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Sunday, September 19, 2021

Daily Briefing: Mamata rallies parties against BJP; Only 44% of Kerala’s population infected, serosurvey finds

For the last two days, Kerala has reported over 22,000 infections, over 50 per cent of the national count. The state has been reporting the maximum number of cases in the country for several weeks now.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: July 29, 2021 8:26:34 am
Top news, Daily briefing, Top news today, Morning newsletter indian express, Covid-19, Northeast case surge, Punjab congress, Love jihad, Amarinder singh, Narendra Modi, India news, Indian expressA look at the top news today, September 8, 2021.

Good morning,

The Big Story

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who is in the national capital to rally Opposition parties for an anti-BJP front, said doors were also open for fence-sitters like the BJD and YSRCP.  Banerjee however, dodged the question of who would lead such an Opposition front, while acknowledging the Congress’s importance in it. 

Express in Tokyo 

Two of the biggest names at the Tokyo Olympics, Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka, were predicted to leave a lasting impression on the Tokyo Olympics. And they did — but just not in a way many had imagined.

From the Front Page 

After a meeting with visiting US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spelt out India’s redlines on the Taliban issue. That the outcome in Afghanistan should not be “decided by force on the battlefield” and it should be “free from malign influences” — a reference to Pakistan’s involvement.

Only 44 per cent of Kerala’s population above the age of six years had so far been infected by the coronavirus, against the national average of over 67 per cent, according to state-level serosurvey data. The number could, at least partially, explain why Kerala is continuing to report a high number of cases.

A day after the firing and clashes at a disputed Assam-Mizoram border point, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said he would not allow any economic blockade of Mizoram. The situation on the ground, however, tells a different story.  

Must Read 

With the IPO momentum holding strong, India may see record fundraising of over Rs 1 lakh crore this year. Besides companies in traditional businesses, the bumper listing of Zomato is set to trigger a host of IPOs from other new-age companies including Paytm, PhonePe, and Flipkart Internet among others that have shown their intention to list this year.

Filmmaker Suman Ghosh’s film, ‘Aadhaar’, which was slated for release in February and cleared by the Central Board of Film Certification, has hit a roadblock. According to the filmmaker, a week before its release he was informed by the film’s producers – Reliance-owned Jio Studios — that its release has been put on indefinite hold over objections raised by the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI).

An 18th Century fort in Jaipur is now at the centre of a dispute between the tribal Meena community and Hindu outfits. Leaders of the Meena community have accused local Hindu outfits of allegedly trying to tamper with tribal culture and appropriate tribal symbols at Amagarh fort. The Hindu outfits, meanwhile, have hit out at the Meenas for allegedly taking down a saffron flag from the fort last week.

Despite criticism, the Bhupesh Baghel government went ahead and tabled a Bill to acquire a struggling private medical college in Durg, owned by the family his daughter is married into. The government’s decision will cost the exchequer Rs 140 crore a year. But Baghel insists that he has only the students’ welfare in mind. 

And Finally

Last time Fiji’s Rugby Seven team won big at the Olympics, the government declared a national holiday, the central bank printed $7 notes to commemorate the country’s first-ever gold medal, the team’s coach was gifted land, and the players were catapulted to celebrity status. This year too, the Pacific island clinched back-to-back gold medals in Tokyo. The title is expected to spread smiles around the island nation, reeling under the impact of the Covid pandemic. . 

Delhi Confidential: Newly elected CPI(M) MP John Brittas has become a talking point among Rajya Sabha members, with many MPs wondering how his name comes up so frequently in the lots drawn to put up starred questions. 

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at the appointment of Karnataka’s new Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai,t he Chhattisgarh government’s plans to take over a private medical college, and why people smuggle the faecal matter of one of the world’s largest mammals.

Until tomorrow,
Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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