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Monday, January 25, 2021

Daily Briefing: Valley goes to Gupkar Alliance, Jammu to BJP in DDC polls; Govt wants farmers back at table

From the mysterious death of Baloch Activist Karima Baloch, to the latest twist in the political crisis in Nepal; here are today's top stories.

December 23, 2020 8:49:56 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 

The District Development Councils (DDCs) poll results saw the BJP securing control of at least six DDCs in Jammu and the People’s Alliance of nine DDCs, all in the Valley. Significantly, the BJP also opened its account in the Valley securing three wins. And the National Conference has emerged as the only political party to secure considerable support in both the Kashmir and Jammu divisions.

From the Front Page

The Government is trying to find a “middle path” and “bring the protesting farmers to the table for discussions again”. It is open to tweaking the new farm laws or even setting up a committee as suggested by the Supreme Court if the farm groups show signs of a reconciliatory approach.

There is no reason for panic. A new mutation of the novel coronavirus discovered in the UK has not been seen in India, the Government said. After suspending flights from and to the UK until December 31, the Government released detailed standard operating procedures (SOPs) for states regarding travellers from the UK who arrived in India over the past month. 

It was among the longest and most high-profile real-life murder mysteries in Kerala, with multiple twists and turns. Twenty-eight years and nine months after a 19-year-old Catholic nun’s body was found inside a well at a convent, a CBI special court found a priest and a nun guilty of the murder.  And among the key witnesses, whose testimony is believed to have been crucial, was a thief.

Only in the Express

The Indian Express spoke to scores of farmers and their families in a week-long journey through villages and cities across Punjab’s three regions of Malwa, Doaba and Majha. The chorus on the ground is that Dhakka (use of force) from Delhi won’t work

It appears school’s out for Delhi’s youngest learners as the state government is considering scrapping nursery admissions for the 2021-2022 academic session. “Considering the unpredictable nature of the Covid virus, the youngest children will be the last to go to school in any case,” Deputy CM Manish Sisodia told the Indian Express, adding that schools are not expected to reopen before July. 

Forest department teams try to drive a Gaur back into the forest after venturing into Pune city. (Photograph: Arul Horizon)

Must read

The political crisis in Nepal took another dramatic turn on Tuesday when KP Oli, the country’s Prime Minister, was removed from his role as co-Chairman of the Nepal Communist Party. This comes days after he tried to consolidate control over the party by dissolving parliament and deciding to hold general elections a year ahead of schedule. Yubaraj Ghimire breaks down the crisis and explains what is at stake. 

On Monday night, Baloch activist Mehrab — better known as Karima Baloch — was found dead in Toronto, Canada,  where she had been living since 2015, seeking political asylum. A vocal critic of Pakistan, she had often accused the government of promoting radical Islamic elements in Baloch areas to counter the nationalist movement and to curb women’s rights.

“I am against farm bills and they have made me their poster boy,” said 36-year-old Hoshiarpur-based model Harpreet Singh after he inadvertently featured in a social media post shared by the BJP on MSP purchase of crops. The party was forced to take down the post after Singh commented saying he was participating in the farmer protests at Singhu border, and the photograph was used without his permission. 

ICYMI

Speaking at Aligarh Muslim University’s (AMU) centenary celebrations, PM Narendra Modi said the university represents “mini-India”, and later added that politics cannot be above the nation’s interests. 

Cricketer Suresh Raina and singer Guru Randhawa were among 34 arrested from a club in Mumbai early Tuesday morning for violating Covid-19 norms. 

Weeks after the expert committee scrutinising applications for emergency use authorisation of Serum Institute of India’s Covid-19 vaccine ‘Covishield’ sought additional data, the firm submitted fresh data to the regulator. 

The British broadcasting regulator has announced a £20,000 fine on Republic Bharat for a debate aired last year, which allegedly included statements amounting to “hate speech” against Pakistani people.

A day after the Maharashtra government announced night curfew between 11 pm to 6 am till January 5, hotels and restaurants in Mumbai on Tuesday said they would usher in the New Year an hour-and-a-half early.

And Finally

“Bhaisahab, I have no idea why people are attracted to me. There are so many times that instead of supporting their own country, they root for Bajrang.” Germany, Kazakhstan, Russia, USA. Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia has made crowds fall in love with him around the world. The reason, though, is beyond him.

Delhi Confidential: When Defence Minister Rajnath Singh spoke to his Japanese counterpart Kishi Nobuo on Tuesday, the discussions were on serious issues like  bilateral defence and security cooperation. But it was a miniature model of an autorickshaw on Nobuo’s table that caught people’s attention. One Indian official suggested, “it could mean India-Japan relations are on auto pilot.”

In this episode of the Three Things podcast, virologist Dr Shahid Jameel talks to us about the new coronavirus variant in the UK and the concerns around it.

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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