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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Daily briefing: Districts listed as ‘zero-caseload’ had 8.5 lakh Covid cases in May; Rumblings in BJP-JJP as Haryana farmers protest central Ordinances

From Maharashtra becoming the first state to cross 1 million cases to the conflicting views within the ruling BJP on the farmers' protests in Haryana, read the top stories from print edition today.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: September 12, 2020 8:28:48 am
top news briefing today, top news today, india top news today, express investigation, fincen files, what are fincen files, rajya sabha chaos, farm bills, gauri lankesh, anurag kashyap sexual harassment caseSeptember 21, 2020: A look at the top news today.

Good morning Readers,

We are covering India and China’s five-point approach to the Ladakh crisis, under-detection of cases in ‘zero-caseload’ districts and changes to the Congress party setup.

The Top Story

For the first time since the border standoff began in early May, India and China issued a joint statement that their troops “should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions”. However, there was no mention of status quo ante.

Meanwhile, sources say the next round of talks at the Corps Commander-level between the two countries is likely next week.

From The Front Page

They may not be the sweeping changes that the 23 letter signatories sought but it is still a good start. Congress president Sonia Gandhi did a bit of an organisational rejig by dropping some veterans and bringing in young faces close to former president Rahul Gandhi.

Factory output continued to decline for the fifth consecutive month in July, posting a contraction of 10.4 per cent, mainly due to degrowth in manufacturing, mining, capital goods, and consumer durables output, data released by the National Statistical Office (NSO) showed.

The CBI has sought prosecution sanction from the government to chargesheet former Defence Secretary and Comptroller and Auditor General of India Shashi Kant Sharma and four Indian Air Force officers in the AgustaWestland helicopters deal case.

Daily wage workers assemble in huge numbers to find work near CTM cross road in Ahmedabad.

The Pandemic

Confirming the under-detection of Covid cases in the country, a study on the first national sero surveillance found that as many as  8.56 lakh cases were present in the 233 districts deemed ‘zero-caseload’ in May. This shows there was poor testing, surveillance and contact-tracing of infections in these districts.

Every day, around 2,000 to 3,000 new patients require oxygen support in Maharashtra. On Friday, as the state became the first to cross a million Covid-19 cases, north Maharashtra and Marathwada regions continued to stare at a massive shortage of supply across hospitals.

The Tripura High Court has stepped in to take suo motu cognizance of the rising Covid cases as the Biplab Kumar Deb-led government fights charges of negligence and lack of infrastructure at the state’s only coronavirus-dedicated hospital.

Beyond Covid-19

Haryana’s ruling BJP spoke in conflicting voices after Home Minister Anil Vij claimed that “no lathicharge took place” on the protesting farmers on Thursday while a few Lok Sabha MPs came out in support of the agitation, and against the use of force by the police.

Express interview: BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, in-charge of poll-bound Bihar, is confident that not only will the NDA government secure another term but will also be stable, development-oriented and able for five years.

A family in Kolkata is celebrating 44 days of Durga Puja this year.


  • Twenty four candidates scored 100 percentile in the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) this year, the results of which were declared late on Friday. 
  • The Maharashtra government showed urgency in demolishing parts of the office of actor Kangana Ranaut but failed to take action against the illegal structures of Dawood Ibrahim, BJP’s Devendra Fadnavis has said.
  • One person in Bhopal was arrested for developing 12 websites and allegedly duping close to 10,000 people to the tune of Rs 10 crore by offering them loans on low interest rates.
  • Shiv Sena workers attacked a retired Navy officer after he forwarded a cartoon depicting Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and Congress head Sonia Gandhi.
  • The Income Tax Department on Friday moved a petition in Madras High Court accusing Oscar-winning music composer A R Rahman of tax evasion.

And finally

From ousting the Congress in the 1977 Haryana elections by a huge margin to getting removed by the Arya Samaj for appearing on Bigg Boss, let us take a look at the journey of social activist Swami Agnivesh who passed away on Friday at the age of 81.

Delhi Confidential: Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi — who had come under attack from the BJP for not attending any meetings of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Defence — not only attended the committee’s meeting on Friday, but is also learnt to have asked Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat and other officers present some pointed questions.

📹 Back in 2017, Rajkummar Rao opened up about shooting for Newton at a time when he was dealing with a deeply personal loss.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad and Liu Chuen Chen

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