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Wellington, the capital of New Zealand | Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand’s real estate prices up, Czech Republic’s high death rate and other Covid news

As the Covid-19 pandemic shows no signs of letting up, ThePrint highlights the most important stories on the crisis from across the globe.
Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman as he is released by Pakistan authorities at Wagah border on the Pakistani side

Bajwa’s ‘legs were shaking’ — Pakistan leader on India’s threat after Abhinandan’s capture

Pakistan opposition leader Sardar Ayaz Sadiq said its Army chief's reaction came after its Foreign Minister said India would attack by 9 pm if Abhinandan was not released.
Representational image of visa application form | Pride Immigration Law Firm PLLC

Trump administration proposes to scrap computerised lottery system for H1B visas

The US govt proposes to replace it with a wage-level-based selection process to help counter the downward pressure on the wages of American workers.
Diners at a restaurant in London, UK | Representational image | Bloomberg

Boris Johnson pressured on fresh lockdown as 2nd Covid wave in UK reaches ‘critical stage’

According to the latest findings from Imperial College and Ipsos Mori, cases are doubling every 9 days and an estimated 960,000 people are carrying the virus in UK on any one day.
US President Donald Trump and former vice president Joe Biden

Affluent voters, presence in swing states — why Indian-Americans matter to both Trump & Biden

Donald Trump's bonhomie with PM Modi to Joe Biden recalling Diwali party — both Democrats and Republicans are trying to woo the Indian-American vote.
File photo of US President Donald Trump and Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a news conference at the White House on 22 April | Michael Reynolds | EPA via Bloomberg

Set politics aside and wear mask, it’s key to avoiding Covid shutdowns, Anthony Fauci says

US top infectious-disease doctor Anthony Fauci, who has advised six US presidents, said inconsistent mask-wearing is a significant impediment to controlling the pandemic.

200 days with no locally transmitted case — Covid record that makes Taiwan envy of world

Taiwan holds the world’s best virus record by far and reached the new landmark Thursday, even as the pathogen explodes anew in Europe and the US.
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally in Sanford, Florida, on 12 October

Trump stirs rallies by tarring Biden with misleading, exaggerated claims

Trump’s attacks are sometimes inconsistent and appear designed to elicit jeers from his supporters rather than make a genuine distinction from his own policies.
Signs with the US flag and Chinese flag are seen at the Qingdao free trade port area in Qingdao in China on 8 May 2019

US charges 8 Chinese operatives for efforts to round up dissidents

The operatives were acting as agents of China in carrying out Operation Fox Hunt, which Chinese govt portrays as an effort to track down 'legitimate fugitives,' US Justice Department said.
The French President Emmanuel Macron | Marc Piasecki/Getty Images

India condemns personal attacks on Macron, calls it ‘violation of international discourse’

French President Emmanuel Macron has been facing criticism from various Muslim-majority countries after he said that Islam was a religion in crisis.

On Camera

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn | Wikipedia Commons

Corbyn is out, but Labour still has to ensure anti-Semitism is rooted out of the party

Corbyn’s failed leadership sullied Labour’s reputation. For his successor Keir Starmer, changing the party culture — and winning the battle with the hard left — won’t be easy.
Gold jewellery (Representational image) | Bloomberg

Gold sales this festival season to be India’s worst since 2008

Covid and weak economic growth are likely to push sales below last year’s 194 tons to the lowest quarterly numbers since 2008, according to a consultant at Metals Focus Ltd.

Defence

Army personnel during a parade (representational image) | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

Army develops WhatsApp-like app for personnel to dodge risk of communication leaks

The Secure Application for Internet supports secure voice, text and video-calling services for Android platforms over the internet. It is end-to-end encrypted. 
Illustration: Soham Sen/ThePrint

Trump or Biden? Doesn’t matter to India-US ties as they’re in a full, strategic embrace

Pompeo & Esper’s visit to India for the 2+2 talks is proof that old hypocrisies are history, and supreme national interest has again driven a strategic choice.