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Cyclone Amphan Kills Dozens, Destroys Homes In India, Bangladesh

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Cyclone Amphan Kills Dozens, Destroys Homes In India, Bangladesh

India and Bangladesh have been hit by a powerful cyclone on Thursday. At least twenty-two persons have been killed.  The cyclone has also caused severe damage across the area.  Roofs were blown off buildings.  Churning waves swallowed embankments and bridges.  Entire villages were left without access to fresh water, electricity, and communications.

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The cyclone had weakened after hitting the shore on Wednesday evening.

Officials are expressing fear that relief and repair work may be made more difficult by the coronavirus pandemic that has stretched the health care system.

Cyclone Amphan is like a category three hurricane.  It packed sustained winds of up to a hundred seventy kilometers per hour.  The cyclone hit the shore with maximum gusts of a hundred ninety kilometers per hour.

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By the time it reached Bangladesh, it had lost power. But the densely populated regions of south Bengal experienced storm surges that pushed seawater twenty-five kilometers inland and flooded cities, including Kolkata.

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Weather forecasters say many parts of the state will experience heavy rainfall for the next one week.  India’s meteorological office says the cyclone will disrupt local wind circulation and would also trigger heatwaves in some parts of the country.

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World News

New Zealand Announces Return Of Coronavirus After 102 Days

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New Zealand Announces Return Of Coronavirus After 102 Days

New Zealand has on Tuesday announced its first locally transmitted coronavirus infections in 102 days, prompting the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern to issue a stay-at-home lockdown order for the country’s largest city.

Until today, the country had been enjoying a near-normal lifestyle with no social distancing and spectators allowed at sports and cultural events.

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The prime minister said “after 102 days, we have our first cases of COVID-19 outside of managed isolation or quarantine facilities… While we have all worked incredibly hard to prevent this scenario, we have also planned and prepared for it”.

Speaking to the country in a televised address she said four cases had been detected in a single family in Auckland from an unknown source.

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Earlier, the World Health Organization had hailed the country as an example to others for having “successfully eliminated community transmission”.

In a population of 22 million, the country reported just 22 deaths and had not recorded community transmission since May 1.

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Now some social distancing restrictions will be reintroduced in the rest of the country and Auckland will be locked down for at least three days beginning from Wednesday.

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World News

Beirut Explosion: City Holds Vigil To Mourn Blast Victims

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Beirut explosion -City holds vigil to mourn blast victims

After one week of the huge explosion that devastated the Lebanese capital, people in Beirut have on Tuesday attended a vigil where a moment of silence was held for some 200 persons killed in the explosion, which also wounded some 6,000 others and left 300,000 homeless.

Last Tuesday, a massive explosion caused by the ignition of some 2,750 tonnes of stored ammonium nitrate devastated Lebanon’s capital which has caused outrage that led the Lebanese government to succumbed to the weight of people’s anger against it over the explosion.

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Prime minister Hassan Diab on Monday, announced his government’s resignation, saying the huge explosion was the result of endemic corruption.

President Michel Aoun accepted the resignation of the prime minister’s government and asked it to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.

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Today, a crowd stood in silence near the ruins of the city’s port as a Muslim call to prayer was broadcast and church bells tolled at 18:09 (15:09 GMT).

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Dozens have been questioned, including two former cabinet ministers and more than 20 persons have been detained over the explosion.

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

Russian, president Vladimir Putin has announced on Tuesday that Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against coronavirus.

The president said during a televised video conference call with government ministers that for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in the country.

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Putin said the country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing.

Three days ago, ANN reported that a senior health official at a Russian state laboratory’s vaccine for the novel coronavirus disclosed that it is undergoing its final testing phase and is expected to be registered soon.

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Last week, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Grinev said in comments carried by the Russian news agency Interfax that “currently it is in the final testing phase, which is extremely important. We need to understand that the vaccine will be safe”.

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According to Johns Hopkins University data, Russia has recorded more than 895,000 cases, the world’s fourth-largest Coronavirus caseload behind the United States, Brazil and India.

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