Morning Digest | Death toll crosses 3,800 in Turkey, Syria earthquakes; Jaishankar meets Canadian FM for India-Canada Strategic Dialogue, and more

Here’s a select list of stories to read before you start your day

February 07, 2023 07:40 am | Updated 07:40 am IST

Rescuers and members of the Syrian army search for survivors under the rubble, following an earthquake, in Aleppo, Syria on February 6, 2023.

Rescuers and members of the Syrian army search for survivors under the rubble, following an earthquake, in Aleppo, Syria on February 6, 2023. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Powerful earthquakes in Turkey and Syria leave over 3,800 dead

Death toll in the earthquakes that struck Turkey and Syria crossed 3,800 as rescue operations continued in the night. Dozens of nations pledged aid after the 7.8-magnitude quake, which hit as people were still sleeping and amid freezing weather that has hampered emergency efforts. The initial quake was followed by dozens of aftershocks, including a 7.5-magnitude tremor that jolted the region in the middle of search and rescue work on Monday.

Biden says U.S.-China relations not weakened by balloon incident

President Joe Biden said that relations between Washington and Beijing were not weakened by the United States’ downing of a suspected Chinese spy balloon over the weekend. Mr. Biden said: “We did the right thing and it’s not a question of weakening or strengthening - it’s reality.”

India, Canada FMs discuss reset in ties with Indo-Pacific strategy

Indo-Pacific cooperation and trade were at the top of the agenda as Canadian Foreign Minister met with External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for the India-Canada Strategic Dialogue in Delhi. The visit is seen as an attempt by both sides to put bilateral ties back on track, after several turbulent years, and focused primarily on Canada’s newly released Indo-Pacific strategy that calls India an important partner.

India to send disaster relief teams to quake-hit Turkey

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has declared that India will provide “all possible assistance” to Turkey to deal with the devastating earthquake that hit the country. The decision to help Turkey was taken in a meeting led by P.K. Mishra, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister which was attended by the Cabinet Secretary and representatives of relevant Ministries. Two teams of the NDRF comprising 100 personnel with specially trained dog squads and medical personnel have been prepared to be deployed in the disaster-affected Turkish area. Apart from the special NDRF teams, medical teams consisting of doctors and paramedics with medical supplies are also “being readied”.

Parliament continues to be paralysed over Opposition’s demand for a JPC probe into the Adani Group

Parliament failed to start the discussion on the Motion of Thanks to the President’s Address on Monday as Opposition members in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha continued with their protests over their demand to constitute a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to probe the allegations of fraud against the Adani Group. In the Lok Sabha, as soon the House met after the weekend break, opposition members, mostly Congress MPs, entered the Well of the House and started shouting slogans such as “Adani sarkar shame-shame”.

Normalisation of India-China relations better for the world; weak Pakistan would not be better for the region, says Russian envoy

The sooner there is normalisation in India-China relations, the better it would be for the world, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov said, adding that a weak Pakistan would not be better for the region, India or Afghanistan, and Russia would not do anything detrimental to India in its relations with Islamabad. To a question from The Hindu on reports of Pakistan supplying military equipment to Ukraine in the ongoing war, Mr. Alipov said, “I can assure that we have taken very close notice of those reports.”

Woman entitled to maintenance under Domestic Violence Act even after divorce: Bombay HC

A woman is entitled to maintenance under provisions of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (DV Act) even after divorce, the Bombay High Court has said. The Bench in its order noted that the plea raises a question as to whether a divorced wife is entitled to claim maintenance under the DV Act.

RBI's Monetary Policy Committee meeting starts amid expectations of lower rate hike

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das-headed Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) started its three-day meeting on Monday amid expectations of a smaller 25 basis points rate increase or a pause on the rate hiking spree that started in May last year to check inflation. The decision of the six-member rate setting panel will be announced by the Governor on Wednesday.

Delhi Mayor polls | House adjourned for third time without electing Mayor

The House of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) failed to conduct the Mayor’s election for the third time in one month, after presiding officer Satya Sharma (BJP) adjourned the meeting on Monday owing to ruckus. Following the adjournment of the House meeting, senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia said the party had decided to seek the Supreme Court’s intervention for “impartial mayoral elections”. 

Tamil version of banned BBC documentary on PM Modi screened at VCK headquarters in Chennai

The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi organised a screening of the banned BBC documentary, India: The Modi Question, dubbed in Tamil, at Ambedkar Thidal, the party’s headquarters in Chennai on Sunday evening. The documentary is about the Gujarat violence in 2002. VCK president Thol. Thirumavalavan, Villupuram MP, D. Ravi Kumar, and other party leaders were present at the screening. 

Mehbooba Mufti hits out against anti-encroachment drive, says Kashmir looks like Afghanistan

Kashmir now looks like Afghanistan, with the L-G administration bulldozing the houses of poor and marginalised in the guise of anti-encroachment drive, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti said at a press conference. Her comments came in the backdrop of an intensive anti-encroachment drive started by the Union Territory administration, clearing “unauthorised” construction in State-owned lands.

India's unwavering appetite for Russian crude lifts January inflows to record high

India's appetite for Russian crude oil in January rose to unseen levels, continuing to remain above traditional middle eastern suppliers for the fourth month in a row, as refiners rushed to snap up plentiful cargoes available at a discount to other grades. From a market share of less than 1% in India's import basket before the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, Russia's share of India's imports rose to 1.27 million barrels per day in January, taking a 28% share, according to energy cargo tracker Vortexa.

Grammys 2023: Ricky Kej, Bengaluru-based composer, wins third Grammy

Bengaluru-based composer Ricky Kej won a Grammy for Best Immersive Audio Album for his most recent album Divine Tides with rock-legend Stewart Copeland (The Police), making him the only Indian to win three Grammy awards. Ricky has previously won two Grammy Awards under the Best New Age Album category — in 2015 for his album ‘Winds of Samsara’, and in 2022 for his album Divine Tides.

Premier League 2022-23 | Harry Kane's record goal seals Tottenham win over Man City

Manchester City's bid to chop Arsenal's Premier League lead to two points was scuppered as Harry Kane's record-breaking goal earned Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 win over the champions on Sunday. Kane's 15th-minute effort punished some sloppy City passing and made him the north London club's all-time top goalscorer with 267, taking him past former great Jimmy Greaves whose record had stood since 1970.

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