Farmers union threaten to bring tractors to Republic Day

Bhartiya Kisan Union leader Rakesh Tikait has declared that farmers are prepared to take their agitation up a notch if the Centre doesn’t accede to their demands to take back the three laws part of the Farmers Act.

Speaking at Gajrola district in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh, Tikait announced that the farmers are prepared to take over the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2021.


“If our demands are not met, we will bring tractors and trolleys with the national flag to the Republic day parade. They we are going to see who pulls out the water cannon against us at the parade,” Tikait said in Gajrola on Friday (December 25).

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“Then we will all find out who is a desh bhakt and who is Khalistani because some of our critics have tried to call us Khalistani recently,” he added.

Tikait and other protesting farmers were stopped at Munda Pandey toll plaza near Moradabad as three days back some farmers had confronted the local police authorities there and farmers were stopped for close to 8-10 hours then.

Speaking about the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address, Tikait told IANS news agency, “Of course the Prime Minister and the government of India will have to find a solution to this issue. You can`t expect the opposition or Rahul Gandhi to do it. It has been a month and the farmers won’t return home. First, sit down and resolve the issue by withdrawing farm laws.”

“We are ready to discuss the agricultural laws, but they haven’t said they will repeal the agricultural laws. We are also ready for talks, but they are putting up a condition that they won’t repeal the contentious laws,” Tikait further said.

“Nobody is misleading farmers. The only motive of farmers gathered here is to have a legislation on MSP and repeal of these agricultural laws.

“The Prime Minister mentioned farmers in his address. The government must farmers sit down and have discussions with farmers sitting on the borders of Delhi,” he added.

In fact, under the PM-Kisan scheme Prime Minister Modi transferred an amount of Rs 18,000 crore into the accounts of nine crore farmers on the occasion of the birth anniversary of former prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The PM also attacked the opposition by accusing them of running a political agenda.

US election 2020: All eyes on Tuesday’s Trump-Biden face off

Republican President Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden face off on Tuesday (September 29) in a televised presidential debate, part of a 60-year-old tradition marked by some of the most memorable moments of modern US political history.

The first televised debate, in 1960, pitted Democratic nominee John F. Kennedy against Republican Vice President Richard Nixon, who was recovering from a hospital visit and had a 5 o’clock shadow, having refused makeup. The 70 million viewers focused on what they saw, not what they heard. Kennedy won the election.

 face off

In 1976, the first TV debate in 16 years, Democrat Jimmy Carter faced unelected incumbent Republican President Gerald Ford. In remarks seen as a major blunder, Ford said: “There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe, and there never will be under a Ford administration.” Carter won the election.

Another memorable moment was in 1984, when President Ronald Reagan, 73, successfully defused the issue of his age when he debated Democrat Walter Mondale, 56, quipping: “I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” Reagan was re-elected.

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While some question the importance of televised presidential debates six decades in, Eric Schnure, a professor at American University and former White House speech writer, said they matter a great deal.

“It’s one of these few moments during the course of a very long campaign when everyone can watch these two candidates on stage together and measure one against the other,” he said.

One challenge for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will be how to handle President Donald Trump’s notorious attacks, Schnure added.

“You’re never going to out-mean Donald Trump. And the counter is: can you be calm, cool, and collected?”

The first debate between Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 drew 84 million U.S. television viewers, a record for a debate and a rare number in an age of digital streaming. An exchange of insults dominated their second debate, with Clinton jabbing at Trump for sexually aggressive remarks about women he made on a just-uncovered 2005 videotape.

Trump sought to deflect criticism by accusing Bill Clinton, the candidate’s husband, of having done worse to women. In her book published in 2017, Clinton wrote that in their second debate Trump made her skin crawl by stalking her around the stage and she wondered if she should have told him to “back up, you creep.” In the third debate, Trump called Clinton “such a nasty woman” and declined to say he would accept the election results.

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Schnure, who previously help Gore and Joe Lieberman with debate preparations, said candidates often work on “creating moments” while making them seem authentic and off-the-cuff.

“The other side of that is the moments that happen when the lights come on and you get a hard question in real-time, and you say something that might be not as elegant as you had hoped,” he said.

In his second debate with President Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, responding to a question about gender pay equality, said he had “binders full of women” as candidates for Cabinet posts. The phrase became a meme on social media, with tweets, original artwork and a Facebook group spoofing Romney. Obama won again.

“[Trump] will claim victory no matter what,” said Schnure, adding that Biden’s performance needed to inspire anti-Trump voters to get out and vote.

“He needs to give them hope that come that first week in November, they’re going to win.”

The first presidential debate will take place in Cleveland, Ohio, on Tuesday.

China broke deal with US, dreaming Biden will win: Trump

Accusing China of breaking the negotiated trade deal draft with the United States, President Donald Trump on Sunday said Beijing was now “dreaming” that he would be replaced by a Democratic candidate after the 2020 presidential elections.


In a series of tweets, Trump indicated toughening of his stand against China.

After the near collapse of trade talks with China last week, Trump on Friday imposed a hefty duty on import of Chinese products from 10 per cent to 25 per cent worth more than USD 200 billion and asking for a similar increase on tariff on the rest of the Chinese import of over USD 300 billion.

“We are right where we want to be with China. Remember, they broke the deal with us and tried to renegotiate,” Trump said justifying his decision to impose a hefty tax on Chinese products. The new taxes would result in hefty revenue to the US, he said.

“We will be taking in Tens of Billions of Dollars in Tariffs from China. Buyers of product can make it themselves in the USA (ideal), or buy it from non-Tariffed countries…,” he said.

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“We will then spend (match or better) the money that China may no longer be spending with our Great Patriot Farmers (Agriculture), which is a small percentage of total Tariffs received, and distribute the food to starving people in nations around the world! GREAT! #MAGA,” Trump said.

A few hours later, he asserted that China’s sudden change in policy was mainly because it thought that leaders from the opposition Democratic party would be able to replace him in the White House after the 2020 presidential elections. By doing so, China was dreaming, he said.

China is DREAMING that Sleepy Joe Biden, or any of the others, gets elected in 2020. They LOVE ripping off America!,” Trump said.

Appearing on Fox News, Trump’s top economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the consumers of the United States would pay the increased taxes.

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“It’s not China that pays the tariffs, it’s the American importers, the American companies that pay what, is in fact, a tax increase,” he said.

“Fair enough. In fact, both sides will pay in these things, and of course it depends,” he said when asked “if it’s a tariff on goods coming into the country, the Chinese aren’t paying”.

Congressman Warren Davidson sought to impose sanctions on China on Sunday for walking away from good faith negotiations.”If China walks away from good faith negotiations, we could minimise collateral damage to US consumers and economy by using targeted sanctions against specific companies using subsidies, dumping, or stolen IP. Multiply allies instead of multiplying enemies,” Davidson said.

Post-Uighur study, Pakistan thinks China needs to understand Islam

China needs to come up with confidence-building measures in Xinjiang and a “better understanding of the religion” will be helpful for Chinese authorities in “understanding the people’s aspirations and concerns” are the key findings of the internal assessment done by Pakistan to understand the mood of the public on the situation of Uighurs.


The internal assessment done by Pakistan on public sentiment on the atrocities against Uighurs Muslims by the Chinese govt in the restive western province of Xinjiang saw religious Urdu journals being more vocal about it.

The assessment recommended that “reliable and mature religious” leaders need to be kept on frequent communication. And these religious leaders should feel the “closeness” in which they may give a suggestion to Chinese authorities on the issue.

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But largely a relook by Chinese authorities of “governance” is what is needed–this includes revisiting the approach of compulsory and forcible re-education of Uighur Muslims.

While Pakistani internal assessment has lauded Chinese leadership in the long term strategy of mainstreaming and integration of people of Xinjiang, the report suggests the common population should not be seen as a collective threat. It hopes fasting, prayers, recitation of Quran should be allowed since these are important tenets of Islam and restrictions over them is a cause discomfort.

The internal report has recommended that Muslims should be allowed the freedom to perform their rituals which will give a positive message inside and outside of China.  

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In fact, the news of curbs and restrictions on the Muslim way of life in other parts of China as well is seen as extremely disturbing for anyone in Pakistan, the report concurs.

It is important to know, Pakistan has banned online publication of extremist journals Hittin. The primary cause has been that it has been very critical of Chinese influence in Pakistan and Beijing should not be seen as a well-wisher to people of the region. It has talked about the mammoth infrastructure project the China Pakistan economic corridor in the same context and highlighted the “plight of Muslims in East Turkistan”. Xinjiang is also referred to as East Turkestan especially by extremist and terror groups–East Turkestan Islamic Movement.

ED summons Shruti Modi in Sushant Singh Rajput’s death case

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Sushant Singh Rajput’s ex-manager Shruti Modi. She was snapped at the ED office in Mumbai some time back. Reportedly, Sushant’s girlfriend Rhea Chakraborty was in touch with Modi and made various phone calls to her.


Rhea was spotted with her brother Showmik Chakraborty as they came before ED for interrogation in the case. While Rhea is still being interrogated, Showmik was allowed to leave the office.

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A few hours before appearing, Rhea requested the ED to postpone the recording of her statement till her Supreme Court plea hearing. Rejecting the request, the ED had reportedly also warned they would register Rhea Chakraborty’s absence as non-compliance of summons.

Both Rhea and Showmik were reportedly business partners with Sushant Singh Rajput. ED has summoned Rhea for questioning in connection with a money laundering case related to actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death. The Bihar Police had found Rs. 15 crore missing from Sushant’s bank account. The same was also confirmed by Mumbai Police Commissioner Param Bir Singh.

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Sushant’s father KK Singh, in his FIR with the Bihar Police, had also stated that he suspects Rhea took Sushant’s money. KK Singh had made other claims too, including Rhea kept Sushant away from his friends and family.

The ED is seeking details of the financial transactions of the firm Vividrage Rhealityx, in which Rhea is a director. They will also investigate the financial transactions of ‘Front India For World’, in which her brother Showik Chakraborty is a director.

Home Minister Amit Shah hospitalised for COVID-19

Union Home Minister Amit Shah tested positive for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on Sunday. The minister himself confirmed the news from his official account on Twitter. He has currently been admitted to a hospital in Delhi.

In the meanwhile, reactions started pouring in from across the political spectrum in connection with the development.

Amit Shah

BJP President JP Nadda wrote, “Received news of Union Home Minister Amit Shah testing COVID-19 positive. I pray to God for his speedy recovery.”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan tweeted in Hindi, he wrote: “May God heal you completely soon and you join the service with full energy. We wish you all the best!”

Notably, Chouhan himself had tested positive for coronavirus last month.

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu wrote: “Our Prayers for a speedy recovery, get well soon Amit Shah Ji.”

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Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy wished recovery to Shah on Twitter and wrote, “I  am sorry to hear from news media that Amit Shah has to be admitted to hospital because he has tested positive for Coronavirus. I wish him a speedy recovery and pray for his early discharge.”

Assam Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma wrote, “My good wishes for your speedy recovery Adarniya @AmitShah Ji. With your resolute determination and strong will power, you will soon come out of this.”

Earlier, Union Home Minster Amit Shah himself confirmed the news from his official handle on Twitter. He said that due to early symptoms coronavirus, he went for a test and the test result came positive. Although his health is fine, he will get himself admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors, Shah said.

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He also urged those who came into close contact with him in the past few days to get themselves tested for the virus.

“On getting the initial symptoms of coronavirus, I got the test done and the report came back positive. My health is fine, but I am being admitted to the hospital on the advice of doctors. I request that all of you who have come in contact with me in the last few days, please isolate yourself and get your tests done,” Shah tweeted out in Hindi.

Meanwhile, India has witnessed a huge single-day spike of 54,735 COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, taking its tally over the 17.50 lakh mark, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

With this latest spike, the total cases in the country stand at 17,50,724. Among these cases 5,67,730 are active. A total of 11,45,630 patients have been cured/discharged/migrated.


chinese army’s secret ‘61398’ unit spying on india’s defense and research

The Chinese Army’s secret unit ‘61398’, known for cyber espionage, is eyeing information related to India’s defense and research, the security agencies sounded an alert on Monday. According to a report of the security agencies, this secret unit of the People’s Liberation of Army (PLA) has intensified its activities against India.


Many cases have been reported in the last few months in which Chinese hackers associated with the PLA attempted to gather sensitive information of the country through cyber espionage.

Headquartered in Datong Avenue of Pudong district in China’s Shanghai, unit ‘61398’ is witnessing a spurt in these activities, asserted an officer deployed in the central security speaking to Zee Media. “Through unit ‘61398’, China has been engaged in gathering information like cyber, space, and geolocation intelligence around the world for a long time. These units are found to be very active against India,” said the officer.

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Since 2015, PLA has centralized its space, cyber and electronic warfare (EW) assets in the newly raised PLA Strategic Support Force (PLASSF). Therefore the unit ‘61398’ which deals with cyber warfare and was under erstwhile 3 PLA (General Staff Department Third Department) have been subordinated under the network system department of the PLASSF.

Another officer who is aware of the development said that there is a report of at least three cyber hackers supporting cyber espionage activities. Recently, there have been attempts made by these hackers to send a special computer program worldwide by attaching malware tools to cyber espionage. Icebug, Hidden Lynx (a professional advanced persistent threat using the program), and APT-12 have been used for attacking government and industrial organizations by Chinese hackers.

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In 2014, the US had charged five PLA military officers for espionage and they were part of unit ‘61398’. The US agencies believe that, like Unit ‘61398’, many such groups exist in China with the active support of the PLA, who are engaged in cyber spying around the world.

Many analysts believe China now has the capability to successfully target critical infrastructure during the war. There is also concern that Chinese hackers may disrupt the electric grid and banking system through cyber attacks.

IAF’s Rafale jets stand no chance against its J-20

The five French Rafale fighter jets arrived at Ambala airbase in Haryana on July 29 after covering a distance of nearly 7,000 km to join the Indian Air Force. Seen as India’s first major acquisition of fighter jets in over two decades, the Rafales are expected to significantly boost IAF’s capabilities.


In terms of comparison, Rafale is more capable than Pakistan’s F-16 or China’s J-20, an aircraft that is yet to see combat. According to former IAF chief BS Dhanoa, Rafale is a game-changer, and the Chinese J-20 doesn’t even come close.

However, expectedly, Chinese experts have a difference of opinion. They claim that Rafale is just a third-plus fighter aircraft and doesn’t stand much of a chance against a ‘stealth, fourth-generation jet like the J-20.”

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As per a report published in the Chinese daily Global Times, which is also a mouthpiece of the Communist Party, Zhang Xuefeng, a military expert says that Rafale is only about one-fourth of a generation more advanced than the Su-30 MKI jets.

“In some combat performance areas, the Rafale is superior to the Su-30 MKI fighter jets, which are in service in the Indian air force in large batches, but it is only about one-fourth of a generation more advanced and does not yield a significant qualitative change,” the report quoted the expert as saying.

“The Rafale is comparable to other third-plus generation fighter jets used by other countries, but it will find it very difficult to confront a stealth-capable fourth-generation fighter jet,” he further said.

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Notably, China’s claims cannot be taken at face value following the clashes in Ladakh that left 20 India soldiers dead. Reportedly, 43 PLA soldiers, including a Commanding Officer, was killed in the clash as well but China did not acknowledge their death.

The two countries are engaged in talks for disengagement at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

India had signed a deal worth over Rs 60,000 crore with France in September 2016 for 36 Rafales to meet the emergency requirements of the IAF.

Karnataka Lockdown: State govt issues ‘Unlock 3’ guidelines

A day after Centre’s order regarding phase 3 of unlock, the Karnataka government on Thursday issued guidelines regarding restriction on various activities outside the containment zones.

The state government has allowed more activities outside containment zones during Unlock 3. Strict lockdown in containment zones will continue to be enforced till August 31.

Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till August 31. However, online/distance learning will continue.
Karnataka Yoga institutes and gymnasiums will be allowed to function from August 5 for which, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be issued by the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and state government’s health ministry.

According to the guidelines, all activities, except a few that have been specified, are permitted outside containment zones.

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Activities not permitted during Unlock 3 period in Karnataka:

1. Schools, colleges, educational and coaching institutions will remain closed till 31st August 2020. Online/distance learning shall continue to be permitted and shall be encouraged.

2. Cinema halls, swimming pools, entertainment parks, theatres, bars, auditoriums, assembly halls and similar places.

3. International air travel of passengers, except as permitted by MHA.

4. Metro Rail.

5. Social/political/sports/entertainment/academic/cultural/religious functions and other large congregations.

Regarding Independence Day, functions at state, districts, sub-divisions, taluks, municipal and panchayat levels and ‘At Home’ functions, wherever held, will be allowed with social distancing and by following other health protocols such as wearing of masks.

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Lockdown in Karnataka Containment Zones: Lockdown will continue to remain in force in the Containment Zones till August 31, 2020.

1. Containment Zones will be demarcated by the BBMP/District authorities after taking into consideration the guidelines of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare (MoHFW) and Department of Health & Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnataka with the objective of effectively breaking the chain of transmission. Those Containment Zones will be notified on the websites by the respective Deputy Commissioners and by the Concerned Departments and information will be shared with MoHFW.

2. In the Containment Zones, only essential activities shall be allowed. There shall be strict perimeter control to ensure that there is no movement of people in or out of these zones, except for medical emergencies and for maintaining the supply of essential goods and services. In the Containment Zones, there shall be intensive contact tracing, house-to-house surveillance, and other clinical interventions, as required. Guidelines of MoHFW and Department of Health and Family Welfare, Govt. of Karnatak4 shall be effectively implemented for the above purpose.

3. Activities in the Containment Zones shall be monitored strictly by the BBMP/District authorities, and the guidelines related to containment measures in these zones shall be strictly implemented.

BBMP/Districts may also identify Buffer Zones outside the Containment Zones, where new cases are more likely to occur. Within the buffer zones, restrictions, as considered necessary, may be put in place by the BBMP/District authorities.

4. BBMP/Districts based on their assessment of the Situation, may prohibit certain activities outside the Containment Zones, or impose such restrictions as deemed necessary.

5. There shall be no restriction on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. No separate permission/approvals-permit will be required for such movement. However, people coming to Karnataka State from other State shall strictly adhere to the prevailing Guidelines/SOPs issued by the Department of Health and Family Welfare and Revenue Department (DM).

6. Movement of persons with SOPs: Movement by passenger trains and Shramik special trains; domestic passenger air travel; the movement of Indian Nationals stranded outside the country and of specified persons to travel abroad; evacuation of foreign nationals; and sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers will continue to be regulated as per SOPs issued by Ministry of Home Affairs and other concerned Ministries.

7. Protection of vulnerable persons: Persons above 65 years of age, persons with co-morbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of l0 years are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes.

Karnataka reported 83 deaths and 6,128 new cases in the state on Thursday. With this, the total number of cases in the state stood at 1,18,632, the state health ministry said. Currently, there are 69,700 active cases, while a total of 2,230 people have lost their lives due to the pandemic till now.

Eid-ul-Adha: Two-day relaxation for shopping in Srinagar

As people continue to gather for Eid shopping despite restrictions, the district administration in Srinagar on Tuesday allowed the shops to from 9 am to 5 pm on July 29, 30.

Shops to open with strict adherence to COVID-19 preventive guidelines. Maximum penalties in the form of sealings, fines will be imposed against violators.


Essential services shops will open for two days on 29 and 30 July with strict adherence to notified COVID-19 preventive guidelines in Srinagar, the district administration said.

The two-day relaxation in lockdown has been given in view of the Eid festival later this week, said a spokesman of the district administration on Tuesday.

The shops dealing in essential services and commodities will open from 9 am to 5 pm. Business establishments dealing in non-essential services and commodities will remain shut till further notification to this effect.

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In view of the COVID-19 situation in the district, there will be strict adherence to COVID-19 preventive protocols mandating face mask and distancing guidelines.

Violations will attract maximum penalties – in the form of sealings and fines – under the Disaster Management Act.

Enforcement teams – several in each tehsil – have been activated across the district to ensure adherence and strict action against violations wherever noticed or reported. Both shops and shoppers will be under the watch of these teams to check violations, Srinagar administration said in a statement.

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Meanwhile, the Srinagar district administration has constituted and notified joint market-checking teams to prevent overpricing of commodities during Eid shopping.

Earlier on Monday, people came out of their houses in Srinagar for the purpose of shopping with maximum shops seen open late in the evening.