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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Daily Briefing: Delhi can’t afford riots like in Feb 2020, FB’s role must be looked into, says SC; Cairn gets ruling to freeze Indian assets in Paris

The French court, Tribunal judiciaire de Paris, on June 11 agreed to Cairn's application to freeze (through judicial mortgages) residential real estate owned by the Government of India in central Paris, they said adding the legal formalities for the same was completed on Wednesday evening.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
July 9, 2021 7:56:58 am
A look at the top news today, July 16, 2021.

Good morning, 

Big Story

Underlining that “the capital of the country can’t afford any repetition” of an occurrence like the February 2020 riots, the Supreme Court has come down heavily on Facebook, saying that while the social media platform has played a crucial role in enabling free speech by providing a voice to the voiceless and a means to escape state censorship”, the court “cannot lose sight of the fact that it has simultaneously become a platform for disruptive messages, voices, and ideologies”. 

On a day when India’s new Minister for Electronics and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnaw, made his stand clear on the ongoing faceoff between the Government and Twitter over the IT rules, saying that whoever lived and worked in India would have to follow its rules, the Delhi High Court said the Central Government can initiate action against Twitter in accordance with the new IT rules in case of non-compliance even as the micro-blogging site submitted a timeline on the appointment process of officers.  

Only in the Express 

Between the last week of April and late May, when the base camp of Mount Everest had turned into a Covid-19 hotspot, a senior medical officer and deputy commander with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police found on his hands a Himalayan task. One of just two qualified medical practitioners at the base camp, Dr Tarun Rana would end up treating about 200 Covid cases, relying largely on a single 10-litre medical oxygen cylinder. 

From the Front Page 

Britain’s Cairn Energy has secured an order from a French court authorising the freezing of 20 Indian government properties in Paris valued at over 20 million euros. In May, Cairn initiated a process to seize Indian assets and brought a lawsuit in the US against Air India to enforce the $1.2-billion arbitration award it won last year against the Indian government in a longstanding tax dispute. 

Four days after Pakistan made serious allegations against India, terming the June 23 bomb blast near the home of Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed as “India-sponsored terrorism”, New Delhi has broken its silence with the official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs rejecting Islamabad’s accusation as “baseless propaganda”.

Months before the Assembly elections, Congress has lost its tallest leader in Himachal Pradesh as Virbhadra Singh, the longest-serving chief minister of Himachal Pradesh, passed away in Shimla after prolonged illness. The six-time chief minister and nine-time member of the Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh dominated the political landscape of the state for almost 50 years.

Must Read 

While the national Covid-19 curve trends downward, Kerala has been recording a significant rise of 11,000-13,000 cases everyday for almost a month now. This has led to an increase in active cases at the national level for the first time in two months. Part of the explanation for the high numbers in Kerala lies in the better reporting in the state. But that not explain the continuing high positivity rate in the state. 

It will be nothing short of a trial by fire for Mansukh Mandaviya, who replaced former Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. The son of a farmer from Hanol village in Gujarat’s Bhavnagar district, many view his elevation as a reiteration of PM Modi’s confidence in him as well as a move to build a second-rung leaders from his home state.

From the creation of paediatric units in all 736 districts, to the installation of 1,050 liquid medical oxygen storage tanks with medical gas pipeline systems — these are some of the key components of phase-II of the Covid-19 Emergency Response and Health Preparedness package, worth Rs 23,123 crore, approved by the new Cabinet. The package is designed to augment the state government’s response to the second wave, and to prepare in advance for a probable third wave. 

And Finally 

More than a year since the deadly coronavirus pandemic first took the world by storm, the global death toll has surged past the grim 40 lakh mark. To put this number in perspective — it is more than four times the number of deaths that are reported in India in a normal year. With over six lakh deaths until now, the United States has the highest number of Covid-19 fatalities, followed by Brazil (over five lakh) and India, which recently crossed four lakh.

Delhi Confidential: While the Congress leadership is weighing the pros and cons to resolve the crisis in its Punjab unit — where it has to find a way to suitably accommodate Navjot Singh Sidhu without antagonising Chief Minister Amarinder Singh— the buzz in the party is that several veteran leaders have reached out to party chief Sonia Gandhi in support of Amarinder.

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the biggest takeaways from the Cabinet reshuffle, how IIT-Guwahati made a Phd scholar take a pledge that he would not take part in any protest or agitation, and how Kerala reporting its first Zika virus case. 

Until tomorrow, 

Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi 

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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