Wednesday October 18, 2017
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Cabinet nod for no visa accord with Spain

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Indian_Diplomatic_PassportThe union cabinet gave its approval to the signing of an agreement between India and Spain on doing away with the requirement of visas for holders of diplomatic passports on Wednesday.

The decision in this regard was taken at a meeting of the cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The agreement will facilitate visa-free travel for holders of diplomatic passport of one country “while entering into, transiting through, exiting from or staying up to 90 days” in the territory of the other country, an official release said.

-(IANS)

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Catalonia Protesters Demand Release of Separatist Leaders

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Protesters with ''esteladas'' or Catalonia independence flags
Protesters with ''esteladas'' or Catalonia independence flags pack the University square during a one-day strike in Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona, October 18: Tens of thousands of people protested Tuesday night in Barcelona against the Spanish government’s detention of two Catalonia separatist leaders.

The demonstrators carried candles and banners demanding the release of Jordi Sanchez and Jordi Cuixart, who are being held on possible sedition charges.

Prosecutors accuse Cuixart of the Omnium Cultural movement and Sanchez of the Catalan National Assembly of provoking violence against police during a pro-independence march last month.

Catalan leaders have called the two political prisoners, which the government denies.

Earlier Tuesday, Spain’s top court ruled Catalonia’s independence referendum was illegal, saying that regional law backing the vote violated Spain’s constitution.

The Catalan government had passed the “self-determination referendum law” on September 6. Spain’s high court said the law must be suspended temporarily as it assessed the Spanish government’s opposition to it, but Catalonia went ahead with the referendum on October 1.

According to court regulations, the suspension was to last five months while judges come up with a ruling, but the pro-independence coalition ruling Catalonia claimed that the universal right to self-determination outweighs Spain’s laws.

Catalan government spokesperson, Jordi Turull, told reporters Tuesday Catalonia would not “surrender” its secession bid and reiterated calls for talks with Madrid on what he called “a democratic mandate” for independence.

Spain has given Catalonia until Thursday to reverse any moves it has made to secede or face direct rule from Madrid.

Catalonia, Spain’s most prosperous region, is home to 7.5 million people. Its capital, Barcelona, is one of Europe’s major tourist attractions. Catalonia has its own language and distinct culture and is deeply divided over independence.

The Catalan government said that 90 percent of Catalans who participated in the October 1 referendum voted for independence from Spain. Many opponents of independence boycotted the vote, reducing turnout to around 43 percent of eligible voters.(VOA)

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Indians Among Top Asylum Seekers in the World: International Migration Outlook 2017 Report

Asylum seekers from India are among the highest in the world as pointed out in International Migration Outlook 2017 report

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Asylum Seekers
Indians are ranked among highest number of asylum seekers. Wikimedia
  • The International Migration Outlook 2017 report concludes that asylum seekers from India are among the highest in the world
  • New Zealand has been the most preferred nation for asylum seekers from India
  • Resettlement and students overstaying their visas are the biggest reasons to this problem 

New Delhi, July 20, 2017: The International Migration Outlook 2017 report states that Indians are among the highest asylum seekers in the world.

According to the report, New Zealand has been the most preferred destination for asylum seekers. Nationals of India, China and Fiji were the highest asylum seekers in New Zealand between 2012-2016. In the year 2015-2016, a total of 340 people sought asylum in New Zealand, out of which the highest was from India (11%) followed by China (9%).

Other countries like Latvia, Japan, Slovakia, Finland, Australia, UK and the US also receive a high number of asylum seekers from India.

Latvia is a small country in Europe with only 2 million population. Here too, Indians are the highest number of asylum seekers. In 2015-2016, out of 6,200 asylum requests, Indians were the highest at 18%.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has observed that Indians have sought asylum in 40 countries over the course of several years now. The two main factors for this is the fact that many students overstay their education visas and others opt for resettlement. Many people also choose to enter the high wage markets in abroad.

Indians have sought asylum in 40 countries over the course of several years now Click To Tweet

Jonathan Chaloff, International Migration Division’s policy analyst, said to TOI that students who have overstayed their visa have high chances of acceptance when they apply for asylum.

ALSO READ: 1,200,000 people applied for political asylum in Europe in 2016: EU Statistics Agency

Loyola College’s Head of Department, Social Work, Gladstone Xavier said about the asylum seekers, “They have to prove a threat to life because of race, religion, political belief, political affiliations or gender. If not, the Refugee Status Branch will turn down the request or keep the decision pending.” Mr. Xavier has worked with Sri Lankan Refugees in India.

– Prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter @Saksham2394

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Festivity of Holi has now gone Global

we can easily comprehend that our HOLI is not just limited to the subcontinent region, it is travelling and settling into the hearts of people all around the world; just like us

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Holi
Holi celebrations, Wikimedia

March 13, 2017: Holi is one of the main festivals of India. But you’ll be surprised to know that Holi is not just celebrated in India, but also in foreign countries. However, the time and tradition in which foreigners celebrate Holi very different from India.

While one country plays Holi with tomatoes, the other plays it with just water. In some countries, Holi is celebrated by lighting fire at the roundabout on roads. Although the names their Holi-like festivals are different, but they are played just like Indians play Holi.

ITALY

Not many people know about this but people in Italy celebrate Holi alike festival with a twist. They celebrate it with Oranges.

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The Battle of Oranges is a festival celebrated in the Northern Italian city of Ivrea where people in organized groups throw Oranges at each other. It is the largest food fight in Italy.

FRANCE

People of Normandy in France, burn the idols made of hay on this day. Before burning it, they keep abusing the idols and shout in front of it. They throw colours on it and on each other as well.

GERMANY

During Easter, people cut trees and bury them. Around this they keep sack of grass and burn it. On this day, they even put colour on each other and celebrate.

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SPAIN

Remember the amazing sequence where all the stars of the movie Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara indulged in the festivity of Tomato while they were in Spain? Yes, it was the way Spain plays Holi.

La Tomatina is a food festival held on the last Wednesday of August each year where thousands and thousands of people gather from all around the world and participate in the ‘Worlds Biggest Food Fight.’

South Korea

The Boryeong Mud Festival is an annual mud festival which takes place during the summer in Boreyong, a town in South Korea. The first mud festival started in 1998.

Mud festival attracts millions from around the globe that take place for two weeks where sports like mud wrestling, mud king, mud pool and mud skiing are organized.

These are the few examples where people celebrate our festival but with some twists. We can say it just on the basis of seniority. After all, our tradition of celebrating is the oldest and they followed our path or maybe got inspired from us.

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But there is a saying in Hindi, “Aloo aur Indians, duniya ke har kone mein mil jaaenge,” and we live it to this saying. We are scattered all around the globe spreading our traditions culture. So other than India, few countries which celebrate Indian festivity at massive level are-

United States of America

A sizeable population of Indians can be found in the USA, which tells us the reason why the festival is observed with such gaiety there. In USA, religious organizations and societies take the responsibility of organizing the festival. Musical programs and meets are conducted to fill the air with the spirit of India. New York is completely dabbled by the colorful waters. Holi is marked by parades and attended by Indians, rejoicing, playing with colors in the midst.

United Kingdom

In UK, the revelry of Holi is seen profoundly at places with a large congregation of Indians. The British city of Leicester is particularly known for its love for celebrating Indian festivals. The enthusiasm reaches its peak on the occasion of Holi. The joyous festival is marked with social gatherings and exchange of sweets. People enjoy the day by smearing colors on each other and playing with water, just as it is done back home, in India.

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South Africa

The Indians settled in South Africa have made it a point to keep the tradition of celebrating Holi alive in South Africa, the southernmost country of the continent of Africa. The Indians in South Africa play with colors, on the occasion of Holi. They sing songs, which is one of the prominent parts of the celebrations. People exchange gifts and greet each other and the evenings are spent in meeting friends and acquaintance.

After getting through all of the above, we can easily comprehend that our HOLI is not just limited to the subcontinent region, it is travelling and settling into the hearts of people all around the world; just like us.

Happy Global Holi India!

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard