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Wednesday
May 2021
7:50 PM IST
News Headlines
Tour of Sri Lanka: Two-way fight for India captaincy between Hardik and Shikhar        India projected to grow at 10.1% in 2022 but outlook for 2021 highly fragile: UN        Rockets kill 2 Israelis; 28 die in Gaza as Israel hits Hamas        Delhi reports 12,481 Covid cases, 347 deaths        Kerala woman killed in Palestinian rocket strike in Israel        Kerala''s ''Iron Lady'' K R Gowri Amma no more        Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma get first dose of vaccination        Sensex surges over 350 pts in early trade; Nifty tops 14,900        Israeli police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem holy site        Had govt done its job, it would not have come to this: Rahul on foreign aid        Himanta Biswa Sarma sworn-in as 15th Chief Minister of Assam        Obesity and Bariatric Surgery        COVID-19 pandemic: Centre releases Rs 8923.8 cr to Panchayats in 25 states        BJP announces Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma as Assam Chief Minister        Debris from China''s disintegrating rocket falls into Indian Ocean        Kerala poet''s FB account ''suspended'' for posting satire clip on BJP poll defeat        TV journalist Vipin Chandh dies of COVID-19        Kerala adds 35,801 new COVID-19 cases, 68 more deaths        US Navy seizes weapons in Arabian Sea likely bound for Yemen        EU doesn''t renew order for AstraZeneca vaccine        
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International News
Emergency imposed in Malaysia over virus is reprieve for PM
 
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia''s king on Tuesday approved a coronavirus emergency that will suspend parliament at least until August and halt any bids to seek a general election in a political reprieve for embattled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Muhyiddin assured citizens in a televised speech that the emergency was “not a military coup and curfew will not be enforced.” He said his civilian government will remain in charge during the emergency, that will last until August 1 or earlier depending on the situation.

The emergency declaration came as a surprise just a day before millions of people in Malaysia''s biggest city Kuala Lumpur, the administrative capital Putrajaya and five high-risk states return to a near-lockdown for two weeks. It also comes amid threats by the United Malays National Organisation, the largest party in the ruling coalition, to withdraw support from Muhyiddin to force an early general election. Many in UMNO are unhappy that the party is playing second fiddle to Muhyiddin''s own Malay party. Muhyiddin said the national parliament and state legislatures will be suspended and no election is allowed during the emergency. He pledged to call a general election once the crisis has eased and it is safe to hold polls.

Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said most people could understand the need for movement curbs but an emergency declaration appeared overblown as it is unclear how that could help slow the virus spread. “It''s very clearly a political move from the Muhyiddin side to preempt political challenges from both his rivals in his ruling coalition as well as the opposition," he said. Malaysia last declared an emergency in 1969 after bloody racial riots that killed hundreds. The king, who can declare a state of emergency that allows the country to be governed through ordinances that cannot be challenged in court, had in October rejected Muhyiddin''s request to declare an emergency.

King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah said at the time that existing laws were sufficient to halt the virus spread. But in a palace statement on Tuesday, the monarch said he took into account public safety and the country''s best interest in giving his consent after meeting Muhyiddin late Monday. The king said he was worried as the pandemic has rose to a critical level and at the same time, some parts of the country are struggling with floods that have displaced thousands. Malaysia''s virus cases have spiralled from just over 15,000 three months ago to 138,224, including 555 deaths, in a fresh outbreak triggered by a local election. Muhyiddin, in announcing the lockdown on Monday, warned the country''s healthcare system was at “breaking point".

He said daily coronavirus cases, which have consistently breached 2,000 in recent weeks, could jump to 8,000 by the end of May if nothing is done. The health ministry also said it has identified the first case of a highly contagious UK variant in the country. Separately, Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin became the third Cabinet minister in days to test positive for the virus, his office said Tuesday. Under the renewed curbs from Wednesday, social gatherings and interstate travel are banned and movement is limited within a 10-kilometre radius, similar to a national lockdown in March 2020. However, certain sectors in manufacturing, construction, services, trade and distribution, and plantations will be allowed to operate with strict guidelines.

Muhyiddin assured investors that “Malaysia is open for business." “This period of emergency will give us much needed calm and stability, as well as enable us to focus on economic recovery and regeneration," he said. Muhyiddin took power in March after instigating the collapse of the reformist alliance that won 2018 elections and joined with the opposition to form a Malay-centric government. But his government is shaky with a razor-thin majority in Parliament. Josef Benedict, a researcher with rights group CIVICUS Monitor, said the emergency appeared to be another bid by Muhyiddin to “hold on to power, block elections and to remove parliamentary oversight" rather than seriously addressing the pandemic. “A dark day for democracy," he tweeted.


Rockets kill 2 Israelis; 28 die in Gaza as Israel hits Hamas
Israeli police, Palestinians clash at Jerusalem holy site
Debris from China''s disintegrating rocket falls into Indian Ocean
US Navy seizes weapons in Arabian Sea likely bound for Yemen
EU doesn''t renew order for AstraZeneca vaccine
In tense Jerusalem, flag-waving Israeli march to go ahead
Nepal PM Oli to seek vote of confidence in Parliament on Monday
WHO China chief says approval for 1st Chinese vaccine a ''milestone achievement''
Disintegrated space rocket ''highly unlikely'' to cause any damage on earth: China
Russia has registered Sputnik Light, the single-dose vaccine against COVID-19
Brunei marks 1 year without COVID-19 local transmission
China silent on falling debris of its space rocket amid rising concerns
Netanyahu again fails to form new Israeli government
Nepal''s Oli govt loses majority support after Maoist party withdraws support
Facebook board upholds Trump suspension
Twenty-five killed in boat accident in Bangladesh
Nepal to suspend international and domestic flights to contain spread of coronavirus
44 killed in stampede at Jewish religious festival in Israel
Lawyer representing Navalny''s foundation detained in Moscow
Chinese mainland reports 13 fresh nCoV cases
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
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KERALA NEWS
Kerala woman killed in Palestinian rocket strike in Israel
 Idukki: A Keralite woman working in Israel was killed allegedly in a Palestinian rocket strike on Tu
Kerala poet''s FB account ''suspended'' for posting satire clip on BJP poll defeat
TV journalist Vipin Chandh dies of COVID-19
Kerala adds 35,801 new COVID-19 cases, 68 more deaths
NATIONAL NEWS
Delhi reports 12,481 Covid cases, 347 deaths
 New Delhi: The national capital continues to register a dip in daily COVID-19 cases, as the city rec
Had govt done its job, it would not have come to this: Rahul on foreign aid
BJP announces Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma as Assam Chief Minister
Mumbai civic body is suppressing COVID-19 death toll: Fadnavis
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