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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Daily Briefing: Centre ready to reconsider 3 provisions of farm law; UN decides cannabis not a dangerous narcotic

From the ED conducting nationwide raids on premises linked to the radical outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), to the eventual disappearance of the Malayan Giant Squirrel from forests in India's North East; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 4, 2020 9:31:41 am

Good morning,

The Big Story

Discussions with the Government went on for seven hours, but the farm union leaders refused to budge from their stance and demanded that the three contentious farm laws be repealed. Though talks remained inconclusive, the Agriculture Minister hinted the government was ready to reconsider certain provisions of the new laws. The two sides agreed to meet again tomorrow.

From the Front Page

India has voted with the majority to remove cannabis and cannabis resin from the list of most dangerous substances after the proposal was put to vote at the 63rd session of the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The reclassification, although significant, would not lead to an immediate change in its illegal status worldwide.

Within 12 hours of Uttar Pradesh’s new anti-conversion law coming into force, police booked a 21-year-old Muslim youth for allegedly putting pressure on a girl he had eloped with to convert and marry him. But several residents of their village, including the pradhan, expressed surprise at the development, saying the matter was settled after the woman married another man in April.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) conducted nationwide raids on premises linked to the radical outfit, Popular Front of India (PFI), in connection with multiple cases of alleged money laundering. The ED is probing the PFI in multiple cases, including its alleged role in the anti-CAA stir and the northeast Delhi riots, and a foreign funding case in 2018.

The Finance Ministry said the record contraction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the April-June quarter (Q1) is “unlikely” to see a repeat and that it expects an improved performance in October-December (Q3). However, it stressed on the need for “cautious optimism” as there is a major downside risk of the spread of a second wave of Covid-19.

Only in the Express

The forests of India’s Northeast may soon lose an inhabitant. A recent study by the Zoological Survey of India found that the numbers of the Malayan Giant Squirrel, considered to be a “forest health indicator species”, could decline by 90 per cent by 2050.

Must Read

From operating tongas in Delhi’s Karol Bagh to building a sprawling business empire — the Indian Express traces MDH Spices founder Mahashay Dharampal Gulati’s journey to becoming one of India’s most successful CEOs. The pop culture icon, known widely as the grand old man of spices, passed away on Thursday at the age of 98.

“I may have won the award but I can’t change the world alone,” said Ranjitsinh Disale, a 32-year-old Zilla Parishad primary school teacher, after he was adjudged the ‘world’s most exceptional teacher’ at the annual Global Teacher Prize 2020. He won prize money of $1 million, half of which he shared equally with the nine other teachers who made it to the top 10.

Police stopped an interfaith wedding in Lucknow, citing the newly passed ‘love jihad’ ordinance in UP, after receiving complaints from Hindu outfits. The police intervened on the day of the wedding, despite the families of the Hindu bride and Muslim bridegroom consenting to the marriage.


Tamil superstar Rajinikanth announced his plans to launch his own political party before the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections in 2021.

Former Punjab Chief Minister Partap Singh Badal returned his Padma Vibhushan Award in protest against the Centre’s farm laws.

The NCB suspended two investigating officers probing Bollywood’s purported drug links over alleged professional misconduct.

On the eve of Navy Day, Navy Chief Admiral Karambir Singh admitted the use of Poseidon P8I surveillance aircraft at several locations during the standoff with China in easter Ladakh.

The Centre allowed domestic airlines to ramp up their operations to 80 per cent of pre-Covid approved capacity from the existing 70 per cent stipulation.

And Finally

During the third ODI in Canberra on Wednesday, the three fours in the 48th over, bowled by Sean Abbott, showcased Ravindra Jadeja’s evolution in batting awareness and skill development. A couple of minor tweaks and dollops of guts have transformed the career of Jadeja, the allrounder.

Delhi Confidential: Among the demands for an apology from Kangana Ranaut for a tweet in which she misidentified an elderly woman at a farmers’ protest as Saheen Bagh’s Bilkis Bano, one voice stood out—that of BJP spokesperson R P Singh.

In today’s episode of the Three Things podcast, we’re examining Uttar Pradesh’s controversial new law and how the Election Commission plans to let NRIs vote in Indian elections abroad.

Until tomorrow,

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express cartoon, December 4 Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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