1. India and China mutually agree to disengage during top military talks
The recent tensions between the Indian and Chinese armies at the Galwan valley seem to be improving for the better as India and China mutually agreed to disengage during top military talks over the faceoff. Talks were held on the Chinese side of the border, “in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere”, according to reports quoting Indian Army sources.
2. New H-1B visas Suspended by US President Trump till Dec 31, Indians worst affected
Issuance of new H-1B and H-4 visas has been suspended by US President Donald Trump till Dec 31. These visas are used by technology workers and their families. Over 70% of H-1B visas issued every year go to Indians working in the USA. Over 70% of 85,000 H-1B visas issued each year go to Indians, while 24% of 76,988 L-1 visas issued in fiscal year 2019 were for Indians.
3. China hosts annual dog-meat fair despite coronavirus pandemic
In spite of a government campaign to improve animal welfare and reduce risks to human health, China annual 10-day dog meat festival in the city of Yulin has opened. Animal rights activists in China said it was only a matter of time before the festival was banned. In April, Shenzhen became the first Chinese city to ban the consumption of dogs, and activists are pushing for this law to come into power in all other major cities.
4. ‘CarKey’ announced by Apple that lets users unlock their cars with iPhone
Apple on Monday announced the ‘CarKey’ feature, that now allows them to leave their car keys at home and unlock their cars with their iPhones. Both iOs 13 and 14 will support the feature, and it will be powered over NFC. Apple also unveiled its new iOS 14 in its first ever online-only Worldwide Developers Conference, or WWDC event.
5. 2 Indian officials who were abducted and tortured by Pakistani security agencies return to India
Five officials of the Indian High Commission in Pakistan, including the two officials who were abducted and tortured by Pakistan security agencies, have returned to India via the Attari-Wagah border.They were in illegal custody for over 10 hours according to the MEA, and India’s External Affairs Ministry lodged a strong protest with the Pakistan High Commission, after which they were safely returned home.
6. 2 earthquakes hit Mizoram in 12 hours, damage Houses and roads
Houses and property were damaged in Mizoram on Sunday, when the first earthquake of 5.1 magnitude hit at 4pm. The second earthquake of magnitude 5.5 hit at 4 am today. No casualties have been reported yet, and the extent of damage is yet to be determined.
7. Ex-POTUS Roosevelt’s ‘problematic’ statue to be removed by NY museum amid anti-racism protests
The American Museum of Natural History will remove a ‘problematic’ statue of Roosevelt from its entrance. The New York City mayor said that the statue “explicitly depicts Black and Indigenous people as subjugated and racially inferior”. POTUS Trump tweeted against the move saying,”Ridiculous, don’t do it!”. To a quite pleasant surprise, Roosevelt’s great-grandson supported the move saying it was time to move the statue and to move forward.
8. Scientists propose tethering asteroids to smaller body to protect Earth
A sort of ‘planetary defense system’ has been suggested in a paper published in EPJ Special Topics to protect Earth from being hit by PHAs, or potentially hazardous asteroids. It involves connecting the threatening asteroid with another smaller asteroid, thereby changing the overall centre of mass of the two, and raising the PHA to a higher orbit which does not clash with Earths.
9. Saudi to ban arrivals from abroad for Haj this year due to COVID-19
With the number of coronavirus cases in Saudi Arabia exceeding 160,000, Saudi Arabia has said it will ban arrivals from abroad for Haj this year. Earlier this month, Malaysia and Indonesia both barred their citizens from travelling to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, and now so has India. Last year 20 million people travelled to MEcca for the Haj, out of which 18 million were from abroad.
10. Allow Puri Rath Yatra without public participation: Govt to SC
The Centre told the Supreme Court on Monday that Puri’s Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra can be allowed this year without public participation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Supreme Court had earlier stayed the yatra this year, but has now reversed its previous order, and has allowed the Yatra in Puri to take place with certain restrictions.
11. Nepal causing hurdles for Bihar Govt to prevent work on border
Bihar Water Resources Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha has said that Nepal is constructing all repair work of river embankments on the India-Nepal border by erecting barriers. This work needs to be completed before the monsoons hit Bihar, or a major part of Bihar will see flooding. Nepal recently laid claim over Indian regions in its new map, and a usually peaceful border is seeing small-scale repercussions as this.
12. Delhi HC grants bail to Safoora Zargar on humanitarian grounds
Jamia Coordination Committee member and Jamia Student Safoora Zargar, who had been under custody for alleged conspiracy behind the Delhi Riots, was granted bail by the Delhi High Court today. She is more than five months pregnant, and the Central government stated it had no objection to her release on humanitarian grounds. She was arrested on April 10 under anti-terror law UAPA by the Delhi police.