Morning Digest | Working closely with India on COVID-19 crisis, says U.S.; PM Modi’s G7 visit to U.K. cancelled, and more

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

Working closely with India on COVID-19 crisis: U.S.

The United States is working closely with India on its continued and emerging needs during the unprecedented second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, a top State Department official has said.

Coronavirus | Cases rising in 15 States; positivity rate at 21%, says ICMR chief

The national COVID-19 positivity rate stood at 21% and 310 of the 734 districts had reported positivity greater than or equal to the national average, Balram Bhargava, Director-General, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), said.

About two dozen decomposed bodies wash up on banks of the Ganga in Ghazipur

At least two dozen bodies in a decomposed condition were found floating in the Ganga in Ghazipur district of Uttar Pradesh on May 11, the police said. Given the large number of bodies, the police are probing if they are of COVID-19 victims but have so far not been able to either identify the deceased or trace the source.

PM Modi’s G7 visit to U.K. cancelled due to COVID-19 crisis

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not attend the G7 summit in the United Kingdom next month, the Ministry of External Affairs announced. “While appreciating the invitation to the Prime Minister by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson to attend the G7 Summit as a Special Invitee, given the prevailing COVID situation, it has been decided that the Prime Minister will not attend the summit in person,” said spokesperson Arindam Bagchi.

In Tamil Nadu, religious institutions too step in to provide COVID-19 relief

Pontiffs and volunteers of various religious institutions are leading the COVID-19 relief works in several districts in Tamil Nadu. Helping families in distress during the second wave, they have been opening quarantine centres, distributing provision kits, masks, funding vaccines and paying salaries in full.

The Dharumapuram Aadheenam’s 27th pontiff Masilamani Desika Gnanasambanda Paramacharya Swamigal, who wanted to create awareness among the public, took the second dose of the corona vaccine at a local hospital.

Accused’s right to seek discharge cannot be seen lightly, says Supreme Court

The right of an accused to seek discharge before framing of charges in a criminal case is ‘valuable’, the Supreme Court has held in a judgment. “The trial court while considering the discharge application [of the accused] is not to act as a mere post office,” a three-judge Bench led by Chief JusticeN.V. Ramana said.

U.S. in touch with Indian vaccine makers: Envoy

The United States has been in contact with the Serum Institute of India and other vaccine manufacturers to boost production of vaccines against COVID-19, said the U.S. envoy to India on Tuesday. “We are watching carefully the production levels at the SII and elsewhere. We have been in close touch with the SII to try to determine what raw materials we could provide, and assistance that we can provide to help boost production,” the U.S. envoy said.

As deaths rise, fear of COVID haunts rural U.P.

As per official figures, the number of daily cases of COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh have started declining. On Tuesday, the State recorded 20,463 new cases and 306 new deaths as against 2.33 lakh samples tested. However, in its villages there is a growing sense of alarm due to a spurt in not only positive cases and deaths, but also incidence of cold, cough and fever.

Maratha quota | Uddhav Thackeray writes to President

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday submitted a letter to Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari for President Ram Nath Kovind urging him to step in to ensure reservation for Maratha community. Mr. Thackeray also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention.

Centre confirms death of Kerala woman in a rocket attack on Israel

Union Minister of State for External Affairs V. Muralidharan confirmed early May 12 that a Keralite woman was killed in a rocket attack on Ashkelon near Israel’s border with Gaza. She was working in the coastal city as a housemaid. Her neighbourhood had come under rocket attack from militants in Gaza.

Moody’s slashes India’s growth projection to 9.3% from earlier estimate of 13.7%

Moody’s Investors Service sharply scaled down this year’s growth projection for India to 9.3% on Tuesday from its earlier estimate of 13.7%, citing “the negative impact of the second wave”, and warned that the spread of the COVID-19 virus as well as the rate of vaccinations will have a direct impact on economic outcomes.

Premier League | United hands City the title by losing 2-1 to Leicester

Manchester United handed the Premier League title to fierce rival Manchester City on Tuesday by losing 2-1 to Leicester, which ignited its bid to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

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