India to require 400k charging stations for 2 mn EVs by 2026: Report #SootinClaimon.Com

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India to require 400k charging stations for 2 mn EVs by 2026: Report

India needs about 400,000 charging stations to meet the requirement for two million Electric Vehicles (EV) that could potentially ply on its roads by 2026, said a report on Saturday.

India to require 400k charging stations for 2 mn EVs by 2026: Report

The Grant Thornton Bharat-Ficci report said for India to reach its vision of 100 per cent EVs by 2030, factors such as increasing government support, decreasing cost of technology, and distressing pollution levels, would be key to accelerate this transition.

As per EV industry body – Society of Manufacturers of Electric Vehicles – there are 1,800 charging stations in India as of March 2021 for approximately 16,200 electric cars, including the fleet segment.

“Overall, the EV infrastructure is tightly coupled with the EV and charging station characteristics, battery technologies, and electricity markets,” the report said.

“More than half of the stakeholders, as part of a survey in the report, have also recommended involvement of discoms in Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) deployment and classification of EV charging infrastructure as corporate social responsibility.”

Besides, the survey suggested design simplifications, partnership during transition, and optimisation of urban mobility as effective cost reduction levers for bringing down EV costs in India.

“Global manufacturers have spent millions to improve the availability and efficacy of EV chargers, and as a result the fastest ones today take no more than 15 minutes to recharge a vehicle.”

“The global sales of EVs in 2020 increased by 39 per cent y-o-y to 3.1 million units, whereas the total passenger car market declined 14 per cent.”

In addition, the report mentioned about the impact of the pandemic on emergence of a new consumer who is eager to be healthy, breathe clean air and build a better, more resilient world for the next generation.

“The year 2020 has presented a great responsibility and opportunity to fast track the development of electrification and electric vehicles (EV) by utilising the strengths available globally through a collaborative and integrated effort,” said Saket Mehra, Partner, Grant Thornton.

Published : June 14, 2021

By : The Statesman/ANN

Malaysian employers to pay for jabs #SootinClaimon.Com

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Malaysian employers to pay for jabs

PETALING JAYA: The authorities will ensure that employers do not make workers absorb the vaccination costs under the Program Imunisasi Industri Covid-19 Kerjasama Awam-Swasta (Pikas), says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.

Malaysian employers to pay for jabs

He said the Pikas offer to essential industries comes with strict guidelines to employers that all costs must be borne by employers and must not in any way be passed on to their workers.

“The announcement of Pikas comes with a stern warning to employers. Not only are they not allowed to transfer the costs to employees because government policy is free to all, employers also must complete the whole cycle – two doses to every employee.

“In fact this has been agreed by the industry associations.

“They have agreed to absorb the administrative costs to ensure a smooth running of the vaccination plan for their employees,” said Azmin, who is International Trade and Industry Minister, when contacted.

He said he would be visiting the three states – Selangor, Johor and Penang – involved in Pikas when the pilot phase takes off on Wednesday.

He also pointed out that the Pikas offer was at RM90 per worker.

On Saturay, the International Trade and Industry Ministry (Miti) stated that Pikas, which involves voluntary immunisation for employees in the manufacturing sector, would be launched as Phase Four of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

Companies taking part can get their staff vaccinated at selected vaccination centres or choose on-site vaccination at designated factories and industrial locations.

Miti said companies in critical manufacturing sub-sectors including electrical and electronics, food processing, iron and steel, medical devices, personal protective equipment (PPE), oil and gas and rubber products, including medical glove manufacturing sub-sectors, would be prioritised.

It said it would be coordinating the immunisation for employees in the manufacturing sector while other ministries would be responsible for vaccination of employees in their respective sectors.

To date, Miti said 500 companies with a total of 106,591 workers had applied to take part in Pikas.

Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai said Pikas stemmed from suggestions from employers who wanted to speed up vaccination of the 2.4 million workers in the manufacturing sector.

“We hope with the vaccination of workers, the capacity of workers working on-site can be increased from the current 60%.

“We also ask that Pikas be offered to non-essential industries as soon as possible so that they too can operate as they form part of the chain for essential industries,” he said.

Industries Unite (IU), a coalition of SMEs and small businesses, said that it was timely for a mass vaccination of workers.

IU group coordinator Datuk Irwin Cheong said they hoped the government could further reduce the costs, as it could take a toll on small businesses.

“This is something we have been pushing for. We are grateful our request has been viewed favourably by the government,” said Chong.

Published : June 14, 2021


[Myanmar] 109 bomb, 65 arson and 168 other attacks since schools reopened: SAC #SootinClaimon.Com

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[Myanmar] 109 bomb, 65 arson and 168 other attacks since schools reopened: SAC

According to State Administration Council spokesperson Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun at a press conference on June 12, there have been a total of 109 bomb blasts, 65 arson and 168 other hinderances were committed since schools reopened.

[Myanmar] 109 bomb, 65 arson and 168 other attacks since schools reopened: SAC

He claims that as of June 10, 88 percent of a total of 42080 scools have reopened with 3216960 that came to school. 

“The NLD and its supporting terrorists carried out a total of 109 mine and bomb attacks, 65 arson attacks and 168 other general hinderances,” said Zaw Min Tun.

There are over 25000 primary schools, 15000 middle schools and over 6100 highschools that had reopened.

Brig-Gen Zaw Min Tun claims that “The decision to go to school is for parents and students to decide. The acts of violence are hindering their rights. Terrorists are asking young children to put on their uniform to attack the school.”

In Rakhine State, the Brig-Gen says that there were 96 percent with 82 percent attendance rate.

Published : June 14, 2021

By : Eleven Media/ANN

Moon pledges $200 million to tackle global COVID-19 vaccine shortage #SootinClaimon.Com

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Moon pledges $200 million to tackle global COVID-19 vaccine shortage

SEOUL/CORNWALL, England — South Korea will provide $200 million in aid through next year to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in lower-income countries, President Moon Jae-in said Saturday.

Moon pledges $200 million to tackle global COVID-19 vaccine shortage

During a plenary session on health during a Group of Seven summit, Moon vowed to offer $100 million in grants this year, according to a statement from the presidential office.

Another $100 million will be provided next year through the COVAX Advance Market Commitment, a financing framework established to make COVID-19 vaccines affordable in more than 90 developing countries.

The remarks were made during Moon’s visit to Britain for this year’s G-7 summit, which started Friday. Moon was invited to attend the summit as a guest alongside his counterparts from Australia, India and South Africa.

Moon attended the plenary session with other guests, joining the G-7 leaders as well as chiefs of the World Health Organization, the World Trade Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The presidential office said the commitment would spur Korea’s role as a global vaccine hub while it seeks partnerships with the G-7 nations.

Participants, including Moon, also discussed ways to cooperate on global public health governance and ways to increase support for equitable medical access for all nations to prepare for future public health threats, Moon’s office added.

During his visit Moon also met with Pascal Soriot, executive director and CEO of the Britain-based AstraZeneca, to reaffirm the importance of continued cooperation in the global production and supplying of COVID-19 vaccines.

In the 27-minute meeting, Moon pledged to actively cooperate with the international community to ensure that enough COVID-19 vaccines are provided globally, according to the presidential office.

Cheong Wae Dae said Moon thanked Soriot for his company’s active role in the COVID-19 situation, saying its vaccine was an important part of Korea’s vaccination campaign, which kicked off in February. Korea aims to complete the vaccination of 14 million people by the end of this month.

“AstraZeneca’s vaccine is unique for us in that it was the first (COVID-19) vaccine inoculated in South Korea and is the most used vaccine,” Moon was quoted as saying.

“Koreans could receive the vaccine with relief as it was produced locally with SK’s technology transfer. This has also played an important first step for Korea to become a global vaccine production hub.”

More than 60 percent of those who have received their first jabs here got the vaccine developed by the British pharmaceutical firm.

As of Saturday’s end, close to 8 million people in Korea had gotten their first COVID-19 shots from AstraZeneca and 3.26 million had gotten shots from Pfizer. SK Group subsidiary SK Bioscience produces AstraZeneca’s vaccine domestically through a contract manufacturing deal.

Moon also asked Soriot to provide continued support so as to ensure a steady supply of its vaccines for the latter half of the year, Moon’s office said.

The AstraZeneca CEO also expressed appreciation for Korea’s role in the COVAX program, as vaccines produced in the country have been provided to 75 nations within the coalition, the office added.

Published : June 14, 2021

By : Ko Jun-tae/The Korea Herald/ANN

Embassy says days when G7 dictates to the world are over #SootinClaimon.Com

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Embassy says days when G7 dictates to the world are over

Chinas embassy in the United Kingdom said that international decisions can no longer be dictated by a small cadre of global elites, after leaders at the meeting of the G7 group of wealthy nations, which concluded on Sunday, unveiled a new infrastructure plan intended to compete with Chinas cross-border development plan the Belt and Road Initiative.

Embassy says days when G7 dictates to the world are over

The embassy made its remarks on Saturday, ahead of the conclusion of the G7 Summit taking place in Cornwall in the UK, attended by leaders from the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United States. The infrastructure plan, which is called Build Back Better World, or B3W, is being spearheaded by US President Joe Biden, who identified the summit as an opportunity to “discuss strategic competition with China”, according to a White House statement.

“The days when global decisions were dictated by a small group of countries are long gone,” a spokesman from the Chinese Embassy in the UK said. “We always believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are equals, and that world affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries.”

The embassy criticized the clique-based politics of the Western countries, saying that there should be “only one system and one order in the world, that is, the international system with the United Nations at the core and the international order based on international law, not the so-called system and order advocated by a handful of countries”.

The White House said the B3W plan will “help narrow the $40 trillion infrastructure need in the developing world”.

But few details have been provided as to how the plan will be implemented and no investment figures were given either.

A senior official in Biden’s administration said that the plan is “not just about confronting or taking on China”.

Christopher Bovis, a professor of international business law at Hull University, said that the B3W is a strategic play to increase the influence of the G7 on the international stage and compete with the Belt and Road Initiative, which has gathered pace since it was introduced in 2013 with over 130 countries now formally affiliated.

“The intention of G7 economies to offer developing nations an infrastructure plan, referred to as the B3W initiative, is certainly seen as an attempt to counter China’s growing influence and success of the Belt and Road Initiative,” Bovis told China Daily.

“Furthermore, the B3W, if implemented, is expected to act as a conveyor belt of Western values, standards and the way of doing business, an outcome which will likely be seen as a post-colonial attempt to integrate economically developing economies,” Bovis said.

Bovis questioned if the G7 was the suitable group to spearhead such an initiative.

Paul Rogers, a professor of peace studies at Bradford University in the UK, suggested that the G7 may in fact have become outmoded in an increasingly interconnected world with a growing list of shared threats.

“While the G7 is an important meeting, the G20 is far more significant, because it is more representative of the global community,” Rogers told China Daily.

Cui Chaoqun in London contributed to this story.

Published : June 14, 2021


X-Press Pearl disaster: Govt. to submit initial US$ 50 million claim as compensation #SootinClaimon.Com

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X-Press Pearl disaster: Govt. to submit initial US$ 50 million claim as compensation

The government will submit an initial claim for US$ 50 million as compensation from the owners/insurance agents of the X-Press Pearl vessel, which was destroyed in a blaze in Sri Lankan territorial waters, a top government official said.

X-Press Pearl disaster: Govt. to submit initial US$ 50 million claim as compensation

AMarine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) team is now working on the preliminary compensation proposal to be submitted shortly.

The Sunday Island learns that the team has also sought inputs from various other sectors affected by the enormous environmental disaster caused by the fire-stricken cargo vessel to prepare separate claims for compensation.

Central Environmental Authority’s Chemical and Hazardous Waste Management Unit, Director, Ajith Weerasundara said they would shortly spell out their recommendations regarding the extensive damage by the waste around the sea areas.

He termed the impact as “huge” with a strong chemical spread in the vicinity/

“MEPA is handling the calculations on the negative impacts on the ocean and to marine biodiversity”, he said.

Environmental Scientist, Hematha Withanage said only eight of the 1,486 containers had been cleared from the sea. “The longer the delay, the more extensive will be the damage caused”.

He said the fisheries sector has lost around Rs. 80 million per day and in addition, the clean up will have to go on for many more years though it may not be possible to trace 40 per cent of the debris.

The billions of plastic pellets that were washed ashore will remain intact for the next 500 to 1,000 years, Withanage asserted. “Every single plastic pellet is an environmental threat. We may collect 50 per cent, but the rest will remain buried in the sand the along the affected coastal belt”.

The ship seems to have been transporting around 42 different chemicals and around 45 different materials (of the declared goods) that possibly contain hazardous chemicals, he claimed.

He said while some are known toxics, the others are not chemicals of concern in their pure form. However, as the chemicals were ignited and also mixed with sea water, the damage will have a multiple ecological impact.

For example, the ingots when burned could emit lead vapour that cause air-borne contamination, he pointed out.

Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) and The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) are the ship owners and insurance companies, respectively.

Environment Minister Amaraweera said that the ship’s VDR (Voyage Data Recorder) would reveal those responsible for the ecological and economic disaster. “They should be held accountable”.

The environmental damage caused by the burning ship cannot be quantified as it’s so enormous , he  said.

He said the Marine Environment Protection Authority Chairman informed him that a team has already been sent to the vicinity of the sunken ship to investigate and obtain the oil samples.

“I received the list of cargo aboard the vessel. There were 193 items in about 1,486 containers”, the Minister said.

Debris from the container ship has affected more than 150km of Sri Lanka’s coastline, according to International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) experts who are on site.

ITOPF said more than 1,000 people are involved in the clean up operation. The specialist pollution response company Oil Spill Response has also arrived in Sri Lanka and will work with ITOPF in providing technical assistance.

The Wildlife Conservation Department said dozens of dead marine species have been found on beaches countrywide.

Published : June 13, 2021

By : The Island / ANN

China making plans for future space exploration: official #SootinClaimon.Com

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China making plans for future space exploration: official

BEIJING – China is making plans for the future development of its space program, including exploring asteroids and the Jovian system, collecting samples from Mars and exploring the polar region of the moon, said an official from the China National Space Administration (CNSA) on Saturday.

China making plans for future space exploration: official

Xu Hongliang, a spokesperson of the CNSA, said at a press conference held in Beijing that about the year 2025 China plans to launch a probe to collect samples from a near-Earth asteroid and explore a comet in one mission.

China plans to launch a Mars sample-return mission and a Jovian system exploration mission sometime about 2030, Xu said.

In addition, China plans to launch the Chang’e-6 and Chang’e-7 lunar probes in the coming five years to explore the environment and resources and collect samples from the polar region of the moon, Xu said.

By the end of 2022, China will have completed the construction of its space station, in which astronauts can stay for prolonged periods to carry out scientific experiments, Xu said.

“We should coordinate space science, space technology and space applications, in accordance with the principle of being technically realizable, financially affordable and scientifically contributive,” said Xu.

The development of heavy-lift launch vehicles, reusable space transportation systems and satellite internet will also be the focus of future development plans, according to Xu.

The CNSA released new images taken by the country’s first Mars rover Zhurong on Friday, signifying the complete success of China’s first Mars exploration mission.

Xu said that China has seen new breakthroughs in the country’s Tianwen-1 mission. The probe has, for the first time, successfully completed the interplanetary flight, soft-landing and roving on an extraterrestrial planet.

The completion of the orbiting, landing and roving on the red planet in one mission indicates that the country has come to the forefront of the world in Mars exploration, Xu said.

He also noted that this is the first time that the country has carried out monitoring and communication activities over a distance of 400 million km and obtained first-hand scientific data on Mars.

Published : June 13, 2021

By : China Daily / ANN

Hong Kongers march in Tokyo to call for support #SootinClaimon.Com

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Hong Kongers march in Tokyo to call for support

Hong Kongers living in Japan gathered in a park in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, on Saturday to commemorate the second anniversary of the beginning of the 2019 anti-government protests that rocked China’s semiautonomous territory and to call on the international community to support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement, which has been suppressed by the enforcement of a national security law last year.

Hong Kongers march in Tokyo to call for support

“We have been facing increasingly powerful oppression for the past two years,” said the organizers, reading out statements in Cantonese and Japanese, pointing to crackdowns on pro-democracy activists and protesters under the national security law instituted by Beijing. “It is said that ‘the darkest time is before dawn.’ Hong Kong is now in darkness, but we believe dawn will come one day if we persist with our fight patiently. We will not give up,” the statement said.

Dressed in black, the participants marched through downtown Tokyo, chanting “Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times,” a slogan now banned in Hong Kong under the national security law. As the law claims jurisdiction over actions taken overseas, most participants hid their faces with caps, dark glasses and masks.

The rally was part of a global campaign for Hong Kong held this weekend in about 50 cities in over 20 countries and regions including London, Washington, Melbourne and Bangkok.

On June 12, 2019, tens of thousands of protesters gathered around Hong Kong’s Legislative Council to stop the deliberation of a bill to allow suspects to be extradited from Hong Kong to mainland China. In the weeks and months that followed, residents kept coming out, sometimes by the millions, eventually succeeding in having the bill withdrawn. But protests calling for democratization continued after that.

With the novel coronavirus pandemic and the national security law, large-scale protests had disappeared from the streets of Hong Kong since last year, and many activists are now jailed or in exile. According to the Hong Kong government, more than 10,000 people have been arrested in protest-related cases in the past two years, of whom at least 2,500 have been prosecuted. And over 100 people have been arrested under the national security law.

“Hong Kong lost its freedom, and it is difficult for the residents to take action, but they have not given up. So it is now more important than ever for us overseas Hong Kongers to speak up. I hope people in Japan and the world can stand with Hong Kong,” a participant in the Tokyo rally in his 30s said.

Published : June 13, 2021

By : The Japan News / ANN

Foreign minister’s New York Visit: Dhaka to press for early repatriation of Rohingyas #SootinClaimon.Com

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Foreign minister’s New York Visit: Dhaka to press for early repatriation of Rohingyas

Bangladesh will reiterate its position, seeking quick and sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas, as Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen leaves for New York this morning (Sunday) to attend two important events at the UN General Assembly (UNGA).

Foreign minister’s New York Visit: Dhaka to press for early repatriation of Rohingyas

One of the events will be on Myanmar’s current situation where Bangladesh will reiterate its call to the international community for quick and sustainable repatriation of Rohingyas, said Momen.

“Our priority is repatriation. They (Rohingyas) must be repatriated,” he said, mentioning that much has been said about democracy and the overall situation in Myanmar.

Bangladesh is hosting over 1.1 million Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar district and Bhasan Char.

No Rohingya was repatriated over the last four years amid the “absence of conducive environment” in Rakhine State and lack of confidence among the Rohingyas, officials said.

Momen said President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) Volkan Bozkir invited him during his recent visit to Bangladesh.

UNGA President Bozkir, during his recent visit to Bangladesh, said the General Assembly has not forgotten about the Rohingyas.

“To the people I met, I’ll uphold my promise to share your stories back in New York,” he tweeted after visiting Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar district.

The UNGA President said basic rights, including citizenship, and the creation of conditions conducive to the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of all Rohingyas must be respected.

“The safety and security of the Rohingya and other minorities must be secured,” he said while delivering his keynote speech at the Sixth Lecture of the Bangabandhu Lecture Series at Foreign Service Academy.

Dr Momen will attend another event ahead of the 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) where Bangladesh will highlight its issues related to its graduation to a developing nation.

The Foreign Minister is scheduled to leave for the United States at 4:25am today by a Qatar Airways flight, a senior official told UNB.

He will return home on June 22.

Published : June 13, 2021

By : The Daily Star / ANN

Explosion near Shwedagon, municipal staff injured #SootinClaimon.Com

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Explosion near Shwedagon, municipal staff injured

According to nearby residents, an explosion occurred on the road near the Southern entrance to the Shwedagon pagoda on June 12, around 9am.

Explosion near Shwedagon, municipal staff injured

Awoman that works as a sanitation worker for the municipal was allegedly injured from the blast. 

“There was a loud sound in the morning. People thought it was just a tire bust until the soldiers and policemen came. I hear a woman sanitation worker was hurt somewhere to her back or her bottom,” said a person that lives nearby.

After the incident, security forces were seen to have taken up post at Shwedagon Pagoda.

Published : June 13, 2021

By : Eleven Media / ANN