Morning Digest | 33,000 new COVID-19 cases in India; China constructing bridge on Pangong Tso, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

33,000 new COVID-19 cases in India; all States record rise

Union Health Ministry data at 8 a.m. on Monday showed India confirmed over 33,000 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours. The number of deaths increased by 123, bringing the total to nearly 4,82,000. Authorities say that even as cases have started to rise rapidly, hospitalisations have not gone up.

China constructing bridge on Pangong Tso

China is constructing a bridge in Eastern Ladakh connecting the North and South Banks of Pangong Tso which would significantly bring down the time for People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to move troops and equipment between the two sectors, two official sources independently confirmed on Monday.

Indian Navy’s 1971 war veteran Vice Admiral S.H. Sarma dies at 100

The Indian Navy’s 1971 Indo-Pak war veteran Vice Admiral S.H. Sarma died here on Monday, January 3, 2022, at the age of 100, his family said.

Centre urges speedy hearing of income cut-off for EWS quota

The Union government on Monday pressed the Supreme Court to list on January 4 the hearing of a case raising questions about the ₹8-lakh income criterion for identifying Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) to provide them reservation in admissions and jobs.

Lord Krishna tells me in dreams that I will establish Ram Rajya: Akhilesh Yadav

Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Monday, January 3, 2022, claimed that Lord Krishna comes to his dreams every night to tell him that he would form the government and establish “Ram Rajya” in Uttar Pradesh after the state’s upcoming Assembly polls.

COVID-19 | Over 40 lakh in 15-18 age group vaccinated as drive opens up for teenagers

Over 40 lakh persons between 15-18 age group received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on the first day of vaccination drive for children, till 8 p.m., tweeted Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya on Monday. According to COWIN dashboard, 37,84,212 people in the15-17 age group were administered COVID-19 vaccine on Monday and 49,07,874 (in this age group) have registered for the vaccine so far.

Police inaction has emboldened goons, say women who were ‘auctioned’ online

Commercial pilot Hana Khan is now hesitant to share where she is posted. A day after another online app targeted Muslim women by posting their publicly available pictures in misogynistic context, Ms. Khan told The Hindu that she was worried that such online abuse would not end and eventually, those behind auctioning of Muslim women online would threaten physically too.

Amit Shah reviews security situation; threats from global terror groups

Home Minister Amit Shah convened a high-level meeting on Monday to review the prevailing threat scenario in the country and the emerging security challenges, a statement by Ministry of Home Affairs said. The police chiefs of all States, officials of the Intelligence Bureau, chiefs of Central Armed Police Forcce, representatives of the intelligence wings of armed forces, revenue and financial Intelligence agencies also attended the meeting.

$30 million of AAI assets seized over Antrix award: Devas

Devas shareholders on Monday said they had seized more than $30 million worth of Airports Authority of India’s (AAI) money held by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) following an order from a Canadian court. Devas added that “additional actions are forthcoming”. It is also pursuing seizure of Air India’s assets to recover the arbitration award it won against the Indian government.

World powers vow to stop spread of nuclear weapons

Five global nuclear powers pledged on Monday to prevent atomic weapons spreading and to avoid nuclear conflict, in a rare joint statement ahead of a review of a key nuclear treaty later this year. “We believe strongly that the further spread of such weapons must be prevented,” said permanent UN Security Council members China, France, Russia, the U.K. and U.S., adding: “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.”

As infections mount, Goa finally imposes night curfew

Following a steep rise in COVID-19 cases in poll-bound Goa during the year-end festivities, the State government on Monday finally imposed a night curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. in the coastal State. The decision was taken by Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant at the State Task Force’s meeting on COVID-19 today.

Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro hospitalised in Sao Paulo

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was taken to a Sao Paulo hospital early Monday with a suspected intestinal obstruction, the country’s media reported. Globo reported that Mr. Bolsonaro returned to the Brazilian capital during the night from a New Year break on the coast and was immediately taken to Hospital Vila Nova Star.

Uttar Pradesh Assembly election 2022 | SP continues to attract Brahmin leaders

Former BSP MP Rakesh Pandey joined the Samajwadi Party on Monday, as the party continued to attract leaders of the influential Brahmin community into its fold ahead of the 2022 Uttar Pradesh Assembly election. The development came a day after SP president Akhilesh Yadav, in a symbolic gesture towards the community, offered traditional Hindu prayers at the temple of Lord Parshuram built by one of his party’s Brahmin leaders in Gosaiganj area of the State capital.

India seeks emergency meeting of WTO’s General Council this month to discuss COVID package

India has sought an emergency meeting of the General Council of the World Trade Organization (WTO) this month in Geneva to deliberate upon the world trade body’s proposed response package, including patent waiver proposal, to deal with the pandemic amid rising coronavirus infections globally, an official said. The General Council is WTO’s highest decision-making body in Geneva.

Congress launches theme song for Uttarakhand polls

The Congress released its theme song for the Uttarakhand Assembly polls, targeting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for changing three Chief Ministers in five years and claimed it as proof that the party has failed to provide a “double engine” governance model. The BJP, that is in power both in Uttarakhand and at the Centre, claims that “double engine” governments have been beneficial for the State’s development.

BJP stages ‘chakka jam’in Delhi; roads blocked, buses vandalized

The BJP on Monday staged demonstrations at over a dozen locations in the Capital demanding a rollback of the new excise policy implemented by the Delhi Government. Protests at central locations such as Akshardham and Laxmi Nagar triggered long traffic jams as people dressed in party regalia and bearing its flag forced public buses to stop and deflated their tyres rendering arterial routes useless for vehicular traffic. Demonstrations by the party were held at 15 locations in the city.

I am playing more of my natural game: Ashwin

R. Ashwin batted with fluency and freedom and a testing pitch. He said after the first day’s play here, “There was a time when I was keen on being technically right and in the process lost some of my flow.” He added, “Now I am playing more of my natural game. I get into positions to play some shots which some specialists might not be able to do so.” Ashwin said, “Right from the Australia series, I have been batting well. Batting coach Vikram Rathour has been helpful.”

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