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New Zealand reports first new virus cases in 25 days

first_imgNew Zealand’s borders are open only to returning Kiwis and their families, besides some exceptions for business and compassionate grounds, with everyone undergoing two weeks mandatory quarantine.The South Pacific nation, which has recorded only 22 deaths among a population of five million, declared last week that it had eliminated community transmission of the virus.As a result, domestic restrictions including social distancing requirements and limits on public gatherings were lifted, although strict border controls remain.Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that she had not declared the country virus-free because “New Zealand will have cases again in the future”. “Of course, our hope and expectation is that should be at the border… if they’ve quarantined, of course, that’s a very different story than in the community,” she told reporters, adding “it’s an ongoing campaign”. New Zealand reported two cases of COVID-19 Tuesday, ending a three-and-a-half week spell without any fresh infections, health authorities said.Both the new patients were recent arrivals from the United Kingdom, the health ministry said.”The ministry can confirm today two new cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand related to the border as a result of recent travel from the UK. Both cases are connected,” it said in a brief statement.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Ball State graduate designs Final Four court

first_imgMuncie, In. — A Ball State Graduate is participating in the NCAA tournament buzz, but it’s not what you might think.Connor O’Malia is a 2013 Graduate and a designer for Section 127, a full-service creative and marketing agency in Indianapolis and he designed the playing floor design for the 2019 Final Four games in Minneapolis.Connor urges family and friends to tune in the games on April 7 & 8 to look at his art work on the national stage. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself,” he said. “Working at Section 127 is a dream job and being able to combine my hobby of design with my love of basketball is really special to me. This is right in my wheelhouse.”last_img

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Fadnavis heckled by farmers over loan waiver in Nashik

first_imgMaharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was heckled by angry farmers during a programme at Lasalgaon in Nashik district on Sunday. The farmers were staging a demonstration against the Maharashtra government’s ambitious ₹34,000-crore farm loan waiver. The angry farmers interrupted the Chief Minister’s speech with loud boos and demanded a complete loan waiver and immediate implementation of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, which includes fixing a minimum support price (MSP) for agricultural produce over and above the input costs. Mr. Fadnavis was left red-faced as he failed to calm down the protesters and they continued to raise slogans throughout his speech.Earlier in the day, villagers of Naitale, which is situated 14 km from Lasalgaon, observed a bandh against the Chief Minister’s visit. Mr. Fadnavis is on a tour of Nashik along with Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, Cabinet Ministers and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leaders.Nashik was the hotbed of the farmers’ agitation that rocked the State in early June this year. The Nashik core committee of the Kisan Kranti Morcha went on to spearhead the agitation and replaced the Ahmednagar farmers’ faction, which had given the clarion call for the protest.Despite a number of assurances and proposals put forward by the BJP government, the committee has remained restive and has announced that they will be staging a massive road blockade on August 14. Farmers’ leaders in the core committee include Raju Shetti, Swabhimani Paksha president and MP, and legislator Bacchu Kadu. They have expressed their dissatisfaction with the government’s farm loan waiver, which is expected to benefit 89 lakh farmers by making 40 lakh among them debt-free while providing relief to 49 lakh others. The State also announced interim assistance of ₹10,000 to help debt-stricken farmers to purchase seeds and fertilizers before the commencement of the Kharif sowing season.last_img read more

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Dhoti Bill passed in Tamil Nadu Assembly

first_imgThe Tamil Nadu Assembly on Wednesday passed a Bill that imposes a one-year jail term and Rs 25,000 fine on those who deny entry to persons wearing dhotis in any public place, malls, clubs and stadiums.Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. JayalalithaaIntroduced by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, the Act is also applicable to other traditional Indian dresses.The Tamil Nadu Entry into Public Places (Removal of Restriction of Dress) Act, 2014 was passed by voice vote.The move was necessitated after an ugly incident in Tamil Nadu Cricket Club Association (TNCA) last month when a sitting judge of the Madras High Court Justice Hariparanthaman was denied permission to enter the club to attend a function simply because he was wearing a dhoti.Though the judge pleaded with the security staff of the club that the dress code is only for its members and not for the guests, they simply refused to allow him.This created a huge furore in the state with all the political parties cutting across party lines condemning it.At that time making an announcement in the Assembly, Jayalalithaa vowed that she will bring a legislation in the present session giving protection to dhoties.”No person, wearing a Veshti (dhoti) reflecting Tamil culture or any other Indian traditional dress, shall be denied entry into any public place, by reason only of his dress, provided that the dress shall be worn in a decent manner”, the Bill said in its operative portion.As per the Bill, the licences of the clubs and organisations violating the law will be cancelled. It says the violaters of the law shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year and with fine which may extend to Rs 25,000.advertisementHowever, a powerful section of lawyers feel that this law may not stand the scrutiny of law.”The Supreme Court in nearly half a dozen rulings had indeed struck down Acts like this. The government cannot impose its will like this on purely private bodies, which does not get anything from government.  In the TNCA case, the government can claim that it has given prime land in the heart of the city to the club on a very small rent ostensibly to develop sports. So it can impose its directives there. But there are several private clubs which does not depend on the govt for any charity. This Bill cannot control them. The government’s writ cannot run there. This is ridiculous. I hope if any one challenges it in the proper judicial forums, the government will have egg on its face,” said a senior lawyer practising in the Madras High Court.But some other lawyers feel the government has a right to get involved.”Yes, the government has a role and powers. It is extending its hands to protect cultural rights of the people. You have to look at the motives behind the law. I do believe that this will stand the scrutiny of law,” said P. Sundarrajan, an advocate of the Madras High Court.Observers believe this is one more Act by Jayalalithaa to protect and expand her fast growing vote base.”Ever since she came back to power in May 2011, Jayalalithaa is taking into her hands all those issues which are dear to her arch rival and DMK president M. Karunanidh. Whether it is the Cauvery waters issue, Sri Lankan issue, Tamil fishermen issue, release of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers, anti-Hindi and anti-Sanskrit agitations, Jayalalithaa is taking the issues in her hands and thus deny any issue for the opposition especially Karunanidhi to protest. This is a clever move and these moves had paid her dividends in the last Lok Sabha elections wherein her AIADMK won a landslide victory of bagging 37 out of 39 seats in the state,” said RAR Kannan, a senior journalist.The dhoti Bill is definitely one among the list and since the state is going to the Assembly polls in 2016 one can confidently say that Jayalalithaa is not missing any issue to garner votes and repeat the spectacular performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.last_img read more

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