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UK approved Modern vaccine targeting Omicron

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Omicron

The updated Moderna vaccine against COVID-19, which targets both the original form and the Omicron variant, was approved by the UK on Monday, making it the first nation to do so. The bivalent vaccination produced by US pharmaceutical company Moderna as a booster for adults has received approval from the Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised the vaccine for adult booster doses “after it was found to meet the UK regulator’s standards of safety, quality and efficacy” and to elicit a “strong immune response” against both strains, according to a statement.

Clinical study data that indicated the booster elicited “a significant immune response” against both Omicron (BA.1) and the original 2020 virus, according to the MHRA, were the basis for the agency’s approval.

The MHRA also highlighted a preliminary analysis in which it was discovered that the shot produced a strong immunological reaction against the two currently predominant Omicron offspring, BA.4 and BA.5.

MHRA chief executive June Raine said in a statement, “The first generation of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the UK continue to provide important protection against the disease and save lives.”

“What this bivalent vaccine gives us is a sharpened tool in our armoury to help protect us against this disease as the virus continues to evolve.”

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Policy & Politics

Kharge resigns as Rajya Sabha Lop, following ‘one person, one post’ formula

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Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge submitted his resignation as Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House as he filed his nomination for the party’s chief post, after the Udaipur announcement of “one person, one post.”

“I hereby tender my resignation from the post of Leader of Opposition, Rajya Sabha, consequent upon my filing of nomination for the post of President, All India Congress Committee,” Kharge said in his letter to interim party president Sonia Gandhi.

In February 2021, Kharge took over as the Leader of the Opposition in the Upper House following Ghulam Nabi Azad’s retirement. If Kharge, who is considered to be the front-runner, is chosen as the party president, the Congress may need to find a new LoP in the Rajya Sabha.

Although the selection process for Kharge’s replacement won’t begin until the results are announced, party leaders said that Digivjaya Singh, Mukul Wasnik, or Ranjit Ranjan may be possible candidates.

According to party insiders, Singh, who opted out of the race to support Kharge, might emerge as a possible successor to Kharge. “He doesn’t hold any organisational position and a leader from the Hindi belt can also act like a balancing factor,” said a leader, adding that senior party leader Mukul Wasnik may also be considered. Among women leaders, Ranjit Ranjan, a fierce orator from Bihar, or Gujarat’s former leader of the Opposition Shakti Sinh Gohil could also be considered, said a Congress leader from Rajya Sabha.

In an April 2022 decision, the Udaipur Chintan Shivir demanded that the policy be put into effect at all party levels.

Ashok Gehlot, the chief minister of Rajasthan, decided not to run for president of the Congress after Rahul Gandhi’s strongly advocated “one person, one post” formula sparked an uprising inside the state party last week. A majority of Congress MLAs in Rajasthan staged a separate meeting and prevented the adoption of a one-line resolution authorising the party leader to propose Gehlot’s replacement.

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As ‘Bharat Jodo’ enters Karnataka, rattled BJP gives front-page ad that distorts history: Jairam Ramesh

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As Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra entered the BJP-ruled state, according to Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Saturday, the BJP placed a front page advertisement in a Kannada newspaper. Ramesh said in a tweet, “The advertisement mischievously distorts history as usual. Savarkar propounded two-nation theory & Jinnah ensured it got done. Syama Prasad Mukherjee, founder of Jan Sangh championed partition of Bengal.” BJP is rattled by the yatra’s success, the Congress leader continued.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra of Rahul Gandhi entered the election-bound state of Karnataka on Friday. There, the yatra will travel 511 kilometres across seven districts in 21 days.

Rahul Gandhi remarked in a statement at the beginning of the march’s Kerala leg that the Bharat Jodo Yatra is the voice of the nation and that no one can stop it.

“Entire control is lying with the (Central) government. If we speak in Parliament, they shut our microphones,” Rahul Gandhi said.

A new Rahul Gandhi and a new Congress party have emerged from the Bharat Jodo Yatra which forced the BJP and the RSS on the backfoot, Jairam Ramesh said on Friday. “People asked who is ‘thodoing’ (breaking) Bharat for Congress to do Bharat Jodo, our answer is Mr Modi’s ideology, policies, personality is thodoing Bharat. Because economic inequality is increasing, social polarisation is increasing and political over-centralisation is increasing, the Congress is doing this yatra,” Jairam Ramesh said.

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Women unite in Lucknow to create non-violent economy

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To take part in a 12-day campaign for a violent-free economy, more than ten thousand women have assembled on the outskirts of Lucknow. October 2 will mark the end of the campaign, which got under way on September 21.

On Friday, a program was held in Madiaon for women to speak out for a non-violent life and economy as part of this campaign, which was organised by Red Brigade Lucknow (an organisation that aims to protect women).

Students, social workers from four states, as well as representatives from Lucknow’s villages, mohallas, and schools, were present in the program.

Renuka Tandon, founder of Amren Foundation, presided over the event, while the chief guest for the event was renowned social worker Jill Ben. Ben said that increasing violence in society deeply affects women, and therefore, it is their responsibility to raise a voice to further build a non-violent economy. Tandon appreciated the efforts made by the Red Brigade, saying that it is a good step in the direction of achieving a non-violent economy.

The founder of Red Brigade, Usha Vishwakarma, emphasised the significance of women working on and enhancing their self-defence and self-image when she said that a non-violent economy is only possible when there is a humane relationship between man, woman, and nature.

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10-year-old raped by friends passes away in Delhi’s hospital

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Gang rape

A 10-year-old boy who was viciously attacked and raped on September 18 by three friends, including a cousin, all of whom were between the ages of 10 and 12, died early on Saturday due to complications from his injuries at the Lok Nayak Hospital run by the Delhi government.

The boy’s family reported on Saturday that he had a high fever all night and abruptly started losing vitals this morning.

 “We were with him and then a few doctors came in and said that his heart had stopped beating. They asked to wait outside and after a few minutes said he was no more,” the boy’s mother said.

She said, “They had told us initially that we would be able to take him home next week. How can he suddenly die?”

A formal version from the hospital is awaited.

A senior police officer who wished to remain anonymous claimed that although they have been “informally” told that the boy has passed away, they have not yet received a formal statement from the hospital.

The child has died, according to Sanjay Kumar Sain, deputy commissioner of police (north east).

The boy was assaulted and raped by three juveniles on September 18 in East Delhi, and on September 22 he was taken to Lok Nayak Hospital.

On Friday, doctors said the boy’s wounds were so gruesome, they were reminded of the December 16, 2012 gang rape victim. Doctors confirmed that sharp objects had been inserted in his private parts and he was also badly beaten up.

The boy’s family, who dwell in Seelampur in east Delhi, said that he was called by a few neighbourhood boys on the evening of September 18 under the pretence of playing cricket. Since his return, they felt “something was off” but did not know the seriousness of the situation.

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Ajay Devgn receives best actor honour for ‘Tanhaji’

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Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn on Friday was conferred with the National Award for Best Actor and Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment for ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ at the 68th National Film Awards.
For the award ceremony, the actor donned a black suit as he received the award from President Droupadi Murmu. ‘Tanhaji: The Unsung Warrior’ was directed by Om Raut and released on 10 January 2020. This film was the 100th film in Devgn’s career spanning 30 years.
The movie also features Saif Ali Khan, Kajol and Sharad Kelkar. It collected over Rs 368 crore worldwide at the box office and was declared the highest grosser of the year.
The film involved Ajay in the role of Maratha warrior Taanaji Malusare, fighting for the principle of ‘Bhagwa’ (saffron) flag, ‘Swaraj’ (home-rule) and ‘Satya’ (truth).
Kajol essayed the role of the wife of Tanhaji — Savitribai Malusare — a strong character, who accompanied him in taking firm decisions. Saif played the antagonist, Uday Bhan, a Rajput official who works for Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
This win marks Ajay’s third National award after ‘Zakhm’ in 1998 and ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh’ in 2020. Along with the ‘Golmaal’ actor, South star Suriya also won the Best Actor honour for ‘Soorarai Pottru’.
The 68th National Film Awards were announced by a jury back in July 2022 at the National Media Centre in New Delhi. The jury comprised eminent filmmakers and film personalities from across Indian cinema.

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Tharoor’s blunder, shows distorted map of India

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Congress presidential candidate Shashi Tharoor has landed in a controversy on Friday as the manifesto shared by him for the election shows a “distorted map of India” in which he has omitted parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
He shared the distorted map of India, where he talked about ‘decentralization of the organization’. The goof-up by Tharoor, who is running for the president’s post of the country’s oldest party does not show good precedent. Later, Tharoor rectified the blunder by replacing it with the correct map of India in his election manifesto.
This is not the first time the Lok Sabha MP has shared a distorted map of India. Earlier in 2019, Tharoor shared a ‘distorted’ map of India on Twitter. The northernmost territory of the country was missing from the map shared by the Congress leader.
In December 2019, he shared the cover of a booklet about the Kerala Congress’s protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). He later deleted the tweet and rectified his mistake.
Later, Tharoor issued a clarification over the map blunder in his manifesto stating that “no one does such things on purpose” and added that team of volunteers had committed a mistake.

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