Headlines: India’s C-17 Brings Back Its Staff, Ambassador From Afghanistan
India’s C-17 Brings Back Its Staff, Ambassador From Afghanistan
Before the operations at Kabul airport and the control of the airspace was handed over to the military, India’s C-17 aircraft brought back some 40 people, including security personnel and diplomats from Afghanistan. On Tuesday, the External Affairs Ministry announced that a second C-17 Globemaster heavy-lift aircraft would be flying to Kabul to bring more than 120 Indians back to their country. The official spokesperson of MEA, Arindam Bagchi tweeted: “In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately,” Initially, the people who were to return on the second C-17 flight were turned back by the Taliban fighters, but after the Indian side made intense diplomatic efforts all through the day, they were later drove to the secured areas of the Kabul airport. There is no official statement about which route was taken by the evacuation aircrafts. However, the people said both C-17s flew through Iranian airspace and over the Arabian Sea so as to avoid flying over Pakistan and spending too much time in Afghanistan’s airspace. Though the Taliban assured that all embassies and diplomats would be provided security, India bringing back its staff, security personnel, and diplomats show its lack of trust in the Taliban’s announcement. In a tweet, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said: “Given the Kabul situation, important we have accurate information about Indians there. Urge that this be provided by all concerned to the MEA Special Afghanistan Cell at: Phone number: +919717785379 Email: MEAHelpdeskIndia@gmail.com,”
Given the Kabul situation, important we have accurate information about Indians there. Urge that this be provided by all concerned to the MEA Special Afghanistan Cell at:
Phone number: +919717785379
— Dr. S. Jaishankar (@DrSJaishankar) August 16, 2021
In view of the prevailing circumstances, it has been decided that our Ambassador in Kabul and his Indian staff will move to India immediately.
— Arindam Bagchi (@MEAIndia) August 17, 2021
Covid-Bulletin: India Reports 25,166 Covid-19 Cases; Lowest In 5 Months
According to the latest data released by the Union Health Ministry, India has reported 25,166 active covid-19 cases, which is the lowest active tally in around 5 months. The active cases constitute 1.15% of total covid-19 cases, the lowest since March 2020. Meanwhile, the daily recoveries have surpassed active covid-19 cases by a huge margin, with 36,830 more patients recovering in the last 24 hours. The total recoveries in the country stand at 3,14,48,754. The weekly positivity rate and the daily positivity rate stands at 1.98% and 1.61%, respectively. As per the Indian Council of Medical Research, the country has conducted 49.66 crore covid-19 tests so far. On the vaccination front, India has administered more than 88.13 lakh covid-19 vaccines in the last 24 hours, which is the highest ever vaccination achieved in a single day. Under the nationwide vaccination programme, the country has administered 55.47 crore covid-19 vaccine doses so far.
— Ministry of Health (@MoHFW_INDIA) August 17, 2021
Afghanistan Crisis: US President Joe Biden Defends US Withdrawal From The Country
After the Taliban took control over Kabul, the largest city and capital of Afghanistan, in just a few days, the action sparked criticism for the Joe Biden-led US administration and his decision of withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan, giving way to the Taliban to capture Afghanistan. However, US President Joe Biden defended US withdrawal from the country and said: “I stand squarely behind my decision. After 20 years, I’ve learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw US forces. That’s why we’re still there,” On Monday, a video showing thousands of people thronging Kabul’s airport in an attempt to leave the country as the Taliban took control over Afghanistan went viral. There were chaotic scenes at the Kabul airport as the Taliban seized the capital. Meanwhile, US-backed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, saying that he wanted to avoid bloodshed. On Monday, the US said that evacuation flights resumed after several hours of delay. The US intelligence predicted that the country would fall in the hands of the Taliban in months, but the speed at the which the Afghan cities were seized one after another by the Taliban and fear of a Taliban crackdown on women’s rights and threat to freedom of speech and human rights has sparked criticism against Joe Biden-led US government over social media.
India Announces’ e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ Given The Afghanistan-Taliban Crisis
Amid the ongoing Afghanistan-Taliban crisis, India has reviewed its visa provisions and announced the induction of a new category of electronic visa called ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ to fast track the process of visa applications for entry to India. In a statement, the official spokesperson of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said: “MHA reviews visa provisions in view of the current situation in Afghanistan. A new category of electronic visa called ‘e-Emergency X-Misc Visa’ introduced to fast-track visa applications for entry into India,” The decision was announced on Tuesday, two days after the rapid takeover of Afghanistan by Taliban. India’s decision to cut short the visa application process seems to be very helpful for providing quick help to the needy. Several countries are sending their evacuation flights to Kabul to bring back their citizens as the Taliban took control over the country.
Centre: States, UTs Still Have Over 2.25 Crore Unutilized Covid-19 Vaccine Doses
The Union Health Ministry, on Tuesday, informed that over 2.25 crore unutilized covid-19 vaccine doses are available with states, UTs and private hospitals that are yet to be administered. Informing the same, the Ministry said: “More than 2.25 crore (2,25,52,523) balance and unutilized covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with the states/UTs and private hospitals to be administered,” The Ministry also informed that the central government has provided over 58.81 crores (56,81,32,750) of covid-19 vaccine doses to the states/UTs till date and over 1 crore (1,09,32,960) doses are in the pipeline. As per the data released by the Union Health Ministry, India has administered 55,11,51,992 covid-19 vaccine doses so far, including wastage.
Government Denies Pegasus Allegations; Asks SC To Appoint Expert Panel
The central government has denied allegations overusing the Pegasus Spyware to conduct surveillance and said that it would support the decision of appointing a Supreme Court-appointed expert panel to probe over Pegasus row if the top court decides to do so. The Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, on behalf of the Union government, said: “The committed can be authorized by the Supreme Court to go into all issues. The government has nothing to hide. The committee can comprise neutral and independent experts and is authorized by the Court to go into all issues. The government has no difficulty in agreeing to this. The Supreme Court using its powers under Article 32 of the Constitution, can decide whatever will be terms of reference for the committee. The committee then will be carrying the mandate from the Supreme Court to go into all issues,” The N V Ramana-led bench posted the matter for further hearing.
Bigg Boss OTT: Tension Between Shamita Shetty And Divya Agarwal Continues To Heat Up
The spat between Shamita Shetty and Divya Agarwal continues to blow up. In the recent Weekend Ka Vaar episode, Divya said that it doesn’t matter what Karan Johar or Salman Khan tries to make her understand because she will only listen to her own heart always. On Monday, Shamita interrupted Divya when the latter referred to Shamita as her best friend by saying “Please don’t call me that,” Meanwhile, Shamita Shetty also broke down on the special weekend episode when she said that it hasn’t been easy to come out of the shadow of her sister and Bollywood celebrity Shilpa Shetty.
Tiger 3: Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif And Crew Members To Fly To Russia In Jumbo Charter
According to the latest reports, Actor Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, along with other crew members, will be heading to Russia on Wednesday to shoot the international leg of Tiger 3. The 45-day schedule will be filled with action sequences, and Salman and Katrina will be shooting in at least 5 international locations, including Turkey and Austria. Given the whole pandemic situation, the entire cast has to maintain a bio bubble; speaking about the same, a highly placed trade source said: “YRF is chartering everyone including Salman, Katrina, director Maneesh Sharma, the entire cast and crew for this intense international leg that will see the team pull off some spectacular shooting schedules! Team Tiger takes off on 18th August ’21! The direction team under Maneesh has prepped for months for this schedule, and Aditya Chopra is clear that the shoot needs to happen smoothly,” “Aditya Chopra and Maneesh Sharma didn’t want to compromise on the scale of the film despite the pandemic, and they have planned Tiger 3 to be a visually spectacular theatrical experience. Thus, this schedule will add a lot to the film’s visual extravaganza and some never seen before action sequences will be filmed,” added the source.
Rhea Kapoor Gets Hitched To Karan Boolani, Shares Wedding Pictures
Anil Kapoor’s daughter and designer Rhea Kapoor tied the knot with her long-time boyfriend Karan Boolani on 14th August 2021 at Anil Kapoor’s residence. The wedding was attended only by family members and was a closed affair. On Monday, Rhea took to Instagram to announce the news and wrote: “12 years later, I shouldn’t have been nervous or overwhelmed because you’re my best friend and the best guy ever. But I cried and shook and had stomach flips all the way through because I didn’t know how humbling the experience would be. I’ll always be that girl who had to come home to Juhu at 11 pm before my parents fell asleep. Only until now, I didn’t know how lucky I was to feel torn. I hope we make a family so close that we have many, many loves of our life. Mine are @karanboolani @anilskapoor @kapoor.sunita @sonamkapoor and @harshvarrdhankapoor forever more,” The bride opted for a heavily embellished ivory lehenga with golden thread work and embroidery. What stole the show was Rhea’s fully beaded dupatta.
T20 World Cup Latest Updates: India To Begin Their Campaign With A Clash Against Pakistan On 24th October
On Tuesday, the International Cricket Council announced the schedule for the upcoming T20 World Cup, which will be held between 17th October and 14th November in Oman and the United Arab Emirates. India will take on Pakistan on 24th October in Dubai, and India’s next match will be up against New Zealand on 31st October in Dubai.
Here’s the India schedule at T20 World Cup:
Super12 Stage, Group 2
India vs Pakistan 24th October, Dubai
India vs New Zealand 31st October, Dubai
India vs Afghanistan 3rd November, Abu Dhabi
Mark your calendars 📆
Get ready for the 2021 ICC Men’s #T20WorldCup bonanza 🤩
— ICC (@ICC) August 17, 2021