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Daily Briefing: States impose curfews to combat Omicron wave; Woman in Uttarakhand, student held in hate app case

The app was hosted on US-based GitHub on December 31. Doctored photos of at least 100 Muslim women, along with lewd remarks and comments, were posted online.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
January 5, 2022 8:22:08 am
A look at the top news today, January 5, 2022.

Good morning, 

The Omicron Wave 

Delhi became the first major metro to impose a weekend curfew as a fresh Covid wave, fuelled by the more transmissible Omricron variant, sweeps across the country. Officials said that all services, except shops selling essential items such as groceries, will be shut over the weekend. And the earlier curbs on public transport, whereby the permitted occupancy was restricted to 50 per cent of total seats, has been removed.

Meanwhile, a cruise ship that set sail to Goa on January 1 returned to Mumbai after 66 people on board tested positive for Covid-19. Port officials in Goa said there were arguments when passengers were not allowed to disembark, but matters were resolved before the ship set sail for Mumbai. 

Only in the Express

A marathon organised by the Congress for girls in Bareilly saw a near-stampede situation as eager participants broke into a run. While no one was injured, such impressive turnouts have been a steady feature of these marathons, with the Jhansi and Lucknow events reportedly drawing over 10,000 runners. While rival parties have said these are unlikely to translate into any kind of electoral support, the party is hopeful: Never in the recent past have its events generated the kind of buzz these marathons have managed.

From the Front Page 

A woman, who is suspected to be the main accused behind the app which hosted doctored photographs and objectionable comments targeting Muslim women, was arrested in Uttarakhand. According to police, the woman and a 21-year-old engineering student created a few fake Twitter accounts under Sikh names to mislead others into believing that the account ‘Khalsa Supremacist’ was being operated by a non-Hindu.

A Padma awardee has been booked under the POCSO Act for allegedly raping a minor while she was under his foster care.  The man moved the Gauhati High Court, seeking pre-arrest bail. On December 28, he was granted interim bail, and the court called for the case diary on January 7.

Must Read 

With a sharp surge in demand for at-home antigen testing kits amid the third Covid wave, Maharashtra health department officials fear that many positive cases are going unreported. The Covid-19 national task force too has flagged the issue. According to Sujit Jain, director, MyLab Discovery Solutions,  the demand for CoviSelf has surged by nearly 200% in the third wave. 

After Omicron, the emergence of a new variant is now raising fears of yet another wave of infections. This variant, B.1.640 or ‘IHU’, has been found mostly in France so far, although it has also been detected in several other countries. The variant was reported to have 46 mutations, including some in the spike protein. But the good news is, it doesn’t seem to be spreading very rapidly. 

If you happen to be in a remote village without any cash and poor/or no internet connectivity, you can still make purchases or do any transaction up to a limit of Rs 200 using the mobile phone or wallet. This is now possible because of the RBI allowing offline mode of small-value payments using any channel or instrument, including cards, wallets or mobile devices. We break down the process, and the reason behind the RBI’s decision. 

And Finally 

Many people assume that Shardul Thakur is lazy and tends to get lucky with the wicket-taking balls. His bowling coach, L Balaji, disagrees. “Let me tell you, he is a very intelligent bowler,” he said. That intelligence was seen in the seven-wicket haul in game-turning spells on day 2 at Johannesburg.

Delhi Confidential: Attorney General for India K K Venugopal, 90, on Tuesday made yet another pitch for increasing the age of retirement for judges of higher judiciary. Venugopal has been a vocal advocate of increasing tenure of the judges, and has consistently spoken about it at every farewell of Supreme Court judges since 2017. 

In today’s episode of the ‘3 Things’ podcast, we take a  look at the website that posted ‘auctions’ of muslim women, what the authorities need to do to catch the people behind such websites, and what Github has said about the matter.

Until tomorrow, 

Leela Prasad G and Rahel Philipose

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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