at the Ministry. The government proposal is to be submitted to Parliament in June 2020.

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Analysis of National Political Parties

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Analysis of Donations Received above Rs 20,000 by National Political Parties – FY 2018-19
This report, prepared by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), focuses on donations received by the National Political Parties, above Rs 20,000, during the Financial Year 2018-19, as submitted by the parties to the Election Commission of India (ECI). The National Parties include Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Indian National Congress (INC), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) and All India Trinamool Congress (AITC).
 

 
Executive Summary

 

The executive summary below lists the key observations drawn from the report:
 
Status of Submission of Contributions reports by National Parties, FY 2018-19
  1. The due date for submission of Contributions reports for the parties was 30 September 2019.
  2. BSPINCNCP and AITC submitted their Contributions reports on time while CPI submitted after 3 daysCPM submitted after 21 days and BJP submitted after a delay of 31 days. 

Donations above Rs 20,000 to National Parties from all over India (FY 2018-19)

  1. The total donations (above Rs 20,000) declared by the National Parties was Rs. 951.66 cr, from 5520 donations. 
  2. A total of Rs 742.15 cr was declared by BJP from 4483 donations while INC declared receiving Rs 148.58 cr from 605 donations. The donations declared by BJP is more than three times the aggregate declared by INC, NCP, CPI, CPM and AITC for the same period. 
  3. BSP declared that the party did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000 during FY 2018-19, as it has been declaring for the past 13 years.
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                                              *One donation amount not declared by party

 

Comparison of donations received by National Parties during FY 2017-18 and FY 2018-19
  1. The total donations of the National Parties during FY 2018-19 increased by Rs 481.77 cr, an increase of almost 103%, from the previous financial year 2017-18. 
  2. Donations to BJP increased from Rs 437.04 cr during FY 2017-18 to Rs 742.15 cr during FY 2018-19 (70% increase). Party’s donations decreased by 18% during FY 2017-18 in comparison to FY 2016-17. 
  3. INC donations increased from Rs 26.658 cr during FY 2017-18 to Rs 148.58 cr during FY 2018-19 (457% increase). While INC’s donations decreased by 36% between FY 2016-17 and FY 2017-18.
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State-wise donations to National Parties
  1. Segregation of donations according to State was made by ADR based on the address provided by the parties in their donations report to the ECI. 
  2. A total of Rs 548.22 cr was donated to the National Parties from Maharashtra, followed by Rs 141.42 cr from Delhi and Rs 55.31 cr from Gujarat. 
  3. A total of Rs 65.84 cr, (6.92% of total donations received by the National parties, FY 2018-19), could not be attributed to any State/ Union Territory due to incomplete information provided by the parties.

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Donors from corporates/ business sectors Vs. individual donors
  1. 1776 donations to the National Parties were made by corporate/business sectors amounting to Rs 876.11 cr (92.06% of total donations) while 3509 individual donors donated Rs 71.407 cr (7.50% of total donations) to the parties during FY 2018-19. 
  2. 1575 donations from corporate/business sectors were made to BJP (Rs 698.092 cr) while 2741 individual donors donated Rs 41.70 cr to the party during FY 2018-19. 
  3. INC received a total of Rs 122.5 cr via 122 donations from corporate/business sectors and Rs 25.39 cr via 482 individual donors during FY 2018-19.
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Top donors to National Parties, FY 2018-19
  1. Progressive Electoral Trust donated a total of Rs 455.15 cr to BJP, INC and AITC together and is one of the top 2 donors to the three parties that received the maximum donations. The Trust donated Rs 356.535 cr to BJP (48.04% of total funds received by the party) and Rs 55.629 cr to INC (37.44% of total funds received by the party). 
  2.  BJP and INC received a total of Rs 67.25 cr (9.06%) and Rs 39 cr (26.25%), respectively from Prudent Electoral Trust.
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Observations of ADR

  • Of the 7 National Parties, 4 parties, BJP, INC, CPI and CPM had not declared PAN details of 1300 donations through which the parties collected a total of Rs 29.44 cr (3.09%). This is five times more than the amount of donations declared by these National Parties during FY 2017-18. BJP declared Rs 27.24 cr from 1170 donations where it failed to provide PAN details of donors. INC collected Rs 92.80 lakhs from 28 donations without PAN. 81 donations to CPI (Rs 1.168 cr) and 21 donations from CPM (Rs 10.70 lakhs) do not have PAN details. 
  • 3 National Parties (BJP, INC, and CPM) have declared Rs 2.49 cr from 46 donations having missing/incorrect PAN details. 
  • BJP declared 452 donations of Rs 514.48 cr, AITC collected 89 donations of Rs 44.26 cr and INC collected 51 donations of Rs 4.51 cr having incomplete cheque/DD details where cheque number, bank details on which it was drawn and the date on which the cheque was received/ encashed is not provided. Thus, without the complete cheque/DD details, it would be a time consuming process to link the donors against their donations and hence trace the money trail. 
  •  CPI and CPM have also not declared the details of cheque and DD (cheque number, bank on which it was drawn and the date) for a total of 66 donations of Rs 78 lakhs and 31 donations of Rs 35.63 lakhs, respectively. 
  • For the last 13 years consecutively, BSP declared that the party did not receive any donations above Rs 20,000. 
  • After the analysis by ADR, it is found that the total sum of donations declared by INC in its Contributions report is incorrect. It is found that the total declared (Rs 146.78 cr) by the party is Rs 1.80 cr less than the actual amount (Rs 148.58 cr). This reinforces our demand for proper scrutiny of the parties’ audited accounts by the IT department. 
  • There are 164 donations of Rs 2.34 cr declared by BJP in its Contributions Report for FY 2018-19 against which the name of donor is not mentioned. In case of CPM, the name of donor is not mentioned against one contribution of Rs 30,00