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The year 2020 has been a roller-coaster ride of various events. There were many instances which broke our heart and people were dejected with things happening around them, yet we all are here entering 2021 along with all the courage and strength we’ve gained from the difficulties that arose. However, it is true that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
Here is the list of few major events which took place in 2020:
Australia faced a devastating bushfire in late 2019, and things swiftly got worse before rains helped contain many of the worst fires in February 2020. At least 33 people have been killed – including four firefighters – and more than 11 million hectares (110,000 sq km or 27.2 million acres) of the bush, forest, and parks across Australia have burned.
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In the worst-hit state, New South Wales (NSW), the fire has affected more than five million hectares, destroying more than 2,000 houses and forcing thousands to seek shelter elsewhere. Fires had raged near the Australian capital Canberra for weeks – at one stage shutting the city’s airport as flames approached the perimeter.
On the eve of February 23, riots broke out in Northeast Delhi between Anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and pro-CAA protestors. The protests on CAA took a communal turn and led to the death of over 53 people over the course of the next 10 days. More than 200 were left injured. Shops and houses were burnt down and even places of worship were attacked. This happened when the US President then, Donald Trump had visited India.
In areas like Bhajanpura, thousands of people attacked petrol pumps, carried petrol bombs, sticks and weapons. Violence was reported from Babarpur, Maujpur, Jaffrabad, Kardampuri, Gokalpuri, Seelampur, and Shiv Puri. Section 144, imposed in riot-hit areas, had little effect. A man named Shahrukh, opened fire at the police with a gun, before being arrested days later from UP’s Shamli district.
Over 10,000 emergency calls were made to the police control room during the week.
As of March 6, as many as 53 people had been reported to have died in communal violence.
The COVID-19 created a global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. The first case of COVID-19 in India, which originated from China, was reported on 30 January 2020. India is the second-highest in the world after the United States, with more than 9 million reported cases of COVID-19 infection and more than 100,000 deaths. The per-day cases peaked mid-September in India with over 90,000 cases reported per day and have since come down to below 40,000 in December.
On March 22, the central government insisted nationwide curfew. Later, on March 24, PM Narendra Modi announced a 21 days nationwide lockdown to avoid the spread of the virus. Further, the lockdowns were extended and made stern as per the requirement. Everything including movie theatres, shopping malls, clubs, bars, restaurant dine-in, etc were closed. Public gatherings were not allowed. However, by the time we had unlock-down taking necessary precautions and safety measures.
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George Floyd’s Death
George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died on May 25 after being handcuffed and pinned to the ground by a white police officer’s knee. The encounter, captured on video, incited large protests against police brutality and systemic racism.
The explosive footage, recorded by a bystander and shared widely on social media, led to community outrage, and F.B.I. civil rights investigation, and the firing and arrest of the officer, Derek Chauvin. It also ended up as a social media campaign with the usage of #blacklivesmatter against racial discrimination.
Floyd’s triggered violent unrest in Minneapolis, leading to a state of peacetime emergency being declared in Minnesota state. Protests have also taken place in other parts of the US, including in California, New York, Ohio, and Colorado.
The incident once again brought to the fore concerns over the law enforcement’s bias against the African American minority, with Floyd’s death being cited as the most recent incident of racially-driven police brutality.
Sushant Singh Rajput Death and Bollywood Drug Case
On 14 June 2020, the Indian actor Sushant Singh Rajput was found dead hanging from the ceiling fan at his residence in Bandra, Mumbai. The cause of death was ruled to have been suicide. The official postmortem reports concluded that he died of asphyxia due to hanging.
Suicide turned to murder, to pre-meditated politicized slaughter, to connections to drug cartels, taking in its long tail some of the mightiest of the film industry. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) joined the probe that had been handed over to the CBI amidst much fanfare. The anti-drugs agency has since taken Rhea Chakraborty and her brother Showik Chakraborty among many others into custody.
Images of a stunned Deepika Padukone, Sara Ali Khan and Shraddha Kapoor entering the NCB portal over ‘maal’ charges and leaving minus their lifeline cellphones held television audiences captive for several days.
Want to read more in Hindi? Checkout: 2020 Flashback : कॉमन मैन के चश्मे से 2020 की सबसे चर्चित खबरें
On the evening of 4 August 2020, a fire at a hangar containing ammonium nitrate in the port of Beirut saw a team of firefighters dispatched to the scene. This resulted in a gigantic explosion, causing devastation for miles around.
The blast destroyed the immediate dockside area, creating a crater approximately 140m (460ft) wide, which flooded with seawater. More than 200 people were killed, including at the port and further afield.
Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Hassan Diab, blamed the detonation on 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that he said had been stored unsafely at a warehouse in the port.
The US Elections 2020
In the presidential elections of the United States of the year 2020, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was elected the 46th president of the United States on November 7th, 2020. The presidential electors gave Biden a solid majority of 306 electoral votes to Trump’s 232. The Electoral College decisively confirmed Joe Biden on December 14th, 2020 as the nation’s next president, ratifying his November victory in an authoritative state-by-state repudiation of President Donald Trump’s refusal to concede he had lost.
Farmers Protest in India
The 2020 Indian farmers’ protest is an ongoing protest against the three farm acts which were passed by the Parliament of India in September 2020. The acts have been described as “anti-farmer laws” by many farmer unions.
Soon after the acts were introduced, unions began holding local protests, mostly in Punjab. After two months of protests, farmer unions—notably from Punjab, Rajasthan, and Haryana—began a movement named ‘Dilli Chalo’, in which tens of thousands of farmer unions marched towards the nation’s capital.
The government offered some amendments to the laws, but the farmers’ unions are asking to repeal the laws by protesting for the past 2 months.
Actor and environmental activist, Dia Mirza, who is also the National Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was showstopper for Indian designers Abraham & Thakore at the recently held LFW X FDCI event. The designer duo who are pioneers of slow fashion and sustainability in the Indian fashion landscape showcased a timeless sustainable collection.
IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion.
Q: Did you enjoy the on-ground fashion event and the energy that came with the physical show and appearance?
A: Yes absolutely. It was just so refreshing and wonderful to finally be back from a virtual audience. Last year we did a digital show and the energy was just not there, this is an interactive experience and we draw so much from real people.
Q: The outfit that was chosen for you, how did it complement your style?
A: It's a garment that I think involves and is reflective of what I stand for, I deeply care about sustainability and I love the fact that the garment has been made with repurposed material, used and created with a hundred per cent post-consumer bottles, and made by the waste generated from the pieces of fabric that we discard while creating other garments. So it was a very special garment that really and truly celebrated repurposing and reusing and upcycling.
IANSlife spoke with Mirza on sustainable choices when it comes to fashion. | Wikimedia Commons
Q: In the world of fashion celebrity collaborations are replacing celebrity muses, what are your thoughts on that?
A: I think it's wonderful because you know, celebrities have interesting sensibility and you know designers and celebrities who care and have a similar value system and ethos work really well together. I have such wonderful partnerships with people, who have worked with me over the years. I haven't created a line with any of them yet, but I think it would be a lot of fun.
Q: How do you support sustainable fashion?
A: I think it's very exciting for India that we have so many more young upcoming and exciting designers, who make absolutely fantastic sustainable collections. Abraham & Thakore and the kind of work they've done over the years is fabulous, but what's even more important is the fact that they're empowering local craftsmen and artisans, creating livelihood support.
Q: A book, a movie, the gym, or a night out; your perfect way to unwind?
A: It really depends, but if I had to choose one, I would choose movies because I love cinema.
Q: What is an experience in your life that you're waiting to have?
A: Trekking up Machu Picchu.
(Article originally published on IANS life) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: indian, sustainability, designers, sustainable,
In a step towards digitisation of the system, Delhi Transport Department will soon issue QR based Smart cards for driving licenses (DLs) and registration certificates (RCs).
As per a statement, the new driving licence will have an advanced microchip with features like Quick Response (QR) code and Near Field Communication (NFC). The new RC will have the owner's name printed on the front while the microchip and the QR code would be embedded at the back of the card.
The cards earlier had embedded chips, but chip reader machines were not available in the required quantity with both the Delhi Traffic Police and the Enforcement Wing of the Transport Department. Moreover, chips were designed and implemented by the states concerned, which resulted in difficulties in reading the chip and retrieving information, especially in case of defaulters.
"Now with the QR based smart card, this issue is resolved. This will enable unification in linking and validating one's information to smart cards with Sarathi and Vahan, the two web-based databases of all driving licenses and vehicle registrations," the release added.
The QR is also being implemented nationwide, the QR code reader is easily procurable and will do away with the requirement of any manual intervention altogether. The new cards will also allow two specific materials for their card manufacturing -- PolyVinyl Chloride or PVC, or PolyCarbonate which is slightly more expensive but more durable. (Card Size - 85.6mm x 54.02 mm; Thickness minimum 0.7 mm)
An October 2018 notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had made changes to the Driving License and Registration Certificate. The new Smart card based DL and RC, will have chip based/ QR code based recognition system. At the same time, documents such as driving license or registration certificates in electronic formats on DigiLockers and mParivahan were also made valid in place of physical documents and treated at par with original documents.
The QR code also has an added advantage of acting as a safety feature on the smart card. The department will be able to retain records and penalties of the DL holder for up to 10 years on the VAHAN database as soon as a driver/ owner's Smart card is confiscated. The new DLs will also help the government in maintaining records of differently-abled drivers, any modifications made to the vehicles, emission standards and the person's declaration to donate organs. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Delhi, Driving License, Registration License, Digitisation.
LONDON — A work by British street artist Banksy that sensationally shredded itself just after it sold at auction three years ago fetched almost 18.6 million pounds ($25.4 million) on Thursday — a record for the artist, and close to 20 times its pre-shredded price.
"Love is in the Bin" was offered by Sotheby's in London, with a presale estimate of 4 million pounds to 6 million pounds ($5.5 million to $8.2 million).
After a 10-minute bidding war involving nine bidders in the saleroom, online and by phone, it sold for three times the high estimate to an undisclosed buyer. The sale price of 18,582,000 pounds ($25,383,941) includes an auction-house fee known as a buyer's premium.
The piece consists of a half-shredded canvas in an ornate frame bearing a spray-painted image of a girl reaching for a heart-shaped red balloon.
When it last sold at Sotheby's in October 2018, the piece was known as "Girl With Balloon." Just as an anonymous female European buyer made the winning bid — for 1 million pounds ($1.4 million) — a hidden shredder embedded in the frame by Banksy whirred to life, leaving half the canvas hanging from the frame in strips.
Sotheby's received some criticism at the time for failing to spot the hidden shredder. But the 2018 buyer decided to go through with the purchase, a decision that was vindicated on Thursday as the work's price soared. Image source: voa
Sotheby's received some criticism at the time for failing to spot the hidden shredder. But the 2018 buyer decided to go through with the purchase, a decision that was vindicated on Thursday as the work's price soared.
The work quickly became one of Banksy's most famous, and Sotheby's sent it on tour to cities including New York and Hong Kong before Thursday's auction.
Auctioneer Oliver Barker joked that he was terrified to bring down the hammer to end Thursday's sale. There were jitters among Sotheby's staff to the last that Banksy had another surprise planned.
Alex Branczik, Sotheby's chairman of modern and contemporary art, called the shredding "one of the most ingenious moments of performance art this century."
Banksy, who has never confirmed his full identity, began his career spray-painting buildings in Bristol, England, and has become one of the world's best-known artists. His mischievous and often satirical images include two male police officers kissing, armed riot police with yellow smiley faces and a chimpanzee with a sign bearing the words, "Laugh now, but one day I'll be in charge."
Several of his works have sold for multiple millions at auction. In March, a Banksy mural honoring Britain's health workers, first painted on a hospital wall, sold for 16.8 million pounds ($23.2 million) at a Christie's auction, until Thursday a record for the artist.
"Girl With Balloon" was originally stenciled on a wall in east London and has been endlessly reproduced, becoming one of Banksy's best-known images. (VOA/RN)
Keywords: Banksy, Artwork, Auction, Girl With Balloon, Sotheby