President: Launched Pulse Polio 2021

Pulse Polio Programme for 2021 begins across the country from today

The country wide Pulse Polio Programme for 2021 began today. President Ram Nath Kovind launched the programme on the eve of the Polio National Immunization Day by administering polio drops to children less than five years old at Rashtrapati Bhawan yesterday. The day is also popularly known as Polio Ravivar.

Speaking on the launch of the programme, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, Polio-free certification of the entire South-East Asia Region of WHO including India on the 27th of March 2014 was a huge accomplishment in the history of India and Global Public Health. However, the Union Health Minister stressed on the  need to remain vigilant and maintain the population immunity against polio with sensitive surveillance till global polio eradication happens. He said,  poliovirus is still circulating in other parts of the world including our neighbouring countries which may re-infect us.

Dr Vardhan  said, The Universal Immunization Programme is focusing on protecting children from more diseases than ever before and has introduced several new vaccines in the recent past. He said, to provide additional protection to the  children, the Government of India has also introduced  injectable Inactivated Polio Vaccine into its routine immunization program.


Russia braces for the fresh protest?

Riot police began detaining people and escorting them to police vans.

More than a thousand people have been arrested and “hauled off by police” in protests across Russia in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Sky News’ Moscow correspondent Diana Magnay, at the scene of one of the protests, says there is a “vast police presence” acting as a “ring of steel around central Moscow”.

Navalny’s wife Yulia was among those detained in the Moscow protests.Police have lined up outside the Matrosskaya Tishina prison in Moscow where Navalny is detained and protesters are reportedly on their way there.

Russian businessman Arkady Rotenberg said on he owns a £1bn Black Sea palace. A long-time friend of the president says the luxury mansion belongs to him, as opposition protests are held across the country on this issue.

Russia closes metro stations, restricted movement in Moscow ahead of rallies in support of jailed opposition leader.

Supporters of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny are demanding his release for a second consecutive weekend. Previous unsanctioned rallies last Saturday escalated into clashes with police.

Anticipating unsanctioned rallies, police erected metal barriers, closing off the city center, including the area around the Kremlin. Seven subway stations were also closed. 

Russian authorities have closed metro stations and are restricting movement in Moscow ahead of planned rallies in support of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Many restaurants and shops in the city centre will be closed and overground transport will be diverted. More than 4,000 people were arrested across Russia during rallies last week.

Mr Navalny was jailed on his return to Russia after recovering from an attempt to kill him with a nerve agent. Mass rallies in support of Mr Navalny are expected across Russia TODAY Sunday, despite fresh police warnings about gatherings.

Media agencies


France Protest

Protest in Poland, Tunisia, Lebanon, India, Spain, Denmark, anti-lockdown protests continue, fresh wave of protest in France.

Fresh protests held Saturday against a French security bill which critics say will restrict the filming of police and posting images to social media, notably to document cases of police brutality.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of France on Saturday to express their anger over a security bill they say is anti-democratic.

Global Security Bill” that attracted most attention on Saturday.

The draft legislation will restrict the filming and publicizing of images or footage of police brutality.

Organizers said 55 rallies occurred across France to protest against the bill.

People are also angry about the use of surveillance tools such as drones and pedestrian cameras.

Others were protesting on behalf of the culture and arts sectors, both of which have been hit hard by the restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Among the protesters were young people calling for the right to hold rave events, such as the one in Brittany that attracted 2,400 people at the turn of the year, and involved five arrests.

Police brutality triggered unrest. Footage of White police beating up a Black music producer in his Paris studio on November 21 sparked the outrage over the bill, condemned by many as indicating a move to the right by French President Emmanuel Macron.

The government says the proposed legislation will better protect the police. However, following repeated protests, officials are set to revise the controversial Article 24 of the proposed Security Act which inhibits the filming of police.

Activists demand this passage be deleted completely. Media agencies


Finland Education Strenthen Plan

Finland strengthens its contribution to education in development cooperation.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs 29.1.2021 

Finland strengthens its support for education in developing countries as a donor of the Global Partnership for Education (GPE). At the virtual Educa goes digital event on Friday 29 January, Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari informed that Finland will allocate EUR 25 million to GPE’s next replenishment for 2021-2025.

GPE is the largest global fund dedicated to supporting education systems in developing countries. It gives grants for the development of the education sector in lower-income and fragile countries.  The majority of the grants are given to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Finland has collaborated with GPE before. In 2013–2016, Finland supported the fund by a total of EUR 6 million. At the end of 2020, Finland allocated EUR 2 million to GPE’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic to be used for supporting continuity of learning in developing countries in the emergency caused by the pandemic. The support focuses on ensuring the continuity of learning and return to school especially for girls and other children in vulnerable position.

“Given the international interest that our good expertise and education system attract, Finland can play a role in advancing the sustainable development goal of the UN 2030 Agenda on quality education in different parts of the world. Finland wants to work towards the common goal of providing quality education for the most vulnerable children and youth,” said Minister Skinnari at Educa.

Finland considers that it is particularly important to support access to education for girls and children with disabilities and to develop teacher training.

GPE aims to raise USD 5 billion in development finance during the next five years. The funding will be used to strengthen education systems comprehensively, to improve the quality of teaching, and to promote the education of girls and the most marginalised children in more than 70 developing countries.

The countries receiving grants from GPE are required to be able to provide sufficient national funding for the education sector as well as to promote gender responsive and equitable education sector plans.

 GPE’s work is based on partnerships with developing countries, donors, development finance institutions, organisations and the private sector.. 


Is China be Liable

Many experts of the rule of law say Beijing should be held liable for the worldwide consequences of its misfeasance, which now include more than 101 million infections worldwide, over two million deaths and about 400 million jobs lost.  The global economic loss to date is estimated at about US$16 trillion.

“Many advocates of the rule of law say Beijing should be held liable for the worldwide consequences of its misfeasance,” writes David Kilgour in his opinion.

German intelligence and others report that China’s Xi Jinping pressured the World Health Organisation (WHO) to delay issuing a global warning about the virus. Beijing suppressed the information to give it time to buy up personal protective equipment and other medical supplies globally, according to a Department of Homeland Security report quoted by the Associated Press.

European Union governments, Australia, and the US have demanded an independent investigation into how Covid-19 spread to humans. Xi offered $2 billion to the WHO, but until mid-January 2021 blocked WHO and investigators from various countries from entering Wuhan. 

When Covid emerged in Wuhan, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen  moved quickly to screen flights from there on December 31, 2019; ban Wuhan residents on January 23; institute intensive testing and contact tracing; and bar all visitors from China on February 6. If the WHO and its 194 member-nations had adapted Taiwan’s practices, many of the infections and deaths worldwide could have been avoided.

The biggest influx of Covid carriers into Europe was about 260,000 Chinese citizens, with two-thirds flying back to their jobs in Italy. By January 11, 2020, there were 2.2 million confirmed cases in Italy and 79,203 deaths.

Input HKFP J


Right to the Entrepreneurs

Minister of Employment Haatainen: Labour market support to entrepreneurs will continue until 30 June 2021

Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment 28.1.2021 12.30PRESS RELEASE

Minister Tuula Haatainen

The right of entrepreneurs to claim labour market support will continue until the end of June 2021. The Government decided on the matter on 27 January 2021 and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment will start preparing the legislative amendment immediately.

Entrepreneurs have been temporarily entitled to labour market support if full-time work in the company has ended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The temporary extension to entrepreneurs’ right to unemployment benefit currently in force is scheduled to end on 31 March 2021.

“Many entrepreneurs continue to feel the pinch because of the coronavirus epidemic. During the crisis, labour market support has provided security for small entrepreneurs, in particular, whose livelihoods have become increasingly uncertain. There is clearly still a need for this support, so we will begin urgent preparations for legislation to continue it,” Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen says.

The right to labour market support for entrepreneurs does not depend on the type of business. In principle, all entrepreneurs are entitled to the support as long as they meet the conditions for it. 

“It has been our aim to make labour market support for entrepreneurs a simple benefit so that it can take into account the different situations that people find themselves in,” Haatainen adds.

Last year, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) paid labour market support to 44,000 entrepreneurs, for a total amount of EUR 165.8 million.

What are the conditions for an entrepreneur to be eligible for labour market support.

Entrepreneurs are temporarily entitled to labour market support to deal with the sudden and unforeseen decline in demand due to the coronavirus epidemic. Labour market support is one form of unemployment benefits.

To be eligible for labour market support, an entrepreneur must meet the following conditions:

  • full-time employment of the entrepreneur has ended or
  • the monthly income from the entrepreneurial activities is less than EUR 1,089.67 per each person engaged in these activities as an entrepreneur.

The end of the person’s full-time work or the reduction in income must be due to the coronavirus epidemic. The entrepreneur does not have to cease their business activities in order to receive labour market support.

In order to receive labour market support, a person must register as a jobseeker with the TE Office and the TE Office must issue a labour policy statement on their entitlement to labour market support to Kela. The entrepreneur can then apply for labour market support from Kela.


UK Apply Join Free Trade – CPTPP

The Department for International Trade said UK trade with the member countries last year was worth £111 billion.

UK will formally apply to join a huge free trade pact including Australia, Canada, Japan and Singapore, under the government’s post-Brexit plans.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss will use a conversation with ministers in Japan and New Zealand on Monday to request membership of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP).

Joining the CPTPP will cut tariffs in trading with the group’s 11 members, which include Mexico and Vietnam.

The Department for International Trade said UK trade with the member countries last year was worth £111 billion.


Finn Skinnari in WEF

Minister Ville Skinnari participates in World Economic Forum panel on sustainable investments.

Ministry for Foreign Affairs 29.1.2021 

Minister for Development Cooperation and Foreign Trade Ville Skinnari will participate in a panel discussion on sustainable investments, organised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on Friday 29 January. The annual WEF “Davos Agenda” is organised virtually from 25 to 29 January.

Minister Skinnari will attend a panel discussion focusing on global investment flows and on how to mobilise investments to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The COVID-19 pandemic has decreased foreign direct investments (FDI) by more than 40 per cent, which has a severe impact on the future prospects of sustainable growth. The key question at the event is what changes are needed to restore global investments and to get them back on track.  

In the panel, Minister Skinnari will highlight, for example, the importance of trade and investment agreements and development policy instruments for stimulating private sector investments.

The Davos Agenda week gathers together leaders from government, business, international organisations, academia and civil society as well as opinion leaders. The themes of the event include, for example, the future of work and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.


Baharain: India Vaccine Vital

Made-in-India vaccine going to be of great help for people: Bahrain

Bahrain has said that the Made-in-India vaccine which it received yesterday is going to be of great help for their people. In an exclusive interview to AIR News, the Ambassador of Bahrain to India Abdul Rahman Al-Qaoud said, this proves the strength of the long-standing friendship between the two countries.


EU: Strengthen its resilience to crisis

Government Communications Department 28.1.2021 14.30PRESS RELEASE 56/2021

The Report on EU Policy is report is strongly based on the EU’s common values and on the Government Programme. It emphasises the need to strengthen the EU’s resilience to crisis in all sectors. The Government Report on EU Policy was adopted at the government plenary session on Thursday 28 January, after which it was submitted to Parliament.

The report outlines Finland’s EU policy for the coming years. It is based on the EU policy priorities set in the Government Programme. In this report, the Finnish Government presents its response on how the EU should strengthen its resilience and what direction its development should take in the first half of the 2020s. 

The thread running through the report is the need to strengthen the Union’s resilience to crisis in all EU activities. 
“Resilience to crisis is a cross-cutting theme in the report. The Government wants to strengthen the EU as a security community. The EU must reinforce its resilience to crisis in all policy areas,” says Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen.

The Report on EU Policy emphasises the importance of the EU’s common values and equality. Democracy, the rule of law and fundamental and human rights will continue to form the basis for all activities of the Union.
“Our common values are the foundation of the EU and an indispensable prerequisite for resilience. We must work to promote democracy, the rule of law and human rights comprehensively. In doing so, we will strengthen the unity, validity and credibility of the EU. We must continue our determined efforts to strengthen the rule of law, making full use of the instruments in the EU’s rule of law toolbox. The instruments must be further developed and used according to their purpose.”

The report also outlines Finland’s approach to the topical discussion on the EU’s strategic autonomy. The Government stresses that this must not mean turning inwards or opting for protectionism. Instead, strategic autonomy must mean developing the EU’s strengths, participating in fair competition, promoting the EU’s values and interests with greater determination, and assuming our responsibility in international cooperation. 

Finland is actively involved in developing the EMU. 

“Finland wants to see a more resilient EMU that strengthens Member States’ responsibility for their finances, simplifies fiscal policy rules and improves economic policy coordination through the European Semester. Finland is open to initiatives to tackle harmful tax competition and tax evasion.”

The EU must use its strengths to improve its position in the global operating environment. 

“Finland aims to make the EU the most competitive and socially integrated climate neutral economy in the world. When it comes to the resilience of our societies, the competitiveness of the EU, ecological sustainability and social justice, it is essential for the EU’s growth strategy to be based on the principles of sustainable development. Finland aims to promote the economy of wellbeing approach in its EU activities. We will continue to work as a cooperative Member State, actively seeking common solutions that create national and European added value while promoting openness,” says Tuppurainen.