DD/AIR News

  • Supercomputers and sophisticated numerical algorithms have allowed cosmologists to show how density fluctuations left over from the very early stages of the Universe after its creation in a Big Bang could have evolved into the ‘First stars’, but the ultimate fate of the stars have long remained elusive. Led by Jayanta Dutta from Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali, a team consisting of Sharanya Sur from Indian Institute of Astrophysics Bangalore, an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Athena Stacy from UC Berkeley and Jasjeet Singh Bagla from IISER Mohali have developed a model that allows to follow the evolution of these protostars up to a million years from their birth. Exploring the survival possibility of these stars called Population III protostars till the present day, the team showed that some of these stars that initially formed within a certain range of masses and are ejected with velocity larger than the escape velocity may have survived to the present day on the main sequence, an evolutionary phase in stellar evolution where stars are converting hydrogen to helium in their cores via nuclear fusion. How long a star remains in this phase depends on its mass. In the present study, since the ejected protostars have masses less than 0.8 solar mass, they will take longer to evolve off the main sequence. Thus, they may even be found in our Milky Way or its satellites. Their calculations also revealed that protostars that do not get ejected from the parent gas clump accumulate a large amount of gas. Thus, these can possibly become massive enough to be progenitors of black holes. The research supported by the Science and Engineering Research Board (SERB) of the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India, and a National Post Doctoral Fellowship (NPDF) at the Physical Science department of IISER Mohali was published in ‘The Astrophysical Journal’ recently. This work comes at a time when even the most sophisticated highest resolution cosmological simulations of primordial star formation are unable to follow the gas evolution beyond a few hundreds of years from the formation of the first central hydrostatic core, which is inadequate to ascertain the fate of the protostars. Using a semi-analytical model, this team followed the long term evolution of the trajectory and mass accretion history of these protostars on time scales that are crucial to infer about the ultimate fate of these stars and predicted that some of them could enter the main sequence and survived till the present epoch. This work offers a fresh approach to explore the complex nature of the non-linear process of gravitational collapse and sheds new light on the eventual fate of the first sources of illumination in our Universe.

  • Team India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy    Team India ODI squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain & wicket-keeper), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur   Team India Test squad: Virat Kohli (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, R. Ashwin, Mohd. Siraj   Four additional bowlers - Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi, Ishan Porel and T. Natarajan - will travel with the Indian contingent.   The BCCI Medical Team will continue to monitor the progress of Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma.

  • This year many of the usual activities during the Puja  like Kumari Puja, Shidur Khela, Dhunchi dance competition and immersion procession called ‘Shobhajatra’ were not held as certain restrictions were imposed by the government due to Corona pandemic in the country.  The process of immersion started in the afternoon in the capital city where the idols were immersed in Buriganga. Organisers were advised by the Mahanagar Puja celebration Committee to complete the process before 6 in the evening, reports the official news agency BSS.  Durga Puja is the biggest festival of the Bangladeshi Hindus. It was celebrated with devotion and enthusiasm across the country despite the Corona pandemic. Puja was organised in Bangladesh in 30,223 mandaps which was  less in number compared to last year's figure of 31,398. In Dhaka alone, Puja was held in 233 mandaps.  Rajesh Jha/Dhaka/26.10.2020

  • The Prime Minister said that a self-reliant India will also be a force multiplier for the world economy. PM Modi said, with a smaller carbon footprint, our energy sector will be growth-centric, industry-friendly and environment-conscious.   He said, that is why India is one of the most active nations in furthering renewable source of energy. He said, India's energy plans aims to ensure energy justice while fully following our global commitments for sustainable goals.   PM Modi said, India is the third largest and the fastest growing aviation market in terms of domestic aviation. He said, India will always work keeping in mind global goals and we are well on track to meet the commitment we made to the global community.   He said, we had aimed to increase the renewable energy installed capacity by 175 Giga Watt  by 2022 and we have further extended this goal to 450 Giga Watt by 2030.   He said, India has one of the lowest carbon emissions than rest of the industrialized worlds.   The Prime Minister said, the country's refining capacity will increase from about 250 to 400 MMT per annum by 2025 and increasing domestic gas production has been a government priority as well.   He said, the government has planned to achieve One Nation, One Gas Grid and shift towards a gas-based economy.   The Prime Minister said, in the last six years, over 11 million smart LED street lights were installed and this has enabled an estimated energy saving of 60 billion units per year.   He said, the estimated greenhouse gas emission reduction with this programme is over 4.5 crore tonnes of CO2 annually.   He said, we also save around Rs. 24 thousand crore annually from the same.

  • The case pertains to the seizure of 30 Kg gold worth Rs. 14.82 crores on 5th July, 2020 at Air Cargo of Trivandrum International Airport by Customs (Preventive) Commissionerate, Cochin, from the diplomatic baggage.Investigation in the case has revealed that Rabins Hameed (A-10), while being in UAE and India had conspired with the arrested accused Ramees K. T. (A-5), Jalal A. M. (A-6) and others besides arranged funds and purchased gold at Dubai, for smuggling to India, through diplomatic baggage. The NIA Special Court at Ernakulam had issued non-bailable warrant of arrest against the fugitive Rabins Hameed (A-10). He is also learnt to have arranged for the concealment of gold in electronics or electrical equipment and household items in the UAE, for smuggling the contraband to Thiruvananthapuram, through diplomatic baggage. The arrested accused will be produced before the Special Court and his NIA custody sought.    

  • The Central Bureau of Investigation organizes this National Conference coinciding with ‘Vigilance Awareness Week’, which is observed in India every year from 27th October to 2nd November. Activities in this conference would be focused on Vigilance issues aimed at raising awareness and reaffirming India’s commitment to promotion of integrity and probity in public life through citizen participation. The three day conference would discuss the Challenges in investigation in foreign jurisdictions; Preventive Vigilance as a Systemic Check against Corruption; Systemic improvements for financial inclusion and prevention of bank frauds; Effective Audit as an Engine of Growth; Latest amendments to the Prevention of Corruption Act as an impetus to the fight against corruption; Capacity Building and Training; Multi Agency Coordination-an enabler for faster and more effective Investigation; Emerging Trends in Economic Offences, Cyber Crimes and Transnational Organized Crime-measures to Control and Exchange of Best Practices among Criminal Investigative Agencies.

  • Polling will be held on Wednesday. Several constituencies that go to polls in this phase are Naxal violence affected and sensitive from security point of view. In the first phase a total of 1066 candidates are in fray and over 2.14 Cr eligible voters will exercise their franchise. BJP is contesting from 29 seats, JD(U) from 35 and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) from six assembly seats. The Vikas Sheel Insaan Party (VIP) has fielded one (01) candidate. The Grand alliance's RJD is contesting from 42 seats, while Congress has fielded 21 candidates. The CPI-ML has 08 candidates in fray. The LJP has decided to support BJP candidates on those seats where LJP is not contesting. Political fortunes of 08 cabinet ministers Prem Kumar, Ram Narayan Mandal, Jai Kumar Singh, Krishna Nandan Verma, Shailesh Kumar, Santosh Nirala, Vijay Kumar Sinha and Brij Kishore Bind will be decided in this phase. Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is contesting from Imamganj assembly constituency as NDA candidate. The RJD has pitted former speaker of Bihar Legislative assembly Uday Narayan Chaudhary against Mr Manjhi. On the last day of campaigning stalwarts and star campaigners are making a last ditch effort to woo the voters.

  • Out of the 15 results declared so far, BJP has bagged 11 seats while Congress has won two seats and two independent candidates have also emerged victorious.   AIR correspondent reports that BJP candidates have been declared winners in Diskit, Turtuk, Tegar, Panamik and Hundar constituencies in Nubra region.   Besides, BJP also claimed Tangtse, Korzok and Martselong , Kyungyam and in Thiksey. C   Congress candidates Sonam Thardos in Igoo and Rigzin Tsering in Sakti Constituency declared winners.   Independent candidate Konchok Stanzin declared winner in Chushul while another independent Ishey Spalzang has also won the Nyoma seat.   Final results of all the 26 constituencies are expected by this evening.

  • With an overall recovery of over 71 lakh 37 thousand patients so far, the recovered cases in the country stand at nearly 11 times more than the active cases. Nearly 60 thousand patients have recovered in the last 24 hours whereas the new confirmed cases reported in the same time span stood at nearly 45 thousand. The Health Ministry said that enhanced countrywide medical infrastructure, implementation of the Centre’s Standard Treatment Protocol by the States and Union Territories and total dedication and commitment of doctors, paramedics and frontline workers have led to a persistent increase in the number of total recoveries in the country. It said, this has also led to a commensurate dip in the fatality rate which stands at 1.50 per cent. The Health Ministry informed that 480 case fatalities were reported in the past 24 hours of which nearly 80 per cent are concentrated in ten States and Union Territories. With a large number of COVID patients recovering every day along with a steadily falling and sustained low mortality rate, India’s trend of registering decreasing active cases continues. The active caseload of the country also keeps decreasing and stands presently below 8.5 per cent. The total positive cases in the country today is six lakh 53 thousand 717 which comprises merely 8.26 per cent of the total reported cases. The Health Ministry informed that 480 case fatalities were reported in the past 24 hours of which nearly 80 per cent are concentrated in ten States and Union Territories. During the last 24 hours, over 9 lakh 39 thousand COVID samples were tested in the country. With this the cumulative testing figure has further risen to nearly 10 crore 35 lakhs. The Health Ministry has said India has come a long way from just one COVID testing lab in January this year to around 2006 such labs as on date.

  • Now, when you visit an incompatible site in Internet Explorer which still has 5 per cent market share globally, the browsing session will automatically be directed to Microsoft Edge. The redirection is being achieved via an Internet Explorer Browser Helper Object (BHO). This feature works on nearly 1,156 sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google Drive, among others, reports Bleeping Computer. While browsing the websites that are incompatible with Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge will display a pop-up, prompting the user to set their default browser to Edge. Microsoft Edge will also prompt users to migrate their Internet Explorer settings, data, and cookies to Microsoft Edge. "The following browsing data will be imported: Favourites, Passwords, Search engines, open tabs, history, settings, cookies, and the Home Page," according to Microsoft. Microsoft has warned corporate customers that from November 13, Internet Explorer will no longer log into Microsoft accounts. Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) by August 17 next year, the company announced in August. Beginning November 30 this year, Microsoft Teams web app will no longer support IE 11 and the remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support IE 11 from August 2021. After the above dates, customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services on IE 11. Microsoft launched Edge five years ago after its once-dominant Internet Explorer lost its appeal as Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox took over the browser space. The company also announced it would end support for the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop app on March 9, 2021. After March 9, the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop app will not receive new security updates.

  • Less than 500 deaths (480) have been reported in last 24 hours in the country. India has one of the lowest fatality rates in the world. The Case Fatality rate is lowest since 22nd March and is continuously declining. As part of the COVID management and response policy, there has been a sharp focus of the Central Government on not only containing the COVID, but to reduce deaths and to save lives by providing quality clinical care to the critical and severe patients of COVID. Collaborative efforts of the Union and State/UT governments have resulted in strengthening of the health facilities across the country. 2218 Dedicated COVID Hospitals are providing quality medical care. A unique initiative to build the capacities of the ICU doctors in clinical management of critical patients towards reducing the fatality, e-ICU has been started by AIIMS, New Delhi. Twice a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays, tele/video -consultation sessions are held by knowledge and domain experts for the doctors manning ICUs in the State hospitals. These sessions started from 8th July 2020. Till date, 25 tele-sessions have been held, and 393 institutions across 34 States/UTs have participated in them. To further build the ICU/clinical management capacities of doctors for treatment of critical patients, AIIMS New Delhi in collaboration with the Health Ministry has developed FAQs. These have been posted on the MoHFW website and can be accessed at: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/pdf/AIIMSeICUsFAQs01SEP.pdf Also, many States have conducted the population surveys to map and identify the vulnerable population like the elderly, pregnant women and those with co-morbidities. This, with the help of technological solutions like Mobile Apps, has ensured keeping the high-risk population under continuous observation, thus aiding early identification, timely clinical treatment and reducing fatalities. At the ground level, frontline health workers like ASHAs and ANMs have done a commendable job of managing the migrant population and to enhance awareness at the community level. As a result, there are 14 States and UTs with CFR lower than 1%. 59,105 new recoveries were added in last 24 hour whereas new recovered cases were 45,148. With this, the total number of recoveries have crossed 71 Lakh (71,37,228). Higher number of single day recoveries is also reflected in the continuous increase in the national recovery rate, which is at present 90.23%. India continues to report a trend of steadily decreasing active cases. Presently the active cases comprise merely 8.26% of the total positive cases of the country standing at 6,53,717. This is the lowest since 13th August when eth active cases were 6,53,622. 78% of the new recovered cases are observed to be concentrated in 10 States/UTs . Karnataka has contributed the maximum to the single day recoveries with more than 10,000 cases followed by Kerala with more than 7,000 cases. 45,148 new confirmed cases were registered in the last 24 hours in the country. This is the lowest since 22nd July when 37,000 new cases were added. 82% of new confirmed cases are from 10 States and UTs. Kerala and Maharashtra contribute maximum to the new confirmed cases with more than 6,000 cases each followed by Karnataka, Delhi and West Bengal with more than 4,000 cases. 480 case fatalities have been reported in the past 24 hours. Of these, nearly 80% are concentrated in ten States/UTs. More than 23% of new fatalities reported are from Maharashtra (112 deaths).  

  • Borissov, who met Keith Krach, U.S. undersecretary of state for economic affairs, on Friday has informed the U.S. Embassy in Sofia of the situation, the head of Sofia health inspectorate said. The government press office said Borissov was able to carry out his duties and was in constant contact with his ministers as the Balkan country grapples with a spike in new coronavirus infections. Borissov had self-isolated late on Friday after he was informed that a deputy minister who he had been in contact with five days ago had tested positive. Health authorities lifted Borissov’s quarantine late on Saturday after two negative results from coronavirus tests, but then he tested positive on Sunday. “Although my quarantine was lifted, since Friday I have postponed all my meetings and planned public appearances for the coming days,” Borissov, 61, said in a posting on his official Facebook account. “After two PCR tests, as of today I am positive with COVID-19,” he said. “I have a general malaise. For the moment, on the doctors' discretion, I remain on home treatment.” It was not immediately clear if he was already receiving a specific treatment. Health Minister Kostadin Angelov said on Facebook he was self-isolating because he met Borissov on Friday. Energy Minister Temenuzhka Petkova and Transport Minister Rosen Zhelyazkov, who attended the meeting with the U.S. official, said they too were self-isolating. Bulgarian President Rumen Radev, who attended a forum in Estonia on Oct. 19 along with Polish President Andrzej Duda, tested negative Sunday, he said on Facebook. Duda has tested positive for coronavirus on Saturday.

  • Necessitated due to the previous alignment having seen extensive damages due to sinking and other natural hazards, the road serves as an important link to bolster defence preparedness in the Nathula Sector in particular and in whole of East Sikkim in general. The ceremony was held through video conference from the 33 Corp Hq in Sukhna due to inclement weather. Raksha Mantri while addressing the gathering on the occasion complimented the BRO for this achievement and said it is upgrading to double-lane most border roads in Sikkim. Rajnath Singh emphasised the Government’s drive towards progressing infrastructure development in far flung areas not only to enhance defence preparedness but also for fostering socio-economic development of the region. Reiterating the Centre’s resolve to speed up infrastructure development in align with Prime Minister’s Act North East policy, Shri Rajnath Singh highlighted the pace at which construction of the alternate alignment, which had been held up since commencement in 2009, was facilitated over the last two years. The Chief Minister of Sikkim brought out the positive impact of the new alignment on boosting tourism as well as the socio-economic development of the state. Emphasising that tourism is the main bulwark of the state’s economy, the Chief Minister was highly appreciative of the BRO and the Central Government  for completing the road expeditiously. The BRO over the last some years has undertaken an unprecedented expansion of its capabilities through technology infusion in material, equipment and construction techniques. The Atal Tunnel, DS-DBO Road, the new alignment of the National Highway 310 are examples of high quality, fast paced results delivered by the BRO towards strategic and operational preparedness. The Defence Minister also highlighted the future works that the BRO is to undertake and expressed confidence that the mission of Aatmanirbhar Bharat will progress by leaps and bounds in the years ahead.

  • The United States reported 79,852 new infections on Saturday, close to the previous day's record of 84,244 new cases. Hospitalizations are also rising and have hit a two-month high and deaths are trending upwards, according to a Reuters tally. So far in October, 29 states have set records for increases in new cases, including five considered key in the Nov. 3 presidential election: Ohio, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Cases in the Midwest set a new record on Saturday and the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in that region hit an all-time high for the ninth day in a row. Hospitals are strained in several states including North Dakota, which is the hardest hit based on recent new cases per capita, according to a Reuters analysis. The city of El Paso in Texas is asking residents to stay home for the next two weeks and the wider El Paso County closed its parks and recreational facilities for 14 days. In addition, an El Paso County judge ordered late Sunday a 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew due to the COVID crisis. The curfew order went into effect immediately, but it does not apply to essential workers or people traveling. Over the last three weeks, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the El Paso area has tripled to a record 786, according to state data.  “If we continue on this trend, we risk detrimental effects to our entire healthcare system,” the city’s public health director, Angela Mora, said in a statement. “For the sake of those hospitalized and the frontline healthcare workers working tirelessly each day to care for them, we ask you to please stay home for two weeks and eliminate your interactions with those outside your household until we can flatten the curve.” On Saturday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott asked the federal government to allow the use of an army medical center at Fort Bliss by non-coronavirus patients to ease the burden on hospitals. On Sunday, Abbott said state emergency management officials will open an alternate care site this week, initially with 50 beds, at the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center. NEW WHITE HOUSE OUTBREAK Pence’s chief of staff, Marc Short, tested positive on Saturday as well as multiple other senior aides. Despite the outbreak, the White House said the vice president would press ahead with campaigning, visiting North Carolina on Sunday and Minnesota on Monday. The new infections offered a reminder of the way Trump - who was hospitalized for three nights this month after contracting COVID-19 - and those around him have downplayed the advice of public health experts to wear masks and observe social distancing guidelines to stem COVID-19 transmission. Asked on CNN’s “State of the Union” why Pence was not following U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to quarantine for 14 days after such exposure, Meadows on Sunday cited the vice president’s status as “essential personnel.” The latest outbreak follows what health experts described as a super-spreader event at the White House on Sept. 26 where President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

  • The ex-Barcelona and Paris St Germain player was in Belo Horizonte, where he played for local side Atletico Mineiro, when he got his diagnosis. “I arrived in BH (Belo Horizonte) yesterday, I took the COVID test, I tested positive, I am good, asymptomatic so far,” the two-time FIFA World Player of the year said on Instagram on Sunday. The former AC Milan, Flamengo and Gremio player said he would remain in a hotel until his condition improved. The charismatic forward spent a month in a Paraguayan jail with his brother and business manager earlier this year, accused of entering country with a fake passport.

  • The win lifted Brendan Rogers’ side to fourth on 12 points, while the Gunners stay in 10th place on nine after six games. Arsenal were left ruing their failure to score in the first half hour when they pushed forward time and again, racking up 10 shots and six corners to Leicester’s one and zero respectively. They had the ball in the net from a corner in the fourth minute but replays showed at least three players offside as Alexandre Lacazette flicked it past keeper Kasper Schmeichel. The hosts then almost scored when Kieran Tierney whipped in a cross that captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed over. They went even closer to opening the scoring a few minutes later when Alexandre Lacazette, standing in front of goal, somehow nodded another cross from Tierney wide of the far post. Vardy, who came on with half an hour to play having missed Leicester’s previous two games with a calf injury, broke the deadlock in the 80th minute, heading home Cengiz Under’s cross. “We weathered a bit of a storm but then started getting into it and we’ve come away with a win. It’s big for us but it’s just the next game where we want to keep improving,” said Vardy. The win gets Leicester’s season back on track following league defeats by Aston Villa and West Ham United. “We’ve had a couple of bad results and we wanted to put that right in the league. Luckily, I’ve come on and made an impact,” Vardy told Sky Sports. “It gives us a little boost. The last two games in the league have not been good enough but to come here and put in a performance like we have is great for the team.” Vardy’s 11th Premier League goal against the Gunners - more than any other player apart from Wayne Rooney - gave his side their first win at Arsenal since September 1973.

  • Brent crude LCOc1 was down 70 cents, or 1.7%, at $41.07 by 0353 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) dropped 69 cents, or 1.7%, to $39.16, having fallen more than a dollar shortly after the start of trading. Brent fell 2.7% last week and WTI dropped 2.5%. The United States reported its highest number yet of new coronavirus infections in two days through Saturday, while in France new cases hit a record of more than 50,000 on Sunday, underlining the severity of the outbreak. On the supply side, Libya’s National Oil Corp on Friday ended its force majeure on exports from two key ports and said production would reach 1 million barrels per day (bpd) in four weeks, a quicker ramp-up than many analysts had predicted. “The recent surge in COVID-19 cases and further movement restrictions across parts of Europe is weighing on sentiment, with concern over what this all means for demand,” ING Economics said in a note. “Not helping, is the fact that Libya appears to be returning supply to the market quicker than expected,” ING said. OPEC+, a grouping of producers including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia, is also set to increase output by 2 million bpd in January 2021 after cutting production by a record amount earlier this year. Russian President Vladimir Putin indicated last week he may agree to extending OPEC+ oil production reductions. In the United States, energy companies increased their rig count by five to take the total to 287 in the week to Oct. 23, the most since May, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co BKR.N said. The rig count is an indicator of future supply. Still, investors increased their net long positions in U.S. crude futures and options during the week through Oct. 20, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commision said on Friday.

  • As of Monday morning, the total number of cases stood at 42,918,008, while the death toll surged to 1,152,773, Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) revealed in its latest update. The US is the worst-hit country with the world's highest number of cases and deaths at 8,633,194 and 225,215, respectively, according to the CSSE. India comes in second place in terms of cases at 7,864,811, while the country's death toll soared to 118,534. The other top 15 countries with the maximum amount of cases are Brazil (5,380,635), Russia (1,503,652), France (1,503,652), Argentina (1,090,589), Spain (1,046,132), Colombia (1,015,885), Mexico (891,160), Peru (886,214), the UK (876,840), South Africa (715,868), Iran (568,896), Italy (525,782), Chile (502,063), Iraq (451,707) and Germany (437,698), the CSSE figures showed. Brazil currently accounts for the second highest number of fatalities at 156,903. The countries with a death toll above 10,000 are Mexico (88,743), the UK (44,986), Italy (37,338), Spain (34,752), France (34,673), Peru (34,095), Iran (32,616), Colombia (30,000), Argentina (28,896), Russia (25,875), South Africa (18,968), Chile (13,944), Indonesia (13,299), Ecuador (12,553), Belgium (10,737), Iraq (10,623) and Germany (10,044).

  • The latest ceasefire is due to take effect at 8 a.m. local time (12 a.m. EDT) on Oct. 26, the U.S. State Department and the governments of Azerbaijan and Armenia said in a joint statement. “Congratulations to Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, who just agreed to adhere to a cease fire effective at midnight. Many lives will be saved,” U.S. President Donald Trump wrote on Twitter. The announcement came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held separate meetings with the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan in Washington on Friday. “Those meetings were joined by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, formed to mediate the conflict and led by France, Russia and the United States, which described them as “intensive discussions” on the ceasefire and the beginning of talks about core elements of a comprehensive solution. The Minsk Group said its co-chairs and the foreign ministers agreed to meet again in Geneva on Oct. 29. A senior administration official expressed confidence that this ceasefire would hold. “U.S. leadership with support from Russia and France brings additional hope that the ceasefire will lead to a lasting peace settlement,” said the official. But the eruption of new fighting on Sunday and the collapse of two previous ceasefires brokered by Russia raised questions about the prospects for this fresh push to end the clashes in Nagorno-Karabakh, a part of Azerbaijan populated and controlled by ethnic Armenians. The fighting that broke out on Sept. 27 over the disputed territory has surged to its worst level since the 1990s, when some 30,000 people were killed. Local officials in Nagorno-Karabakh on Sunday accused Azeri forces of firing artillery on settlements in the areas of Askeran and Martuni during the night. Azerbaijan said its positions had been attacked with small arms, mortars, tanks and howitzers. Armenia accused Azeri forces of shelling civilian settlements. Baku denied killing civilians and said it was ready to implement a ceasefire, provided Armenian forces withdrew from the battlefield. The defence ministry of the Nagorno-Karabakh region said on Sunday it had recorded another 11 casualties among its forces, pushing the military death toll to 974. Earlier on Sunday during a meeting with defense officials, Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev accused Armenia of bombarding civilian sites and launching two ballistic missiles on the city of Ganja. Armenian President Armen Sarkissian accused Baku of being “aggressively stubborn and destructive”. World powers want to prevent a wider war that draws in Turkey, which has voiced strong support for Azerbaijan, and Russia, which has a defence pact with Armenia. Differences over the conflict have further strained relations between Ankara and its NATO allies, with Pompeo accusing Turkey of fuelling the conflict by arming the Azeri side. Ankara denies it has inflamed the conflict. Sarkissian, in comments reprinted by the Armenpress news agency, called on “global players” to step in immediately to bring about a ceasefire and said Russia was “a trusted and pro-active mediator” between the conflicting sides. Aliyev said it was “very hazardous” for Armenia to want Russian military support in the conflict and third parties should not get involved militarily. Russian President Vladimir Putin has said he speaks to leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan several times a day by phone, and that he hopes the United States will help Moscow broker a solution to the conflict. About 30,000 people were killed in a 1991-94 war over Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenians regard the enclave as part of their historic homeland; Azeris consider it illegally occupied land that must be returned to their control.

  •  Indian Army Commanders' Conference is an apex level biannual event, which formulates important policy decisions through collegiate deliberations. It is being held in New Delhi from October 26-29, 2020. The conference will be attended by senior officers of the Army including the vice chief of army staff, all commanders, principal staff officers (PSOs) of the Army Headquarters and other senior officers. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will address the conference on October 27 but prior to that the conference will be addressed by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat and all the three Service Chiefs. On October 28, Army Commanders will hold in-depth discussions on various agenda, followed by brief updates by various PSOs. On the last day of the conference, Director General of Border Roads (DGBR) will update the forces on the various infrastructure development projects being undertaken by Border Roads Organisation and allied formations. The conference will close with the presentation of Sports Trophy and Flight Safety Trophy, followed by the closing address by the Army Chief M. M. Naravane.

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