Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

Canada’s Most Populous Province Extends Caps on Gatherings

Thailand pro-democracy movement gains momentum

The largest protest to date calls for a change of government, new elections and monarchy reform.

For two months, students have been peacefully protesting in Thailand as they call for a change of government, new elections, and – a sensitive topic – monarchy reform.

And on Saturday, they held their largest protest to date, thanks to a new ally of a well-established pro-democracy movement.

Al Jazeera’s Scott Heidler reports from Bangkok, Thailand.

Cabinet note ready for vehicle scrappage policy

Move to aid environment-friendly phasing out of old vehicles

The government on Saturday said a Cabinet note has been formulated for the vehicle scrappage policy.

“Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) has formulated a note for Cabinet on creation of an ecosystem for voluntary and environment friendly phasing out of unfit and old polluting vehicles,” Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways V.K. Singh told the Rajya Sabha in reply to a query.

The proposed policy, once approved, will be applicable on all vehicles, the government had said earlier.

The policy was sent for a fresh round of consultation with stakeholders on the direction of the PMO.

Road Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadakri had said earlier this year that once the policy was approved, India could emerge as a hub for automobile manufacturing as key raw material available from scrapping steel, aluminium and plastic were bound to be recycled, bringing down automobile prices by “20-30%.” On July 26, 2019, the government had proposed amendments to motor vehicle rules to allow scrapping of vehicles older than 15 years to spur adoption of electric vehicles.

Fuel demand to shrink in 2020 by wider 11.5%: Fitch Solutions

Firm sees steep decline in consumer, industrial fuels offtake

Fitch Solutions has revised downward its forecast for fuel demand contraction in India to 11.5% in 2020 in line with the further deterioration in the country’s economic outlook.

“Demand weakness is spread across the board, with both consumer and industrial fuels set for steep decline,” Fitch Solutions said in a note. “We have made a further downward revision to our India refined fuels demand forecast for 2020, from -9.4% to -11.5%, in line with further deterioration in the country’s economic outlook.”

It forecast a 5% year-on-year growth in 2021 and 2022, as the outbreak is brought under control and economic activity normalises. In the first quarter of FY21, the GDP shrank by 23.9%. The domestic COVID-19 outbreak shows no signs of abating, with daily cases continuing to accelerate.

The transport sectors have suffered the heaviest losses, as social distancing measures cut off traffic and travel and curbed demand for road, air and shipping freight.

Live Updates: Supreme Court nomination fight heats up after Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death

Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at age 87.

The fight to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat on the U.S. Supreme Court is heating up, as President Trump called on Republicans' "obligation" to take action Saturday.

"We were put in this position of power and importance to make decisions for the people who so proudly elected us, the most important of which has long been considered to be the selection of United States Supreme Court Justices," he tweeted.

Just hours after Ginsburg's death on Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., vowed that a Trump nominee to the Supreme Court would "receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

Democrats criticized the push and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted Friday that Ginsburg's vacancy should not be filled until "we have a new president.”

According to a report in NPR, it was the justice's dying wish to "not be replaced until a new president is installed."

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Calcutta HC bars Harsh Lodha from MP Birla firms

The Calcutta High Court has restrained Harsh Vardhan Lodha from holding any office in any of the entities of MP Birla Group during the pendency of a suit over succession of the MP Birla Estate.

The high court, in a judgment over the administering of the estate by a court-appointed committee by majority decision, has also restrained the Lodhas from drawing any benefit personally from the assets of the estate of Priyamvada Devi, the deceased wife of MP Birla, during the pendency of the testamentary suit over the assets of the MP Birla Group.

Canada’s Most Populous Province Extends Caps on Gatherings

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Canada’s most populous province extended local caps on the size of gatherings across the region as new infections surge to their highest levels in months.

In three areas of Ontario, Premier Doug Ford had previously set a limit of 10 people for indoor events and 25 for outdoor ones. On Saturday, his government announced those restrictions would be extended province-wide.

“This is geared at the wild parties out there,” Ford told reporters Saturday, saying he was alarmed by reports of police breaking up parties with as many as 150 people. “Unfortunately, there are a few people out there who don’t want to follow the rules and think we’re out of this — we aren’t.”

Ford has promised to wield the highest fines in Canada for those who violate the restrictions, starting at C$10,000 ($7,500) for organizers.

Public frustration has been mounting over a lack of testing capacity with wait times stretching for days and lineups starting at dawn.

Ford pledged to expand testing capacity but also pleaded for the federal government to approve newer, faster tests such as those using saliva.

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