CMYK www.westerntimes.co.in GUJARAT’S OWN ENGLISH DAILY FOUNDED IN 1967 Pages RNI Reg. No. GUJ/11172/67. Postal Reg. No. G-GNR-321 valid upto 31-12-2023 8 2/- Posting at RMS Ahmedabad Founder Editor : Ramubhai Patel PHONE : 079-2640 2880 (Advertisement : 2640 2881 mail : email@example.com)* Fax : 2640 2882 VOL. 55 * NO. 66* AHMEDAB AD THURSDAY * 23/9/2021 Printed & Published by Nikunj R. Patel on behalf of Western Times Publications Pvt. Ltd. Printed at Western Times Survey No. 1315P, Opp. Ramapir Temple, Shilaj-Thol Road, Shilaj, Ahmedabad and Published at Western Times Pub. Pvt. Ltd. 301, 3rd Floor, Gala Argos, B/h. Hari Krupa Tower, Nr. Ladies Hostel, Ellisbridge, Ahmedabad-380 006. (Gujarat). Editor : Nikunj R. Patel News Brief Gunmen open fire on Taliban vehicle, 5 including 3 civilians killed Kabul, Attackers struck Taliban vehicles in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, witnesses said, killing at least two fighters and three civilians in the latest violence since the group's takeover of the country in mid-August. In one attack, gunmen opened fire on a Taliban vehicle at a local gas station in the provincial capital of Jalalabad, killing two fighters and a gas station attendant, witnesses said. A child was also killed, they added. Another child was killed and two Taliban were wounded in a separate attack a bombing of another vehicle. Another bombing of a Taliban vehicle in Jalalabad also wounded a person nearby, although it was unclear if that person was a Taliban official or not. The witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution. AMC’s new school board panel elected CMYK Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) new school board committee was formed on Monday, with 11 members from BJP, one from Congress and three AMC officials being part of the committee.All the candidates were elected uncontested. Sujay Mehta, of BJP, was elected as the chairman while BJP’s, Vipul Sevak, was elected as the deputy chairman of the board committee. Other members include Mukesh Parmar, Ghanshyam Patel, Yogini Prajapati, Abhay Vyas Liladhar Khadke, Jigar Shah, Navinchandra Patel, Suresh Kaurani, Amrutlal Raval from BJP and Kiran Oza from Congress. Apar t from these elected representatives, district education officer, Hitendrasinh Padheria, and two non-political, nongovernment members were selected in the 15member board committee. “Of the total public primary schools we have 10 smart schools. Rs 50K compensation to kin of those who lost lives due to COVID New Delhi, The Central Goverment has told the Supreme Court that the ex-gratia assistance of Rs 50,000 to the kin of COVID-19 victims will be provided by from the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recommended that Rs 50,000 be given to the kin of those who died of COVID-19, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Wednesday. It said that ex-gratia assistance will also be given to the kin of those who died of the virus due to involvement in COVID-19 relief operations or activities associated with the preparedness for dealing with the pandemic. The ex-gratia assistance will be given subject to the cause of death being certified as COVID-19 as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and ICMR, the gov- ernment said. It added that the ex-gratia assistance will be provided by states from State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF). On September 3, the top court had expressed displeasure over delay in framing of guidelines for issuance of death certificates to the families of those who died of COVID-19.Since the start of the pandemic, India has recorded over 400,000 Zurich, Washington, India's envoy to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu has said that India US ties are "destined to move ahead" and both countries continue to develop the relationship in areas like defence, healthcare etc. "The relationship has steadily evolved.... in Biden's time-- in first 100 days and first three months, New Delhi, we have had a flurry of engagements," Envoy Sandhu told Zee Media correspondent Sidhant Sibal in Washington. His comments come even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's US visit is all set to begin. PM Modi will be in Washington on 23rd and will hold bilateral with President Joe Biden and partici- pate in the Quad summit on 24th. Later, he will address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on the 25th. On the visit, India's top diplomat to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu said, "very fact, the President is hosting the PM in person despite all the difficulties....is a very important signal that US holds India important, including our PM. Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi with Punjab Congresss Chief Navjot Singh Sidhu offering prayer at Golden Temple in Amritsar on Wednesday. UNI ‘Looking at it urgently,’ says UK envoy on vaccine certification for India New Delhi, The British government on Wednesday included India’s Covishield in a list of approved Covid-19 jabs though the two sides are yet to reach common ground on certification so that fully vaccinated Indian travellers to the UK can avoid quarantine. The two countries are locked in a vaccine row as Indian nationals who have received both doses of Covishield, the local variant of Britain’s AstraZeneca vaccine, will be considered as unvaccinated and have to quarantine for 10 days under new British travel rules that come into force on October 4. UK high commissioner Alex Ellis attributed the matter to a significant shift in his country’s travel policy that was announced only on Sep- tember 17 and made it clear that “Covishield is not the issue” Talking to NDTV news . channel, he declined to set a deadline for resolving the issue but said Britain is“looking at it urgently” Early on . Wednesday, the UK updated its travel guidance to include Covishield among the list of approved vaccines, along with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson jabs and their formulations. A spokesperson for the UK mission reiterated that Britain is engaging with India to expand British recognition of Indian vaccine certification.India and the UK have held several meetings and discussions between technical experts since the beginning of this month, the latest being on Tuesday, to bridge differences over vac- cine certification, people familiar with developments said on condition of anonymity.These discussions focused on certification done through India’s CoWIN app, the security of the system, data sharing between the two sides, and reconciling the CoWIN system with the NHS Covid Pass developed by Britain’s National Health Service. Two more beaches in India have been awarded “Blue Flag” certification, an international eco-level tag, taking the total number of such beaches in the country to 10, the Environment Ministry said on Tuesday. The Foundation for Environment Education (FEE), Denmark, which accords the Blue Flag certification, has also given re-certification for eight nominated beaches - Shivrajpur-Gujarat, GhoghlaDiu, Kasarkod and Padubidri-Karnataka, Kappad-Kerala, Rushikonda- Andhra Pradesh, Golden-Odisha and Radhanagar- Andaman and Nicobar, which were awarded the Blue Flag certificate last year, the ministry said. riage to same-sex couples, but opponents forced a referendum on the issue under Switzerland`s system of direct democracy. In a provocative campaign, opponents of the reform used images of crying babies and the word "slaves" written over darkskinned pregnant bellies, in a reference to surrogacy that is illegal in Switzerland, in stark contrast to proponents waving "Yes, I do" rain- bow flags at Zurich and Geneva pride parades. Showing the no-campaign in the traditionally conservative and Christian Switzerland had gained traction in recent weeks, the share of voters set to approve same-sex marriage fell to 63% in the latest poll by gfs.bern for broadcaster SRG, while the share of opponents rose to 35%, versus 69% to 29% a month earlier. SAARC meeting cancelled as Pakistan wanted Taliban to represent Afghanistan IThe South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) foreign ministers meet, which was due to take place on September 25 at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has been cancelled over Pakistan's objection on the issue of Afghanistan representation at the meet. SAARC had reached consensus with Afghanistan's representation with an "empty seat" as a key solution for the informal foreign ministers' meet. But with Pakistan insisting on certain conditions, The compensation will be given also to kin of Covid-19 victims including those involved in relief operations, it further said. The apex court had earlier given Centre 10 days to submit compensation rules for those who have died due to the pandemic. The court also asked the government to provide rules for death certificates. Bilateral ties destined to move ahead: India's envoy to US Taranjit Singh Sandhu Swiss to vote on same-sex marriage on September 26 after fraught campaign Swiss voters decide on Sunday (September 26) whether to allow same-sex couples to wed and adopt children after a highly charged campaign pitted gay rights activists against traditionalists in one of the last Western European countries to still ban gay marriage. The federal government and parliament have approved opening civil mar- Covid-related deaths. The second wave has been particularly devastating for the country with many deaths occurring during that period The Centre has told the top court that ex-gratia will be given, subject to cause of death being certified as Covid-19 as per the guidelines issued by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and ICMR. which included Taliban representation, a consensus could not finally be arrived at. At United Nations, Afghan Republic's envoy Ghulam Isaczai still represents his country. He is listed to speak at the UNGA as well for his country. A note verbale by Nepal foreign ministry sent on September 21 said that "due to lack of concurrence from all member states as of today, the informal meeting of the SAARC council of ministers proposed to be held in person on 25th September 2021.... will not take place". Nepal is the chair of the grouping. The SAARC secretariat also sent a similar letter of cancellation of the meet. It's important to know that the SAARC Secretariat had sent a note verbale on September 15 announcing the date for the meet on 25th, at 3 pm, New York time. Nepal as the chair decides as to who is sent the invite. It is not yet known, to who Nepal had sent the invite, when it came to Afghanistan. Afghanistan saw dramatic change of government on August 15, after the national capital Kabul fell into the hands of Taliban. Threat to Kiwi cricket team originated in India:Pak Islamabad, A threat to New Zealand’s cricket team that prompted them to call off a tour of Pakistan came in an email that originated in India, Pakistan’s information Minister said on Wednesday. New Zealand’s cricket squad arrived home on Wednesday after abandoning their tour of Pakistan last week citing a security threat. New Zealand Cricket said they were aware of a “specific and credible” threat but did not give details. Pakistan Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the threat had come via an email. “This email was generated from India through a VPN showing the location of Singapore,” Chaudhry told reporters in Pakistan’s capital. India’s foreign ministry did not immediately respond to request for comment. Nuclear-armed neighbours and arch-rivals Pakistan and India regularly blame each other for acts of violence, charges each government denies. Chaudhry added that the West Indies team, due to arrive in December, had also been sent a threat that UN General Assembly: China pledges not to build new coal-fired power projects abroad New York Chinese leader Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that China would not build new coal-fired power projects abroad, using his address at the United Nations General Assembly to add to pledges to deal with climate change. Xi provided no details, but depending on how the policy is implemented, the move could significantly limit the financing of coal plants in the developing world. China has been under heavy diplomatic pressure to put an end to its coal financing overseas because it could make it easier for the world to stay on course to meet the goals of the Paris climate agreement to reduce carbon emissions. Xi`s announcement followed similar moves by South Korea and Japan earlier this year, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and U.S. climate envoy John Kerry have urged China to follow the lead of its Asian counterparts. "China will step up support for other developing countries in developing green and low-carbon energy, and will not build new coal-fired power projects abroad," Xi said in his prerecorded video address at the annual U.N. gathering, in which he stressed China`s peaceful intentions in international relations. Kerry quickly welcomed Xi`s announcement, calling it a "great contribution" and a good beginning to efforts needed to achieve success at the Oct. 31-Nov. 12 COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. "We’ve been talking to China for quite some period of time about this. And I’m absolutely delighted to hear that President Xi has made this important decision," Kerry said in a statement. Alok Sharma, the head of COP26, also hailed the announcement. "It is clear the writing is on the wall for coal power. I welcome President Xi’s commitment to stop building new coal projects abroad - a key topic of my discussions during my visit to China," he said on Twitter. he said was fake. Shunned by all after a deadly 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore, Pakistan have been trying to woo back top international teams. New Zealand’s withdrawal dealt a massive blow to Pakistan’s hopes of staging regular international cricket, with England subsequently calling off their men’s and women’s tours. Earlier on Tuesday, Fawad implied that the withdrawal of England and New Zealand cricket teams from their scheduled series in Pakistan was a result of Prime Minister Imran Khan saying "absolutely not" to the US on using Pakistan as a base for the latter's Afghan operations. In July, Imran Khan had categorically stated that he would not allow the US to use Pakistan as a base for its Afghan operations and the statement had caused quite a stir, generating debate on mainstream and social media alike. In a press briefing after a cabinet meeting chaired by Khan on Tuesday, Chaudhry said that Pakistan is paying the price for saying "absolutely not" to the US, saying nations have to pay such kind of prices if they want to hold their head high, adding that this is in fact a small price to pay and proud nations keep paying such prices, the report said. "If you say ‘absolutely not’, then there's a price that you have to pay," the information minister said in response to a question about the cabinet's discussion on the back-to-back withdrawals by England and New Zealand, adding: "I think the nation is ready to pay the price and tackle such challenges." Will fight Navjot Singh Sidhu's elevation to Chief Ministership: Amarinder Singh Chandigarh, Amarinder Singh on Wednesday said he would fight Navjot Sidhu`s elevation to Punjab Chief Ministership tooth and nail, and was ready to make any sacrifice to save the country from such a "dangerous man". Even as he reiterated his intention to counter any move to make Sidhu the state's Chief Minister face, Amarinder Singh said he will pit a strong candidate against him in the 2022 Assembly polls to ensure his defeat. "He (Sidhu) is dangerous for the state," said the former Chief Minister in a series of media interviews. Asserting that he will only leave politics on a high, CMYK he said: "I was ready to leave after a victory but never after a loss." He disclosed that he had offered his resignation to party President Sonia Gandhi three weeks earlier but she had asked him to continue. "If she had just called me and asked me to step down, I would have," he said, adding that "as a soldier, I know how to do my task and leave once I am called back". He said he had even told Sonia Gandhi that he was ready to hang his boots and allow someone else to take over as the Chief Minister after leading the Congress to another sweeping win in Punjab. "But that did not happen, so I will fight," he asserted, taking strong exception at being subjected to "humiliation" by calling a Congress Legislative Party meeting in a secretive manner, without taking him into confidence. "I would not have taken MLAs on a flight to Goa or some place. That is not how I operate. I don`t do gimmicks, and the Gandhi siblings know that is not my way," he said, adding: "Priyanka and Rahul (Gandhi) are like my children... this should not have ended like this. I am hurt." He claimed that the Gandhi siblings were "quite inexperienced" and "their advisors were clearly misguiding them". Indicating that he was still keeping his political options open, the former Chief Minister said he was talking to his friends before deciding on his future course of action. "You can be old at 40 and young at 80," he quipped, making it clear that he did not see his age as a hurdle. On allegations of inaccessibility, Amarinder Singh said he had been elected to the Vidhan Sabha seven times and twice to the Parliament. "There must be something right with me," he remarked, adding that the Congress leadership had evidently decided on making the change (in Punjab) and were trying to make up a case.