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World Modi’s BJP suffers election loss amid coronavirus crisis

19:30  03 may  2021
19:30  03 may  2021 Source:   pri.org

Modi could have prevented India's devastating Covid-19 crisis, critics say. He didn't

  Modi could have prevented India's devastating Covid-19 crisis, critics say. He didn't When countries rose in India, the country didn't go into lockdown. Instead, the government allowed mass gatherings at religious festivals and political rallies to go ahead.His country was on the brink of a humanitarian crisis. That day, India recorded more than 261,000 new coronavirus cases -- more than many countries have seen during the entire pandemic.

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a man wearing a hat: Indian policemen guard at a vote counting center for the state legislature elections amid a weekend lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus Kochi, India, May 2, 2021. © R S Iyer/AP

Indian policemen guard at a vote counting center for the state legislature elections amid a weekend lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus Kochi, India, May 2, 2021.

Amid an unprecedented surge in coronavirus cases, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party suffered a defeat on Sunday in the eastern West Bengal state. Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is facing criticism for its mishandling of the pandemic, failed to beat West Bengal’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, in what analysts see as a crack in the BJP’s political strength. Modi’s Hindu nationalist party also lost in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala.

Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, Called a COVID 'Super-Spreader' By Medical Official

  Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, Called a COVID 'Super-Spreader' By Medical Official Dr. Navjot Dahiya, vice president of the Indian Medical Association, called Modi a "super-spreader" for his failure to cancel the traditional Holi festival, which draws massive crowds, as well as cricket matches with tens of thousands of spectators. While Modi initially garnered praise for controlling the outbreak in 2020 by putting India's 1.4 billion people in lockdown, his image is now tainted by a surge that has launched the country into crisis and killed an average of more than 3,500 people a day in the past week."The system hasn't collapsed. The government has failed.

“The BJP started running out of steam as the pandemic spread,” political analyst Nilanjan Mukhopadhyay said.

India is continuing to hold elections despite a hospital system that is overburdened by COVID-19 cases and desperately in need of ICU beds, oxygen and other critical supplies. The South Asian country is suffering from one of the world’s worst coronavirus crises, recording more than 392,000 infections on Sunday, a slight drop from a record high of 401,993 the previous day.

What The World is following

San Diego Fire and Rescue on Sunday responded to reports of a 40-foot capsized boat that had broken apart near the city’s coast. Officials say four people have died in the rough waters and another 27 people were transported to hospitals with injuries in what is suspected to have been a human smuggling operation.

Opinion: India's Covid crisis has revealed the real Narendra Modi

  Opinion: India's Covid crisis has revealed the real Narendra Modi Meenakshi Narula Ahamed writes that India's prime minister Narendra Modi's handling of the pandemic is endangering the country's public health but also its public institutions and democracy.By 2014, when Narendra Modi became prime minister of the world's largest democracy, India had long shed her image being one of the poorest nations teeming with starving and sick people in constant need of foreign aid. Under a team of pro-western reformers, India underwent an economic transformation in the 90's and by the early 2000's was being hailed as an economic powerhouse and an attractive partner for the western alliance.

Police in Frankfurt, Germany, said they have arrested several suspects believed to have run a child pornography site used by more than 400,000 registered members in what prosecutors are calling “one of the world's biggest child pornography darknet platforms.” After an investigation led by a German task force that spanned months in coordination with Europol and authorities from the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, the United States and Canada, authorities have arrested four German citizens, three on suspicion of working as platform administrators — one of whom was arrested in Paraguay — and another under suspicion of being a registered member and the platform's most active user.

From The World

'Fighting corruption in Russia is now being called extremism,' says Alexei Navalny's top strategist

a person posing for the camera: Leonid Volkov, a top strategist for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, addresses the media in Berlin, Germany, Aug. 21, 2020. Michael Sohn/AP/File photo © Michael Sohn/AP/File photo Leonid Volkov, a top strategist for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, addresses the media in Berlin, Germany, Aug. 21, 2020. Michael Sohn/AP/File photo

India launches effort to inoculate all adults against COVID

  India launches effort to inoculate all adults against COVID NEW DELHI (AP) — In hopes of taming a monstrous spike in COVID-19 infections, India opened vaccinations to all adults Saturday, launching a huge inoculation effort that was sure to tax the limits of the federal government, the country's vaccine factories and the patience of its 1.4 billion people. The world's largest maker of vaccines was still short of critical supplies — the result of lagging manufacturing and raw material shortages that delayed the rollout in several states. And even in places where the shots were in stock, the country’s wide economic disparities made access to the vaccine inconsistent.

Leonid Volkov told The World from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's health status is now improving after a three-week hunger strike. He also talked about his optimism in the future of their political opposition movement in Russia, despite their recent designation as "extremists" by the Russian government.

"I'm absolutely sure the movement will survive and will grow and will prevail," he said. "We are historically designated to win because, I mean, this is a generational change. We see that we are gaining and Putin is losing, like, younger people are much more supportive of Navalny and his approval ratings among younger Russian voters is higher, as in Putin's."

Oscar-winning 'My Octopus Teacher' highlights connectivity and environmental issues

a man and a woman standing in a room posing for a picture: Directors Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed pose with the award for Best Documentary Feature for © Chris Pizzello/AP Directors Pippa Ehrlich and James Reed pose with the award for Best Documentary Feature for "My Octopus Teacher" in the press room at the Oscars, at Union Station in Los Angeles, California, April 25, 2021. Chris Pizzello/AP

Opinion: Modi has offered little more than hollow words amid India's horrifying covid crisis

  Opinion: Modi has offered little more than hollow words amid India's horrifying covid crisis On April 20, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the country following a surge in Covid-19 cases. People were expecting answers, a plan, something. Instead, Modi said he felt the pain of the nation but opted not to instate a nationwide lockdown, which several states had already initiated by the time of his address. He also encouraged young people to form neighborhood watch committees to ensure people were following Covid-19 protocols. © Abhishek Chinnappa/Getty Images BENGALURU, INDIA - APRIL 30: A man wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) performs the last rites of a deceased relative in a disused granite quarry repurposed to cremate the dead

“My Octopus Teacher,” which recently won an Oscar for Best Documentary, follows the relationship between a peculiar octopus and documentary filmmaker Craig Foster for over 300 days. The film producers want to bring attention to — and help preserve — the kelp forest off the southern African coast that is home to octopuses like the one featured in the documentary.

“Our immediate concerns with this ecosystem are things like poaching. Because a lot of our species, like abalone, are decimated,” said Swati Thiyagarajan, an environmental journalist and one of the film’s producers. She adds that the kelp forest is also vulnerable to warming waters from climate change.

Bright Spot

Portugal has unveiled Arouca 516, the world's longest suspension bridge, measuring 1,692 feet. And, it is not for the faint-hearted. It stands 574 feet above the Paive river inside the UNESCO-recognised Arouca Geopark. The project took two years and $2.8 million to build it. Locals hope the tourist attraction can help revive the region after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Listen: Tragedy in Israel following a stampede at a religious gathering

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Israeli security officials and rescuers on the scene following a stampede during a Lag Ba'Omer celebrations at Mt. Meron in northern Israel, April 30, 2021. AP © AP Israeli security officials and rescuers on the scene following a stampede during a Lag Ba'Omer celebrations at Mt. Meron in northern Israel, April 30, 2021. AP

Tens of thousands of religious Jews gathered in northern Israel to celebrate the annual holiday of Lag BaOmer. A stampede in a steep, tunnel-like passageway started when people slipped and fell, creating a deadly crush. And, elections in India continued this week despite the massive surge in COVID-19 cases. Also, the gun culture in both Brazil and the US is similar, but the current leaders in both nations are addressing the topic differently.

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Analysis: India's Covid-19 crisis is a problem for the whole world .
In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, jubilant, newly-vaccinated people hug their loved ones after a long period of separation. In India, distraught families count their dead. Sick people are being turned away from hospitals that have run out of beds and oxygen, as the number of new cases rises to new record levels each day, creating a national crisis with global repercussions.The more the virus spreads, the more chances it has to mutate and create variants that could eventually resist current vaccines, threatening to undermine other countries' progress in containing the pandemic, experts warn.

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