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BCCI’s WTC plan: 8-day bubble in India, 10-day quarantine in UK from June 2, families to travel | Cricket News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Virat Kohli-led Team India‘s preparation for the upcoming World Test Championship final against New Zealand in the UK — from June 18 — will start on May 25 when they enter the bio-bubble created for them here in India itself. The 8-day bubble will be followed by another 10-day quarantine in the UK before Kohli and co. take on the Kiwis in Southampton.
Speaking to ANI, a BCCI official in the know of the roadmap drawn for the WTC final and the five-match Test series against England said that it will be a case of breaking the quarantine period into two parts so that players can start training once in the UK on June 2.
“You can expect the boys to come into the bubble on May 25 as it will be an 8-day quarantine period which will not just involve testing against COVID-19, but also there will not be any movement as the boys prepare for the UK schedule.
“Once in UK on June 2, the boys will go for another 10-day quarantine. But this time the cricketers can train as they are moving from the bubble in India to the bubble in England in a charter plane. A bubble to bubble move lets them train even though there will be continuous testing at all times and no further movement,” the official explained.

Shami, Jadeja return to India’s Test squad for WTC final and England tour

Considering that the team ends the fifth Test against England on September 14 — final day of the fifth Test — in Manchester, it will be more than 3 months that the squad will be in the UK and the official said that will see the players being allowed to travel with their families.
“Not just the duration of the tour, the COVID-19 restrictions also mean you cannot move around the place. There will be more than a month’s gap between the Test Championship final and the opening Test against England in Trent Bridge from August 4. The players will have their families travelling with them,” the official said.
Another important area of focus is the vaccination process and the official said it will need some more time before a clear picture can be drawn.

“The Indian government has opened vaccination for every person above 18 so the players can take their first dose. But the second dose is the question here and while the BCCI is looking at working closely with the England and Wales Cricket Board to ensure players can get a second dose in the UK, if that is not approved by the UK government, we will have the vaccine taken from India for the second dose. Let’s see how that works out in the coming days,” the official explained.
The BCCI on Friday named a 20-member squad (two subject to fitness clearance) which will also have four standby players. Of the four standby players, three are fast bowlers — Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla.
Asked about their role as the main squad already has six fast bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Md. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur and Umesh Yadav, the official said the standby players would double up as net bowlers.

“See, six fast bowlers in the main squad should be good enough unless you are unfortunate and have multiple injuries. So, these three will double up as net bowlers while keeping preparations on to be ready to be drafted into the main squad if needed,” the official said.



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Pope Francis backs waivers on intellectual property rights for vaccines – Times of India

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Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis on Saturday supported waiving intellectual property rights for Covid-19 vaccines, backing a proposal by US President Joe Biden that has been rebuffed by some European nations, including Germany.
In a speech to a global fundraising concert to promote fair access to vaccines, the pope said the world was infected with the “virus of individualism”.
“A variant of this virus is closed nationalism, which prevents, for example, an internationalism of vaccines,” he said in the pre-recorded video message.
“Another variant is when we put the laws of the market or of intellectual market or intellectual property over the laws of love and the health of humanity,” he added, recalling the heavy death toll the coronavirus had inflicted on the world.
His comments came in the middle of a debate over whether pharmaceutical companies should waive patent protection for Covid-19 vaccines.
Biden backed such a move on Wednesday, heeding calls from India, South Africa and more than 100 other countries.
However, many European countries, led by Germany and France, distanced themselves on Friday from the suggestion, arguing that key to ending the Covid-19 pandemic was making and sharing vaccines more quickly.

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Preity Zinta receives the second dose of COVID 19 vaccine; urges ‘everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible’ – Times of India

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Actress Preity Zinta took the second jab of the COVID-19 vaccine today (May 8). The ‘Dil Chahta Haiactress took to her Instagram handle to share the update with her fans and also urged them to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Taking to her photo-sharing platform, Preity posted a photo of herself along with a brief yet informative message. In the picture, the actress can be seen wearing a black top paired with jeans and a mouth mask, as she received her second dose of the vaccine.

Sharing the picture, Preity wrote “I took my covid shots and I am vaccinated. I would request everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible so we are all safe.”

Check out the post here:

Preity Zinta might be away from the silver screen for a long time now but the actress makes sure she keeps her fans updated about herself with her social media posts.



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India women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal, six teammates recover from COVID-19 | Hockey News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Indian women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal, her six team-mates and two support staff members have recovered from COVID-19 infection after spending two weeks in quarantine at the Sports Authority of India‘s (SAI) Centre in Bengaluru.
The six other India players are Savita Punia, Sharmila Devi, Rajani, Navjot Kaur, Navneet Kaur and Sushila while the two support staff are video analyst Amrutaprakash and scientific advisor Wayne Lombard.
All seven tested positive following the Indian women’s hockey core group’s return to the national camp in Bengaluru on April 24 after a 10-day break. All of them were asymptomatic.
“Thank you everyone for the love and mental support through messages/calls during the last two weeks. Me and my teammates and support staff are fully recovered from the COVID now,” Rani said in a statement on her Twitter handle.

“Feeling blessed to have u all as members from our hockey fraternity/friends/fans. Special thanks to Hockey India SAi for taking our good care.”
Rani urged the countrymen to take precautions and extend all possible help to the needy in these difficult times.
“Extremely sad to know about that so many people are losing their loved ones, my prayers for them. Please help as much as u can in any way for your near and dear ones.
“Let’s fight this pandemic together. Stay safe, wear mask and follow all Covid19 guidelines strictly,” she said.





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Not safe to do individual training in India, Croatia is safer: Anjum Moudgil | More sports News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: Olympic-bound rifle shooter Anjum Moudgil does not mind being away from home till the end of the Tokyo Games as she feels training in Croatia will be safer than in a coronavirus-ravaged India.
The Olympic-bound 15-member Indian team will depart for Zagreb on May 11 for a training-cum-competition tour in that country and from there it will directly fly to Tokyo for the Olympics, which opens on July 23.
In Croatia, the shooters will take part in the European Championships in Osijek (May 20 to June 6) and the combined ISSF World Cup (June 22 to July 3) in the same city.

“It is not all right for us to train here in India. I don’t have a private training range for 50m rifle three positions. I have to either travel to Delhi or Pune which is not safe under this pandemic conditions,” she said at a virtual press conference arranged by the Sports Authority of India.
“I think Croatia must be better than India currently (in terms of COVID-19 situation) and being with the team also gives you confidence. I don’t see any problem from being away from home for three months.”
She said the Indian team will undergo a seven-day quarantine after reaching Croatia. They will fly to Tokyo on July 17.
SAI has arranged a chartered flight for us and making a sort of bio-bubble also there in Croatia,” said the 25-year-old from Chandigarh.
Moudgil was picked in the Indian team for the 50m rifle three positions and 10m air rifle mixed team but missed out on 10m air rifle in which she won a silver in the 2018 World Championships.
She said she has taken it in her stride. Moudgil won a gold in 50m rifle 3 positions in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
“I respect the decision of NRAI. I still have two events in the Olympics. I am ready for the 50m 3 positions.
“I will spend more time on 50m 3 positions now and cut down on 10m air rifle. My coach has made the changes in training time.”
On the mixed team event with Deepak Kumar, she said, “I will have 30 shots in 30 minutes and then he will have the same. After that there will be rankings of the teams. In the finals, there will be 20 shots each in 20 minutes.
“The first two in the rankings will go for the gold medal round where we will get one shot each and so on.”
She said training as a team, after the long coronavirus-forced break, gives more confidence to the shooters and builds positive environment.
A Master’s degree holder in Sports Psychology, Moudgil said there is more pressure in the Olympics, though competition is equally tough in events like the World Championships.
“I don’t want to be under pressure thinking that I am going for Olympics. I will go there with a mindset that I am competing in an event like World Cup or World Championships. I will go with the flow.
“I have worked on my mental aspect also. I have spoken to senior shooters also.”
Moudgil has received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine and she urged people to do the same.
“I took the first shot on March 31 which was arranged by Punjab police. I had my second dose on Thursday arranged by the NRAI.
“Everything was safely done. I would want to encourage people to vaccinate. I have been working on social media to help COVID-19 affected people like donation etc.”
Moudgil loves to do painting if she is not shooting, and several members of the Indian contingent are wearing face masks, which she has customised with her brush.
“I got plenty of orders (for face masks) and I have given them to coaches and players. I have painted more than 50 masks,” she said.
“I think I can connect my painting with my calmness. I am a person with a straight face who can control emotions,” she said when asked about her calm demeanour.



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Government revises national policy for admission of Covid-19 patients: What you need to know | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Union ministry of health and family welfare on Saturday revised the national policy for admission of Covid-19 patients to Covid care facilities, as the country reels under a tsunami of coronavirus cases pushing the health infrastructure to the brink.
Here is what you need to know:
* Requirement of a positive test for the Covid-19 virus is not mandatory for admission to a Covid health facility.
* A suspect case of Covid-19 shall be admitted to the suspect ward of Covid Care Center (CCC), Dedicated Covid Health Centre (DCHC), Dedicated Covid Hospital (DCH) as the case may be.
* No patient will be refused services on any count. This includes medications such as oxygen or essential drugs even if the patient belongs to a different city.
* No patient shall be refused admission on the ground that he/she is not able to produce a valid identity card that does not belong to the city where the hospital is located. Admissions to the hospital must be based on need.
(With inputs from agencies)



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Disha Patani treats fans with Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’s special Instagram filter and it is all things cool – Times of India

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Disha Patani, who is quite active on social media, is all geared up for her upcoming release, ‘Radhe: Your Most Wanted Bhai’. After ‘Bharat’, the actress has collaborated again with Salman Khan. The team has been treating fans with blockbuster songs on social media. Now, Disha has introduced the new ‘Radhe’ filter and it is all things cool!

Disha took to her Instagram story and shared a video of herself while experimenting with ‘Radhe’ filter. In the video, the title track of ‘Radhe’ can be heard playing. She is seen wearing a grey zipper and the filter gives her a cool bandana and sunglasses. Have a look:

Disha has managed to impress the fans with her dance moves in ‘Seeti Maar’ and ‘Radhe’ title track. Her third song is set to release this on Monday. The film is scheduled to release May 13. The film also stars Jackie Shroff, Zarina Wahab and Randeep Hooda in key roles.

Apart from ‘Radhe’, she also has ‘Ek Villain 2’ with John Abraham, Arjun Kapoor and Tara Sutaria in her kitty. The actress was seen shooting for the film in the city before the shootings stopped due to the pandemic.



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Congress to discuss assembly polls debacle, Covid-19 situation in CWC meet on Monday | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The Congress Working Committee (CWC) is scheduled to hold a meeting on May 10 to discuss recently declared assembly election results and Covid-19 situation in the country.
According to a top source in the party, poll results and current Covid-19 situation in the country will be discussed in the meeting.
On Friday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi had alleged that the BJP-led government at the Centre has “failed the people of country”, and “abdicated its fundamental responsibilities and duties towards the people” in the Covid-19 crisis and demanded that it should urgently call an all-party meeting to discuss the pandemic situation.
Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP) meeting, she attacked the government saying “India is crippled by a political leadership today that has no empathy for the people”.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has also written two letters to PM Modi in this regard too.
India reported 4,01,078 fresh Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to the union health ministry. The cumulative number of cases in the country has now gone up to 2,18,92,676.
Speaking about the party’s performance in recently held Assembly polls in four states and one union territory, Sonia Gandhi had termed it as “very disappointing” and said the party “must learn appropriate lesson” from the setback in the spirit of humility and honesty.
Congress suffered defeats in Assam and West Bengal and could not open its account in West Bengal where it had won over 40 seats in 2016 polls. The party could win only two seats in Puducherry where it was in power about two months back.
Only in Tamil Nadu, the party was able to put up a good performance as part of the DMK-led alliance which swept power defeating the AIADMK-led alliance.
The Congress-led Mahajot was the main challenger to the ruling BJP-led NDA in Assam and Congress-led UDF to the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala. While the NDA returned to power in Assam, the LDF returned to power in Kerala.



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Over 84 L vaccine doses still available with states, UTs; 17.49 cr doses provided so far: Govt | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: More than 84 lakh Covid-19 vaccine doses are still available with states and union territories and over 53 lakh doses will be distributed to them in the next three days, the Centre said on Saturday.
In an official statement, the ministry of health and family welfare said that so far over 17.49 crore vaccine doses have been provided to states/UTs, out of which around 16.7 crore doses have been consumed.
“Of the vaccine doses provided, the total consumption, including wastages, is 16,65,49,583 doses (as per data available at 8 am on Saturday). More than 84 lakh Covid vaccine doses (84,08,187) are still available with states/UTs to be administered,” the ministry said.
It said that states with a negative balance are showing more consumption (including wastage) than vaccine supplied as they have “not reconciled the vaccine they have supplied to the armed forces”.
“Furthermore, more than 53 lakh (53,25,000) vaccine doses will be received in addition by states/UTs within the next three days,” the ministry announced.
It said that Delhi received 40.22 lakh vaccine doses, out of which it consumed 36.09 lakh doses. The ministry said that the national capital still has a balance of 4.12 lakh doses available and within the next three days, it is likely to receive one lakh doses more. The projected population of Delhi was taken at 2.04 crore as on October 1, 2020.
Out of the 53.25 lakh vaccine doses expected to be distributed among states and union territories in the next three days, Gujarat will get 8.98 lakh vaccine doses, which is the maximum number of doses any state or UT will receive. The state had got over 1.39 crore doses while it consumed 1.35 crore doses.
Following Gujarat is Maharashtra, which is likely to receive 6.03 lakh vaccine doses. Rajasthan will receive 4.50 lakh doses and Uttar Pradesh will get four lakh doses.
Other states like West Bengal, Bihar and Chhattisgarh will get 3.95 lakh, 3.64 lakh and 3 lakh doses of vaccine, respectively.
Jammu and Kashmir will get 84,700 doses in the next three days. It has a projected population of 1.33 crore and had received 26.81 lakh doses out of which it has already consumed 26.72 lakh doses.
According to data shared by the ministry, 16 states and union territories, which are not going to get more doses in the next three days, are Haryana, Ladakh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim, Puducherry, Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Manipur, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Goa.
The maximum wastage of vaccine doses was recorded at Lakshadweep, which wasted 22.7 per cent of the doses it received.
This was followed by Haryana with 6.65 per cent wastage, Assam with 6.07 per cent, Rajasthan with 5.50 per cent, Punjab with 5.05 per cent, Bihar with 4.96 per cent, Dadra and Nagar Haveli with 4.93 per cent, Meghalaya with 4.21 per cent, Tamil Nadu with 3.94 per cent and Manipur with 3.56 per cent wastage.
A record 4,187 Covid-19 fatalities in a day took India’s death toll to 2,38,270, while 4,01,078 new infections were reported during the period, pushing the tally of cases to 2,18,92,676, according to Union Health Ministry data on Saturday.
The 4,187 new fatalities include 898 from Maharashtra, 592 from Karnataka, 372 from Uttar Pradesh, 341 from Delhi, 208 from Chhattisgarh, 197 from Tamil Nadu, 165 from Punjab, 164 from Rajasthan, 162 from Haryana, 137 from Uttarakhand, 136 from Jharkhand, 119 from Gujarat and 112 from West Bengal.
Of the 2,38,270 deaths reported in the country so far, 74,413 were from Maharashtra, 18,739 from Delhi, 17,804 from Karnataka, 15,171 from Tamil Nadu, 14,873 from Uttar Pradesh, 12,076 from West Bengal, 10,158 from Chhattisgarh and 10,144 from Punjab.



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200 Palestinians hurt in Al-Aqsa clashes with police: Medics – Times of India

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Palestinians make their way through Israeli Qalandia checkpoint heading to Jerusalem to attend the third Friday prayers of the holy fasting month of Ramzan in Al-Aqsa mosque, near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank (File photo for representation purpose only)

JERUSALEM: A night of heavy clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and elsewhere in Jerusalem left more than 200 Palestinians wounded, medics said Saturday, as the city braced for even more violence after weeks of unrest.
Nightly protests broke out at the start of the holy month of Ramadan over police restrictions at a popular gathering place and have reignited in recent days over threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinians from their homes in east Jerusalem, which is claimed by both sides in the decades-old conflict.
It was unclear what set off the violence at Al-Aqsa, which erupted when Israeli police in riot gear deployed in large numbers as thousands of Muslim worshippers were holding evening prayers at the sprawling hilltop esplanade.
Throughout the night large groups of protesters could be seen hurling rocks as Israeli police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades. At one point, the police entered one of the buildings in the complex, which includes the Al-Aqsa mosque and the iconic golden Dome of the Rock.
The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 88 of the wounded were hospitalized. The Palestinian Health Ministry said 83 people were wounded by rubber-coated bullets, including three who were shot in the eye, two with serious head injuries and two with broken jaws.
The Israeli police said protesters hurled stones, fireworks and other objects at them, wounding six officers who required medical treatment. “We will respond with a heavy hand to all violent disturbances, riots and attacks on our forces,” it said in a statement late Friday.
The Al-Aqsa mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam. It is also the holiest site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount because it was the location of the biblical temples. It has long been a flashpoint in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and was the epicenter of the 2000 Palestinian intifada, or uprising.
Some 70,000 worshippers had attended the final midday Friday prayers of Ramadan at Al-Aqsa, the Islamic endowment that oversees the site said. Thousands protested afterwards, waving the green flags of the Islamic militant group Hamas and chanting pro-Hamas slogans.
At the beginning of Ramadan in mid-April, Israel blocked off a popular gathering spot where Palestinians traditionally socialize at the end of their daylong fast. The move set off two weeks of clashes before Israel lifted the restrictions.
But in recent days, protests have grown over Israel’s threatened eviction in Sheikh Jarrah in east Jerusalem of dozens of Palestinians embroiled in a long legal battle with Israeli settlers trying to acquire property in the neighborhood.
The United States said it was “deeply concerned” about both the violence and the threatened evictions, and was in contact with leaders on both sides to try and de-escalate tensions.
“It is critical to avoid steps that exacerbate tensions or take us farther away from peace,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement. “This includes evictions in East Jerusalem, settlement activity, home demolitions, and acts of terrorism.”
The European Union also urged calm. It said the potential evictions were of “serious concern,“ adding that such actions are “illegal under international humanitarian law and only serve to fuel tensions on the ground.
Neighboring Jordan, which made peace with Israel in 1994 and is the custodian of Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, has also condemned Israel’s actions, as has the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, which normalized relations with Israel last year in a U.S.-brokered deal.
Israelis and Palestinians are bracing for more unrest in the coming days.
Sunday night is “Laylat al-Qadr” or the “Night of Destiny,” the most sacred in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Worshippers will gather for intense nighttime prayers at Al-Aqsa.
Sunday night is also the start of Jerusalem Day, a national holiday in which Israel celebrates its annexation of east Jerusalem and religious nationalists hold parades and other celebrations in the city. On Monday, an Israeli court is expected to issue a verdict on the evictions.
Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza _ territories the Palestinians want for their future state _ in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally and views the entire city as its capital.
The Palestinians view east Jerusalem _ which includes major holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims _ as their capital, and its fate is one of the most sensitive issues in the conflict. In a call to Palestine TV late Friday, President Mahmoud Abbas praised the “courageous stand” of the protesters and said Israel bore full responsibility for the violence.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry had earlier accused the Palestinians of seizing on the threatened evictions, which it described as a “real-estate dispute between private parties,” in order to incite violence.
Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and opposes Israel’s existence, has called for a new intifada.
Protest groups affiliated with Hamas said they would resume demonstrations and the launching of incendiary balloons along the heavily-guarded Gaza frontier. Hamas has largely curtailed such actions over the past two years as part of an informal cease-fire that now appears to be fraying.
In an interview with a Hamas-run TV station, the group’s top leader Ismail Haniyeh addressed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by name, warning him not to “play with fire.”
“Neither you, nor your army and police, can win this battle,” he said. “What’s happening in Jerusalem is an intifada that must not stop.”

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