Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Expresso Top National and International Headlines of the Week on 11 May 2024

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Expresso Top National and International Headlines of the Week on 11 May 2024 Transcript

In top national news: Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in Telangana on Thursday that the 2024 Lok Sabha poll is a “Rahul Gandhi versus Narendra Modi election”, a fight between ‘vote for jihad’ and ‘vote for vikas’. Shah also framed the election as a contest between Modi’s “Bharatiya guarantee” and Rahul’s “Chinese guarantee”. Rahul Gandhi, who also held a rally in Telangana, said the election pitted the INDIA bloc against “those who want to change or destroy the Constitution”. In a video posted on social media, Rahul also said the election was “slipping away” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

 

The Enforcement Directorate opposed in the Supreme Court the grant of interim bail to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in a money-laundering case, saying the right to campaign in elections is neither fundamental nor constitutional. In a fresh affidavit filed in the top court, the ED said no political leader has ever been granted interim bail for campaigning even if he is not contesting polls. “It is relevant to note that the right to campaign for an election is neither a fundamental right nor a constitutional right and not even a legal right,” the agency said. It added that to its knowledge, “no political leader has been granted interim bail for campaigning even though he is not the contesting candidate”.

 

A row has erupted over a speech made by BJP leader Navneet Rana in Hyderabad while campaigning for the party’s Hyderabad Lok Sabha candidate Madhavi Latha on Wednesday. Referring to AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi’s speech at Nirmal in Telangana in 2012, in which he said that if police are removed for 15 minutes his community would show 100 crore Hindus what it could do, Rana said, “Akbaruddin said remove police for 15 minutes so they can show what they can do… I say, it may take you 15 minutes but it will take us only 15 seconds.” Rana was campaigning along with several BJP leaders on May 8 when she made this statement.

 

In other news: With British pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca asking for the withdrawal of marketing approval of its Covid-19 vaccine in Europe, Serum Institute of India (SII), which partnered with the company to provide Covishield vaccines in India, said Wednesday it had stopped production in December 2021. The European Medicines Agency, the medicine regulator for the European Union, had on Tuesday said that the marketing authorisation of the vaccine Vaxzevria, known as Covishield in India, has been withdrawn at the request of the company. An SII spokesperson said in a statement: “From the outset, we have disclosed all rare to very rare side effects, including Thrombosis with Thrombocytopenia Syndrome (TTS), in the packaging insert in 2021.”

 

In top international news: Donald Trump notched another win in his campaign to slow the criminal cases against him on Wednesday when a Georgia appeals court agreed to hear his bid to disqualify the district attorney prosecuting him for trying to overturn his election loss in the state. The ruling prolongs the legal battle over a former romance between Fani Willis, Fulton County’s district attorney, and a one-time top deputy, a relationship defence lawyers have used to try to derail the case. The court’s decision to hear the appeal before trial means further delay in the case, one of four criminal prosecutions facing the Republican former president as he seeks to unseat Democratic President Joe Biden in the election.

 

Israel’s Ambassador to Singapore Eliyahu Vered Hazan has apologised for a Facebook post on Palestine that its embassy here published in March, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said. Ambassador Hazan in a meeting with Shanmugam last week said it was wrong for the post to have been put up and that the post was not authorised by him, Shanmugam told Parliament. The ambassador has also assured that the officer responsible will be sent back, Shanmugam said.

 

The World Health Organization says it has only three days of fuel for its medical operations in southern Gaza, with shortages already forcing one of three remaining hospitals in the city of Rafah to shut down. The Rafah border crossing with Egypt has been closed since Israel’s military took control of the Palestinian side early Tuesday, blocking the entry of desperately needed humanitarian aid. The U.N. says northern Gaza is already in a state of “full-blown famine.” Israel said it reopened the Kerem Shalom crossing, the other main entry point for aid, on Wednesday. U.N. officials say no aid has entered Gaza, and there is no one to receive it on the Palestinian side because of ongoing fighting.

 

Lastly: High-level mediation talks on South Sudan were launched Thursday in Kenya with African presidents calling for an end to a conflict that has crippled the country’s economy for years. South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir thanked his Kenyan counterpart, William Ruto, for hosting the talks and said that his government would negotiate in good faith and with an open mind. “We hope that the opposition groups have a similar conviction and desire for peace in South Sudan, which, when fully achieved, will bring everlasting stability and economic development in the region, not just South Sudan,” he said. The talks are between the government and rebel opposition groups that were not part of a 2018 agreement that ended a civil war.

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