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Moderna says vaccine 100% effective against severe Covid

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US biotech company Moderna will apply for US and European emergency authorisation for its Covid-19 vaccine on Monday after full results from a late-stage study showed it was 94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns, the company said. It also said that its vaccine candidate had 100 per cent efficacy against severe disease.

According to an official statement by the company, the primary efficacy analysis of the “Phase 3 study of mRNA-1273 conducted on 196 cases confirms the high efficacy observed at the first interim analysis. The data analysis indicates a vaccine efficacy of 94.1 per cent. Safety data continue to accrue and the study continues to be monitored by an independent, NIH-appointed Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB).”

Moderna said the 196 CCovid-19 cases in its trial included 33 adults over 65 years old and 42 volunteers from racially diverse groups, including 29 Latinos, 6 Blacks, 4 Asian Americans and 3 multiracial participants. There was one death related to Covid-19 in the placebo group.

Moderna plans to request an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and conditional approval from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The Phase 3 study, known as the COVE study, enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the US and is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy

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Patiala man writes ‘pro-Khalistan slogans’, arrested

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Karnal Police has arrested a Patiala-based man for writing “pro-Khalistan slogans” on the walls of two educational institutions on 20 June, and said that the accused was promised to pay USD 1,000 by a US-based person for accomplishing the job. The accused has been identified as Manjeet, hailing from Punjab’s Patiala.

Manjeet was produced before the court which remanded him to five-day police custody for further probe.

“Haryana Police arrested a person for writing pro-Khalistan slogans in Karnal On 20 June, slogans were found written on the walls of two educational institutions. We started probing the matter and arrested an accused identified as Manjeet, a resident of Punjab’s Patiala,” said Ganga Ram Punia, Superintendent of police, Karnal on Tuesday.

“The accused was produced in the court, which sent him to 5-day police remand. During interrogation, it came to the fore that the accused was in contact with a US-based person, who promised to pay 1,000 dollars for doing this work. Further probe into the matter is underway,” the official added.

In a similar incident that occurred in Himachal Pradesh in May, one more Punjab resident was arrested for allegedly putting Khalistani flags and writing slogans on the walls in the Dharamsala city of Himachal Pradesh, informed Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.

“Another person who put up Khalistani flags and wrote slogans on the wall in Dharamsala has also been arrested from Punjab. Every Himachali is united against the forces dividing the country. Long live Mother India Jai Hind, Jai Himachal,” Thakur had tweeted.

“In a joint raid with Himachal Pradesh Police, we arrested a resident of Morinda in connection with putting up pro-Khalistan flags and writing slogans on the wall of Himachal Assembly in Dharamsala,” said Rupnagar SSP Dr Sandeep Garg.

He further said, “During interrogation, the accused also accepted that he along with his accomplice had put up Khalistan banners outside our office (mini-secretariat complex) in Ropar, Punjab on 13 April. The accused have been handed over to Himachal Police.”

Notably, the ‘Khalistan’ flags were found tied on the main gate of the Assembly and walls on 8 May.

Police had also registered an FIR under sections 153-A and 153-B of IPC, section 3 of HP Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1985, and section 13 of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) at Dharamshala Police station after the ‘Khalistan’ flags incident.

Police booked banned outfit ‘Sikhs for Justice’ (SFJ) general counsel Gurpatwant Singh Pannun and called him the ‘main accused’ in the case.

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WEDDING BELLS FOR PUNJAB CM BHAGWANT MANN

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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann is set to tie the knot with 32-year-old Dr Gurpreet Kaur in Chandigarh on Thursday. CM Bhagwant Mann got divorced from his first wife in 2015. It is being said that Bhagwant Mann›s mother and sister wanted this marriage to happen. 

At the age of 48, Bhagwant Mann will marry for the second time. The wedding ceremony will take place at his residence in a simple manner. Only family members will attend the wedding ceremony. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is also expected to attend the function. Bhagwant Mann will get married according to Sikh customs. 

Dr Gurpreet Kaur belongs to a simple family. It is also being said that both the families have known each other for a long time. Dr Kaur is a Chandigarh-based practising Doctor. 

Bhagwant Mann got divorced 6 years back and has two young children from his previous wedding. Both the kids attended Mann›s CM Oath ceremony and are residing in America with their mother.

AAP MP Raghav Chadha wished CM Mann a happy married life on Wednesday. Chadha responded to a Twitter user’s comment, “And one thought that Raghav Chadha was the most eligible bachelor in AAP”. To which, he said, “Chhote da number vadde ton baad hi aunda hai. Best wishes to my vadde veer Mann Saab and Dr Gurpreet Kaur for a happy and blessed married life.”

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20 SHORTLISTED AIRMEN APPROACH DELHI HC

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Twenty shortlisted Airmen seeking direction for issuance of enrollment list and appointment letters have approached the Delhi High court. They are seeking appointment as per the notification of 2019 and that they should not be affected by the new Agnipath scheme.

The matter has been adjourned for two weeks as another similar matter is to be heard in Supreme Court next week. The division bench of justices Suresh Kumar Kait and Saurabh Banerjee adjourned the hearing on the petition for two weeks.

The petition moved through advocate Prashant Bhushan has sought direction from the Ministry of Defence and Central Airmen Selection Board to complete the recruitment process by publishing an enrollment list in terms of the notification of December 11, 2019 and consequently issue appointment letters to the shortlisted candidates.

The petitioners have also sought the issuing of a direction declaring that the notification of 2019 shall not be affected by the Agnipath scheme and subsequent notification of June 24, 2022. It is stated that the recruitment was to be done in three phases, which consisted of an online test, a physical fitness test, a group discussion, adaptability tests and a medical examination. The petitioners appeared and qualified in all three phases. Thereafter, a provisional selection list containing the names of the petitioners was published on May 31, 2021. The list contained the names of the candidates, cut-off marks and the position of the candidate in the merit list.

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INSTAGRAM DOWN: USERS FACE ISSUE LOGGING IN, SENDING MESSAGES

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New Delhi: Instagram, a Meta-owned social media platform, went down for a while earlier today, preventing many users from logging in and using the platform. However, it has now been restored. Several users took to Twitter to confirm that Instagram is not working for them. While some other users reported that their feeds were not refreshing, others complained of not being able to reply.

According to DownDetector, the first surge in complaints started shortly after 8 pm on 5 July and peaked at around 11 pm, when more than 1200 users reported experiencing problems with Instagram. By SAM on 6 July, the situation appeared to be getting better, but new reports have been mounting that it hasn’t been resolved.

Netizens took to Twitter, reporting their issue of not being able to access the social media platform. A user wrote, “Me to Instagram after refreshing my phone 3 times and reinstalling Instagram 2 times”. Another user posted, “Me waiting for the Instagram dm’s to work again to see the 0 DMS I have #instagramdown.” “No one: Instagram once every month: #instagramdown”, a netizen wrote.

However, unlike previous outages, the app was not unavailable to all Instagram users. Some reports also claimed that some users were able to use the platform during the outage. These users could access their accounts and use all aspects of the platform, including refreshing their feeds and opening new profiles.

Instagram has yet to acknowledge the problem, and no official statement has been issued. The platform has also experienced several similar outages in recent months, including one, last month on the night of Tuesday, 19 April.

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DSP Faridkot held for accepting bribe from drug supplier

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Punjab Police on Wednesday arrested Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Faridkot Lakhvir Singh for accepting Rs 10 lakhs as a bribe from a drug supplier for not nominating him in the FIR registered under NDPS Act in Tarn Taran, said the Director-General of Police (DGP) Punjab Gaurav Yadav.

The development came after the Tarn Taran district police had arrested a drug supplier identified as Pishora Singh from a petrol pump near Patti Morh after recovering 250 grams of opium and Rs 1 lakh of drug money from his possession on Sunday. Accused Pishora, a resident of village Model Boparai in Tarn Taran, was wanted in the FIR dated 30 June 2022, in which his aide Surjit Singh of village Mari Megha in Tarn Taran was arrested with 900grams of opium.

DGP Gaurav Yadav said that during the investigation by the Tarn Taran Police, Surjit revealed that he had purchased opium from Pishora, who is the main drug supplier.

“When Police started conducting raids to arrest him, Pishora tried to bribe Patti CIA in-charge by offering Rs 7-8 lakhs through ASI Rashpal Singh (posted as MHC CIA Patti), in lieu of not arresting and nominating him in this case, but the in-charge refused to accept the bribe,” he said while adding that the Police teams continued their efforts to arrest Pishora.

Later, Pishora met Rashpal Singh’s brother Hira Singh through his acquaintance Nishan Singh of village Sito in Tarn Taran, and together they approached DSP Lakhvir, who also happened to be the cousin of Hira Singh, where the DSP negotiated the settlement at Rs 10 lakhs to help the drug supplier, said the DGP, adding that the accused DSP instructed Hira to keep the amount with him.

On the disclosure of Pishora Singh, the Police have also recovered Rs 9.97 lakhs from the house of Hira Singh.

Reiterating the commitment of the Punjab government to make Punjab a corruption-free state, DGP Gaurav Yadav unequivocally said that any Police officer/official found indulged in corruption will not be spared.  

SSP Tarn Taran Ranjit Singh Dhillon said that the Police have also nominated ASI Rashpal Singh, Nishan Singh and Hira Singh in the FIR and raids are being conducted to nab them.

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RAIN BATTERS MANY PARTS OF THE COUNTRY, FLASH FLOODS REPORTED

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The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has predicted that isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall and thunderstorm/lightning are very likely over Gujarat, Goa, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala over the next five days.

“Isolated extremely heavy rainfall also likely over south Gujarat Region and ghat areas of Madhya Maharashtra on 8 July and over Konkan and Goa on 7 July and 8 July,” the IMD said.

The weather forecasting agency also predicted scattered rainfall activity with isolated heavy rainfall likely over Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Karaikal during the next five days.

“Widespread rainfall with isolated heavy rainfall and thunderstorm/lightning likely over Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha, Chhattisgarh and Odisha during next five days,” it added. 

As heavy rainfall lashed Mumbai, severe waterlogging was recorded in several parts of the city. Waterlogging was recorded in Dadar and Sion areas after Powai Lake started overflowing on Tuesday due to the downpour.

A landslide was also reported near Pratapgarh Fort in Maharashtra’s Satara district on Wednesday following heavy rainfall. No casualties have been reported so far. Another landslide incident was reported on Tuesday in Ghatkopar’s Panchsheel Nagar in Mumbai amidst heavy rains, demolishing a house.

The Central railway informed that the trains on all corridors are running, however, some main and harbour line trains are running late. Several rivers in the state have reached the warning level. The Kundalika River has crossed the warning level and the water level of Amba, Savitri, Patalganga, Ulhas and Garhi rivers is slightly below the warning level.

The IMD also issued an orange alert for Thane, Palghar, Pune, Beed, Latur, Jalna, Parbhani and several other areas in Maharashtra for the next five days. Ratnagiri and Raigad are on red alert.

Amidst the downpour, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde directed officials to monitor the situation and keep the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) squads ready, said the CM’s office (CMO) on Tuesday.

Particularly in Raigad, Ratnagiri, Thane, Palghar, Sindhudurg and Kolhapur districts, the Chief Minister has directed citizens to inform about the rising water and flood situation due to rains and make arrangements at appropriate places for evacuation.

Apart from this, the Chief Minister directed the district collectors and the Water Resources Department to remain alert and take proper precautions as the water of the Jagbudi and Kajli rivers is flowing at the warning level.

Meanwhile, several people have been feared washed away in flash floods caused by a cloud burst that wreaked havoc at Choj nullah in Parvati Valley of Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district. The incident has caused considerable damage to the properties and also destroyed the only bridge that leads to the village.

“Flash flood hits Manikaran valley of Kullu district due to heavy rainfall, dozens of houses and camping sites damaged in Choj village,” said Kullu Superintendent of Police Gurdev Sharma.

As many as four people are missing, added the police. He also said that the police and rescue teams are on the spot. “At Chojh village, 4-6 persons and 5 cattle heads are feared washed away. Another landslide occurred on Kasol-Jaimala Road,” added State Emergency Operation Centre in its bulletin.

At Malana Project & II Tehsil Bhuntar of Kullu, a building of the Project has been damaged. In the incident, 25 to 30 employees were stuck in the building. They have been rescued. The SDM Kullu, police and fire team carried out the rescue operation.

Incessant heavy rain continues in Shimla since late Tuesday night.

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