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Monday, January 25, 2021

Daily Briefing: Chaos ensues as Trump supporters storm Capitol Hill; Chief Guest unlikely at R-Day parade

From a drop in daily Covid cases in nearly all major urban centres, to the often overlooked sugarcane farmers protesting along the Delhi-UP border; Here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 7, 2021 8:48:20 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india latest news today, air india express crash, air india kozhikode crash, air india plane crash, india china border news, sushant singh rajput suicide cbi probe, bihar floods, ayodhya ram templeA look at the top news today, January 24, 2021.

Good morning, 

Big story 

Unprecedented. Unimaginable. Even the word coup was used to describe the seize of Capitol Hill by a mob of angry Donald Trump supporters. As Congress convened to validate Joe Biden’s presidential win, Trump egged on his supporters to “never give up” and “never concede” at a nearby rally. Later on, angry mobs chanting “stop the steal” descended on the Capitol and breached the complex. A woman was also shot dead inside the Capitol. Follow our LIVE coverage here.  

Supporters of President Donald Trump are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Only in the Express

For the first time in 55 years, there may be no chief guest gracing India’s Republic Day Parade. New Delhi has come around to this decision, a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi and expressed “regret” that he would not be able to visit India to be chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations. 

On completing a year-and-a-half in office, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel talks to The Indian Express on the new anti-conversion law and security of women. 

From the Front Page

All the major urban centres which were the epicentres of the coronavirus pandemic in the country—Delhi, Pune, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai — are reporting a fraction of the Covid cases that they used to do at their peaks, indicating some community-level protection setting in. Kerala, however, has added more infections than any other state in the last three months.

The pandemic has also impacted Kerala’s economy, with a shortfall in remittances from abroad. Of the 8.43 lakh people who returned to Kerala from abroad since May last year, 5.52 lakh said they had lost their jobs, according to data compiled by the  Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs.  

Declining to grant any immediate stay on the ‘love jihad’ laws of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Supreme Court issued notice on two petitions challenging the laws which have provisions that prohibit religious conversion for the purpose of marriage.

Must read

Widespread snowfall over the last three days has cut off the Kashmir Valley and led to blocked roads, power outages, and for the first time in decades, rationing of fuel. The snow has led to closure of the Srinagar-Jammu national highway, and suspension of passenger flights. While over 12 inches of snow has been recorded in north Kashmir’s plains, south Kashmir has seen up to 5 feet of snow.

Until now, the farmers’ agitation has focussed on Punjab, Haryana, wheat, paddy, and concerns over the future of MSP. But there’s one elephant in the room: Sugarcane. Most farmers protesting at Ghazipur on the Delhi-UP border — as against those camping at Singhu and Tikri bordering Haryana — are sugarcane growers. Their big concern? The State Advised Price (SAP) for sugarcane, which sugar mills are legally bound to pay but many farmers haven’t received since the 2019-29 sugar season. 

Despite being a Congressman all his life, Pranab Mukherjee as President enjoyed “very cordial relations” with PM Narendra Modi during his tenure. In his recently released memoir, the late president wrote that he believed Modi had “earned and achieved the prime ministership” unlike his predecessor. “He is a politician to the core and had been named the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate as the party went into campaign mode,” he wrote. 

ICYMI

Noting that there is no improvement in the impasse between the Centre and the agitating farmers, the SC agreed to hear petitions challenging the new laws and those against the ongoing protests on January 11. 

Four contract workers died after toxic gas leaked at the Coal Chemicals Department of the Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) in Odisha on Wednesday morning.

Two men have been arrested while the police are looking for a priest after a 50-year-old woman was gangraped and died of injuries in Badaun on Sunday night. 

With the Congress seeking police action and disciplinary proceedings against Uttarakhand BJP chief Bansidhar Bhagat for his remarks against Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh, CM Trivendra Singh Rawat oto Twitter to apologise to the Congress leader over the incident.

The Haryana Police has given a go-ahead for farmers’ tractor march on KMP (Kundli-Manesar-Palwal) Expressway Thursday. Police estimate around 2,500 tractors will be on the expressway.

And Finally

The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog has announced an online nationwide exam to “infuse curiosity” about the importance of cows. But what will participants be tested on? Well, the lengthy list of topics includes cow dung benefits, the “link” between cow slaughter and earthquakes because of animals generating “Einsteinian Pain Waves”; and how India became a leading beef exporter under “a cow-eating leader”. 

Delhi Confidential: As West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee turned 66 on Tuesday, she received a flood of birthday greetings from leaders cutting across party lines. But one greeting conspicuous by its absence was from PM Modi. On her part, Banerjee did not respond to any birthday greetings on social media.

In today’s 3 Things episode, we look at why the SC cleared the Central Vista project, an investment by Virat Kohli that has raised questions about conflict of interest, and petitions in the SC challenging the contentious ‘love jihad’ laws in two states. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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