16.08.2019

Indian dailies have commented that measles outbreaks continue to spread rapidly around the world, according to latest reports provided of the World Health Organization (WHO). Newspaper have opined that US President Donald Trump is not furthering the cause of free global trade with his unfair attack on the WTO. Print media has said, Vidya Sinha will be remembered for being part of a cinema that eschewed formula and struck a chord with the people.

FINANCIAL EXPRESS in an editorial MISSING VACCINES writes a recent WHO report says that the first half of 2019 has recorded the highest cases of measles since 2006. Globally, 82% have received the first dose of measles and 69% have received the second dose—far from the 95% target WHO had set for 2020. The report states that Madagascar noted the highest outbreak (150,976), followed by Ukraine (84,394) and the Philippines (45,847). India ranked 4th and, according to WHO, has around 2.3 million children who remain unvaccinated for measles. Globally, 20 million children did not receive measles vaccination in 2018. However, the overall number of children having the disease fell to 24,076 (January-June 2019) from 69,391 in 2018. Poor healthcare infrastructure and awareness, also need to be tackled. The report notes, the ‘anti-vaccination’ propaganda is emerging as the biggest obstacle. Concrete steps to negate and curb the spread of such propaganda also need to be taken.

THE HINDU in an editorial TRADE RHETORIC says U.S. President Donald Trump opened up another front in the ongoing global trade war by ramping up rhetoric against the World Trade Organization (WTO). He even threatened to pull the U.S. out of the multilateral trade organisation if it fails to treat the U.S. fairly and blamed it for allowing too many countries to claim the status of a “developing country”. In a memo to the U.S. Trade Representative last month, Mr. Trump pointed out that nearly two-thirds of the 164 WTO members classified themselves as developing countries, and raised the issue of even many rich economies claiming to be “growing” rather than “grown” economies. This time around, the American President targeted India and China in particular for “taking advantage” of the U.S. by classifying themselves as “developing countries” at the WTO. The status of a developing country allows countries to seek partial exemptions from the WTO’s rules for free and fair trade between countries. The status, for instance, allows developing countries to impose higher tariffs on imports from other countries and also offer more subsidies to local producers in order to protect their domestic interests. The developing countries have argued that their status is justified given their low per capita income.

THE INDIAN EXPRESS in an editorial GODDESS OF SMALL THINGS opines Vidya Sinha, who passed away on Thursday, will be remembered for her roles in films that had none of the trappings of Bollywood blockbusters. She made her mark in an interesting period in the history of Hindi films. In 1973, Prakash Mehra’s Zanjeer announced the arrival of the angry young man, Amitabh Bachchan’s Vijay. A year later, Basu Chatterjee’s Rajnigandha made its mark at the box office and swept the Filmfare Awards. In several ways, Rajnigandha was a counterpoint to Zanjeer: Centred on a woman starting out in her career, caught between the affections of two lovers, Chatterjee’s film was an ode to a world very different from the predominantly masculine troposphere of Bollywood potboilers. Rajnigandha was Sinha’s debut. She did not eschew playing Bollywood’s formulaic characters. But Sinha was at her best in films where lovers could be painfully shy and loved blossomed during bus rides. There was nothing larger than life about the characters of such films. Sinha’s second film, Chhoti Si Baat, depicted the everyday life of an office-going woman. The world in such films was far gentler than the landscapes of Bollywood films of present times. This was also cinema that subtly depicted the intricacies of human relationships.

Script: KAUSHIK ROY, AIR: News Analyst