The News Editorial Analysis 7th October 2021

The News Editorial Analysis 7th October 2021

Rahul, Priyanka meet kin of Lakhimpur victims; SC to hear case on Thursday: Key developments

Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi visited the tension-hit Lakhimpur Kheri district on Wednesday evening to meet the families of those killed in Sunday’s violence.
The visit comes three days after eight people were killed in violence during a protest against the farm laws in Lakhimpur on Sunday.Four of the dead were farmers who were allegedly knocked down by vehicles driven by BJP workers. The four others included two BJP workers, a driver of Union minister of state for home Ajay Kumar Mishra, Raman Kashyap, and a journalist working for a private TV channel.
Here are the top developments:

SC to hear Lakhimpur Kheri violence case on Thursday
The Supreme Court on Wednesday took suo motu cognisance of the violence that took place in the Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh.
A bench of Chief Justice Nuthalapati Venkata Ramana and Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli will hear the matter on October 7.

Rahul, Priyanka meet bereaved families in Lakhimpur Kheri
Congress MP Rahul Gandhi and his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra finally managed to meet the families of the farmers who were killed in Sunday’s violence at Tikunia village in Lakhimpur Kheri district in Uttar Pradesh.
Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka Gandhi and other leaders met the family of deceased farmer Lovepreet at the Chaukhada farm in Palia at around 9pm on Wednesday.
They later met the family of journalist Raman Kashyap, who was also killed in violence.Priyanka had been kept under detention at a guest house in Sitapur for the last three days.

The News Editorial Analysis 7th  October 2021

WHO recommends broad use of world’s first malaria vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that it has recommended widespread use of the world’s first malaria vaccine called RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) for children in sub-Saharan.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday that it has recommended widespread use of the world’s first malaria vaccine called RTS,S/AS01 (RTS,S) for children in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the WHO, the vaccine is the result of 30 years of research and development by British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in partnership with the international non-profit organization Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) and with a network of research centers in Africa.

The WHO said its recommendation is based on results from more than 2.3 million doses of the vaccine that have been administered to more than 800,000 children in pilot countries Ghana, Kenya and Malawi since 2019, Xinhua news agency reported.

According to the WHO, more than two-thirds of children in the three countries who were not sleeping under a bednet were benefiting from the vaccine, bringing about a 30 percent drop in severe malaria, even when introduced in areas where insecticide-treated nets were widely used and there was good access to diagnosis and treatment. The vaccine has a favorable safety profile, the WHO said, with no negative impact on the uptake of bednets, other childhood vaccinations, or health seeking behavior for febrile illness.

“It’s safe, it significantly reduces life-threatening severe malaria, and we estimate it to be highly cost-effective,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing.

According to the WHO, “the vaccine should be provided in a schedule of four doses in children from five months of age for the reduction of malaria disease and burden.”

Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted to people through the bites of infected female Anopheles mosquitoes. It is preventable and curable.

The WHO’s records show that malaria remains a primary cause of childhood illness and death in sub-Saharan Africa. More than 260,000 African children under the age of five die from the disease annually.

“This long-awaited malaria vaccine is a breakthrough for science, child health and malaria control,” said Tedros. “This vaccine is a gift to the world, but its value will be felt most in Africa, because that’s where the burden of malaria is greatest.”

US conveys its unease over India’s S-400 deal with Russia
A senior official of President Joe Biden’s administration on Wednesday acknowledged that India’s decision to buy S-400 Triumph missile defence systems from Russia was a “problem” in the relationship between New Delhi and Washington D.C., as it was not in the security interests of anyone.

The official, however, said that the US and India shared a strong partnership and the two nations would hopefully be able to address the issue and resolve it through bilateral talks, just as they dealt with other problems in the relations.

“We’ve been quite public about any country that decides to use the S-400. We think that is dangerous and not in anybody’s security interest. That said, we have a strong partnership with India,” Wendy Sherman, the US Deputy Secretary of State, told journalists in New Delhi.

During her meeting with Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla in New Delhi, Sherman reiterated the unease of the US over India’s move to buy the S-400 missile defence systems from Russia. “We want to be very thoughtful about the ways ahead, and discussion  between our countries try to solve problems and I hope we will be able to in this instance as well,” she told a journalist, who asked her about the possibility of the US imposing sanctions on India for buying the S-400s from Russia.

Government asks Supreme Court to set norms for quota in promotions.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Centre what it had done to collect quantifiable data —in accordance with its constitution bench decisions — to show, among others, inadequacy of representation of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) members in public employment under it to back its policy to provide them reservation in promotions and to produce the data, if any, before it.

“Show us the data. How do you justify reservations in promotions and what exercise have you undertaken to justify your decision,” a bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao asked Attorney General K K Venugopal while hearing petitions by the Centre and states highlighting issues in connection with implementation of its 2018 judgment in the case of Jarnail Singh vs Lachhmi Narain Gupta and others.

The bench, also comprising Justices Sanjeev Khanna and B R Gavai, said it will first deal with the issue whether reservation in promotion has been implemented on the basis of such quantifiable data.

Duo wins Nobel Chemistry Prize for work on catalyst.

STOCKHOLM (AFP) – Germany’s Benjamin List and David MacMillan of the United States on Wednesday (Oct 6) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of a precise new tool for molecular construction, the jury said.

The duo was awarded “for their development of a precise new tool for molecular construction: organocatalysis.  This has had a great impact on pharmaceutical research, and has made chemistry greener,” the Nobel Committee said. 

List and Scottish-born MacMillan, both 53, will share the 10-million-kronor (S$1.5 million) prize. MacMillan is a professor at Princeton University in the US, while List is a director at the Max Planck Institute in Germany.“Many research areas and industries are dependent on chemists’ ability to construct molecules that can form elastic and durable materials, store energy in batteries or inhibit the progression of disease,” the Nobel Committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

“This work requires catalysts, which are substances that control and accelerate chemical reactions, without becoming part of the final product,” it added, noting that prior to the work of the laureates, scientists believed there were only two types of catalysts, metals and enzymes. 

In 2000, the researchers, working independently of each other, developed a third type, called “asymmetric organocatalysis”, which relies on small organic molecules.

Ahead of this year’s announcement, analysts said the field was wide open.  According to Clarivate, which maintains a list of potential Nobel Prize winners, more than 70 researchers had what it takes to be considered for the prize in chemistry, given the thousands of citations they have received in scientific papers. Last year, the Nobel went to Frenchwoman Emmanuelle Charpentier and American Jennifer Doudna, for developing the gene-editing technique known as CRISPR-Cas9 – DNA snipping “scissors”. 

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