Home Blog

Djokovic says agent mistakenly ticked wrong box on Australia travel declaration

0

The statement came as Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was considering whether to cancel the world no.1 tennis player’s visa ahead of the Australian Open


Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic practices at Melbourne Park as questions remain over the legal battle regarding his visa to play in the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, January 12, 2022.
  | Photo Credit: Reuters


The statement came as Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was considering whether to cancel the world no.1 tennis player’s visa ahead of the Australian Open

Tennis star Novak Djokovic released a long statement on January 12, with details on why he was not in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19 in December and saying his agent made a mistake in filling out his Australian travel declaration.

The statement came as Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke was considering whether to cancel the world no.1 tennis player’s visa ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on January 17, amid controversy over whether he was eligible for a medical exemption from the country’s COVID-19 vaccine requirements.

“I want to emphasise that I have tried very hard to ensure the safety of everyone and my compliance with testing obligations,” Djokovic said in a statement on his Instagram account.

Amid questions about his Australian Travel Declaration where he had to state whether he had travelled within 14 days of coming to Australia, he said his agent accidentally ticked the wrong box on the form.

“On the issue of my travel declaration, this was submitted by my support team on my behalf — as I told immigration officials on my arrival — and my agent sincerely apologies for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia,” Djokovic said.



Our code of editorial values

Coronavirus live updates | COVID negative report must at Ganga Sagar mela: Calcutta HC

0

The number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai declined for the fourth consecutive day, recording 11,647 infections on Tuesday

India’s COVID-19 vaccination coverage crossed 153.7 crore on Tuesday with 76,68,282 vaccine doses being administered till 7 p.m., the Union Health Ministry said.

More than 18 lakh (18,52,611) precaution doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to healthcare workers, frontline workers and those aged 60 and above with comorbidities since Monday.  Over 2,81,00,780  doses  have been given to beneficiaries in the 15-18 years age group so far.

You can track coronavirus cases, deaths and testing rates at the national and State levels here. A list of State Helpline numbers is available as well.

Here are the updates:

Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Health Minister, M. Subramanian is being administered a booster dose of corona vaccine in Chennai on Wednesday.  
| Photo Credit: S.R. Raghunathan

China

China’s Tianjin starts new round of mass testing as COVID-19 infections grow

The Chinese city of Tianjin started a new round of COVID-19 testing among its 14 million residents on Wednesday to block the spread of Omicron, while some analysts said curbs to be imposed because of the variant could dent China’s economic growth.

Tianjin reported 33 domestically transmitted coronavirus infections with confirmed symptoms for Tuesday, up from 10 a day earlier, national data showed.

The city ordered a half-day off for employees at companies and other institutions on Wednesday and required them to remain at home to comply with the city’s second round of mass testing, the local government said in a statement. – Reuters

USA

Biden wants U.S. agencies to mandate COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees by February 15

The Biden administration said on Tuesday that federal agencies should require weekly COVID-19 testing by Feb. 15 for unvaccinated government employees who are working on-site or interacting with the public.

A vaccine mandate imposed by President Joe Biden in September covers about 3.5 million federal workers and required them to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22 or face potential discipline or even termination.

The administration said on Tuesday that unvaccinated employees – including those seeking religious or medical exemptions – “should be tested weekly for any week during which they work on-site or interact in person with members of the public as part of their job duties. Agencies may require more frequent testing.” – Reuters

World

Omicron may be headed for a rapid drop in U.S. and Britain

Scientists are seeing signals that COVID-19′s alarming omicron wave may have peaked in Britain and is about to do the same in the U.S., at which point cases may start dropping off dramatically.

The reason: The variant has proved so wildly contagious that it may already be running out of people to infect, just a month and a half after it was first detected in South Africa.

“It’s going to come down as fast as it went up,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle. – AP

Canada

Canada’s Quebec plans health tax for residents who refuse COVID-19 vaccine: Premier

Quebec, Canada’s second-most populous province, is working on a plan to require a “health contribution” from adults who refuse to get a COVID-19 vaccination for non-medical reasons, Premier Francois Legault said on Tuesday.

Legault said that unvaccinated people put a financial burden on vaccinated residents and in addition to finalizing the amount to be charged, the province is also working on the legal aspect of such a levy, he said.

While governments globally have imposed movement restrictions on the unvaccinated and few have levied fines on the elderly, a sweeping tax on all unvaccinated adults could be a rare and controversial move. – Reuters

India

India records a whopping 1.85 lakh COVID-19 cases on January 11, 2022

The number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai declined for the fourth consecutive day, with the city recording 11,647 infections on Tuesday. The positivity rate, which indicates the number of positive cases per 100 tests conducted, also reached a seven-day low of 18.7%.

The initial data from the city, which recorded more than 1.75 lakh cases in the past 40 days, indicates a possible early flattening of the case curve.

Data from Delhi and Chennai too hinted at a possible slow down of the spread of infections. In Delhi, 21,529 cases were recorded on Tuesday. While the positivity rate rose slightly above 25%, the pace of increase in cases has slowed down. A similar trend was recorded in Chennai too on Tuesday.

USA

Biden says U.S. is on the right track in fight against COVID-19

President Joe Biden on Tuesday expressed confidence the United States was on the right track in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the country grapples with a surge in infections sparked by the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

White House officials have said the situation is different from previous stages of the pandemic because more people are getting protection from vaccinations and booster shots.

“I’m confident we are on the right track,” Biden told reporters on Tuesday.

However, Biden acknowledged that he was concerned about the pace at which the virus was spreading worldwide because, “it’s not slowing up very much.” – Reuters

China

Lockdown in China amid Omicron fears

Several cities in China have locked down hundreds of thousands of their residents and carried out mass testing amid concerns that the spread of the Omicron variant could threaten the country’s “zero COVID” strategy.

Cities in central Henan province as well as the municipality of Tianjin in the north, near Beijing, have reported local spread of Omicron cases, prompting the sweeping measures. The timing is of particular concern for China’s authorities with both the Winter Olympics in Beijing and the annual Chinese new year holiday in the first week of February.

Henan accounted for most of the 110 new local cases reported in China on Monday – a high number for a country following a “zero COVID” approach including continued restrictions on international travel for close to two years – with the rest in Tianjin and in northwestern Shaanxi.

West Bengal

COVID negative report must at Ganga Sagar mela: Calcutta HC

The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday modified its order regarding the Ganga Sagar Mela and said only those having COVID negative report in the past 72 hours would be allowed on the Sagar Island.

“Only those who are having COVID negative in the RTPCR report of within 72 hours will be permitted to enter the Sagar Island,” said a Division Bench of Chief Justice Prakash Shrivastava and Justice K.D. Bhutia.

The Bench reconstituted the committee to review the situation on the Ganga Sagar Island with a retired judge of this High Court as its chairperson. In its earlier order, the court had set up a committee comprising Leader of the Opposition Suvendu Adhikari, a representative of the State and a representative of the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission.

India

Omicron variant behind current surge in COVID-19 cases: expert

The current surge in COVID-19 cases is driven mostly by the Omicron variant, a top health expert in India said on Tuesday. He said the rise in numbers was expected to continue for the next few weeks. At present, COVID deaths were being reported mostly among those with co-morbidities, the expert said.

Following the continued spike in cases across India, Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Tuesday held a virtual meeting with members of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) to discuss the clinical treatment guidelines and measures to be brought in to ensure that correct information was provided to the public.

“Most COVID-19 cases in India currently seem to be driven by the Omicron variant,” said N.K. Arora, who heads the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (NTAGI), COVID Working Group. The early indication given by the IIT Kanpur model noted that transmission was taking place very actively and that India should be reaching its peak in the near future. “But it is likely to last for several weeks before it subsides,” Dr. Arora told ANI.

World

WHO warns of virus surge in Europe

More than half of people in Europe are on track to contract the Omicron coronavirus variant in the next two months if infections continue at current rates, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a press conference, regional director Hans Kluge warned that the Omicron variant represented a “new west-to-east tidal wave sweeping across” the European region.

“At this rate, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) forecasts that more than 50% of the population in the region will be infected with Omicron in the next six to eight weeks,” Mr. Kluge told reporters.

The WHO’s European region comprises 53 countries and territories including several in Central Asia, and Mr. Kluge noted that 50 of those countries had confirmed cases of the Omicron variant. – AFP

India

No molnupiravir: ICMR team

The ICMR’s National Task Force for COVID-19 has decided against including antiviral drug molnupiravir in the Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19 as of now, official sources said on Tuesday.

The experts of the task force cited safety concerns, and argued that Molnupiravir was not of much benefit in COVID treatment to arrive at the decision in a meeting held on Monday.

According to the Health Ministry, Molnupiravir is an antiviral drug that inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication by viral mutagenesis. This anti-COVID pill got the Drug Regulator General of India’s approval on December 28 for restricted use in emergencies. Mutagenesis is a process by which the genetic information of an organism is changed by the production of mutation.

Maharashtra

Fall in COVID-19 cases in Mumbai for fourth day

The number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai declined for the fourth consecutive day, recording 11,647 infections on Tuesday. The positivity rate, which indicates the number of positive cases detected per 100 tests conducted, also reached a seven-day low of 18.7%.

The initial data from the city, which recorded more than 1.75 lakh cases in the past 40 days, indicated a possible early flattening of the case curve.

Data from Delhi and Chennai too hinted at a possible slowdown of the spread of infections. In Delhi, 21,529 cases were recorded on Tuesday. While the positivity rate rose slightly above 25%, the pace of increase in cases has slowed down. A similar trend was recorded in Chennai too on Tuesday.

Karnataka

Experts divided over ICMR advisory on ‘purposive testing strategy’

COVID-19 experts in Karnataka have expressed mixed views over the Indian Council of Medical Research’s (ICMR) latest advisory on ‘Purposive Testing Strategy for COVID-19’ that said contacts of COVID-19 patients do not need to be tested unless identified as high-risk based on age.

According to the advisory issued on Monday, asymptomatic patients undergoing surgical or non-surgical invasive procedures, including pregnant women in/near labour who are hospitalised for delivery, should not be tested unless warranted or symptoms develop. It said no emergency procedure, including surgeries, should be delayed due to lack of a test. Besides, inter-State travellers also need not be tested.

However, COVID-19 experts in Karnataka said the advisory is against the basic principle of containing the pandemic.

India

Most serious patients unvaccinated: doctors

As the pandemic is peaking, most COVID-19 patients on ventilator beds or oxygen support in two city hospitals are unvaccinated, said doctors. The situation, however, is different in some other hospitals.

In Lok Nayak Hospital, of the nine patients on ventilator beds on Tuesday, four were unvaccinated, two were partially vaccinated and only one was fully vaccinated. The vaccination status of two were unknown. In Holy Family Hospital, of the nine patients either on ventilator or oxygen support, six were unvaccinated, two were partially vaccinated and all of them were above 50 years of age.

Sumit Ray, head of the Department of Critical Care at Holy Family Hospital, said: “One of the nine patients is fully vaccinated, but has been undergoing chemotherapy. Also, all four patients on the ventilator are unvaccinated. Most with serious illness are either unvaccinated or partially vaccinated.”

Morning Digest | SC to hear plea on Haridwar hate speech today; PM Modi to inaugurate 11 medical colleges in Tamil Nadu, and more

0

Supreme Court to hear plea on Haridwar hate speech event on January 12

A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana is scheduled on Wednesday (January 12) to urgently hear a petition seeking the arrest and trial of people who made hate speeches, inciting violence towards Muslims, at the Haridwar Dharm Sansad.

11 medical colleges to be inaugurated by PM today

The imposing glass facade buildings of the new Virudhunagar Government Medical College are ready for inauguration by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 12.

India records a whopping 1.83 lakh COVID-19 cases on January 11, 2022

The number of COVID-19 cases in Mumbai declined for the fourth consecutive day, with the city recording 11,647 infections on Tuesday. The positivity rate, which indicates the number of positive cases per 100 tests conducted, also reached a seven-day low of 18.7%.

Congress forms jumbo panels for Punjab

The Congress on January 11 formally constituted the manifesto and campaign committees for the upcoming Assembly election in Punjab

Omicron variant behind current surge in COVID-19 cases: expert

The current surge in COVID-19 cases is driven mostly by the Omicron variant, said N.K. Arora, head of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation, COVID Working Group on Tuesday.

CM Channi missing as Sidhu rolls out ‘Punjab Model’

Even as the Congress party has promised to fight the upcoming Assembly elections in Punjab under a ‘collective leadership’, the absence of Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and former party State president Sunil Jakhar’s photographs at PCC chief Navjot Singh Sidhu’s presser on Tuesday indicates fissures in the party remain.

India discusses trade barriers with South Korea

India and South Korea on Tuesday held discussions on bilateral trade and agreed to fast track negotiations to upgrade the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Sharad Pawar says people want change, strikes deal with SP

Claiming that the people of Uttar Pradesh are looking for a change in the government and the upcoming Assembly polls will bring that change, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Tuesday said that it will be contesting the State election in alliance with the Samajwadi Party (SP).

Jawed Habib appears before NCW, apologises

Celebrity hair stylist Jawed Habib appeared before the National Commission for Women (NCW) and submitted a written apology after a video of him spitting on a woman’s head went viral last week.

Retail sales rise 7% over pre-pandemic level: RAI

Retail sales in December last year grew 7% over the pre-pandemic levels of the same period in 2019, but the pace dropped towards the last week of the month due to the third COVID wave, the Retailers Association of India (RAI) said.

Rainfall delays Central Vista Avenue project, again

With two weeks to go for the Republic Day Parade on the Rajpath, Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Tuesday said last week’s rainfall had cost the Central Vista Avenue redevelopment project a couple of days.

Transgender persons to get separate jail wards, facilities

Transgender inmates will soon get a separate enclosure/ward in prisons to ensure their right to privacy and dignity. While providing exclusive space for transmen and transwomen in correctional facilities, prison officials will ensure that they are not completely isolated from others.

Australian Open 2022 | Novak Djokovic given pride of place despite uncertainty

The uncertain status of top-ranked Novak Djokovic didn’t stop Australian Open organisers from listing him as the top seed for the Grand Slam tournament beginning next Monday at Melbourne Park.

Demonetised notes can’t be considered legal tender: HC

0

It dismisses pleas of Sasikala’s benamidars against probe into the use of withdrawn currency notes

The inquiry related to former AIADMK interim general secretary V.K. Sasikala having bought malls and mills using ₹1,674.50 crore in demonetised currency notes has led to an interesting development, with the Madras High Court observing that such notes cannot be considered legal tender at all.

Justice Anita Sumanth made the observation while dismissing a batch of writ petitions filed by Ms. Sasikala’s alleged benamidars who had challenged the preliminary inquiry initiated against them by the Income Tax Department. The cases were dismissed by way of a common judgment on October 25 last year, but the verdict was made available only now.

Holding that the Department was in possession of sufficient materials to initiate a preliminary inquiry, the judge, however, said most of the arguments raised by the petitioners could be answered only during adjudication to be undertaken by the Department. On the petitioners’ contention that action under the Prohibition of Benami Property Transactions Act, 1988, could be initiated only if the payment was made by way of legal tender, the judge said, “There is no question that currency notes of the value of ₹500 and ₹1,000, once demonetised, do not constitute legal tender.” She further said, “It is a plausible argument to state that ‘consideration’ must comprise legal tender alone” and left the question open for a decision by the Income Tax Department. The judge also ordered the start of adjudication within a month and insisted upon following the principles of natural justice.

The writ petitioners included Ganga Foundations Private Limited, D.V. Balaji and V.J. Dinakaran in connection with the purchase of Spectrum Mall at Perambur in Chennai. The petitioners had claimed they were coerced into selling the property for ₹192.50 crore but were paid only ₹130 crore in demonetised notes on December 16, 2016.

Similarly, Marg Realities Limited (now renamed Digital Accelerator Limited) and its shareholders had approached the court over the alleged purchase of Marg Square, a 2.33 lakh square foot commercial building on Rajiv Gandhi IT Expressway in Chennai. The petitioners claimed that they had agreed to sell only their shares for a consideration of ₹170 crore.

Asserting that the commercial building was never in the radar, the petitioners claimed to have been coerced into receiving a part payment of ₹105 crore in demonetised currency notes for the sale of shares alone. They accused an advocate, named Senthil, who claimed to be representing former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, then under hospitalisation.

The third set of cases were filed by the owners of Pondicherry Sri Lakshmi Jewellery. These petitioners had volunteered to sell their Ocean Spray resort on East Coast Road for a consideration of ₹168 crore but had reportedly received only ₹135.25 crore in demonetised currency notes.

Vinod offers to host BJP CMs for debate on welfare in TS

0

‘Ready to arrange choppers for them to visit any part of TS’


B. Vinod Kumar
 


‘Ready to arrange choppers for them to visit any part of TS’

Senior TRS leader and vice-chairman of Planning Board B. Vinod Kumar has asked the Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States and its Central leaders to come for a debate on welfare in their States compared to Telangana.

Speaking to reporters here on Tuesday, he said that the BJP leaders, who had been visiting Telangana for the last couple of months, were making baseless charges against the TRS government and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. He stated that the development schemes being implemented in Telangana were not found anywhere in the country and they could know about the strides taken by Telangana by consulting the authorities of Central government departments.

He alleged that the BJP was also using its leaders to visit Hyderabad for its political ends and cited that they had spread misinformation that national president of the party J.P. Nadda had come here on the issue of its State president Bandi Sanjay’s arrest, when he was actually here to participate in the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) meeting and his visit was scheduled much before Mr. Sanjay was arrested. Mr. Vinod Kumar offered to arrange four helicopters for Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled States to visit any corner of the State and also participate in a debate at Ravindra Bharathi, a cultural events venue, here for arguing over development in their States compared to TS.

Stating that TRS would not keep quiet if ‘misinformation and false charges’ were made by BJP against the State government or the Chief Minister, he termed BJP as anti-people and anti-democratic.

He alleged that the party had exploited voters in the name of constructing Ram temple at Ayodhya but the TRS did not publicise its work of reconstructing the Yadadri temple.



Our code of editorial values

Apple paid developers $60b in 2021, record sales between Christmas and New Year

0

Apple announced that it has now paid developers more than $260 billion since the App Store launched in 2008. The number stood at $200b at the end of 2020, which puts dev earnings in 2021 at $60b.


Apple also said that users spent ‘more than ever before’ between Christmas and New Year’s, which is in stark contrast with previous year’s when Apple would divulge the actual numbers, including disclosing the record $386M on New Year’s day 2020.


Apple paid developers $60b in 2021, record sales between Christmas and New Year

The great numbers come as Apple is facing lawsuits all over the world over its App Store policies and particularly the cut it has been taking from each payment.


In 2020, Apple reduced its App Store fee to 15% for developers with less than $1M per year earnings.


Finally, Apple shared some figures regarding its other services. Apple Pay now has more than 90M lossless songs, Fitness+ now includes more than 2,000 sessions, Apple Pay works in over 60 countries and Arcade now has more than 200 games.


Source


Xiaomi 12 Ultra to have the same camera hardware as the 11 Ultra

0

According to the renowned Weibo tipster, Digital Chat Station, the Xiaomi 12 Ultra won’t be offering any upgrade over its predecessor when it comes to sensors. The 50MP+48MP+48MP configuration will be retained in the upcoming flagship.


Xiaomi 12 Ultra to have the same triple-camera setup as its predecessor

The machine-translated text does mention something about “super-telephoto periscope” but it’s unclear if that refers to the same 5x lens as on the Mi 11 Ultra or a new, longer-reaching, one.


The report from Digital Chat Station seems to be in line with previous rumors that the camera modules will be the same even if the camera island will be revamped.


Source (in Chinese)


Apple Watch 8 may skip out on body temperature sensor

0

Apple’s upcoming Watch 8 series was rumored to bring a bevy of new health sensors and tracking options including a body temperature sensor but according to the latest newsletter from Bloomberg analyst Mark Gurman that may not happen. The new info suggests Apple will wait another year before adding the body temperature sensor while the other rumored features like on-device heart rate measurements and blood glucose levels are expected to come out in the latter part of the decade.


Apple Watch 8 may skip out on body temperature sensor

The rumored rugged sports version and an all-new entry-level model Apple Watch are still reportedly on the table. The Gurman report expects Apple to focus on design overhauls and improvements to battery life in the coming Apple Watch generations while the heart rate and blood glucose technology matures and is finally ready for mass rollout.


Via


The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is now available in the US with up to $560 in trade-in credit

0

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE has begun its world tour and can now be bought in the US as well. To help the new model along the company is offering some launch promos plus an enhanced trade-in deal.


You can find the S21 FE on Samsung.com. It has a starting price of $700 for the 128 GB model, the 256 GB one is $770. This is for an unlocked unit before any additional discounts.


Samsung is running the Enhanced Trade-in program that is only for flagships – you can send in two devices to get up to $560 in credit. Those can be phones, tablets or smartwatches. And if you pick a phone, you can even send one in with a cracked screen. Say you dropped your Galaxy S20 and cracked the front glass – Samsung will give you $275 credit for it (down from $400 if the glass is undamaged).


The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is now available in the US with up to $560 in trade-in credit

Then you can pick a bonus. The first option is the simplest, a $100 eCertificate. The other is to pick up a TWS headset – either a free pair of Galaxy Buds Live or Galaxy Buds Pro for $30 (these normally cost $170).


If you want to know more about the Galaxy S21 FE, check out our hands-on review and our hot take.


Nokia Lite Earbuds and Nokia Wired Buds launch in India

0

The Nokia Lite Earbuds have been on the European shelves for a while and now HMD Global is bringing them to India as well. Along with the wireless buds, the company announced the Nokia Wired Buds.


Nokia Lite Earbuds and Nokia Wired Buds announced in India

The Lite Earbuds have 6mm drivers and can last about 6 hours continuous playback and 36 hours with the extra charge in the case. The case has a 400 mAh battery and charges over USB-C. Gesture control and Google Assistant/Siri support are also on the list of features. The only available color is Charcoal and the price is INR 2,799 ($38).


Nokia Lite Earbuds and Nokia Wired Buds announced in India

The Wired Buds, on the other hand, connect using a 3.5mm audio jack and while there are no ANC or other fancy features like that, the passive isolation is great, HMD claims. That’s achieved through a special angled design. There’s also a microphone on the menu and support Google Assistant and Siri. The pair goes for just INR 299 ($4).


Source