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US Is Helping India “Significantly”, Says Joe Biden



US Is Helping India 'Significantly', Says Joe Biden

Joe Biden said by July 4, the US is going to send 10 per cent of AstraZeneca vaccines to other countries.


The US is helping India “significantly” in its fight against the second wave of COVID-19 by sending it material and machine parts, President Joe Biden has said.

So far, six air shipments funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) have departed the US for India. These flights include health supplies, oxygen cylinders, N95 masks, and medicines.

“We are helping Brazil. We are helping India significantly. I spoke to Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi. What he needs most is the material and the parts to be able to have his machines that can make the vaccine work. We’re sending him that,” Joe Biden told reporters at the White House on Tuesday.

“We’re sending them oxygen. We are sending them a lot of the precursors. So we’re doing a lot for India,” he said responding to a question on his assistance to India, Brazil, and other countries amid the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Joe Biden said by July 4, the US is going to send 10 per cent of AstraZeneca vaccines to other countries.

AstraZeneca vaccine is being used around the world but has not been approved for use in the US.

“With regard to the AstraZeneca vaccine which we had, we have sent that vaccine to Canada and to Mexico and there are other countries that we’re talking to now. Matter of fact, I talked to a head of state today. I’m not prepared to announce who else we’ll be giving the vaccine to,” the US president said.

“But we are going to by the 4th of July have sent about 10 per cent of what we have to other nations, including some of the ones you mentioned,” he added.

At the request of the Indian government, the USAID had earlier provided some supplies to the Indian Red Cross, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at her daily news conference.

“These are a lot of the components that the Indian government has expressed a vital need for. More flights are on the way, with total existence expected to exceed USD100 million,” Jen Psaki said.

“In terms of oxygen support which is a big component of what they need right now, we are talking about oxygen cylinders, so the USAID delivered approximately 1,500 cylinders that will remain in India and can repeatedly be refilled at local supply centers with more planeloads to come,” she said.

The USAID has sent approximately 550 oxygen concentrators to obtain oxygen from ambient air and it has also delivered large-scale units to support up to 20 patients each of an oxygen generation unit, she added.

The press secretary told reporters that the Biden administration has directed its own order of AstraZeneca manufacturing supplies to India, allowing India to make over 20 million doses.

The US has also provided one million rapid diagnostic tests and last weekend, the USAID delivered 20,000 treatment courses of the antiviral drug remdesivir to help treat hospitalised patients, she said.

A group of experts from the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is headed to India. The group will work in close coordination with India’s public health experts in laboratory surveillance and epidemiology, emergency response and operations development, bioinformatics for genomic sequencing and modeling, Jen Psaki added. 


12-Year-Old Among 4 Killed as Slabs Collapse in Ulhasnagar Building, 1 Missing



Rescue operation at the Ulhasnagar building. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

Rescue operation at the Ulhasnagar building. (Image: Twitter/ANI)

The incident took place in a ground-plus four-storey residential building in camp no 1 around 1.40 pm.

  • Thane
  • Last Updated:May 15, 2021, 19:16 IST

At least 4 people were killed after slabs of a residential building collapsed in Ulhasnagar town of Maharashtra’s Thane district on Saturday, Thane Municipal Corporation said. A 12-year-old child is among the four people who lost their lives. According to latest update, one person is still missing.

The incident took place in a ground-plus four-storey residential building in camp no 1 around 1.40 pm, said Santosh Kadam, chief of the regional disaster management cell of the Thane Municipal Corporation.

A slab on the fourth floor came crashing down on other slabs, trapping people in the process, he said. Local firemen rushed to the scene and rescued 11 residents, who were taken to a local hospital for first aid, the official said.

A team from the Thane Disaster Response Force is at the scene to help firemen remove the debris and rescue five others who are trapped, he added.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)

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IDF says demolished building that housed Al Jazeera was used by Hamas



The Israel Defense Forces have issued a statement over the demolition of the Al Jalaa Building that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and other international media houses. The IDF has said that the building was being used by Islamic terror group Hamas, making it a valid military target.

The IDF said on social media, “Hamas has turned residential areas in the Gaza Strip into military strongholds. It uses tall buildings in Gaza for multiple military purposes such as intelligence gathering, planning attacks, command and control, and communications.”

Source: Twitter

“When Hamas uses a tall building for military purposes, it becomes a lawful military target,” it added. It stated further, “The Israel Defense Forces struck a number of such buildings in recent days, but before we did so, we took steps to try and ensure that civilians would not be harmed.”

Significantly, the IDF said, “All the multi-story buildings targeted by the IDF were used for military purposes within each building.”

Earlier, Israel had demolished the Al Jalaa building that housed the offices of Al Jazeera and other international media houses. A warning had been provided one hour prior to the demolition. The demolition comes during a phase of heightened tensions between Israel and Palestine.

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West Bengal Governor meets poll violence victims in the state and Assam



West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar has been visiting the areas affected by post-poll violence in West Bengal and also meeting people who have fled to the neighbouring state of Assam due to attacks by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) goons. After visiting post-poll violence-affected areas in Nandigram in East Midnapore Saturday (May 15) morning, Dhankar urged Mamata Banerjee with folded hands to take immediate measures to prevent post-poll violence in the state.

Drawing attention towards the miseries of these victims of West Bengal post-poll violence, the Governor Twitted today: “Unimaginable post-poll violence @MamataOfficial. Terrified people with difficulty and fear @WBPolice and reprisals at hands of ruling party workers narrate indescribable woes of horror. Appeal CM to take urgent steps to restore their confidence in the worst post-poll violence”.

The governor posted a snippet where a group of distressed women sob as they recount their horrifying tales in front of the WB Governor.

Speaking to the media, Dhankar said: “I have never imagined that I will see such heart-wrenching violence in Bengal. Lakhs of people fled from their respective villages out of fear. Several houses were bombed, people killed, women were raped because they fearlessly voted while maintaining the decorum of our Constitution. India has never seen Bengal like post-poll violence before,” Dhankhar said.

“I would like to appeal to our Chief Minister that it is high time she should take note of the law and order situation as millions of people are suffering. They are sitting on a volcano. I do hope that she will attend to the situation,” he added.

West Bengal Governor visits a camp at Agomoni area of Dhubri in Assam

The Governor, who started his visit to violence-hit areas on May 13, had expressed similar angst yesterday, May 14 after he interacted with the refugees who were forced to take shelter in Assam after TMC thugs looted, vandalised and arson their houses, raped and killed their family members, forcing them to flee the state.

“Nothing can be more shameful for us than people of West Bengal taking shelter in other states,” Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar said while visiting a camp at Agomoni area of Dhubri in Assam, where people from West Bengal have been camping post-poll violence.

‘One is made to pay with life and rights for voting’, Tweeted Jagdeep Dhankar after visiting Cooch Behar

Similarly, after visiting Cooch Behar on May 13 (Thursday), Jagdeep Dhankar had taken to Twitter to post a series of Tweets where he disparages the goons of the ruling dispensation of West Bengal who under the patronage of their supremo Mamata Banerjee, have been unleashing unimaginable atrocities against those who dared to vote against them in the recently concluded Assembly elections.

Dhankar was distraught by the “tales of sorrow” which he said, “left no tears in his eyes”. “Never imagined severity of post poll retributive [email protected]
was much beyond. One is made to pay with life and rights for voting!”, rued the Governor.

He also informed that when he was on his way to Cooch Behar, a dozen ruling party workers stopped his convoy “with no fear of law and police”. “Such state of affairs @MamataOfficial!” Dhankar deplored.

Yesterday too, Dhankar shared a small snippet where a helpless old victim narrated her ordeal. “All day witnessed such tales of sorrow, grief and horror as victim after victim narrated horrendous post poll retributive violence incidents @MamataOfficial. Helpless victims in crossfire of police @WBPolice and ruling party workers. Will endeavour to deliberate with CM”, wrote Dhankar.

“History will judge the bureaucracy of West Bengal, police and administration… This is such an issue, where nobody has the right to play politics,” a visibly miffed Dhankar had told reporters.

Ignoring the ‘order’ of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Governor visited Cooch Behar district on Thursday and accused the state government of not doing anything to contain the post-election violence.

Mamata Banerjee, ‘orders’ West Bengal Governor to ‘refrain from surpassing CM’, latter hits back

It is pertinent to note here that the Governor’s decision to visit the post-poll affected areas had irked Mamata Banarjee, who a day prior to his scheduled visit had written to him advising him to “desist” from undertaking “field trips” and follow the established government protocols. She drew the Governor’s attention to one of her previous letters and asked him to ‘refrain from surpassing her and her ministers’ orders’.

The West Bengal Governor, in response to her letter had torn into Mamata Banerjee, categorically rejecting her ‘order’.

Condemning the rampant incidents of loot, arson, killings, rape and other horrendous acts against those in opposition to the ruling dispensation, the Governor urged the state CM to revisit her stance and commit herself to the constitution that she by her oath is obligated to uphold and follow.

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