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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Daily Briefing: Covid R-number rising in eight states and UTs; Rahul Gandhi takes lead to rally Opposition

In his first such interaction with the Opposition without Congress president Sonia Gandhi present, Rahul again underlined a newfound readiness to assume the lead.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
August 4, 2021 8:34:57 am
A look at the top news today, September 9, 2021.

Good morning, 

The Big Story 

Indicating the possibility of a further rise in Covid cases in the coming days, the Centre has sounded the alarm over the R-number, a key metric measuring how fast the pandemic is spreading, rising beyond 1 in eight states and Union Territories.  

In part one of Counting the Uncounted, an Express series on Covid deaths, we try and answer the question of how many people died of Covid during the brutal second wave in April and May. 

While data from eight states which provided records of deaths to The Indian Express showed that “all-cause deaths” sharply rose in the months of April and May, experts say it will be a “humongous and impractical task” in the middle of a pandemic to do a national door-to-door survey to find the post-mortem cause of the deaths.

Express in Tokyo 

For boxer Lovlina Borgohain, who has set her sights on gold,  the jab at history will come inside an arena steeped in it. The Kokugikan Arena is the home of Japanese sumo wrestling. It’s a daunting arena, even though it is largely empty during bouts.

From the Front Page 

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi chaired a breakfast meeting with around a hundred MPs from 15 parties including the Congress, his first such interaction with the Opposition without Congress president Sonia Gandhi present. The same evening, Congress declared Tuesday as “a historic day”, saying “this is the trailer for 2024”.

Must Read 

After facing tough times during the pandemic and the recent avian influenza outbreak, the poultry industry is facing a new challenge now — an abnormal spike in feed prices. Since March, prices of feed for egg-laying birds have doubled from about Rs 21 to Rs 43 per kg. 

To stop wild elephants from entering villages, the Chhattisgarh government has set aside paddy acquired in 2019-2020 for “elephant management” in nine districts. The objective is to distract the elephants when they try to enter villages in search of food, forest department officials said. However, environmentalists believe this may not be the best idea. 

After facing criticism for the use of the word “Bhumiputra (son of the soil)” in a recently passed bill, Goa CM Pramod Sawant said that his government will amend the name. This comes after the BJP ST Morcha handed him a memorandum, taking “strong objection” to the use of the word, claiming it hurt the sentiments of all tribals in the state. Sawant said the Goa Bhumiputra Adhikarini Bill, may soon become the Goa Bhumi Adhikarini Bill. 

Amid heavy presence of armed forces, Covid-related restrictions and crackdown on overground workers of militant groups, stone-pelting incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have seen a massive drop since 2019. According to Ministry of Home Affairs data, such incidents between January and July have witnessed a drop of nearly 88 per cent compared to the same period in 2019.

And Finally 

They often say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. In rock and roll legend Bruce Springsteen’s case, this appears to ring true. His 29-year-old daughter Jessica is dominating the US elite show jumping scene, just as her father once reached the pinnacle of musical success over two decades ago. This year, she made her debut at the Olympics.

Delhi Confidential: While the Opposition is still exploring ways to get the Pegasus spyware issue into parliamentary records CPI(M) MP John Brittas’ speech on the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (Amendment) Bill, in which he tried to bring in the issue, triggered angry protests from Treasury benches in the Rajya Sabha. 

In today’s episode of ‘3 Things’, we look at  the outcome of the latest military level talks between India and China, at a recent letter that KM Birla wrote to the Central government in an effort to save Vodafone Idea, and at the government’s warning about the ongoing pandemic. 

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.


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