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Families of COVID-related death victims in India to receive payout



Those who have lost loved ones due to the pandemic could soon see an extra 50,000 rupees in their bank accounts.

Families in India who have lost a family member to the pandemic, will receive monetary payments.

India’s government will officially begin paying every individual who has had a family member die because of Covid-19 in what is a landmark compensation scheme.

It comes after Justice MR Shah said each impacted next of kith and kin will receive 50,000 rupees, which equates to $674 Australia Dollars, per death.

The payments are expected to total around 300 million US dollars.

The compensation payments will be distributed within 30 days following a family’s submission of the application.

More than 447,000 people in India have died as a result of the pandemic.

Payments mandated under law

India introduced the payments after declaring the pandemic a disaster under their National Disaster Management Act.

The law came into effect in 2005 with its purpose to manage disasters including “preparation of mitigation strategies, capacity-building and compensation for lost lives, injuries and damaged properties,” according to BBC.

The nation’s Ministry of Home Affairs has issued affidavits offering compensation to family members of all Covid victims, including those who took their own life after receiving a positive virus test result.

Under the law, monetary payments of 400,000 rupees is to be paid to the family of victims who have lost their lives to a disaster.

A helping hand for struggling families

Gaurav Kumar Bansal, a petitioner for the law to be applied to the families of COVID-19 victims says all families can benefit from the payment, particularly in such testing times.

“We know the government has spent a lot of money in managing the pandemic,” Bansal tole the BBC.

“But we still think the government should have paid 400,000 rupees compensation to every affected family according to the law.”

The decision has also been upheld by India’s top court with the judges ruling that no state can immediately deny the compensation to those who request it.

Written by Rebecca Borg

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Joe Biden signs bill to declassify Covid origins information



Sone information may be kept under wraps for national security reasons

U.S. President Joe Biden has signed a bill requiring all information relating to the origins of COVID-19 be declassified.

Biden says he shares the Congress goal of releasing as much information as possible about the virus.

But, he says his Administration will still keep national security in mind when deciding what to publish.

The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and House of Representatives before being sent to the White House.

For several months now, Washington has been debating the origins of the virus.

It follows a report by the U.S. Energy Department which says the pandemic arose from a lab leak.

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Ron DeSantis breaks silence over Donald Trump charges



The Florida Governor says he won’t get involved

Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis has broken his silence on the Manhattan District Attorney pursuing charges against Donald Trump.

DeSantis has vowed his office will not get involved if the matter trickles into the former President’s adopted home state – that is Florida.

But the Florida governor stopped well short of offering support to Trump, instead poking fun at the situation.

A New York grand jury is in the final stages of determining whether Trump should face charges over an alleged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.

This is all related to an alleged affair.

The dismissive and tongue-in-cheek comments made by DeSantis travelled quickly.

Trump’s allies immediately started attacking the Florida governor across social media, suggesting he will face a political price for failing to rally around Trump.

This was before the former president responded himself, saying “Ron DeSanctimonious will probably find out about false accusations & fake stories sometime in the future, as he gets older, wiser, and better known”.

The episode is just another example of the tension and rivalry between two of the GOP’s biggest stars as they battle for party supremacy.

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Xi Jinping visits Russia to meet Vladimir Putin



Russia-China Summit comes as ICC accuses Putin of committing war crimes

President Xi Jinping traveled from China to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The dictators held a nearly five-hour long closed-door meeting.

In front of the cameras, they praised their friendship.

Currently, China and Russia share similar goals and stand in opposition against the United States and Western influences.

Putin signalled that Russia is ready to review China’s proposal for resolving the situation in Ukraine which has now entered into its second year.

However, critics are expressing skepticism about Beijing’s role as a peacemaker.

Western leaders who back Ukraine worry that instead of peace, China will soon provide lethal aid to Russia.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden has come under fire for not responding with tough talk.

The China-Russia Summit comes after an arrest warrant was issued for Putin from the ICC for war crime charges.

White House officials say they are working on arranging a call between Biden and Xi.

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