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Friday, 5 June 2020

Putin Declares Emergency after Arctic Oil Spill


President Putin declared a state of emergency in northern Siberia after Russia's second largest oil spill.

In what is considered one of the biggest oil spills in modern Russian history, 20,000 tonnes of diesel leaked into the Ambarnaya river near the Siberian city of Norilsk. The spill took place last Friday, 29th May 2020; however, the government was only informed of the spill two days later on Sunday.

This has led to President Vladimir Putin declaring emergency in the region, adding to the woes of the coronavirus pandemic. The oil spill’s effects shall take nearly a decade and over a billion dollars to be mitigated, but in the time of global environmental and financial crises, this disaster may not be one that is easy to come back from.



Over 20,000 tonnes of diesel was spilled into the Ambarnaya River, as a fuel tank at a power plant near the Siberian city of Norilsk collapsed. 

The plant is owned by Norilsk Nickel which is the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium. 

Consequently, President Putin declared a state of emergency in the region of northern Siberia, witness to the second largest oil spill in the history of Modern Russia.


The spill spread upto 12 km from the origin, contaminating an area of 350 sq. km. 

The damage was exacerbated due to ground subsidence, caving and sinking of the land under the fuel tank, and melting of the Artic Permafrost. 

The plant went two days without informing the Russian government about the incident as they attempted to contain the spill; Putin expressed anger towards this act of negligence after learning of the incident from social media.


Norilsk Nickel, the company responsible for the spill, has displayed a trend of environmental negligence over the years. 

It was involved in another episode of oil spillage in 2016, an accident at one of its plants that admittedly 'turned a nearby river red'. 

The city also leads in Sulphur Dioxide pollution releasing over 1.9 million tonnes of the gas over the Arctic tundra.


The cleanup mission is expected to take weeks to begin and will cost roughly 100 billion roubles ($1.5 billion); the recovery will take over 10 years. 

The Russian Investigative Committee (SK) has filed a criminal case for pollution and alleged negligence owing to the delay in informing Moscow about the spill. 

As of yet, only 340 tonnes of the 20,000 tonnes spilled oil has been restored, further compounding damage in the region, that is already a victim of the earth's rising temperatures.

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Rising Up to the Global Ventilator Challenge in Amid Covid-19

Rising Up to the Global Ventilator Challenge

How the world's automobile companies stepped up to increase ventilator production by over ten times amid COVID-19.

As of last year, the world’s demand for ventilators could be satisfied with the production of merely 77,000 such machines annually. However, 2020 has witnessed arguably the largest healthcare crisis the modern world has seen, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe; the virus has gone on to infect almost 7 million globally.
The virus’ infection of the lungs has made these ventilators all-the-more important – global demand was expected to be 880,000 ventilators to deal with the pandemic. This meant that traditional producers would be unable to fulfil this demand.
Ventilator Machiene

In order to rise up to this challenge several private companies have pledged their factories, labour, and resources to help expand ventilator production; this has helped expand monthly production by over 10 times in just under two months – a brilliant example of businesses working to help the world.


As of 2019, 77,000 new ventilators were enough to meet global demand; however, COVID-19 meant that the world needed 880,000 new ventilators. 

Traditional producers rapidly expanded production but due to small factories and supply chain restrictions would be unable to exponentially raise output in a matter of weeks. 

Thus, the world turned to other industries which to produce ventilators, and help meet their rising global demand as a result of the pandemic.


Large car companies and military providers have been tasked globally with creating assembly lines to help produce ventilators for COVID-19 patients. 

These companies already have existing production lines with labour at hand, as well as general purpose equipment that can be used for production. 

While this support to ramp up output was much needed, critics suggested tasking an inexperienced industry with producing such equipment may be an unsafe and lengthy process; however, producers say simple quality checks suffice.


At the start of the crisis, India had 40,000 ventilators and was estimated to require 80-100 times of that number to deal with the pandemic. 

Given that India was producing only 2,700 ventilators per month, with a maximum capacity of about 5,500, this task was set to be gargantuan. 

So much so that the DGCI (Drugs Controller General of India) gave an open call on March 23 for anyone wishing to produce ventilators domestically, amid global supply chain issues.


In the first week of April, only two companies, SkanRay and AgVa Healtcare, had submitted designs; both with capacities of a couple thousand per month. 

SkanRay's design was taken up by Bharat Electronics, Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., and Mahindra & Mahindra; AgVa's by Maruti. 

This was to raise the output from 2,000 to 30,000 for the former, and 400 to 10,000 for the latter, by June. 

Now, however, production is expected to increase further as 3 firms got the license to a design by NASA.


Ventilator Challenge UK is a consortium of companies in Britain working together to make ventilators; DHL, Ford, Dell, Rolls Royce, Siemens, Microsoft, Airbus UK, and BAE Systems: Britain's military provider. 

A group of companies with different strengths, it is working together to form a complete supply chain. 

Airbus creates the carbon dioxide meter, Ford creates the ventilator box and display screen, McLaren creates the testing equipment, while Siemens makes helps create a workplace with 'physical distancing.


Another wing of the UK's efforts is Formula 1's Project Pitlane; 7 UK-based teams, usually competing on the track, have come together to produce and design over 20,000 ventilators. 

Mercedes, in collaboration with University College London, designed a CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) breathing aid in less than 100 hours; it shall help COVID-19 patients breathe when an oxygen mask does not suffice.


Elements of Ferrari's racing department - Scuderia Ferrari - worked side by side with the Italian Institute of Technology to produce the FI5: a low-cost ventilator that can be produced in 5 weeks from scratch. 

Making the plans open to any who want to produce, Ferrari says they have already received enquiries from Italian, Mexican, and American firms with intent to produce.


In March-end, as COVID-19 numbers rose horrifically, Trump forced General Motors to start producing ventilators; they promised equipment for 10,000 ventilators a month in collaboration with Ventec Life Systems Ltd. 

In addition, Ford has taken a simple design created by General Electric and has committed to 50,000 ventilators by July, eventually reaching a rate of 30,000 a month. 

On May 30th NASA announced the creation of a simpler, more affordable ventilator known as VITAL (Ventilator Intervention Technology Accessible Locally), allowing 21 companies (including 8 US companies and 3 Indian companies) to manufacture.


Across the world, private industry has shown its crucial role in helping meet public challenges, and in overcoming adversity. 

As a result of these programs, we have seen countries increase their production capacity by over 10 times; a task that would be impossible without collaboration. 

However, as COVID-19 rages on, it is a sigh of relief that nations have begun to bridge the gap in demand and supply for life-saving machinery.

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UK May Change Immigration Laws for Hong Kong

UK May Change Immigration Laws for Hong Kong

Protests are in full swing at Hong Kong, owing to the possible implementation of a controversial law by china which allows Chinese Military to crush dissent in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the British government announced that it will allow HK citizens to become eligible for citizenship.

The move comes after PM Boris Johnson indicated that the UK has some moral obligation to the citizens of Hong Kong, given their long, shared history. The immigration change, if passed, would open up a path for citizenship for millions of Hong Kongers.

UK May Change Immigration Laws for Hong Kong


Boris Johnson announces a path to citizenship if China passes controversial security law.


The UK is set to tweak its immigration laws if China imposes a controversial security law in Hong Kong. 

People of Hong Kong who have British National (Overseas) (BNO) passports will be allowed to visit the UK for 12 months without a visa, an upgrade from the current 6 months. 

They will also be allowed to work in the UK, paving the path towards getting a citizenship.

Around 350,000 people in Hong Kong currently have BNO passport and 2.6 million others are also eligible.


The Chinese seek to implement a law which strips Hong Kong of its right to free speech and protest, as it makes criticising Beijing a punishable offense.

As Hong Kong was a British Colony, handed to the China in 1997, UK feels obligated to ensure the citizens' well-being.

The law will enable China to set up its own institutions responsible for security in Hong Kong; what locals feel may undermine their freedoms. 

Such moves undermine Hong Kong's "one nation, two systems" policy, redirecting the nation towards Chinese 'communism'.

On Wednesday, the UK PM confirmed that if China passes the law, people in Hong Kong who hold British National (Overseas) (BNO) passports

will be allowed to in UK for 12 months without a visa, Currently Allowed for 6 months.

Around 350,000 people in Hong Kong have a BNO passport, and 2.6 million are also eligible.

Passport-holders would be given immigration rights( right to work)

PM says Immigration changes in visa system in history of UK

All Hong Kong citizens granted by BNO passport (Born before the chinese handover-1997)
Dont have rights to live or work in Britain as per now

Hong Kong People Fear it could end their unique freedoms, which freedoms china do not have
mounting criticism faced by china on the law

As per Boris Johnson (PM); Immigration rules will offers hongkongs millions of people 'A way to citizenship' If China will add new security Laws 

Lets see what will happen in Hong Kong's history in this pandemic corona virus 2020 because covid-19 started from there in china. as per the diplomatic point of view its very important for hong kongers. it is sure if law will changed the britain also change the immigration rules for hong kongers.

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