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Modi receives Global Goalkeeper Award

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New York, Sep 25 Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on Tuesday conferred the Global Goalkeeper Award by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the Swachh Bharat mission. The PM said the honour bestowed on him was for the millions of Indians who participated in the mission.

He said receiving the award on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th anniversary is especially significant for him, for it shows people’s power – of the determination of 1.3 billion people to achieve any goal.

Modi said that when he first talked about the Clean India campaign five years ago, there were “different reactions”, but “if you are committed to your goal then these are of no importance”.

“What is important is the united efforts to make India clean and the development of a mindset in 1.3 billion Indians, and every single effort that people make for this effort. I therefore dedicate this award to those who made cleanliness the highest priority in their daily lives,” he said.

He said though the Swachh Bharat mission was begun by his government, the people took charge of it. “I think of the woman who sold her sheep to build a toilet, of the retired man who donated his pension for a toilet, or the lady who sold her mangalsutra to build a toilet. Such a campaign has been unheard of in recent times,” the PM said.

When he took over in 2014, less than 40 per cent homes had toilets in the country, and now it is close to 100 percent.

He said the success of the Clean India mission has benefited women the most, as in rural areas women had to wait for it to get dark to venture to the fields to relieve themselves. “For mothers and sisters, not having a toilet at home is the biggest difficulty, it also goes against their self-respect,” the PM said.

He said lack of toilets in schools would force girls to give up their studies and sit at home.

He said the Clean India Mission has also helped save thousands of lives, and cited a WHO report that said building toilets in homes helped save 300,000 lives. He cited a UNICEF study that said that every family with a toilet will be able to save Rs 50,000 a year, while a Bill and Melinda Gates report said that increase in sanitation has improved the BMI of women.

“I recall that Mahatma Gandhi said he believes that cleanliness is more important that independence. I am very happy that the dream of Mahatma Gandhi of cleanliness is going to become a reality.”

He said the main objective of the UN is to make peoples’ lives better and the Clean India Campaign plays an important role in achieving the UN goal.

He said that the construction of so many toilets had also generated employment opportunities for poor people in rural areas.

“Our government has tried to change governance to cooperative federalism in the way different states have taken part in the campaign, through creating awareness, constructing toilets, through training. The states were given full assistance to fulfil the resolution,” he said.

Modi said that states now compete among themselves to rank higher in a cleanliness survey competitions.

Modi said that India is ready to share its experiences with other countries.

“India is very close to achieving its goals, we are working at a fast pace. Through Fit India movement for preventive healthcare, and we have made 2025 the target to make India Tuberculosis free. We are making fast progress in the National Nutrition Mission, and will be able to overcome malnutrition. The Jal Jeevan Mission has been launched to provide regular supply of clean water to every home. We have also decided to stop single use plastic by 2022,” said Modi.

“I have complete faith in 1.3 billion Indians,” he said. He was conferred the award by Bill Gates at an event on the sidelines of the UNGA.

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French government urges Russia to immediately release Navalny

He also informed Putin that France’s own analysis had confirmed Germany’s conclusion that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok “in contravention of international norms on using chemical weapons”.

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emmanuel macron

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to urgently shed light on the “attempted murder” of opposition figure Alexei Navalny after French tests confirmed the use of the Novichok nerve agent, the Elysée said.

Macron told Putin in telephone talks that it is “imperative that all light be shed, without delay, on the circumstances of this attempted murder and who is responsible”, the French presidency said in a statement.

Read: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained after landing in Moscow

He also informed Putin that France’s own analysis had confirmed Germany’s conclusion that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok “in contravention of international norms on using chemical weapons”.

Putin, for his part, told Macron that it was “inappropriate” to make groundless accusations against Russia over the suspected poisoning of Navalny, the Kremlin said.

The Russian leader said his country wanted Germany to hand over medical test results taken from Navalny, according to a Kremlin readout of the call.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained after landing in Moscow

Russian prison service said he was detained for multiple violations of parole and terms of a suspended prison sentence.

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Alexei Navalny

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport after returning from Germany on Sunday, the prison service said.

The prison service said he was detained for multiple violations of parole and terms of a suspended prison sentence and would be held in custody until a court makes a decision in his case.

Mr. Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, had spent the previous five months in Germany recovering from a nerve agent attack that he blamed on the Kremlin.

Mr. Navalny decided to leave Berlin of his own free will and wasn’t under any apparent pressure to leave from Germany.

The prison service made the announcement after the flight carrying Mr. Navalny landed in the Russian capital, though at a different airport than had been scheduled. It was a possible attempt to outwit journalists and supporters who wanted to witness Mr. Navalny’s return.

The prison service last week issued a warrant for his arrest, saying he had violated the terms of suspended sentence he received on a 2014 conviction for embezzlement. The prison service has asked a Moscow court to turn Mr. Navalny’s 3 1/2-year suspended sentence into a real one.

After boarding the Moscow flight in Berlin on Sunday, Mr. Navalny said of the prospect of arrest: “It’s impossible; I’m an innocent man.”

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied a role in the opposition leader’s poisoning.

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Health

13 Israelis suffer facial paralysis post inoculation

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

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Jerusalem, Jan 17 : At least 13 Israelis suffered mild facial paralysis as a side effect after receiving the first Covid vaccine jabs, the Health Ministry said, adding that the count could be higher.

The officials have raised questions on whether or not to administer the second dose to these individuals the Health Ministry had recommended for the second dose, reported the Jerusalem Post.

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

“I can’t say it was completely gone afterwards, but other than that I had no other pains, except a minor pain where the injection was, but there was nothing beyond that.”

As for receiving the second dose, he admits he is undecided, but says that “it is important to note that this is something rare, and I don’t want people to avoid getting vaccinated – it’s important”.

“I recently came across, for example, someone vaccinated who was dealing with paralysis, and decided not to give her a second dose,” Galia Rahav, Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Medical Centre told Ynet.

“It is true that it can be given according to the Health Ministry, but I did not feel comfortable with it.”

She added that, “No one knows if this is connected to the vaccine or not. That’s why I would refrain from giving a second dose to someone who suffered from paralysis after the first dose.”

However, the Health Ministry has assured of the second dose only when the paralysis passes, Ynet reported.

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