Morning Digest | 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War altered ideological map, says President Kovind in Dhaka, Resident doctors go on nationwide stir today, and more

A select list of stories to read before you start your day

December 17, 2021 08:16 am | Updated 08:17 am IST

President Ram Nath Kovind speaks during the gala celebrations of Mujib Borsho and Golden Jubilee of Independence of Bangladesh in Dhaka on December 16, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@MEAIndia via PTI

President Ram Nath Kovind speaks during the gala celebrations of Mujib Borsho and Golden Jubilee of Independence of Bangladesh in Dhaka on December 16, 2021. Photo: Twitter/@MEAIndia via PTI

1971 war altered ideological map: President Kovind

The Liberation War of 1971 changed the “ideological map” of South Asia, said President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday in Dhaka. Participating in the celebration to mark the golden jubilee of independence of Bangladesh and victory in the war, President Kovind recollected the “grass roots support” from India to attain the freedom of Bangladesh.

Process to identify next CDS has started: Rajnath Singh

The Government has initiated the process to identify the next Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The top military post fell vacant following the death of CDS Gen. Bipin Rawat in a chopper crash last week.

In the interim, Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane, who is the seniormost of the three service chiefs, has been entrusted the charge of Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC), comprising the three service chiefs with the CDS as its Permanent Chairman.

U.N. chief urges 'concrete' moves on year-end vaccine goal

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres exhorted the world Thursday, December 16, 2021, to make “concrete" progress within days toward a now-distant goal of vaccinating 40% of the global population against  COVID-19  before the year ends.

Omicron slow to infect lungs, says study

The Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 infects and multiplies faster than the Delta variant and original SARS-CoV-2 in the human bronchus, which may explain why it may transmit faster between people than previous variants. However, it does not easily infect the lower lungs and this, researchers say, potentially explains why instances of severe disease are proportionally lower in cases involving Omicron.

Lakhimpur Kheri | ‘Sack Ajay Mishra’ call roils Parliament

Protests by Opposition members demanding the sacking of Minister of State for Home Ajay Mishra Teni after a Uttar Pradesh Special Investigation Team (SIT) found criminal conspiracy behind the death of eight people in Lakhimpur Kheri led to the adjournment of both Houses of Parliament for the second day on Thursday.

JUH protests against Saudi Arabia ban on Tablighis

Saudi Arabia’s ban on Tablighi Jamaat has drawn a strong protest from leaders of the Jamiat Ulema E Hind but the ban is likely to affect the global organisation's position as Saudi Arabia has made it clear that it was imposed as the organisation was following new texts that are not part of the puritanical interpretation of Islam as followed in the Wahhabi school in the country.

States told to pre-publish labour codes rules: Labour Minister

Labour Minister Bhupender Yadav told the Rajya Sabha on Thursday that the Centre was “pursuing with remaining State governments” to pre-publish rules under the four labour codes as between 13 and 24 States had already done so.


Indira Gandhi ignored by Modi Government, says Congress

The Congress on Thursday slammed the Narendra Modi Government for ‘leaving’ out former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi from official Vijay Diwas celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War, with party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra terming the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as ‘misogynist’.

Jaishankar underscores Delhi-Dhaka trade ties

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the trade between India and Bangladesh crossed $10 billion, Union External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said on Thursday. Mr. Jaishankar said Bangladesh is India’s largest trade partner in South Asia and fourth largest export destination globally while India is Bangladesh’s second largest trade partner.

Record 488 journalists jailed, 46 killed in 2021, says RSF

There are currently 488 media professionals imprisoned around the world, the highest number since Reporters Without Borders began counting more than 25 years ago, the NGO announced on Thursday.

By contrast, the number killed this year — 46 — was the lowest since it began issuing annual tallies, due to the relative stabilisation of conflicts in the West Asia.

U.S. faces a double COVID-19 surge as Omicron advances

The new Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 speeding around the world may bring another wave of chaos, threatening to further stretch hospital workers already struggling with a surge of Delta cases and upend holiday plans for the second year in a row.

‘N. Korea trying to hide executions from world’: Research group

North Korea has tried to stop leaks to the outside world about its public executions in recent years, suggesting Pyongyang may be responding to international scrutiny of its human rights record, a Seoul-based research group has said.

The Transitional Justice Working Group analysed satellite imagery and collected testimonies of 23 public executions during the era of Kim Jong-un, who took power a decade ago following the death of his father in December 2011.

U.S. imposes sanctions against China over abuse of Uighurs

The Biden administration said on Thursday it is imposing new sanctions on several Chinese biotech and surveillance companies and government entities for actions in Xinjiang province, the latest step against Beijing over human rights abuses of Uighur Muslims.

The Commerce Department is targeting China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences and its 11 research institutes that focus on using biotechnology to support the Chinese military.

‘Mineral output to rise with changes to rules’

The government on Thursday said that amendment in mineral auction rules will encourage competition that will ensure more participation in the sale of blocks. This will facilitate State governments in identifying more blocks for auction of composite licence.

Power discoms owe gencos more than ₹1.56 lakh crore: Minister

Total outstanding dues owed by power distribution utilities or discoms to generation firms (gencos) are estimated to be more than ₹1.56 lakh crore, Parliament was informed on Thursday.

Pakistan completes 3-0 sweep

Mohammad Rizwan (86) and Babar Azam (79) starred with the bat as Pakistan defeated West Indies by seven wickets in the third and final T20I at the National Stadium on Thursday. With this win, Pakistan won the three-match series 3-0. Earlier, Nicholas Pooran’s 64-run knock helped West Indies post 207/3 in 20 overs.

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