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$20 tn lawsuit filed in US against China over coronavirus pandemic

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New Delhi/Washington, March 23 : A Washington-based advocacy group and a Texas company have filed a class-action lawsuit against the Chinese government for the novel coronavirus, demanding $20 trillion compensation for the damages caused by the pandemic.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a conservative lawyer Larry Klayman, his advocacy group Freedom Watch and Buzz Photos, a Texas company that specializes in high school sports photography. The petitioners have accused the Chinese government of developing the novel coronavirus as “an illegal biological weapon”. The complaint has alleged that the virus was “released by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, located in Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak originated”.

“Although it appears that the COVID-19 virus was released at an unplanned, unexpected time, it was prepared and stockpiled as a biological weapon to be used against China’s perceived enemies, including but not limited to the people of the US,” the complaint said.

The US government has blamed Beijing for the coronavirus pandemic after the Chinese government held American soldiers responsible for bringing the contagious disease to China. The Trump administration pointed out that the Chinese government covered up the outbreak of the virus for a long time and even punished the whistleblowers who tried to expose it.

Klayman has sought compensation from the Chinese government because of its “callous and reckless indifference and malicious acts”. The Chinese people, he said in his complaint, “are a good people, but their government is not and it must be made to pay dearly”.

According to the lawsuit, Buzz Photos company lost roughly $50,000 last weekend due to school closures and sports cancellations and has been forced to lay off workers. “There is no reason why the American taxpayer should, contrary to the establishment in Washington, D.C., have to pay for the tremendous harm caused by the Chinese government,” Klayman said in a statement on his website.

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Two more Congress MLAs test positive; party office shut in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru, July 11 : Two more Karnataka Congress legislators tested Covid-19 positive, while the party’s state unit office in the city has been shut after three employees were infected with the virus, an official said on Saturday.

“Our party MLAs Ajay Singh from Jewargi Assembly segment in Kalaburagi district and Prasad Abbayya from Hubli-Dharwad East seat tested positive on Friday and are under treatment at the designated hospitals,” party’s spokesman M.A. Saleem told IANS.

The party’s office on Queen’s Road in the city centre has been shut till Monday after three staffers tested positive for the corona virus symptoms.

“As the party’s office is located in a containment area, we have shut it after the three staffers had contracted the symptoms and tested positive,” said Saleem.

Singh, son of former Congress Chief Minister Dharam Singh, tweeted that he was asymptomatic and would be in quarantine for two weeks in Bengaluru.

“I request all those people who were my primary contacts to take precautions and stay safe,” Singh said in the tweet.

Abbayya got admitted to the state-run KIMS hospital at Hubli in the state’s northwest region after his throat swab tested positive.

Singh and Abbayya attended the oath-taking ceremony of the party’s state unit president D.K. Shivakumar at the party’s office in the city on July 2.

Another party MLA H.D. Ranganath from Kunigal Assembly seat in the neighbouring Tumakur district, who also attended the Shivakumar function, tested positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in the city.

Party’s MLA T.A. Raje Gowda and Chikmagaluru MLC Bhoje Gowda also tested positive and are under treatment in designated hospitals in Chikamagalur.

Chikamagalur is 240km northwest of Bengaluru in the southern state.

BJP’s MLA Rajkumar Patil Teklur from Sedam in the state’s northern Kalaburagi district also tested positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in Bengaluru.

Independent MLA Sharath Bachgowda from Hoskote Assembly segment in Bengaluru Rural also tested Covid-19 positive and is under treatment at a private hospital in the city, an official from his office said.

BJP’s MLA Bharat Shetty from Mangaluru North segment and its MLC M.K. Pranesh also tested positive and have been under treatment since July 5-6.

Veteran state Congressman B. Janardhana Poojary also tested positive for the virus and is under treatment at a private hospital in Mangaluru.

“Poorjary, 83, is under treatment at a private hospital here after he tested positive for Covid on Sunday,” party official Ravi Gowda told IANS earlier.

Mangaluru is about 360km west of Bengaluru in the southern state.

Poojary’s son J. Santhosh said his father’s condition was stable and no cause for worry as he was asymptomatic.

Karnataka’s Independent Lok Sabha member and multi-lingual South Indian actress Sumalatha Ambareesh tested positive and was under home quarantine.

Sumalatha, 56, is a parliamentary member from Mandya, about 100km from Bengaluru on way to Mysuru.

The celluloid heroine developed symptoms of headache and throat irritation on July 4. Hence, she decided to get tested, as she might have been exposed to the virus during the course of her duty and tour in her constituency.

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Yediyurappa to work from home as staffers test positive

“I am healthy. No one needs to worry. I will give advice and issue instructions through video conference,” tweeted Yediyurappa in Kannada.

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Yediyurappa

Bengaluru, July 10 : Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa would work from his official residence in the city centre for a few days, as some of his staffers at his home office tested Covid-19 positive, an official said on Friday.

“Yediyurappa, 78, will work from his official residence ”Cauvery” for some days after some staff members at his home office ”Krishna” tested positive for the virus,” an official of the Chief Minister’s office told IANS here.

The Chief Minister has cancelled all official engagements till further notice and will hold video conferences with officials and ministers on Covid-19 and other issues.

“I am healthy. No one needs to worry. I will give advice and issue instructions through video conference,” tweeted Yediyurappa in Kannada.

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Congress leader Sushmita Dev tests Covid positive in Assam, tally 14,032

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

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Sushmita Dev

Guwahati/Silchar, July 9 : While former Congress Lok Sabha member Sushmita Dev has tested positive for coronavirus, the Assam government refuted the media reports that Akhil Gogoi, jailed top farmers leader, tested Covid-19 positive.

On Thursday, Covid-19 death toll rose to 24 and number of cases jumped to 14,032 in the state.

All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) chief and the party”s national spokesperson Dev, daughter of former Union Minister Santosh Mohan Dev, was on Wednesday admitted to the Silchar Medical College and Hospital after she tested nCoV positive.

“I have tested positive for Covid-19. I am asymptomatic as of now,” the 48-year-old Congress leader tweeted. Congress leaders Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra inquired about her health.

On Akhil Gogoi testing Covid-19 positive, Inspector General of Prisons Dasarath Das said he had not received any such report from the health department.

Gogoi’s legal counsel Santanu Barthakur told the media, “In the morning, I received the news that Gogoi has tested positive for Covid-19.”

The Krishak Mukti Sangram Samitee (KMSS) founder is lodged in the Guwahati Central Jail for the past seven months for his role in the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019.

On Wednesday, two associates of Gogoi, who are in the judicial custody, tested Covid-19 positive.

Meanwhile, during the day two more Covid-19 deaths were reported in the state, taking the toll to 24, while the number of cases rose to 14,032.

Two more Covid-19 patients, aged 70 and 56, succumbed to the infection this morning at the Gauhati Medical College and Hospital, tweeted Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The Health Department is conducting door-to-door Covid-19 testing in Guwahati from Tuesday. The campaign in the Pandu area of the Guwahati Municipal Corporation is being personally monitored by Sarma.

According to the health officials, the number of Covid-19 cases in Assam has climbed to 14,032. Of this, 5,279 are active as 8,726 people have been discharged, three migrated to other states and 24 died.

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