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Daily Briefing: Biden signs 17 orders to undo Trump legacy; Centre offers to keep farm laws on hold

From the latest on the 'Tandav' controversy, to how Tamil Nadu brought down its road accidents; here are today's top stories.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
January 21, 2021 8:33:38 am
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Good morning, 

Big Story 

The White House has a new resident. Hours after taking oath of office, President Joe Biden set to work by signing 17 executive orders memorandums and proclamations. Erasing the damage done during the four tumultuous Trump years might take sometime, but rejoining the Paris climate accord and ending the travel ban on predominantly Muslim and African countries is a start.

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.(Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)

Only in the Express

Pirzada Abbas Siddiqui, the 34-year-old head of the second-most prominent Sufi shrine in the country has been touring across West Bengal, projecting himself as a voice of the Muslims, tribals and Dalits, and attacking the Trinamool, accusing it of helping the rise of the BJP in the state. On Thursday, he is set to formally announce a political front, that may even include AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, to contest the state Assembly elections for the first time. 

After being nudged by municipalities to step up loan disbursements under the PM Street Vendor’s AtmaNirbhar Nidhi (PM SVANidhi) programme, banks are writing back to report that many of these collateral-free loans are turning into non-performing assets (NPAs). Some banks are asking local authorities — who pushed for these loans — to help recover them. 

Indian cricket team batsman Hanuma Vihari, who is currently recovering from a hamstring injury, speaks to Indian Express on the Adelaide debacle, and how the draw in Sydney proved to be the genesis of India’s greatest series win.

From the Front Page

For officials in the South Block, along with Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu, President Joe Biden’s incoming team should be familiar as it is mostly staffed by Obama-Biden administration veterans. Officials said that New Delhi is looking at “five baskets” of engagement: Strategic, environment, energy and climate change, digital and IT, education and health care.

With farmer unions refusing to appear before a Supreme Court-appointed committee of experts, the Centre offered to keep the three farm laws in abeyance for 18 months and form a committee of government and farmer representatives to address grievances. And for the first time since they began protesting at Delhi borders, the farmers did not reject the offer.

Amazon Prime’s Tanadav became the first web series to attract government censorship after multiple FIRs have been filed in at least three states against the show’s makers for allegedly hurting religious sentiments. The scenes in question have now been edited out.  

Must read

Of the 22 lakh children between the ages of 6 and 17 surveyed for the Delhi government’s socio-economic survey, almost 10 per cent have either dropped out, discontinued or never attended school — most of them reportedly on account of financial strain. 

Over one lakh licenses suspended, IT used to collect real-time data on accidents, thousands of wine shops shut on highways — these are just a few of the measures adopted by the Tamil Nadu government since 2016, bringing down its road accidents by 38% and deaths in the same by over 54%, winning the state an award this week from the Centre. 

ICYMI

The Centre informed states that a new feature has been added to the flagship Co-Win platform, enabling a session site to vaccinate additional unscheduled beneficiaries.

Over the last few months, rumours have been circulating about a CD that could be detrimental to the political interests of Karnataka CM BS Yediyurappa. 

The Supreme Court left it to the executive to decide the course of action on the proposed tractor rally by protesting farmers on January 26.

The Centre decided to go ahead with the long-pending 850 megawatt Ratle hydroelectric power project on the river Chenab in Jammu and Kashmir’s Kishtwar district, despite objections raised by the Pakistan government over the same.

And Finally

Dilip Chhabria, the man who gave India the wheels to escape from the drab Padminis and Ambassadors, now finds himself behind bars, fighting charges of financial fraud. We speak to his friends, colleagues and clients for an insight into his ride down the fast lane before he went off track. 

Delhi Confidential: On the first anniversary of his taking over as BJP President, J P Nadda had a message for party workers — that the party’s goal is “to win elections and work tirelessly for the goodwill and betterment of the common people”.

In today’s 3 Things episode, we hear the latest on the ongoing farmer agitation, the alleged case of terror funding against Sikhs for Justice, and finally, a quick look at a Telangana health worker dying a day after taking a Covid-19 vaccine shot. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose 

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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