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Monday, June 21, 2021

Daily Briefing: Union Min says govt not in favour of breaking WhatsApp’s encryption; Mamata skips Modi’s cyclone review meet

A senior judge of the Calcutta High Court has written a letter raising questions over the acting chief justice’s intervention in the Narada sting case; Rahul Gandhi blames Prime Minister's 'theatrics' for second wave

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
May 29, 2021 8:21:06 am
A look at the top news today, June 1, 2021.

Good morning,

Big Story

In just three weeks since the Trinamool Congress returned to power, the face-off between the West Bengal government and the BJP-led Central government has sharply intensified with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday skipping a review meeting on Yaas cyclone called by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the Centre recalling Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay to Delhi to serve the Union government. 

Only in the Express

In an interview with the Indian Express, Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India is not the only country seeking a regulatory mechanism to access “limited” data from end-to-end encrypted instant messaging platforms such as WhatsApp in order to be able to detect and prevent crime and it would not change anything for ordinary users.

From the Front Page

In an unprecedented move, a senior judge of the Calcutta High Court has written a letter to all judges of the high court, including the acting Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal, raising questions over the acting chief justice’s intervention in the Narada sting case. “The high court must get its act together. Our conduct is unbecoming of the majesty the High Court commands. We have been reduced to a mockery,” the judge wrote.

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in what was their second meeting after they met on the sidelines of the G-7 summit. The meeting focuses on vaccine cooperation between the two countries, at a time when India is struggling with a shortage of doses and the US has surplus.

In the 527-page judgment acquitting Tarun Tejpal, Tehelka’s former editor-in-chief who had been charged with sexual assault of his then colleague in a hotel in 2013, the the Goa sessions court has detailed the woman complainant’s WhatsApp chats and email messages to repeatedly discredit her. 

Must Read 

Under fire for holding the Kumbh Mela despite a raging second wave of Covid cases, Uttarakhand officials re-assessed attendance figures based on ‘key mobility indicators’ and concluded that the actual crowd was much smaller, at about 15 lakh, than originally estimated. Earlier, officials claimed that around 49 lakh devotees had attended the three-day event in Haridwar.

Otherwise known for throwing caution to the winds at its packed protests, the latest BKU (Ugrahan) dharna in Patiala was strikingly different. For one, several of the 2,000 protestors were seen wearing masks as they sat a considerable distance from one another in carefully marked circles. The farm union also added fresh Covid-related demands to its charter, calling for free tests and vaccines for all. 

Blaming PM Narendra Modi’s “theatrics” for the second wave, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said the only way to prevent more waves is to ensure vaccination of the entire population. “The tragedy is that the government does not understand the nature of what they are fighting. The government is under the impression that they are fighting the Opposition,” he said in a virtual press conference. 

Banking on support from the Centre, the Gujarat government is planning to vaccinate all those aged above 18 who will appear in the Class 12 state board exams due to begin July 1. The drive is expected to cover nearly 6 lakh students from around 10 lakh who will appear for the Class 12 board and Class 10 repeat exams. 

And Finally 

Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel, the managers of Manchester City and Chelsea respectively, the two teams that will be taking on each other in the Champions League final, have a bond that was forged not so much on the field but more on dinner tables at bars in Munich and Mainz, hours discussing football and football philosophies and dissecting tactics and formations.   

Delhi Confidential: For the first time since January, when India became a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Permanent Representative T S Tirumurti was able to enter the hallowed chambers and sit at the iconic horseshoe table.  Before this, the country had chosen not to participate at the UN building due to Covid-19.

Until tomorrow,
Rahel Philipose and Rounak Bagchi

Express Cartoon by EP Unny.

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