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Monday, August 02, 2021

Daily Briefing: Release of PDP leader sets stage for talks; Maharashtra reports Delta-plus variant

Western Maharashtra, especially Kolhapur, Sindhudurg, Raigad, Ratnagiri, Satara and Sangli, has reported a consistently high number of Covid-19 cases and positivity rate, even while the cases have been falling in rest of the state.

By: Express Web Desk |
Updated: June 20, 2021 8:31:19 am
Daily Briefing: Free Covid vaccines for all, only Centre to procure; Red flags as PNB stake in housing finance subsidiary may dip below 26%A look at the top news today, June 20, 2021.

Good morning, 

Big Story 

Next Thursday, Jammu-Kashmir leaders of various political hues and clout will be in New Delhi for a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to discuss the “political scenario” in the Union Territory. This is being seen as one of the first steps towards conducting Assembly elections since the erstwhile state was split into two Union Territories. 

Only in the Express

Pakistan’s Abdul Khaliq was Milkha Singh’s arch rival on the track. But they were also joined by war, history, a promise of the future. Khaliq’s son speaks to The Indian Express. 

P Chidambaram writes on how GST has been weaponised by the Central government: “Mr Modi’s government has weaponised the GST to browbeat states. The GST Council has been reduced to a talking shop. Effective legislative power has been usurped by the GST Implementation Committee and the Central government.

Migrant workers returning to Mumbai on Saturday evening.
(Express Photo by Pradip Das)

From the Front Page

Though no one-on-one meeting has been planned “so far”, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval is likely to be in the same room as his Pakistan counterpart Moeed Yusuf in Tajikistan capital Dushanbe next week. The rise of Taliban in Afghanistan is likely to feature heavily during a meeting of NSAs of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO)

The Delta-plus variant has been found in at least seven Covid samples collected from three regions of Maharashtra—Ratnagiri, Navi Mumbai and Palghar. Most of them were reported from Ratnagiri, which has been reporting a high number of cases even while they have been falling in the rest of the state.

Citing the emergence of fresh Covid cases in the UK, top health experts warned of a third wave in three-four months if the country lowers its guard and Covid-appropriate behaviour is not followed. 

Must Read 

For the first time since they were introduced in its rivers back in 1975, Odisha has seen the natural nesting of gharials, a critically endangered species. As many as 28 hatchlings were spotted towards the end of May in the Mahanadi, in the Baladamara area near Satkosia range, and officials have been monitoring them closely since, with round-the-clock vigil including drones.

“Pakistan is our neighbour, we have shared values and history. India is also our regional country. None can change one’s neighbours or region. We must accept this reality and have peaceful coexistence.” This was the statement made by the Taliban when asked how it viewed India’s role in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from the country, as well as its take on the Kashmir issue. 

Families that do politics together, hardly ever stay together. This can be seen playing out in Bihar, where the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) is on the verge of a split amidst a very public tussle within the family. As the crisis deepens, we look at the story of how Ram Vilas Paswan built his party around two generations of his family. Until, one day, the threads that bound party and family began unraveling.

And Finally 

The pandemic has altered our notion of time, our sense of community. Amid so much unresolved grief, how do we find our way into the world again? In this special issue, we look at how this profound anguish is transforming our present and reshaping our future. First up, a meditation on the seismic change.

Inside Track: There is a close knit group within the BJP which looks after each other’s interests. Banded together by their affiliation with the student wing of the RSS, the ABVP, the elite club includes BJP president J P Nadda, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar among others

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

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