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News in Short

News in Short - 31-May-2021

Bashar Al-Assad re-elected Syrian President

Date: 31 May 2021 Tags: Appointments & Resignations
  • Bashar al-Assad has been re-elected for a fourth term as president of war-ravaged Syria, despite Western accusations the polls were "neither free nor fair".
  • The controversial vote extending Assad's stranglehold on power was the second since the start of a decade-long civil conflict that has battered the country's infrastructure.
  • The win delivers Assad seven more years in power and lengthens his family’s rule to nearly six decades. His father, Hafez al-Assad, led Syria for 30 years until his death in 2000.

No consensus on GST rates for vaccine

Date: 31 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Differences emerged between Opposition-ruled states and Centre regarding granting further relief for Covid-related items, such as vaccines, medical supplies. It has now been referred to a Group of Ministers, which will submit its recommendations by June 8.
  • The Council discussed the issue of compensation payments, for which states raised concerns about the 7-per cent revenue growth assumption.
  • A special session will be called soon for discussing compensation issues and the extension of guaranteed compensation period beyond June 2022.

India seeks more study on virus origin

Date: 31 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • India has backed calls for further investigation into the origin of Covid-19, and sought the cooperation of China and other parties for such studies.
  • The move was expected after President Joe Biden gave intelligence agencies 90 days to submit a fresh report to determine deeper examination of a theory that the virus may have originated in a lab.
  • China has again dismissed the theory that it could have leaked from a laboratory in Wuhan, ground zero of the pandemic.

IPL 2021 to resume in UAE

Date: 31 May 2021 Tags: Sports
  • The BCCI’s Special General Meeting (SGM) has unanimously decided to restart the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the third week of September.
  • The members also agreed to keeping UAE as a backup venue for the T20 World Cup later this year, although the BCCI will request the ICC to wait for at least one more month before taking a final call.
  • The IPL was postponed after 29 games, when Covid entered the bubble. It is set for a restart after India’s five-match Test series in England that concludes on September 14.

Hardline former judiciary chief set to be President of Iran

Date: 31 May 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Ebrahim Raisi, the current judiciary chief, who has a long history of involvement in human rights abuses, is leading race in Presidential election.
  • With no credible challenger, Raisi is expected to win this time. Any serious competition has been winnowed from the race. Raisi had lost last time against Rouhani.
  • The Guardian Council, a 12-person body responsible for approving candidates, disqualified anyone who might shift the vote against Raisi.
  • The council’s decision and Khamenei’s endorsement of it have rattled political circles. The reformist party announced for the first time that it has no candidate in the race.