US President Donald Trump has been Impeached by the House of Representatives. Besides the Democrats, ten members of the Republican Party also voted for Impeachment on the charge of inciting insurrection. This, however, does not mean that Trump will have to vacate the White House immediately. The impeachment resolution will now go to the Senate which will hold a trial. Only if Trump is convicted in the trial will he be barred from contesting for the post of president ever again. However, this will not affect the swearing of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as president and vice-president come January 20 when the term of President Trump expires officially. Vice-President Mike Pence can dismiss Donald Trump by invoking Article 25 of the Constitution, claiming Trump is unfit to hold office.
LOCKDOWN IN MALAYSIA
THE king of Malaysia, who is the ahead of the nation, has declared a Covid-19 emergency just before the general elections scheduled early in 2021. The king overruled the prime minister who was not been able to control the spread of Covid-19 in this officially declared Islamic country. Though there is a large population of long settled Chinese and Indians in Malaysia, it was declared a Muslim country with the official language Malay scripted in Romi alphabet. Malay or Bahasa Malaysia is the official language. The native Malays or bhumiputra get priority in admissions and government jobs. The current lockdown is so strict is its residents are not even able to make phone calls out of the country!
BAN ON UK FLIGHTS
GOANS settled in the UK will not be able to take flights passing through the Gulf. Historically, Goans have travelled from UK to Goa with a stopover in the Gulf. Only direct flights between the UK and destinations in India are now permitted. The unfortunate part is that the price of direct flights has shot up steeply to a Rs1 lakh against the normal fare of Rs40,000 pre-Covid-19 lockdowns. To catch a flight out of Goa you now have to secure a Covid-19 negative report. Only the Manipal hospital and a private agency, Suburban Diagnostics, Panaji, are doing the RT-PCR test for travel purposes. The Covid-19 situation in the UK is very bad with severe lockdowns following the discovery of the new variant.
CRACKDOWN IN PANAJI
THERE was a protest by traders in Panaji following a strict enforcement against encroachments by the CCP. The majority of shopkeepers have extended their shops and taken over entire pavements. Under the newly amended Municipal laws the CCP is entitled to seize goods kept outside the shop often on the pavement and also impose a strict fine. There have been state wide protests against the amendment to the Municipal Act under which the penalty for various offences has been increased steeply. The Goa Chamber of Commerce has protested against the amendments.
UDAY Madkaikar will not continue as a mayor after the forthcoming civic elections in the state. In the presence of Uday Madkaikar, Babush Monserrate, whose panel controls the CCP, told Madkaikar that he would be replaced if the panel won the election. Babush has decided to deny tickets to 80% of the existing corporators in favour of new faces. Babush, however, ruled out merging Taleigao with the CCP. In fact, Taleigao was part of the Corporation of the City of Panaji but it was converted into a Panchayat on the demand of Babush Monserrate for joining the Parrikar government.
COVID-19 HITS SCHOOLS
MANY private schools in the country have closed down because of Covid-19. The schools, promoted by businessmen with other commercial interests, have been sold for huge amounts of money. Amongst the properties sold are a 1,500 capacity auditorium, classrooms with colourful furniture and premium infrastructure. Over the past four months Crissum Education Management Services have taken over 17 budget schools in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Private schools in the State like the franchisee Zee group may also close down with the land going up for real estate use. Meanwhile there are complaints that prices of the Covishield vaccine supplied to the government at Rs200 per dose and the MRP of Rs1,000 per dose are much higher than paid by the European Union including UK, which has paid only Rs159 for the same. In the US and UK vaccines are being availed freely by health professionals as well as citizens who have insurance cover.
VICTORY FOR GMC DEAN
THE team of doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has decided that there was no need to take AYUSH minister Shripad Naik, recovering from a tragic accident, to New Delhi. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has visited Shripad Naik and offered to take him to the AIIMS. But GMC Dean Siddharth Bandekar who is himself a reputed senior orthopaedic surgeon was upset over the proposal to move Shripadji to Delhi. The minister had already been operated on for the multiple fractures, which he suffered when the Innova car in which he and his wife were travelling in, to pay obeisance to the family deity in Ankola in Maharashtra, met with a serious accident while they were returning to Goa. His wife Vijaya who died in the accident was cremated on Thursday, January 14 at Adpai in her home village in the Ponda taluka. There were huge crowds at the funeral of the late Vijaya Shripad Naik, ignoring all Covid-19 guidelines including mask and physical distance.