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Friday, September 24, 2021

Daily Briefing: The Games begin; TMC MP suspended from RS for tearing IT Minister’s statement on Pegasus

In the Rajya Sabha, Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen who tore IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s statement Thursday was suspended for the remaining part of the session, leading to more uproar.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 24, 2021 8:12:24 am
A look at the top news today, July 24, 2021.

Good morning, 

Express at the Olympics 

As the lights dimmed and the fireworks went off, the Olympic Games finally kicked off a year later than originally scheduled. However, this year, there wasn’t any synchronised banging of the drums, like at Beijing 2008. Nor the rib-tickling humour of Rowan Atkinson from the London Olympics. This was a muted, pensive ceremony with dark backdrops that only got gloomier after Seiko Hashimoto, the Tokyo 2020 president, welled up during her speech. 

Tokyo: Indian contingent poses for photographs at the Olympic Stadium during the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics 2020, in Tokyo, Friday, July 23, 2021. (PTI)

Big Story 

Trinamool Congress MP Santanu Sen, who was suspended for the rest of the Monsoon Session a day after he tore IT Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw’s statement on the Pegasus row, tells The Indian Express that he objects to the manner in which the suspension was carried out — it was not listed, and didn’t even find mention in supplementary list of business.

From the Front Page 

More than 73 people have died in Maharashtra evening as rain, described as “unprecedented” by the state government, caused landslides and house collapses in the western and southern areas of the state. Among the dead were eight admitted to a Covid hospital in Chiplun, Ratnagiri, who were killed when water entered the premises.

The Supreme Court has dismissed applications by telecom companies seeking correction of what they claimed were “arithmetic errors” in the calculation of Adjusted Gross Revenue payable to the Department of Telecommunications. While Bharti Airtel had estimated its AGR dues at Rs 18,000 crore and Vi (Vodafone Idea) at Rs 25,000 crore, the DoT told the Supreme Court the two companies owed it Rs 43,000 crore and Rs 58,000 crore, respectively. 

The committee that runs the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi has handed over a piece of land outside the mosque complex to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust, in exchange for another plot of land in the vicinity. The Trust had sought it several years ago for the temple corridor project in Varanasi.

Must Read 

Under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 2 lakh students between Classes 1 and 12 moved from private schools to government schools in Andhra Pradesh in the academic year 2020-21. Around 60,253 are estimated to have dropped out of the system.

What do separatist leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Hurriyat Conference executive member Bilal Lone, family members of separatist patriarch Syed Ali Geelani, at least two family members of former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti and those of late Delhi University lecturer S A R Geelani, have in common? Well, it turns out they are among more than 25 people from the Valley who were selected as potential targets of surveillance using the Pegasus spyware. 

Earlier this month, a couple from Nashik was forced to call off their wedding after a copy of their wedding invitation card, circulated on several WhatsApp groups, sparked protests against what was widely described as a case of “love jihad”. But in the weeks that followed, they received support from several social organisations and politicians, and were finally able to tie the knot as per both Hindu and Muslim rituals. 

And Finally

It’s time. Tokyo 2020 is underway. Seven months into 2021. In the middle of a pandemic. In empty stadiums. But in essence, it’ll still be about being the best at what you do. Even in this new, vastly different world, that bit will remain unchanged.

Until tomorrow, 

Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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